SINGAPORE: A company director was fined S$1.4 million on Friday (Jan 20) for importing 118,000 bottles of soju, a rice-based liquor popular in South Korea, without paying duty and taxes on them, Singapore customs authorities said.
Singaporean David So, 48, pleaded guilty to four charges of importing the liquor. Another 16 charges were taken into consideration in the sentencing.
So, the director of So Fei International Trading, imported the liquor from South Korea between October 2013 and September 2015, investigations revealed. He intentionally misled his declaring agent into indicating the soju as a non-alcoholic rice beverage in the import declarations to avoid paying duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST), Singapore Customs said.
The total duty and GST evaded amounted to about S$625,190 and S$49,230, respectively.
“Singapore Customs will continue to conduct checks on suspicious traders and take firm action against those who attempt to evade duty and GST on liquor products,” said Ms Fauziah Sani, head of Singapore Customs’ Trade Investigation Branch.
Under the Customs Act, any person found guilty of evading duty and GST when importing dutiable goods faces a fine of up to 20 times the amount evaded. Offenders are also required to make good the duty and GST under-paid.