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Singapore Customs raids largest complex of car importers and dealerships - Lim kopi


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SINGAPORE - In a move that set the motor industry talking, Customs officers raided Singapore's biggest vehicle complex on Sept 2.

Singapore Customs said it had inspected a licensed warehouse facility at 60 Jalan Lam Huat in the Sungei Kadut area - the address of Carros Centre, a 2.3 million sq ft multi-storey complex housing several car importers and used car dealerships.

"Investigations are ongoing," said a Singapore Customs spokesman. It is not the practice of the authority - or any authority dealing in criminal or commercial investigations - to furnish details of cases until charges are meted out.

The motor industry has, in the past few decades, been taken to task repeatedly for underdeclaring the value of cars imported to Singapore, and therefore underpaying taxes due.

Several parties - from authorised agents to parallel importers - have been convicted, fined or jailed for these tax evasion offences, which amounted to several hundreds of millions in unpaid taxes.

Photos of an area within the facility cordoned off by Singapore Customs were circulating on messaging services on the afternoon of Sept 13.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, Singapore Customs confirmed that the photos show the premises of the licensed warehouse when it was under inspection.

They include one showing barricades blocking access to an area marked under a signage that says "Cars and Coffee".

Cars and Coffee Singapore is a major parallel importer of high-end cars, with a showroom on the sixth floor of Carros Centre. Its sole shareholder is Mr Chen Xiaoxuan, a Singapore citizen.

When ST called its showroom on Sept 13, Cars and Coffee denied knowledge of the circulated photos and said it was continuing to conduct "business as usual".

There were also no signs of the cordons at the premises when ST visited that evening.

On Sept 14, the company announced on its Facebook page that there was a "false news story circulating", and that it was taking "legal action against individuals who are spreading the false statements".

Licensed warehouses store dutiable goods such as alcohol, tobacco, motor vehicles and fuels for an indefinite period. However, duties must be paid before the goods can leave the warehouse.

One dealer, who has been in the trade for more than 20 years, said he was not surprised by the raid, given that operations from Singapore Customs do happen from time to time.

Such raids are probably to make sure that importers are "not trying anything funny", he added.

Car importers that underdeclare the value of imported cars can price their cars lower than their competitors and still maintain their profit margin.

In 2009, a prominent parallel importer was handed a record fine of $10.8 million for evading duty and taxes on more than 2,500 cars. Mr Tay Kien Chuan, then 33, who owned 8th Gear, could not pay the fine and was jailed for 8½ years instead.

 

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53 minutes ago, Mockngbrd said:

ST One Digital Package - Monthly

$9.90 $0.99/month

No contract

$0.99/month for the first 3 months, $9.90/month thereafter. T&Cs apply.

Not free leh?

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1 minute ago, Vratenza said:

The article did not say if any of the dealers there or C&C are screwed.....

lawyers scrubbed the article lah... u see the way it just left you hanging lol

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3 minutes ago, Vratenza said:

The article did not say if any of the dealers there or C&C are screwed.....

 

1 minute ago, yishunite said:

lawyers scrubbed the article lah... u see the way it just left you hanging lol

“"Investigations are ongoing," said a Singapore Customs spokesman. It is not the practice of the authority - or any authority dealing in criminal or commercial investigations - to furnish details of cases until charges are meted out.”

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19 minutes ago, Fitvip said:

ST One Digital Package - Monthly

$9.90 $0.99/month

No contract

$0.99/month for the first 3 months, $9.90/month thereafter. T&Cs apply.

Not free leh?

Click my link, there will be a popup overlay to read full article by just registering free acc

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Just now, Mockngbrd said:

Oh even with my link? Last time can get to read with just registering free acc 

Ya, this is taken from your link.😊

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I wonder why ST article need to emphasis that the sole shareholder is a citizen. 

Is it because many people will assume this guys is a PRC because of the name? 😁

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Just now, Rickster said:

I wonder why ST article need to emphasis that the sole shareholder is a citizen. 

Is it because many people will assume this guys is a PRC because of the name? 😁

Abuden🤭

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Just now, Rickster said:

I wonder why ST article need to emphasis that the sole shareholder is a citizen. 

Is it because many people will assume this guys is a PRC because of the name? 😁

cos got internets hearsay he is some other nationality and zao SG liao


ANYWAY, pls like my thread so I can get my NTUC voucher

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