Woman fined $52k for Customs offences

A total of 16,435 cartons and 11 packets of cigarettes, and 22,094 bottles of liquors were seized from a warehouse at Airport Logistics Park Singapore, on June 9, 2016.
A total of 16,435 cartons and 11 packets of cigarettes, and 22,094 bottles of liquors were seized from a warehouse at Airport Logistics Park Singapore, on June 9, 2016.PHOTOS: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

A 50-year-old logistics company manager was fined $52,000 for various offences under the Customs Act, Singapore Customs said yesterday.

Jean Heng was sentenced on Jan 8 for making incorrect declarations, breaching permit conditions, failing to deposit dutiable goods in a licensed warehouse and submitting false documents to the Singapore Customs. The manager of Tania Asia Logistics and Free Trade Zone Logistics and Transportation pleaded guilty to 12 charges, with another 41 charges taken into consideration during sentencing.

Her husband is the director of Tania Asia Logistics and the owner of Free Trade Zone Logistics and Transportation.

On June 9, 2016, Singapore Customs officers conducted a check at a warehouse at Airport Logistics Park Singapore and discovered 42 pallets of dutiable liquors and cigarettes belonging to Tania Asia Logistics that were supposed to be exported.

A total of 16,435 cartons and 11 packets of cigarettes, and 22,094 bottles of liquors were seized from the warehouse and forfeited.

Investigations revealed that in 2015, Heng had made incorrect declarations on two occasions. She also instructed staff of Free Trade Zone Logistics and Transportation to make false declarations twice that the cigarettes were exported.

By storing the cigarettes in the warehouse, Heng also breached the permit condition on five occasions, Singapore Customs said, as the warehouse was not licensed to store dutiable goods such as cigarettes.

Singapore Customs' investigations also revealed that in 2013, Heng applied for permits for the shipment of liquors through Singapore on two occasions. Some of the liquors were not exported and stored in the warehouse instead.

Heng then created fraudulent invoices and altered the supporting documents of other shipments before submitting them so as to mislead the authorities into believing that the liquors were exported.

Under the Customs Act, anyone who makes a false or incomplete declaration can be fined up to $10,000 or the equivalent amount of duties and payable tax, whichever is higher, or jailed for up to 12 months, or both.

Offenders who breach a licence or permit that was granted can be fined up to $5,000. Those who knowingly provide false information or documents can be fined up to $5,000 or jailed up to 12 months, or both.

Members of the public can report smuggling activities or evasion of duty or taxes to Singapore Customs on its hotline 1800-233-0000, e-mail customs_intelligence@customs.gov.sg or by using the Customs @ SG mobile app.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2020, with the headline 'Woman fined $52k for Customs offences'. Print Edition | Subscribe