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Singapore: Coastal Oil hearings progress, court grants liquidators access to Sinfeng documents

10 Jun 2020

A hearing between lawyers representing Sinfeng Marine Services Pte Ltd and the liquidators of the defunct bunkering firm Coastal Oil Singapore Pte Ltd has been scheduled to take placed at the Court of Appeal in the High Court of the Republic of Singapore on Thursday (11 June).

The main focus of the upcoming hearing, amongst others, is to allow the liquidators of Coastal Oil Singapore to “adduce further evidence” in their debt recovery work through the disclosure of certain documents from Sinfeng, according to documents obtain by Manifold Times from the court.

The legal team of Cosco Petroleum Pte Ltd and Costank (S) Pte Ltd will also be present at the hearing.

The liquidators are seeking for the disclosure of information under Section 285 of the Companies Act from Sinfeng. In summary, the section allows a liquidator to obtain information and documents from entities related to the insolvent company’s (i.e. Coastal Oil Singapore) affairs.

Sinfeng had earlier filed an application to the Court of Appeal to withhold information from the liquidators on October 2019, as information shared will affect the company’s standing in another court case which the same liquidators are involved in, said its lawyers.

“Once the Plaintiffs [liquidators] are privy to the information, the Plaintiffs cannot “un-see” the documents and erase the information from their heads,” the legal team said, while adding in another paragraph that “there are significant practical difficulties in the policing of the Plaintiffs’ compliance with the undertakings. This is detrimental to the Defendant [Sinfeng].”

“If the Defendant’s appeal is successful, the Plaintiffs say that they will return or destroy the documents and not rely on the information,” added Sinfeng’s lawyers.

“Quite apart from the key point mentioned above that it is not possible to unwind the process, what this means is that all of the work that the Plaintiffs would have been done in vain and the Plaintiffs would have incurred all of these costs at the expense of the general body of unsecured creditors (which includes the Defendant).”

Sinfeng’s application to the Court of Appeal was later dismissed on November 2019.

The High Court of the Republic of Singapore on October 2019 granted China Merchants Bank Co Ltd access to relevant case documents from Sinfeng in support of its debt recovery under a loan facility to Coastal Oil Singapore.

Hong Kong-listed COSCO SHIPPING International (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd has stated its indirect wholly-owned bunkering subsidiary Sinfeng suspects fraud to be involved in the recent liquidation of Coastal Oil Singapore.

It is believed Coastal Oil Singapore owes approximately US $357 million to 79 firms. Out of the total US $357 million, banks were the hardest hit taking up about US $354 million, or 99.1%, of total credit owed.

A complete coverage of the events leading to the current development has been arranged by Singapore bunker publication Manifold Times (in descending date order) below:

Related: China Merchants Bank legal suit with Sinfeng over alleged $13 million debt progresses
RelatedFraud suspected in Coastal Oil Singapore case, says COSCO
RelatedCoastal Logistics owned “Atalanta”, “Babylon” to undergo auction
RelatedSingapore: Bunker tanker “Coastal Mercury” arrested
RelatedHeng Tong Fuels & Shipping in court over DBS Bank bunker tanker loan
RelatedCoastal Logistics owned MR tanker “Babylon” arrested
RelatedFraud suspected in Coastal Oil Singapore case, says COSCO
RelatedCoastal Oil Singapore: Creditor list surfaces in bunker market
RelatedSingapore: Bunker tanker “Coastal Neptune” arrested
RelatedCoastal Oil Singapore creditors meeting scheduled on 10 Jan
RelatedCoastal Oil Singapore in US $380 million debt to at least 10 banks
RelatedSingapore: Coastal Logistics owned MR tanker “Atalanta” arrested
RelatedHeng Tong Fuels & Shipping, Coastal Logistics tankers enter S&P market
RelatedCoastal Oil Singapore to hold creditors meeting on 28 Dec
RelatedBreaking news: Coastal Oil Singapore under liquidation

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 10 June, 2020

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