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Action Month for Drug Prevention and Control: Customs detects redirecting signs of drug crimes

15:55 | 09/07/2018

VCN - In the action month for drug prevention and control, the specialized force of the Customs has directed as well as coordinated the arrest of dozens of cases of illegal drug trafficking on the border. Remarkably, the customs forces have shown the signs of tactically changing direction on drug crime when National Highway 6 (Son La - Hoa Binh - Hanoi) had been "tightened" by the functional forces.

action month for drug prevention and control customs detects redirecting signs of drug crimes
Use silver-coated plastic bags to pack drugs to neutralize the screening process. In the photo: The seizure of 102 synthetic drugs was handled by the Hanoi Customs on June 19th. Photo: Quang Hung.

The fight against smuggling and illegal transportation of drug has never been completed. Therefore, in the implementation of the ‘Action Month for Drug Prevention and Control’ this year, based on their functions and tasks, 35 provincial and city Customs Departments, from the Bureau level to team and group level, have organized propaganda activities on the Law on Drug Prevention and Control to become a widespread movement. Moreover, each drug prevention team or the Customs Control Team has developed and implemented effectively fighting plans appropriate to each area. In each stage of professional operations, the customs office also has focused on using scanners and specialized equipment, professional dogs effectively for inspection of key commodities and areas; has taken initiative in grasping the situation, gathering materials and effectively fighting the activities of subjects buying, selling and illegally transporting drugs across the borders.

At the level of the General Department of Customs, the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department has directed its drug control units to intensify the work of controlling the key areas by collecting and processing information on drug crimes. To closely coordinate with the specialized drug prevention and combat forces of the provincial/municipal Customs Departments in detecting and arresting cross-border drug trafficking and transportation. At the same time, to have regular exchanges with police forces, border guards and international organizations to grasp the situation on methods and tricks of drug-related activities.

The Customs Department started the peak month by carrying out two special cases, arresting the act of transporting 19 cakes of heroin on the Vietnam-Laos border. The project highlights the effect of coordinating specialized forces with department level units. As a result, the customs forces have shown the signs of changing their combat direction on drug crime.

Specifically, the National Highway 6 (Son La-Hoa Binh-Hanoi) was "tightened" by the functional forces, so a group of objects in Nam Dinh colluded with the objects in Mai Son (Hoa Binh) to transport large quantities of drugs along Highway 477 from Moc Chau (Son La province) to Mai Chau (Hoa Binh Province), then come to Ninh Binh, and to Nam Dinh.

After verifying this information clearly, the anti-smuggling team in the North (Group 5) submitted to the leaders of the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department to approve a plan to coordinate with the Ha Nam Ninh Customs Department, the Drug-related Crime Investigation Department (C47, Ministry of Public Security) and Ninh Binh Police, to organize the battle forces. After 9 hours on the night of June 1st and morning of June 2nd, in two districts, Gia Vien and Nho Quan (Ninh Binh Province), the customs forces arrested two objects transporting 19 cakes of heroin.

Also on the border between Vietnam and Laos, adjacent to the provinces of Son La, Dien Bien, Quang Binh, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, deploying in the peak month, the customs forces stationed in the area have simultaneously issued a combined force to destroy 9 cases/10 subjects; seized 74,168 synthetic drugs; 25 cakes of heroin; 15 cakes of dried marijuana. In which: Dien Bien Customs seized 4 cases/5 subjects, Ha Tinh customs arrested 3 cases/3 subjects; Nghe An Customs caught 1 case/1 subject, and Quang Binh Customs seized 1 case/1 subject.

In these cases, the confiscated material was transported by hired passengers in cars, and even by drug traffickers along the paths from Laos to Vietnam.

Typically, on June 15th, at the location of the border marker 528, 15 meters in Vietnam’s territory in the area of Cha Lo international border gate (Quang Binh Province), the battling guards of Quang Binh Border Guard Command cooperated with Quang Binh Police and Customs to catch a male object who was carrying a bag along the border crossing from Laos into Vietnam.

Through inspections, the forces discovered that in the bag there were many yellow packages, which consisted of many blue plastic bags, each had 200 tablets containing a total of 47,737 round tablets with the letter WY on each one.

Complications are not only on the road borders, the Customs forces have also discovered complex drug smuggling by courier service. This trick is not new but still used by objects. They will "camouflage" drugs by hiding them in conventional goods, and then wrongly declare the goods in order to pass through the function force on duty.

According to the reporter at the scene of some cases, at first glance, the packages containing drugs are not particularly suspicious. They contain household items (clothes, toys, shoes, music speakers, electronic switch components...) in the form of personal gifts, samples that are sent by international mail. More subtly, objects also pack drugs inside silver-coated plastic bags to "neutralize" the process of screening by the customs forces. However, after the verification process, the senders and consignees of these packages do not exist.

Specifically, in the process of classifying goods of low value, tax exemption (£10.15), through the screening, Hanoi Customs discovered that the shipment of bill of lading RU815219275GB declaring goods as electronic switch components was sent from England to Vietnam via international post. The recipient was: Mr. Sellar, House 32, 317 Hoang Hoa Tham, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam, the sender was not available. The scanner image showed that the goods were in the form of tablets, which were different from the goods declared on the bill of lading (electronic switch components).

On June 19th, at the Northern International Postal Operations Center (Phu Cuong Commune, Soc Son District, Hanoi), the Drug Prevention and Control Team (Hanoi Customs Department) jointly checked and discovered that the goods included 102 MDMA synthetic drug tablets that were packed with a white plastic bag, wrapped in a silver-coated plastic bag in a carton box.

Most recently, on June 25th and 26th, the Drug Prevention and Control Team (HCMC Customs Department), in collaboration with the Express Customs Sub Department, Team 6 – Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department - General Department of Customs, C47 - Ministry of Public Security, carried out a search of 4 packages sent by international mail, and found that these packages contained 12.5 kg of MDMA synthetic drugs (ecstasy). The object used speakers to store the drugs and they were seized by the Customs forces.

By Quang Hung/ Ha Thanh