Three more have their day in court over luxury car tax fraud

THREE individuals allegedly involved in a syndicate responsible for illicitly reducing duties on luxury cars in Langkawi, resulting in a staggering loss of over RM33 mil in taxes for the government, have been charged in the Alor Setar Sessions Court, Kedah today (Feb 1).

Ong Seng Aun, 59, Hoo Zui Bok, 47, and Ooi Liang Sheng, 36, were fined RM5,000 each after they pleaded guilty to the charge before Judge Rohatul Akmar Abdullah.

They were charged under Section 471 of the Penal Code with using as genuine forged documents, namely Customs Form for Declaration of Imported Goods (K1) at the Langkawi District Customs Office, Tanjung Lembung Wharf, Langkawi, between April 21 and Oct 2, 2021.

Meanwhile, the court also fined Ooi RM5,000 after he pleaded guilty to a charge of using a false declaration letter for the same purpose at the same place on Nov 4, 2018, at the same place.

The prosecution was handled by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Deputy Public Prosecutor Nurul Atiqah Mohamad Alias ​​and MACC investigating officer Muhamad Taufik Awaludin, while Ong and Ooi were represented by lawyer Mohd Hakim Hamran with Hoo being represented by lawyer R. Sheshalini.

In July 2023, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) launched the “Op Eagle” after the reduction of customs duty collection from 2012 to 2021 in Langkawi came to light.

According to the 2022 Auditor General’s Report (LKAN 2022), there was a leakage of over RM72 mil in customs duty collection involving over 100 luxury vehicles of various brands including Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Bentley, McLaren, and Rolls Royce.

The special operation identified a syndicate colluding with luxury car owners seeking exemptions and reductions in customs duties, despite being ineligible. The syndicate had allegedly submitted falsified statutory declarations of vehicle ownerships to the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

Through this operation, MACC also detected corruption and misconduct at the Duty-Free Centre, subsequently tracing back 100 luxury cars suspected of evading customs duty, the report read. – Feb 1, 2024


Main pic credit: Bernama

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