Vietnamese officers prosecuted for receiving bribes to arrange customs clearance order

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Vietnamese officers prosecuted for receiving bribes to arrange customs clearance order

Thousands of tractor-trailers wait for produce clearance at Tan Thanh Border Gate in Lang Son Province, Vietnam, December 18, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Police in the northern Vietnamese province of Lang Son, which borders China, have initiated legal proceedings against three suspects, including two government officials, for arranging customs clearance order at currently congested border gates.

Lam Van Huong, 39, and Nong Tuan Anh, 30, both of whom are urban order management officers in Lang Son Province’s Cao Loc District, have been prosecuted for “receiving bribes.”

Meanwhile, Dinh Van Thin, 44, has been accused of “offering bribes,” Colonel Nguyen Minh Tuan, deputy director of the provincial public security department, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday afternoon.

Thin liaised between the two officers and tractor-trailer operators for illegal and unfair priority during the customs clearance procedures in December last year, when thousands of tractor-trailers were stuck at Vietnam’s border gates with China in Lang Son as Chinese customs forces tightened control measures.

Tractor-trailer operators paid VND200-300 million (US$8,804-13,207) for the priority given to each vehicle, according to the indictment.

Without such dishonest arrangement, it took a tractor-trailer 13 to 14 days to enter China.

The case came to light after Lang Son deputy chairwoman Doan Thu Ha requested local police, border guards, and customs departments on December 31, 2021 to report on some tractor-trailers carrying export goods given unfair priority to travel straight through border gates.

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