C: Patrick Hendry – Unsplash

One of Singapore’s wealthiest men, Lim Oon Kuin has been charged over a scandal that caused panic in banks around the world.

Founder of Singapore’s oil trading firm Hin Leong, Lim confessed earlier this year to hiding $800m in losses at the Singapore-based company drawing the charge of “abetment of forgery” that has now resulted in banks globally facing potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars police in Singapore said Friday.

It is understood that Lim had an employee of Hin Leong forge papers used in the false awarding of US$56 million in trade finance from an unnamed institution, although other possible offences may eventually cause this figure to rise.

Police in Singapore are reportedly continuing their investigations into Lim’s actions.

If found guilty in a criminal case related to the first charge, Lim faces financial penalties and up to a decade behind bars.

With global oil prices hit hard at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and prices around the world plunging, it is reported that a “substantial part” of Lim’s oil inventories were offloaded illegally.

“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 a document purportedly issued by UT Singapore Services Pte Ltd,” police in Singapore said in a statement, adding “The document stated that Hin Leong had transferred more than one million barrels of gas oil to China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Ltd. The document was allegedly used to secure more than $56m in trade financing from a financial institution.”

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