Vietnamese Police Arrest Suspected Gold Smugglers

Vietnamese police are holding four Cambodian women they arrested Sunday on suspicion of conspiring to smuggle gold across the border into Takeo province but will release them today due to a lack of incriminating evidence, an official said on Tuesday.

The four friends from Takeo’s Borei Cholsar district—some of them relatives of provincial government officials—were stopped and searched just after crossing into Vietnam’s An Giang province on Sunday, according to deputy Takeo governor Yos Nasy.

Upon discovering that the women were carrying 1 billion Vietnamese Dong, or about $45,000, in cash, Vietnamese police apprehended the women, believing them to be gold smugglers, Mr. Nasy said, claiming that the women—whom he refused to name—were in fact on a shopping trip.

When Vietnamese authorities informed the Takeo provincial government that the women were in custody, Cambodian officials persuaded their counterparts to free the women, he added.

“Some of the four are relatives of provincial officials, but we intervened because they are just normal people, and good, and they didn’t commit a crime.”

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