An Indian-origin man was among three surveyors who were jailed for four to eight months on Thursday by a Singapore court for accepting bribes to cover up the unauthorised transfer of marine gas to vessels that were supplied to oil giant Shell.
Anand Omprekas, 39, along with Malay origin Noruliman Bakti, 40 and Muhammad Khairul Asri Mohamad Hanafiah, 38, pleaded guilty to corruption, having each received between USD 6,000 and USD 25,000 in bribes.
Another surveyor who appeared in court, Erwin Suhardi Jamaluddin, 38, is accused of receiving USD 10,000 in bribes, and will return to court in July, reported The Straits Times.
They were among 12 surveyors who had been 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 are accused of accepting bribes of nearly SGD 300,000 in total between 2014 and 2017. Most of their cases are pending.
The misappropriation of gas oil began as early as 2007, when Juandi Pungot - one of the key masterminds in the heist - profited off siphoned gas that was 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 Pungot was jailed for 29 years for his role in masterminding the misappropriation of more than 200,000 tonnes of gas oil worth SGD 128 million.
This is one of the longest prison sentences for a commercial crime, according to the Singapore daily.
At least 26 people have been hauled to court over this conspiracy, which was first noticed by Shell in 2015 when it observed significant unidentified oil loss at Pulau (island) Bukom.
The maximum penalty for a corruption offence is a SGD 100,000 fine and five years' jail.
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