A Hanoi customs officer hoping to cash-in on a confiscated shipment of elephant tusks was caught replacing real ivory with fake imitations, the Vietnam News Agency has reported.
Legal procedures for embezzling property are currently underway against Pham Minh Hoang, a public servant at the Hanoi customs department, by the municipal police department.
Two of Hoang’s accomplices were also arrested to support the investigation.
An announcement made by the Hanoi customs department on Thursday confirmed that Hoang was serving as the keeper of the agency’s warehouse.
The customs officer abused his role to steal and sell a 150-kilogram shipment of ivory that had been confiscated by the customs department and stored at the facility.
Hoang is currently suspended from his position to facilitate the probe.
The General Department of Vietnam Customs asserted that a stern punishment is expected to be imposed upon the corrupted officer, in accordance with the law,
It also ordered the Hanoi customs department to carry out a comprehensive review of its organization and policies and correct any shortcomings or loopholes in the management of confiscated products.
The agency is coordinating with the municipal police to identify additional accomplices and return stolen products.
Authorities are continuing to investigate the matter.