Trio fined over $200,000 each for dealing in duty-unpaid liquor
Three people were fined over $600,000 in total for dealing in duty-unpaid liquor last Wednesday, Singapore Customs said on Tuesday.
Singaporean Wang Benshi was fined $220,000, while his wife Yan Liping, a permanent resident, and her brother Yan Bingzeng, a Chinese national, were fined $203,000 each.
The trio were nabbed after the authorities seized 259 bottles of contraband liquor from them, amounting to $28,317 in evaded duty and goods and services tax (GST).
Yan Bingzeng will serve a 53-day jail term in lieu of paying his fine.
The group were busted in an operation by Singapore Customs officers on May 11, near Woodlands Avenue 6, the agency said.
Its officers caught Yan Liping carrying two red plastic bags while Yan Bingzeng pushed two trolleys laden with boxes at the lift lobby of a residential block. The officers uncovered 54 bottles of duty-unpaid liquor.
Wang then arrived at the lift lobby and admitted to owning the liquor. Officers then searched their home and discovered 205 more bottles of duty-unpaid liquor.
The three were then arrested.
Investigations revealed that Wang had been buying duty-unpaid liquor since 2021 for his father’s consumption, from a supplier on social media. But this year, he took over his supplier’s stock and began selling the booze himself.
He stored his stock in his house and engaged his wife and brother-in-law to liaise with buyers on the sale and delivery of the spirits. Customers would collect their duty-unpaid liquor from Yan Liping at the foot of her block while Yan Bingzeng would go out and deliver orders.
“Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act,” said Singapore Customs.
Those found guilty can be fined up to 20 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, jailed for up to two years, or both.
Members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report these illegal activities.