According to the GMANews.TV, oil giant Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. is facing a multi-billion-peso technical smuggling complaint the Bureau of Customs lodged Thursday before the Department of Justice (DOJ), the biggest smuggling case in the Philippine history.
Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said the oil firm wrongfully declared and classified petroleum importations from August 2005 to May 2009, defrauding the government of about P24.4 billion in excise and value-added taxes. The smuggling suit against Pilipinas Shell is touted as the “biggest" slapped on an oil firm in Philippine history, Alvarez said. GMANews.TV tried to reach Pilipinas Shell vice president for communications Roberto Kanapi to comment on the matter, but could not contact him as of posting time. In news briefing at the DOJ, Alvarez said Shell declared 52 import entries of unleaded gasoline as tetrapropylene which is not subject to excise tax under the National Internal Revenue Code. The oil firm also imported unleaded premium gasoline from August 2005 to December 2008. However, Shell declared the imported product as catalytic cracked gasoline and light catalytic cracked gasoline. The original products were subject to P2.7 billion in excise and value-added taxes, according to the bureau.
Pilipinas Shell is also required to pay an 800-percent surcharge or P21.7 billion for fraud in the act of misdeclararing and misclassifying its imports. “The total amount the Bureau of Customs is demanding from Pilipinas Shell sums up to P24.4 billion," said Alvarez. The P24.4-billion suit is separate from the P7.3-billion tax case the oil firm is already facing before the Court of Tax Appeals.
This so very embarassing to the Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. if the company is proven to be guilty of the complaint.
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