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KS Energy CEO Kris Wiluan faces 112 charges for alleged false trading, market rigging

Kris Wiluan - KS Energy - ST PHOTO WONG KWAI CHOW.jpg
Kris Wiluan was also accused of instructing a CIMB Securities trading representative to execute trades in KS Energy's shares "with a purpose to push up" its prices.

[SINGAPORE] Indonesian tycoon and chief executive of offshore and marine company KS Energy, Kris Taenar Wiluan, was slapped on Wednesday morning with 112 charges in relation to violations of Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act, which deals with false trading and market-rigging transactions.

Wiluan, also founder of Indonesia's Citramas Group, was accused of instructing his employee, Ho Chee Yen, to instruct a trading representative from CIMB Securities (Singapore) to execute trades in the shares of KS Energy through the trading account of Pacific One Energy, a company controlled by Wiluan, on various occasions between December 2014 and September 2016, to "push up" the share price of the mainboard-listed company.

For her alleged role, Ho, 56, faces 92 counts of violating the Securities and Futures Act.

Wiluan, 71, who was ranked Indonesia's 40th richest man by Forbes in 2009 with a personal net worth of US$240 million, was also accused of instructing Ngin Kim Choo, a CIMB Securities trading representative servicing the trading account of Pacific One, to execute trades in KS Energy's shares, "with a purpose to push up" its prices, on several occasions between May and July 2016, and in June 2015.

Ho was accused of "abetting by intentionally aiding" Wiluan by relaying his instructions to Ngin Kim Choo and Yeo Jin Lui, another trader with CIMB Securities, to execute trades in KS Energy shares, between December 2014 and September 2016, through Pacific One's trading account "with a purpose to push up the price of the securities".

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Represented by Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim and Mahesh Rai of Drew & Napier, Wiluan is out on court bail of S$250,000. Ho, who is represented by Chia Kok Seng of KSCGP Juris, is out on court bail of S$70,000. Both have also surrendered their passports.

In a statement to The Straits Times on Wednesday, Wiluan said: "My purchase of KS Energy shares were conducted with utmost transparency. As the shares were undervalued, my intention was to help smaller public shareholders who had acquired KS shares with their personal savings. I have not sold those purchased shares and have not profited in any way from these transactions.

"All my share purchases in KS Energy were disclosed at the time of the transactions and publicly announced to SGX (Singapore Exchange). I have never intended to create any false trading or market rigging transactions and have always abided by the rule of law. I am deeply saddened by these charges," Wiluan added.

In 2017, Wiluan and his son Richard James Wiluan were interviewed by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) in its investigations into the potential contravention of Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act. At the time, the older Wiluan posted police bail and was released after his interview while his son was released without requiring bail.

The company told SGX in April 2017 that: "Both have informed the board that they have and will continue to cooperate fully in the investigations, including granting access to all their electronic data, IT equipment and data storage devices from January 2015." KS Energy added that it has not been approached by the CAD regarding its investigations.

Shares of KS Energy, currently on SGX's watch list, last traded on July 24 at 1.6 Singapore cents.

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