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Customs officer arrested after 213 containers disappear from Saigon port

By Quoc Thang   September 10, 2017 | 07:50 pm PT
Customs officer arrested after 213 containers disappear from Saigon port
Container trucks enter Cat Lai Port in Saigon. Photo by VnExpress
The containers were likely to have contained contraband, and were slipped out under the radar.

A customs officer in Ho Chi Minh City has been arrested in connection with 213 containers that went missing from a local port in 2015.

The corruption division at the Ministry of Public Security arrested Nguyen Van Lam on Sunday on charges of trafficking.

Investigators suspect he is connected to the case at Cat Lai Port, and are trying to track down his accomplices.

The containers, belonging to 56 businesses, were waiting to be exported to Cambodia, but were slipped out through unofficial exits and disappeared from the radar.

By the time other officials had noticed the containers were missing, the businesses involved had closed down at their registered addresses.

The Ministry of Public Security stepped in last month to open a trafficking investigation, suspecting the goods had been smuggled out to serve the Vietnamese market.

The transit trick is used when goods are banned in Vietnam or can only enter under strict conditions, officers said. The goods in this case have not been identified.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has ordered a full report by December.

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