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Singapore: Three bunker clerks charged in connection to Shell MGO bunker heist

07 Oct 2022

The Singapore Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on Thursday (6 October) published a press release notifying three former bunker clerks, previously employed by Sentek Marine & Trading Pte Ltd , were charged in court for allegedly committing offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (CDSA) and the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA)  between 2014 and 2021.

The following is an extract of the press release by CPIB on the offences:

On 6 October 2022, three bunker clerks, previously employed by Sentek Marine & Trading Pte Ltd (Sentek), will be charged in Court for offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (CDSA) and the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). They are:

  1. Wong Wai Meng (Wai Meng) (王偉明, 56-year-old male Singaporean);
  2. Wong Kuin Wah (Kuin Wah) (王建華, 59-year-old male Singaporean); and
  3. Boo Pu Wen (Pu Wen) (巫普文, 55-year-old male Singaporean).

Alleged Offences under the CDSA

It is alleged that Wai Meng, Kuin Wah and Pu Wen intentionally aided Sentek in acquiring property which was another person’s benefits from criminal conduct, by assisting to receive on board their respective vessels, gasoil which had been dishonestly misappropriated from Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd’s facility (“Shell Pulau Bukom”). They will be charged for offences under Section 47(3) of the CDSA, read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, and punishable under Section 47(6)(a) of the CDSA. Specifically:

  1. Wai Meng will face 31 charges, involving alleged offending between August 2014 to December 2017 and gasoil with a total value of about S$19,055,062.83;
  2. Kuin Wah will face 28 charges, involving alleged offending between August 2014 to January 2018 and gasoil with a total value of about S$18,663,600.77;
  3. Pu Wen will face seven charges, involving alleged offending between June 2017 to January 2018 and gasoil with a total value of about S$5,502,505.58.

Alleged Corruption Offences

Further, between February 2018 and January 2021, Wai Meng, Kuin Wah and Pu Wen allegedly received gratification from Pai Keng Pheng (Pai), the former Managing Director of Sentek, as an inducement to remain out of Singapore in order to avoid investigations by the Singapore Police Force into the suspected involvement of Sentek and others, in the receipt of misappropriated gasoil from Shell Pulau Bukom.

Each bunker clerk will be charged with 12 charges under Section 5(a)(i) of the PCA. It is alleged that Wai Meng had corruptly received a sum totalling S$259,420 over 69 occasions while Pu Wen and Kuin Wah had corruptly received sums totalling S$286,040 and S$294,080 respectively from Pai over 71 occasions. These bribes were allegedly given to them through various intermediaries, either in Singapore or Batam, Indonesia.

Pai himself faces 42 charges of consenting to Sentek’s acquiring of property which was another person’s benefits from criminal conduct under Section 47(3) read with Section 59(1)(a) of the CDSA. He also faces charges for corruption and obstructing the course of justice. His case is still before the Court.

Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to S$100,000, sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years, or both. Any individual convicted of an offence under Section 47(3) of the CDSA is liable to a fine of up to S$500,000, imprisonment for up to 10 years, or both.

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Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 7 October, 2022

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