Businessman fined $160,000 for fraudulent evasion of GST

Nam Jintae was fined a total of $160,000 on eight of 24 charges of fraudulent evasion of GST.
Nam Jintae was fined a total of $160,000 on eight of 24 charges of fraudulent evasion of GST.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - For two years, a South Korean businessman created fake invoices to show lower import values of goods and evaded almost $53,000 in goods and services tax (GST), a court heard.

Between February 2014 and April 2016, Nam Jintae, 47, a director of Jennie Trading which is in the apparel business, imported women's clothes, plastic bags and label stickers worth more than $860,000.

On Thursday (Sept 29), he was fined a total of $160,000 on eight of 24 charges of fraudulent evasion of GST, with the remaining charges considered during his sentencing.

Customs prosecutor Lee Kim Loong said Nam personally liaised with the suppliers of the goods and also gave instructions to the shipping agent on the importation of goods.

Between Feb 15, 2014 and July 18, 2015, Jennie had imported 65,264 pieces of women's clothes, 24,700 pieces of plastic bags and 2,300 pieces of label stickers (goods) from South Korea to Singapore by air.

Investigations showed that he had liaised with his suppliers to buy the goods and the latter would send him the invoice for the goods later, where the import value of the goods would be indicated.

Based on the import values indicated in the invoices, he would then make payment for the goods through electronic banking.

He knew that the import GST payable was to be paid based on the actual import values of the goods.

As he wanted to save on the import GST payable, he decided to create fake invoices which would show lower import values for the goods. He then provided these fake invoices to an agent, Sintop International, through his Korean shipping agent, knowing that Sintop would use the invoices for getting the import permits and declaration of import GST payable.

Nam knew that the actual value of the imports of the goods were higher than what was being declared in the import permits. He had deliberately arranged for the import values for the goods to be under-declared in the permits so that he could pay less import GST.

He paid a lower GST amount of $3,130 for the eight imports instead of $25,956, thus fraudulently evading GST totalling $22,826.