SINGAPORE: A man was fined more than S$5.6 million on Wednesday (Mar 9) for evading duty as well as Goods and Services Tax (GST) on motor vehicles imported into Singapore.
Lin Junjiang, the sole proprietor of J21 imports, had done so by suppressing the declared values of 464 motor vehicles between June and November 2016, the Singapore Customs and Land Transport Authority said on Thursday.
The 39-year-old was fined a total of S$5,628,864, said the authorities in a joint news release, adding that Lin did not pay the fine and would serve 40 months' imprisonment in default.
Lin was also sentenced to four weeks' jail for underpaying the Additional Registration Fee during the registration of some of the vehicles.
He pleaded guilty to one amalgamated charge under the Customs Act and one amalgamated charge under the Road Traffic Act. Another Custom-related charge was taken into considering during sentencing.
Singapore Customs investigated J21 after detecting that the importer did not declare the value of the optional features of the vehicles for the assessment of payable duty and GST.
Investigations revealed that two invoices would be prepared for each motor vehicle transaction.
The first invoice would state the partial value of the motor vehicle while the other would indicate the vehicle's balance value, which was falsely described as a "liaison fee", said Singapore Customs.
"J21 had only declared the partial value in the first invoice in the submissions to Customs but failed to declare the 'liaison fee', despite knowing that this amount had to be declared to Customs."
The "intentional omission" of the "liaison fee" from the declarations to Customs resulted in the short payment of duty and GST amounting to about S$703,600 and S$295,510 respectively.
The values of 67 of the 464 motor vehicles that were underdeclared to Singapore Customs also resulted in the Additional Registration Fee shortfall of S$567,594, which was to be paid to the LTA.
"Any person who is in any way concerned in any fraudulent evasion of, or attempt to fraudulently evade, any customs duty or excise duty shall be guilty of an offence and will be liable on conviction to a fine of up to 20 times the amount of duty and GST evaded," said Singapore Customs.
Under the Road Traffic Act, any person who gives incorrect information relating to any matter affecting the amount of tax is liable to a fine of up to S$10,000 or a jail term of up to six months.