Ten containers of smuggled products managed to clear customs at a port in Ho Chi Minh City, but were eventually seized by economic police and market watchdog officers.
Economic police and market management officers seized all of the products for inspection under suspicion that they were fake products smuggled from China.
According to documents obtained by Tuoi Tre, the goods were imported via the Shekou and Nahsha New Port in China by Tan Nhat Huy Vinh Dat Co Ltd, based in District 11, and Nhat Minh Co Ltd, in District 6.
Tuan Hiep was only hired to carry the goods, and the man in charge said he had no idea who the actual owners of the products are.
It took officers as long as five days to check all of the products inside the ten containers, and three more days for quality inspection.
The examination results released on Wednesday show that the containers hold a wide variety of goods including speakers, LED bulbs, stationary, textile machinery, fabric, wallpapers, and consumer products.
But the products are declared only as neon lights and power cable connectors in the customs declaration. The importers also stated that the containers are worth only VND10 million (US$472) each.
The inspectors said 90 percent of the goods are smuggled and fake products that lack certificates of origin and are worth billions of dong.
“More than 90 percent of the products were not declared in the customs declaration,” a market management officer said.
Owners hide away
The agencies said the importers are still nowhere to be found despite repeated requests for them to work with police and the market management agency on the issue.
The containers were cleared by two customs officers, Hoang Truong Tho and Nguyen Phuoc Tuong, who work at the VICT port, according to police.
But Vo Van Bong, an officer from the customs agency of Saigon Port Zone 3, which is in charge of the VICT port, said his agency had checked the containers before granting them clearance .
The customs officers had taken 5 percent of the products in each container for inspection, but found nothing abnormal, Bong said.
The containers were thus allowed to pass through customs.