The "Asean Promoter"

JudgeAbdul Wahab Ghows J
Judgment Date18 November 1981
Neutral Citation[1981] SGHC 24
Citation[1981] SGHC 24
Defendant CounselSyed Hassan Almenoar (Shook Lin & Bok)
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselCarol Wong (Karthigesu & Arul)
Date18 November 1981
Docket NumberAdmiralty in Rem No 703 of 1979
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Subject Matter'Beneficially owned',Ship arrested not property of person liable 'in personam' in plaintiffs' claim against another ship,Admiralty jurisdiction and arrest,Action in rem,Words and Phrases,Meaning of 'beneficially-owned',Admiralty and Shipping,Wrongful arrest

Unitrade Ltd (hereinafter referred to as the plaintiffs) filed a writ of summons on 22 December 1979 in this Admiralty Suit in Rem No 703/79 claiming as the owners of a cargo of 48.4 metric tons of fresh ginger packed in 968 wooden cases lately laden on board the ship `Asean Promoter` and/or as holders of and/or indorsees of a bill of lading No BTS/1 dated 22 February 1979 whereunder the said cargo was shipped from Bangkok for Karachi for damages for loss of and/or damage to the said cargo during its storage in Singapore for transshipment to Karachi.

On 27 March 1980 the Plaintiffs requested for a warrant of arrest to be executed by the bailiff of the High Court for the arrest of the ship `Asean Progress` which was lying at the Eastern Anchorage, Singapore.
The Straits Maritime Leasing Pte Ltd (hereinafter referred to as the defendants) who at the date the ship was arrested were the owners of the ship `Asean Progress` obtained the release of the ship from arrest on 29 March 1980 by delivering to the plaintiffs` solicitors a banker`s guarantee in the sum of $65,176.

On 16 April 1980 the defendants filed a notice of motion to move the court for the following orders:

1 That the writ of summons and all subsequent proceedings herein against the mv `Asean Progress` be set aside; alternatively that the writ of summons herein be amended by striking out the words `Asean Progress` on the ground of want of jurisdiction in rem under s 4(4) of the High Court (Admiralty Jurisdiction) Act (Cap 6) and/or for non-compliance with the said section.

(2) That the bankers` guarantee given to the plaintiffs to obtain the release from arrest of the vessel `Asean Progress` be discharged and of no effect and that the plaintiffs do deliver the said bankers` guarantee to the defendants.

(3) Such further or other order as this Honourable Court shall deem fit and expedient to grant.

(4) That the plaintiffs do pay the defendants` costs of this action and of this Motion.



The said notice of motion was heard on 29 October 1981 and after hearing counsel for the plaintiffs and the defendants I made the following orders:

That the writ of summons and all subsequent proceedings herein against the mv `Asean Progress` be set aside;

The bankers` guarantee given to the plaintiffs to obtain the release from arrest of the mv `Asean Progress` be discharged and plaintiffs to return the said bankers` guarantee to defendants;

Costs of this action and motion to be paid by the plaintiffs to defendants.

against which the plaintiffs now appeal.



It is not disputed that the ship in connection with which the plaintiffs` claim in this action arose is the `Asean Promoter`.
The `Asean Promoter` when it carried the plaintiffs` cargo was beneficially owned as respects all the shares therein by M & G Maritime Services Pte Ltd (hereinafter referred to as M & G). The persons who would be liable to the plaintiffs on the claim in an action in personam when the cause of action arose and at the date of the issue of the Writ in this action are the owners of the `Asean Promoter`, namely M & G. The ship `Asean Progress` is not the ship in connection with which the plaintiffs` claim in this action arose. At all material times, the ship `Asean Progress` was beneficially owned as respects all the 64 shares therein by the defendants. No share in the ship `Asean Progress` was at any time beneficially owned by M & G.

It is also not in dispute that the defendants and M & G, who were
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2 cases
  • The "Opal 3" ex "Kuchino"
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 6 June 1992
    ......The word `owner` in this text means the legal owner or who in most cases would be the registered owner. He may or may not be the beneficial owner: see ` The Evpo Agnic `,7 ` The Asean Promoter`; Unitrade Ltd v MV `Asean Promoter`, `Asean Progress`, `Asean Prosperity`, `Asean Venture`, Owners & Ors Interested [1982] 2 MLJ 108 and ` The Thorlina`; `The Thorlina`, Owners & Ors v Keppel Shipyard Ltd. [1986] 2 MLJ 17 To satisfy the in rem test, the claimant must show that the ship in ......
  • The "Skaw Prince"
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 30 July 1994
    ...... fraudulent conveyances to delay or defeat creditors and principles relating to piercing the veil of incorporation: see `The Aventicum`, `The Maritime Trader` , `The Saudi Prince` , `The Loon Chong`; The `Loon Chong` Owners & Ors v Eng Hong Trading Sdn Bhd and `The Asean Promoter` ; (c) principles of law relating to transfer of title to goods and, in particular, passing of title in sale of goods including foreign law; and (d) principles of estoppel. . . . . The first principle stated - the principle of equity and trust, in my opinion, must have ......

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