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Societe Generale lawsuit against NewOcean Petroleum dropped, party to counterclaim

23 Oct 2019

A legal suit from the Singapore branch of Societe Generale at the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region against bunkering firm NewOcean Petroleum Company Limited (NewOcean Petroleum) has been dropped by the court, informed Hong Kong-listed parent NewOcean Energy Holdings Limited (NewOcean Energy) on Tuesday (22 October).

“On the joint application of the Plaintiff and NewOcean Petroleum pursuant to Order 42 rule 5A of the Rules of the High Court (Chapter 4A of the Laws of Hong Kong) the High Court has today ordered that the proceedings against NewOcean Petroleum under the Writ (as re-amended) be discontinued with costs to NewOcean Petroleum,” stated NewOcean Energy.

“By law and also by virtue of certain undertakings given by the Plaintiff to the court in related to the proceedings, NewOcean Petroleum will be entitled to compensation for the loss incurred arising from the proceedings.

“In view of the lack of merits of the Plaintiff’s claim as stated in the First Announcement, the Directors will on behalf of NewOcean Petroleum seek, apart from legal costs, full compensation of any such loss, by legal action if necessary.”

NewOcean Energy on 14 October said it will “vigorously contest” the legal suit from Societe Generale which sought to claim USD 20.5 million from NewOcean Petroleum due to a “constructive trustee” relationship with Pacific Dragon (Hong Kong) Energy Limited (Pacific Dragon), a company identified as Daisho Microline Holdings Limited (DMHL).

Societe Generale was seeking claims including allegations of conspiracy to defraud, breach of deed of assignment, breach of trade finance facility, breach of corporate guarantee and breach of personal guarantee from several defendants including Pacific Dragon and DMHL.

Manifold Times earlier reported DMHL’s Chairman to be also the alleged director of Inter-Pacific Petroleum Pte Ltd (IPP) and its parent company Inter-Pacific Group Pte Ltd (IPG) – firms which have filed for interim judicial management on 16 August at the High Court of the Republic of Singapore.

Significant and verifiable liabilities of IPP totalled USD 181.63 million consisted of trade financing from SocGen with an outstanding amount of USD 96.3 million, MayBank banking facilities of USD 69.8 million, account payables of USD 2.43 million to 10 players, and others.

The bunker craft operator licence of IPP was revoked by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on 15 October.

Former crew members of a Singapore-flagged bunker tanker (IMO 9199701) chartered by IPP, now renamed as Fragrance, are in the middle of trials at the State Courts of Singapore over tampering of a mass flowmeter.

Related: NewOcean Petroleum to ‘vigorously contest’ against Societe Generale lawsuit
Related: MPA revokes Inter-Pacific Petroleum bunker craft operator licence
RelatedMagnets on MFMs: Trial starts for former bunker clerk of “Consort Justice”
RelatedFirst suspect charged over MFM tampering in landmark case
RelatedWith nearly $180 million of debt, IPP proposes interim juridical management
RelatedMagnets on MFMs: “Consort Justice” crew pleads ‘not guilty’ to tampering charge
RelatedIPP responds to temporary suspension of bunker craft operator licence
RelatedMPA temporarily suspends IPP bunker craft operator licence
RelatedSingapore: Bunker Cargo officer, crew face charges over alleged MFM tampering

Photo credit: Wpcpey [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
Published: 23 October, 2019


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