|General Director of Customs Department Nguyễn Văn Cẩn chairs the press conference with relevant ministries and agencies on the case of Asanzo Vietnam Electronics JSC in Hà Nội yesterday. -- Photo VNA/VNS|
HÀ NỘI General Director of Customs Nguyễn Văn Cẩn said Asanzo Vietnam Electronics JSC had demonstrated numerous signs of violations during a press conference with relevant ministries and agencies on the case in Hà Nội on Monday.
On June 21, local media reported the firm had set up dummy companies to import spare parts from China for assembly in Việt Nam. Then workers allegedly removed the “Made in China” stamps, assembled them into finished products and labelled them “Made in Vietnam”. Four days later, Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh asked the departments of Import and Export, Industry, Science and Technology, Domestic Market and Market Management to review the case and deliver a report to the ministry and the Prime Minister.
On September 15, CEO of Asanzo Vietnam Electronics JSC, Phạm Văn Tam opened a press conference announcing that his business was "vindicated" without any participation of functional authorities in the capital city.
On Monday, after more than four months, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) identified signs of fundamental violations for the firm which was established in HCM City in October 2016, as the local maker of televisions and other electronic products.
In addition to signs of industrial property infringement or trademark counterfeit according to Article 129 of the Intellectual Property Law, Deputy General Director of Customs Mai Xuân Thành said the firm had cheated its customers, saying the process of assembly at Asanzo was not as advertised.
Customs officials found that the “so-called Japanese technology” chain advertised is a simple chain with 12 rows of tables, which fit with a 50-inch TV or air conditioner unit each. Such a chain needs only 12 full-time labourers and some 30 part-time workers to assemble a TV or an aircon in about 30 minutes.
Thành said: “After assembly, the firms’ products would be packed with Asanzo logo and sold them to 19 other companies for domestic market. Compared with advertising videos in the media with images of the TV assembly line with modern equipment, the actual production at Asanzo is not as advertised".
Asanzo announced it signed a service contract with Sharp - Roxy Company (Hong Kong LTD) in 2017 to be provided with software and technology transfer from Sharp. But after investigation, officials found that it paid nothing to the contract because it has not yet received permission from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) for such a transfer.
Sharp Vietnam sued the firm for using fake seals and documents of its agencies and organisations in the case, announcing that Sharp has not had a relationship with Sharp - Roxy Hongkong since 2016.
Asanzo misled consumers by announcing itself as a maker of "Vietnamese high-quality goods," but the MoST, which is in charge of the issuing of such claims, said had not received a registration from the firm for the phrase.
Last week, HCM City’s Tax Department transferred the Asanzo case to the Police Department for further investigation. Initially, the tax officials found violations including improper VAT declaration; declaration of deducted expenses; not issuing invoices; not returning paper of special consumption tax; and incorrect input of data for air conditioners.
Asanzo was sanctioned with aggravating circumstances for the acts of evading or concealing violations with the firm’s total fines, arrears, and late payment of VND47.6 billion(more than $2 million).
With the initial results of a number of agencies, representative of the Supreme People's Procuracy Lại Anh Tuấn said: “Though there is still not enough evidence to identify whether the firm is guilty or not, it at least showed signs of tax evasion.”
After listening to the opinions of the departments, the leader of the Department of Customs Nguyễn Văn Cẩn suggested that the relevant ministries should send their comments to the department and the MoF so that they can summarise the case report to the Prime Minister. – VNS