Customs to take case to public prosecutors against importer of NGV buses

The Customs Department has demanded Super Zara, importer of NGV buses, to settle the 40 percent unpaid import tax for the first lot of 100 NGV buses that the company falsely declared they were assembled in Malaysia or the department will take the case to the public prosecutors.

Mr Chaiyuth Kamkhun, deputy director-general of Customs Department, said Monday that Super Zara imported altogether 489 NGV buses in two lots � the first 100 and the remaining 389 in the second lot � into the country for Bestlin Group which won the contract to supply Bangkok Mass Transit Authority with 489 NGV buses at over 1.3 billion baht.

He said that Super Zara had paid import tax for the second lot of 389 buses but maintained that they were assembled in Malaysia with local contents. But for the first lot of 100 buses, the company has so far refused to pay the import tax, claiming they were assembled in Malaysia and eligible to import tax exemption under the AFTA agreement.

But the Customs Department has challenged that the whole bus fleet were actually manufactured and assembled in China, but the buses were directed to Malaysia before heading for Thailand to give an impression that they were assembled there as stipulated in the contract.

As for the 100 buses, Mr Chaiyuth said Super Zara face with two charges � tax avoidance and falsely declaring the origin of the buses. In this case, he said the company would face a fine four times the amount of tax or 1.24 million baht for each bus plus 7 percent VAT totaling 1.45 million baht for each of the 100 buses.

For the 389 buses, the company will face one charge �falsely declaring the origin of the buses.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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