|Smuggling ring trading ivory and pangolin scales worth VND300 billion arrested
|Hoang Duy Tien – the leader of the smuggling ring
Making false Certificate of Inspection
On May 25, the People’s Court of HCM City opened a first-instance trial to judge Hoang Duy Tien, 38, residing in Binh Tan district and 25 accomplices involved in smuggling used machinery and equipment. The trial is expected to take place until May 31.
According to the indictment announced in court, Hoang Duy Tien (former officer of Team 7, Economic Police Division of HCM City Police) knew individuals who are owners of used machinery and equipment (referred to as goods owners) and these owners need to find a person who can import the items for domestic consumption.
Tien also understands the customs regulations and the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 18/2019/QD/TTg dated April 19, 2019 (Decision 18) allowing the import of used machinery and equipment for the enterprise’s production.
Therefore, Hoang Duy Tien agreed with goods owners to import used items through companies established by him by falsely declaring them as imported goods for production. Tien delivered the goods to the owners of the goods.
Depending on the time, the owners of the goods paid VND78 million – VND 90 million/container for Tien. Tien paid taxes, transport costs for shipping the goods to the warehouse, and expenses for the inspection company. Tien hired some individuals to help him establish companies, make import dossiers and implement customs procedures, and pay expenses transactions for related activities.
According to the regulations on import conditions under Decision 18, imported goods such as used equipment and machinery have been produced for at most 10 years. However, most goods owners have imported products manufactured for more than 10 years to get lower prices and more profit when selling the products in Vietnam. Therefore, Tien requested his staff to revise the production year of the goods of less than 10 years to be eligible for import.
To reduce tax payable, Tien directed his staff to declare the value of imported goods much lower than the actual value. According to regulations, enterprises are allowed to bring used machinery and equipment to the warehouse for storage, and wait for the inspection result to be permitted for customs clearance. Tien instructed staff to transfer the goods to the owners for consumption without the assessment result after receiving the goods at the port.
To complete import procedures, Hoang Duy Tien agreed with Dai Minh Viet Inspection Joint Stock Company to issue a false Certificate of Inspection for cargo containers with a price of VND2.8 – 3.2 million/certificate depending on the time.
|The defendants in court
Smuggling 1,287 containers of used machinery and equipment
On May 24, 2021, Hoang Duy Tien and his employees used legal entities of three companies established by him (including Dai Loi, Hoang Kim, and Gia Cat Thanh companies) to open seven customs declarations, carried out procedures for illegally importing a large number of used machinery and equipment in seven containers, and declared the purpose for production.
In fact, he was hired to import these goods by the owners of the goods in Vietnam.
The Economic Police Division – HCM City Police coordinated with the 1st Zone Saigon Port Customs Branch to suspend the customs clearance procedures for the containers to inspect, make records, seize the goods and transfer the case to the Investigation Police Department of the city for investigation.
The indictment showed that this was a smuggling case intentionally carried out by Hoang Duy Tien and his accomplices. For a long time, Tien and 25 accomplices have smuggled large volumes of used machinery and equipment from abroad to Vietnam.
Although he knows that Decision No. 18 strictly regulates the import of used machinery, equipment and technology transfer lines into Vietnam, he still connects with the owners of the goods to illegally import the products from Japan and China into Vietnam for illicit benefits.
To do this, Tien and his employees established 47 companies, then directly used the legal entities of 45 companies to carry out procedures for importing used machinery and equipment. Tien and his accomplices have adjusted all sales contracts, invoices and documents related to shipments of goods to be eligible for import under the regulations in Decision 18.
Then Hoang Duy Tien colluded with Dai Minh Viet Inspection Joint Stock Company to make false records of the goods inspection and issue fake inspection certificates to submit to Customs authorities.
For the accused who are employees of Dai Minh Viet Inspection Joint Stock Company, although they disagreed with Hoang Duy Tien on the import of used machinery and equipment to Vietnam for consumption, the accused as Director, Deputy Director, Head of the Inspection Division and staff understood provisions of Decision 18. However, they still issued illegal reports and certificates for Tien and his employees to legalise the customs clearance documents.
Due to the need to buy and sell used machinery and equipment to make a profit, the owners made agreements with Tien to import smuggled goods to Vietnam and then handed over the goods to the owner for trading and profit. There were no machinery or equipment was imported to serve production and business.
The indictment determined that Hoang Duy Tien was the mastermind. From about September 2019 to May 24, 2021, Tien used the legal status of 45 companies, opened 1,153 customs declarations, and imported 1,287 containers of smuggled goods into Vietnam, with a total value of infringing goods of more than VND217 billion. The act of Hoang Duy Tien and his accomplices is especially dangerous for society, and infringed on the economic management order of the State, so he should be strictly handled under the criminal law.