$48k fine for faking export papers

A company director was on Wednesday fined $48,000 for counterfeiting documents to export the firm’s goods.

Harold Toh Thiam Luck, 46, used a stamp from the “Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation” – the former name of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation – to certify that goods exported by his firm were from Singapore.

The fake Certificates of Origin helped goods from Fukutomi Technologies, worth $300,000, to gain easier access to importing countries, said Singapore Customs in a statement on Friday.

Toh, who pleaded guilty to four charges, is the first to be prosecuted for the offence. Nine other charges were taken into consideration.

His actions, which were committed over a 27-month period from November 2008 to February 2011, flouted the Regulation of Imports and Exports Regulations. They undermined the reputation of such certificates issued here and Singapore’s reputation as a trusted global trade hub, said Singapore Customs.

Any person found guilty of counterfeiting or using any counterfeited documents covered by import and export regulations is liable to a maximum penalty of $100,000 in fines or three times the value of the goods involved, whichever is greater, and a jail term of two years. Repeat offenders face a maximum penalty of $200,000 in fines or four times the value of the goods involved depending on which is greater, and a three-year jail term.

Certificates of Origin are used by exporters to certify the country of origin of their goods. Five organisations here, including Singapore Customs and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, are authorised to issue them.

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