Singapore: Eleven males had been charged in a Singapore court docket on Tuesday in connection with a big-scale oil theft at Shell’s greatest refinery, whereas police mentioned they have been investigating six different men arrested in a weekend raid.

File:ARTHUR KILL ROAD ON, LOOKING NORTH. THIS IS AN AREA OF HIGH DENSITY PETROCHEMICAL SHIPPING ...Police in the island-state said on Tuesday they’d detained 17 males, whose ages ranged from 30 to 63, and seized thousands and thousands of dollars in cash and a small tanker throughout their investigations into theft at the Pulau Bukom industrial site, which sits simply south of Singapore’s fundamental island.

Oil refining and shipping have contributed considerably to Singapore’s rising wealth throughout the past many years.

But the case underlines the challenges the industry faces in a region that has turn into a hotspot for unlawful oil buying and selling.

The investigation started after Shell contacted the authorities in August 2017, police mentioned in a news launch.

After “intensive investigations and probes,” the Criminal Investigation Department, Police Intelligence Division and Police Coast Guard launched a collection of simultaneous raids throughout Singapore, which led to the arrests.

Nine Singaporeans have been immediately charged in the theft, of which eight were employees of the Singapore subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, court paperwork confirmed.

Two Vietnamese nationals had been charged with receiving stolen goods on a small tanker named Prime South (IMO: 9452804), the paperwork showed.

Shell confirmed on Tuesday that eight of the eleven males charged were present or former employees at Shell Jap Petroleum Petroleum Equipment Supplier (Pte) Ltd. Shipping data from Thomson Reuters Eikon confirmed the Prime South had been delivery gasoline between Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam, and Singapore for the past 30 days.

Tuesday’s circumstances could possibly be just the first insight right into a grander scheme.

The charges seen thus far allege three incidents of gasoil theft: on November 21, 2017, of more than 2,322 tonnes valued at S$1.277 million ($958,564.78); and on January 5 and 7 this year of a combined 2,062 tonnes of gasoil, valued at S$1.126 million.

The Vietnamese nationals had been charged with receiving gasoil in the early night hours of January 7, at wharf 5 at the guts of Shell’s operations on Bukom island, the documents present.

Meanwhile, police say the other six men arrested remain under investigation.

During raids on Sunday, police stated they seized S$3.05 million in money and the 12,000-deadweight-tonne tanker.

They’ve additionally frozen suspects’ bank accounts.

Shell said on Tuesday it anticipated “a brief delay” in its supply operations at Bukom, its largest wholly owned refinery in the world by way of crude distillation capacity.

It declined to say the whole quantity of oil stolen.

It’s the second excessive-profile case of wrongdoing at companies in Singapore to hit headlines in latest weeks, after Keppel Company Ltd’s rig-constructing enterprise agreed in December to pay greater than $422 million to resolve expenses it bribed Brazilian officials.

Singapore is among the world’s most necessary oil buying and selling hubs, with a lot of the Middle East’s crude oil passing via Singapore earlier than being delivered to the large consumers in China, Japan and South Korea.

Singapore can also be Southeast Asia’s essential refinery hub and the world’s biggest marine refuelling cease.

Shell is certainly one of the most important and longest established international traders in Singapore. Its oil refinery on Bukom island can process 500,000 barrels per day.