Chinese Businessman Caught in LRA Anti-Fraud Net

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The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has taken Chinese businessman Shun Feng to the West Point Magisterial Court for allegedly going against the revenue code by bringing into the country goods that he did not declare to appropriate authorities.

The SHUN FENG Enterprise,  located in the commercial district of Waterside, has for this reason been searched with the goods seized base on a search warrant issued by the court against the proprietor.

According to LRA Communication Consultant, Trokon Tarr, Mr. Shun brought into the country huge quantities of goods, comprising powder soap, slippers and artificial hair for ladies, but only declared 640 packages leaving out 837 undeclared.

Failure to declare goods under the Liberian revenue code is a violation.  This means that such failure yields into defrauding government of its revenue.

Section 1608 of the Revenue Code about Untrue Declaration; Recovery Of Duty; Penalties states:  “(a) If any person makes or signs, or causes to be made or signed, or delivers or causes to be delivered to the Minister or an officer, any entry, declaration, notice, certificate or other document whatsoever, or makes any statement in answer to a question put to him by an officer which he is required by or under the provisions of this Code to answer, being a document or statement produced or made under the provisions of this code which is untrue in any material particular, he shall be guilty of an offence under this section.”

The code also notes that without prejudice to the last foregoing subsection and to any other provisions of the laws of the Republic of Liberia, if any person who commits an offence under this section does so either knowingly or recklessly, he shall be liable to a penalty of $200,000.00 and any goods in respect of which the document or statement was made or the domestic value thereof, shall be liable to forfeiture.

In view of the law, the LRA Communication Consultant said the act was intended to deny GOL her legitimate revenue intake by both the consignee and BIVAC.

According to the document, the goods arrived from China, and passed through the Freeport of Monrovia before reaching the owner.

By this, it should go through all legal channels, including declaration so as to get government’s lawful revenue paid.  Mr. Tarr said a foul play might have occurred along the way to get the Chinese businessman to get some of the goods undeclared.

Late yesterday this newspaper was informed Mr. Shun was sent to the Monrovia Central Prison where he will remain awaiting trial.

Mr. Tarr said the LRA’s anti- fraud campaign is an ongoing process to ensure that lawful government revenues are collected to enhance development.

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