HCM CITY (VNS)— HCM City police arrested seven people for smuggling 20,000kg of rice on Friday, which was discovered by anti-smuggling officials carrying out a surprise check of a "tobacco" consignment in Cat Lai Port.
Le Dung, director of the Sai Gon Industrial Foodstuff Joint Stock Company, Pham Tan Duc and Quach Van Quy, heads of two of the company's branches, and deliverymen Mai Khac Truong and Le Tien Cuong were arrested for tax fraud.
Tran Thi Bich Tuyen of Blue C.T Cambodia and Nguyen Quoc Dung of Tan Binh District, both importers of the consignment, were also arrested.
According to the police, the company's customs declaration claimed the two containers contained Craven "A" cigarette cartons worth VND23.6 billion, but, in fact, had a few hundred million dong worth white rice.
Even as officials were checking the two containers, xxx dispatched two other containers with 2,059 cartons of Caraven "A" and Bastos cigarettes to the Sai Gon Port's zone 4 for exchanging fraudulently the containers suspected by officials.
Last year, in April, the police had caught the company smuggling out 60,000kg of white rice.
It is not clear why the company officials were not arrested then, but the police are now saying they belong to a transnational smuggling ring.
Tuyen is said to be the linchpin. Though Dung knew it was illegal, he ordered his subordinates to go ahead with it. — VNS