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Jail for 11 crew members involved in illegal sale of 4,200 litres of marine gas oil at sea off Tuas

SINGAPORE — Eleven crew members from two tugboats, one a Singapore-registered vessel, were sentenced to jail on Friday (Jan 20) for the clandestine sale of marine gas oil that took place at sea off Tuas in western Singapore.

Jail for 11 crew members involved in illegal sale of 4,200 litres of marine gas oil at sea off Tuas
  • The ship master of a vessel asked the crew members of a Singapore-registered tugboat if they had spare marine gas oil for sale
  • The ship master of the tugboat responded and agreed to sell the excess oil they had and to split the profits with his crew
  • Both boats were caught in the act by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s officers on patrol 
  • Eleven crew members were given jail sentences

SINGAPORE — Eleven crew members from two tugboats, one a Singapore-registered vessel, were sentenced to jail on Friday (Jan 20) for the clandestine sale of marine gas oil that took place at sea off Tuas in western Singapore.

An estimated 4,208 litres valued at close to S$4,300 were illegally sold.

The court heard on Friday that the men, all Indonesians, belonged to two different ships — the Mongolia-registered The Banyu, and the Singapore-registered PW Iota.

PW Iota is owned by Maritime Foxtrot Pte Ltd and operated by Pacific Workboats.  

Each of PW Iota’s five crew members faced a single charge of committing a breach of trust as an employee, while The Banyu’s six crew members were each charged with receiving stolen property.

The sentences for the crew members were as follows:

PW IOTA

  • Four months' jail for Aswar Mansyur, 42, ship master  
  • Fourteen weeks’ jail for Yohanis Baturapa, 43, chief engineer
  • Three months’ jail for Syariful Khoiri, 31, chief officer
  • Three months’ jail for Andhika Arsad Tangke, 37, able-bodied seaman
  • Three months’ jail for Daniel Bruce Karaeng, 33, second engineer

THE BANYU

  • Fourteen weeks’ jail for Pareng Budiman, 48, ship master
  • Six weeks jail for Hemei, 40, chief officer
  • Twelve weeks jail for Ahmat Bazzi, 47, able-bodied seaman
  • Six weeks jail for Muhammad Jayadi, 42, second engineer
  • Six weeks jail for Angga Putra, 28, oiler
  • Six weeks jail for Anton Heri Pramana, 53, chief engineer

THE CASE

Court documents stated that plans for the illegal sale of marine gas oil happened on Dec 21 last year, when both boats were berthed near each other at the Inparco shipyard located in Tuas.

At around 8pm, Banyu’s ship master, Pareng, shouted at PW Iota’s crew members to ask if they had any spare oil to sell.

The other vessel’s chief engineer, Yohanis, heard this and informed his own ship master, Aswar, about the request from Pareng.

After some discussion, Aswar agreed to sell the excess 3,000 litres of marine gas oil that was onboard PW Iota at a rate of S$600 per metric tonnes.

Both parties agreed to execute the transfer at 2am on Dec 22 to avoid detection, because they knew that there would be few people in the shipyard at that time.

Aswar then told his crew of the agreed sale and that the proceeds would be divided equally among them.

Court documents also stated that all 11 men knew the sale of the oil was illegal since it belonged to Pacific Workboats. The company later confirmed that it had not given approval for the sale.

At about 2am, Pareng from The Banyu signalled PW Iota to be ready for the transfer before his crew used ropes to fasten the two tugboats together.

However, as the oil was being transferred through a fuel hose, they were spotted by patrolling officers from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore at around 2.30am.

The officers then boarded the two tugboats and both sets of crew hurriedly disconnected the fuel hose, which resulted in minor oil spillage on PW Iota.

After it discovered the offences, Pacific Workboats performed a sounding test of PW Iota’s fuel tanks, which revealed that an estimated 4,208 litres of marine gas oil had been transferred.

The missing oil had a total market value of about S$4,292.16.

Any employee found guilty of committing a criminal breach of trust can be jailed up to 15 years and fined.

Anyone found guilty of receiving stolen property can be jailed up to five years or fined, or both.

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