The recent case that a man in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho has been fined up to VND90 million (USD4,000) for exchanging USD100 into Vietnam Dong at local gold shop made headlines across Vietnam.
A man counting US dollars at a gold shop on Ha Trung Street
The gold shop had to pay a fine of VND295 million (USD13,409) for being unlicensed to carry out foreign currency transactions.
Many people have been shocked at the case in Can Tho, saying that they even did not know anything about the fine regulations. Foreign currency exchanges are quite common in Vietnam, and it is extraordinarily rare to see such a fine.
However, despite the VND90-million fine, the trading of foreign currency on Ha Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District, has continued uninterrupted.
Speaking with Lao Dong Newspaper, a representative from the State Bank of Vietnam’s branch in Hanoi, said that no gold shops on Ha Trung Street were licensed for foreign currency transactions.
Despite the VND90-million fine, the trading of foreign currency on Ha Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District, has continued uninterrupted
On the morning of October 24, all gold shops on the street were busy with a large number of customers, including many wanting to exchange foreign currency.
A man told the reporter that he often sold his US dollars there as it was quite convenient, and he could sell for higher prices than banks.
Besides US dollars, the gold shops on the street also offer South Korean, Singaporean or Japanese currency. They run from early morning until late night.
The board listing foreign currency exchange rates at a gold shop on Ha Trung Street
The same situation has also been seen at other streets in Hoan Kiem District, including Dinh Le, Ma May and Hang Bac.
Nguyen Anh Quan, vice chairman of Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee, admitted to the press that he was aware of illegal foreign currency trading on Ha Trung Street. He, however, said that he would report to the press how the authorities would deal with the violation later.
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