Proposal to prosecute 7 subjects involved in trading illegal cigarettes on a large-scale

VCN - Led by Chau Ngoc Anh Khoa, the subjects in the ring traded smuggled cigarettes and made a transaction of smuggled cigarettes with total amount of up to hundreds of billions of dong.
Illegal cigarette traffickers are recommended to be prosecuted
Illegal cigarette traffickers are recommended to be prosecuted

A large-scale illegal cigarette trading ring in Ho Chi Minh City led by Chau Ngoc Anh Khoa has been eliminated and recommended for prosecution by District 10 Police of Ho Chi Minh City.

Specifically, the Police Investigation Agency of District 10, Ho Chi Minh City has just concluded the investigation of the case, transferred it to the Procuracy at the same level, and proposed to prosecute 7 defendants for the crime of "trading prohibited goods" including Chau Ngoc Anh Khoa (was born in 1987, living on An Duong Vuong Street, Ward 6, Ho Chi Minh City), Nguyen Hoang Duong, Nguyen Van Hieu (both was born in 1992, from Ninh Thuan), Thach Chi Cuong, Truong Quang Thai, Phung Van Hiep (living in Can Guoc district, Long An province) and Nguyen Thanh Phong (living in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City). Among them, defendant Chau Ngoc Anh Khoa is a ringleader and controller of the smuggling ring.

According to the investigation, on September 10, 2023, the working group of the Economic Police Team of District 10 Police discovered that Duong and Hieu were transporting three bags of cigarettes by motorbike to the address 14 Nguyen Chi Thanh, District 10 to put those bags in a car. Then the working group conducted an inspection and seized evidence. Exhibits included 1,050 packs of smuggled cigarettes. The two subjects declared that they put the above goods in a car to transport them to the Eastern bus terminal and brought it to Ninh Thuan for consumption.

Chau Ngoc Khoa and illegal cigarettes
Chau Ngoc Khoa and illegal cigarettes

On the same day, the District 10 Police Investigation Agency conducted an emergency search of Nguyen Van Hieu's residence located at Tran Nhan Ton Street, District 5, seizing more than 11,100 packs of cigarettes of all kinds.

After arresting Duong and Hieu, the Police Investigation Agency of District 10 issued a decision to prosecute the case, prosecute the accused, and order temporary detention for the two subjects for the crime of "Trading in prohibited goods".

At the Investigation Agency, Duong and Hieu admitted to the act of selling imported cigarettes together from January 2022 until their arrest; on average, once a week, Duong and Hieu collect cigarettes at a bedsit on Tran Nhan Ton Street, District 5, with an amount of over 10,000 packs, then transport it to Eastern bus terminal to transport to Ninh Thuan for consumption.

Through investigation, the police determined that during the above period, Duong and Hieu had traded a particularly large amount of cigarettes, with the total amount paid being more than VND 21 billion (equivalent to more than 1 million packs of cigarettes).

Expanding the investigation, District 10 Police determined that Chau Ngoc Anh Khoa was a ringleader of the cigarette-selling ring to Duong and Hieu, so they established an investigation project to fight for destruction. On January 29, 2024, Phung Van Hiep transported 1,020 packs of JET brand cigarettes from Binh Chanh market to Vo Van Kiet street, An Lac ward, Binh Tan district and was arrested by the police. At noon, on the same day, another Working Group arrested Nguyen Thanh Phong with 900 packs of JET brand cigarettes while Phong was passing through Vo Van Kiet Street.

At the same time, the 3rd Working Group of District 10 Police coordinated with Binh Chanh District Police to inspect and catch Chau Ngoc Anh Khoa, Thach Chi Cuong, and Truong Quang Thai while they were loading and unloading 1,900 packs of smuggled cigarettes from two kiosks 3B, 9B to the market yard area to prepare for transportation for consumption. During an emergency search of this location, the authorities confiscated nearly 5,000 additional packs of smuggled cigarettes of all kinds. A total of 8,700 cigarette packs were confiscated.

At the Investigation Agency, Khoa, Cuong, Thai, Hiep, Phong admitted to trading in smuggled cigarettes for a long time. Khoa is the ringleader, Cuong, Thai, Hiep, Phong have the role of helping to load, classify, and transport for consumption. Accordingly, Khoa has been trading continuously since 2014, Cuong, Thai, Hiep, Phong participated in the ring from July 2023 until they were arrested. The subjects also admitted to selling smuggled cigarettes to Nguyen Hoang Duong and Nguyen Van Hieu so that these two subjects could resell them to earn a profit.

Currently, the Police have completed the investigation conclusion and proposed to prosecute the subjects for trading prohibited goods.

By Lê Thu/Thanh Thuy

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