Ah Seng Durian scandal: 3 other food sellers that ran afoul of the taxman

From curry puffs to roast meat, the brothers that run Ah Seng Durian are far from the only food sellers that have run afoul of tax laws here.
From curry puffs to roast meat, the brothers that run Ah Seng Durian are far from the only food sellers that have run afoul of tax laws here.PHOTOS: NURUL AIN RAZALI, MAKANSUTRA, ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Two brothers who own the popular Ah Seng Durian stall in Ghim Moh made headlines recently - but not for serving up Singaporeans' favourite fruit.

The brothers admitted to underdeclaring their income by about $708,000 for six years. This resulted in $161,604.62 in taxes undercharged.

But the duo are hardly the first to run afoul of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore's rules.

From curry puffs to roast meat, here are three other instances where food sellers have gotten their just desserts from the taxman.

1. KAY LEE ROAST MEAT FOUNDERS


Ha Wai Kay and his wife, Kong 
Kuee Chin, built the Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint business from scratch, were sentenced to four weeks’ jail and had to pay a penalty of $164,751.45 each. The couple sold the business for $4 million in 2014. PHOTO: ST FILE

A husband-and-wife team behind the popular Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint was convicted in August 2016 of two counts of tax evasion, in 2010 and 2011, and under-declaring more than $325,000 in sales.

They were sentenced to four weeks' jail and had to pay a penalty of $164,751.45 each.

The couple built their roast meat business from scratch and sold it for $4 million in 2014 - $500,000 above their original asking price - to conglomerate Aztech Group.

2. FOOD SUPPLIER ONG GUAN HWA



In 2008, Ong Guan Hwa, 34, a food supplier who under-declared his partnership income for two years, was jailed for two weeks and ordered to pay a total penalty of $86,890. PHOTO: ST FILE

In 2008, food supplier Ong Guan Hwa, who under-declared his partnership income from Hup Lee Frozen Food in 2004 and 2005, was jailed for two weeks and penalised $86,890.

He was the first food supplier to be prosecuted for tax evasion then.

In April 2004, he declared that his partnership income from Hup Lee Frozen Food was $40,826 when the actual amount was $114,048. The following year, the Hup Lee partner declared that he received $108,695 from the company when he derived $238,578.

Hup Lee supplied items such chicken wings, hot dogs and fish fillet to stalls operating under Hup Lee Fried Bee Hoon all over Singapore.

3. TIP TOP CURRY PUFFS



In 2007, Mr Looi San Cheng, owner of Tip Top curry puffs, became the first hawker to be convicted and jailed for tax evasion. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

 

In 2007, Mr Looi San Cheng, who sold his Tip Top curry puffs from his Ang Mo Kio stall, became the first hawker to be jailed for tax evasion.

He made $1.06 million over six years but declared profits of only $2,800 between 2001 and 2006.

He was jailed for two weeks and fined $196,000.

Four other charges against him were withdrawn after he paid another $291,000 to compound them.