Indonesian oil and gas magnate Kris Wilaun is facing 112 charges of alleged false trading and market-rigging, which breaches Section 197 of the Security and Futures Act. He is the chief executive officer of offshore and marine company KS Energy, which is listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange.
The 71-year-old tycoon is a Singapore permanent resident and was charged on Wednesday (5 August), the police stated in a press release.
It was reported that Mr Wiluan, who is also the founder of Indonesia’s Citramas Group, had ordered his employee, Ho Chee Yen, to command a trading representative from CIMB Securities (Singapore) to carry out trades in the shares of KS Energy via the trading account of Pacific One Energy on different times between December 2014 and September 2016. This is done to “push up” the share price of the mainboard-listed company.
Pacific One Energy is in fact a company controlled by the tycoon.
If that’s not all, Mr Wiluan was also accused of asking Ngin Kim Choo, a CIMB Securities trading representative servicing the trading account of Pacific One, to carry out the trades in KS Energy’s shares “with a purpose to push up” its prices, on a number of occasions between May and July 2016, as well as in June 2015.
For participating in the alleged offence, 56-year-old Ms Ho is facing 92 counts of violating the Securities and Futures Act.
She is also accused of “abetting by intentionally aiding” the Indonesian tycoon by relaying his instructions to both Ngin and another trader with CIMB Securities, Yeo Jin Lui, to execute trades in KS Energy shares, between December 2014 and September 2016, via Pacific One’s trading account “with a purpose to push up the prices of the securities”.
If found guilty, offenders could serve jail time of up to seven year and fined a maximum of S$250,000.
Mr Wiluan is currently out on court bail of S$250,000. He is represented by Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim and Mr Mahesh Rai from Drew & Napier. On the other hand, Ms Ho, who is represented by Mr Chia Kok Seng of KSCGP Juris, is also out on court bail of S$70,000. Both parties have also surrendered their passports.
Three years ago, Mr Wiluan and his son Richard James Wiluan were called in by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) for an interview in regards to investigations into the potential contravention of Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act.
At that time, the senior Wilaun posted police bail and was released following the interview. Meanwhile, his son was released without needing a bail.
“Both have informed the board that they have and will continue to cooperate fully in the investigations, including granting to all their electronic data, IT equipment and data storage devices from January 2015,” the company told the Singapore Exchange in April 2017.
Mr Wiluan is a renowned name in the industry. In 2009, he was ranked Indonesia’s 40th richest man by Forbes with a personal net worth of US$240 million.
While at the tycoon’s 70th birthday celebration, Economic Development Board chairman Beh Swan Gin applauded the Indonesian businessman for growing Singapore-Indonesia business ties, the Singapore Tatler magazine reported.