A couple of Chinese origin were convicted with three related charges of not responding to Part 15 of the Immigration Departure Card, failure to declare and attempting to export prohibited goods.
The Supreme Court ruled that Ms Chen and Mr. Zheng must pay a fine of Vt150,000 each on each charge, within a period of 21 days.
On May 31, 2019, the Chinese couple were on their way from Vanuatu to China.
At the airport, neither of them fully completed their Departure Card- both omitted to respond to Part 15 which deals with declaring how much cash is being taken offshore.
They were obliged to make truthful declaration as to what funds they carried. They failed to do that.
The duo attempted to export in their hand luggage almost Vt7.9 million in cash. The cash was in various denominations and separated into seven amounts: A$58, 100, A$3, 616, Vt80,000, RMB1, 299, A$32,000 and A$1, 985.
According to court documents, the couple made full admissions after the cash was identified through the use of scanners.
Mr Zheng and Ms Chen have been living in Vanuatu for over 9 years.
They own 5 supermarkets stores in Vanuatu and employ over 20 Ni-Vanuatu employees.
They cooperated with the authorities and were remorseful of their actions. They both have clear records.
The couple denied knowingly committed these offences.
Justice Gustaf Andree Wiltens stated in his decision, “Their explanations also make no mention as to why the various amounts had to be separated out.
“I am satisfied that was done as part of the concealment involved.
“Despite their claims of not knowing that what they were doing was unlawful, I will sentence on basis that both defendants acted in this fashion deliberately.”