Four Indians jailed for fraud in Singapore

Indo Asian News Service

Singapore, Oct 15 (IANS) Four Indian nationals in Singapore were Wednesday given jail terms ranging between three and four years for fraudulent Goods and Services Tax (GST) tourist refund claims of about $570,000.

They were ordered to pay penalties equivalent to three times the amount of tax undercharged, The Strait Times reported.

Sundar Panneer Selvam, 46, Baskaran Uthirapathy, 28, Pounraj Natarajan, 25, and Gobi Raman, 31, were held guilty for money laundering.

Sundar, Baskaran and Pounraj also face bribery charges.

Sundar was given a four-year jail term and ordered to pay a penalty of $292,977; Baskaran's sentence was three and a half years and a penalty of $237,596; Pounraj got 45 months and a $201,130 penalty; and Gobi, three years and a $202,045 penalty.

The four were among six charged last month. The cases against former higher customs officer Mohamed Yusof Abdul Rahman, 67, and sales executive Lim Pheck Aun, 50, are still pending.

Offences came to light when the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) detected several suspicious GST refund claims through the electronic tourist refund scheme last year.

Subsequent investigations by IRAS, Singapore Customs and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau showed fraudulent claims of about $570,000 in GST refunds by the group between September 2012 and January this year.