Sun, Dec 05, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Probe launched into China Aviation Oil's speculation losses


White-collar law enforcers have launched a criminal investigation into China Aviation Oil (CAO) after the jet-fuel supplier revealed a US$550 million loss from speculative trading, a statement said yesterday.

The police force's Commercial Affairs Department "has commenced investigations," it said.

The department is working closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Exchange.

A CAO spokesman said department officials had visited the company's premises.

"The company is currently assisting in the investigation," he added.

The investigation was initiated after Chen Juilin, CAO's suspended chief executive, said in court documents that the company's Beijing-backed parent sold a block of shares while knowing the company faced crisis-level losses.

Lawyers said the charge raised the possibility of insider trading.

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