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Shell MGO bunker heist: First ex-Shell employee to plead guilty over involvement

16 Dec 2020

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

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