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:
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Related: Singapore: Shell MGO bunker heist amount balloons to USD$142 million
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Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 16 December, 2020
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