SINGAPORE: A freight forwarding company director was fined S$105,000 last week for fraudulently evading the payment of Goods and Services Tax (GST), as well as for abetting a consignee to furnish false information to Singapore Customs.
Tang Yong Hoe, 43, is the sole director of I-Do Logistics, Singapore Customs said in a news release on Monday (Oct 4).
He was fined by the State Courts on Sep 27. If he fails to pay the fine, he will have to serve seven months’ jail in default.
I-Do Logistics imports consolidated consignments from its business partner in China, before sorting and delivering the goods to its respective consignees in Singapore.
On Jul 31, 2018, Singapore Customs officers inspected a container imported by the company. It initiated an investigation after discrepancies were found in the packing lists and the values submitted by I-Do for goods belonging to two consignees.
“During the investigation, the two consignees provided packing lists with false values of the goods when requested by Singapore Customs,” it said.
“One of the consignees, Zhang Feng, had obtained the packing list from I-Do and provided it to Singapore Customs, despite knowing the values on the packing list were false.”
Zhang, a 44-year-old permanent resident, did so to prevent Singapore Customs from detecting discrepancies between the declared and actual values of her goods, the authority added.
She was sentenced on Jul 28 to a fine of S$2,000 for furnishing false information.
Tang was also found to have instigated the other consignee into providing Singapore Customs with lower values of goods based on I-Do’s packing list instead of the actual values.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of abetting the consignee to furnish false information to a Customs officer and was sentenced to a fine of S$5,000, in default one month’s imprisonment.
Court proceedings against the other consignee are ongoing, Singapore Customs said.
After further investigations, it was found that Tang had also falsely declared the value of goods in import permits between March 2017 and September 2018.
“He had used the packing lists obtained from his Chinese business partner to apply for permits, despite knowing that the values indicated in the packing lists were false and under-stated,” Singapore Customs said.
“Tang did so to pay lesser GST on the imported goods to lower his business costs.”
He pleaded guilty to one charge of fraudulent evasion of GST involving 67 permits totaling S$16,842.42 in GST evaded. For this, he was sentenced to a fine of S$100,000, in default six months’ imprisonment.
A similar charge involving 13 permits totaling S$3,361.60 in GST evaded was taken into consideration during sentencing.