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Singapore: Probe exposes Hong Kong entities issuing ‘false invoices’ to Vermont over purported bunker sales

Dynamic Asset Investments Limited and Goldsland Holdings Co Ltd helped Vermont UM Bunkering maintain a “Cash Float” of about SGD 100,000 to facilitate “buyback” bunker transactions at Singapore port.

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Hong Kong-incorporated entities were allegedly issuing former bunker supplier Vermont UM Bunkering Pte Ltd false invoices for purported marine fuel oil sales, according to a court document obtained by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.

The report noted Vermont needing to maintain a “Cash Float” of about SGD 100,000 to facilitate “buyback” bunker transactions; the monies would be withdrawn from Vermont’s bank account and recorded as a loan to company Director Poh Fu Teck (Mr Poh).

Dynamic Asset Investments Limited

Mr Poh would use Dynamic Asset Investments Limited, a Hong Kong-registered company controlled by himself, to send Vermont invoices for payment of marine fuel oil from Dynamic Asset.

“The false invoices were created to disguise the excess marine fuel oil in Vermont’s inventory as being legitimately purchased from Dynamic Asset, when they were in fact illegally obtained through the ‘buyback’ transactions,” the report explained.

Once Vermont paid Dynamic Asset, the latter would then transfer the sum to Mr Poh’s personal bank account and he would use these monies to repay the purported personal loan from Vermont – when in reality, there was no sale of fuel oil from Dynamic Asset to Vermont.

Goldsland Holdings Co Ltd

From 2014 onwards, the false invoices allegedly showing Vermont purchasing the illegally bought back fuel oil through “buyback” bunker transactions were also issued from Goldsland Holdings Co Ltd, a Hong Kong-incorporated holding company engaged in the businesses of bunker supply, biodiesel, overseas mining, bulk trade and property leasing.

“Goldsland Holdings would issue Vermont false invoices for the purported sale of marine fuel oil. In turn, Dynamic Asset would issue a corresponding false invoice to Goldsland Holdings for the sale of the same or similar quantity of marine fuel oil,” stated the report.

“Vermont would pay Goldsland Holdings pursuant to the false Goldsland Holdings invoices, and Goldsland Holdings would then pay Dynamic Asset pursuant to the corresponding false Dynamic Asset invoices.

“The monies from the fictitious sales would eventually be transferred from Dynamic Asset to Poh. Poh would then use the sum to repay the purported personal loan from Vermont.”

Charges faced by Mr Poh

Mr Poh currently faces a total of 10 charges at the State Courts of Singapore, according to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC); the charges are as follows:

  • Nine charges are under Section 47(1)(a) and punishable under s 47(6) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (CDSA) for concealing benefits of criminal conduct, namely the additional fuel obtained from the illegal buyback transactions;
  • One charge is under Section 420 read with s 109 of the Penal Code and read with s 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code for conspiring with other co-accused persons to cheat buyers of marine fuel oil on not less than 149 occasions.

 

Background

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on 28 April 2016 revoked the bunker supplier and bunker craft operator licences of Vermont due to discrepancies and wrongful declarations in the records kept on board their bunker tankers.

Mr Poh and Koh Seng Lee (Mr Koh), another Director of Vermont, were later charged by Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in November 2017 for cheating and criminal breach of trust offences under the Penal Code.

The duo are currently defending legal claims set out by Goldsland Holdings and Hong Kong Sin Hua Development Co., Ltd.

Vermont was incorporated in Singapore in October 2009, and is owned by Hong Kong based Vermont Groups Limited (VGL) (51%), Mr Poh (24.5%) and Mr Koh (24.5%); VGL is in turn 70% owned by Sin Hua, which is 99.99% owned by Goldsland.

Both Sin Hua and Goldsland are under the management of Guangdong Guangxin Holdings Group Ltd (Guangdong Guangxin), part of the Guangxin group of companies (Guangxin Group) which comprised of state-owned enterprises operated by the Guangdong provincial government.

Related: Singapore: Investigations uncover USD 3.6 million worth of bunker short deliveries by Vermont UM Bunkering
RelatedDirectors of Vermont granted leave to pursue legal suits against Goldsland and Sin Hua
RelatedVermont UM Bunkering makes winding up application at Singapore High Court
RelatedVermont UM Bunkering Directors plan to defend claims from Hong Kong firms
RelatedGoldsland Holdings moves in to secure US $22 million from Vermont UM Bunkering
RelatedBank seeks $38 million from arrested Singapore bunker tankers
RelatedSingapore: Four bunker tankers arrested
RelatedSingapore-based Vermont UM Bunkering directors, staff charged for fraud

 

Photo credit: Simon Zhu on Unsplash
Published: 26 July, 2022

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Winding up

Singapore: Annual general meetings scheduled for Xihe Holdings subsidiary

Annual general meetings will be held on 26 April for Xin Bo Shipping to receive an update on firm’s liquidation, according to Government Gazette notice.

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RESIZED Jo_Johnston from Pixabay

A notice was published on the Government Gazette on Thursday (11 April) regarding the annual general meetings to be held on 26 April for Xihe Holdings subsidiary Xin Bo Shipping (Pte) Ltd.

Annual general meetings for Xin Bo Shipping are to be held at the following times:

For the company: 2pm
For the creditors: 3pm

The agenda for all the meetings are:

  1. To receive an update on the liquidation.
  2. To receive an account of the Liquidators’ acts and dealings, and of the conduct of the winding up.

The following are the details of the liquidator:

Ho May Kee
Liquidator
c/o 8 Marina View
#40-04/05 Asia Square Tower 1
Singapore 018960

Xihe Holdings Pte Ltd and its subsidiaries are owned by the Lim family, who are also the owners of the embattled Hin Leong Trading.

Related: Singapore: Xihe Holdings subsidiaries Xin Bo Shipping, An Guang Shipping to be wound up
Related: Singapore: Creditors to file debt claims for Xin Bo Shipping by 14 June
Related: Xihe Holdings subsidiary Xin Bo Shipping placed under judicial management
Related: JMs of An Guang Shipping and other Xihe subsidiaries call for creditors meeting

 

Photo credit: Jo_Johnston from Pixabay
Published: 12 April 2024

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Crime

Malaysia: MMEA seizes tugboat and tanker lorry for illegal fuel transfer

MMEA successfully apprehended a Myanmar national who was captain of ship and four crew members comprising two Indonesians, one Myanmar national and a local citizen, as well as a tanker lorry driver.

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Malaysia: MMEA seizes tugboat and tanker lorry for illegal fuel transfer

The Tawau Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on Tuesday (9 April) detained a tugboat and a tanker lorry that were found to be carrying out an illegal fuel transfer in the waters of Tanjung Batu, Tawau.

MMEA Tawau Zone Director Shahrizan Raman said patrol boats received information from Tawau Maritime Zone intelligence unit regarding the operation at Komsa Tanjung Batu jetty at around 2.10 am.

Patrol boats that arrived at the scene found a tanker lorry on the jetty transferring about 10,000 litres of fuel to a tugboat.

Malaysia: MMEA seizes tugboat and tanker lorry for illegal fuel transfer

During the raid, MMEA successfully apprehended a Myanmar national who was the ship captain and four crew members comprising two Indonesians, one Myanmar national and a local citizen. The tanker lorry driver, a local, was also arrested in the operation.

All suspects were men and aged 32 to 57 years. MMEA added an inspection of their documents found no authorisation permits related to the fuel transfer activity.

MMEA said the boat and tanker lorry were seized with their fuel cargo before being escorted to the Tawau Maritime Zone Jetty for further investigation.

Malaysia: MMEA seizes tugboat and tanker lorry for illegal fuel transfer

The value of the seized items and fuel was estimated to be almost MYR 250,000.

This case is being investigated under the Customs Act 1967, Control of Supplies Act 1961 and Petroleum Development Act 1974. 

 

Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 15 April 2024

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Winding up

Singapore: White Flag Ventures XXXIII to undergo voluntary wind up

A liquidator was appointed for the company at an extraordinary general meeting held on 28 March, according to Government Government notice.

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RESIZED Drew Beamer

Several resolutions for White Flag Ventures XXXIII Pte Ltd were made during an extraordinary meeting held on 28 March, according to a post in the Government Gazette on Thursday (4 April).

The meeting was held at 10 Collyer Quay, #29-01/05 Ocean Financial Centre, Singapore 049315.

The duly passed resolutions were:

As Special Resolutions

  • That the Company be wound up voluntarily pursuant to Section 160(1)(b) of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018.That pursuant to Sections 177(1)(a) and 177(1)(b) of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018, the Liquidator be and is hereby authorised to exercise any or all of the powers given to a Liquidator by Sections 144(1)(b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g) and 144(2) of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018.
  • That the appointed Liquidator be and is hereby authorised to divide all or such part of the surplus assets of the Company as he shall think fit among the shareholders of the Company in specie or otherwise, in accordance with their existing rights and interests.

As Ordinary Resolutions

  • That Mr Ng Hoe Kiat Keith c/o 7500A Beach Road, #05-303/304 The Plaza, Singapore 199591 be and is hereby appointed as Liquidator for the purpose of winding-up.
  • That the remuneration of the Liquidator be based on his normal scale of professional fees plus disbursements and that the Liquidator’s fees be paid out of the assets of the Company.

 

Photo credit: Drew Beamer
Published: 9 April 2024

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