Ho Chi Minh City police have initiated legal proceedings against a local company which was found importing finished electronic products from China but incorrectly declared them as components.
Those products, discovered to be from China, were labeled with the Asanzo brand and came with warranty documents in Vietnamese.
Asanzo is the brand name of the eponymous electronics company based in Ho Chi Minh City.
Sa Huynh Trade and Production Company, based in District 7, is being probed for smuggling, an official under the municipal police department confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
All operations of the firm have been temporarily ceased since March 6, the official added.
Sa Huynh’s violation was detected by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Customs in early September 2018, when the company was caught importing 1,300 electric ovens from China to the Phuoc Long Inland Clearance Depot in Thu Duc District.
All of the ovens were branded Asanzo. Each of them was kept in a separate box along with a warranty certificate written in Vietnamese.
No labels stating their origin were stuck on the devices.
But the customs documents showed that these devices were only separate oven components and their certificate of origin was granted by China.
Sa Huynh said in the customs declaration forms that its shipment contained only electronic components used in the manufacture of electric ovens, instead of finished products.
According to regulations, it is not illegal for Sa Huynh to import finished ovens from China.
However, in the specific case involving the 1,300 electric ovens, the company should have made correct customs declaration that they were importing finished products, rather than falsely declaring them as separate components.
Moreover, those ovens must have undergone mandatory quality inspection before they were allowed to clear customs. If they were to meet all quality standards, these imported products would be allowed to enter the market under the ‘Made in China’ labels.
The 1,300 ovens were supplied by China’s Zhongshan Kinbly Imp. & Exp. Company, according to documents reviewed by Tuoi Tre.
During the same period, Sa Huynh also imported nearly 3,000 electric rice cookers, all of which were branded Asanzo, from Guangdong Weking Group.
|The ovens were kept in separate boxes inside a shipping container. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The business license of Sa Huynh Company shows that it is headquartered at 861/27/39 Tran Xuan Soan Street in Tan Hung Ward, District 7, but ward police have confirmed that it is a bogus address.
The business license also states that the director of Sa Huynh is a woman named Huynh Thi Sa Quol, a 38-year-old resident in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang.
During a working session with authorities, Quol said she and her husband used to work at an Asanzo factory in Vinh Loc Industrial Park in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City.
As they started working there in mid-2018, the company asked for her ID card to “help [her] open a bank account and kept it for two days,” Quol recounted.
On September 24, 2018, a person from the company office admitted to Quol that her ID had been used for the importation of a shipment.
The shipment, however, was held up by customs officers, thus Quol was requested to go to the customs department to sign her name and pay a fine in order to clear the volume of goods.
The woman turned down the request without any hesitation. She and her husband both quit their job at Asanzo and returned to their hometown the following day.
Sa Huynh Company had a new legal representative, Truong Ngoc Liem, in October 2018.
During a recent working session with authorities, Liem said he and his accessories had used Quol’s ID to register for Sa Huynh Company and made her the director.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Customs has recently decided to carry out a post-clearance inspection of another 14 companies in the metropolis.
Similar to Sa Huynh, these 14 firms have been found importing electronic products branded Asanzo into Ho Chi Minh City.
As the firms are either shut down or have a fake address, the cases have been transferred to the Ministry of Public Security for further investigation.