Police in the northwestern province of Dien Bien have arrested two people for smuggling 15 gold bars weighing a total of 15 kilograms from Laos to Vietnam, Vietnam News Agency reported Tuesday.
Tran Trong Bang, 41, a Dien Bien resident, and Tran Ngoc Tinh, 55, from Hanoi, were caught on April 19 by the Dien Bien police department's drug crimes investigation division (PC47), which had been tracking the duo for months for their alleged involvement in a ring that transport and trade drugs, at Sam Mun Commune in Dien Bien.
The newspaper did not mention why the PC47 had been following Bang and Tinh.
They confessed to bringing the contraband gold worth more than VND16.6 billion (US$794,161) from Laos to sell in Vietnam.
Police are investigating the case.
It was said at a conference between The State Bank of Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City Branch, the HCMC Police Department and relevant agencies on April 22 that the amount of smuggled gold has recently been on the rise due to the widening gap between international and domestic gold prices, thesaigontimes.vn quoted a source as saying on Tuesday.
The source did not cite any figures on the number of cases that have been busted recently or how much gold has been seized.
As of Tuesday afternoon, gold in Vietnam was being sold for VND42.12 million per tael, VND6.4 million above the current international rate.
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