Law News
Court remands Lebanese for N49m tax evasion

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the prison remand of a lebanese, Mr. Fares Chawich, for allegedly evading Nigerian Customs duties on imported vehicles.

Chawich’s remand came after he was arraigned on five counts in relation to the offence by the Nigerian Customs Service on Wednesday.

The accused allegedly attempted to bring in various vehicles without paying an estimated customs duties of  N49,116,004.00.

The prosecution alleged that the accused conspired with one Chief Emmanuel Ekong, who is still at large,  to break the NCS seal on those vehicles in an attempt to smuggle them into the country without paying the due duties.

According to the NCS, some of the vehicles on which Chawich attempted to evade customs duty were Brabus  G800 jeep 2013 model, with chassis number 212718; Aybach 625 2009 Model, chassis number 002513; McLaren SLR 2009 Model, chassis number 001960; Aston Martin 2009 Model, chassis number 815026; and Ferrari 458 2013 Model, chassis number 195200.

The NCS prosecutor, Mr. Julius Ajakaye, told the court that the offence, which Chawich allegedly committed on May 18, 2015, was contrary to and punishable under section 145 (5) of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

But upon reading the charges to the accused, he, however, pleaded not guilty.

His lawyer, Mr. Chris Emeh, thereafter urged the court to admit him to bail in liberal terms.

In response, the prosecutor said though NCS was not opposed to the bail application of the accused, it however urged the court to order the accused to submit his travelling documents into the custody of the court while the trial lasted.

“My Lord, we will not be opposing the defendant’s application for bail, except we want to urge the court to order the accused to submit his international passport into the custody of the court pending the trail,” Ajakaye said.

Saidu, in a bench ruling, admitted Chawich to bail in the sum of N2m with two sureties in like sum.

The accused was ordered to deposit his international passport into the custody of the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court.

His two sureties, the judge said, must be owners of landed properties in Lagos State and must be resident in the state.

The judge also ordered that the sureties’ landed properties must be verified by the prosecutor and the court registrar.

The judge,  however, held that Chawich would be remanded in prison until the fulfillment of the bail conditions.

The matter was subsequently adjourned till July 8, 2015, for trial.

Click here to read from source.

You must be logged in to post a comment.