Netizen 24 SGP: Man fined $7k for using tourist to help him get GST refunds for Tiffany diamond ring and Prada bag

By On October 09, 2017

Man fined $7k for using tourist to help him get GST refunds for Tiffany diamond ring and Prada bag

Photo: Tori Rector/Flickr

One man â€" in his attempt to cheat the system and save a small percentage of his spendings at high-end brands with illegal GST refunds â€" ended up realizing all that trouble he went through wasn’t worth it when he was fined an even higher amount than what he “saved”.

Chinese national Bai Jiaming, a research fellow at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, was convicted today of two counts of Goods and Services Tax refund fraud and fined S$7,000 (US$5,128), reported TODAY. The 31-year-old was charged on Friday for using tourist Zhang Yaoqun, the 61-year-old father of his colleague, to help him claim GST refunds for two items, according to a statement by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras).

On March 11, armed with a one-way ticket to Jakarta, Bai headed to Changi Airport with both Zhangs to make the GST refund claims. But he was stopped and eventually detained with both items for suspected misuse of a boarding pass when he attempted to exit the arrival area of Terminal 3.

For a Tiffany & Co diamond ring that Bai bought at S$23,000 (US$16,851), Zhang claimed a GST refund of S$1,543.93 (US$1,131). Bai also confessed that he obtained a Prada bag from Zhang after a GST refund of S$1,791.87 (US$1,312) was claimed on both items, noted The Straits Times.

Obviously Bai, who was working in Singapore, was not a tourist and therefore did not qualify for GST refund under the Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme.

If he defaults on the fine, he will have to serve out a four-week imprisonment term. As for the Zhangs, they were charged on Jul 28 and their cases are still pending.

Iras said that it takes a serious view of anyone who makes false declarations to get GST refunds under the tourist refund scheme. If convicted, offenders can be fined a maximum of S$5,000 (US$3,664) and, in default of payment, be jailed up to six months.


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