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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Singapore, Crime

3 online handbag retailers fined $45,500 for GST evasion

AsiaOne | Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

SINGAPORE - Three online branded handbags and accessories retailers were found guilty of fraudulent evasion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and fined a total of $45,500 on Sep 25, a Singapore Customs statement said today.

Long Siew Fong, 42, Jessie Sng Lee Ling, 41, and Yak Sow Pin, 39, were fined $31,000, 10,000, and $4,500 respectively.

Singapore Customs' investigations revealed that Long imported 2,172 handbags and accessories via 15 import permits between Oct 2010 and June 2011. She under-declared the values of these goods, and paid $9,399.58 less in GST. She pleaded guilty to five charges, and 10 other charges were taken into consideration in the sentencing.

Between Jan 2011 and Aug 2012, Sng used five import permits to import 269 handbags and accessories. She under-declared the values of these goods, and paid $1,216.47 less in GST. She pleaded guilty to two charges, and three other charges were taken into consideration in the sentencing.

In Jan 2011, Yak imported 90 branded handbags via two import permits, under-declared the values of these goods and paid $502.93 less in GST. He pleaded guilty to one charge, with another charge taken into consideration in the sentencing.

Mr Wan Boon Oon, Head of Trade Investigation Branch, Singapore Customs, said: "Fraudulent evasion of GST on the importation of goods is a serious offence under the Customs Act."

Singapore Customs said that anyone found guilty of GST evasion will be fined up to 20 times the amount of tax evaded, and/or jailed for up to two years.

Singapore Customs will also continue to remain vigilant, seek out online retailers who attempt to evade GST by under-declaring the values of their imported goods and bring them to justice.

minlee@sph.com.sg

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