First case of fraudulent GST claims through eTRS

24 December 2012

On 21 December 2012, two Philippine citizens were found guilty of making false GST claims through the electronic tourist refund scheme (eTRS).

Shadadpuri Jerome Dasigao (Jerome), a customer service assistant with Goldheart Jewellery Pte Ltd’s outlet at the ION Orchard Shopping Centre was the mastermind behind the fraudulent scheme.

Using unauthorised means to gain access to the computer system, Jerome had printed hardcopy receipts of genuine transactions to generate false eTRS tickets. False receipts were given to his Filipino accomplices to make claims for GST refunds at Changi airport. Fake jewellery that matched the description of the jewellery printed on the receipts were also purchased. On 30 October 2012, Naguit Jennifer Cumadre (Jennifer), one of the accomplices, attempted to make a GST refund claim via the eTRS self-help kiosk.

About $37,000 GST refunds were claimed over 20 occasions by eight of his accomplices between November 2011 and October 2012.

Both Jerome and Jennifer pleaded guilty to charges of forging receipts and generating false electronic tourist refund scheme (eTRS) tickets to claim GST.

Jerome was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment and a penalty of $43,129.68, which is three times of the amount of tax defrauded. Jennifer was ordered to pay a penalty of $6,131.61 and a fine of $2,000 or, in default, eight days’ imprisonment.

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)