Man fined S$418,000 for evading taxes and failing to keep records of vehicle imports

2nd October 2020 –

SINGAPORE: A man has been fined S$418,000 for evading taxes and failing to keep documents and records related to motor vehicle imports, said Singapore Customs on Friday (Oct 2).

Tan Wee Leng, 43, the sole proprietor of Zion Auto imports, was sentenced on Thursday after he was found guilty of conspiring with three other motor vehicle traders to evade excise duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) relating to vehicles imported into Singapore. 

He was also found guilty of failing to keep documents and records related to the imports “without reasonable excuse”.

Tan pleaded guilty to two charges while another three charges were taken into consideration.

Prior to the sentencing, Tan had voluntarily surrendered S$34,000 of profits gained from his “criminal conduct”, Singapore Customs said.

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

Investigations revealed that Tan was engaged by Sunil Kishinchand Bhojwani of T Kishen and Company to apply for duty payment permits with suppressed values for 56 motor vehicles between March and May 2015.

In return, Tan was paid up to S$2,000 for each permit.

The authorities also found that Tan had declared suppressed values of an additional 37 motor vehicles meant for another car retail business between March and July 2015.

The business, Zion Auto Gallery, was registered under his wife.

The total unpaid duty amounted to about S$117,060 and GST of about S$49,160.

Tan also faced another charge for failing to retain documents and records related to the motor vehicle imports, said Singapore Customs.

“During the investigations, Tan informed officers that the trade documents relating to Zion Auto Imports were misplaced and he made no attempts to recover the lost documents,” it added.

Sunil was convicted and fined more than S$1.3 million on Feb 28, 2020. Tang Luan Yew, a motor vehicle trader who was also engaged by Sunil to fraudulently evade duty and GST was found guilty and sentenced on Sep 21, 2017.

Investigations are ongoing for a third motor vehicle trader, said the authorities.

File photo of traffic in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)


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