Two former Singapore Customs officers were charged in court on Friday for allegedly pocketing Goods and Services Tax (GST) tourist refunds. In a joint press release, the Singapore Customs, Singapore Police Force and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), which conducted a joint investigation, said that Li Xiangqing faces 54 charges after he allegedly took GST tourist refunds amounting to S$52,441.17.
According to the authorities, the other officer, who was identified as Pang Yeow Biah, faces 43 charges after she allegedly pocketed S$16,015.86 of GST refunds, and another 38 charges for spending S$10,553 of the amount.
The court documents showed that the 34-year-old Li allegedly took the money between November 2011 and Aug 2012, while, Pang allegedly did so between September 2012 and September 2014.
The press release added that both of them were working at Changi Airport's GST Refund Inspection Counter at that time and were mainly tasked with processing GST refund claims made by tourists leaving Singapore.
But, they would reject some tourists' claims and use those details to process the GST refunds into their own credit card, or credit cards that were under their control. The pair stopped working for Singapore Customs in March 2015.
Reports said that one of them used the money to repay credit card debts.
If convicted, the suspects may be jailed for up to seven years in jail and fine of up to three times the amount pocketed. There will be an additional fine of up to S$10,000 as well.
The case will next be mentioned on Oct 13.