Singapore scam couple’s PNG interests
American Thomas Doehrman and his Singaporean wife, Lim Ai Wah, have been sentenced to jail in Singapore for a corruption scam involving funds provided by the PNG government, but the couple have other links to PNG, including through two locally registered companies, ITE Ventures Limited and Quest Investments Limited.
Doehrman and his wife Lim are listed by the IPA as the sole owners of Quest Investments Limited and Doehrman is a director of ITE Ventures. Both Michael Somare and Greg Sheppard are also listed as directors of ITE Ventures alongside Doehrman, and Sheppard is also listed as a director of Quest Investments.
According to the Singapore court case, in 2010, Doehrman was one of three trustees of the Inclusive Education for National Development for Community Education (ITE) Trust in PNG. The trust was established by the government of Michael Somare to set up community colleges.
In June 2010, the trust hired the Chinese ZTE Corporation to supply telecom equipment in a contract valued at US$35 million. ZTE then named Questzone Offshore, a shell company set up in the British Virgin Islands by Doehrman and Lim, as a sub contractor. ZTE paid $3.6 million to Questzone in July 2010 based on false invoice for purported services that were never delivered.
The Singapore authorities say from the $3.6 falsely paid to Questzone, Michael Somare received $784,000. According to the Singaporean’s that money was the proceeds of a criminal enterprise. The money was paid to Somare via three cheques deposited into his Singapore Standard Chartered Bank account in August, September, and November 2010.
Lim was a director of the BIV registered Questzone Offshore and Doehrman a director of Quest Petroleum (Singapore).
What has not been exposed in the Singapore court case is Doehrman and Lim’s interests in the two PNG registered companies, Quest Investments and ITE Ventures.
ITE Ventures Limited has a very similar name to the ITE Trust. It has three listed directors, Thomas Doehrman, Michael Somare and Gregory James Sheppard (who is also the company secretary). According to the Investment Promotion Authority, ITE Ventures is wholly owned by the ITE Trust.
Then there is Quest Investment, another PNG registered company. According to the IPA, this company is solely owned by Doehrman and Wah. Like ITE Ventures, Quest has three directors, in this case, Thomas Doehrman, Lim Ai Wah and Gregory James Sheppard.
Neither PNG company has been mentioned in the media in relation to the Singapore case and there is no suggestion at this time that either company has been involved in any criminal activity or other wrongdoing.