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Vietnam launches int'l hunt for luxury-goods smuggler

Publication Date : 15-12-2013


The HCM City police have asked for help from Interpol Viet Nam in their hunt for the owner of two local Gucci-Milano stores, who has been absconding since being charged with smuggling.

An international warrant has been issued for Tran Anh Tuan, 53, a Vietnamese-American, Senior Lieutenant - Colonel Cao Xuan Loi, Deputy Head of the police's investigation division, said on December 13.

Tuan is allegedly the kingpin of a luxury-goods smuggling ring that was discovered in 2012.

On 27 December, 2012, police seized four trucks carrying Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana clothes, belts, scarves, shoes, and bags from the basement of the Sheraton Sai Gon Hotel in HCM City's District 1.

The goods, actually made in Italy, had been passed off as Chinese-made goods in customs declarations.

To avoid paying import tax on the authentic Gucci products, Tuan routed shipments from Italy through Hong Kong to pass them off as Chinese-made fakes.

Le Hong Duc, 35, an employee of one of the stores, helped Tuan in these smuggling ventures, and was arrested last April.

According to Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper, checks revealed an apparent difference in the products' quality.

The seized consignment was worth 16 billion dong (US$753,000), and the tax due on it was 552 million dong ($26,200).

Two customs officers, Nguyen Buu Qui, 51, and Nguyen Van Sang, 46, were prosecuted for negligence in August.


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