Customs officers fired for failing to catch smuggled laptops

Two Vietnamese customs officers were fired for mistakenly allowing a company to pass 300 laptops through Saigon Port last year without declaration, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department said on March 17.

The two officers are Nguyen Phi Hung and Tran Ngoc Tho.

In June 2009, Vinh Hao IT Company, located in HCMC’s District 8, declared the import of 460 cartons containing 2,750 computer keyboards. However, they did not declare an additional 300 laptops.

The shipment was allowed to pass through customs by officers Hung and Tho of Saigon Port.

The Hanoi Investigative Police Bureau against Criminals of Social Order and Position Abuse in the South (C15B) asked the HCMC People’s Supreme Procuracy to sue Ly Quan Kiet, director of Vinh Hao IT Company.

Mr. Kiet is accused of smuggling the laptops from Hong Kong (China),

A search of the company’s office turned up records and vouchers showing that since 2006, Vinh Hao Company had been importing computers and accessories from foreign countries.

An initial inquiry into the incident did not implicate Hung and Tho, and no criminal proceedings were taken against them. However, after months of further investigation, authorities found the two officers responsible and they were subsequently fired.

By L.Long, translated by Tran Tran

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