Hin Leong founder hit with 105 new charges related to conspiracy and forgery

24 Jun 2021

London (Quantum Commodity Intelligence) – Hin Leong founder Lim Oon Kuin has been hit with 105 new charges by Singapore authorities investigating the collapse of the former heavyweight trading and shipping firm, Singapore’s Straits Times reported Thursday.

Together with the 25 forgery-related charges filed last year and in April this year, the 79-year-old former oil tycoon, better known as O.K. Lim, is now facing a total of 130 charges.

The new charges comprise 68 charges of cheating, 36 charges of conspiracy to commit forgery and one count of abetment of forgery of valuable security, which carries a jail term of up to 15 years.

The police said 35 of the new charges related to Lim allegedly deceiving eight financial institutions into providing accounts receivable financing, amounting to about US$1.2 billion, to Hin Leong on the basis that the firm had loaded oil onto particular vessels pursuant to contracts for its sale to BP Singapore and Unipec Singapore.

About $55 million remains outstanding from Hin Leong to a financial institution in relation to one of these charges, the police said.

Additionally, around $180 million remains outstanding from Hin Leong to four financial institutions in relation to six of these charges, the police said.

Fallen giant

Last month, The Singapore High Court accepted a request to freeze up to $3.5 billion of worldwide assets belonging to Lim Oon Kuin and his two children.

The firm’s biggest lenders include HSBC Holdings, DBS, Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp, Bank of China, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered.

In March of this year, the government-owned port operator Jurong Port completed the acquisition of a stake in a major oil terminal owned by the Lim family.

Hin Leong had been one of Asia’s top refined products traders and shippers for the past three decades; it was particularly active in gasoil, jet fuel and gasoline and was a major supplier of bunker fuel to the shipping industry.

The trading firm was also a mainstay of the Platts market-on-close price discovery trading process, widely referred to as ‘the window’ which sets benchmark oil prices for Asia.