Vietnam police bust ring smuggling diaries, cosmetics from US

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Police in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested a man for allegedly heading a smuggling ring that illegally imported containers of dairies and cosmetics from the US into Vietnam, Vietnamnet reported Friday.

Initial information released by the HCMC Police Department's economic crimes investigation division (PC46) said that Le Dai Nghia, 30, and Nguyen Thi Lai, who is living in the US, had been trafficking the goods into Vietnam since last year.

Lai, whom Nghia got to know via an acquaintance, shipped the goods and gave Nghia VND130-180 million (US$6,200-8,600) for him to pay all related fees needed to bring the goods to Hoc Mon District, Nghia told police.

Nghia said he contracted several companies that were not licensed for the import of diaries and cosmetics to import the goods for him, the newswire reported.

They would declare the goods as non-commercial like plaster powder and concrete mixers, which allowed them to pass custom clearance without being checked, according to the Vietnamnet report.

The contracted companies said they were paid VND30 million ($1,400) for each container imported successfully.

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Between at least 10 and 15 containers had been imported into Vietnam as of the time Nghia was arrested, the newswire said.

PC46 busted the ring after finding the Hoc Mon District-based Nguyen Ngoc Company unloading a container with nearly 17,000 boxes of cosmetics and more than 59,000 cans of Ensure milk without proper documentation in November last year.

Further investigations led police to other storages of the company and find more allegedly smuggled goods.

The case is being investigated.

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