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D’Aguilar Company Made False Declarations In 2014 Case

Dionisio D’Aguilar

Dionisio D’Aguilar

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One of the documents showing the amunt of duty to be paid on the washers.

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The signed document admitting the offence of submitting a false declaration - for which a $15,000 fine was imposed and paid.

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A receipt showing the unit price of the washers at $672.80.

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

SUPERWASH Limited, the company owned by Free National Movement candidate for Free Town Dionisio D’Aguilar, submitted three false declarations to the Bahamas Customs Department in 2014 which would have cost the government more than $35,000 in unpaid duty, according to documents obtained by The Tribune.

The documents show that Superwash Ltd bought washing machines from Whirlpool Corporation for $183,000 but Superwash provided “falsified invoices” to the Customs Department showing the machines as valued at $104,853.90. As a result, Superwash paid $51,584 to the Department of Customs when the true invoice value was $86,837.75 - a difference of $35,253.45.

Superwash was fined $15,000 and ordered to pay the remaining balance which was done several weeks later in January 2014.

In an interview with The Tribune, Mr D’Aguilar admitted that the invoices were altered but claimed that Superwash “was the victim of a fraud by an unscrupulous broker”.

“A number of years ago, Superwash sought to import some laundry equipment. Superwash decided to use a new customs broker, an individual supposedly just getting into the business, and an invoice of the goods was submitted to him electronically to prepare and submit the entry,” Mr D’Aguilar said.

“Payment was made to the broker for what the company was told was the full amount of the customs duty and the equipment was released to the company. “Shortly, thereafter, the company learned that the broker had significantly altered the original invoice before it was submitted to customs and underpaid the duty. The company was the victim of a fraud by an unscrupulous broker and the loss was significant. Superwash was required to pay again for the duty not paid by the broker as well as a fine,” Mr D’Aguilar added.

He also claimed that the Department of Customs owes him more than $230,000 dating back to 2015.

“In 2015, the company imported 210 20lb washers valued at $625,000,” he told The Tribune. “A rate of duty of 45 per cent was applied when in fact the duty rate should have been five per cent. The company will be applying for its credit shortly.”

Mr D’Aguilar said Superwash pays more than $1 million to the government every year in taxes, so it would “make no sense” to attempt to defraud the government of $35,000.

Hours after The Tribune received the documents from a source, Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts released a statement calling on Mr D’Aguilar to “come clean with the Bahamian people” and state whether there are any other false declarations submitted by any of his companies to the Bahamas Customs Department.

He accused Mr D’Aguilar of being caught with his hands in the “cookie jar,” saying he is disqualified to seek office. He also threatened to release more information on FNM North Eleuthera candidate Howard “Rickey” Mackey on Wednesday.

Discrepancy

In a letter addressed to Comptroller of Customs Charles Turner, a customs officer noted that on January 6, 2014, he was assigned to examine a 40-foot container of washing machines consigned to Superwash Ltd that was a part of a shipment of three containers.

Upon examining the container, the officer wrote that he found 87 commercial 27” washing machines with an invoice value of $352.80 each. The officer wrote that all the descriptions of the shipment matched the description accepted by the entry checker; however he said the values appeared to be low “considering they were commercial coin operated machines”.

The officer said he conducted a cursory check via the Internet and found the average retail value of the machine was in the area of $1,300. He then advised his supervisor that he would conduct further inquires.

He said the other two containers were also searched, under the supervision of Mr D’Aguilar at the company’s Blue Hill location on January 7, 2014. The first container again had 87 commercial 27” washing machines showing an invoice value of $352.80. The third container contained 76 commercial 27” washers showing an invoice value of 352.50 and 10 washers showing an invoice value of $309.80 each, according to the documents.

“A persistent search via telephone put me in contact with Jimmy D Young of the accounts receivable department of the Whirlpool Corporation who, without reservation, forwarded me the original copies of invoices for the washers,” the customs officer wrote.

The washers cost $672.80 and $649.80 not the $352.80 and $309.80 that was on the altered invoices, the officer noted. The net loss in revenue was $35,252.45.

In his statement, Mr Roberts accused Mr D’Aguilar of being “corrupt, greedy, dishonest and not fit for Parliament.”

“This is disgraceful,” Mr Roberts noted. “This the same Dionisio D’Aguilar who accused Bahamians of begging too much ... I publicly call on Mr D’Aguilar to come clean with the Bahamian people and state whether or not there are any other false declarations submitted by any of his companies to the Bahamas Customs Department. The public needs to know,” Mr Roberts said.

Mr D’Aguilar said in a Facebook post last night that he was not surprised by Mr Roberts’ attempts at “political espionage and skullduggery, because as usual, he has once again exposed himself for being the political hack and baffoon that he is”.

“What Mr Roberts thought was a bombshell for him has actually blown up in his face,” Mr D’Aguilar wrote. “Now it is clear for all to see that the PLP is truly on its last legs. In their desperation to deflect from their own political garbage cans being tossed on their heads, Mr Roberts has embarrassed himself and his party, hopefully for the last time.”

Comments

DDK 3 years, 2 months ago

Now why would a broker alter invoices without some ulterior motive? I regrettably fail to see how this bombshell has actually blown up in Roberts' face. The mound of dirt is growing! Too sad.

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HarryWyckoff 3 years, 2 months ago

Broker files paperwork to Customs with reduced value and pays reduced value.

Broker bills client for duty on full amount.

Broker pockets $35K.

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DDK 3 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for that! Rather reassuring. I missed that bit. Wonder what happened to the broker or who the broker was?

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banker 3 years, 2 months ago

Dionisio said that his company took a big hit for that, even though it wasn't his fault.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 2 months ago

Customs doesn't care if Superwash actually submitted the docs, they authorized someone to act for them so technically it's their breach, they're responsible.

If this is the case, this looking more like a dud firecracker than a bombshell....

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ohdrap4 3 years, 2 months ago

whenever i read stories like this i wonder about the air couriers, or whether they actually pay customs for what i pay them.

i am not ain a business, i just order personal items online.

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banker 3 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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viewersmatters 3 years, 2 months ago

It's a low damn shame to see the level of maturity being played by these supposed to be leaders, who cares about super wash and their dealings the main thing is they got caught they were later prosecuted by the law of the Bahamas then made to pay what they owe customs and fine. What's so surprising is we the hard working people of the Bahamas are slaving to make a dollar just to pay Government taxes and expenses just to have those tax money stolen and misused, millions and millions of dollars went missing in every department under the PLP and not a single person have face the court or charge and Roberts have time to focus on 35000 dollars! Didn't the PM urge the attorney general to release the sale agreement of Bahamar? Why haven't we seen those sealed documents, we have sitting cabinet Minister misusing their position for personal use and none was made or held responsible for their actions but yet Roberts think the people going waste time focusing on 35000 dollars where are our VAT money where have all the other tax money went. Fitzgerald claim he acted on behalf of his Father's business but why? Shouldn't his father business have secretary and other board members who could do such follow up. We want Robert to focus on real concerns and matters !!! And stop taking the people for game and dummies!

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jus2cents 3 years, 2 months ago

This is just Roberts trying to get people to focus on someone other than the PLP's corrupt cronies.

The whole Bahamas would be a lot better off if more businesses were managed as properly and ethically as Superwash!

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SP 3 years, 2 months ago

................................................. Reverse Back Questions ...........................................

1) What About Monthly Payments From The Numbers Boys & what is the annual aggregate?

2) What's the kickback for deliberate delays for phantom payments for new building on JFK?

3) Would Jerome Fitzpirate's FOIA become null and void due to a real need to protect himself?

4) Is there a Cabinet Minister from either administration without cookie jar DNA all over them?

5) Why did Bradley Roberts choose not to expose Fitzpirate and Shanepirate as extortionists?

6) What other piracy is Bradley Roberts hiding about Pillage Loot Plunder crew?

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oggiedog1 3 years, 2 months ago

Where is the integrity in the Bahamas Customs? Why is Mr. Roberts being the chairman of a political government party have access to information which is being publicly posted for election mileage. This is wrong and he should not have access to official documents and not being dealt with. I see this as a serious breech and should be investigated immediately.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 2 months ago

Grasping at Straws This is the perfect example of ............. Grasping at Straws ........... BBB is on political life support right now .......... He should go clean his own PLP political house and prepare for the inevitable cut-ass on May 10th

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JustSo 3 years, 2 months ago

Nobody cares about Dionisio D’Aguilar couple dollars dribble, but EVERYBODY wants Bradley Roberts to drop some "bombshells" about his PLP friends, family and lovers that absconded with $100M's from Bank Of Bahamas and how they "fixed" it with the peoples National Insurance money!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 2 months ago

Ask the constantly yapping white haired little poodle to produce for The Tribune (and the Public) the documents (i.e., customs forms, payment orders/bank advices, receipts, etc.) proving the very self serving explanation proffered. Also, why only now would the yapping poodle's SuperWash company be applying for a customs duty credit of $230,000 that purportedly dates back to 2015, or possibly earlier? Too many of you posting comments here are completely blinded by your desired outcome to the general election no matter what the facts and truth may be behind these so called "political bombs". Most of you simply do not appreciate that if the likes of Minnis, Symonette and D'Aguilar achieve their political ambitions, the Bahamian people are guaranteed to experience corruption and cronyism by elitist politicians on a scale never seen before, or imagined....it will make Christie and his merry band of bandits seem like petty thieves!

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 2 months ago

This again? I think you fail to realize that there's a significant segment of the population who's been through 4-8 administrations and seen black, white, curly hair, crinkly hair, peasy hair, young, old, men, women, educated, not so educated, British accent, Bahamian accent, all promise the moon and then deliver pebbles.

We don't trust ANYONE. Not the PLP, FNM or DNA. what we do believe, well what "I" believe and I'm sure there are others like me, is that this group of men are too corruption tainted and incompetent or too spineless to stop the corruption and cut off the incompetence to be granted another term managing the country. If the PLP cleaned house and dropped the Usual Suspects (about 70% of them) that would be a very good sign

Does that mean we think Minnis is the savior? NO. he's the default. There's no other option. Only two parties are running, good try DNA but those are the facts in 2017. And patience is gone so while the FNM may win, they better bring the work papers to the victory party, cause een nobody prepared to suffer one more year of more of the same

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 2 months ago

You're still not thinking. Christie and the other corrupt cabinet ministers have been sucking at the trough of taxpayers' dollars through little straws. Minnis and his select crew of cronies would be sucking that same trough dry using high volume motorized pumps with huge hoses! If voters always vote for the best candidate regardless of their party affiliation, then we would never have to worry about Minnis, Christie or McCartney ever getting elected, even in the case of a subsequent run-off election or by-election after the general election. THINK, THINK, THINK!!!

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 2 months ago

Never mind I see now that your option is for the US to come and declare martial law. I guess the Chinese are an option too since they own everything

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 2 months ago

If you have something on Minnis please share it .Apart from both FNM and PLP renting a building from him ..I don,t know but 40 million from road traffic , and selling us out to the Chinese is a pretty big straw ,etc etc .I will try Minnis and in five years if he theef more , although the kitty is pretty bare . I will kick him out . On the family Island I live we our having blackouts , I overheard the engineer on the phone saying he has one generator torn down but the parts supplier won,t send the crank and rebuild kit until they receive a wire transfer b/c our credit is no good ,,he has been waiting 4 months for parts ,,,

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DDK 3 years, 2 months ago

The explanation coupled with the unsolicited information about credit due(as if one absolves the other) is rather convenient isn't it? Sorry folks but it does seem a little too pat......... I do hope the candidate is as clean as his laundry.

Notwithstanding, I still wish you would comply with Concerned Citizen's request to spill it if you have it. You know, the thing about put up or............ Now would be the time.

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