Police in HCM City have asked for help from Interpol Vietnam in their search for the owner of two local Gucci-Milano stores for smuggling.
Genuine luxury goods declared as fake to avoid taxes
To avoid taxes, the owner, Tran Anh Tuan, is accused of transferring all of the luxury goods through Hong Kong before importing them into Vietnam. However, the real products were claimed as Chinese fake goods.
The police seized four trucks that were transporting the products to the basement of the Sheraton Hotel. The import taxes for 1,253 authentic Gucci and Dolce&Gabana items was over VND552 million, but Tuan had only paid VND27 million (USD1,300).
In April, Le Hong Duc was detained for smuggling and two customs officers were prosecuted for negligence. Duc was the one who helped Tuan expand his ring. Tuan had also paid a monthly wage of VND4.5 million to a female caretaker at his shop, and then use this caretaker’s name for various business contracts. In an attempt to avoid police scrutiny, Tuan paid another man VND38 million a month in order to use his name for operating licenses.
When a shipment was ready, the head of Tan Long Company, Nguyen Thuy Cuong, allegedly helped Tuan find suitable companies whose names could be used as exporters and importers for the purpose of faking bills.
According to the suspects’ own testimony and other evidence, Tuan had withdrew over VND45 billion from the stores’ accounts from 2009 to 2012. The police have identified Tuan as the main suspect of leader of this smuggling ring.
The police has asked Interpol Vietnam to issue an international warrant for Tran Anh Tuan, who is on the run. He has American citizenship.