Three people alleged to be major producers of fake value added tax (VAT) invoices have been arrested in Bangkok and Lop Buri
Officials move boxes containing fake VAT invoices to a press conference room Friday morning. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
The Revenue Department estimated the loss of tax revenue at 100 million baht over one year.
Two people, Supatra Boonwat and Preuksa Boonwat, were arrested in Bangkok’s Bank Kae district where they were allegedly operating a cosmetics shop as a front for their business. Another person, Pornpawee Jirayuapichaikul, was later arrested at a house in Lop Buri province. They two groups have worked separately.
The gang was charging their buyers 3-4% of the value of the forged VAT invoices, according to Prasong Poontaneat, director-general of the Revenue Department.
Mr Prasong said the suspects issued fake VAT invoices to their buyers, usually small contracting firms, who could use them to inflate their booked costs, resulting in lower declared profit and lower corporate income tax paid to the department.
The suspects also filed appropriate tax forms with the department, a process to reassure their customers that the fraudulent process was completed.
He said the suspects would face two counts of selling fake VAT invoices and illegally issuing fake invoices. They will face both criminal and civil charges. The maximum criminal punishment is seven years jail for each fake VAT invoice and a fine equal to the value of the illegally issued invoices.
The department currently has around 300,000 legal VAT invoices issuers.