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Singapore holds 17 men, seizes tanker over alleged Shell oil

AFP  |  Singapore 

Singaporean authorities have arrested 17 men for allegedly stealing fuel from a major refinery, and seized an tanker and millions of dollars in cash, police said.

The suspects, aged between 30 and 63, were detained in raids across on Sunday after the Anglo-Dutch energy giant first alerted police in August. Several of the suspects were employees.

A total of Sg$3.05 million ($2.3 million) in was recovered along with a 12,000-tonne tanker, which police believe was where the stolen was being transferred.

The suspects' accounts have also been frozen, police added.

Authorities charged 11 of the men in today, including eight Singaporean employees of and two Vietnamese men -- a crew member and the from the tanker Prime South.

The 11th suspect was a Singaporean who did not work for Shell. The other six are still under investigation.

The oil was allegedly stolen from the Pulau Bukom in western Singapore, which Shell describes as one of its most important production centres in the world.

The fuel was taken on at least three occasions, according to documents seen by AFP.

On November 21, five Shell employees were alleged to have taken fuel worth nearly Sg$1.28 million.

Meanwhile, a further three Shell employees were alleged to have taken Sg$438,000 worth of fuel on January 5.

On Sunday, four of the Shell workers together with a fifth man not employed by the oil giant, were alleged to have stolen fuel worth Sg$688,000.

The two Vietnamese crew of the Prime South have been charged with "dishonestly receiving stolen property".

No plea was taken and the men will appear in again later this month.

Shell said in a statement the company anticipates a "short delay in the supply operations at Bukom, but at this point we expect to continue to meet our contractual supply obligations to customers".

is one of the world's largest with huge quantities of crude from the passing through the city-state before going on to East Asia, and several have local refineries.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 13:40 IST