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RPT-Founder of oil trader Hin Leong, OK Lim, charged in Singapore court in forgery case

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(Repeats story published late on Friday, with no changes to text)

By Jessica Jaganathan

SINGAPORE, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Lim Oon Kuin, founder of troubled Singapore oil firm Hin Leong Trading (Pte) Ltd, was charged in Singapore court on Friday with abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating, police said.

Hin Leong, one of Asia's largest oil traders, was placed under so-called judicial management in April after banks demanded repayment of loans as oil prices crashed amid the coronavirus pandemic - a collapse that revealed earlier financial troubles.

In the charges on Friday, Lim, known as O.K. Lim, was accused of instigating a Hin Leong employee to forge a document supposedly issued by UT Singapore Services Pte Ltd stating that Hin Leong had transferred more than one million barrels of gasoil to China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corp, the Singapore Police Force said in a statement on its website.

The document was then allegedly used to secure more than $56 million in trade financing from a financial institution, it added. It did not say when the alleged offence took place.

If convicted, Lim faces a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine. The police added that investigations are ongoing into other offences allegedly committed by Lim.

Lim could not immediately be reached by Reuters for comment. The Lim family's legal advisors, Davinder Singh Chambers LLC, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

Lim admitted in a court document filed earlier this year to directing the firm not to disclose hundreds of millions of dollars in losses over several years.

Hin Leong is owned by Lim, who is in his 70s, his son Lim Chee Meng, who is also known as Evan Lim, and daughter Lim Huey Ching.

UT Singapore Services Pte Ltd, which is owned by oil storage provider Universal Terminal, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The Attorney General Chambers did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment. CAO declined to comment. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh, Chen Aizhu, Seng Li Peng and Koustav Samanta Editing by Florence Tan and Frances Kerry)

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