VCN- Recently, a series of cases involving banned goods have been discovered and handled at the Long An border. The goods transported across the border included foreign cigarettes and used electronics, refrigeration equipment and household appliances.
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Banned goods seized
According to the 389 Steering Committee of Long An province, cross-border smuggling in Long An is a continuing problem. Smugglers regularly transport foreign goods of unknown origin, among which are used refrigeration equipment and household appliances without vouchers across Long An province along national road 62 and the N2 route. These smugglers often operate at night, on holidays, during rush hours and are very active and attack the authorities when discovered or arrested.
On August 6, Market Surveillance Unit No. 4 under Long An Market Surveillance Department was informed about a truck carrying smuggled goods on national road 62 through Thu Thua and Ben Luc districts (Long An) to Ho Chi Minh City on Trung Luong - HCM City highway. The Unit No. 4 assigned its working team to monitor the truck and inform Market Surveillance Unit No. 15 (HCMC Administration of Transportation) to coordinate to stop the truck for inspection. However, when moving to the road towards to the highway in Binh Chanh District in Ho Chi Minh City, the truck turned to the direction of Ben Luc town. The working team continued to monitor the movement of the truck. When moving to Long Kim intersection, Ben Luc town, the driver noticed the working team so he drove towards the two motorbikes of the working team, causing an accident and then left leaving the truck to flee. The Ben Luc District Police Authority coordinated with the Market Surveillance Team to take the truck to the Ben Luc District Police headquarters for verification. As a result, the authorities detected 83 guitars, 14 gas cookers, 84 electric rice cookers, 26 washing machines, 24 refrigerators, 14 speakers of all kinds and 2,439 kg of ceramic cups, which were second-hand products.
On August 4, through reconnaissance, the Customs Enforcement Unit of Long An Customs Department discovered a truck driving from Vinh Hung district border inland on the national road 62 through the customs enforcement area. The Customs Enforcement Unit pursuit it to My Tho City, Tien Giang. The leader of Long An Customs Department directed My Tho Port Customs Branch to coordinate with the My Tho Traffic Police Team to inspect the truck. Through inspection, a large volume of used refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and used household appliances on the list of banned imports import was detected. The authorities asked the driver to take the truck to the headquarters of My Tho Port Customs Branch to count the goods. After counting, the Branch seized 12 tons of goods including industrial sewing machines, used air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and used household appliances. The driver, Le Duy Khang, claimed that he was hired to transport the goods by a person in Ho Chi Minh City.
On July 18, the Duc Hue District anti-smuggling authority arrested Nguyen Minh Chau who was born in 1984 and permanently resides in Duc Hoa district for transporting smuggled goods. The authority seized goods including a car as a means of transportation and air conditioning units, 100 boxes of porcelain cups and pots (1,700 kg) and 140 Adidas-brand t-shirts.
Previously, two large trucks carrying banned goods, including over 220 sets of air conditioners and 185 packages of used clothes, were also seized by the Southern Anti-smuggling Control Team (Team 3), the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department under the General Department of Customs at Binh Hiep border in Long An province on June 1.
Cigarette smuggling increases
In addition to the rise of smuggling and illegal cross-border transportation of used electronics, refrigerators, consumer electronics and consumer goods, the hoarding and transportation of smuggled cigarettes has also increased. In August 2019, Long An authorities handled large cases of hoarding and transportation of smuggled cigarettes. In particular, on August 2, the anti-smuggling force of Kien Tuong Town Public Security arrested Truong Phung Quoc Phong, born in 1978, living in Ward 2, Kien Tuong Town for transporting smuggled cigarettes and seized a car and 6,000 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes.
On August 6 in Hoa Binh 2 village, Hiep Hoa commune, Duc Hoa district, the anti-smuggling force of PC03 Division of Long An province Public Security busted a smuggled cigarette stash and arrested Cao Minh Hoang, permanently residing at the above address, seizing 30,000 packs of cigarettes and two cars.
On August 17 in My Quy Tay commune, Duc Hue district, the frontier post of My Quy Tay border gate in coordination with the Southern Task Force under the Department of Drug and Crime Prevention and Border Guards detected and seized a Fortuner car carrying 3,500 packs of foreign cigarettes. The Border Guards seized the cigarettes and the car.
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According to Long An province’s authorities, cigarette smuggling on the provincial border is on the rise. Groups of smugglers transporting foreign cigarettes by motorboat have resumed operations. In the first eight months of 2019, the province’s authorities discovered and seized nearly 1.2 million packs of smuggled cigarettes of all kinds. In August alone, the local authorities seized over 133,000 packs. According to preliminary statistics, from the beginning of the year until now, Long An province’s authorities have prosecuted 35 cases with 43 offenders, mainly on smuggling and illegal transportation of foreign cigarettes.
By Nguyen Hue/ Huyen Trang