VCN – when competent forces at the central level coordinate with the local authorities to send their troops to handle smuggling in many key areas, the situation of smuggling has cooled down. However, after the central forces "withdraw their troops", the situation of smuggling has "heated up" again. Is the situation, “hot at upper level but cool at the lower level” for anti-smuggling?
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In 2017, the competent forces coordinated together to thoroughly deal with many serious smuggling cases. Photo: Q.H.
Sharing with Customs news reporters at the press conference of the National Steering Committee 389 (on 31stJanuary 2018), was Deputy Director of Police Department for Crime Prevention and Combat (C74, Ministry of Public Security), Tran Viet Phuong, who said that in 2017, the police force discovered and processed 9,942 cases / 7,488 cases of illegal smuggling, illegal cross-border transport of goods and currency, and production and stockpiling of counterfeit goods and tax frauds; down by 1,741 cases (equivalent to 15.7%) compared to 2016. Of which, 3,945 cases / 3,635 were perpetrators of smuggling, an increase of 626 cases (accounting for 18.86%); 4,781 cases / 5,352 were perpetrators of prohibited goods transportation; down by 1,716 cases (equivalent to 26,4%); 86 cases / 76 were perpetrators of illegal cross-border goods and currency transportation, down by 212 cases (71.14%); 3,524 cases / 3,617 were offenders of administrative violations, down by 303 cases (7.9%); 390 cases / 549 were offenders of prosecution, down by 199 cases (33.78%); 5,424 were cases for further investigation and transferred to the agencies according to regulations. Thereby, fining over VND 175 billion and collecting VND 221 billion.
Mr. Tran Viet Phuong said, "The coordination of information exchange and fight against smuggling among the forces has contributed to improving the effectiveness of anti-smuggling, anti-trade fraud and anti-counterfeits. In particular, the central competent forces have coordinated with the localities smoothly to deal with many serious cases to cool the situation of smuggling. However, after the competent forces "withdraw their troops", the smuggling in the localities "heats up" again
Mr. Phuong also added that the competent forces encountered many difficulties and inadequacies in anti-smuggling because smugglers only operated the smuggling chain and did not directly transport goods. They often hired border residents who are bad at knowledge on law to carry goods. The smugglers hide their acts of smuggling by transporting without invoices or hiring border residents to transport goods through trails and tracks to their warehouses, then legalized goods by internal invoices. Then, they assign the transport route from Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Bac Ninh to Hanoi, responsible for each stage. Therefore, the criminal handling of the competent forces faced many difficulties, reducing the deterrence.
For example, in the fight against petrol smuggling at sea, due to the lack of facilities, the police force must coordinate with the border guard, maritime police force and customs force to respond to the smugglers who illegally trade goods at areas which have overlapping maritime boundaries. If the reconnaissance force fails to closely monitor the areas, the criminal handling of seized smugglers shall be very difficult.
Approving with the above point of view, Deputy Director of Drug and Crime Prevention Department (Border Guard Command) Tu Quoc Le said that the people involved in transport of smuggled goods are mainly border residents. The fight against smuggling and trade frauds in some localities has not unified.
Whether or not the situation is hot at the upper level and cool at the lower level? According to the Head of Standing Office of Steering Committee 389 Dam Thanh The, in 2018, the Head of Steering Committee 389 has assigned the Standing Office to cooperate with competent forces to inspect and control the public duty performance, to evaluate and propose solutions, especially to point out bad individuals and organizations.
Currently the National Steering Committee 389 has issued a criteria set for evaluation of public duty performance (Decision No. 1219 dated 15 December 2017 on the criteria set for evaluation and classification of duty performance in the fight against smuggling and trade frauds for ministries and localities). Accordingly, after receiving guidance, the competent forces have to carry out periodic report regime and ensure the anti-smuggling effective. The Standing Office has received and urged the competent forces and officers in charge to implement the duty and respond in a timely fashion.
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The smuggling is till complicated partly due to not detecting and arresting real smugglers. Thus, the competent forces such as: Customs, Border Guard, Market management and Police have mentioned the above content into the anti-smuggling plan on key routes and areas in 2018. At the same time, enhancing ideological education, encouraging officers and soldiers to uphold the spirit of responsibility and strictly handling negative behaviours as well as encouraging and rewarding individuals and organizations with achievements in the fight against smuggling and trade frauds.
By Quang Hung/ Huyen Trang