Senior Lieutenant Colonel Hoang Van Nam, deputy head of the Department of Drug and Crime Prevention in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, was summoned to the provincial Command of Border Guard to explain on the large amount of undocumented goods found at his house's and his relative’s residence earlier.
The case has raised public criticism in An Giang since February 27, when it was first discovered by the provincial police.
At the residence belonging to Tran Thi Dung, Nam’s sister-in-law, in Vinh Chanh 2 Village in Chau Doc City, police officers found 365kg of stainless steel pots, pans and kettles; 230 watches of all kinds; hand fans; 47 nebulizers; 107 tennis and badminton rackets; 90 blenders; 20 sets of mini gas stoves; one massage chair; two microwaves; and two air conditioners.
The contraband was estimated to fetch VND155 million (US$6,725).
At Nam’s house in the same village, there were 80kg of stainless steel pots, 260kg of non-stick pans, 130kg of car washing tools, 16 rice cookers and pressure cookers, 19 electric stoves and grillers, 92 irons, 123 thermos flasks, 37 clocks, 28 coffee pots, 14 portable vacuum cleaners, and 12 ventilation fans and desktop mini fans. Their combined value was estimated at VND90 million ($3,900).
Similar goods were also detected at another house belonging to Nam and his wife in Vinh Tan Village, Vinh Nguon Ward.
In total, police officers confiscated more than 1,140 items and over 1.3 metric tons of foreign goods without documents proving their legality at the three places.
|Le Hoang Viet from the Border Guard Command of An Giang Province talks with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, March 15, 2021. Photo: Buu Dau / Tuoi Tre|
During the police’s inspection, only Nam’s 19-year-old daughter was present at his house. She witnessed and signed the police inspection report.
Meanwhile, a 31-year-old man named Le Van Len, who hails from Vinh Hoi Dong Commune in An Phu District and claimed to be a house tenant, witnessed the police raid at the other house in Vinh Tan Village.
“The verification results of the An Giang Border Guard force basically matched the An Giang police’s,” Le Hoang Viet, a high-ranking official of the provincial Command of Border Guard, said on Monday afternoon.
According to Viet, Nam’s family is staying in one of the three aforementioned houses, while he had rented out another to the tenant for VND2.5 million ($108) per month in a verbal deal.
“Nam has nothing to do with the remaining house which belongs to his sister-in-law,” said Viet.
Viet added that Nam had left for Da Lat City in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong for training since last November.
Nam returned to his home for the Lunar New Year celebrations in mid-February and saw two packages that Dung asked to put at his house.
“Nam scolded his wife for the packages, at that time still in a small amount. But as he returned to his training in Da Lat, his sister-in-law sent more items to his house,” Viet said.
According to Viet, the provincial Border Guard Command’s Party Committee has scheduled a meeting to discuss an appropriate penalty for Nam.