VCN - Tobacco after being exported has been transported to the maritime area between Vietnam and China and then smuggled into Vietnam.
|Synchronously fighting against cigarette smuggling from border gate to the inland|
|Cigarette smuggling in Long An is increasing|
|Tobacco smuggling on the southwest border remains complicated|
|Fleet 1 inspected material evidences in the ship - to - ship transfer of 50,330 packs of cigarettes in April 2019. Photo provided by Fleet 1|
Quang Ninh is a coastal province in the northeast region and has both sea, island, plain, midland, hills and borders adjacent to China, which is convenient for both imports and exports and for tobacco smuggling. In particular, the smuggling and illegal transportation of foreign cigarettes in the Northeast Sea always takes place complicatedly, especially 555 cigarettes, Esse cigarettes and cigars.
Head of the Northern Customs Marine Enforcement Fleet (Fleet 1 under Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, General Department of Customs) Dao Xuan Thanh said although the unit has fought contraband goods, banned goods and trade frauds, the smuggling of foreign cigarettes on the sea is still complicated.
According to some Customs officers in charge of fighting smuggling on the sea, cigarettes of all kinds are imported into bonded warehouses and then are re-exported to foreign countries, mainly China. However, after being exported, cigarettes are transported to the maritime area between Vietnam-China and wait to be illegally returned to Vietnam or transported to China and then return to Vietnam. This activity is complicated and performed with the cooperation of domestic and foreign smugglers.
Taking advantage of the complex and dangerous area of Quang Ninh coastal area with many hills and mountains, together with bad weather, smugglers use canoes equipped with two to six motors and running from 45 to 50 nautical miles / hour straight to the coastal area (from Quang Ninh to Hai Phong) to conduct ship-to-ship transfer of smuggled cigarettes. In addition, the smugglers take advantage of the dark of night to transfer cigarettes to the ships and boats disguised in fishing boats. Cigarettes are transported to the seashore by these vehicles and inland for consumption by cars.
Specifically, each motorboat can carry from 100 to 400 barrels of cigarettes. After the barrels arrive on the seashore, they will be torn apart, and transported by cars inland for consumption. Each car can also carry from 20 to 100 barrels of cigarettes (1 barrel includes 500 packs), Thanh said.
From the beginning of the year until now, Fleet 1 has detected one smuggling case and stopped two high-speed boats in act of illegal transferring more than 50,000 cigarettes. Specifically, at coordinates 210 11. 538N / 1070 38. 019E in the waters of Van Don, Quang Ninh, Fleet 1 inspected two high-speed canoes carrying and transferring illegal foreign cigarettes. When detected, smugglers jumped to a speed boat to escape and left the rest of the boats with all goods. The Customs force seized 50,330 packs of cigarettes including 25,450 packs of BLEND NO.555 GOLD, 12,430 packs of ESSE AURA green, 12,450 packs of ESSE AURA pink; with total value of about VND 2 billion.
Cigarette smuggling in Vietnam is a challenge for anti-smuggling forces. To improve the prevention and fight against smuggling of foreign cigarettes on the sea, Thanh said forces need to continue implementing Directive 30 on strengthening anti-smuggling of cigarettes. In particular, further propaganda and education on legal policies for people, encouraging people to sign commitments on not to trade, transport banned goods and smuggled goods would be a boon.
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Regularly training professional knowledge and skills for officers in charge of anti-smuggling to improve their professional qualifications and investigation skills and monitoring extraordinary activities on goods (such as cigarette prices, consumption), thereby developing plans for patrol, control and seizure would also help.
By Quang Hung/ Huyen Trang