Vietnam customs discover 24,900 dubious top-up cell phone cards

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Giant telecommunications company MobiFone has recently warned its agents about forged top-up cell phone cards after customs busted a shipment of 24,900 dubious cards from China into Vietnam.

The cards, which customs at Mong Cai border gate in the northern province of Quang Ninh confiscated on January 16, were labeled MobiFone.

Each card costs VND100,000 (US$4.7), making the whole consignment worth VND2.49 billion ($117,100), and is valid untill December 21 next year.

In a recent press release, MobiFone said upon being informed of the cards by customs, it checked with its card producer, and concluded the cards were fake.

The 12-digit code hidden in a scratch-off panel on the card cannot be forged, so the fake cards cannot be used to refill cell phone credit, according to the company.

MobiFone said it has asked its agents to be cautious about fraudulent cards and not to buy cards without receipts and other documents.

However, speaking to Thanh Nien, Tran Khanh Hoang, an officer with the Mong Cai customs division, said his team had yet to conclude if the cards were fake, because they are still working with related parties, including MobiFone.

According to customs, the cards were found in a carton brought into Vietnam through the Mong Cai border gate by an unidentified person.

Finding the carton suspicious, customs brought it to a checking area, while the transporter managed to escape.

Agencies are investigating.

Last year, Mong Cai customs also discovered nearly 8,500 sim cards labeled VinaPhone, another big telecommunications company in Vietnam, on suspicion that they were fraudulent.

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