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Sole Director Convicted And Sentenced For Gst Evasion And Money Laundering Offences

On 18 December 2023, Adi Djusman (“Adi”), a 59-year-old sole director of Multi-Eka Trading Pte Ltd (“MTPL”) and Sui Jaya Pte Ltd (“SJPL”) was sentenced by the Court to a total of three years’ imprisonment, and ordered to pay $1,980,344.91 in penalties upon conviction of offences involving Goods & Services Tax (GST) evasion and money laundering.

For 16 counts of GST evasion under section 62(1)(b) and section 62(1)(c) of the Goods and Services Tax Act involving $660,114.97 of fraudulent GST refunds, Adi was sentenced to a total of 84 weeks’ imprisonment, and ordered to pay a penalty of $1,980,344.91, representing thrice the GST amount he evaded. 33 other GST evasion charges were taken into consideration for this sentencing.

For four counts of money laundering of $523,459.90 by transferring the fraudulent GST refunds overseas and by using the fraudulent GST refunds to top up his CPF account, Adi was sentenced to a total of 15 months’ imprisonment. Six other money laundering charges were taken into consideration for this sentencing.

Case highlights

Despite not conducting any businesses, Adi used fictitious invoices and listings to submit 20 GST returns for MTPL between 1 Jan 2015 and 31 Dec 2019 and 21 GST returns for SJPL between 1 Jan 2015 and 31 Jan 2020. This resulted in IRAS making payments to MTLP and SJPL, which should not have been made. 

Tax investigations subsequently revealed that both MTPL and SJPL were not conducting any business during their respective periods of refund claims. All GST returns filed during these periods were false. Additionally, Adi submitted false invoices and listings to IRAS officers during the initial enquiry period.

Investigations also revealed that Adi was residing in China during the period of his offences and had no known sources of income. The fraudulent GST refunds were credited into MTPL’s and SJPL’s Singapore bank accounts on a quarterly basis between 1 January 2015 and 31 January 2020. Around the end of every quarter, Adi would return to Singapore, during which time he would engage the services of cross-border money transfer service providers to remit the fraudulent GST refunds to bank accounts belonging to him and his wife in China. Adi also used a portion of his GST refunds to make contributions to his CPF account under SJPL’s name to create a facade that SJPL had business operations. In so doing, Adi had transferred and removed the benefits of his criminal conduct through GST evasion from Singapore – this constitutes the money laundering offences.  

Uncovering the offences

This case was uncovered through one of the many regular compliance programmes IRAS conducted across various industries to ensure tax compliance by individuals and businesses. Using data analytics and advanced statistical tools, IRAS was able to verify tax reporting and detect anomalies. 
Severe Penalties for GST Evasion

It is a serious offence to wilfully submit false GST returns by overstating any input tax, understating any output tax or including fictitious claims. Upon conviction, offenders face a penalty of three times the amount of tax undercharged, in addition to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or both.

With the enhanced sentencing framework for GST evasion effective since 2022, offenders will face a stiffer imprisonment sentence which takes into account the harm caused by the offender and his or her culpability, including the quantum of GST evaded, the degree of planning and premeditation and sustained period of offending. 

Money Laundering

It is an offence under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act for any person to conceal, disguise, transfer, convert, remove from jurisdiction, acquire, possess, or use benefits derived from criminal conduct. Upon conviction, offenders are liable to be punished with a fine not exceeding $500,000, or an imprisonment term not exceeding 10 years, or both. 

Singapore takes a serious view on fraudulent GST refund claims and related money laundering activities and will not hesitate to take a stern enforcement action against any individuals who commit these offences and persons who facilitate them.

Reporting of Malpractices

Businesses or individuals are encouraged to immediately report malpractices. IRAS will treat such reports as mitigating factors when considering the action to be taken. Those who wish to report malpractices can write to:

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
Investigation & Forensics Division
55 Newton Road, Revenue House
Singapore 307987

Cash Rewards for Informants

A reward based on 15% of the tax recovered, capped at $100,000, would be given to informants if the information and/or documents provided lead to a recovery of tax that would have otherwise been lost. All payments are at the discretion of the Comptroller. IRAS will ensure that the identities of informants are kept strictly confidential. 


19 December 2023 @ 10:30 AM

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