VCN - In the process of verification, and collection of tax debts of a company owned by a foreigner, Customs Branch at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department) detected that the owner of the company is related to two other companies which have signs of smuggling and tax fraud.
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Ho Chi Minh City Customs officers check goods as gifts and donations at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Photo: T.H.
Price deduction, tax evasion
In 2016, discovering that Minh Minh Tam Electronics Distribution Service Company Limited (370 Vo Van Tan Street, Ward 5, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City – referred as Minh Minh Tam Company) imported Ipad, laptop, video cards, memory cards, computer power supplies at very low declared prices, Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch issued a decision on post-customs clearance audit. However, after many times of inviting the company’s representatives to the Customs office to clarify suspicion of the declared prices, the company’s representatives had not come.
Through an investigation at the Public Security of Ward 5, District 3 where the company’s headquarters is located, the Customs found that the company is still operating, so Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch has sent an invitation letter to the company’s director Mr. Le Truong An to come the Customs office for settlement, but he has not replied. Checking information on the certificate of business registration, the owner of Minh Minh Tam Company is Mr. NG JIN ONN, a Malaysian citizen, but he has left Vietnam.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch has issued a decision on imposing a tax amount of over VND 3.7 billion. However, the company has not paid the tax, the Branch has taken measures to urge recovery of tax debts in inefficiency due to Minh Minh Tam Company has stopped operating at the registered business address. The Branch has taken coercive measures to stop Customs procedures; and notified and proposed the Tax Agency and the Ho Chi Minh City Planning and Investment Department to take the coercive measure of notifying invoices no longer valid and revoking the business registration certificate of Minh Minh Tam Company.
At the same time, the Customs Branch informed the Import and Export Duties Division (HCMC Customs Department) to publicize this case on mass media and transfer its dossiers to the Public Security to investigate the company’s director.
According to Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch, while verifying and collecting debts of Minh Minh Tam Company, the Customs detected Quynh Tam Company importing a shipment under Customs declaration number 101286862020 / A11 dated 2nd March 2017. The shipment was declared as 50 of Apple iPhone 7 Plus, worth nearly US$ 310,000. The consignee was changed from Day and Night Distribution Company Limited to Quynh Tam Company under bill of lading No. 618-42563975, VFS1702-034 dated 20th February 2017.
Notably, the Day and Night Distribution Company Limited (456/20 Cao Thang noi dai, Ward 12, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City) is a key company that is closely monitored by Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch for its frequent low import price declarations. At the same time, Police Investigation Force under Public Security of Ho Chi Minh City arrested Nguyen Hoang Anh and his accomplice for smuggling. The investigation showed that Nguyen Hoang Anh Khoa used the legal entity of Day and Night Distribution Company Limited to buy iPhones in Singapore and then hired transporters to illegally transport to Vietnam for unlawful consumption and profiting
It is worth mentioning that Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch realized that Day and Night Distribution Company Limited, Quynh Tam Company and Minh Minh Tam Company are owned by Mr. NG JIN ONN, a Malaysian citizen. At the request of the Police Authority, the Customs office is providing the dossiers related to the imports of these three companies to the police.
It was realized that Quynh Tam Company and Minh Minh Tam Company which have tax debts, have the same owner, Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch invited Mr. Nguyen Van Huu, director, and Mr. NG JIN ONN, owner of Quynh Tam Company, to work with Customs to provide information for price ruling for the above shipment and clarify the relationship of the two companies. At the meeting, Mr. Nguyen Van Huu said he was hired by NG JIN ONN as director and legal representative of the company. He did not directly sign the sales contract and knew nothing about the documents related to the shipment of Quynh Tam Company's declaration 101286862020 / A11. All transaction information, documents and vouchers of the shipment are implemented by the accounting division, often called But Huy.
When comparing the signature of Mr. Nguyen Van Huu, Director of Quynh Tam Company on the contract, P / O (the purchasing order) with the signature on the minutes at the meeting with the Customs, they are different. At the meeting with the Customs, Nguyen Van Huu also declared that he did not sign the foreign trade contract and the documents provided to the Customs and he would contact NG JIN ONN and request him to visit the Customs, but until now, this has not been done.
However, on 4th August 2017, Quynh Tam Company sent representatives to work with Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch to solve problems related to the import shipment of mobile phones. A lawyer represented the company under the authorization of Nguyen Van Huu said that at the current time, Mr. NG JINN ONN has transferred his entire capital to Mr. Nguyen Van Huu - who was hired as director. The company has also applied for registration of 15th change of business registration certificate on 24th July 2017 with the change of owner information from Mr. NG JIN ONN, Malaysian citizen into Mr. Nguyen Van Huu. At the same time, the lawyer assumed that with the new owner Nguyen Van Huu, Quynh Tam Company is no longer related to tax debts of Minh Minh Tam Company. Currently, Quynh Tam Company is unable to pay for the mobile phone shipment so it proposes to refuse to receive the shipment and return it to the seller.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch does not accept the proposal and has sent a notification of the suspicion of declared value and an invitation to the company’s director for price ruling. However, at the minutes with the Customs, despite signing the minutes, the director said that he did not directly sign the contract of sale and knew nothing about the documents related to the shipment under Quynh Tam Company’s declaration 101286862020/A11. The Branch has issued a decision to impose tax, but so far, the company has not paid the tax and carry out procedures for this shipment.
Working with Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Investment on the registration process of change of business certificates of 3 companies: Minh Minh Tam Company, Quynh Tam Company, Day and Night related to Mr. NG JIN ONN, the Customs said the signature of NGN JIN ONN on the documents submitted to the Department of Planning and Investment to register the change of business information is different from his signature on the passport and the employment contract to hire Mr. Huu as the director. Especially, the signature of Mr. NG JIN ONN in the registration application for the 15th change on 24th July 2017 of Quynh Tam Company is different from his signature on the passport as well as in the employment contract to hire Mr. Nguyen Van Huu as the director. However, Mr. NG JIN ONN is a foreigner who has left Vietnam, it is impossible to determine the authenticity of the signature. Currently, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department is coordinating with relevant units to handle the case
On 28th September 2017, the General Department of Customs sent an official dispatch requesting for taking coercive measures "Distraint of properties, auction of distrained properties" for the shipment of mobile phones of Quynh Tam Company because Minh Minh Tam Company had tax debts for 31 tax declarations with a total amount of over VND5.1 billion (tax debts at Tan Son Nhat International Airport's customs department were VND 3.7 billion and at Sai Gon Port Zone IV Customs Branch were VND 1.4 billion). This is a complicated and foreign-related case, involving many areas beyond the ability of verification, investigation and competence of the Branch, therefore, the Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch proposed that Ho Chi Minh City Customs should report the case to the General Department of Customs to direct the departments and coordinate with the competent forces to further investigate, verify and strengthen the legal basis to take coercive measures by “confiscating money and other properties of persons who are enforced to implement tax administrative decisions held by other organizations or individuals" according to regulations.
By Le Thu/ Huyen Trang