Kebab shop owner sent takings to Turkey

Last updated 05:00 20/12/2013

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A Napier kebab shop owner diverted his takings to Turkey in an effort to avoid paying $200,000 in tax.

Ahmet Dindar, 38, took $528,465 in cash from his Cafe Anatolia restaurants in Napier and Taradale between 2008 and 2012 without declaring it as earnings.

Inland Revenue received an anonymous tip about his activities and began interviewing his employees this year, according to a summary of facts.

Investigators discovered large sums of cash were being deposited in the employees' accounts above their wages.

Dindar admitted taking cash from the tills of his businesses and instructing his employees to remove the cash sales.

He would not count the cash from each shop but would make an arbitrary decision as to how much to bank in the business accounts. The remaining cash he would spend, or deposit into his personal bank account, or give it to employees to hold on to until he needed it.

He would then arrange for the employees to remit the funds to Turkey, where he used them for his own purposes. The summary of facts says Dindar "was the ultimate beneficiary of the funds".

The cash was not recorded in his companies' tax returns or his personal tax returns.

The IRD said he "intentionally failed to notify his accountant" of the cash he had taken "in the knowledge that this would ultimately reduce his tax liability".

In the tax years ended March 2009 to March 2012, Dindar took $528,465 from the businesses. By not declaring this, he evaded $137,485 in income tax and $64,078 in GST.

Dindar appeared in Napier District Court yesterday. He has pleaded guilty to four representative charges of tax evasion, providing false tax returns and money laundering.

He will be sentenced in February.

A spokesman for Inland Revenue said that the department "welcomes the guilty plea in this case and not only have we placed significant resources into identifying tax evasion, and in this case money laundering, we will take action when the rules are deliberately broken".

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- The Dominion Post

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