PUTRAJAYA: More than 100 car importers and individuals had their homes and offices raided by a special task force set up to recover undeclared duties amounting to hundreds of millions of ringgit.
The task force also froze more than 300 related bank accounts under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (Amlatfa).
The task force led by the Inland Revenue Board and comprising the Customs Department, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara, Auditor-General's Department, Companies Commission of Malaysia and Cyber Security Malaysia raided 78 car importing companies, the residences of 59 company directors as well as 32 audit firms nationwide since last Thursday.
The Attorney-General's Chambers, which is overseeing investigations, said there were “strong reasons” to believe that those raided were involved in under-declaration of Customs duties, tax evasion, misuse of approved permits, falsifying documents, money-laundering and corruption.
“The supervised and coordinated raids is aimed at identifying and collecting undeclared Customs duties and tax due to the Government.
“The task force will take stringent action against individuals and corporations involved as these activities present a significant threat to the nation's economy and reputation,” the A-G said in a statement yesterday.
The A-G said the failure to furnish returns, submitting incorrect returns and wilful tax evasion under the Income Tax Act have been gazetted as serious offences under the Amlatfa.
“We do appreciate that problems may occur and with this in mind, we will react and release the accounts when genuine appeals are made in respect of the operational part of their business,” the A-G said.
It also said it was grateful and welcomed the offer of cooperation by the Malay Car Importers and Dealers Associations and appreciated their concerns raised on these operations.
The A-G added that officers involved in the raids were directed to act professionally and that there was no evidence so far to suggest otherwise.
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