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Judicial managers of Ocean Tankers discover discrepancies and fraud in exposure claims

14 Jul 2020

UK-based accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY), the court appointed interim judicial managers of Ocean Tankers Pte Ltd (OTPL), said that they have reason to doubt the authenticity of OTPL’s claim of exposure involving bills of lading (BL), reported The Business Times.

According to initial investigations by EY, the claims of nearly USD 1 billion involve at least 42 transactions reportedly issued by OTPL involving voyages that did not take place or did not correlate to relevant cargo for the named vessel. 

EY’s findings also stated that it was not uncommon for the vessel operator to be unaware that the BL even existed. 

OTPL had also allegedly grossly overstated its potential exposure claims in director Evan Lim Chee Ming’s affidavit where he said OTPL was exposed to USD 2.67 billion whereas EY found these claims amounted to USD 984 million. 

EY also noticed transfers totalling USD 19 million to the Lim family classified as ‘repayment of shareholders’ loan’ timed right before OTPL was scheduled to be restructured.  

Subsequently, EY has since issued letters to the Lim family requesting the sum be repaid to OTPL citing ‘unfair preferences’ as the amount was categorised under capital reserve in OTPL’s audited balance sheet ending 31 March, 2019. 

Since then, EY has put forward two proposals to the Lim family on how to salvage and restructure OTPL and are waiting to gage their interest in the matter pending a meeting between the two parties this week. 

Related: Judicial managers of Ocean Tankers to present restructuring proposals to owners
Related: Ocean Tankers: Notice to prove debt or claim published by interim judicial managers
Related: ‘Reasonable prospects’ to keep Ocean Tankers as a going concern, states Director
Related: Singapore: Ocean Tankers, a separate entity of Hin Leong, seeking judicial management
Related: Singapore High Court concedes interim judicial management to Hin Leong Trading
Related: Report: Hin Leong Trading appoints PwC as interim judicial manager
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Related: Report: Hin Leong Trading founder gave instructions to hide USD 800 million losses
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Related: Hin Leong in debt restructuring exercise; Ocean Tankers a separate entity, says CEO

Photo credit:
Manifold Times
Published: 14 July, 2020

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