Top executive of BMW dealer in Vietnam arrested on smuggling charges

April 28, 2017 | 10:24
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Three people, including the top executive of the authorized Vietnamese dealership of BMW, have been arrested in an investigation involving a batch of the German luxury cars smuggled into Vietnam.
Nguyen Dang Thao is seen in this photo posted on Euro Auto's website.

Officers of the economic police unit under the Ministry of Public Security (C46) confirmed on April 27 that one of the arrestees is Nguyen Dang Thao, general director of Ho Chi Minh City-based Euro Auto, while keeping the names of the other two undisclosed.

Some local media sources said Thao no longer keeps the executive post at Euro Auto – BMW’s official authorized importer in Vietnam providing renowned BMW products and services.

However, the company’s board section on Euro Auto’s website still lists Thao as the general director, according to a check on Thursday by Tuoi Tre News.

The arrest came after the C46 launched a probe into Euro Auto importing and selling a suspicious batch of BMW cars late last year.

In December 2016, the BWM dealer was found to have sold a shipment of imported cars while it was still pending clearance from the Ho Chi Minh City customs agency, in addition to violating multiple regulations, according to the finance ministry.

Euro Auto was also unable to present certificates of origin (C/O) and other papers, documents, and receipts for its imports – a sign of fraud and customer scamming.

An inspection by the finance ministry found that Euro Auto had used fake documents, such as sales contracts and commercial receipts, to import the BMW cars in question.

Also in December, the finance ministry requested that the Ho Chi Minh City customs department suspend all shipments imported by Euro Auto from clearing customs and call on the municipal procuracy to launch a probe into the import and business activities of the car dealership.

The investigation was initiated shortly after, and the three individuals involved were arrested four months thereafter.

Nguyen Dang Thao had been Euro Auto’s director of sales and marketing before being appointed general director in 2015.


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