Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — Three former customs officers in Đà Nẵng City were sentenced to jail on Thursday for irresponsibility that allowed smuggled timber to slip through the border.
They were among five defendants in the nine-day trial relating to the trắc wood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) smuggling case that happened at the family-run Ngọc Hưng company headquartered in Quảng Trị Province.
The company’s deputy director, Trương Huy Liệu, 60, and his wife, who is also the director, Trần Thị Dung, 57, were both found guilty of smuggling.
Ngọc Hưng company started importing trắc wood from Laos to Việt Nam in 2011. Liệu and Dung made up fake documents to export more than 614cu.m of the wood, worth over VNĐ63 billion (US$2.8 million), to Hong Kong, China.
Liệu was sentenced to one year and 16 days behind bars while Dung received a suspended prison term of nine months.
The court also found that Đỗ Lý Nhi and Lê Xuân Thành, former officers of the Quảng Trị customs department, failed to properly examine the export cargo of the Ngọc Hưng company. Meanwhile, Đỗ Danh Thắng, former head of the Đà Nẵng customs department, did not order a thorough check of the suspicious timber cargo, and hence failed to discover the smuggling case.
They were all guilty of being irresponsible, causing serious consequences, the court found.
Nhi and Thành each received nine months of suspended jail time while Thắng got six suspended months.
The five caused tax losses to the State of VNĐ1.9 billion. — VNS