Video the moments a Vietnamese Customs officer keeps an overseas Vietnamese standing in wait at Tân Sơn Nhất airport’s passport counter until she bribes him to leave. This doesn’t happen to Westerners.
A customs officer at Da Nang International Airport has been reassigned pending an internal investigation after a woman posted a complaint on Facebook accusing him of soliciting bribes.
The Vietnamese woman, a university teacher, said in the Facebook post on Tuesday that she arrived in Da Nang the previous night from the United States, and the officer found six bottles of supplements in her luggage.
He said the bottles were subjected to taxes but she could simply give him some “money for a drink,” according to the post. She gave him a VND200,000 bill and the officer asked for “another bill” for his colleague.
Pham Duy Nhat, director of the customs department at the airport told Thanh Nien Wednesday that the officer, who is not identified, has been removed from the luggage check unit. He said he will look into security footage before imposing necessary punishment.
According to Vietnam’s customs regulations, luggage brought from overseas are subject to taxes only when exceeding personal use limits.
They are Nguyen Tien Loc, 52, a goods inspector at the Customs Sub-department at Saigon Port; Le Ha, 56, an officer at the sub-department; and Nguyen Thanh Lam, 45, a customs officer at the Tinh Bien Border gate in An Giang.
In relation to the case, police in HCM City also arrested Huynh Dung Tan, 52, former head of shop 36 (now the Binh Dong Branch) of the Saigon Industrial Foodstuffs Joint Stock Company, for appropriating property by swindling and giving bribes.
These four defendants have been found involved in a transnational smuggling ring to appropriate the VAT refund.
The ring set up companies abroad and these companies tried to sign bogus contracts with Vietnam-based exporters to form false files of exported goods that were eligible for VAT reimbursement.
For example, Saigon Industrial Foodstuffs Joint Stock Company showed on its customs declaration that it exported Caravel “A” cigarettes, but in fact the exported goods were rice husks and vermicelli, investigators said.
Using similar methods, from February 2011 to November 2012, Saigon Industrial Foodstuffs Joint Stock Company signed 69 false contracts nominally worth over VND890 billion ($41.91 million), and the amount of VAT refunded for these contracts was VND80 billion ($3.76 million).
In the same period, the company also signed 17 bogus contracts to export goods worth VND716.5 billion ($33.74 million), to two companies in Cambodia.
The company then submitted five false files of exported goods to the HCM City Tax Department to get VND92.6 billion ($4.36 million) worth of VAT reimbursement.
The fraud was carried out successfully with the help of the above three customs officers, who carried out steps for the exported goods to clear customs.
In return, these officers received at least VND514 million from the smuggling company, investigators said.
Several days ahead of Tet, Vietnam’s Lunar New Year holiday, the owner of two Hanoi hotels received a not-so-nice surprise from a state agency. That organization had sent her a list of 35 public servants she was to hand “lucky money” — a symbolic gesture purported to bring the recipients good fortune in the new year. In the past, she’d received requests from other government agencies for money to cover their employees’ vacations.
“That was corruption,” said Le Dang Doanh, a veteran Vietnamese economist who related to the hotelier’s ordeal during a conference held last month.
A number of independent studies have confirmed that the practice of giving and receiving bribes is so common in Vietnam that it is understood to be a routine part of doing business. To make matters worse, two recent national surveys confirmed the problem is getting worse.
On Thursday, the Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2014 reported a significant jump in the prevalence of bribe-paying across the board. Last year, 66 percent of the survey’s 9,859 participating Vietnamese firms said they usually pay extra informal charges to facilitate business activities. During the previous year, 41 percent of the survey’s respondents said they did so.
On Tuesday, the Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) 2014 confirmed that about one fourth (24 per cent) of its citizen respondents reported paying “informal charges” for their land use right certificate. About 12 percent reported having to pay a bribe for hospital services, while almost one third (30 per cent) of respondents with children in primary school said they’d been illicitly solicited by educators.
These numbers have all increased since 2012, where 17 per cent had to pay a bribe for land use right certificates, 10 per cent for hospital services and 12 per cent for primary education.
Apparently, the findings came as no surprise for all.
“I do think it does reflect [the situation]. If you talk to people on the street, they’ll all talk about the same thing,” Edmund Malesky, PCI’s lead researcher, told Thanh Nien News.
- From top to bottom
In what was apparently an unprecedented move, in 2005 Le Kha Phieu, Vietnam’s Communist Party chief from 1997 until 2001, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that “corruption permeates the whole network from top to bottom and bottom to top.”
“I say frankly that there were people who came to see me to offer me money — 5,000 or 10,000 dollars — no small amount,” Phieu was quoted by the newspaper as saying at that time.
Also in 2005, when the first Provincial Competitiveness Index was launched, the Communist Party commissioned an unprecedented survey that confirmed nearly a third of government employees in Vietnam admitted they would take a bribe, if one were offered.
In the same year, the National Assembly – the national legislature – passed Vietnam’s first anti-corruption law. Ever since, the country’s top leaders have repeatedly pledged to launch no-holds-barred crackdown on corruption – to little effect.
In 2014, Vietnam ranked 119th out of 175 countries in the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perceptions, 126th on the World Bank’s Control of Corruption Index, and 74th on the International Country Risk’s Guide corruption rankings.
“The government and the Party have announced their intentions to deal with these problems but implementation has been patchy and slow,” a foreign diplomat told Thanh Nien News on condition of anonymity ‘They are naïve’.
Many analysts blame the entrenched practice of giving and receiving bribes on Vietnam’s failure to complete the market reforms that began in the late 1980s. They say there is still too much state control over the economy, which allows connected insiders to profit.
“Since the rewards to obtaining permission for such thing as land use, starting of companies, foreign direct investment is higher, more are willing to pay bribes to obtain such permission,” said Dennis McCornac, a professor of economics at Loyola University in Baltimore (Maryland).
There has been growing call for Vietnam to amend laws to overhaul its business climate in a bid to curb corruption. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has repeatedly called for further reform of Vietnam’s business climate after acknowledging that red tape has continued to hinder the country’s development.
Meanwhile, analysts say that large-scale corruption (e.g. kickbacks on procurement contracts or sweetheart land deals) has only increased over time in Vietnam since there are more projects and those in high places have more power.
Anders Hjorth Agerskov, a Work Bank official, said at a workshop last January that
Vietnam is 2nd on the list of World Bank clients against whom there are corruption complaints, with the transport, information communication and technology, and water sectors being the biggest offenders. With 189 complaints, Vietnam is behind only India with 308.
IELTS fraud uncovered in Australia – Many people will try anything to have permanent resident PR in Australia, even illegally purchasing a fake IELTS certificate by Bích Ngọc – Published onTuesday, September 29, 2015 (sbs.com.au)
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is used to assess the English language proficiency of people who want to study or migrant to a country where English is used as the language of communication.
It is easy to buy an IELTS certificate these days as long as you have money.
How does the IELTS test result plays an important role in migration visa application along with ages, skill assessment and other conditions?
Ms. Ha Nguyen, manager of a migration agent and study abroad consulting office named “Australia Connect Group”, told SBS that it is advantageous for a visa applicant to get a high IELTS.
“To achieve the minimum of 65 points in the visa points test system, the applicant needs to have a good IELTS test result, a suitable age and the skill assessment certificate. An IELTS result of 7.0 is worth 10 points and an IELTS result of 8.0 can get the applicant 20 points.”
“We can see that the advantage is massive. If the applicant can achieve IELTS result of 8.0, they can have nearly one-third of the required points. The difference between achieving 7.0 and 8.0 can be the key to success”.
Anyone experienced in training and sitting for IELTS test knows that 7.0 is the desired score and that it is really hard to get.
“This is a real challenge even for some people who complete their master or bachelor in Australia. Not many people can do it,” Ms. Ha claimed.
However, nowadays if you has just $5000, you can buy the desired IELTS scores.
Ms L is currently working for a migrant agent that has offices in Australia and Vietnam. This agency offers fake IELTS for people who want to go Australia under the skilled migrant program.
Ms L (name is changed) claimed that the starting price is $12,000 for score of 6.5 and $2,000 extra for each point on top of that. We changed Ms L voice to protect her identity.
“We charge customers from $5000-$12,000. Our partner confirmed that with this price, clients’ IELTS scores and their profile will appear on IELTS global system. For an IELTS result of over 6.5, the fee is going to be higher than $12,000”.
“Vietnamese people could pay anything to become Australia permanent residents. They aim for skilled migration first and then spouse or partner visa. However, the spouse visa application process is getting more and more complex and easy to be rejected so that they try to fit themselves as skilled migrant for PR purpose”, Ms L shared with us.
She also informed us that her company is only “a middle man” between applicant and the fake IELTS maker who ensures that the applicant will have a real result in the IELTS result system and that is available to check online as the genuine one.
However, this illegal act does not always success. There are many cases where money is spent without results. By the time the client realizes, they cannot find the seller.
“Some of our partners cannot be trusted, they just promise. We do not have any contracts and signature. They can break the deal, rip off the customers. We experienced that in the past”.
This employee named L. emphasized there is a high demand of purchasing IELTS certificates in the Vietnamese community.
“There’s a very high demand! Clients do not want to study English. They just want to have an IELTS certificate as soon as possible”.
Ms. Ha confirmed that some students and PR applicants came to her office with high IELTS results that did not match their real English skill level.
“Some clients were talking to me and I realised that their English was not that good. I asked some of them and they said that they took the tests in Vietnam and it was easier back there. For example, the IELTS result report showed 7.0 overall but I could guess that their real score cannot be more than 6.0”.
Nearly 2 years ago, thousands of Indian students and labours arriving in Australia with fake documents that were uncovered.
The Department of Immigration’s report and ABC’s investigation showed unimaginable violation has been helping thousands of students and skilled workers to get to Australia under the 457 visa by using fake documents. (*)
A spokesman of the Department said that the Ministry have known about this case and recognised that there are scammers who try to bypass the laws and principles of the immigration department.
This is a warning for those who want to find an illegal way to stay in Australia at any cost.
“First, you have to spend a large amount of money, without any guarantee of successful. Secondly, if the Department of Immigration discovers the scam, you will be banned to apply for any visa for 3 years, and you will be deported from Australia”, Ms. Ha Nguyen said.
“With a bad record in the Department of Immigration’s system, I do not think it is likely you can apply again for another visa after 3 year. This is a fraud, dishonesty and unacceptable quackery”.
We are extremely surprised about the reason that students give us for using this service. Her voice is changed.
“Don’t waste time on study. Instead of spending money on education, save money and time by buying a fake certificate. The fake IELTS result report is made so carefully and delicately that even a normal IELTS teacher could not tell the difference.” A student told SBS.
A person who used the service said that all communication is via email and the test result form was posted to the user’s address. There was no meeting in person or talking directly via phone call.
There are many websites which are offering this kind of service. They post some test result report photos with eye catching advertisements. One of them is chungchiielts.org. This website claims that they are located in the United Kingdom and ensures that they will keep their clients’ identities a secret.
The website advertises 2 types of package, basic and comprehensive package. The comprehensive package offers real result on the official IELTS system and it is available to check online all over the world.
“If you cannot afford the comprehensive package, you can go for basic one. We always recommend that you should choose the comprehensive one if you will use it for important application. Otherwise, basic package is enough for normal use”.
Get ’em while they last! (The only limit is the one your bank imposes on you…)
Boost Your Job! (Just pray your current or prospective employee doesn’t check on the authenticity of your spanking new – and very fake – sheepskin. Degree verification services, anyone?)
Get Your Degree! Why earn one when you can buy one! Take advantage of our 25% discount! Hell, we even sell “Ged Diplomas”! You want a transcript! Look no further! We’ve got ’em for just $300. (That’s 1/5 of Vietnam’s annual per capita income in 2012, by the way.)
Degree Price Sales 25%
Ged Diploma 799$ 599$
Associate Degree 1199$ 899$
Bachelor’s Degree. 1199$ 899$
Master’s Degree. 1499$ 1124$
Ph.D Degree. 1499$ 1124$
This is what it’s all about!
Memo to the Realdegree Company: A 2-year degree should be cheaper than a four-year degree. Less time=less value. (A company called Realdegree Company selling fake credentials. Isn’t that what’s called an oxymoron?, defined as “a combination of contradictory or incongruous words, e.g., cruel kindness. “Peace is war. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength,” 1984.)
Degrees, transcripts and certificates as commodities – literally. This Google website, created on 15 June 2013, bills itself as a Canadian company but the domain is registered to HHH in HCMC. Maybe Vietnamese-Canadian or a Vietnamese national in cooperation with a V-C or Canadian associates aka partners in dishonor? (Check one of your friendly domain name lookup sites if you want to find out HHH’s address, phone number and email address. I want to keep you in the game, dear reader!)
Like Mike Sestak’s visa scam, this fake credential company is definitely a short-term endeavor. Make as much as you can in as short a time as possible before you have to pull the plug. Ride the wave! Nailing these companies is sometimes a bit like playing Whac-A-Mole. (If you’re weren’t around or of age in the 1970s or ’80s, google it.) Like faux institutions of higher education, most have more lives than a cat. Speaking of cats, dispensing with them on the Internet can be a bit of a cat-and-mouse game.
Don’t know English and need it for a job? No problem! You can buy an IELTS certificate. The higher the score, the higher the price! (Duh!) A 5.0 will cost you $600 while a 8.0 will set you back $1200. (Ouch!) Q: What happens when a prospective employer asks you a question in English and you can’t string two coherent sentences together? (Double ouch!)
Drum roll… Below is the top 20 List of University, College, Institute All Over the World. Check it out for a good laugh and/or cry. (Can I buy a spelling cerrtifacate, too?) Memo to Triple H & Company. You know this gig won’t last forever so enjoy it while you can.
LIST OF UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE, INSTITUTE ALL OVER THE WORLD
1 HARVARD UNIVERSITY
2 YALE UNIVERSITY
3 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
4 UNIVERSITY OF PHONIX
5 TROY UNIVERSITY
6 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA (LOS ANGELES)
7 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA (SAN DIEGO)
8 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA (BERKELEY)
9 CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY
10 STANFORD UNIVERSITY
11 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
12 CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
13 GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
14 KENSTATE UNIVERSITY
15 BOSTON COLLEGE
16 AUSTRALIA NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
17 UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
18 UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND
19 UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
20 BOND UNIVERSITY