Back in 2017, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) made it mandatory that MPA-approved Coriolis-principle mass flow meter (MFM) systems be used for all Marine Fuel Oil (MFO) bunker deliveries in the Port of Singapore.
Yesterday, the MPA released details of a scam in which nine members of a criminal syndicate used industrial strength magnets to tamper with the MFM equipment on board the bunker tankers Southernpec 6 and Southernpec 7. As a result buyers of marine fuel oil (MFO) were cheated of MFO deliveries worth a total of US$336,930.63
The criminal syndicate’s tampering with MFMs on the two bunker tankers was conceptualized by three individuals identified as “masterminds,” and carried out by 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 license of Southernpec (Singapore) Pte Ltd with effect from May 8, 2019 and May 29, 2019 respectively.
The nine members of the syndicate were convicted in 2020 and 2021 for offenses under Singapore’s Computer Misuse Act and received prison sentences of various lengths. The outcomes of the cases are set out in the table below: