Two people were jailed in Da Nang Wednesday for smuggling in 200 iPhones worth VND3.2 billion ($135,306) from Hong Kong, disguising them as uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).
Tran Dinh Viet, 36 and Nguyen Van Cuong, 34, both living in Hanoi, were sentenced to 9 years and 7 years in prison respectively for smuggling, the Da Nang People’s Court announced.
In August 2017, Viet hired a man named Hung to form a company to import goods. Hung helped Viet secure a business license and seals for the Tien Manh Services and Trading Business Company, which Le Van Manh, 32, is the director of.
Viet then hired Cuong to perform customs procedures to import electronic products and phones for the aforementioned company, for a salary of VND15 million a month. Cuong was given legal documents and the company’s seals and sent to Da Nang for work.
Meanwhile, Viet stayed in contact with a woman named Xuan, who lives in Hong Kong, to buy phones. Xuan often goes to Apple-authorized shops in Hong Kong to buy iPhones, and resells them to people in Vietnam.
Viet told Xuan to register the phones as UPS instead in order to evade taxes when the phones are imported into Vietnam.
On September 29, 2017, when Cuong was taking the goods out of the customs surveillance area, police came in for a bust. Inside the batch of goods were 200 iPhones 6S Plus, totaling to around VND3.2 billion.
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