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Customs slaps smuggling charges on illegal exporter

Update: October, 21/2016 - 16:00
Nearly 100 tonnes of aluminum ingots were disguised as rags. – Photo Hải Quan Online
Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG – The anti-smuggling investigation department, under the General Department of Vietnam Customs, yesterday gave the go-ahead to prosecute a criminal case against Thành Hải Trading & Services Limited on charges of smuggling.
On July 23, customs officials at Đà Nẵng port, in collaboration with the anti-smuggling investigation department’s Unit 2 (central region), intercepted a huge shipment of aluminium and copper ingots intended to be illegally exported via the port.
The two shipments in six containers were registered by the Bình Định Province-based company and declared to customs as rags meant to be filled in bags and exported to Thailand and India.
The first declaration was a shipment of 86 tonnes of rags, worth over US$48,000; the second shipment was 43 tonnes, worth some $24,000. These type of goods, i.e. unprohibited items or items within permitted customs limits, get automatic customs clearance through the green channel.
However, customs officials at Đà Nẵng port had some suspicion and decided to inspect the shipment manually. The inspection revealed copper scrap and aluminum ingots weighing 41.1 tonnes and 98.6 tonnes respectively – all without customs declaration.
As per Vinacontrol’s valuation report (dated on August 4, 2016), the total estimated value of the shipment was 5.6 billion.
The offence is serious enough to constitute as a crime under Article 153 of the Penal Code.
Expanding investigations, customs authorities discovered that Thành Hải Trading & Services had registered the export of 12 batches of goods – all declared to be rags – via Đà Nẵng port since January. Checks revealed that the rags registered on 10 waybills had in fact been 171 tonnes of aluminium ingots and 193 tonnes of copper scrap.
Nguyễn Trọng Hải, the company’s director, confessed to the falsification of 12 purchase contracts with foreign partners to legitimise the exported consignments and bypass customs inspection. – VNS

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