Auto parts market thrives despite infamy

February 13, 2017 - 08:00

Almost a year after Hà Nội’s leader voiced out his determination to eradicate the so-called market selling automotive parts – many of which were stolen goods, things hardly changed.

Authorities inspect products sold at a Chợ Giời (flea market). Selling fake auto parts might pose serious safety threats, especially to coaches.— Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Almost a year after Hà Nội authorities said they were determined to eradicate a market selling mostly stolen automotive parts, nothing much has changed.

Commonly referred to as chợ Giời , or flea market , the area in Hai Bà Trưng District consists of several small streets stretching over Phố Huế and Đồng Nhân Wards.

As unfamiliar as they might sound to many people, Lê Gia Định, Trần Cao Vân and Đỗ Ngọc Du streets are the go-to place for everyone looking for any kind of auto spare part.

A Lao động (Labour) newspaper report yesterday quoted store-owners in the area as saying that most of the auto parts they sell are manufactured in Gia Lâm and a few neighbouring districts before being delivered to chợ Giời for consumption. Some parts are not brand new but obtained from secondhand goods collected from car sellers, while many others are simply stolen and placed on the racks again.

Last Monday, February 6, city police arrested two men, Trần Anh Tuấn and Nguyễn Tiến Huy, who admitted they had been riding motorbikes around the city during the days nearing Tết (Lunar New Year) to steal car parts like wing mirrors. They sold these to Nguyễn Đình Tuấn, a store owner in chợ Giời.

Just a day later, police raided two garages of Đào Ngọc Lan in chợ Giời and seized thousands of auto parts, many of which belong to luxurious super cars.

Lan had been selling auto parts since 2010 without business registration and her goods were usually stolen car parts, police said.

Almost a year ago, Hà Nội Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung had acknowledged the existence of chợ Giời and admitted that its activities were illegal, especially the selling of stolen goods. He said city authorities were “determined to wipe out used goods and those without clear origins” from the market.

However, nothing changed after his statement. Along the streets that comprised chợ Giời, several stores were set up with automotive parts even spread out on the streets. Chợ Giời was still the first place that would come to a car owners’ mind when they had their wing mirrors or windscreen wipers stolen. If they were lucky, they would be able to repurchase the stolen goods, or find cheaper replacements compared to prices at official garages.

Deputy Chairman of the Phố Huế Ward People’s Committee, Nguyễn Song Toàn, said he was yet to receive any official order on eradicating chợ Giời.

While acknowledging that chợ Giời took over pavements and streets, and made them unsafe road users, he was cautious about removing the infamous market, given the strong opposition that can be expected from some 800 store owners.

“We haven’t received any order from the city to eradicate chợ Giời. But we will surely do it if the city says so,” a member of the chợ Giời management board told Lao động. – VNS