Quang Ninh authorities suspended seven guards along the Chinese border on Wednesday for after more than US$1.4 million worth of contraband passed through their checkpoint.
The illegal consignment went through a border gate in the province's Mong Cai town early on November 2, but was busted further inside in the province by more than 100 officers from Quang Ninh customs and the Ministry of Public Security.
The tactical squad interdicted dozens of speedboats at a pier not far from Hai Hoa border guard station as they crossed the Ka Long River from China.
By the time the officers arrived, the smugglers had loaded a large part of the contraband onto trucks to deliver them to markets in Vietnam. The cargo included second-hand electronic components, home appliances, fabric and infant formula onto trucks.
The officers arrested ten smugglers and seized 120 tons of products that they estimated were worth more than VND30 billion ($1.41 million).
Police have identified Luong Quang Thang, 36, and his wife Le Thi Thu as the masterminds.
The ring had sent the speedboats to China to fetch the cargo and waited until midnight to pick it up. They had also equipped a fleet of trucks with fake license plates to deliver the products to local markets.