The model whose full name is Le Xuan Vinh Thuy was also fined VND5 million (US$250) and will undergo one year of probation after the suspended sentence ends.
Other defendants in the case, Thai Anh Tien (31) and Pham Tien Trung (30), received suspended sentences of 1.5 years and 1 year respectively on the same charge.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Minh Hoang and Nguyen Duc Vu each received 5 years imprisonment for smuggling electronic items by plane from Australia into Vietnam.
However, the ringleader, Vietnamese-Australian Do Thanh Lam is still at large.
According to the indictment, since 2007, Lam led the ring smuggling electronic products from Australia to Ho Chi Minh City. He was in cahoots with Nguyen Minh Hoang and Nguyen Duc Vu. The latter was working for Tan Son Nhat Airport in charge of transferring baggage.
Vu bribed the airport’s baggage handlers at customs so he could bring the goods out without customs declaration and tax payment.
But the handlers were not prosecuted as “there was insufficient ground for responsibility.”
By June 2010, the ring had made 43 smuggling trips with nearly 1,000 electronic products worth more than VND 6.5 billion (US$325,000).
All the smuggled products were later sold to Vinh Thuy, Thai Anh Tien and Pham Tien Trung.
At the court, the model declared he had bought a total of 75 products from Hoang at cheap prices and then sold them for a profit of more than VND10 million. When things were discovered, Thuy surrendered the entire amount to authorities.
Vinh Thuy entered Top 15 Mister International and won Mr. Photogenic International in 2009. He has been featured in some movies including “Chuyen Tinh Dao Ngoc” (Love Story in the Pearl Island) and “Nhat Ky Bach Tuyet” (Snow White’s Diary).