Published on Monday, 03 December 2012 05:50
Shwe Than Lwin-owned vessel loaded 113 tonnes of petrol illegally is seen in Mon State.(Photo-EMG)
No legal action was reportedly taken against a giant import company for illegal import of petrol. Instead, the company will only be fined in line with customs procedures, officials from the Customs Department say.
Authorities confiscated 113 tonnes of petrol illegally imported by a vessel owned by Shwe Than Lwin, in Mon State, on November 5.
The company reportedly obtained a permit from the Ministry of Commerce to import only 75 tonnes of petrol but it imported 113 tonnes in excess of the permit.
The illegally imported petrol will be returned to the company after it has paid fines fixed by the department, it was learnt.
“We will take action for the quantity that was imported beyond the permit, in accordance with customs procedures. Taking action against the company is not the responsibility of our department. It is up to the Home Affairs Ministry. According to our procedures, companies are fined one or two times the value of CIF of the extra amount they have imported. If they accept to pay the fine, their cargo will be returned. If they are not satisfied, the matter can be brought to the Customs Appeal Court. If they do not reply, we will auction the seized cargoes according to the procedures,” a customs officer, who asked not be named, said.
After the seizure of the oil, an investigation team from Mon state government touched upon the case on November 8 and submitted it to the office of the Head of State Customs Department on November 9.
A shipping manifest showed that the illegally imported oil was carried by Shwe Thin Hyman Vessel owned by Shwe Than Lwin Co, which runs three times a month, carrying imported oil.
The case was dealt with by the Finance and Revenue Ministry, the Commerce Ministry and Home Affairs Ministry.
However, the Home Affairs Ministry has released no details about action to be taken against the company.
“It is not fair. Shwe Than Lwin Company faces only fines. If they [authorities] take severe action against other proprietors like us for tax avoidance or illegal imports, we will respond by asking if there are two laws. We will keep a record of the case,” commented a businessman engaged in oil import.
Shwe Than Lwin Company runs private filling stations in Myanmar.
Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has permitted Shwe Than Lwin Co to enter the beer, cigarette, and soft drinks businesses.
The company has two subsidiaries – Than Lwin Ayeyar Industrial Production & Construction Co and Global Alliance Industrial & Production Co – which will enter the beer and soft drinks, and cigarette sectors, respectively.
Shwe Than Lwin Co also owns Sky Net media, construction, transportation, trading, mining, agriculture, industrial, and other businesses, and the company has a bad reputation for cronyism among the public.
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