$6m fine, jail for car trader who evaded duty, GST on nearly 2,000 vehicles , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

$6m fine, jail for car trader who evaded duty, GST on nearly 2,000 vehicles

The owner of a car trading firm was fined $6 million after evading payment of duty and goods and services tax (GST) for 1,828 vehicles he had imported.

Singapore Customs in a statement on Jan 22 said Low Han Siang, 46, was also sentenced to nine months’ jail for underpaying the additional registration fee (ARF) when registering the vehicles.

Low pleaded guilty on Jan 19 to two charges of evading duty for 1,141 vehicles, which came to $1,819,865, and to another two charges of giving incorrect information regarding the value of 738 vehicles.

During Low’s sentencing, other charges were taken into account. These were: two charges of evading the GST due on 1,141 vehicles worth $764,343, six charges of evading duty and GST for the import of another 687 vehicles worth $679,072, five charges of causing an incorrect declaration to be made, and four more charges for giving incorrect information on the value of 1,033 vehicles.

The incorrect information resulted in a loss of $16,256,433 in ARF collected.

The vehicles were imported over a four-year period between April 2017 and June 2021.

The under-declaration of the vehicles’ value resulted in a loss of duty and GST amounting to $3,263,280.

Investigations revealed that Low had instructed his employee Lee Pak How, 33, to falsify invoices with the suppressed value of the vehicles.

Lee, a Singapore permanent resident, was fined $10,000 by the State Courts on Jan 13 after he pleaded guilty to one charge of falsifying documents.

In January 2024, five people have been charged across three cases of duty and GST evasion, suppressing the declared value of vehicles imported into Singapore, making incorrect declarations or causing incorrect declarations to be made on the value of vehicles, and falsifying documents. 

A person found guilty of evading the duty or GST of imported goods can be fined up to 20 times the amount evaded, jailed for up to two years, or both.

A person found guilty of falsifying documents or making an untrue, incorrect or incomplete declaration may be fined up to $10,000 or the amount of duty and GST payable, whichever is higher, or jailed for up to 12 months, or both.

If found guilty of providing incorrect information which affects the amount of ARF chargeable, a person may be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to six months. This penalty can be doubled in the case of amalgamated charges, and the offender will also be ordered to pay the outstanding ARF owed to the Land Transport Authority.