Airport technical employee detained for lending smugglers hand

An airport technical employee was detained for lending smugglers a hand.
Employee Le Van Ngoc at police station

Employee Le Van Ngoc at police station

Police force in Ho Chi Minh City today announced to arrest an employee of the Vietnam Airlines Engineering Company (VAECO) - a subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines (VNA) in charge of aircraft maintenance at Tan Son Nhat airport for receiving more than VND500 million (US$ 20,521) to help smartphone smugglers.

Moreover, the city police investigation agency prosecuted the defendants Le Van Ngoc in Go Vap District and Nguyen Anh Tuan in Binh Tan District for smuggling. Both are temporarily arrested.

The police also decided to prosecute defendant Nguyen Thi Thuy Nga in Binh Tan District who is the wife of defendant Tuan. The woman acted as an accomplice.

Previously, Ho Chi Minh City Police handled the investigation of a smuggling case at Tan Son Nhat International Airport conducted by Tuan and his accomplices. Police determined that Tuan transported 12 new iPhone 14 Pro Max phones from Thailand to Vietnam via Tan Son Nhat airport.

However, Tuan did not declare to customs and was discovered by Tan Son Nhat Airport Border Gate Customs Branch. The case was transferred to Ho Chi Minh City Police for further investigation.

Through investigation, the police determined that Tuan and his accomplices smuggled more than 600 iPhone 14 Pro Max phones for nearly VND 20 billion from Thailand to Vietnam by air. Tuan and his accomplices connected with Ngoc - a technical staff of VAECO – who is in charge of aircraft maintenance at Tan Son Nhat Airport.

Specifically, Ngoc informed his aircraft maintenance schedule to Tuan. After that, Tuan booked a ticket to bring the goods back on the flight on Ngoc's maintenance schedule.

As soon as the plane landed at the airport and passengers got off the plane, Ngoc would start doing his maintenance duty. Ngoc received Tuan's shopping bag at the boarding gate and put it in his tool bag.

After completing maintenance, Ngoc traveled by domestic railway to exit the airport, avoiding customs control. Afterward, Ngoc arranged to deliver the goods to Tuan's accomplices outside the airport. Ngoc received an amount of VND 900,000 for each smuggled phone.

The investigation officer determined that Ngoc received a total of more than VND 500 million to lend smugglers a hand for bringing smartphones into Vietnam without paying tax.

The case is being further investigated by Ho Chi Minh City Police in coordination with relevant units. In addition to tougher for those involved in the case, the police also recommended implementing stricter management solutions to prevent smuggling crimes.

Prior, the Police Investigation Agency of Da Nang City Police said on October 3 that they had decided to prosecute the accused a 22-year-old Thai national for smuggling.

The young man brought 20 iPhone 15 Pro Max phones that were discovered at Da Nang International Airport on September 23.

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