Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

SFO concerns of duty evasion as Zespri investigation closes

7 November 2017


SFO concerns regarding duty evasion as Zespri investigation closes

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has concluded its investigation into the affairs of Zespri Group Limited concerning allegations of criminality arising from the practice of dual invoicing.

SFO Director, Julie Read, has closed the investigation having determined that the conduct did not meet the high evidential standard for laying criminal charges.

The allegations investigated by the SFO were that Zespri facilitated tax evasion while exporting kiwifruit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) until mid-2011 by providing false invoices for its importer to use when making duty declarations to PRC Customs Officials. The SFO was concerned about both Zespri’s dual invoicing practice and subsequent efforts by it to distance itself from the importer’s offending in the form of letters written to Chinese investigation and prosecution agencies.

Dual invoicing is not necessarily illegal, however the SFO advises that New Zealand exporters should approach the practice with extreme caution as it is a warning flag for duty evasion being committed in foreign jurisdictions.

Julie Read said, “In this case the practice of dual invoicing facilitated criminal offending in China. The lower valued invoice was used by Zespri’s importer to evade duty and resulted in him being convicted for the Chinese offence of smuggling. The instrument of that offending was created by Zespri in New Zealand. For that reason the matter properly came to the attention of the SFO.”

She added, “The Zespri investigation has been lengthy and reflects the fact that we were required to review complex and unusual arrangements between Zespri and their Chinese importers. The gathering of documentary and witness evidence took much longer than usual in this matter.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Statistics: Food Prices Increase 7.4 Percent Annually
Food prices were 7.4 percent higher in July 2022 compared with July 2021, Stats NZ said today... More>>



REINZ: Market Activity And Prices Continue To Ease, First Home Buyers Start To Return To The Market

New Zealand’s winter property market continues its recent trend, slowing from the pace of sales and price rises of last year — properties stay on the market longer and median prices dip... More>>

FMA: Cigna Admits Making False And Misleading Representations
Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Limited has admitted to making false and/or misleading representations to customers in proceedings brought by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko... More>>



Retail NZ: Welcomes Return Of Cruise Ships

“Cruise visitors were big spenders in retail prior to COVID-19, and retailers in Auckland will be celebrating the arrival of P&O’s Pacific Explorer this morning... More>>



ASB: Full Year Results: Building Resilience Today And For Our Future

In its 175th year, ASB has reported a cash net profit after tax of $1,418 million for the 12 months to 30 June 2022, an increase of $122 million or 9% on the prior year... More>>


Commerce Commission: Draft Determination On News Publishers’ Association’s Collective Bargaining Application
The Commerce Commission (Commission) has reached a preliminary view that it should allow the News Publishers’ Association of New Zealand (NPA) to collectively negotiate with Meta and Google... More>>