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BP Singapore bunker bribery case update: CPIB officer takes to the stand

CPIB recorded statements for Pacific Prime Trading’s Koh Seng Lee and BP Singapore’s Clarence Chang was a subject of focus during Tuesday’s session at the State Court.

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The trial of former BP Singapore Regional Marine Manager Clarence Chang continued at the State Courts of Singapore on Tuesday.

Chang was facing 20 charges for allegedly accepting bribes totalling USD $3.95 million from Koh Seng Lee, the sole shareholder and executive director of Pacific Prime Trading (PPT) between the period of July 31, 2006 and July 26, 2010.

Tuesday morning’s session focused on Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB)’s recorded statements for both Chang and Koh.

CPIB Investigation Officer Bay Chun How, who recorded the statement of both suspects, said Chang initiated the establishment of PPT.

“Mr Chang does not have official status with PPT except that he understood Mr Koh will know he will help PPT,” said Bay.

“Clarence [Chang] informed me that as long as Mr Koh makes money from PPT, Mr Koh will transfer some of money made to Clarence.

“Between Mr Koh and Clarence [Chang] they had a HSBC account in Hong Kong and payment was deposited to Clarence’s [Chang] HSBC account in Hong Kong.”

Bay further explained Chang and Koh each set up a HSBC bank account at Hong Kong with the alleged purpose of receiving funds.

“I pose the question and Clarence [Chang] told me it was a clean account to receive money from PPT.”

Interestingly, the CPIB officer told members at the hearing that Chang claimed the formation of Singapore bunkering firm Vermont UM was a collective idea between Vermont Group Holdings in Hong Kong and Chang himself.

Poh Fu Tek, a director of Vermont UM, invested 24.5% into the company while Koh was invited to invest another 24.5%; Vermont Group Holdings held the remaining 51% of the Singapore bunkering firm.

The nature and intention of Koh’s SGD $500,000 investment into Mindchamps City Square between 2009 to 2010, an establishment managed by Chang’s wife Fennie Ong, where Koh was also a director and equal shareholder was in question during the hearing.

Bay alleged Koh “doesn’t quite segregate” the sum of money if it was an investment or for profit sharing as only purpose for the activity was to “keep the business with BP on”.

“When Clarence [Chang] asked he [Koh] could not say ‘no’ because of business dealings at BP,” said Bay.

“By saying no, Clarence [Chang] has the power to terminate PPT’s status as partner of BP.”

Andre Maniam, Senior Counsel at WongPartnership, questioned the accuracy of Bay’s recorded statements of Koh that were written over a period of time.

“[Bay,] your records [initially] suggest Koh was transferring these moneys as investments, but you [later] wrote them down as loans; but now you tell us now that this may be Clarence Chang's share of profits?” Asked Maniam.

Bay maintained his stance when questioned by Deputy Public Prosecutor Jiang Ke-Yue.

“Koh has a very clear ‘business man’ thinking which is so long as it is still profitable after giving what Clarence [Chang] wants he will continue this relationship and to him therefore all money given to Clarence [Chang] were money to keep PPT’s business intact with BP.”

The trial continues 25 July.

Related: UPDATE: BP Singapore bunker bribery case
RelatedBP Singapore bunker bribery case continues

Photo credit: Chensiyuan / CC BY-SA 4.0
Published: 24 July, 2018
 

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Vessel Arrest

Malaysia: MMEA detains oil tanker and cargo ship for illegally anchoring in Johor waters

Sierra Leone-registered cargo vessel was detained at 13.5 nautical miles east of Tanjung Penawar and a tanker registered from Comoros at south-east nine nautical miles, Tanjung Balau.

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Malaysia: MMEA detains oil tanker and cargo ship for illegally anchoring in Johor waters

The Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on Monday (22 April) said an oil tanker and a cargo ship were detained in two enforcement operations for anchoring illegally on 21 April.

Johor MMEA director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said both ships were detained by MMEA operational teams at different locations in Johor waters.

A Sierra Leone-registered cargo vessel that was detained at 11am at 13.5 nautical miles east of Tanjung Penawar.

The second incident involved a tanker, registered in Comoros, at the south-east nine nautical miles, Tanjung Balau.

Malaysia: MMEA detains oil tanker and cargo ship for illegally anchoring in Johor waters

A tanker, registered in Comoros, was detained nine nautical miles southeast of Tanjung Balau

The detained cargo ship crew consisted of 15 Bangladeshi and Indonesian nationals, aged between 25 to 56, while the tanker was operated by 29 Indian, Pakistani and Iranian nationals aged between 21 to 54.

The captain and crew members were brought to the Tanjung Sedili Maritime Zone for further investigation under Section 491B(1)(L) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952.

Since 24 March 2021, a total of 297 merchant vessels were detained including 34 ships recorded for 2024 so far. 

 

Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 24 April 2024

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Vessel Arrest

Singapore: Chemical tanker “Green Land” placed under Sheriff’s arrest, boxship also detained

Ships including “Xin Xin Shan” were added to list of vessels under Sheriff’s arrest in Singapore’s court system; arrests were made on behalf of law firms PDLegal LLC and DennisMathiew.

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Admiral Gulf / MarineTraffic

Saint Kitts and Nevis-flagged oil and chemical tanker Green Land was arrested in Singapore waters on Wednesday (17 April). 

The 46,136 DWT vessel was added to the list of vessels under Sheriff’s arrest in Singapore’s court system. 

According to the list, the vessel was arrested at 3.30pm and the arresting solicitor listed was law firm PDLegal LLC. The ship is currently held at Global OM (Offshore & Marine) – Grid 3816C. 

No further details regarding the reason behind the arrest were provided in the list. 

China-flagged container ship Xin Xin Shan was also placed under Sheriff’s arrest at 12.10pm on 20 April.  The ship is currently held at Eastern Anchorage and the arresting solicitor listed was law firm DennisMathiew. 

 

Photo credit: Admiral Gulf / MarineTraffic
Published: 23 April 2024

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Winding up

Singapore: Liquidator issues notice of dividend for Paliy Marine Engineering

Liquidator of Paliy Marine Engineering, which is undergoing voluntary liquidation, issued a notice on the first and final dividend.

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A notice of dividend for Paliy Marine Engineering Pte Ltd, which is undergoing voluntary liquidation, was published on the Government Gazette on Friday (19 April).

The following is the details of the notice:

Name of Company : Paliy Marine Engineering Pte. Ltd. (In Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation) 

Unique Entity No. / Registration No. : 199608223D 

Address of Former Registered Office : 149 Rochor Road #03-28 Singapore 188426 

Amount per centum : 100 per centum of all admitted preferential claims 12.21 per centum of all admitted ordinary claims 

First and Final or otherwise : First and Final 

Name of Liquidator : Abuthahir Abdul Gafoor 

Address of Liquidator : c/o AAG Corporate Advisory Pte. Ltd. 144 Robinson Road #14-02 Robinson Square Singapore 068908

According to SGP Business website, the firm’s principal activity is building and repairing of ships, tankers and other ocean-going vessels. 

Related: Singapore: Paliy Marine Engineering liquidator issues intended dividend notice

 

Photo credit: steve pb from Pixabay
Published: 23 April 2024

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