SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): A surveyor accepted bribes totalling US$12,000 (S$16,134) from his colleague in exchange for reporting the inaccurate amount of Shell gas oil loaded onto vessels and turning a blind eye to the misappropriation of fuel.
As a result of Kumunan Rethana Kumaran's help, two incidents of Shell gas oil misappropriation worth around US$634,000 went undetected by Shell in 2016.
Kumunan, 40, who was then working for CCIC Singapore, a company that provides cargo inspection services, was on Friday (Aug 19) sentenced to 15 weeks' jail after he pleaded guilty to a graft charge.
He was also ordered to pay a penalty of $16,134, which is the amount of bribes he took. He will spend an additional four weeks behind bars if he is unable to pay it.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Norman Yew said on Friday that Kumunan had accepted the bribes from another surveyor from CCIC Singapore, Noruliman Bakti.
Noruliman had earlier been roped into a scheme to sell misappropriated Shell gas oil to vessels docked at the oil giant's Pulau Bukom facility. His case is still pending.
As a surveyor, Kumunan was tasked to perform jobs which included checking the quantity of cargo, including fuel such as gas oil, supplied to vessels.
The court heard that Noruliman approached Kumunan in 2016 to offer him money in exchange for reporting the inaccurate amount of cargo loaded onto vessels CCIC was hired to inspect.
DPP Yew said Kumunan accepted the offer even though he suspected that Noruliman intended to facilitate the misappropriation of Shell gas oil.
He added: "(The accused) omitted to inspect non-nominated tanks and thereby falsely understated in his ullage reports the amount of cargo loaded onto the vessels.
"He also turned a blind eye to and kept quiet about any misappropriation of Shell gas oil."
In August 2017, a Shell representative alerted the police, stating that the company had suffered an unidentified loss of fuel worth nearly $3 million earlier that year.
At least 26 people have been hauled to court over this conspiracy.
On March 31, Juandi Pungot, 45, was jailed for 29 years for his role in masterminding the misappropriation of more than 200,000 tonnes of gas oil worth $128 million. This is one of the longest prison sentences for a commercial crime.
For graft, an offender can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000.