A former Shell employee has reportedly pleaded guilty to being involved in the million dollar Shell-Singapore heist by embezzling millions of dollars’ worth of gas oil from the Pulau Bukom refinery for sale to other parties.
Sadagopan Premnath, 40, an Indian national is the first ex-Shell employee to admit to his involvement in the case and pleaded guilty to four accounts of aiding and abetting criminals in a breach of trust as an employee over SGD 49 million worth of gas oil between 2017 and 2018.
Five other charges will reportedly be considered in his judgement.
The accused began his employment with Shell around 2012 as fieldman/panel operator and duties as fieldman included operating heavy duty valves while as a panel operator he handled the black oil panels that digitally controlled valve movements.
Purportedly, co-accused Juandi Pungot, also a former Shell employee, recruited Premnath in mid-2017 and Premnath agreed as he feared negative treatment from his senior colleagues.
Premnath’s position in the chain of events was to operate the black oil panel valves based on instructions given so that the misappropriated gas oil could be transferred to third party vessels.
Being a junior, Premnath initially sat by his co-conspirators as they transferred the oil before performing the necessary procedures to mask their tracks.
He claims to have no knowledge on who was buying the embezzled gas oil and reportedly received SGD 200,300 (USD 150,000) from the proceeds.
Premnath is scheduled to return to court for his sentencing in February 2021.
Earlier coverage of developments by Manifold Times regarding the Shell MGO bunker heist can be found below:
Related: Shell MGO bunker heist: Founder of Sentek released from police custody on SGD 300k bail, e-tagging
Related: Shell MGO bunker heist: Chemical oil tanker “M/T Prime South” forfeited by State Courts of Singapore
Related: Shell MGO bunker heist: Founder of Sentek face charge at State Courts of Singapore
Related: Singapore: Shell MGO bunker heist amount balloons to USD$142 million
Related: Shell MGO bunker heist update: Fresh charges issued at Singapore court
Related: Shell Singapore oil heist: More charges issued at court
Related: Shell Singapore oil heist: Nine charged offered bail
Related: Singapore bunker employee faces additional charges
Related: Intertek Singapore employee among Shell oil heist suspects
Related: Shell Singapore oil heist update: More individuals charged
Related: Shell Singapore oil heist: Shipowner should have conducted a charterer check
Related: Fuel syndicate busted at Singapore Shell Bukom
Related: Shell Singapore oil heist: Breakdown of stolen oil cargoes
Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 16 December, 2020
Program introduces periodic assessments, mass flow metering data analysis, and regular training for relevant key personnel to better handle the MFMS to ensure a high level of continuous operational competency.
U.S. Claims Register Summary recorded a total USD 833 million claim from a total 180 creditors against O.W. Bunker USA, according to the creditor list seen by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.
Glencore purchased fuel through Straits Pinnacle which contracted supply from Unicious Energy. Contaminated HSFO was loaded at Khor Fakkan port and shipped to a FSU in Tanjong Pelepas, Malaysia to be further blended.
Individuals were employees of surveying companies engaged by Shell to inspect the volume of oil loaded onto the vessels which Shell supplied oil to; they allegedly accepted bribes totalling at least USD 213,000.
MPA preliminary investigations revealed that the affected marine fuel was supplied by Glencore Singapore Pte Ltd who later sold part of the same cargo to PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
‘MPA had immediately contacted the relevant bunker suppliers to take necessary steps to ensure that the relevant batch of fuel was no longer supplied. Further investigations are currently on-going,’ it informs.