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Seven more customs officers face charges in Thuduc House case

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Investigators at the Ministry of Public Security have proposed pressing charges against seven more customs officers in the HCMC Customs Department for their alleged lack of responsibility and supervision, causing heavy losses for the State budget in the Thuduc House tax fraud case.

Investigators issued a conclusion on their second probe into the case in the Thuduc House Development JSC (Thuduc House), the HCMC Tax Department and other relevant units yesterday, February 8.

So far the number of people allegedly involved in the case has soared to 67.

Among those, 18 are leaders and officers of the HCMC Tax Department, including Nguyen Thi Bich Hanh, former deputy director of the department; Pham Minh Tuan, former head of the department’s tax declaration and accounting division; and Cao Van Thu, former head of the department’s tax inspection office No.5.

The 67 suspects face nine charges, namely smuggling, smuggling of money and goods, appropriation of assets, bribery, trading and production of fake goods, breaches of regulations on accounting, and dereliction of duty.

The expanded probe found that Trinh Tien Dung, who was allegedly the mastermind of the case and whose present whereabouts is unknown, worked with many executives of Thuduc House to sign multiple business deals with eight foreign firms between February 2018 and June 2019.

They illegally exported electronic parts worth US$158 million, or VND3.6 trillion, to the United States, Cambodia, UAE and Singapore, among others, with a value-added tax of 0%.

Dung and his subordinates forged and sent 17 documents to the HCMC Tax Department to claim VAT refunds and appropriate over VND365 billion.

The investigators determined that customs officers at the Customs Sub-Department of Saigon Port Zone 1 under the HCMC Customs Department failed to detect four shipments worth over VND8.2 billion, which did not match the declarations.

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