Woman faces conviction for smuggling six tons of gold from Cambodia to Vietnam

By Quoc Thang   April 3, 2024 | 03:17 pm PT
A court in HCMC will hear the case in which a Vietnamese woman smuggled six tons of gold from Cambodia to Vietnam and successfully sold 300 kilos of it.

The Supreme People's Procuracy has completed an indictment involving a total of six tons of gold worth VND8.5 trillion (US$340 million) smuggled by Nguyen Thi Minh Phung, 43.

Related to the case, Dang Thi Thanh Hang, 64, owner of Phuc Hang gold shop in Hanoi and Hat Giang gold shop in HCMC, her brother Dang Nam Trung, 51, and 22 others, are also facing the charge of smuggling.

Phung was identified as the leader while Hang was accused of consuming the most smuggled gold but has fled abroad, and the Ministry of Public Security has issued a warrant for her arrest.

Dang Thi Thanh Hang. Photo to by police

Dang Thi Thanh Hang is being wanted for involving in the smuggling of six tons of gold from Cambodia to Vietnam. Photo to by police

According to the indictment, Hang was involved in consuming nearly 300 kg of smuggled gold.

She is accused of instructing her brother to transport the gold on flights from HCMC to Hanoi through "acquaintances" in the airline industry.

To manage the illegal gold transactions with Phung, Hang set up a Telegram chat group.

After agreements on purchases, gold shop owners would ask airline staff to transport foreign currency into HCMC for payment. Nguyen Duy Duc, 34, an employee of Hang in HCMC, would monitor the flights and arrange to receive the money at the airport or outside the flight crew's office.

From Aug. 3 to Sept. 28 in 2022, Hang’s group bought 294 kg of smuggled gold from Phung.

They successfully sold 50 kg in HCMC, and the rest was transported to Hanoi.

Trung, the brother of Hang, often traveled between Hanoi and HCMC to exchange money and receive gold, using his connections to pass through VIP security checks at HCMC's Tan Son Nhat airport, according to prosecutors.

On Sept. 28, 2022, after a period of surveillance, police caught the group red-handed as they were exchanging gold in HCMC's Tan Binh District.

Expanding the investigation, they arrested dozens of individuals and searched several related locations in Tay Ninh Province that borders HCMC and Cambodia, seizing a total of 76 gold bars (equivalent to 76 kg), nearly US$3 million, 64,000 euros, and AUD5,000, 10 million South Korean won, 10 million Japanese yen, over VND45 billion in cash, and a series of other evidence.

Gold bars confiscated by police from a gold smuggling ring run by Dang Thi Thanh Hang. Photo by police

Gold bars confiscated by police from a smuggling ring. Photo by police

Phung and another gold shop owner, Nguyen Thi Kim Phuong, were accused of independently smuggling gold from Cambodia to Vietnam for profit, using hidden compartments in ice trucks for transportation.

Over two months from July 16 to Sep. 28 in 2022, more than six tons of gold were smuggled into Vietnam through Chang Riec border gate in Tay Ninh.

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