Joint AGC-SPF-MPA Media Release: Criminal Syndicate Convicted of Tampering With Mass Flow Meters To Cheat Over US$300K Worth Of Marine Fuel Oil

30 September 2021

   Nine members of a criminal syndicate have been convicted in 2020 and 2021 for offences under the Computer Misuse Act, for using industrial strength magnets to tamper with the Mass Flow Meter (“MFM”) equipment on board bunker tankers Southernpec 6 and Southernpec 7 to cheat buyers of marine fuel oil (“MFO”). The buyers were cheated of US$336,930.63 worth of MFO in total. The matter was jointly investigated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (“MPA”) and the Singapore Police Force (“SPF”). 

2 The outcomes of the cases against three masterminds and six cargo officers are set out in the table below:

 S/N Name (Alias)
Date of Sentencing 
 1 Ang Heng Lye (Eric)
Mastermind 21 June 2021
35 months’ imprisonment
 2 Tay Tien Whui (Jason)
4 August 2021
34 months and 2 weeks’ imprisonment
 3 Kek Kah Hui (Dylan)
26 June 2021
34 months’ imprisonment
 4 Ang Heng Chye
Cargo officer
26 August 2020
19 months’ imprisonment
 5 Heng Meng Wee, Stanley
Cargo officer
28 July 2021
18 months and 2 weeks’ imprisonment
 6 Leong Wai Chew, Lionel
Cargo officer
27 July 2021
13 months’ imprisonment
 7 Chua Yew Hui, Andy
Cargo officer
9 June 2020
9 months’ imprisonment
 8  Chua Yan Jing, Gab
Cargo officer
30 September 2020
7 months’ imprisonment
 9 Kek Kah Hee
Cargo officer
13 November 2020
2 weeks’ imprisonment

3 To uphold the integrity of the bunker process in the Port of Singapore, MPA has mandated the use of MFMs for the delivery of MFO as it provides assurance to both buyers and suppliers on the delivered quantity of MFO, and enhances transparency in the bunkering process.

4 The criminal syndicate’s tampering with MFMs on bunker tankers Southernpec 6 and Southernpec 7 was conceptualised by the masterminds, and carried out by the cargo officers on board.  The syndicate’s illegal operations were discovered during an enforcement check by MPA in April 2019.  MPA revoked the bunker craft operator and bunker supplier licence of Southernpec (Singapore) Pte Ltd with effect from 8 May 2019 and 29 May 2019 respectively. The modus operandi of the syndicate is set out in Annex A.

5 The authorities take a serious view of such criminal activities and will not hesitate to take firm action against those who commit offences that undermine Singapore’s international reputation as a trusted shipping and bunkering hub.