The Hanoi anti-economic crime police yesterday busted a cigarette smuggling operation, arresting three people and seizing 120,000 packs of cigarettes worth around VND4.5 billion (US$218,000).
The contraband cigarettes found in Dung’s house Photo: VnExpress
They found Nguyen Viet Dung, 43, of Hoang Mai District, transporting two packages on a motorbike in doubtful circumstances.
When they stopped him to check, they found inside 50 cartons of cigarettes (500 packs) without documents indicating their origin.
On searching his house later, the police found nearly 7,000 cartons of cigarettes of various brands like 555, Esse, Hero, Davidoff, Sobranie, and Kent, Lieutenant Colonel Thanh Kien Trung, head of the Hanoi anti-smuggling police, said.
Dung failed to produce any documents to prove their origin.
After interrogating him, the police searched the house of his mother and found another 5,000 cartons, which took the total number at the two locations to more than 120,000 packs.
The police also impounded four cars, which they said were used to transport the contraband.
They took in two more people involved in the storage of the cigarettes.
It is the largest cigarette smuggling case they have ever uncovered, the police said, adding Dung’s ring could have been one of the main suppliers of smuggled cigarettes in Hanoi in the last few years.
The police are continuing their investigations to find out the origin of the cigarettes and others involved in the smuggling.