Vietnam halts clearing of imported BMW cars over suspected fraud

By VnExpress   November 30, 2016 | 11:00 am PT
Vietnam halts clearing of imported BMW cars over suspected fraud
Vehicles are seen along a street in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham
A car importer in Saigon is being questioned for alleged trade violations.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has ordered customs agencies to suspend clearance procedures for imported BMW cars in order to probe suspected violations by a local trader.

Only BMW cars imported under diplomatic privilege are not subject to the suspension.

The decision was made on Wednesday after the ministry reportedly found a range of violations at an importer in Ho Chi Minh City. Euro Auto, in District 7, was accused of faking documents and failing to complete all required paperwork and customs procedures.

The ministry said the importer had not provided certificates of origin and other documents related to its imported cars. It even used fake documents, such as purchase contracts, receipts, to import BMW cars, according to the ministry.

A criminal investigation has been proposed by the ministry.

A representative from Euro Auto told VnExpress the company is still in the process of submitting necessary documents as requested by the authorities. The company strictly obeys the law, the representative said, adding that it will seek intervention and assistance of other government agencies to protect its lawful rights.

The ministry’s move came a day after it sent a letter asking customs and tax officials to closely monitor car imports to prevent smuggling and fraud.

In September, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue had ordered the Ministry of Finance to look into media reports that a number of companies had allegedly imported luxury cars in the form of gifts and donations to evade tax.

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