CEO of Singapore-listed KS Energy charged with 112 counts of market rigging offences

CEO of Singapore-listed KS Energy charged with 112 counts of market rigging offences

CEO and Chairman of KS Energy Limited Kris Wiluan
Kris Wiluan, the CEO and chairman of KS Energy, was charged on Aug 5, 2020 with market rigging offences under the Securities and Futures Act. (Photo: KS Energy Limited)

SINGAPORE: The CEO and chairman of mainboard-listed KS Energy Limited was charged on Wednesday (Aug 5) with more than 100 counts of market rigging offences, with the company saying in a stock exchange filing that its business and operations remain unaffected.

Kris Taenar Wiluan, a 71-year-old Indonesian citizen and Singapore permanent resident, was charged with 112 counts under Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), which deals with false trading and market rigging transactions, the police said in a news release on Wednesday.

The charge sheets state that Wiluan engaged in a course of conduct to "create a misleading appearance with respects to the price of the securities of KS Energy".

According to the charge sheets, Wiluan is said to have instructed Ho Chee Yen, a 56-year-old female manager at his office, to instruct the trading representative in CIMB Securities (Singapore) servicing the account of Pacific One Energy, a company he owned and controlled, to use the account to purchase KS Energy shares.

This was reportedly done to "push up" the share price of KS Energy on 112 trading days between Dec 19, 2014 and Sep 13, 2016.

Ho, a Singaporean, was charged with 92 counts of violating the SFA. She was accused of "intentionally aiding" Wiluan in the market rigging by relaying his instructions to the relevant trading representatives, said the release.

If convicted, Wiluan and Ho face up to seven years in jail, a fine of up to S$250,000, or both, for each charge.

KS Energy is a services provider to the global oil and gas industry. Along with its subsidiaries, the group's core activities include capital equipment charter as well as the provision of drilling and rig management services, specialised engineering and fabrication.

Wiluan and his son, Richard James, were interviewed in 2017 by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) into a potential contravention of the SFA. Wiluan was released after his interview and posted bail, while his son did not require bail when released, KS Energy said in filing in April 2017. 

KS Energy said in a stock exchange filing after market close on Wednesday that it was not approached by the CAD in the course of their investigations nor has the CAD revealed any details to it.

"The company’s business and operations have not been affected and will continue as usual," KS Energy said. "The company will make further announcements as and when necessary."

Source: CNA/lk