IPOH: A businessman was charged at the Sessions Court here today with five counts of making fraudulent Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund claims amounting to RM363,769 between January and May last year.

On Aug 30, the accused, Loo Peng Wah, 50, had been charged with seven counts of making false claims in the GST-03 statement amounting to RM478,715 between October 2015 and April last year, while his wife, Ng Lee Foon, 45, faced four counts of similar charges involving RM267,123 allegedly committed between January and May last year.

The accused is now facing 12 charges of making false GST refund claims amounting up to RM1 million.

Loo plead not guilty today after the five charges were read separately to him in Cantonese before judge Murtazadi Amran.

He was alleged to have committed the offences at Ipoh Station, Customs Department, in Jalan Tun Abdul Razak here between December 2015 and April last year.

The charge, under Section 89(1)(b) of the GST Act 2016, provides for a fine of up to 20 times the amount of tax, up to five years’ jail, or both, for the first offence if found guilty. While for second and subsequent offences, it provides for a fine of up to 40 times the amount of tax, up to seven years’ jail, or both.

Customs prosecuting officer Mohd Safwan Fathi Yahya prosecuted, while the accused was represented by lawyers Manjeet Kaur and Dalgit Singh.

Safwan requested that the court impose a bail of RM60,000 for each charge with one surety. He also asked the court to order Loo’s passport to be surrendered and for him to report himself to the nearest Customs office every month.

Loo’s lawyers requested the court to maintain the same amount of bail according to the charges on Aug 30, which was RM140,000 to seven charges.

Murtazadi allowed Loo bail of RM20,000 for each charge (totaling RM100,000) with one surety. He was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court and report himself to the nearest Customs office every month.

The court fixed Oct 12 for re-mention of the case.

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A businessman, Loo Peng Wah, 50 was charged at the Sessions Court here today with five counts of making fraudulent Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund claims amounting to RM363,769 between January and May last year. Pix by L. Manimaran