Taiwan diamond smuggler jailed for 10 years in Vietnam

HANOI, Aug 1, 2007 (AFP) - A Vietnamese court has sentenced a Taiwanese man to ten years in jail for smuggling more than 1,3 million dollars' worth of diamonds into the communist country, state media said Wednesday, August 1st.

The Ho Chi Minh City People's Court sentenced Chen Hsin Hsiung Tuesday, July 31, for illegally importing 15 182 diamonds and selling more than 9 000 for over 1,3 million dollars, said the Cong An Nhan Dan (People's Police) daily.

Chen was arrested in the former Saigon in September 2004 when customs officials at the city's airport discovered the undeclared diamonds in his luggage. He had arrived on a flight from Taiwan.

Police later raided his house and jewellery store in central Ho Chi Minh City, seizing more than 1 900 diamonds and about 150 pieces of jewellery, which the judge ruled would be forfeited to the state.

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