Exposing the sophisticated smuggling tricks of 2 female passengers

Customs authorities did not detect any infringing goods by checking the suspected subjects' checked luggage and carry-on luggage. However, as soon as the examination began, the subject burst into tears...
The amount of foreign currency and smuggled mobile phones is estimated to be worth more than VND 6 billion. Photo: ST
The amount of foreign currency and smuggled mobile phones is estimated to be worth more than VND 6 billion. Photo: ST

Burst into tears when discovered

More than 24 hours at night, flight number ZE561 departed from Incheon International Airport (South Korea) and landed at Cam Ranh International Airport (Khanh Hoa). Just a few minutes later, passengers quickly left the plane and walked into the terminal area. Among more than 100 passengers, there was a group of 3 Vietnamese passengers with suspicious expressions. Every movement of this group of people falls under the surveillance of plainclothes Customs officers.

After a period of observation, around 1:00 a.m. on March 31, 2024, at the hand luggage scanner area, entry lobby of Cam Ranh International Airport, after using professional measures, Cam Ranh International Airport Customs Branch coordinated with the reconnaissance department of the Immigration Department (Ministry of Public Security) to conduct key inspection on groups of passengers when they entered customs procedures for their luggage.

Through review and screening, the Working Group examined all the luggage of the three suspects. According to customs officials who discovered the case, through checking all checked luggage and carry-on luggage of the suspected subjects, competent forces did not detect violating goods. However, when female Customs officials just started performing a body inspection, the two female passengers burst into tears...

As suspected, through body inspection, the Customs authority discovered female passengers that are L.T.N., was born in 1984, and N.T.T.A. was born in 1993, both of whom are Vietnamese nationals, hid a large amounts of foreign currency and cell phones on their bodies. Accordingly, N.T.T.A. hid US$150,000 and 21 used iPhone cell phones; Mrs. L.T.N. hid US$43,200 and 27 used iPhone cell phones. As for Mr. L.T.H. (L.T.N's brother), the Customs office did not detect any smuggling of goods.

To transport the foreign currency and mobile phones mentioned above, the subjects wrapped foreign currency and mobile phones around their calves and bellies to avoid detection by authorities at the airport. However, the subjects' sophisticated tricks of hiding contraband goods were discovered and caught red-handed right at the border gate by the Cam Ranh International Airport Customs Branch.

Changing flight routes to transport smuggled goods

Working with the Customs authority, N.T.T.A. admitted that she had a friendship with Mrs. L.T.N. so she enticed L.T.N. to buy the above foreign currency from an unknown person in South Korea to bring it back to Vietnam for reselling to gain benefit from the difference in foreign exchange rates. However, Ms. L.T.N. again declared that the amount of US$43,200 was the amount of money she received to transport a subject from South Korea to Vietnam, with a transportation fee of VND4 million.

In addition, the subjects admitted that a subject in South Korea hired them to transport 49 iPhone mobile phones as mentioned above to Vietnam for a fee of VND 1 million per unit.

According to information verified and collected by the Customs authority, before returning from South Korea to Vietnam, the subjects changed plane tickets and changed flight routes to transport smuggled goods to Vietnam. Along with that, the subjects chose to fly to Cam Ranh International Airport during the peak hours from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., which has more than 20 entry flights. These details showed that the subjects carefully researched the situation before transporting smuggled goods to Vietnam to avoid the control authorities at the airport. However, all movements and behaviors of the subjects are recorded and monitored by Cam Ranh International Airport Customs.

By Lê Thu/Thanh Thuy

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