11 tug crewmen jailed for oil theft

11 tug crewmen jailed for oil theft


Eleven crew members on two tugs were jailed between six weeks and four months last Friday for stealing 4,200 litres of gasoil from one of the vessels in Singapore.

The incident occurred on 21 December 2022, when the tugs, Singapore-flagged PW Iota, owned by PACC Offshore Services Holding, part of Malaysian conglomerate Kuok Group, and Mongolia-flagged Banyu, were docked next to each other at Inparco shipyard in Singapore.

Around 8 pm, Pareng Budiman, the master of Banyu, shouted at PW Iota’s crew, enquiring if they had any gasoil to sell. Tempted, PW Iota’s chief engineer, Yohanis Baturapa, conveyed the request to his vessel master, Aswar Mansyur. Following negotiations, Aswar agreed to sell some excess gasoil on PW Iota for US$600/tonne.

The errant crewmen decided to execute the fuel transfer at 2a.m. local time on 22 December, as the shipyard would be deserted at that time. PW Iota and Banyu were fastened together with rope.

However, just 30 minutes later, as the gasoil was being transferred through a fuel hose, they were caught red-handed by patrolling officers from the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA).

The crewmen frantically disconnected the fuel hose, resulting in some oil spillage on PW Iota. PACC’s subsidiary, Pacific Workboats, which owns PW Iota, conducted tests showing that 4,208 litres of gasoil were stolen, and the siphoned fuel was valued at US$3,261.

The 11 men pleaded guilty to criminal breach of trust and receiving stolen property. The tug master, Aswar Mansyur received the heaviest sentence, four-month imprisonment.

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