4 Men Jailed for Stealing 100 Litres Of Petrol From Police Coast Guard Vessels


Four technicians employed to maintain the Police Coast Guard (PCG) patrol vessels have been sentenced to jail for stealing petrol from the craft.

According to Channel News Asia, Muhammad Khairullah Abdullah, Muhammad Shahzwan Hissam, Muhammad Rizuan Leman, and Alden Teo Chee Kiat were found guilty of stealing 100 litres of petrol with a total value of S$183.

Muhammad Khairullah Abdullah, 31, was sentenced to five weeks in jail and ordered to pay S$101.65. Muhammad Shahzwan Hissam, 33, and Muhammad Rizuan Leman, 34, were each sentenced to four weeks in jail and ordered to pay S$54.91. Alden Teo Chee Kiat, 32, received a three-week jail sentence and was ordered to pay S$45.76.

The technicians, who worked for Lungteh Shipbuilding, a company contracted by PCG to carry out maintenance works on the vessels, were responsible for cleaning and servicing the engines and generators at the PCG’s Lim Chu Kang Regional Base. During the cleaning process, they used a manual pneumatic fluid extractor to extract dirty oil residue from the engines.

Realizing that the craft operated on petrol, the men decided to use the manual pneumatic fluid extractor to siphon the fuel for their personal use.

In July 2023, they successfully stole petrol on four separate occasions, taking 40 litres in total. They stored the stolen fuel in the workshop and later distributed it among themselves to top up their own vehicles’ fuel tanks.

Their criminal activity came to light when the branch manager of Lungteh Shipbuilding noticed petrol inside the manual pneumatic fluid extractor and reported it to the police. The petrol stolen by the technicians belonged to the PCG and was considered government property.

During the trial, the prosecutor argued that the theft of government property is viewed as a serious offense due to public interest and the use of public funds to purchase such property. He also highlighted past convictions of two defendants for different offenses.

The prosecutor mentioned previous convictions of Shahzwan and Khairullah, who were found guilty of voluntarily causing injury in 2008 and being part of an unlawful gathering in 2016, respectively.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Suriya Prakash mentioned the example of Juarimy Mohamed Hashim, who was charged with stealing manhole covers belonging to PUB. The court recognized that certain kinds of theft, particularly those involving public property, are considered more severe due to the public’s interest.

“There is similar public interest in the theft of government property since public funds would have been used to purchase the government property,” the prosecutor said as per the report.

The accused technicians were charged with theft with common intention, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail, a fine, or both. However, due to the amalgamation of their charges and multiple instances of the same offense, they could have faced a higher punishment.

Ultimately, the court sentenced them to varying jail terms and ordered them to pay compensation for the stolen petrol. While the value of the stolen fuel was relatively low, the breach of trust by the technicians, who had access to the PCG vessels, warranted legal consequences. The theft of government property is deemed to be of public interest and is taken seriously by the authorities.

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