The founder of collapsed oil trader Hin Leong Trading, Lim Oon Kuin, is facing an additional 105 charges, 33 of which relate to letter of credit (L/C) usage, in connection with allegedly fraudulent schemes at his now-defunct trading house.
The new charges will add yet more complexity to the spider’s web of court cases surrounding Hin Leong, Lim and his family and many other participants in international oil trading, including banks.
Some of the most high profile cases involve L/Cs used in what appears to be a “fictitious purchase scheme conspiracy” to demonstrate the Singaporean oil trader’s liquidity even though no real transactions took place.
Banks in court
Many of the banks that lent billions of dollars to Hin Leong are now using the Singapore courts to recoup their losses, and have brought actions not just against the bankrupt trader but against a multitude of shipowners, traders, and cargo owners not directly connected with events at Hin Leong.
In one high profile case, Bank of China is suing BP for allegedly fabricating oil deals with Hin Leong which involved the oil major withdrawing a total of US$125.7 million on three L/Cs in early February 2020 from the banks. It is also suing Lim and two of his children, claiming unpaid debts of US$187.2 million.
Lim meanwhile already faces 25 charges surrounding allegations that he instructed a Hin Leong executive to forge sales orders to fraudulently apply for L/Cs and receivables financing.
L/Cs in new charges
The new charges against Lim include 36 counts of conspiracy to commit forgery, 68 counts of cheating and one charge of conspiracy to forge a valuable security.
Singapore police say 33 charges relate to an alleged effort to deceive nine banks into providing US$1.1 billion of L/Cs based on a false representation that Hin Leong was purchasing oil from BP.
Another 35 of these charges relate to Kim’s alleged efforts to deceive eight financial institutions into providing Hin Leong with US$1.2 billion of receivables financing to fulfil contracts for the sale of oil to BP and Unipec.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News