Malaysia Boleh

Three vessels have been detained for attempting to transfer oil in Tanjung Sedili waters without permission from the authorities:

They obviously didn’t know who to pay, or how much.
PS> STS happens every day (and night) in these waters, but so does arrests for “illegal transfer” and “illegal anchoring”:
You want to operate in these waters you better understand how to do it.

The stories you read suggest fuel selling is big business in the developing world, maybe it happens in the developed world but it’s probably easier to detect.

Maybe it could be stopped if ships had high tech fuel gauges that have a live information feed ashore via satellite internet to make it hard to fake fuel consumption figures. They could also have cameras with a live video feed ashore on the bridge wings to watch out for illicit bunkering operations.

I once knew a Croatian guy who lived in Split (Croatia), he wondered how many seafarers he knew from Split who worked in Asian and Africa could afford very expensive houses well beyond what they could afford on their official salaries. Perhaps they all coincidentally happened to get the money honestly through inheriting it from rich relatives.

Privately owned tug boats ( that never towed anything) have been operating in Singapore for years and nobody noticed, can you believe it?

A few tankers around Singapore also never been on hire but always moving…

just a coincidence but ships that get pirated in both straits seem to be ones that have stopped in Singapore, transiting ones never seem to get hijacked…mmmmmm

we used to keep a score board on the rig I worked in asia of the biggest difference between what the boats claimed they pumped to us and what we received, used to hover around 30-60 cubes, they would leave us and usually forget to turn off the AIS as we could watch them meet other boats coming from Singapore where they would go alongside for a while then back to their original port.

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This was STS transfer of cargo between a VLCC and another tanker, which is a common occurrence in Malaysian waters OPL Singapore, but not so usual that far north on the Johor coast.

It is an unfortunate truth that there are a lot of illegal transfer of diesel oil and MGO going on in the area, but that usually involve smaller vessels and crew stealing bunker.

Powerabout mentioned the Shell Pu. Bukom case, which was a major wakeup call to the problem, together with the cheating by bunker suppliers, which has got a lot of attention the last few years. Several major bunker suppliers have lost their license to operate in Singapore and ALL bunker tankers are now equipped with Mass Flow Meters:

PS> A VLCC registered in the Comoros does sound suspicious though.

That is an interesting development. I have NEVER taken bunkers in Singapore and gotten what we paid for. You could dispute and they might adjust a little but they knew all they had to do is wait you out. The owners would say pay them and leave or we lose more money than the cost of the theft. Those guys had tanks in tanks, meters reading injected air, pipes recirculating to a hidden tank after the meter and other tricks; they are marvelously creative thieves.