Ho Chi Minh police have called for charges against two customs officers and a local man for allegedly orchestrating Vietnam's largest smuggling case involving luxury goods.
Nguyen Buu Quy and Nguyen Van Sang of the HCMC Customs Agency face charges of gross professional misconduct, while Le Hong Duc, an employee of the Milano and Gucci shops in District 1, faces smuggling charges.
Police are still hunting for Tran Anh Tuan, 54, the owner of the shops.
Investigators found that Tuan enlisted Vo Thi Ngoc Phuong and Lam Phuoc Hai to register the shops under their names.
Police say Tuan also hired Truong Hoang Linh to ship the famous fashion products (including Gucci, D&G, Roberto Cavalli) to Hong Kong.
He then instructed Duc to import the products from Hong Kong, as Chinese knockoffs, to avoid luxury taxes.
On November 27, 2012 police intercepted four truckloads of luxury goods heading to their shops.
Rumors quickly spread that Tuan's rich and famous clients had, in fact, purchased cheap Chinese knock-offs.
However, police determined that the 1,253 seized items of clothes, shoes, bags and belts were authentic luxury products valued at more than VND16 billion (US$754,560), instead of a few hundred million dong as declared.
Police now say that Tuan and his co-conspirators have dodged over VND32.7 billion in luxury taxes with the help of the two customs officers.