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Former Shell employees (from left) Juandi Pungot, Muzaffar Ali Khan Muhamad Akram and Richard Goh Chee Leong are seen leaving State Courts February 23, 2021. — TODAY pic
Former Shell employees (from left) Juandi Pungot, Muzaffar Ali Khan Muhamad Akram and Richard Goh Chee Leong are seen leaving State Courts February 23, 2021. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE. Feb 23 — Two alleged key players in the massive misappropriation of marine gas oil from Shell Eastern Petroleum’s biggest regional refinery on Pulau Bukom were charged with corruption offences today.

Juandi Pungot and Muzaffar Ali Khan Muhamad Akram were among three former Shell employees hauled to court again, having already been charged with conspiring to siphon gas oil from 2007 to 2017. Those charges are still pending.

Prosecutors had previously described Singaporeans Juandi, 44, and Muzaffar, 40, as key masterminds of the scheme that was engineered on an “unprecedented” scale. One employee has pleaded guilty to his role while some foreign ship captains have been jailed for receiving millions of dollars worth of misappropriated gas oil on Pulau Bukom.

Shell operates a refinery on the island — its largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia-Pacific region.

Juandi and another former Shell employee allegedly started the scheme, which eventually involved two syndicates of Shell workers, and recruited others over the years.

Today, Juandi and Muzaffar, along with Singapore permanent resident Richard Goh Chee Leong, 51, were further accused of bribing the employees of various surveying companies with about US$116,900 (RM473,000) in total.

Shell had engaged these companies to inspect vessels that Shell supplied fuel to, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said in a press release.

Juandi and Muzaffar allegedly conspired to give US$91,900 in bribes to 10 surveying firm employees between 2014 and 2017, in order to stop them from accurately reporting the amount of gas oil loaded onto vessels.

Goh is accused of bribing three employees with US$25,000 between 2016 and 2017 for the same purpose.

Juandi and Muzaffar now face 13 charges each under the Prevention of Corruption Act, while Goh faces four charges.

The men could be jailed for up to five years or fined up to S$100,000, or receive both penalties for each bribery charge.

The CPIB said that Singapore “adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption”, and strongly advised companies to implement “robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit to prevent falling victim to corrupt acts by their employees”. — TODAY


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