The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has suspended the licenses of five businesses in three districts for alleged corrupt practices. The ACC’s investigation found that the business entities allegedly evaded taxes by bribing Customs officials.
As per the investigation, Ajay Enterprise in Phuentshogling allegedly bribed Customs Inspectors on duty at the Mini Dry Port. The proprietor was found to have made several unexplained money transfers directly or indirectly to Customs officials. The investigation revealed that the payments were made to avoid declaring goods by the importer.
Another business entity in Phuentshogling, the Sonam Dolma Enterprise was also found to have allegedly bribed customs inspectors for tax evasion and non-declaration of goods at the point of entry.
According to the ACC, the Elite Enterprise in Thimphu had allegedly bribed a customs inspector for clearing goods of third-country imports from the MDP. The ACC said, although all goods imported were taxable, the importer intentionally evaded possible taxes.
The investigation also found that Gopal Tshongkhang and Powdel Tshongkhang in Dagana, which mostly dealt with the import of betel nuts and leaves, were allegedly involved in multiple instances of bribing officials to evade taxes. They were also found to have allegedly forged documents and engaged in other deceptive practices. Although the entities are restricted from doing business, the commission has given them a month to clear their existing stock.
The ACC is in the process of gathering all reports and will soon forward the case to the Office of the Attorney General.
Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen
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