Former police officer gets 7 years for smuggling luxury cars

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The Hanoi People's Court sentenced a former police officer to seven years in jail for taking part in a luxury car smuggling ring, online newspaper VnExpress reported.

Cao Vu Cuong, the 28-year-old former economics police officer of Bac Giang Province Police Department, was tried along with Nguyen Xuan Thuy, a former deputy chief of Bac Giang's Market Management Team No.10, and three other gang members Ngo Doan Phuc, Do Manh Dung and Phung Van Luc.

In 2009, Cuong, Dung and Phuc hatched a scheme to falsify papers for the import of luxury cars.

Phuc collected four cars Hummer, Land Rover, Toyota Prado and Lexus which entered Vietnam as "temporary import for re-export" products and four old cars. He planned to change the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of the older cars so that they would match those of the luxury cars.

On May 23, 2009, Phuc hired trucks to transport the old cars on National Highway 37 in Bac Giang Province.

As planned, Cuong pretended to stop the trucks at a checkpoint, while the transporters pretended to flee the scene, leaving the old cars behind.

Cuong then connived with Thuy, the marker management officer, to facilitate procedures for Phuc to buy the old cars.

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Cuong legalized papers for Phuc to register the luxury cars, which had the same VIN numbers as the old cars. He then sold the luxury cars for money.

Dung, who worked as a go-between for Phuc, gave Cuong US$36,000 as "commission."

Phuc was sentenced to eight years in jail. Dung and Luc got four years each. Thuy was sentenced to 14 months of imprisonment.

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