The Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) seeks firm legal actions from the Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) and Finance Ministry against an alleged Rs.160 million import duty fraud committed in importing 13 Audi A5 motor vehicles by a particular vehicle importer.
Issuing a statement to the media yesterday, the CMTA revealed that the organisation was made aware that 13 units of Audi A5 motor vehicles were imported to the country under the Customs Declaration number CBMV1 2019 I 4730, wrongfully declaring as 1,400 CC petrol engine cars, instead of 2,000 CC.
“This mis-declaration result in an approximate duty loss to the Government of Sri Lanka of Rs.160 million and the loss of revenue per vehicle is approximately Rs.12.3 million,” the statement said.
The CMTA, along with the Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL), has brought this anomaly to the notice of the SLC director general on September 30, 2019. Further, the finance minister was also informed via a letter on October 22.
“Whilst we have not received a response to our letter, the SLC has visited the local agent for Audi, who has showed them proof on an Audi computer database that confirms the specification of the vehicles imported were not as declared.
The SLC is questioning the authority of the local agent for Audi motor vehicles to provide this information. The local agent has subsequently reconfirmed the information of 13 such units to the SLC in writing,” the CMTA stated.
Hence, the association appealed to the SLC and Finance Ministry to take firm actions against the perpetrators, including the importer of the particular vehicles and SLC officials, who released these vehicles fraudulently or carelessly.
Further, the CMTA warned the public to be wary of purchasing the vehicles that are under investigation as they could be seized by the SLC at any time.