SINGAPORE – A 40-year-old man has been convicted for offences including the laundering of fraudulent value-added tax (VAT) refunds, the police said on Saturday.
Sometime in December 2020, Kelvin Ng Wai Wah was recruited by Alan Yeo, a co-accused Singaporean, to travel to London to collect fake jewellery, and claim VAT refunds amounting to €12,035 ($17,834) for them.
Ng then flew back to Singapore with the refund amount.
Upon his arrival, he failed to declare that he was carrying into Singapore, currency whose value exceeded the prescribed amount under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, or CDSA.
Ng also delivered the VAT refunds of €12,035 to Yeo.
On Monday, Ng was convicted of one count of intentionally aiding Yeo to launder the VAT refunds, as well as one count of importing components of an imitation tobacco product.
For these offences, he was convicted and sentenced to three months and two weeks’ jail, as well as a $2,000 fine.
He also consented to having four other charges, including one count of failing to declare that he was carrying into Singapore physical currency whose value exceeded the prescribed amount under CDSA, to be taken into consideration for sentencing.
For aiding Yeo to launder the fraudulent VAT refunds, Ng could have been fined up to $500,000, or jailed for up to 10 years, or both.
For failing to declare that he was carrying into Singapore physical currency whose value exceeded the prescribed amount under CDSA, Ng could have been fined up to $50,000, jailed up to three years, or both.
“Laundering proceeds from criminal activities as well as claiming tax refunds from overseas authorities through fraudulent means are serious offences,” said the police. “The authorities will not hesitate to take action against individuals who commit such offences.”
To avoid being implicated in such criminal activities, members of the public should reject dubious job offers to travel for the purpose of claiming sales tax refunds from overseas authorities, advised the police.
It also reminded the public of the statutory requirement to declare the physical movement of any physical currency or bearer negotiable instrument exceeding $20,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currency), into or out of Singapore.
In May, a Singaporean man was jailed for four months and two weeks and fined $6,000 fine for engaging in a conspiracy to launder fraudulent VAT refunds from the United Kingdom.
He was also convicted for breaching the customs declaration obligation under the Goods and Services Tax Act.
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/singaporean-jailed-fined-for-laundering-fraudulent-vat-refunds-from-the-uk Singaporean jailed, fined for laundering fraudulent VAT refunds from the UK