Forging and using fake stamps, and setting up a “ghost” company to smuggle tons of ivory and rhino horn across the country, Nguyen Duc Tai was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
On the morning of February 21st, the People’s Court of Da Nang city opened a first-instance trial for Nguyen Duc Tai (born in 1989, in the hometown of Nam Phuc Thang commune, Cam Xuyen district, Ha Tinh province) for the crime of “violating the Regulations on the protection of endangered and rare animals” and the crime of “Forging seals and documents of agencies or organizations; crime of using fake stamps and documents of agencies and organizations”.
Setting up a ghost company for smuggling, Nguyen Duc Tai had to exchange for 13 years in prison
According to investigation documents, from February 2021 to September 2021, Nguyen Duc Tai set up a “ghost” company twice to import 456.90 kg of ivory, 138,784 kg of rhino horn, 6,230 kg of pangolin scales, and 3,108 kg of lion bones from African countries to Vietnam through Da Nang Port were discovered and seized by the Customs force.
Specifically, in February 2021, Tai hired someone to establish Nam Thai Cuong Co., Ltd., based at 180 Ly Nhan Tong, Khue Trung ward, Cam Le district, Da Nang city.
On 3rd May 2021, according to the bill of lading number MIDUJ155030, container number MSDU1006024 declared the name of the goods to be transported as wooden flooring, the consignee was Sawab on Behaft of Trader Dynamo, South Africa, the consignee. is Nam Thai Cuong Co., Ltd., the goods arrived at Da Nang port at 02:00 AM on 17/7/2021.
Tai was informed that the goods were returned, but due to being inspected by the Customs force, it was discovered that the imported goods were rhino horns and lion bones, banned from import, so Tai did not open the customs declaration and abandoned the goods.
On 19th July 2021, the Da Nang Port Customs Branch suspected that the container containing goods was in violation of the law so it conducted a search for means of transport and objects according to administrative procedures. Inside the container contains 52 suspected rhinoceros horns, weighing 138,784 kg, and 93 boxes of lion bones, weighing 3,108 kg.
The second time around August 2021, with the same trick, Tai continued to set up a “ghost” company to smuggle ivory and pangolin scales and was also discovered by the authorities. Notably, at this time, Tai forged his identity card (named Nguyen Nhat Long) and hired someone to do the application to establish Quang Nhat Long Co., Ltd. At the same time, hire people to do customs declaration procedures, receive delivery orders, and pay container handling fees.
In January 2022, this shipment arrived at Da Nang port, on 11th January 2022, through inspection of the cargo container, it was discovered that inside contained 17,346 kg of cashews, 456.9 kg of suspected ivory, and 6,232 kg of suspected scales pangolin.
After this shipment was discovered, Tai brought objects and documents related to the two companies Nam Thai Cuong and Quang Nhat Long, and burned them. Only 10 pangolin scales will be kept to make samples for customers to see.
Through the inspection results, the number of exhibits seized by the Customs force was ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales, lion bones…
Many tons of ivory, pangolin scales and rhino horns were smuggled to Vietnam and discovered and arrested by Da Nang city authorities.
Trial Council of the People’s Court of Da Nang City sentenced Nguyen Duc Tai to 10 years in prison for “violating regulations on the protection of rare and endangered animals” and 3 years in prison for “forging stamps and documents of agencies and organizations; crime of history using fake stamps and documents of agencies and organizations”. The total penalty that Tai must serve is 13 years in prison and an additional fine of 50 million VND.