- POSTED: 04 Oct 2013 19:28
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The wife and son of Airtrust Singapore Pte Ltd's late founder have won the lawsuit against the logistics firm, where they sought to recover almost S$1.3 million in investments.
SINGAPORE: The wife and son of Airtrust Singapore Pte Ltd's late founder have won the lawsuit against the logistics firm, where they sought to recover almost S$1.3 million in investments.
High Court Judge Tay Yong Kwang ruled that Airtrust was to return the money to Madam Alice Lee Pei Ru and her son, Mr Fong Wei Heng.
The two had made investments presented to them by the firm's founder, the late 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 plan.
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, three of the investors backed out of the deal and got back their principal investment sums.
Under Mr Peter Fong's assurance, Madam 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.
Previously, lawyers for the plaintiffs had said that Mr Peter Fong was a "typical Chinese businessman who eschewed formalities" 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.
But at that time, lawyers for Airtrust argued that the plaintiffs' claim had no credible basis as there was no documentation to prove the verbal agreement between Mr Peter Fong and the plaintiffs.
The defendant had contended that whatever representation made by Mr Peter Fong was done in his personal capacity, or on behalf of Southern Cross, not Airtrust.