Singapore Hands 20-Year Prison Sentence to Commodity Trader CFO

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday January 18, 2023

Singapore's judiciary have handed a 20-year prison sentence to the former chief financial officer of a commodity trading firm that collapsed in 2020 amid fraud allegations.

Lulu Lim Beng Kim, former CFO of Agritrade International, was sentenced to 20 years of prison at a Singapore court on Tuesday, the city-state's police said in a statement on its website.

Lim had falsely presented financial statements for the firm as audited documents to 16 financial institutions, according to the police. 

"By such manner of deception, Lulu Lim dishonestly induced the financial institutions to deliver money through credit facilities granted to AIPL," the police force said.

"As a result, a total of 16 financial institutions granted at least USD 586.5 million in credit facilities to AIPL between January 2017 and November 2019.

"AIPL defaulted on these loans and the total loss suffered by the financial institutions amounted to around USD 469.1 million."

The long prison sentence may indicate an increased willingness among Singapore's judiciary to hand out tough punishment for fraud committed within the city-state's jurisdiction.

"The Police will continue our efforts to safeguard Singapore's reputation as a trusted business and financial centre," Singapore's police said.

"Finance professionals and company officers, such as public accountants, chief financial officers, chief executive officers, chief operating officers and directors, have a duty to the company's stakeholders and a duty to safeguard the integrity of the financial system.

"The Commercial Affairs Department takes a tough stance against financial professionals and company officers who fail in their corporate duties and who abuse Singapore's financial system to commit crime.

"Any knowledge or reasonable suspicion of misconduct or fraud should be reported to the authorities early."