Lims fight to save cash transferred from Ocean Tankers

Lim Oon Kuin, the founder of bust Singapore oil trader Hin Leong Trading, is appealing a court order to return $19m his family transferred from subsidiary Ocean Tankers just before it filed for protection last year.

Singapore’s High Court approved a request last week to freeze as much as $3.5bn of assets worldwide belonging to the Lim family.

The collapse of Hin Leong was one of the largest corporate failures seen in Southeast Asia for a decade. Lim stands accused of multiple forgery incidents.

According to court documents the alleged fraudulent activity included “the creation of fictitious gains to conceal accumulated trading and other losses, the forgery of documents, the manipulation of Hin Leong’s accounts through irregular accounting entries, the overstatement of Hin Leong’s inventory and the obtaining of financing through improper means”.

Lim has admitted Hin Leong hid some $800m in losses incurred from futures trading over a 10-year period.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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