Vietnam police return $14,000 to raided gold shop

By Trung Hieu, Thanh Nien News

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The Hoang Mai Gold Shop on Bui Huu Nghia Street in Ho Chi Minh City's Binh Thanh District was raided last week by police. 
Police in Ho Chi Minh City returned more than US$14,000 and other equipment they confiscated from a local gold shop on Tuesday after concluding that it had not widely engaged in illegal currency sales.
Binh Thanh District police handed the owner of the Hoang Mai Gold Shop on Bui Huu Nghia street, Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, $14,164 in cash, a security camera and a CPU they'd seized from the shop during a raid last Thursday.
During a meeting with Mai, the police admitted they had made “some mistakes” during the raid and asked Mai to sign a commitment saying she would not complain about the case any further. 
Mai accepted the deal.
The police said they will keep the $100 that they saw a customer exchange for Vietnamese dong at the shop.
The raid on the Hoang Mai Shop became controversial after police spent eight hours combing the building from top to bottom, seizing more than $14,000 in cash and equipment, after storming into the shop and claiming they had seen a man changing a $100 at the shop.
Before leaving, the officers placed evidentiary seals on 559 taels of gold on display in the shop. They later removed the seals after Mai produced papers proving that she had inherited the gold from her parents.
Some lawyers condemned the search and seizure as illegal.
In Vietnam, the government sporadically clamps down on the illicit trade in dollars in an effort to support the Vietnamese currency.
Following the raid, Mai hired a lawyer and was considering bringing the case to court.

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