Customs officers allege Customs Chief plays favorites with construction company
“Is it fair that other businesses pay 25% for excise taxes on imported commercial vehicles and the Chief of Customs charges Paramount Builders only 10% for a flat bed truck?” was the question asked by Customs officers, who were disappointed when learning last week of the move by Moetulu’i Fuiava.
The Customs Chief has disputed he played favorite with Paramount Builders, and stated to Samoa News the small flatbed truck in question is for the personal use of the Paramount Builders’ supervisor, as explained by company president Lauli’i Alofa.
According to Customs officers who do not wish to be named, “Moetulu’i has family ties and attends the same church as the owner of Paramount Builders and it’s not right that other companies pay the 25% excise tax on imported vehicles and Paramount does not.
“We had just received a check of $198,000 from a company whose vehicles were imported and they paid 25% on excise taxes, and it appears that this company (Paramount) is exempted and it’s just not right,” said the furious Customs officer.
Moetulu’i however disputes that his personal life has any affiliation when carrying out his duties as the Chief of Customs. The Customs Chief assured Samoa News that vehicles that are brought in by companies for personal use will be charged 10% because they are for personal use, not commercial use.
According to the Paramount Builders president, Papali’i Lauli’i Alofa the flatbed trucks are for his supervisors, and these trucks carry private license plates. He says they are not for commercial use.
“I pay 25% for my bigger flatbed trucks and other machinery, but these flatbed trucks are for personal use,” he told Samoa News.
Papali’i also stated that this is not the first time that he’s been charged 10% for the small flatbed trucks, that it was always the practice in the past. He said that just last month he paid 25% for his bigger trucks, but the trucks in question are for personal use, where supervisors drive the truck to work and home.