SINGAPORE - A 51-year-old Chinese national was fined $92,000 for counterfeiting five certificates of origin (CO) for uncovered innerspring units, which are used in the manufacture of mattresses.
Yu Ximei, a marketing manager, was also found guilty of falsely claiming that the innersprings - which were exported to the US - originated from Singapore instead of China when applying for COs, Singapore Customs said in a statement on Friday (July 28). She did this to avoid anti-dumping duties.
Her conviction was a result of a Singapore Customs investigation on Parfait International, a company which produces and exports uncovered innerspring units, based on information provided by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CPB).
The value of the goods involved in the case amounted to more than $615,000.
Between June 2013 and May 2015, Yu had furnished false statements when applying for COs, five of which she later modified on her own in the first two months of 2015.
Yu then provided these to one of Parfait's customers in the US.
She made the same false claims in permit declarations made to Singapore Customs.
On Friday, Yu pleaded guilty to nine charges, with another 20 charges taken into consideration during the sentencing.
Mr Yeo Sew Meng, Assistant Director-General of Intelligence and Investigation at Singapore Customs, said: "Singapore Customs will take stern enforcement action against errant traders to protect Singapore's status as a secure and trusted global trade hub."
Executive Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Trade at CPB Brenda Smith said: "It is important for the trade community to know that there are consequences for making false claims."
Under the Regulation of Imports and Exports Regulations, anyone found guilty of counterfeiting COs or furnishing false statements to the issuing authority to obtain the COs, will be liable on the first conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or three times the value of the goods concerned, whichever is the greater. They may also be imprisoned for up to two years, or both.