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Clerk linked to $5.5 million Shell heist case dies, charges abated

Clerk linked to $5.5 million Shell heist case dies, charges abated
Boo Pu Wen passed away due to certain medical complications.
PHOTO: The Straits Times file

SINGAPORE — A former bunker clerk said to be linked to a case involving over $5.5 million worth of misappropriated gas oil from Shell's Pulau Bukom facility has had his charges abated following his death.

This means that Boo Pu Wen's court proceedings over his 19 charges have come to an end.

His charges were abated following a pre-trial conference on July 7.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times on Friday (July 21), defence lawyer Navin Naidu from Dentons Rodyk said that Boo, 55, died in July.

Without revealing details, he added: "Unfortunately, my client passed away due to certain medical complications. His case was in the pre-trial conference stage, and he was not convicted of any of the charges that he faced... the family wishes for some privacy during this period."

Boo, who used to work for marine fuel supplier Sentek Marine & Trading, was accused of dealing with the misappropriated gas oil between June 2017 and January 2018.

Gas oil is refined crude oil that is often used as fuel and an alternative to diesel in some countries.

He was also accused of multiple counts of corruption and was among three former Sentek bunker clerks who were hauled to court in October 2022.

The other two are Wong Wai Meng, 57, and Wong Kuin Wah, 59, whose cases are still pending.

In an earlier statement, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said that the trio had allegedly helped to receive gas oil which had been misappropriated from Shell Pulau Bukom on board different vessels.

CPIB added that Wong Wai Meng's case allegedly involved gas oil worth more than $19 million, while the one linked to Wong Kuin Wah is said to involve gas oil worth more than $18 million.

It also said that between February 2018 and January 2021, the three men allegedly received bribes from Sentek's former managing director Pai Keng Pheng, 59, whose case is also still pending.

According to CPIB, the bribes were allegedly given to the trio as an inducement to remain out of Singapore and avoid investigations by the Singapore Police Force.

It added: "It is alleged that Wai Meng had corruptly received a sum totalling $259,420 over 69 occasions while Pu Wen and Kuin Wah had corruptly received sums totalling $286,040 and $294,080 respectively from Pai over 71 occasions.

"These bribes were allegedly given to them through various intermediaries, either in Singapore or Batam, Indonesia."

Multiple people were earlier dealt with in court over their roles in what the prosecution described as the largest and most sophisticated marine gas oil heist in Singapore's history. 

One of the masterminds, former Shell employee Juandi Pungot, then 45, was jailed for 29 years in March 2022 for siphoning nearly $128 million worth of gas oil.

The cases involving several others allegedly linked to the case — including Richard Goh Chee Keong and Abdul Latif Ibrahim — are still pending.

ALSO READ: Shell Bukom heist: Man admits to siphoning nearly $128m of fuel

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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