The former Shore Loading Officer of the Shell Pulau Bukom manufacturing site received a 29-year jail sentence at the State Courts of the Republic of Singapore on Thursday (31 March) over charges relating to the misappropriation of marine gas oil (MGO).
Juandi bin Pungot faced a total 85 charges for criminal breach of trust (40 charges), money-laundering (32 charges), and corruptly giving gratifications to various surveyors (13 charges), according to court documents seen by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.
Juandi, who pleaded guilty to several of these charges in February 2022, was first employed by Shell Eastern Petroleum Pte Ltd on 1 June 2004 as a Process Technician and later rose to hold the position of Shore Loading Officer.
Unknown to his employers, he also became one of the masterminds of a long-term and large-scale conspiracy to misappropriate gasoil from the Shell Pulau Bukom manufacturing site as early as 2007.
Together with other Shell employees who were his colleagues in “Team D”, Juandi secretly siphoned off about SGD 128 million in gasoil for sale on the black market between mid-2014 and 2018, earning at least SGD 5.63 million for himself.
During the offending period, Juandi spent SGD 3.4 million (exact: SGD 3,417,201.32) of his criminal benefits on amongst others, cars, luxury watches, and properties; some items were:
Deputy Public Prosecutors noted the offences committed by Juandi and his co-conspirators were exceptionally difficult to detect due to the systematic steps taken by the syndicate to conceal their crimes as they were able to cover their tracks effectively due to their collective in-depth knowledge of Shell’s systems.
These methods included configuring the flow of misappropriated gasoil through carefully planned routes that avoided custody transfer meters, while ensuring multiple pumps and tanks were moving at the same time to mask the misappropriation of gasoil.
They also included hiding misappropriation from a tank by shifting production into the same tank, and timing the incidents of misappropriation carefully such as by pausing a legitimate loading of purchased gasoil in order to transfer misappropriated gasoil.
The syndicate also took active steps to evade detection including manipulation of the control panel to mask the movement of misappropriated gasoil, and tampering with the bunker meter to disrupt the meter’s ability to register any readings when gasoil was passed through.
This included distracting supervisors and tampering with the orientation of CCTV cameras, and coordinating their criminal activities through group chats that they would subsequently delete.
Between 2014 to 2017, Juandi also issued a total of USD 188,000 and SGD 20,000 in bribes to at least 13 independent surveyors who were engaged to inspect tanks on board various vessels receiving gasoil at Shell Pulau Bukom.
“The sheer scale of the offending in this case is without precedent. It strikes at the core of a strategic industry for Singapore, and must be met with a resounding deterrent sentence,” concluded a Deputy Public Prosecutor.
“Juandi and his co-conspirators misappropriated immense amounts of gasoil from Shell Pulau Bukom over a protracted period. Their offences required painstaking investigation and immense resources to uncover.
“The staggering losses have not been made good. Indeed, there is little hope that any of the offenders will be able to make any meaningful restitution.”
Juandi is expected to begin serving his jail sentence on 6 May.
Note: Court proceedings against other allegedly involved parties, including former employees of Shell Pulau Bukom, are ongoing. A list of earlier developments recorded by Manifold Times are as follows:
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Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 1 April, 2022
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