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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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MAN CHEATED HSBC TO DISBURSE S$150M, MAN FACING 130 CHARGES

On 10 May 2024, Lim Oon Kuin (“Lim”), founder of Hin Leong Trading (Pte) Ltd (“Hin Leong”), was convicted on two charges of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code (“Penal Code”) and one charge of instigating forgery for the purpose of cheating under Section 468 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code after a trial of over 60 days.

Background

Lim was first charged in court on 14 August 2020, and was subsequently handed further charges in court on 25 September 2020, 30 April 2021 and 24 June 2021 for his role in perpetuating fraud on various financial institutions. A total of 130 charges were eventually brought against him for cheating and forgery-related offences, and Lim claimed trial to these charges.

The trial proceeded on three charges:

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  1. Two charges of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, and,
  2. One charge of instigating forgery for the purpose of cheating under Section 468 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code.

These three charges concern two fraudulent discounting applications made by Hin Leong to the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (“HSBC”), pursuant to which HSBC disbursed a total of USD 111,683,939 to Hin Leong. The rest of the charges were stood down pending resolution of the trial.

The court found that Lim had, through Hin Leong employees, cheated HSBC by representing to the bank that Hin Leong had entered into two contracts for the sale of oil, with China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Ltd and Unipec Singapore Pte Ltd respectively, and then applying for discounting of those purported transactions. In fact, the two transactions were complete fabrications, concocted on Lim’s directions, and the discounting applications were supported by forged or fabricated documentation.

Lim will be sentenced on 3 October 2024. He faces imprisonment of up to 10 years and shall also be liable to a fine for each charge under Section 420 of the Penal Code and Section 468 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code.

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