• S'pore authorities dismiss Iceberg Research allegations linking Noble to OW Bunker collapse

  • Seatrade
    26 March 2015

    The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has dismissed allegations by blogger Iceberg Research that there had been malpractice at Noble Group’s now defunct bunkering business in 2013, or that was it linked to the collapse of OW Bunker in November last year.

    In its third highly critical report into Noble Group published last weekend Iceberg Research claimed it acted as whistleblower on malpractices at Noble’s Bunkering business in Singapore 2013, reporting it to the MPA, which regulates the Republic’s ship refueling business.

    Responding to queries from Seatrade Global and MPA spokesperson said: “In 2013, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) received information on the conduct of Noble Resources International Pte Ltd (NRIPL). Our investigation of NRIPL, however, did not find any malpractices.”

    MPA confirmed that it did not renew NRIPL’s license in September 2013 but this was due to not fulfilling license obligations such as delivered volumes and not related to a breach of regulations.

    Noble closed down its bunkering business in Singapore in May 2013.

    MPA also dismissed further allegations by Iceberg Research that malpractice had continued after the bunkering business was closed down and was linked to the collapse of OW Bunker in November last year, which was in part caused by losses at Singapore subsidiary Dynamic Oil Trading.

    “The assertion by Iceberg Research that ‘Had the MPA acted on the information sent to them, this high profile bankruptcy leaving hundreds of millions due to creditors unpaid could certainly have been avoided’ is also untrue,” the spokesperson added.

    “No relevant information about OW Bunker, including from Iceberg Research, was furnished to the Singapore authorities before OW Bunker’s bankruptcy.”

    On Monday Noble said it would launching legal action in Hong Kong against Arnaud Vagner, a resident in Hong Kong in relation to Iceberg Research. Previously it said that it had identified a former employee as being behind the reports.