VCN – The border area of An Giang is in flood season, so there are many challenges in the work of anti-smuggling in the peak months at the end of the year.
|Many ports were taken advantage for transporting smuggled goods. Photo: T.H|
An Giang Customs Department has managed complicated areas, with the length of border at more than 96.6 km, bordering the provinces of Kan-dal and Ta-Keo of Cambodia. With five border gates, it was considered a hotspot for smuggling, illegal transport of goods, foreign exchange and money across border. In particular, cigarettes and sugar were often transported.
According to An Giang Customs Department, for sugar, smugglers often gathered and changed to packaging of Vietnamese labels or kept the packages and labels of Thailand, using motorboats and motorbikes to transport goods into Vietnam. For inland transport, the smugglers gathered at warehouses or immediately loaded goods on trucks, using invoices of domestic sugar companies or auction documents of confiscated goods to transfer to other locals for consumption. In nine months of 2019, An Giang Customs Department seized nearly 10 tons of sugar.
Notably, in the cases of seizing smuggled sugar, the smugglers often leave goods when chased by the competent forces. Typically, in the area of the Vinh Xuong border, the Vinh Xuong Customs Branch chaired and coordinated with the Border Post to patrol and control the area. The competent force detected some smugglers using motorbikes to transport goods to Vietnam so they arrested them. When detecting the competent force, the smugglers left the packages and fled back to Cambodia. When checking the goods, the working group found a total of 38 bags of sugar (50 kg/bag) with intact packaging made by Cambodia and Thailand.
Cigarettes were also smuggled using motorbikes and high-powered motorboats, and transporting small batches from the Cambodian border through border gates, across fields, canals and even national highways in order to transport them into Vietnam.
The transportation of drugs on the An Giang border continues to be a problem. The trading and transportation of narcotics used camouflage to deceive competent forces. Drug traffickers often changed methods and tactics, dividing goods into small batches that could be transported many times a day through trails and paths, or transporting large quantities up to tens of kilograms. In particular, An Giang Customs Department coordinated to handle two cases and arrest five people illegally transporting and trading narcotics and seizing nearly 14kg of synthetic drugs. In this case, the police authorities prosecuted five defendants.
In the first nine months of 2019, An Giang Customs Department detected 60 violations, worth more than VND 1.2 billion. Most of the cases involved illegal transportation of sugar and cigarettes.
|Smuggled sugar were seized An Giang Customs. Photo: T.H|
Solutions in flood season
According to An Giang Customs Department, in the flood season, smugglers use high-powered motorboats so they could cross the border anywhere from Cambodia to Vietnam and vice versa. It caused many difficulties for the work of anti-smuggling. In order to effectively control and prevent smuggling and illegal transport of goods across the border at the end of the year, Director of An Giang Customs Department Tran Quoc Hoan chaired a meeting with the customs enforcement force throughout the Department to discuss plans to strengthen professional measures in the work of prevention and combating smuggling, illegal transport goods across border and trade fraud in the last months of 2019, especially in the flood season.
Mr. Hoan requested leaders of units to immediately deploy solutions adopted in the meeting, warning of a number of tricks of smuggling, commercial fraud, such as enterprises with unusual import-export turnover, individuals crossing the border to gamble, smuggling, illegally transporting goods, drugs, and other banned goods across the border. Based on the previous plans issued by the Department, they would develop a peak plan for combating smuggling and trade fraud from now to the end of 2019. In particular, they must closely follow regulations and processes of professional operations of the Customs sector to ensure that they would hit the right suspects and organized groups.
In order to ensure the effectiveness in implementing the peak plan, the units must seriously and properly assess the current situation from the phenomenon of sharply increasing turnover of a number of items; high chance of taking advantage of using river for turn around export goods in order to earn profit from VAT refunds; the situation of fraud relating to goods temporarily imported and re-exported for tax evasion or fraud.
At the same time, wary of suspects taking advantage of the flood season in order to float smuggled goods along the river, use vehicles to transport infringing goods across the border to Vietnam, taking advantage of the flood season to smuggle and transport illegally goods across border and the two border gates. The units needed to identify key products in their areas such as cigarettes, sugar, wood, gold, currency, scrap, fertilizer and especially drugs; strictly control cases and means of transport crossing the border in any form to avoid taking advantage of transporting money, drugs and other banned goods into and out of Vietnam.
Besides that, the leaders of An Giang Customs Department requested to enhance the role, responsibility and discipline of the head of the unit, absolutely not let smuggling occur in the customs management area. Accordingly, if the management areas of customs units witnessed smuggling, illegal transport of goods across border or commercial fraud and the case was handled by other competent forces, the manager and deputy manager of the units would take fully responsibility.
By Lê Thu/Thanh Thuy