Vietnam arrests another American national for tax refund scam

By Dam Huy, Thanh Nien News

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The Rolex that a Vietnamese American left in Vietnam after receiving VAT refund for it. Photo courtesy of Ho Chi Minh customs officers The Rolex that a Vietnamese American left in Vietnam after receiving VAT refund for it. Photo courtesy of Ho Chi Minh customs officers

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Customs officers at Tan Son Nhat Airport have arrested a Vietnamese-American for value-added tax refund fraud of nearly US$3,000.
The 36-year-old woman, whose name has been withheld, bought a Rolex watch for more than VND830 million (US$38,100) and received a refund at the airport of VND64 million ($2,930) she had paid as value-added tax, but did not bring the watch along, the customs officials said Sunday.
Under Vietnamese law, goods eligible for the refunds must be brand new, worth at least VND2 million ($95) and must be taken out of Vietnam.
The officers checked her before she boarded the flight and she failed to produce the watch, admitting she had bought the watch only to fraudulently get the tax refund.
They found that she had given it to a person in Vietnam.
They are holding her and the item for further investigation.
Airport customs last month took in another Vietnamese-American for a similar scam worth at least VND2.2 billion ($100,900).
Vietnam started offering VAT refunds to foreign visitors in 2012.

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