Market management officials inspect products sold at a flea market. (Photo: vietnamnet.vn) 

Hanoi (VNA) - Almost a year after Hanoi authorities said they were determined to eradicate a market selling mostly stolen automotive parts, nothing much has changed.

Commonly referred to as "cho Gioi", or flea market, the area in Hai Ba Trung district consists of several small streets stretching over Pho Hue and Dong Nhan wards.

As unfamiliar as they might sound to many people, Le Gia Dinh, Tran Cao Van and Do Ngoc Du streets are the go-to place for everyone looking for any kind of auto spare part.

A Lao dong (Labour) newspaper report quoted store-owners in the area as saying that most of the auto parts they sell are manufactured in Gia Lam and a few neighbouring districts before being delivered to "cho Gioi" for consumption. Some parts are not brand new but obtained from secondhand goods collected from car sellers, while many others are simply stolen and placed on the racks again.

On February 6, city police arrested two men, Tran Anh Tuan and Nguyen Tien Huy, who admitted they had been riding motorbikes around the city during the days nearing Tet (Lunar New Year) to steal car parts like wing mirrors. They sold these to Nguyen Dinh Tuan, a store owner in "cho Gioi".

Just a day later, police raided two garages of Dao Ngoc Lan in "cho Gioi" and seized thousands of auto parts, many of which belong to luxurious super cars.

Lan had been selling auto parts since 2010 without business registration and her goods were usually stolen car parts, police said.

Almost a year ago, Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung had acknowledged the existence of "cho Gioi" and admitted that its activities were illegal, especially the selling of stolen goods. He said city authorities were “determined to wipe out used goods and those without clear origins” from the market.

However, nothing changed after his statement. Along the streets that comprised "cho Gioi", several stores were set up with automotive parts even spread out on the streets. "Cho Gioi" was still the first place that would come to a car owners’ mind when they had their wing mirrors or windscreen wipers stolen. If they were lucky, they would be able to repurchase the stolen goods, or find cheaper replacements compared to prices at official garages.

Deputy Chairman of the Pho Hue ward People’s Committee, Nguyen Song Toan, said he was yet to receive any official order on eradicating "cho Gioi."

While acknowledging that "cho Gioi" took over pavements and streets, and made them unsafe road users, he was cautious about removing the infamous market, given the strong opposition that can be expected from some 800 store owners.

“We haven’t received any order from the city to eradicate "cho Gioi". But we will surely do it if the city says so,” a member of the cho Gioi management board told Lao dong.-VNA