Woman fined $5,500 for evading GST on branded goods bought overseas

A total of 10 branded items including wallets, a handbag and a belt were found in Joei Chen's luggage.
A total of 10 branded items including wallets, a handbag and a belt were found in Joei Chen's luggage.PHOTOS: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

SINGAPORE - A 25-year-old woman has been fined for evading goods and services tax (GST) on branded goods worth over $11,710 that she had bought overseas and intended to sell in Singapore.

Joei Chen Si Hui attempted to leave Changi Airport through the customs green channel after arriving on a flight from Paris on Jan 12 when she was stopped for checks, Singapore Customs said on Wednesday (July 18).

A total of 10 branded items including wallets, a handbag and a belt were found in her luggage. Investigations revealed that Chen bought the branded goods in France, and that she had advertised some of them for sale on her social media pages.

Despite knowing that GST - amounting to $819 - would be payable on the goods, she did not declare them and was arrested.

Chen pleaded guilty to one charge of fraudulent evasion of GST on goods brought into Singapore and was fined $5,500 on Wednesday.

Under the Customs Act, those convicted of fraudulent evasion of GST can be fined up to 20 times the amount of tax evaded and jailed for up to two years.