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Three men charged for obstructing investigations into suspected STS gasoil transfers to North Korea

27 Sep 2022

Three men, aged between 32 and 47, were charged on Thursday (15 September 2022) for several counts of conspiracy to obstruct the course of justice under Section 204A read with Section 109 of the Penal Code 1871, according to the Singapore Police Force. 

In October 2018, the Police received information that a Singapore-registered oil tanker, Marine Tanker (MT) Sea Tanker II, had allegedly engaged in ship-to-ship transfers of gasoil with North Korean-flagged vessels. Two men, aged 40 and 47, were cargo officers on the vessel MT Sea Tanker II, whilst the 32-year-old man was employed as an assistant marine superintendent at Sea Hub Tankers Pte Ltd, the registered owner of MT Sea Tanker II.

Police investigations revealed that the three men had allegedly conspired to falsify records in the ship documents of MT Sea Tanker II, specifically, the official logbook and oil record book part II, which contained information on MT Sea Tanker II’s movement and cargo activity during the material period. These falsified records were then provided to Singapore authorities who were investigating into the activities of MT Sea Tanker II.

Further investigations revealed that prior to the vessel’s return to Singapore, the 32-year-old man and 40-year-old man allegedly conspired to dismantle and dispose of a computer processing unit (CPU) which was onboard MT Sea Tanker II, to prevent the Singapore authorities from obtaining information in the CPU relating to the vessel’s activities during the material period.

The offence of intentionally obstructing the course of justice under Section 204A of the Penal Code 1871 carries a punishment of an imprisonment term of up to seven years, a fine, or both.

The Police have zero tolerance towards any acts that intentionally obstruct the course of justice and will not hesitate to deal with such offenders firmly in accordance with the law.


Photo credit: Marine Traffic / John Regan
Published: 27 September, 2022

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