Making false GST claims has severe consequences, such as the harsh penalties a married couple will face if convicted.
- Loo Peng Wah charged with seven counts of making false claims amounting to RM478,715
- Wife Ng Lee Foon faces four similar charges, involving RM267,123
- First offence: fine of up to 20 times amount of tax or up to 5 years’ jail, or both
- Each subsequent offence: fine of up to 40 times amount of tax or up to 7 years’ jail, or both
- Total penalty for couple: fine of up to around RM25 million or up to about 70 years’ jail, or both
- Couple investigated for alleged fraudulent GST refund claims involving nearly RM25.58 million
- Man believed to be mastermind of a scam
- Loo arrested with RM200k in various currencies, wife with RM182k
- Ng fled the country early this year
- Man’s bail RM140k, wife’s RM80k
- Couple’s bank accounts frozen
- Passports surrendered to court
- Ordered to report to Customs office every month
A married couple pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court in Ipoh today to 11 counts of making fraudulent GST claims amounting to more than RM700,000 since two years ago.
Businessman Loo Peng Wah, 50, and his wife Ng Lee Foon, 45, claimed trial after the charges were read separately to them in Cantonese before judge S Indra Nehru.
Loo was charged with seven counts of making false claims in the GST-03 statement, amounting to RM478,715 between October 2015 and April 2016, while his wife faced four similar charges, involving RM267,123, allegedly committed between January and May 2016.
Their actions were allegedly for the purpose of obtaining credit for tax input against tax output.
They were alleged to have committed the offences at the Ipoh Station, Malaysian Royal Customs Department, No 1, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.
The charge, under Section 89(1)(b) of the GST Act 2016 for submitting false claims to the Customs Department, provides a fine of up to 20 times the amount of tax, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, for the first offence, and a fine of up to 40 times the amount of tax, or up to seven years imprisonment, or both, for the second and subsequent offence, if found guilty.
The prosecution was conducted by Customs prosecuting officer S Thanaganatchya, while the couple was represented by lawyer Awtar Singh.
Thanaganatchya asked the court to impose a RM700,000 bail on Loo based on the merit of the case. She also asked for a RM100,000 bail for Ng as she had fled the country early this year.
“We faced problems tracking her down. The high bail is to ensure she will not leave the country again,” the prosecuting officer added.
Indra Nehru allowed Loo bail of RM140,000 for all seven charges, while Ng’s bail was set at RM80,000 for all four charges in one surety each.
Loo and Ng, who are being investigated for alleged fraudulent GST refund claims involving nearly RM25.58 million, have had their bank accounts frozen due to investigations under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
Allegedly the mastermind of a scam, the man had RM200,000 in various currencies on him and his wife had RM182,000 when they were arrested.
Police believe there could be more people involved in the scam.
The couple was also ordered to surrender their passport to the court and to also report themselves to the nearest Customs office every month.
The court set Oct 4 for mention.