Shell robbery: Jail for three surveyors who pocketed bribes for unauthorized oil transfers


SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Three surveyors who accepted bribes to cover up the unauthorized transfer of marine gas to vessels that were supplied to oil giant Shell have each been jailed between four and eight month Thursday, May 26.

The men – Anand Omprekas, 39, Noruliman Bakti, 40, and Muhammad Khairul Asri Mohamad Hanafiah, 38 – pleaded guilty to bribery, having each received between US$6,000 (S$8,200) and US$25,000 in bribes.

Another surveyor who appeared in court, Erwin Suhardi Jamaluddin, 38, is accused of receiving $10,000 in bribes. He will return to court in July.

They were among 12 surveyors who were charged on April 14 for allegedly accepting bribes from Shell employees Juandi Pungot, Muzaffar Ali Khan Muhamad Akram and Richard Goh Chee Keong.

The 12 surveyors are accused of taking bribes totaling nearly $300,000 between 2014 and 2017. Most of their cases are ongoing.

The hijacking of diesel began as early as 2007, when Juandi – one of the main masterminds behind the heist – took advantage of siphoned gas that was being sold at lower prices.

The syndicate used bribes and various methods to evade detection for years, leveraging their combined knowledge of Shell’s internal systems.

On March 31, Juandi was jailed for 29 years for his role in the hijacking of more than 200,000 tons of diesel worth $128 million.

This is one of the longest prison sentences for a commercial crime.

At least 26 people have been brought to justice for the plot, which was first noticed by Shell in 2015 when it observed a large unidentified oil loss in Pulau Bukom.

The maximum penalty for a bribery offense is a $100,000 fine and five years in prison.

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