Tongan companies investigated over importing goods under false name

Companies which trick the Ministry of Customs by importing goods into the country using fake names have been targeted by customs officers in the biggest ever crackdown on the fraud.

The Ministry said it has treated the “matter very seriously” and it continued to closely monitor similar illegal activities.

The Ministry’s CEO Kulufeinga Anisi Bloomfield said this evening he would not go into details as the investigation “is still in progress”.

“Will advise you as soon as everything is finalised”, he said.

The investigation comes after customs officers uncovered incidents of companies importing goods under what it described as “alternate” or “incorrect company names”.

It said this was in direct violation of the Customs & Excise Management Act 2007.

The Ministry has reminded the business community that any companies or entities found to be carrying out similar illegal activities will be subjected to severe sanctions, including substantial financial penalties.

“The revenue that Customs collects belongs to the people of Tonga and businesses that profit here must contribute their fair share to our development, any businesses that try to avoid payment will be identified and punished’.

The Ministry has called on businesses that involved in the illegal activities to come forward before they are identified by the investigators.

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