|Hà Nội police seizes more than 15,000 cigars which were allegedly smuggled from Europe. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — More than 15,000 smuggled cigars worth VNĐ4 billion (US$173,900) were seized in Hà Nội, capital city police announced on Sunday.
According to Hà Nội Economic Police Division, the cigars in question were owned by local man Đỗ Đức Phong and hidden in three separate locations across the city.
Phong admitted that he bought the cigars in a few European countries and hired flight attendants to bring them back to Việt Nam.
He then advertised and sold the tobacco online via Facebook or Zalo, a popular local messaging app.
The man was arrested, and the police are expanding their investigation into the smuggling ring.
Also on Sunday, Dầu Tiếng District police in the southern province of Bình Dương said that they have seized 15,300 packs of foreign-branded cigarettes being smuggled into Việt Nam.
Phạm Văn Hương, 52, was stopped at around 2am by officers, who later found 7,800 packs of Jet and Hero cigarettes in his car.
The police on the same day detained another two men, Võ Hữu Mạnh, 59, and Nguyễn Chí Thuận, 38, who were delivering 7,500 packs of 555, Cost, Hero and Jet cigarettes in their car.
All suspects failed to show receipts or documents proving the origin of the tobacco.
They admitted to having bought the cigarettes in question in Cambodia and planned to sell them in Việt Nam. — VNS