Viet Nam News
CẦN THƠ – Police in the southern city of Cần Thơ plan to propose less harsh punishments on foreign currency exchanges at unlicensed organisations after a citizen was fined VNĐ90 million (US$4,000) for trading a $100 banknote at a local jewellery shop.
The incident occurred late last year when electrician Nguyễn Cà Rê, in Cần Thơ’s Ninh Kiều District, brought a $100 banknote that he had received as a present to Thảo Lực Jewellery Shop to exchange into Việt Nam đồng. After receiving nearly VNĐ2.3 million in exchange, Rê was detained by local police for illegal exchange of foreign currency. The money was confiscated.
In early September this year, the city People’s Committee fined Rê VNĐ90 million. Both Rê and the shop were fined for illegal foreign currency trading at an organisation not entitled for such operations.
“My monthly income is as an electrician is just nearly VNĐ4 million ($180). The fine is beyond my capacity. I don’t know how to get money to pay the fine,” Rê told the media.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday on the case, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Trần Văn Dương - chief of staff and spokesman of Cần Thơ City Police, said given Rê’s situation, he can request to mitigate the fine or propose the postponement or exemption of the fine.
“Rê can submit his request to the city People’s Committee for consideration and settlement in accordance with the law,” Dương said.
As for the fine of Thảo Lực Jewellery Shop, Dương said police had acted according to regulations. There were no complaints and the shop paid on time, he said.
The shop was fined VNĐ295 million ($13,100) for the purchase and sale of foreign currency at organisations not allowed to exchange foreign currency, VNĐ70 million for trading goods of unknown origin, VNĐ15 million for producing goods without announcing standards and VNĐ30 million for producing goods of high quality inconsistent with the announced standards.
Police also confiscated the $100, 20 diamonds and 19,910 artificial granite stones worth nearly VNĐ550 million.
Dương said police of Cần Thơ City will report to the Ministry of Public Security and to recommend fines be more appropriate for buying and selling foreign currencies in places where they are not allowed.
In addition, the city police will also work with the State Bank of Việt Nam to educate people on regulations on foreign currency trading. — VNS