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Jun 25, 2023 / 14:45

Vietnam News Highlights for June 25, 2023

Check out the latest events happening in the country.

Gold smuggling ring arrested, prosecuted

Twenty individuals have been prosecuted for their involvement in smuggling more than three tons of gold worth VND5 trillion (US$212.5 million) from Laos to Vietnam. Of the total, 18 people are charged with illegally importing the gold into Vietnam via the central province of Quang Tri, and two others of the Hanoi-based Phu Quy Gold Investment JSC are accused of facilitating the smuggling through tax evasion, which is worth VND6.14 trillion (US$261.2 million).

The 20 defendants are now bailed, but they are banned from traveling off their residence. Further investigation is being conducted, and the police have distrained the defendants' properties to recover the evaded taxes.

Police investigate stock manipulation again

A Hanoi-based stock trading bourse. Photo: Pham Hung/The Hanoi Times

Hanoi police are investigating alleged stock manipulation involving the shares of property developer Asia Pacific Investment (API), Asia Pacific Securities (APS), and IDJ Vietnam Investment (IDJ). The police do not provide further details about the individuals and their methods of committing the crimes.

During the climb of the Vietnamese stock market, shares in the three companies surged unusually between five and seven times at the end of 2021 to VND42,000-57,000 (US$1.79-2.42). Then, the three stocks quickly dropped, resulting in huge losses for a number of individual investors. The three companies have been tasked to submit reports to the State Securities Commission on what happened.

Online scams in Vietnam up 65% from one year ago

The number of online scams in Vietnam increased by nearly 65% on-year in the first half of 2023 and up nearly 38% from the end of last year, according to the Authority of Information Security under the Ministry of Information and Communications. Online scams have burst out through communication apps using AI and deepfake technologies, causing damages of hundreds of million dongs to users.

Most scams trick users into providing their personal data, advertise illegal gambles and bets, and falsify organizations and companies to hack into users’ bank accounts.

Vietnam’s seafood exports highest in May

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors has reported that seafood exports reached US$808 million in May, making it the highest exporting month of the year. However, the year-to-date figure fell 29% on-year to US$3.4 billion due to declining demand in major markets and strong competition from other export nations such as India and Ecuador.

The association predicted that the market would become more difficult in major markets such as the US and Europe because of the Russian-Ukraine tension, high inflation, extensive inventories, and fiercer market competition. The situation may improve in Eastern Asia markets. Vietnam’s seafood exports soared by 23% on-year to US$11 billion in 2022.

First Vietnam welcome gate introduced in Thailand

Overseas Vietnamese and local authorities inaugurated the first Vietnam welcome gate in Thailand’s Nong Khai Province on June 24. The gate was built on the Oversea Vietnamese Road, which was constructed in 1960, to pay tribute to the Thai King and authorities for supporting them in difficult times.

The inauguration was among the activities celebrating the 47th anniversary of the two nations’ diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of the two’s strategic partnership. Some 20,000 Thai people of Vietnamese origin live in the northeastern Nong Khai province.