|Hoàng Thị Ngọc Anh and Nguyễn Ngọc Sang (sitting) are detained after being caught trying to smuggle 3.1kg of gold to South Korea. — Photo courtesy of the Nội Bài Airport Customs|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội People’s Procurate on Tuesday decided to prosecute a couple and an airport employee for attempting to smuggle gold worth VNĐ2.8 billion (US$122.600) to South Korea.
Aware that the gold prices in South Korea were higher than Việt Nam, Hoàng Thị Ngọc Anh, a former Vietnam Airlines airhostess, planned with her husband Nguyễn Ngọc Sang to accumulate domestic gold and smuggle it to South Korea to earn profits.
The couple borrowed money from friends and pawned a car and some properties of their relatives to collect VNĐ2.6 billion to buy 3.1kg of gold.
The purchased gold was then melted and reshaped into four blocks of 5cm x 10cm x 5cm each.
After booking airplane tickets to South Korea, the couple gave their seat numbers to Phạm Duy Nhuận, Anh’s old acquaintance from her time working with Vietnam Airlines. Nhuận at the time was an aircraft repair technician at Nội Bài International Airport and thus had easy access to airplanes.
Some four hours before the couple’s boarding time, Nhuận took the gold from Anh and hid the gold under her husband’s seat cushion in Vietnam Airlines flight VN416 bound for South Korea on July 27.
Upon boarding the plane, Sang and his wife were caught red-handed while searching for the gold blocks under his seat.
The four seized gold blocks were near absolute purity, with gold content at 99.99 per cent, according to the police.
The couple said they would have earned some VNĐ20 million if the smuggling operation had been successful, although the police believed the profits could be more than VNĐ100 million. – VNS