Anti-smuggling cop ran $9-mln smuggling operation: police

By Quoc Thang, Hai Duyen   September 23, 2022 | 10:05 pm PT
Anti-smuggling cop ran $9-mln smuggling operation: police
Customs officials inspect a container with used machinery and equipment imported illegally into Vietnam at a HCMC port in July, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Thang
A police captain faces charges of "smuggling" after allegedly establishing companies to import machinery into Vietnam.

According to the police investigation results released Friday, Hoang Duy Tien, 37, who has been sacked from the Department for Corruption, Smuggling and Economic Crimes (PC03) under the Ministry of Public Security, had taken advantage of regulations that allow the import of used machinery, equipment and production lines for use at the import company.

In 2019 he set up 47 companies and signed agreements with equipment and machinery owners abroad to buy through them.

They would pay him VND78-90 million (US$3,300-3,800) per container of imported goods and he would take care of customs in Vietnam.

Decision 18 stipulates that imported machinery should be less than 10 years old or, failing that, have written authorization from relevant agencies.

But the police said Tien’s companies imported products more than 10 years old, got his staff to forge documents to get through customs and sold them at high prices.

HCMC-based Dai Minh Viet Appraisal JSC also issued fake certificates for submitting to customs.

His crimes were detected in May 2021 when his companies were in the process of importing seven containers of machinery through Cat Lai Port in HCMC.

The police then raided warehouses owned by Tien’s companies in Binh Tan and Binh Thanh districts and found a lot of machines and equipment produced more than 10 years ago.

A week later he and four others were arrested.

The police said between September 2019 and May 2021 his companies imported 1,280 containers of goods worth more than VND211 billion ($8.89 million).

He had directed his employees to use a different company each time at customs.

Vo Van Dong, 57, another former official at PC03, has been identified as Tien’s main accomplice.

The police said he had helped Tien import six containers worth VND1 billion.

He too has been dismissed.

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