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Founder of Singapore’s Hin Leong faces second forgery charge

Photo: Reuters ctoklim1408.jpg
Lim Oon Kuin
Lim Oon Kuin, founder of Singapore’s oil trading giant Hin Leong Trading, was charged in court last Friday for a second time with abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating, according to the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

Lim’s charge arises from investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) into Hin Leong, relating to Lim instigating one of his employees to forge an email purportedly sent by Hin Leong to China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corp on 26 February 2020 in relation to a sale transaction of marine gasoil.

“This email, along with the Inter-Tank Transfer certificate mentioned in the first charge, was submitted to a financial institution to secure more than $56m in trade financing. With the latest charge, Lim Oon Kuin now faces two counts of abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating,” SPF stated on its website.

On 14 August this year, Lim was charged in court for the first time for instigating his employee to forge a document purportedly issued by UT Singapore Services to state that Hin Leong had transferred more than one million barrels of gasoil to China Aviation Oil (Singapore).

“Investigations are ongoing into other offences allegedly committed by Lim Oon Kuin,” SPF said, adding that the offence carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and a fine.

Better known as OK Lim to the oil trading industry, the embattled oil tycoon’s problems surfaced this year when the company filed for bankruptcy protection amid allegations of covering up nearly $800m in losses over several years.

Three companies related to the Lim family are currently under interim judicial management, namely Hin Leong and its shipping arm Ocean Tankers and Xihe Holdings, which is owned by Lim and his son Evan Lim Chee Meng.

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