Police investigate gold smuggled into Vietnam from China

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Gold bars seized by Quang Ninh customs officers on April 24

Police in Quang Ninh are investigating the alleged smuggling of 10 kilograms of gold bars imprinted with Chinese writing customs officers recently seized from a local resident in the northerly province that borders China.

On April 24, customs officers of Mong Cai Town caught Pham Van Hoa, 45, carrying ten one-kilogram gold bars without required documents. The bars were taped to his body.

Hoa confessed he was transporting the gold for his cousin, 33-year-old Bui Thi Phuong of Mong Cai Town's Hoa Lac Ward.

Phuong is owner of a local shop licensed to make jewelry from gold. She said she had asked Hoa to carry the gold bars to Hai Phong to make jewelry

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A Quang Ninh police officer source told Thanh Nien on May 10 that they are asking a local bank to check the gold bars to determine their origin.

He said he believed the gold bars had originated from China because they were found inscribed with Chinese lettering.

Gold prices in Vietnam are between VND5-6 million per tael higher than those in China. If the ten kilograms were smuggled into Vietnam, the smugglers stood to clear VND1.3-1.6 billion (US$62,400-76,800).

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