SINGAPORE - Two men were fined $3,984,000 each for fraudulent evasion of duty and Good and Services Tax (GST), Singapore Customs announced in a press release on Monday (March 14).
Singapore Customs said the total duty and GST involved was in excess of $890,000.
Song Hock Kee, 55, and Tan Lip Cheong, 51, pleaded guilty to 18 charges and were sentenced by the State Courts last Thursday (March 10). Another 30 charges were taken into consideration in the sentencing.
If they fail to pay the fine, they will face a prison term of 54 months and one week.
Song, director of Windemac Pte Ltd, submitted two permit declarations to Singapore Customs for the export of 51,558 bottles of liquor, wine and beer in February last year.
But instead of exporting all the bottles, Song was in cahoots with Tan, Windemac's manager. They retained 9,810 bottles of duty-unpaid liquor and beer, which they intended to sell to customers in Singapore at a profit.
Investigations also revealed that the duo were involved in diverting duty-unpaid liquor meant for export into the Singapore market on nine previous occasions.
Ms Fauziah Abdul Sani, Singapore Customs' head of Trade Investigation Branch, said fraudulent evasion of duty and GST are serious offences.
"We are keeping a close watch on such illegal activities, and offenders will be severely punished under the law," she added.
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 will be liable on conviction to a fine of up to 20 times the amount of duty and GST evaded.
Members of the public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of customs duty or GST can contact Singapore Customs on 1800-2330000, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the Customs@SG mobile app to report the illegal activities