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Customs officers detained for stealing ivory
  • | tienphong, | September 10, 2017 11:51 PM
Police in Hanoi have arrested and prosecuted three customs officers for stealing the seized ivory on September 8.


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The case was transferred to Hanoi Police after the anti-smuggling unit under Hanoi Customs Department discovered that the seized ivory in their warehouse had been replaced by fakes.

According to the results of the investigation, last year, Pham Minh Hoang was given the job to manage and monitor the warehouse. In April, Hoang needed money and made plan to steal the ivory with his friend Tran Trong Cuong.

They then agreed to sell the ivory to middleman Hoang Van Dien at the price of VND8m (USD352) per kilo. Dien earned VND10m commission fee for each successful transaction. Tran Trong Cuong made fake ivory from wood or plastic to replace the stolen items.

A total of nearly 240kg of ivory had been stolen and sold for VND1.6trn (USD70m). They also stole 6.1kg rhino horn pieces and sold for VND1.2bn.

It is reported that the ivory were sold to a Chinese person. Dien kept four pieces of ivory to himself make statues later.

The police found an 80cm elephant tusk, three statues and various bracelets made from African ivory at Dien's house.

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