VCN - The seizure of 500kg of drugs in Ho Chi Minh City is attracting special attention from the public as a result of the direction of the leaders of the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Customs, specifically the Minister of Finance and Director General of the General Department of Customs and efforts and determination of the Customs force and close and effective coordination between competent units in investigation and destruction.
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Actively grasp information and destroy cases
Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department Nguyen Phi Hung said through the coordination of domestic authorities and international cooperation activities in the fight against drug-related crimes, Customs has found that the transportation of drugs from the Golden Triangle to Laos to Vietnam for transit to a third country is still a problem.
Strictly following directions of the Government, leaders of the Ministry of Finance and the Customs, the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department and local customs departments in close coordination with the forces such as Public Security, Border Guards, Coast Guard destroyed a series of transnational drug transport lines in the northern border area.
The leaders of the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Customs, together with the competent forces assessed that international drug smugglers would shift operations into the central and southern border areas.
From the above assessment, the General Department of Customs has warned and directed the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department and local customs units to strengthen investigation and reconnaissance efforts to collect information on the smuggling lines and groups in border areas and border gates. They should also closely coordinate with the competent forces to carry out the projects to handle and stop cases outside the customs operation area.
Notably, the Customs sector has realized the risk of international drug smugglers taking advantage of policies for prioritizing and attracting investment and establishing enterprises to transport vehicles, equipment, raw materials, establish enterprises and lease warehouses and yards for the production and illegal transport of drugs from abroad to Vietnam and then transit to a third country for consumption.
The General Department of Customs discovered and warned about above methods and tricks and requested the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department and local customs departments to strengthen the collection of information in key areas.
After the seizure of more than 100kg of cocaine in Ba Ria-Vung Tau (in May 2018), on August 2, 2018, the Director General of Customs signed a decision to issue Directive 4550 / CT-TCHQ on strengthening the prevention and fight against drugs in customs operation areas. This is the first time that the Customs sector has issued a Directive on strengthening the fight against drugs, showing the acumen, effort and determination of the whole sector. After the Directive was issued, the General Department of Customs organized two Conferences chaired by the General Department leaders to direct the implementation of the Directive on the tasks of prevention and fight against drugs in the whole sector. The Customs unit also developed plans to carry out the Directive in a timely fashion.
Thereby, the prevention and fight against drugs of the Customs sector has made many positive changes and achieved many important results.
The Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung has issued a document to direct and ask the Customs sector to raise its responsibility in drug prevention and fight. In particular, the Minister pointed out 11 groups of specific tasks and measures to be focused on.
The seizure of 500kg of drugs
Regarding the destruction of 500kg of drugs co-chaired by Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and the Investigation Police Department on drug-related crimes (C04, Ministry of Public Security) with the direction from the General Department of Customs, close coordination of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, professional units of the Ministry of Public Security and Police in Binh Tan, Tan Phu, Binh Chanh districts (HCMC), Investigation Police Division on drug-related crimes (Binh Duong Province Police), Hung said: Customs soon captured and strictly monitored the case.
Specifically, through international cooperation on drug prevention and combat, the General Department of Customs has discovered information on a drug line led by Chinese offenders. Through investigation and information collection in the area, HCMC Customs also discovered information related to this line.
Hung said that based on the assigned functions and tasks, the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department has transferred all information to the Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh City for investigation and destruction. The leaders of the General Department of Customs and the leaders of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department instructed the units such as the Information Collection and Analysis Division, Southern Drug and Anti-Smuggling Enforcement Unit (Unit 6 under the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department) and related units to participate in the investigation. The General Department of Customs has issued a warning to local customs departments on strengthening inspection and control of imported pill pressing machines.
According to Hung, since the Customs and other authorities had previously destroyed many big drug cases, the investigation encountered many difficulties by the smugglers using tactics and sophisticated tricks such as continuously changing entry and exit times; locations, mode of transport and hiding drugs.
However, with the spirit of vigilance and the will to fight against drug-related crimes, the Customs, Police and competent units have continuously updated, exchanged information, supervised and monitored all movements, changes of smugglers, vehicles and exhibits, and successfully handled cases.
Director Nguyen Phi Hung said the success of this case was thanks to strict compliance with the directions of the Government, the Minister of Finance and the General Director of Customs and the efforts and determination of the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, the close coordination between the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and the Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department and relevant forces.
Secondly, the coordination between the Customs force and the Police and the competent forces (Border Guard and Coast Guard) was strictly implemented throughout the Central to local levels and at all stages.
Thirdly, it was the effective international cooperation of Customs in exchanging information on drug prevention and combat.
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The General Department of Customs is preparing a preliminary review of the implementation of Directive 4550, while continuing the implementation of the guidance of the Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung to contribute to pushing back and preventing drug crimes, especially transnational drug crime lines.
By Nguyen Quoc/ Huyen Trang