September 22, 2017 04:23

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Quang Tri: Cigarette smuggling is still “hot issue”

10:24 | 23/08/2017

VCN- Cigarette smuggling has taken place with sophisticated methods and tricks in Quang Tri border gate. Illegal cigarettes are compulsory transport item. If not trading cigarettes, traders can not receive other items such as sugar, beer and etc.

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quang tri cigarette smuggling is still hot issue

Illegal cigarettes have been detected and seized by Quang Tri Customs in the past times. Photo: Q.H

It is still sophisticated

Compared to 35 local and city Customs Departments, the Customs Enforcement area of Quang Tri Customs Department is the largest area. For example, it is nearly 30 km from Lao Bao border gate to Gate B (Lao Bao special economic-commercial zone), 2 sides of Lao Bao border gate, Gate B have high population density. Meal while Customs Enforcement force is still weak.

Customs Enforcement force of Quang Tri Customs Department said that the department based on key object groups and smuggled items in the locality to develop plans and implement anti-smuggling campaign under periods. When grasping the rule of supply and demand, smugglers will store goods and wait for reasonable times to transport from abroad to Viet Nam for consumption. Because of high profit from smuggling cases, smugglers still transport illegal goods regardless of their life.

In order to successfully transport the smuggled goods, an “informer team” was established with flexible changes and sophisticated tricks such as they pretend to be herdsmen, farmers to monitor the working time of the Customs force. In each stage of transport process of smuggled goods, they assign responsibility for each stage. It means that the higher value of goods is, the more responsibility is. Besides, depending on the level of sensitivity of the goods, the smugglers usually assign their brothers or relatives to directly transport.

The time and route of transport goods are carefully considered by smugglers. They usually change operational area and time. Some times in the evening, sometimes in the early morning to distract the investigation of competent agencies. Some perpetrators use motorbikes to transport from 1 to 2 boxes of illegal cigarettes running at high speeds after school hours of the pupil or at the times of crowded traffic to challenge the competent forces in the process of chase and seizure. On the road of transport, there are 2 or 3 people following to protect smugglers, if they are detected, they are willing to have the ways to prevent competent forces.

Talking to a reporter of Customs Newspaper, some senior Customs officers working in the field of enforcement and anti-smuggling said that there are not circulated goods in the area after tariff barriers of Lao Bao special economic-commercial zone were deleted. However, cigarettes, beers, sugar and etc which are produced by foreign countries are seized with high rate. In some periods, smuggled goods are seized every day.

Illegal cigarette trading is compulsory

According to a statistic from Customs Enforcement Unit (under Quang Tri Customs Department), from the beginning of the year to the end of August 8, 2017, the Unit detected and handled 113 cases of Customs law violation valued at 3.6 billion VND. Compared to the same period of 2016, the number of seized cases reached 100%, an increase of 6.65% in value. Meanwhile, it handled 40 cases of administrative violations (1.23 billion VND). Collecting and contributing to State budget nearly 2 billion VND (of which, over 1.8 billion VND from sales value and 91.05 million VND from administrative violations).

Notably, most of the smuggling cases which were seized by the Customs forces, in addition to white sugar, beer, electronics and etc there were also a lot of foreign cigarettes.

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Explaining for this special issue, the Customs forces received the answer that cigarettes are a compulsory item in each trading case. Under the rule, if smugglers want to buy other items, they must buy more cigarettes.

The Customs newspaper‘s reporter went to the warehouse including illegal goods which were seized by Customs Enforcement Unit and Prevention and Anti-drug (under Customs Department). Tens of square meters of the warehouse were almost no space. Sugar, beer, and electronic products were classified to handle. Periodically by month, by week, depending on the number of goods seized, as well as to ensure the storage area of goods, Customs forces will collaborate with the Department of Finance of Quang Tri province to auction and contribute to the State Fund. Particularly, smuggled cigarettes will be destroyed by the competent forces according to regulations.

By Quang Hung/Ngoc Loan