Singapore Customs (SC) has announced that a company director was sentenced by the State Courts on 20 January 2017 to a fine of $1,400,000 or in default 18 months’ imprisonment for importing duty-unpaid soju.
Singaporean David So, 48, pleaded guilty to four charges of importing duty-unpaid soju. Another 16 charges were taken into consideration in the sentencing.
SC stated that the total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $625,190 and $49,230 respectively.
Investigations revealed that from October 2013 to September 2015, So, the director of So Fei International Trading Pte Ltd, imported 118,000 bottles of soju from South Korea. So had intentionally misled his declaring agent into making a wrong declaration.
The soju was indicated as non-alcoholic rice beverage in the import declarations submitted to Singapore Customs, in order to evade payment of duty and GST.
“Singapore Customs will continue to conduct checks on suspicious traders and take firm action against those who attempt to evade duty and GST on liquor products,” said Ms Fauziah Sani, Head of Trade Investigation Branch, Singapore Customs.
Under the Customs Act, any person who is guilty of importing 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.
In addition to the penalties meted out by the court, offenders are also required to make good the duty and GST underpaid.
Sc noted that members of the public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of customs duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000 or email [email protected]