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Former chief financial officer of Agritrade International further charged with cheating financial institutions of US$359 million

Former chief financial officer of Agritrade International further charged with cheating financial institutions of US$359 million

File photo of a gavel. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The former chief financial officer of commodity firm Agritrade International was charged in court on Friday (Nov 26) with 12 more counts for allegedly deceiving seven financial institutions of US$359 million (S$492 million), the police said.

Investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department into the company found that Lulu Lim Beng Kim allegedly cheated the financial institutions into believing that the consolidated financial statements for Agritrade International and its subsidiary companies between 2016 and 2018 were audited.

This was “a fact which she knew to be false”, the police said in a news release.

“By such a manner of deception, Lulu Lim had dishonestly induced the seven financial institutions to deliver monies through credit facilities to Agritrade International," added the police.

The total sum involved in the 12 charges amounted to US$359 million in drawdowns from credit and loan facilities, the police said.

Lim now faces a total of 14 charges – 13 counts of cheating and one count of abetting the falsification of accounts. The police said that investigations are ongoing.

Lim was first charged in September with cheating and dishonestly inducing a delivery of property.

The charges relate to Lim “cheating the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Singapore Branch into believing that 19 bills of lading had been legally and validly pledged in the bank’s favour”, the police said.

This resulted in the bank disbursing US$19.9 million to a supplier of Agritrade International in October 2019. 

A bill of lading refers to a document issued by a carrier to acknowledge receipt of cargo for shipment.

Each offence of cheating carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine. Anyone convicted of falsifying accounts can be jailed for up to 10 years, fined, or both.

Source: CNA/ng(mi)
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