SINGAPORE, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Former Mitsui oil trader Noriyuki Yamazaki was sentenced to five years in Singapore jail on Wednesday for concealing $81 million of losses after trading bets in city state went wrong in 2006.
Mitsui & Co (8031.T), Japan’s second-biggest trading house, shut Mitsui Oil Asia (MOA) after the Singapore office raked up the losses in naphtha trading up until Nov. 17, 2006.
Yamazaki pleaded guilty last week to falsifying documents, which were used by another department to prepare the estimated daily losses and gains.
“It was not for him to take matters into his own hands. Even if he was concerned that liquidating the outstanding positions would bring about a worse position for MOA, that was a matter for the company alone to decide,” said judge Chia Wee Kiat, delivering the sentence at Singapore’s subordinate court.
The losses were discovered after an internal investigation and the company said they had been “deceptively concealed”. The judge said the losses amounted to 23 times the loss limit set for Yamazaki and 10 times the maximum loss limit for the company as a whole.
Mitsui accounted for about half the trades of naptha trading in Singapore before it closured its operations there. Naphtha is an oil product used as a feedstock to make plastics in the petrochemical industry.
Yamazaki, who is married with two children, had faced a jail term of up to seven years. (Reporting by Laurence Tan; Writing by Neil Chatterjee; Editing by Lincoln Feast)