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Shell officials may face criminal charges

Manila Bulletin

February 3, 2010, 4:34pm

The Bureau of Customs (BoC) threatened to file criminal charges against officials of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC) for their “no intent” to pay the P7.3-billion back excise taxes even as the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Court of Tax Appeals will lapse on February 9.

Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales said BoC plans to sue Pilipinas Shell’s officers because they have committed fraud for the oil firm’s importation of catalytic cracked gasoline (CCG) and Light CCG from 2004 to October, 2009.

“When Shell fails to pay Customs, we will be forced to file a criminal case against them. This is our remedy under the law. As we have said, Shell has committed fraud because there is an issue of misclassification,” Morales said.

Under the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), the PSPC placed the CCG and Light CCG under the category of tetrapropylene that only has a one percent rate of duty, when it should have been considered as a premium unleaded that has a three percent rate of duty, he reiterated.

The BoC sent a letter to Royal Dutch Shell Plc. chief executive Joroen can der Veer, who is based in its main office in Netherlands, that they are resorting to such legal action following its continued stance not to settle its financial obligation to the government. (Raymund F. Antonio)

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