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Police to expand investigation into smuggled guns detected at Vietnam airport

Wednesday, August 05, 2015, 21:11 GMT+7
Police to expand investigation into smuggled guns detected at Vietnam airport
Military handguns seized by customs officers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on July 31, 2015

Vietnamese police from the Ministry of Public Security will join customs officers in expanding an investigation into a gun smuggling case detected at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City last week.

The launch of the further investigation followed the conclusion of a meeting between Lieutenant General To Lam, Deputy Minister of Public Security, and the leaders of Vietnam Customs at Tan Son Nhat on Tuesday.

Deputy Minister Lam praised customs officers at the airport for their outstanding achievements in detecting and seizing a shipment of military weapons to Vietnam from Turkey.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has complimented the customs force for fulfilling their tasks.

Customs officers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City last Friday discovered a huge volume of arms, including 94 military handguns and 472 magazines, hidden on a flight from Turkey.

Airport customs officers, in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Security’s General Economic Security Department and other units, launched an unexpected inspection of the Turkish flight and discovered the illicit firearms, which originated from the Czech Republic.

Regarding the “SG” code written on the waybill of the shipment, Vietnamese authorities said it is not reasonable to assume that the final destination of the weapons may be Singapore, as previously stated by a source from the Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh City.

The shipment was coded “SG” and cargo loaders could have mistaken it for “Saigon,” which is the former name of Ho Chi Minh City but is still in use now, instead of “Singapore,” the source said.

According to this source, such mistakes in cargo storage and delivery frequently occur at international airports, and many shipments have already been mistakenly shipped to Tan Son Nhat.

Some local media reports also cited sources as stating that the arms shipment was ordered by Singaporean police for the protection of their state officials, and due to errors, the batch was delivered to Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

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