Undocumented luxury goods confiscated in Vietnam capital

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Despite being genuine, undocumented luxury goods confiscated from Gucci and Milano shops in Hanoi late last year will be sold with the proceeds going to the state budget, VnExpress reported March 14.

In the meantime, the two luxury shops will continue being investigated on suspicion of various violations, including tax evasion, said Vuong Tri Dung, deputy chief of Hanoi Market Management Agency.

On December 7, related agencies raided the shops after two Gucci and Milano shops in Ho Chi Minh City were closed for allegedly importing Italian luxury goods as cheap Chinese imitations to avoid paying taxes.

They then confiscated items that the shops' representatives failed to present documents for and forced the shops to shut down the next day.

On January 11, the Hanoi shops reopened without approval from related agencies, VnExpress reported, adding that that day they also sold off their goods with some customers reportedly buying items worth over VND100 million (US$4,700).

Earlier, on November 27 HCMC police caught four trucks transporting cartons containing clothes, handbags, and footwear made by Gucci and other luxury brands to a Gucci and Milano warehouse, which supplies retail outlets in District 1.

They had been imported by the Nam De Company of Hong Kong, and declared to be of Chinese origin and worth only $1.8-7 each. But later a group of experts from Gucci came to inspect the items and concluded that they were genuine and had been made in Italy.

Following the raid, police closed down the two stores, but they were allowed to reopen about two weeks later.

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Nam De was also shut down. Its director Nguyen Thanh Binh, together with employees Pham Van Hoan and Le Hong Duc, who were in charge of importing the consignment in question, were questioned by the police.

Meanwhile, three customs officers were suspended for allegedly colluding with the importer to pass the genuine consignment off as counterfeit.  

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