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Men held for smuggling 158 tusks worth $5 mil

Monday, November 26, 2012, 13:40 GMT+7

Police in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested a company director and his deputy for smuggling a large number of elephant tusks from Africa. Tran Van Thai, director of Thai Minh Import Export Co Ltd in Ward 25, Binh Thanh District, and his deputy Le Van Tu were detained yesterday on charges of smuggling. Thai and Tu carried out procedures to import a large shipment of raw salted cow skin from Singapore to HCMC in June 2012. The shipment weighed about 24 tons and was valued at US$57,375. However, while inspecting the goods on July 30, concerned agencies found 158 tusks weighing nearly 2.5 tons hidden in 28 wooden boxes in a container at ICD Phuoc Long Port in HCM City’s Thu Duc District. According to initial investigations, the tusks originated in Africa and are valued at around VND100 billion (US$5 million), investigators said. Tu confessed to police that he had forged a number of papers related to the imported goods. Meanwhile, Thai admitted that he had signed these papers and affixed the company’s seal on them to make them valid. The police are continuing their investigation into the large smuggling case.

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