A former Blenheim vineyard contractor about to be deported by Immigration New Zealand owes almost $1 million in unpaid debts.
Companies Office documents show the two companies owned by Prubhjit Singh, 30, owed $989,175 to creditors, including ACC, IRD, and the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Liquidators said in a report published online last month that they could not estimate an end date for the liquidation as they were unable to resolve “outstanding matters”, including the location of company records, and difficulties in corresponding with the director, finding out about company assets and investigating the relationship between Singh’s two companies.
Singh was arrested by police at his home in Blenheim last Tuesday night and was to be deported, Immigration New Zealand has confirmed.
Police assisted Immigration New Zealand staff to arrest the 30-year-old male Indian vineyard worker, who has been in New Zealand unlawfully since his work visa expired on July 31, 2008.
Singh leaves behind a wife and two young sons, all of whom are New Zealand citizens.
He has been convicted in the Blenheim District Court of aiding six Indonesian ship jumpers to work illegally in New Zealand and Inland Revenue put two of his businesses into liquidation for unpaid taxes last year.
Singh Services Limited was put into liquidation on December 10. Christchurch-based chartered accountants Keiran Horne and Lynda Smart were appointed as liquidators.
According to the liquidators’ report, Inland Revenue, the petitioning creditor, wound up the company for falling behind on payments.
As at December 10, Singh Services Limited owed $989,175 to preferential, secured and unsecured creditors. Creditors include ACC, IRD, the New Zealand Transport Agency, Fruitfed Supplies, Hirequip and Tasman Crop Protection.
The liquidators said in the report that there were insufficient funds for unsecured creditors because Inland Revenue claims, hire purchase contracts and preferential and secured creditors, such as employee claims, up to $20,340 per employee, had to be paid first. There was also insufficient funds to pay for preferential and secured creditors.
Directors Prubhjit Singh and Mrinal Sardana had attributed their financial position to difficulties and delays in preparing company tax returns, resulting in unclaimed tax credits, which they said would have removed most of the debt.
Singh said the company had no assets as they were sold.
The liquidators have requested information on these sales, and if assets were identified they would be sold by the liquidators.
The liquidation is expected to be completed by June.
The second of Singh’s companies to be liquidated goes by the same name, Singh Services Limited, previously known as Vine to Wine Services Limited. It was placed into liquidation on August 20, last year.
The liquidators said because of the difficulties they had encountered, including liaising with Inland Revenue and investigating the company’s relationship with Singh’s most recently liquidated company, creditors had received no return.
They said it was also unlikely that unsecured creditors would receive a dividend.
The company received a GST refund of just $461 between August 2012 and February this year.
Source: Marlborough Express
Story by Sonja Beal. 18 March 2013