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Singapore: Investigations uncover USD 3.6 million worth of bunker short deliveries by Vermont UM Bunkering

Senior Cargo Officer gained SGD 48,800 worth of commission from “buyback” bunker transactions and illegally obtained SGD 410,712.257 by cheating Vermont, a Singapore court heard on Thursday (21 July).

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Investigations by local authorities have uncovered staff of former Singapore bunker supplier Vermont UM Bunkering Pte Ltd (Vermont) short delivering USD 3.6 million (exact: USD 3,645, 976.34) worth of marine fuel to 14 clients* over 52 occasions between 4 January 2014 and 2 March 2016.

The development involved Poh Fu Teck (Director), Koh Seng Lee (Director), Lee Kok Leong (Bunker Manager), Lee Peck Yong (Cargo Officer), Loh Cheok San (Senior Cargo Officer) and two absconded staff namely Yang San Hua (Director) and Xing Tao (Financial Controller).

Loh Cheok San (Mr Loh) was at the State Courts of Singapore on Thursday (21 July) when he pleaded guilty to two counts of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code read with Section 109 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed).

He gained SGD 48,800 worth of commission from “buyback” bunker transactions and illegally obtained SGD 410,712.257 by cheating Vermont, according to court documents obtained by Manifold Times.

“Buyback” Bunker Transactions

Mr Loh receive about SGD 10 per metric tonne (pmt) of marine fuel oil as commission for participating in “buyback” transactions which would be split 50-50 between him and any cargo office involved in the transaction.

He is estimated to have earned a commission of at least SGD 43,600 from the “buyback” transactions he participated in – calculated from multiplying SGD 5 pmt by the 8,720 metric tonnes of under-delivered marine fuel oil.

Extra Commission Cheated from Vermont

Further, Mr Loh said he was instructed by Lee Kok Leong to over-declare “buyback” figures to Vermont in order to gain extra money for sharing with his peers. This resulted in him earning an estimated extra commission of SGD 5,200 from Vermont.

Cheating Vermont

Investigations also uncovered Vermont being cheated of at least USD 979,750 in total by Mr Loh, Lee Kok Leong, and Gerald Lee.

The difference between what was declared to Vermont and the amount actually paid to the Chief Engineer of the vessel would be split equally between the three individuals after paying the cargo assistant, usually SGD 5 pmt.

It is estimated Loh’s share of the difference was about USD 314,960.95 (SGD 410,712.257).

Mr Loh, who has not made any restitution of his illegal gains to date, has been scheduled to face sentencing in October 2022.

*Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times has chosen to withhold the names of these 14 clients

Related: Directors of Vermont granted leave to pursue legal suits against Goldsland and Sin Hua
Related: Vermont UM Bunkering makes winding up application at Singapore High Court
Related: Vermont UM Bunkering Directors plan to defend claims from Hong Kong firms
Related: Goldsland Holdings moves in to secure US $22 million from Vermont UM Bunkering
Related: Bank seeks $38 million from arrested Singapore bunker tankers
Related: Singapore: Four bunker tankers arrested
Related: Singapore-based Vermont UM Bunkering directors, staff charged for fraud

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 25 July, 2022

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Winding up

Singapore: Director of Teras Lyza declares firm’s inability to continue business due to liabilities

Ramalingam S/O Ramalingam, director of Teras Lyza Pte Ltd, made and lodged with the Official Receiver a statutory declaration stating the firm cannot by reason of its liabilities continue its business.

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Barges, tugboats and bumboats operators and charterers Teras Lyza Pte Ltd director, Mr. Ramalingam S/O Ramalingam @ Kamal Deen Bin Abdullah, on Friday (16 February) made and lodged with the Official Receiver a statutory declaration, according to notices published on the Government Gazette on 26 February.

The statutory declaration by the director stated that:

  1. I am a director of the abovenamed company;
  2. The abovenamed company cannot by reason of its liabilities continue its business; and
  3. The meetings of the abovenamed company and of its creditors have been summoned for the 8th day of March 2024, being a date within one month of the date of this Statutory Declaration.

In another notice, Messrs. Ng Kian Kiat and Goh Wee Teck care of 8 Wilkie Road #03-08 Wilkie Edge Singapore 228095 have been appointed as joint and several Provisional Liquidators of the company on the 16 February.

In a third notice, a meeting of the creditors of the company will be held at 8 Wilkie Road #03-08 Wilkie Edge Singapore 228095 through an audio-visual conference on the 8 March 2024 at 2.30 pm for the purposes of:

  • receiving a statement of the Company’s affairs together with a list of creditors and the estimated amounts of their claims; 
  • appointing liquidators; 
  • appointing a committee of inspection of not more than 5 members, if thought fit; and 
  • any other business.

 

Photo credit: Benjamin child
Published: 27 February, 2024

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Sanctions

Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot sanctioned by U.S. Treasury

In addition to designating Sovcomflot, OFAC is identifying 14 crude oil tankers as property in which Sovcomflot has an interest.

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Friday (23 February) placed Russia’s state-owned shipping company and fleet operator targeting Joint Stock Company Sovcomflot (Sovcomflot) under sanctions.

The development was to responsibly reduce Russia’s revenue from oil sales.

In addition to designating Sovcomflot, OFAC is identifying 14 crude oil tankers as property in which Sovcomflot has an interest.

“The price cap on Russian oil continues to serve its twin goals of limiting Kremlin profits while promoting stable energy markets,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.

“Today, we take the next step by targeting Russia’s largest state-owned shipping company and fleet operator, dealing a huge blow to their shadow operations. We are entering the next phase of increasing Russia’s costs in a responsible manner to mitigate risks.”

Concurrent with the designation of Sovcomflot, OFAC is also issuing a general license authorizing the offloading of crude oil (or other cargo) from these 14 vessels for a period of 45 days.

These vessels, all of which are beneficially owned by Sovcomflot, are:

  1. ANATOLY KOLODKIN (IMO 9610808)
  2. NS ANTARCTIC (IMO 9413559)
  3. NS LION (IMO 9339313)
  4. NS CONSUL (IMO 9341093)
  5. NS BURGAS (IMO 9411020)
  6. NS CAPTAIN (IMO 9341067)
  7. NS COLUMBUS (IMO 9312884)
  8. SAKHALIN ISLAND (IMO 9249128)
  9. NEVSKIY PROSPECT (IMO 9256054)
  10. GEORGY MASLOV (IMO 9610793)
  11. LITEYNY PROSPECT (IMO 9256078)
  12. KRYMSK (IMO 9270529)
  13. NS CREATION (IMO 9312896)
  14. NS BRAVO (IMO 9412359)

In addition, OFAC is issuing a general license authorizing transactions with all other Sovcomflot-owned vessels for the similar 45-day period.

Sovcomflot has also been sanctioned by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom (UK) and is under certain European Union (EU) restrictions.

 

Photo credit: tommao wang on Unsplash
Published: 27 February 2024

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Crime

Vietnam: Two ships seized over 170,000 litres of unknown origin diesel oil

Vietnam Coast Guard said vessels were transporting various quantities of oil cargo: KG-91487- DR was transporting about 145,000 litres and KG-91602-TS transported about 25,000 litres.

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Vietnam: Two ships seized over 170,000 litres of unknown origin diesel oil

The Vietnam Coast Guard on Tuesday (20 February) said it seized a total of about 170,000 litres of unknown origin diesel oil in an operation. 

Patrol boats belonging to Coast Guard Region 4 Command detected two fishing boats – KG-91487- DR and KG-91602-TS – displaying several suspicious signs.

Initial investigations found all vessels without invoices and documents proving legal origin of the oil material.

The vessels were transporting various quantities of oil material: KG-91487- DR was transporting about 145,000 litres and KG-91602-TS transported about 25,000 litres.

The authorities made records of administrative violations,and escorted the vessels to Fleet Port 422 in Phú Quốc city, Kiên Giang province for further investigations and handling in accordance with the law.

 

Photo credit: Vietnam Coast Guard
Published: 23 February, 2024

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