Philip Morris Pleads Not Guilty to Huge Thai Tax Dodge
Apr 26, 2016 10:58 AM EDT
The massively popular Philip Morris pleaded not guilty last Monday to evading hundreds of millions of dollars, mainly for import tax to Thailand. The crime is said to sum up around $2.27 million, which is now being used as concrete evidence for against the tobacco titan.
According to Daily Star, Thai prosecutors cordially accused the local unit of the said company that owns the Marlboro and L&M brands of evading roughly over 20 billion Baht or an equivalent of $568 million tax. The aforementioned crime was pointed towards an under-declaring of import prices for cigarettes from the Philippines between the years 2003 and 2006.
Bangkok Post delivered that the duty-free end price of the cigarettes were notably much higher as per the prosecutors. In relation to it, the company, along with seven Thai staff went on to plead not guilty, based off a written statement that was read out by a judge during a pre-trial hearing last Monday at a Bangkok court.
As per France 24, under the condition that the prosecutors say the company could face a fine that will go up to four times the sum of the unpaid tax, whereas the employees could face a potential maximum of ten years in jail. Along with it, there are four foreign executives that were charged but exited the country in a case that went on for over a decade at least.
Naturally, the company continued to deny the quoted "baseless" allegations, as per Alejandro Paschalides, the Managing Director of Philip Morris Thailand after the hearing. He was quoted, "We would like to encourage the Thai government to reconsider these meritless charges which will harm Thailand's standing in the trade community and ultimately cause damage to the Thai economy and thus the Thai people."
It was in 2011 that the attorney general at the time suggested against charging the company but the prosecution was restarted two years after. The next hearing is to be held on October but is most likely to go on for a number of years.