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Yu Tat ex-Director faces jail over false claims of “MT Joaquim” hijack

04 Jun 2019

Lau Xuanhong, Louis, a former director of trading company Yu Tat, was sentenced to a total five weeks in prison after a hearing at the State Courts of Singapore on Monday (3 June), according to the Straits Times.

He will be serving a two-week prison term for offering false information to the police related to the hijack of MT Joaquim and an additional three weeks in jail together with a SG $4,000 fine due to a drink driving offence; he is currently out on bail and scheduled to start his prison term on 22 July.

The Singapore-registered oil tanker MT Joaquim was hijacked by pirates while sailing back to Singapore after receiving 2,000 metric tonnes (mt) of illegally purchased crude oil from passing vessel Universal Brave at the Straits of Malacca.

Lau, who chartered the vessel under Yu Tat, did not want police to find out about the illegal operation and collaborated with former employees of Golden Star Marine and Prosperbiz Petroleum to provide false information to authorities.

The Straits Times identified Lau getting Prosperbiz Petroleum bunker clerk Lim Puay Kwang to inform Malaysia authorities that the vessel was hijacked while travelling towards Langkawi to deliver cargo to Siam Gulf Petroleum.

Lau, Lim, and the ex-Director of Prosperbiz Petroleum, Chew Hoe Soon, later met and agreed to provide false information to the Singapore police on 15 August 2015 regarding the charter of Singapore-registered tanker MT Joaquim; the trio retracted their respective statements approximately three months later.

The Prosperbiz Petroleum employees have been sentenced to prison during August 2018 over separate corruption offences.

Related: Employees of Golden Star Marine and Prosperbiz Petroleum jailed

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 4 June, 2019


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