The story appears on

Page A4

June 1, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Importer seeks leniency, pays 38m yuan

THE general manager of a local kiwi fruit importer accused of evading 37.96 million yuan (US$5.92 million) in tariffs paid back 38 million yuan in an attempt to get a lighter sentence.

Liu Xiongjie, 52, had declared kiwi fruit imported from New Zealand at artificially lower prices to avoid tariffs, officials said.

Liu wore a T-shirt as green as the flesh of kiwi fruits as he appeared in court with Lu Hongquan representing the Shanghai Qiyiguo Trade Company at the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court yesterday.

Prosecutors said Liu, a Shanghai native, was the operator and a shareholder of Qiyiguo, a local agent for New Zealand-based kiwi fruit producer and seller Zespri Group International. They said Liu imported 38,400 tons of kiwi fruit worth US$77.29 million from Zespri from 2008 to 2010.

To evade tariffs, Liu asked Zespri to provide forged documents and declare the imported kiwi fruit at prices 10 to 75 percent lower than what was actually paid to the New Zealand company, causing losses totaling more than 37.69 million yuan to the country, the court heard.

Liu said he did this because the customs tariff rate on kiwi fruit was very high in 2008 and importing the fruit from New Zealand cost more than from Italy or Chile.

Prosecutors called for a sentence of more than 10 years for Liu and a fine for the Shanghai company. But Liu's defending lawyer asked the court to show leniency and reduce the jail term to less than five years with consideration that Liu had returned 38 million yuan to make up losses.

The court did not announce a verdict yesterday.

Zespri is the world's biggest kiwi fruit marketing company, selling kiwi fruit in about 60 countries and regions.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend