Ten containers of contraband from China, which were smuggled in last December by Ho Sam Dung (left) and Tran Thi Thu Sang, being checked by Ho Chi Minh City officers. Photo by Dam Huy
Police in Ho Chi Minh City are searching for directors of two companies that allegedly smuggled 10 containers of goods which were seized at a local port last December.
The police said Ho Sam Dung, 27, and Tran Thi Thu Sang, 25, have failed to respond to summons. Their companies had used false invoices to import the contraband from China in what a police officer described to Thanh Nien as "the boldest smuggling ring ever busted" in the city.
“They dared to send ten containers of contraband through the customs at once,” the officer said.
A VietnamNet report in January quoted senior lieutenant-colonel Cao Xuan Loi, deputy head of the city police department in charge of economic crimes, as saying that the smuggled goods might be worth about VND30 billion (more than US$1.4 million).
Dung established his company in late October and Sang in August.
Police investigation suggested that they had received orders from local traders for the goods and combined them all into one big shipment. They submitted false customs declarations which claimed the goods were all legal and worth VND930 million in total.
The cargos that were seized after clearing customs at Vict port in District 7 in fact contained 721 categories of products that had not been declared, including alcohol, cosmetics and chemicals.
Many of them were banned from importing, such as 147 used computer screens and electronic firecrackers.
Electronic firecrackers and sewing machines were found in one container though the declaration claimed it contained lamps, decorative paper and envelops.
Another container was found with copious quantities of cosmetics that appear to have been made in China, but the labels do not specify their origins.
Some have false labels claiming the products were made in Vietnam and contain instructions in Vietnamese, which a police officer called a “sophisticated” method of disguising illegal Chinese products in local markets.
Police also found among the cargo more than 200 kilograms of packages imitative of the Singaporean essential oil brand Eagle.
The shipment had received a pass from customs officials at Vict port but was stopped right at the gate by the city police and market managers as the latter forces were tipped off.
Two customs officials have been reassigned for the improper job after police checks on two of the containers found that only 15 packages were checked, while customs rules required at least 5 percent of a container, meaning 52 packages in this case, be checked before it is passed.