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Singapore: Three bunker clerks charged in connection to Shell MGO bunker heist

Wong Wai Meng, Wong Kuin Wah, and Boo Pu Wen faced charges in court for allegedly committing offences under the CDSA and Prevention of Corruption Act.

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The Singapore Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on Thursday (6 October) published a press release notifying three former bunker clerks, previously employed by Sentek Marine & Trading Pte Ltd , were charged in court for allegedly committing offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (CDSA) and the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA)  between 2014 and 2021.

The following is an extract of the press release by CPIB on the offences:

On 6 October 2022, three bunker clerks, previously employed by Sentek Marine & Trading Pte Ltd (Sentek), will be charged in Court for offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (CDSA) and the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). They are:

  1. Wong Wai Meng (Wai Meng) (王偉明, 56-year-old male Singaporean);
  2. Wong Kuin Wah (Kuin Wah) (王建華, 59-year-old male Singaporean); and
  3. Boo Pu Wen (Pu Wen) (巫普文, 55-year-old male Singaporean).

Alleged Offences under the CDSA

It is alleged that Wai Meng, Kuin Wah and Pu Wen intentionally aided Sentek in acquiring property which was another person’s benefits from criminal conduct, by assisting to receive on board their respective vessels, gasoil which had been dishonestly misappropriated from Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd’s facility (“Shell Pulau Bukom”). They will be charged for offences under Section 47(3) of the CDSA, read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, and punishable under Section 47(6)(a) of the CDSA. Specifically:

  1. Wai Meng will face 31 charges, involving alleged offending between August 2014 to December 2017 and gasoil with a total value of about S$19,055,062.83;
  2. Kuin Wah will face 28 charges, involving alleged offending between August 2014 to January 2018 and gasoil with a total value of about S$18,663,600.77;
  3. Pu Wen will face seven charges, involving alleged offending between June 2017 to January 2018 and gasoil with a total value of about S$5,502,505.58.

Alleged Corruption Offences

Further, between February 2018 and January 2021, Wai Meng, Kuin Wah and Pu Wen allegedly received gratification from Pai Keng Pheng (Pai), the former Managing Director of Sentek, as an inducement to remain out of Singapore in order to avoid investigations by the Singapore Police Force into the suspected involvement of Sentek and others, in the receipt of misappropriated gasoil from Shell Pulau Bukom.

Each bunker clerk will be charged with 12 charges under Section 5(a)(i) of the PCA. It is alleged that Wai Meng had corruptly received a sum totalling S$259,420 over 69 occasions while Pu Wen and Kuin Wah had corruptly received sums totalling S$286,040 and S$294,080 respectively from Pai over 71 occasions. These bribes were allegedly given to them through various intermediaries, either in Singapore or Batam, Indonesia.

Pai himself faces 42 charges of consenting to Sentek’s acquiring of property which was another person’s benefits from criminal conduct under Section 47(3) read with Section 59(1)(a) of the CDSA. He also faces charges for corruption and obstructing the course of justice. His case is still before the Court.

Singapore adopts a strict zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence can be fined up to S$100,000, sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years, or both. Any individual convicted of an offence under Section 47(3) of the CDSA is liable to a fine of up to S$500,000, imprisonment for up to 10 years, or both.

Related: Shell MGO bunker heist: Sentek Marine & Trading to face 42 charges at State Courts
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Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 7 October, 2022

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Business

Singapore: Convicted Hin Leong founder O.K. Lim to sell another bungalow for SGD 43 million

Third good class bungalow (GCB) in Tanglin Hill is owned by the former tycoon, who is waiting to be sentenced on 3 October, and his daughter Lim Huey Ching.

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The Founder of Hin Leong Trading, Lim Oon Kuin, also known as O.K. Lim, is looking to sell another one of his bungalows after he was convicted on two charges of cheating and one charge of instigating forgery for the purpose of cheating in May, according to news reports on Friday (21 June).

The third good class bungalow (GCB) in Tanglin Hill is owned by the former tycoon, who is waiting to be sentenced on 3 October, and his daughter Lim Huey Ching. 

The SGD 43 million property at 1K Tanglin Hill is being put up for tender and will close on 19 July. 

Lim reportedly sold his other GCB at 5 Second Avenue for SGD 33.39 million in October 2021 to the family of Mr Tan Yeow Khoon, former executive chairman of delisted logistics company Cogent Holdings.

In November 2023, his bungalow at 20 Third Avenue sold in November 2023 to a Singapore family for SGD 26.5 million. 

Manifold Times recently reported OK Lim, being convicted on the three charges after a trial of over 60 days.

The 82-year-old was first charged in court on 14 August 2020, and was subsequently handed further charges in court on 25 September 2020, 30 April 2021 and 24 June 2021 for his role in perpetuating fraud on various financial institutions. 

A total of 130 charges were eventually brought against him for cheating and forgery-related offences, and Lim claimed trial to these charges.

The trial proceeded on three charges:

  • Two charges of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, and,
  • One charge of instigating forgery for the purpose of cheating under Section 468 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code.

Lim faces imprisonment of up to 10 years and shall also be liable to a fine for each charge under Section 420 of the Penal Code and Section 468 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code.

An extensive coverage by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times regarding the fall of Hin Leong can be found below:

Related: Singapore: Hin Leong Trading Founder found guilty of cheating and instigating forgery charges
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Related: Former PA to Hin Leong Trading Founder refutes OK Lim’s claim on his role in firm
Related: Founder OK Lim grilled by prosecutors on his involvement at Hin Leong Trading
Related: Singapore: Hin Leong Trading Founder testifies for the first time in his own defence
Related: Singapore: Hin Leong Trading Founder to testify in USD 111.7 mil cheating, forgery case
Related: Singapore: O.K. Lim, children faces liquidators and HSBC in USD 3.5 bil civil lawsuit
Related: Former PA to Hin Leong Trading Founder found lying in CAD investigations
Related: Singapore: Hin Leong Trading Founder goes to trial for cheating, forgery charges
Related: Hin Leong Trading Founder faces additional 105 cheating, forgery charges in court
Related: Ocean Tankers judicial managers progressing to liquidate firm after expiry of court order
Related: Singapore: Hin Leong Trading Director charged with obstructing course of justice
Related: Court of Appeal: Hin Leong, Lim family claim ‘without any factual or legal basis’
Related: Singapore: High Court dismisses UniCredit Bank USD 37 million claim against Glencore over Hin Leong transaction
Related: Singapore: Hin Leong takes Deloitte to court over alleged auditing failures
Related: Hin Leong Trading Founder OK Lim facing 23 new forgery-related charges at State Courts
Related: Application to wind up Hin Leong Trading subsidiary, Hin Leong Marine approved
Related: Singapore High Court approves Hin Leong Trading wind up order application
Related: Hin Leong Trading liquidates a third of its fleet to recover USD 3.5 billion debt
Related: Lim family aims to wind up Hin Leong Trading subsidiary, Hin Leong Marine
Related: Judicial Managers of Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd file for winding up order
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Related: Lim family files application to wind up Hin Leong Trading subsidiary, Hin Leong Marine
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Related: OBS to wind up operations; creditor list alleges estimated USD 42 million debt
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Related: Hin Leong Trading founder denies allegations of forgery put forward by HSBC
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Related: HSBC takes Lim family and Hin Leong employee to court to recover USD 85.3 million
Related: Da An Shipping Pte Ltd passes winding-up resolution and publishes notice to creditors
Related: Xihe Capital and subsidiaries, Nan Guang Maritime to undergo voluntary liquidation
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Related: Singapore: Ocean Bunkering Services license suspended until further notice
Related: PwC publishes ‘investment opportunity’ for Singapore independent bunker fuel supplier
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Related: Winson Group wins ICC backing in dispute against banks over credit for Hin Leong Trading
Related: O.K. Lim and two children sued for USD 3.5billion; receiver appointed for 3 Xihe ships
Related: Managers of Ocean Tankers looking to recover USD 19 million from Lim family
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Related: Xihe replaces Directors, forms new management team to chart fresh course for Group
Related: Hin Leong Trading lawyers publish application to fulfill requirements for hearing to proceed
Related: Ocean Tankers legal team publishes application to be placed under judicial management
Related: Judicial management applications for Hin Leong Trading and Ocean Tankers delayed
Related: Lim family to inhibit law firm Rajah & Tann from representing troubled HLT & OTPL
Related: OCBC files for Xihe Holdings to be placed under judicial management
Related: Judicial managers of Ocean Tankers discover discrepancies and fraud in exposure claims
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Related: PwC probes uncover mass grave of financial skeletons and alleged fraud within HLT
Related: Winson Group seeks SGD 30.4 million from Standard Chartered over HLT related trade
Related: Winson Group seeks SGD 30.4 million from OCBC over credit pull in Hin Leong trade
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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: Sembcorp commences legal proceedings against Hin Leong Trading over gasoil cargo
Related: Sembcorp Cogen aborts gasoil supply and storage contract with Hin Leong Trading
Related: Report: Sinopec expresses interest in Hin Leong Trading stake of Universal Terminal
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Related: Report: Hin Leong Trading founder gave instructions to hide USD 800 million losses
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Photo credit: CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Published: 21 June, 2024

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Environment

Malaysia to look into demands of Johor fisherman affected by oil spill from Singapore

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government will study their demand based on legal provisions available and look into solutions.

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Malaysia: Government to look into demands of Johor fisherman affected by oil spill from Singapore

A Malaysian minister said the government will look into the demands of fishermen in Johor affected by the recent oil spill that spread from Singapore waters, according to several media reports. 

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government will study their demand based on legal provisions available and look into solutions. 

His comments came following the recent oil spill after an allision between a dredger and a stationary bunker tanker in Singapore, which affected several beaches in the southern part of Johor. 

On 21 June, it was reported that the Johor Department of Environment stated it expected minimal pollution impact to the Johor’s coast and waters from the oil spill and that it was not as serious as initially predicted.

In a Facebook post, state health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said clean-ups began on 21 June at Sungai Rengit and Teluk Rumunia. 

Netherlands-registered dredger Vox Maxima crashed into the bunker vessel causing fuel from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

Last week, MPA said the shipowner of Marine Honour, the stationary Singapore-flagged bunker tanker that was hit by a dredger recently, is liable for costs incurred from the 14 June oil spill.

MPA said tanker Marine Honour has “strict liability”, which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by oil spill from its tanker in Singapore waters.

Related: MPA: Owner of bunker tanker involved in Singapore oil spill is liable for pollution damage
Related: Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister
Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Ling Tian Soon 
Published: 21 June, 202

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Alternative Fuels

WEF: South Africa has great potential as a production and bunkering hub for zero-emission bunker fuels

Report highlighted a clear demand signal for bunkering ZEF in selected South African ports will be needed to realise the country’s opportunity to become a global hotspot for zero-emission shipping.

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WEF: South Africa has great potential as a production and bunkering hub for zero-emission bunker fuels

South Africa has great potential as a production and bunkering hub for zero-emission shipping fuels – but it needs global demand to get the ball rolling, according to a report by the World Economic Forum recently.

The white paper, titled Decarbonising South Africa’s Shipping and Trucking Sectors, presented the findings and recommendations from a First Movers Coalition workshop held in South Africa in March 2024, which focused on decarbonising the country’s shipping and trucking sectors and developing its potential to produce green hydrogen.

The report said more than 200 dual-fuel methanol vessels have been ordered globally, requiring over 20 Mt of e-methanol fuel per annum to achieve 100% zero-emission operability.

However, fuel availability at that scale is expected to be challenged until at least 2030-35. This demand creates an opportunity for South African producers to secure early customers and sign advance offtake agreements, providing certainty for new projects and improving investment prospects.

The study noted that ammonia also brings advantages as a zero-emission fuel (ZEF), such as high carbon-emission savings, unlimited feedstock (nitrogen) availability and existing logistical infrastructure around the globe. 

While ammonia engines will reach the market from 2025 at the earliest, major carriers like Trafigura and BHP are already placing orders for dual-fuel ammonia vessels.

The World Bank has conducted a pre-feasibility study on establishing green shipping fuel value chains at the ports of Boegoebaai and Saldanha Bay. The study identifies ammonia as the preferred ZEF production choice for South Africa, due to the scarcity of biogenic carbon dioxide to produce methanol. 

“Most of the fuel’s cost comes from hydrogen feedstock – but by leveraging abundant wind and solar supply, the two ports will be able to generate renewable electricity at scale to produce competitive green hydrogen for local industry use (e.g. green steel) and to produce green ammonia for export to the global shipping industry,” the report said.

On bunkering, the report stated political disturbance and security risks in the Red Sea during 2023 to 24 forced many shipping operators to abandon the Suez Canal and re-route their cargo around the Cape of Good Hope. 

Even without those risks, operators shipping lower value or less time-critical cargo may use the Cape route rather than the more expensive Suez Canal, adding two weeks to a ship’s voyage time from Asia to Europe.

“This extra travel time – plus the lower density of zero-emission fuels – could compel vessels running on ZEF to bunker in South Africa before reaching Europe,” it said. 

“Access to zero-emission fuels therefore opens up the possibility of South African ports positioning themselves as bunkering hubs to supply passing shipping traffic.”

“Furthermore, the potential for South Africa to produce e-methanol and e-ammonia has triggered plans to develop ‘green corridors’ – effectively routes connecting ports for vessels to sail on ZEF.

However, the report highlighted a clear demand signal for bunkering ZEF in selected South African ports will be needed to realise the country’s opportunity to become a global hotspot for zero-emission shipping.

“As local demand may take some years to build up, certainty from global demand will play a key role. It is also important to assess different uses for hydrogen beyond maritime fuel, to determine how multi-sectoral offtake can improve the business case for potential project developers,” it said.

Note: The full white paper, titled ‘Decarbonising South Africa’s Shipping and Trucking Sectors’, can be viewed here.

 

Photo credit: World Economic Forum
Published: 21 June, 2024

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