BIR files biggest tax evasion case vs gold trader

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 27 2014 12:25 PM | Updated as of Feb 27 2014 11:00 PM

MANILA - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed on Thursday the biggest tax evasion case, to date, against a gold trader.

Charged before the Department of Justice (DOJ) was Jimmy Bie Chua, a Quezon City-based trader with gold and silver sales transactions with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) from 2005 up to 2009, for a total tax liability amounting to P2.72 billion.

The case against Chua covers taxable years 2005 up to 2009 where he sold refined gold and silver to the BSP but failed to file any income tax return (ITR) and value-added tax (VAT) return.

"Documents showed that Chua sold to BSP gold and silver amounting to P769.54 million in 2005, P856.90 million in 2006, P442.30 million in 2007, P250.33 million in 2008, and P833.80 million in 2009, or for a total sale of P3.15 billion," said BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, in a news conference.

The BIR has filed several tax complaints against gold traders in recent years, but Henares said this is the biggest case against a single trader.

A ranking BIR official tipped ABS-CBN News that this is the same Jimmy Chua cleared by the Sandiganbayan in January 2012, along with former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, former Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin, former Armed Forces chief-of-staff Fabian Ver, and 17 others, from a P50 billion damage suit filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in connection with the Binondo Central Bank (BCB) scam.


The PCGG filed the case in 1987, claiming that the Marcoses ordered Ongpin and Ver in 1984 to round up the biggest black market dollar traders, and organize them, which led to the creation of the BCB.

In its complaint, the PCGG alleged that the BCB engaged in the the buying of US dollars, and stashed these overseas -- all under the protection of the Marcoses.

The Marcos couple, Ongpin and Ver, accummulated ill-gotten wealth and received protection fees paid by BCB members, including Chua, through dummies and agents, the PCGG alleged.

In dismissing the case, the anti-graft case ruled that there was "no evidence to prove" that Marcos, et al., received kickbacks, commissions, gifts, or percentages from the BCB capitalists.

The Sandiganbayan also held that the PCGG failed to mention specific illegal acts committed by the defendants.