Four smuggled luxury cars found at the Hai Phong Port last month could have been stolen in the US before being illegally shipped to Vietnam, customs officials say.
A VnExpress report Saturday quoted an unnamed official of the Vietnam Customs’ anti-smuggling department as saying the possibility of the cars being stolen is being investigated following reports that US authorities have recently busted a ring smuggling stolen luxury cars to Hong Kong and Vietnam.
The cars - two BMWs, one Mercedes-Benz and one Volkswagen - were brought into Vietnam on February 26 in containers of aluminum coils and leaves and dock levelers. They were confiscated on March 9.
The Hanoi-based Thuy Anh Minh Company, which was listed as the addressee, refused to receive them upon learning the containers' contents.
Earlier US media reported that authorities had recently seized 16 luxury cars at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports after finding a stolen Ferrari worth at least $240,000 being shipped to Asia last month.
The cars, estimated to be worth a total of $1.5 million were being transported in containers labeled “used exercise equipment,” according to an AP report.
Customs discovers 4 luxury cars smuggled into Vietnam
US police searching for stolen luxury cars in Vietnam
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It said US authorities believe that some of smugglers managed to escape with four cars before being busted and that these were now in Vietnam.
It was also reported that US authorities are seeking to retrieve the cars from Vietnam.
However, in an interview with VnExpress, the customs official said that his department has yet to receive any official information or proposal about retrieving the cars.