Jury Indicts Five Individuals for Conspiracy to Smuggle Chinese Aluminum into the U.S.
A Federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against five individuals and three companies for conspiracy to smuggle Chinese aluminum into the United States, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, in a June 21 release.
According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to defraud the United States of approximately $26.7 million in antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese aluminum.
Defendants Samuel García-Adarme, Edrick García-Vázquez, Armando García-Vázquez and Carlos Minguela-Ortiz―owners and/or principals of Sultana Screens & Aluminum Sales, PRP Trading and Aluwest Industries―with the assistance of William Tang Piu Wong, are accused of conspiring to purchase aluminum from China, transship the aluminum to Malaysia, repackage the aluminum and create false invoices to make it appear as though the aluminum originated in Malaysia, and then import the aluminum into Puerto Rico in order to avoid payment of the antidumping and countervailing duties.
“These individuals are charged with defrauding the United States government of tens of millions of dollars in lawfully imposed duties,” said Rodríguez-Vélez, in the release. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who engage in corrupt acts which directly affect fair market competition in imported goods.”In April 2011, the DOC imposed countervailing duties of 8.02 percent and 374.15 percent on aluminum extrusion products from China after determining Chinese extruders had an unfair competitive advantage due to government subsidies. The DOC also imposed anti-dumping duties of between 32.79 percent and 33.28 percent on Chinese aluminum extrusion imports after concluding Chinese companies were selling these products in the United States at below normal prices.In 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce further ruled that curtain-wall units and other parts of a curtain-wall system were subject to the aluminum extrusion antidumping and countervailing duty orders.