Singapore — The founder of Hin Leong Trading, the country’s oil trading giant, has been slapped with a second abetment of forgery charge.
On Friday (Sept 25), the police said in a statement that Lim Oon Kuin had been charged with abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating.
In August, Lim, 78, who is more popularly known as OK Lim, was charged with instructing Mr Freddy Tan Jie Ren, an executive at his trading company, to forge a document.
The police statement said that “the charge, which arises from investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department into Hin Leong, relates to Lim Oon Kuin instigating a Hin Leong employee to forge an email purportedly sent by Hin Leong to China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Ltd on 26 February 2020 in relation to a sale transaction of Gasoil 10PPM Sulphur.
“This email, along with the Inter-Tank Transfer certificate mentioned in the first charge, was submitted to a financial institution to secure more than US$56 million (S$77 million) in trade financing.”
The police further said that investigations are still ongoing concerning other offences that Lim allegedly committed.
The two counts of abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating, which is punishable under Section 468 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, could mean that Lim could end up in prison for as long as 10 years and be fined.
Lim was first charged with forgery on Aug 14, for having Mr Tan forge a document allegedly issued by UT Singapore Services that stated that the company had transferred over one million barrels of gasoil to China Aviation Oil (Singapore).
Lim built his empire starting from a single-truck enterprise through the combination of high risk gambles and hard work, but when oil prices plunged earlier this year, the cracks in his high risk manner of business began to show.
In April, he took to court to seek protection from creditors. According to an AFP report, Lim’s company had “in truth … not been making profits in the last few years” even though its official report showed it to be in the black for 2019.
He said that he had not disclosed $800 million in losses in the past few years, as well as owed nearly $4 billion to banks.
Hin Leong and its shipping arm Ocean Tankers and Xihe Holdings, three companies linked to Lim and his family, are now under interim judicial management. /TISG
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