13, including 2 Chinese, charged in Vietnam gasoline smuggling case

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Prosecutors have pressed charges against 13 people for alleged involvement in a major transnational fuel smuggling case.

Two of them are Chinese – Chen Xieng Chun and Long Guang Kun, captain and chief mechanic of Cambodian-flagged ship Jiang Zhou 01, which illegally sold oil meant for re-export to Vietnamese companies.

The pair face charges of “illegally transporting oil.’’

Other suspects, all directors and employees of the Vietnamese companies allegedly involved, face smuggling charges.

According to the Supreme People’s Procuracy, on July 28, 2012, customs officials caught the Jiang Zhou 01 transferring RON 92 gasoline to three Vietnamese ships belonging to Thanh Hoa Province-based Hoang Son Company and Nghe An Province-based Tien Nhat Company.

The official said the three ships took on board more than 419 tons of gasoline worth more than VND12.5 billion (US$593,750).

The Jiang Zhou 01, owned by a Chinese firm based in Guangxi Province, was carrying 1,350 tons of gasoline worth more than $1.3 million. 

It had been imported temporarily for export to China by Vietnam Air Petrol Company (Vinapco), which then sold it to the Chinese firm.

But the Jiang Zhou 01, instead of transporting the fuel to China, sold it to the Vietnamese firms, the inspectors said.

Investigations have also revealed that Chen transported and sold 1,600 tons of diesel worth more than $1.4 million to Hoang Son and Tien Nhat Companies using a similar ploy.

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