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Vietnam Customs holds a press conference on anti-smuggling

08:53 | 30/12/2016

VCN- On the afternoon of 28th December 2016 in Hanoi, the General Department of Vietnam Customs held a press conference for December 2016 on some results of the fight against smuggling, commercial fraud, and illegal transportation of goods across borders in 2016.

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vietnam customs holds a press conference on anti smuggling
The press conference. Photo: Q.H.

Speaking to press agencies about the situation and results of the fight against smuggling of the Customs force in 2016, a representative of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (under the General Department of Vietnam Customs) stressed that smuggling, commercial fraud, and illegal transportation of counterfeit goods still operated openly with more complicated methods and sophisticated tricks. The smuggling and illegal transportation in Vietnam have mainly focused on prohibited goods, goods with a high rate of tariff, goods subject to specialized inspections, and violated products of food safety affecting public health.The press conference attracted the attention of representatives of Departments and subordinate units of the General Department of Vietnam Customs and more than 30 press agencies and mass media agencies in Hanoi.

In border areas and land border gates, there have been many activities related to smuggling, illegal transportation of prohibited items, illegal temporary imported goods for re-export, drugs and foreign currency, counterfeit money, fireworks, alcohol, beer, cigarettes, soft drinks, sugar, poultry, food, clothing, shoes, mobile phones and toys. On the sea routes, smuggling activities have focused on the following items: gasoline, oil, wood, minerals, wild animals and plants, used electronics.

Notably, at the gate of international airports and in international post, there have been complicated cases of illegal transportation related to prohibited products, drugs, weapons, gold, products from wild animals, phones, cigarettes, alcohol, cosmetics and functional foods.

In this context, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has directed the Customs control force to follow the directions of the Government, the National Steering Committee 389 and the Ministry of Finance to implement many proactive measures to prevent and fight against smuggling, commercial fraud and illegal transportation of goods across borders.

As a result, from 16th December 2015 to 15th December 2016, the Customs control force has discovered and handled 15,489 cases, worth 416.4 billion vnd and collected 171.2 billion vnd for the State budget. The Customs force has prosecuted 47 cases and transferred 95 cases to other agencies for prosecution.

Typically, the Customs control force has detected and handled 31 violated cases related to trafficking and illegal transportation of plants and products from wild animals. In which, there have been many cases of illegal transportation of plants and wildlife with a great volume, such as: illegal transportation of 137.5 kg of ivory and products made from ivory (such as necklaces) from Angola to Noi Bai international airport, illegal transportation of 9,052 kg of tortoise shell; 1,345 kg of gecko and 16 kg of live tortoise from Indonesia to Hai An port of Hai Phong province.

Regarding the above results, the Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, Mr. Nguyen Phi Hung said that the smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across borders was complicated. The reason was high profits due to the difference in price between domestic goods and foreign goods with increasingly sophisticated tricks.

In order to improve the capacity and efficiency in the fight against smuggling, commercial fraud and illegal transportation of goods across borders, in the coming time, the General Department of Vietnam Customs shall continue to facilitate enterprises in the field of import-export and closely monitor Customs control operations.

In particular, the Customs force has focused on basic tasks to identify perpetrators, key areas and key commodities for the fight against smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across borders.

The Customs force will actively collaborate with the relevant functional forces and local authorities in order to detect, fight and deal with violations in a timely fashion; promote publicity of policies and Laws as well as hazards and consequences of smuggling activities and illegal transportation of goods across borders.

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In response to the Labour Newspaper related to a combination of several civil servants with perpetrators, leading to a complicated anti-smuggling situation, Mr. Nguyen Phi Hung stressed: Customs is a special and typical area with many risks, so the World Customs Organization (WCO) in general and Vietnam Customs in particular always appreciate transparency in Customs. In particular, transparency in Customs has become a common criterion for operations of WCO. Accordingly, the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the Ministry of Finance have actively strengthened the prevention and the fight against acts of harassment by staff, which has led to complex smuggling activities.

In many specialized anti-smuggling plans, the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department also pointed out the loopholes and shortcomings in law enforcement and advised the leaders of the General Department of Vietnam Customs to seek effective solutions.

In response to the Dan tri Newspaper about smuggling activities at Dong Dang Station (Lang Son), Mr. Nguyen Phi Hung said that the main reason was loopholes in the priority policies for border residents. In addition, taking advantage of minor trails and crossings, perpetrators transported goods across borders to gather at Dong Dang Station, then loaded into trains for consumption in the domestic market.

To solve this problem, there is a need for drastic and strict measures of the authorities at all levels and the close coordination of relevant functional forces.

By Quang Hung/ Hoang Anh