Airtrust founder's family sue firm to recover S$1.3m in investments
- POSTED: 24 Sep 2013 19:55
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The wife and son of Airtrust Singapore Pte Ltd's late founder have filed a law suit against the logistics firm, seeking to recover almost S$1.3 million in investments.
SINGAPORE: The wife and son of Airtrust Singapore Pte Ltd's late founder have filed a law suit against the logistics firm, seeking to recover almost S$1.3 million in investments.
Mdm Alice Lee Pei Ru and her son, Mr Fong Wei Heng, had made investments presented to them by the founder, Mr Peter Fong.
The elder Fong had roped in his wife, son and four other investors -- consisting of three friends and a foundation -- to help fund the conversion of a vessel, the MV Cobalt Transport.
A chartering firm, Southern Cross Company Ltd, had wanted to buy and convert the vessel, and had sought Mr Peter Fong's help with funding the conversion.
The plaintiffs and the other four investors helped Airtrust raise the US$2.2 million needed to fund the conversion.
Between December 2006 and October 2008 however, three of the investors backed out of the deal and got back their principal investment sums.
Under Mr Peter Fong's assurance, Mdm Lee repaid one of the three investors' principal sum and took over the investment rights.
But in April 2008, Mr Peter Fong died.
Court documents stated that Airtrust plunged into turmoil subsequently, and the plaintiffs' monies were not repaid.
The plaintiffs then sought repayment from Airtrust in March 2011, but the logistics firm refused.
In its opening statement, lawyers for the plaintiffs said Mr Peter Fong was a "typical Chinese businessman who eschewed formalities" and whose word was his honour.
They added that the plaintiffs should be able to recover their principal sum as Mr Peter Fong had provided them the right to exit the investment.
However, lawyers for Airtrust argue that the plaintiffs' claim has no credible basis as there was no documentation to prove the verbal agreement between Mr Peter Fong and the plaintiffs.
The defendant also contends that whatever representation made by Mr Peter Fong, it was done so in his personal capacity or on behalf of Southern Cross, not Airtrust.
The hearing continues.