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​​Vietnam prosecutes suspects in $88mn oil smuggling case involving customs

​​Vietnam prosecutes suspects in $88mn oil smuggling case involving customs

Friday, May 04, 2018, 17:30 GMT+7

About 100,000 metric tons of gasoline was smuggled between October 2015 and January 2016

The People’s Court in the south-central Vietnamese province of Binh Thuan is set to begin the trial of an oil smuggling ring worth over US$88 million, which involves several local customs officers.

The provincial People’s Procuracy has finished the indictment of the case and prosecuted multiple suspects for smuggling and receiving bribes.

According to court documents, an inspectorate led by the Ministry of Public Security examined oil tanker BTS Christina, belonging to Singapore’s BTS Tankers Company, on January 29, 2016. The vessel was pumping gasoline into the tanks of Duong Dong Hoa Phu JSC in Tuy Phong District, Binh Thuan Province.

Inspectors found out that the BTS Christina was carrying up to 9,300 metric tons of petroleum, while Duong Dong Hoa Phu had only declared the import of 1,800 metric tons to the local customs department.

After going through related documents, officers discovered that the firm had smuggled about 100,000 metric tons of gasoline, which was worth more than VND2 trillion ($88 million), between October 2015 and January 2016.

The company managed to sell over 120 million liters of fuel and earned about VND1.3 trillion ($57.2 million) in profit.

Nguyen Duc Manh, chairman and general director of Duong Dong Hoa Phu, was directly in charge of the illegal importation.

Dam Van Duong, former director of WorldControl Survey Corporation (WSC), which provides industrial inspection services, was also held responsible for supplying documents needed to legalize the import. Duong was given a total of VND2.2 billion ($96,800) by Manh in return for the help.

Customs officers’ involvement

The People’s Procuracy also prosecuted Dinh Huu Thuy, an official at the Binh Thuan Customs Department who was tasked with inspecting and supervising all import activities of Duong Dong Hoa Phu, for accepting bribes.

Le Van Vinh, Thuy’s colleague, was charged for abuse of power while doing official duties.

According to Thuy’s statement, Nguyen Tuan Anh, an employee of Duong Don Hoa Phu, promised to pay him VND12 million ($526) each time Thuy “ignored” the firm’s violations.

Thuy would then give Vinh VND3 million ($131.5). The customs officer had received nearly VND150 million ($6,579) worth of bribes in total.

Vo Van Toan, head of the Binh Thuan Customs Department, his deputy Ta Hung Dung, and Luu Trong Vu, Thuy’s superior, also face stern penalties for overlooking the wrongdoing of their subordinates.



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