Former director of liquor distributor fined $550,000 for tax evasion on 2,700 cartons of beer

Cartons of beer seized by Singapore Customs officers. Lim Chong Ping pleaded guilty to one charge of engaging in a conspiracy to deal in uncustomed goods and was sentenced by the State Courts on July 5, 2018.
Cartons of beer seized by Singapore Customs officers. Lim Chong Ping pleaded guilty to one charge of engaging in a conspiracy to deal in uncustomed goods and was sentenced by the State Courts on July 5, 2018.PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS
A container of 2,700 cartons of duty-unpaid beer meant for export was swopped with soft drinks and mineral water before it was attempted to be exported out of Singapore.
A container of 2,700 cartons of duty-unpaid beer meant for export was swopped with soft drinks and mineral water before it was attempted to be exported out of Singapore.PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

SINGAPORE - The former director of a liquor distributor was fined $550,000 for conspiring with two others to evade duties and Goods and Services Tax (GST), Singapore Customs said on Monday (July 9).

The total duty and GST involved was about $125,220.

Lim Chong Ping, 46, pleaded guilty to one charge of engaging in a conspiracy to deal in uncustomed goods and was sentenced by the State Courts on Thursday (July 5). Another similar charge was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Investigations found that Lim, who was from Liquorland Distribution, conspired with Tan Yong Hui, Terry, 39, and Ooi Kok Keng, 46, to divert duty-unpaid beer that had been declared for export back into the Singapore market.

Tan, the director of Global Drinks, was sentenced to a fine of $450,000 on Oct 24, 2016. Ooi, who coordinated logistics and deliveries for Polycom Drinks Trading, was sentenced to a fine of $900,000 on Aug 26, 2016.

Lim had instructed Tan to purchase duty-unpaid beer from Ooi in August 2014. Ooi arranged for the beer in a shipping container marked for export to be swopped for mineral water and soft drinks. The beer was then sent to a warehouse in Changi South Avenue managed by Tan.

Lim then bought the beer at a marked-up price. Lim had planned to make Liquorland appear to have purchased duty-paid beer which he planned to sell here.

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 customs_intelligence@customs.gov.sg, or use the Customs@SG mobile app to report the illegal activities.