China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corp (CAO) has admitted to debts of at least US$152 million on top of its US$550 million derivatives losses. CAO's lawyer Patrick Ang told a closed hearing of the Singapore High Court on Friday that the company's outstanding debts were owed to 12 banks. It is understood that the bulk of CAO's debt relates to the five-year US$160 million loan it took out in July last year with a 10-bank syndicate led by Societe Generale. CAO has been keen to avoid defaulting on the US$160 million syndicated loan because cross-default terms could create problems with its other credit facilities and trigger more legal action against it. At this stage the Societe Generale-led syndicate appears to have been placated, with the 10 member banks noticeably absent from Friday's closed-door court hearing, at which CAO was granted another six weeks to come up with a rescue plan. CAO lawyers also admitted at Friday's court hearing that Singapore authorities are investigating not only the role of the company's suspended chief executive, Chen Jiulin, but also that of a number of other traders. Four of CAO's senior executives - including the two managers responsible for the company's oil trading divisions - have turned over their passports to the Singapore police's Commercial Affairs Department. Mr Chen has been the subject of lengthy questioning by officers of the CAD - the branch of the Singapore police that investigates white-collar crime - since he returned from China last Wednesday. In the first major interview he has given about the CAO financial scandal, published over the weekend in Singapore's Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao, Mr Chen admitted responsibility for the company's massive derivatives losses. 'I don't blame anyone. I feel I have let the company down,' he said in the interview. Mr Chen also appeared to acknowledge that he could be facing a lengthy prison term as a result of his actions. 'I'm the son of a farmer. At worst, after a few years, I will return here and grow rice. I hope you will continue to be healthy and wait for my return,' Mr Chen reportedly told his father during a visit to his home village in Hubei province last week. While CAO and its financial advisers Deloitte & Touche now have six weeks to come up with a scheme of arrangements, the company plans to continue with its oil trading business through a newly created subsidiary. CAO said in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange that the S$1 company COAT Pty Ltd had been established 'for the purpose of carrying on the business of jet fuel procurement on an agency basis'. But the new subsidiary business will no longer enjoy the near monopoly that CAO had in the jet fuel import business in China, with Beijing last week approving plans to allow four other companies to begin importing jet fuel.