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Agritrade’s former CFO gets 20 years’ jail for deceiving 16 financial institutions

Some 16 financial institutions granted at least USD 586.5 million in credit facilities to AIPL between January 2017 and November 2019, according to Singapore Police Force.




state courts

Lulu Lim Beng Kim, former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Agritrade International Pte Ltd (AIPL), on Tuesday (17 January) was sentenced to an imprisonment term of 20 years, according to the Singapore Police Force.

She was convicted of the following charges on 9 December 2022 in the State Courts of Singapore:

  • 11 counts of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code (PC), Chapter 224; and

  • One count of falsification of accounts under Section 477A of the PC.

In January 2020, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the SPF commenced investigations into Ms Lim and others for trade financing fraud. The investigations concerned AIPL, a Singapore-incorporated company that carried on the business of trading in coal and palm oil among others, and the making of false representations and/or submitting fictitious documents to multiple financial institutions. 

From January 2020 to August 2020, the Police received multiple reports lodged by various entities including banks and finance companies which had extended credit facilities to AIPL for the purposes of trade financing.

Ms Lim left Singapore shortly after the commencement of investigations and an Interpol Red Notice was issued against her. The Police made extensive efforts to locate her with the assistance of multiple foreign counterparts and she was subsequently located and arrested in the United Arab Emirates (“UAE"). She arrived in Singapore in September 2021 via a flight arranged by the UAE authorities and was placed under arrest.

Investigations revealed that from 2016 to 2018, Ms Lim contacted or attempted to contact a director of an auditing and accounting firm to prepare draft consolidated financial statements for AIPL and its subsidiaries, using AIPL’s management accounts provided by her. From January 2017 to November 2019, Ms Lim instructed and/or permitted her subordinates in AIPL to forward documents that she had disseminated to them, including the falsified financial statements to the banks and finance companies.

Ms Lim deceived 16 financial institutions into believing that the consolidated financial statements for AIPL and its subsidiary companies for the financial years ended 30 June 2016, 30 June 2017 and/or 30 June 2018 were audited, a fact which she knew to be false. By such manner of deception, Ms Lim dishonestly induced the financial institutions to deliver money through credit facilities granted to AIPL. 

She also separately instructed her subordinate to insert a copy of the auditor's signature into a document that falsely purported to be the audited consolidated financial statements of AIPL for the financial year ended 30 June 2018.

As a result, a total of 16 financial institutions granted at least USD 586.5 million in credit facilities to AIPL between January 2017 and November 2019. AIPL defaulted on these loans and the total loss suffered by the financial institutions amounted to around USD 469.1 million.

The majority of the money drawn from these credit facilities was transferred to three companies and their subsidiaries, which were purported to be legitimate suppliers of commodities traded by AIPL but were actually connected to AIPL in a material fashion. For example, members of AIPL’s senior management, including Ms Lim herself, had assisted in the incorporation of these three “suppliers” and their subsidiaries, and/or had been employed by them as directors. 

Various document templates and letterheads, as well as signature blocks and chops bearing the particulars of these three “suppliers”, were also discovered in AIPL’s premises.

Director CAD, David Chew said, “CAD would like to thank INTERPOL and our foreign counterparts for their assistance to arrest and send Lulu Lim back to Singapore to face justice for one of Singapore’s largest cases of trade financing fraud. Industry expertise was instrumental in the solving of this case. The Police would also like to thank the members of the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism Industry Partnership (ACIP) for their strong support in the investigations against AIPL.”


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 20 January, 2023

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Winding up

High Court of Singapore issues winding up order to Millennium Oil

Toyota Tsusho Petroleum filed a winding up application against its former main barge operator Millennium Oil; several liquidators have been appointed to administer all affairs of Millennium Oil.





RESIZED Sora Shimazaki on Pexels

The High Court of Singapore on Thursday (16 November) issued a winding up order to Millennium Oil Pte Ltd, according to a 30 November notice on the Government Gazette.

The winding up application was filed by Toyota Tsusho Petroleum Pte Ltd, previously a licensed bunker supplier operating at the Port of Singapore, against its former main barge operator. The application was scheduled to be heard at the High Court of Singapore on 15 September 2023.

The winding up order also included the following names and addresses of the liquidators:

Leow Quek Shiong, GaryLoh Weng Fatt and Seah Roh Lin, all c/o BDO Advisory Pte Ltd, 
600 NorthBridge Road
#23-01 Parkview Square Singapore 188778.

All creditors of Millennium Oil should file their proof of debt with the liquidators who will be administering all affairs of the company.

Manifold Times previously reported Toyota Tsusho Petroleum organising a winding up application against Millennium Oil.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) recently removed Toyota Tsusho Petroleum from its list of licensed bunker suppliers in the republic.

Manifold Times also reported Tokyo-based Toyota Tsuho Corporation deciding to cease the business operation of its subsidiary Toyota Tsusho Petroleum.

Related: Singapore: Bunker supplier Toyota Tsusho Petroleum applies to wind up former barge operator Millennium Oil
Related: Toyota Tsusho Petroleum removed from licensed bunker suppliers list in Port of Singapore
Related: Singapore: Toyota Tsusho Petroleum ceases operations, new firm established

Photo credit: Sora Shimazaki on Pexels
Published: 1 December, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

MPA and IACS ink LOI to collaborate on maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation initiatives

LOI will focus on key areas such as marine electrification, the use of zero- and low-carbon bunker fuels onboard vessels, smart and autonomous ships, and digitalisation and cybersecurity.





MPA and IACS ink LOI to collaborate on maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation initiatives

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) on Thursday (30 November) said they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to collaborate on various maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation initiatives.

The LOI was signed by Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA and Mr Nick Brown, Council Chairman of IACS, at the sidelines of the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly (A33) in London today.

Under the LOI, both parties will consider the development of technical standards and unified requirements to ensure that new maritime solutions are safely implemented.

The LOI will focus on key areas such as smart and autonomous ships, digitalisation and cybersecurity, marine electrification, and the use of zero- and low-carbon bunker fuels onboard vessels.

As part of the collaboration, both parties will have regular information and knowledge exchange, including discussions on industry challenges and opportunities, standards, best practices, and emerging technologies.

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive, MPA, said, “As we advance and accelerate the development of new technologies and solutions which benefit the global maritime community, it is important for harmonised standards to be adopted to ensure that these solutions can be implemented safely. We look forward to contributing and working closely with IACS to shape and develop standards that can help to ensure the safety of seafarers and protection of the marine environment.”

Nick Brown, IACS Chair, said: “This novel arrangement with the Singapore MPA will assist IACS’ efforts to keep safety at the forefront of the decarbonisation agenda by facilitating access to the data and expertise of one of shipping’s key bunkering and global hub ports.”

“By looking at the entire future fuel supply chain, IACS will be better able to address all the risk and mitigation measures that will need to be implemented onboard vessels and so ensure that safety considerations are front and centre when evaluating the prioritisation and deployment of the new fuels and technologies necessary to support the industry’s transition to a decarbonised future.”

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 1 December, 2023

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Swedish bunker supplier ScanOcean opens new branch office in Gothenburg

Firm appoints Lars Lövsund as its Business Development Manager who will mainly concentrate on delivering solutions for emission allowance sourcing for shipping companies and charterers.





RESIZED ScanOcean logo

Swedish bunker trader and physical supplier ScanOcean  on Tuesday (28 November) said it has opened a new branch office in Gothenburg, located at Klippan 3, and introduced new employees to its team.

The firm appointed Lars Lövsund as its Business Development Manager, who will be based at the new office, with a primary focus on developing the new business area Environmental Services. 

Lars will mainly concentrate on delivering transparent and tailor-made solutions for emission allowance sourcing for shipping companies and charterers.

“Lars Lövsund is an experienced shipping professional with over a decade of experience working at TSA Tanker Shipping and TSA Agency Sweden,” the firm said.

Jonatan Karlström, Managing Director of ScanOcean, said: “The Gothenburg area is at the heart of Swedish shipping, and having a presence there is crucial for the development of our business. We are thrilled to have Lars on board, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience from TSA. With Lars joining the team, we will be even better equipped to navigate our business and create new and enhanced products and services for our customers.”

ScanOcean also welcomed Johan Wennerholm as our Back-office Manager, with a primary focus on streamlining internal processes. Johan comes to us with previous experience from Team Lines and Preem AB.

Lars Lövsund contact details: 

Tel: +46 76 529 68 33 
E-mail: [email protected] 
Skype: lovsund 

Branch office Gothenburg: 

ScanOcean AB 
Klippan 3 
SE- 414 51 Gothenburg

Related: ScanOcean, Neste launch new lower-emission DMA Gasoil for Swedish market

Photo credit: ScanOcean
Published: 1 December, 2023

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