A 30-year-old military officer living in Phnom Penh has sworn to stop buying tax-evaded vehicles after his Lexus 570 series 2015 SUV was fined more than $100,000 by Customs and Excise authorities.
He had been driving the SUV for less than a month.
Loeung Hong, who lives in Sangkat Phsar Depot 1, Tuol Kork district’s Phsar Depot I commune, posted photos on Facebook on Tuesday along with the text: “I am Loeung Hong, I swear that in the future, I will not buy tax-evaded vehicles anymore.
“I drove this SUV for almost one month and then got caught, now I have pay 100 per cent import tax plus a 10 per cent penalty totalling $102,303.”
He told KBN.news that he posted the messages and pictures on social media to warn others not to follow his example. “People must buy a car with the proper tax to avoid being fined, which leads to losing a lot of money,” he wrote.
According to KBN.news, Hong bought the car for more than $60,000, but when the Customs and Excise authorities found that it did not have a certificate of import tax he had to pay a penalty of more than $100,000 to be legal, driving up the price to more than $160,000.
The Post contacted Hong on Wednesday to ask for clarification on the origin of the car he bought, but he declined to comment.
However, he said he has deleted all the messages and pictures he posted on Tuesday morning.
The General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) of Cambodia announced on July 8 that owners of tax-evaded vehicles and goods should present themselves to negotiate their tax and excise duties and penalties.
The GDCE gave 60 days from the date of announcement to all owners to solve their cases.
If the owners do not settle on time, the cars and other goods will be put up for public auction with the revenue going to the national budget.
An official from the GDCE’s Department of Law Affairs, Auditing and Public Relations, who asked not to be named, told The Post that 846 vehicles without import tax have been seized by GDCE this year.
Vehicle owners caught by Customs officials have been issued GDCE invitations to pay the import tax plus a 10 per cent fine to make the cars legal.