The founder of Hin Leong Trading (Pte) Ltd (Hin Leong), was charged in court on 24 June with an additional 105 charges for the offences of cheating, abetment of forgery of a valuable security, and abetment of forgery, according to the Singapore Police Force.
35 of these charges relate to Lim Oon Kuin allegedly deceiving eight financial institutions into providing accounts receivable financing, amounting to about US$1.2 billion, to Hin Leong on the basis that Hin Leong had loaded oil onto particular vessels pursuant to contracts for the sale of oil by Hin Leong to BP Singapore Pte Ltd (BP) and Unipec Singapore Pte Ltd. About US$55 million remains outstanding from Hin Leong to a financial institution in relation to one of these charges.
A further 33 charges relate to Lim Oon Kuin allegedly deceiving nine financial institutions into providing letters of credit (“LCs”) and making payment, amounting to about US$1 billion, on the LCs by falsely representing that there would be cargo underlying contracts for the purchase of oil by Hin Leong from BP. About US$180 million remains outstanding from Hin Leong to four financial institutions in relation to six of these charges.
One charge relates to Lim Oon Kuin allegedly conspiring with a Hin Leong employee to commit forgery of a valuable security, by making a falsified bill of lading, which falsely represented that 501,350.875 U.S. Barrels of Gasoil had been loaded onto the MT Chang Bai San on 13 March 2020.
The remaining 36 charges relate to Lim Oon Kuin allegedly conspiring with a Hin Leong employee to commit forgery, by procuring 36 falsified Certificates of Quality from Amspec Testing Services Pte Ltd, which falsely represented that samples of oil had been collected and tested. These Certificates of Quality were then allegedly sent by Hin Leong to BP to make it appear that independent testing had been carried out to certify the quality of oil that was allegedly sold by Hin Leong to BP.
With these 105 charges, Lim Oon Kuin now faces a total of 130 charges – 68 counts of cheating, one count of abetment of forgery of a valuable security, 14 counts of abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating, and 47 counts of abetment of forgery.
Lim Oon Kuin’s bail amount has been increased to S$4 million, because the new charges involve more financial institutions, larger sums disbursed, and large sums outstanding.
The offences of cheating and abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating, punishable under Section 420 and Section 468 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code respectively, carry an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine. The offence of abetment of forgery of a valuable security, punishable under Section 467 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, carries an imprisonment term of up to 15 years and a fine. The offence of abetment of forgery, punishable under Section 465 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, carries an imprisonment term of up to four years, a fine, or both.
Manifold Times earlier reported Lim being issued 23 new forgery-related charges, namely 12 counts of abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating and 11 counts of forgery, at the State Courts of Singapore in late April.
An extensive coverage by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times regarding the fall of Hin Leong can be found below:
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Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 25 June, 2021
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