A Judge at the State Courts of the Republic of Singapore on Wednesday (16 February) issued the former Trading Manager of bunkering firm New Ocean Fuel Pte Ltd (NOF) a SGD 800 fine and three-month jail sentence over one obstruction of justice and two criminal trespassing charges.
China national and Singapore PR Qie Yanpeng, also known as Xiaoxu, was working with accomplices Ang Heng Lye (Eric), a consultant at Ocean Express Pte Ltd, and Tay Tien Whui (Jason), the director and sole shareholder of Success Energy and Ocean Express, while employed at NOF, according to documents obtained by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.
Both Eric and Jason are involved in a criminal syndicate and have been convicted of MFM tampering offences on earlier dates.
During the period, NOF chartered two bunker tankers, namely Southernpec 6 and Southernpec 7, from Southernpec Shipping Pte Ltd. where bunkering operations onboard both vessels were supervised by cargo officers provided by Success Energy.
Around June 2018, Success Energy began instructing its cargo officers to use an industrial strength magnet to tamper with the mass flowmeters (MFMs) on board both Southernpec bunker barges during refuelling operations for NOF.
The purpose of using a magnet to tamper with the MFM is to cause a higher amount of bunker fuel to be recorded as having been delivered to the buyer vessel than what was actually delivered.
This was done to conceal the fact that a lesser amount of MFO was delivered to the buyer vessel than what was contractually agreed, without the knowledge or agreement of the buyer.
Investigations ultimately uncovered 66 magnet tampering incidents committed from June to December 2018, involving USD 121,585.60 of MFO erroneously recorded as having been delivered.
Obstruction of Justice charge
Kek Kah Hui (Dylan), a cargo officer from Success Energy working on board Southernpec 7, was arrested following an enforcement check by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on 19 April 2019.
On 9 May 2019, Xiaoxu arranged a meeting between Eric and Dylan’s two sisters for the purpose of retrieving his laptop which contained incriminating evidence.
Xiaoxu left the meeting when it ended, while Jason arrived with his car to drive Eric and Dylan’s two sisters to retrieve the laptop which was later disposed in a dustbin – the laptop and its contents were never recovered.
“By virtue of the foregoing, the accused did abet by engaging in a conspiracy with Eric and Jason to intentionally obstruct the course of justice. He has thereby committed an offence punishable under s 204A read with s 109 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224, 2008 Rev. Ed.) (‘PC’),” stated the document.
Criminal Trespassing charges
An obstruction of justice charge was placed against Xiaoxu in July 2019, whose legal fees were still being paid by NOF. The company later retrenched Xiaoxu in July 2020 and said it would no longer be paying his legal bills.
Angered by the development, Xiaoxu confronted his former manager on 27 August 2020 by shouting the manager’s name with an intent to cause annoyance when entering NOF’s office – resulting in a criminal trespassing charge.
Understanding his former manager was not in the office, he proceeded to throw a phone handset at a computer monitor (valued at SGD 159) belonging to an ex-colleague and caused damage to the item – resulting in another criminal trespassing charge.
Disturbed NOF employees present called the police which arrived at the scene to arrest Xiaoxu.
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Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 17 February, 2022
‘MFMs will continue to have a place within the bunkering sector even when the shipping industry continues to adopt new types of marine fuels, such as LNG, biofuel, methanol, ammonia and hydrogen,’ states spokesman.
Current ISO 8217 bunker fuel standard not comprehensive enough for biofuels; National Mirror Committee working with local players to develop more comprehensive biofuels standard for Singapore, says Capt. Rahul.
‘There are some important differences between VLSFO and biofuels, and as a result, parties should consider whether additional changes should be made to biofuel bunker contracts,’ says Paul Collier.
Quek Rong Hong first joined Shell sometime in 2005 and had held the position of Blending Specialist from November 2017. At the time of arrest, his monthly basic salary was about SGD 4,300, showed documents.
Glencore previously commenced Singapore International Arbitration Centre Emergency Applications against Straits Pinnacle but those applications were dismissed, according to documents obtained by Manifold Times.
Captain Segar, MPA Assistant Chief Executive, Operations, to be also joining IBIA for the game where proceeds will be channelled into an IBIA Bursary Fund for supporting students to obtain a maritime studies degree.