By Chanyaporn Chanjaroen
(Bloomberg) — Singapore’s High Court capped expenses for the founding family of collapsed oil trader Hin Leong Trading at S$10,000 (US$7,500) a week per person as part of an order that also freezes as much as US$3.5 billion of their assets around the world.
Hin Leong’s founder Lim Oon Kuin and his two children can also spend “a reasonable sum” on legal advice, as well as other representations, on top of these weekly living expenses, according to court orders filed on June 4 that were seen by Bloomberg News. Lim, 79, has been charged with forgery and related offences, as his oil-trading firm, once the city-state’s largest, fell into liquidation in March.
The court’s asset-freeze order last month may be one of the biggest such injunctions in Singapore’s history, and may pave the way toward debt recovery for more than 20 bank creditors including HSBC Holdings Plc and DBS Group Holdings Ltd., which together are owed about US$3.5 billion by Hin Leong.
Davinder Singh and his eponymous law firm are acting for Lim. The firm is involved in several high profile cases in the country, including defamation suits brought by the prime minister and an alleged nickel scam that may be biggest of its kind. An email and calls seeking comments from Singh and his team were not answered.
Under the asset freeze, the Lims are not allowed to dispose of assets that include their properties in Singapore and Australia, insurance policies, shares in companies as well as country club memberships.
The order also states that before spending any money, Lim and his two children must tell the lawyers representing the liquidators of Hin Leong where the money comes from, according to the court documents. Liquidators Goh Thien Phong and Chan Kheng Tek are represented by Drew & Napier LLC’s Cavinder Bull and his team.
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