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Man fined more than S$1.3m for evading taxes on vehicle imports

10:19 | 06/03/2020

 A man has been fined more than S$1.3 million for his part in evading taxes amounting to more than S$316,000 for 195 imported motor vehicles, said Singapore Customs on Monday (Mar 2).

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Sunil Kishinchand Bhojwani, 59, was sentenced last Friday after he was found guilty of conspiring with three other vehicle traders to fraudulently evade excise duty and GST for vehicles imported in Singapore between February 2015 and September 2015.

Three other charges, including two for giving false information to Singapore Customs, were taken into consideration for sentencing.

Sunil is the manager of motor vehicles importer T Kishen and Company, which imported the vehicles. The company is owned by his parents, the authorities said.

Singapore Customs officers had discovered discrepancies in the declaration of facts that were submitted by two vehicle traders for making duty or GST payments on motor vehicles.

The commercial invoices, which were submitted together with the declaration of facts, were found to be similar to those issued by an overseas supplier to T Kishen.

Investigations by customs officers revealed that Sunil had negotiated with the overseas supplier to suppress the values in the invoices for 195 motor vehicles in order to evade paying the full duty and GST.

"Additionally, as Sunil did not want any legal responsibilities should Singapore Customs discover that the values were suppressed, he engaged three motor vehicle traders to submit the declaration of facts and apply for the duty payment permits," Singapore Customs said.

"The three traders were aware that the values to be declared in the duty payment permits were suppressed, and (they) were paid S$800 to S$1,000 by Sunil for each motor vehicle imported."

One of the three motor vehicle traders have also been convicted and sentenced in court, and investigations are ongoing on the other two vehicle traders.

The total unpaid duty and GST amounted to about S$224,520 and S$91,610 respectively.

Sunil also faced two charges for giving false statements to Singapore Customs. In March 2018 and September 2018, he claimed that he could not turn up at Customs to assist with investigations because he was overseas, when he was actually in Singapore.

Huyen Trang (The channelnewsasia.com)