Two men have been fined S$3.98 million each last Thursday (Mar 10) for evading total duty and GST of more than S$890,000, Singapore Customs announced on Monday. If they default on the fine, they face 54 months and one week in jail.
In the press release, Singapore Customs said that the two men, 55-year-old Song Hock Kee and 51-year-old Tan Lip Cheong, each pleaded guilty to 18 charges, while another 30 charges were taken into consideration in the sentencing.
Song, who was the director of wine distributor Windemac, submitted two permit declarations to Singapore Customs for the export of 51,558 bottles of liquor, wine and beer in February 2015, said the authorities.
But instead of exporting all the bottles, Song worked with Tan, a manager at Windemac, to retain 9,810 bottles of duty-unpaid liquor and beer, which they wanted to sell to their customers in Singapore at a profit.
Investigations then revealed that Song and Tan had diverted duty-unpaid liquor meant for export into the Singapore market on nine previous occasions, said Singapore Customs.
“Fraudulent evasion of duty and GST are serious offences,” said Ms Fauziah Abdul Sani, Head of Trade Investigation Branch, Singapore Customs. “We are keeping a close watch on such illegal activities, and offenders will be severely punished under the law.”
Under the Customs Act, any person who is guilty of dealing with dutiable goods with the intention to defraud the Government of any duty and GST is liable to a fine of up to 20 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, said Singapore Customs.