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Singapore charges 3 more suspects in Shell refinery oil heist

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

By John Geddie

(Reuters) - A on Saturday charged three men suspected of involvement in large-scale theft at Shell's biggest refinery, days after bringing charges against 11 under an extensive probe by authorities in the city state.

The subsidiary of Plc first contacted the authorities in August 2017 about theft at its industrial site, just south of the country's main island.

Police have seized millions of dollars in cash and a small tanker in the sting operation involving simultaneous raids across Singapore, one of the world's most important trading centres and a major hub.

Earlier this week, a charged 11 men including eight Shell employees and two Vietnamese nationals related to the theft following a weekend raid arresting 17 people.

But the charges levelled against three additional suspects on Saturday have entangled Sentek Marine & Trading Pte, one of Singapore's biggest marine fuel suppliers, and the investigation found that one of two vessels used to transport the stolen products was managed by the firm.

Sentak Marine said in a statement two of the three suspects had been employees, one a and the other a It said both had been dismissed.

The role of the third, a Vietnamese national, was not immediately disclosed by the or the companies. A said none of the men charged on Saturday was an employee of the company.

The three are accused of receiving stolen property, with a combined value of S$896,444 ($676,510.45), at site, where Shell has its largest refinery, according to documents.

The amount of products involved in the theft on two days in late 2017 were in addition to more than 4,300 tonnes of gasoil valued at S$2.4 million specified in charges brought against other 11 suspects on Tuesday.

documents listed two vessels used in the transfer of stolen products on Nov. 11 and Dec. 31 at two wharfs at

Sentek 26, which carries a flag, and have been travelling around the city state over the last 30 days, both making one journey down to the Indonesian island of in late December, data shows.

The 26, Sentek Marine & Trading, was the biggest in by volume last year, according to official data. is the world's biggest marine refuelling stop.

Illicit trading is widespread in where stolen fuel is sold across the region, often offloaded directly into trucks or tanks at small harbours away from terminals.

($1 = 1.3251 dollars)

(Reporting by John Geddie, additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh and Florence Tan; Writing by Jack Kim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 13 2018. 13:50 IST