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Sunday, October 2, 2022
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NIGHTCLUB OWNER MANIPULATES FLOWER SALES: JAILED FOR GST EVASION & MONEY LAUNDERING

On 13 September 2022, Soon Kok Khoon (“Soon”), the operator of Club Posh Entertainment LLP (“CPE”) and West Palace Entertainment (“WPE”) (collectively, the “Clubs”), has been sentenced by the Court to six months and 34 weeks’ imprisonment and was ordered to pay penalties totalling $630,861,

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He was convicted of offences involving Goods and Services Tax (GST) evasion and money laundering.

For three counts of GST evasion under the Goods and Services Tax Act and punishable under Section 62(1) of the GSTA read with Section 109 of the PC for evasion of Goods and Services Tax (“GST”), involving $210,287 of tax undercharged.

Soon was sentenced to 34 weeks’ imprisonment and ordered to pay a penalty of $630,861, which is three times the GST amount he evaded. Five other GST evasion charges were taken into consideration for this sentencing.

For three counts of money laundering of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (Chapter 65A, 2000 Revised Edition) (“CDSA”) punishable under Section 47(6)(a) of the CDSA, involving the disguise of property amounting to $3,214,389, Soon was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.

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Five other money-laundering charges were taken into consideration for this sentencing.

Manipulate Flower Sales

Investigations revealed that Soon had aided the Clubs to make false entries in their GST returns, with wilful intent to evade GST, by instructing the Clubs’ accountants (the “Accountants”) to omit reporting sales revenue of the Clubs (mainly from the sale of flower-garlands) and the output tax thereon in 2016.

Investigations also revealed that Soon had instructed his staff to divert the sales revenue of the Clubs, which were GST-registered, to two other entities (“Shell Entities”) using separate point-of-sale (“POS”) terminals linked to the Shell Entities.

These Shell Entities were not GST-registered and had no actual business activities. The undeclared revenue from the sales of the flower garlands was recorded as proceeds from fictitious sales of souvenirs in the accounts of the Shell Entities.

By doing so, Soon had thereby disguised monies which, in part, directly represented the benefits of his criminal conduct from GST evasion.

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