Company directors probed for smuggling $320,000 worth of rare earth to China

By Pham Du   January 5, 2024 | 04:14 am PT
Company directors probed for smuggling $320,000 worth of rare earth to China
Rare earth at a mine in northern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh
Two directors from two companies were put under investigation for illegally exporting rare earths worth VND7.8 billion ($320,223) to China.

Tran Duc, director of the Duong Lieu Logistic Company, and Nguyen Thanh Doan, director of the Truong Son War Invalids Company, were put under investigation by the police from the Ministry of Public Security on Friday for smuggling.

Doan was forbidden from leaving his residence, while Duc was detained.

A Chinese man named Liu Dehua was also put under an investigation for the same charge, but he has left Vietnam. He is wanted by the authorities.

They were accused of illegally exporting rare earth batches worth VND7.8 billion to China through various measures, including deception and false customs procedures.

The arrests were made as police expanded investigation into the illegal mining, manufacturing and processing of rare earth and iron ores in Yen Phu Commune of Yen Bai Province in northern Vietnam.

Also on Friday the police put Nguyen Anh Son, director of the Son Anh Phu Tho Trading Company; Doan Hai Nam, head of the material department under the Hoa Phat Hai Duong Steel company; and Do Khanh Toan, vice director of the Atexim Company, under investigation for accounting violations regarding the case.

The three were accused of helping Dang Tran Chi, director of the Hop Thanh Phat Commerce and Transport company, violate the laws regarding accounting, leading to a loss of VND8.7 billion in taxes for the state.

Chi had been arrested in October, along with Doan Van Huan, chairman of the management board and general director of Thai Duong Company; Nguyen Van Chinh, vice general director of the company, and Luu Anh Tuan, chairman of Vietnam Rare Earth JSC, for violations in accounting and for survey, exploration, and extraction of resources.

An initial investigation alleged that Huan and Chinh had ordered the illegal mining and use of over 11 million kg of rare earth ores, worth VND440 billion, and 152 million kg of iron ores worth VND192 billion in Yen Bai. They illegally profited with VND632 billion.

The duo colluded with Hop Thanh Phat and Vietnam Rare Earth companies to forge VAT documents in rare earth trade to leave more than VND28 billion out of the books, causing an estimated loss of more than VND7.5 billion to the government in tax evasion.

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