VCN – On July 21, 2020, at a conference on anti-smuggling of drugs and handling of violations, leaders of An Giang Customs Department and leaders of other customs units analyzed and pointed out hot spots for smuggling and trade fraud at the border to have the most effective management and control solutions.
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Smuggling is still a problem
According to the Anti-smuggling Enforcement Unit under AnGiang Customs Department, due to wide topography having both the delta and the river adjacent to Cambodia, the area is very convenient for smugglers. Smuggled goods are scattered along the border, making it difficult for competent forces.
Carriers of smuggled goods are mostly local citizens, familiar with border-crossings and shortcuts, so they often take advantage of the night to carry smuggled goods through trails and openings to avoid the control of competent forces. Due to limited awareness, poor life andunstable jobs, border citizens have to work for goods owners as shippers to earn money, causing difficulties for the Customs agency.
According to the leaders of border gate customs units, there are still many hot spots for smuggling, especially drugs. The leader of KhanhBinh Border Gate Customs Branch said that the drug situation at the border of KhanhBinh had emerged as a hot spot when the forces recently handled many cases of illegal drug transportation from Cambodia to Vietnam. In particular, since May 2020, the number of drug seizures has increased.
According to the leader of Vinh Xuong Customs Branch, the smuggling, illegal trafficking and transport of goods across borders under the customs management has seen complicated developments. The Vietnam – Cambodia border is mainly a field that runs along both sides, has many canals, convenient for smuggling and illegal cross-border transport of goods by motorboat, boats or porters.
The smuggled goods are mainly sugar, tobacco, cloth, cosmetics and footwear manufactured in Thailand, counterfeit goods of famous brands, which are carried by small traders and border residents to Tinh Bien market or inland for consumption. These offenders operate with sophisticated tactics, smuggled goods are notgathered in one place but transported immediately inland for distribution to avoid inspections by the local anti-smuggling forces.
From before the lunar new year 2020 to the Covid-19 pandemic period, smuggling activities have had many changes in methods and tricks.
Strict control of area
Directing the fight against smuggling and fraud in the area, Director of An Giang Customs Department Tran Quoc Hoan said that the units have made great efforts in the control and prevention of smuggling in the area of management, detected and handled many cases of illegal cross-border transportation of goods, especially during the peak period of pandemic prevention.
However, he also pointed out some shortcomings in the anti-smuggling work. He noted the border customs units, the anti-smuggling enforcement units that the control and fight smuggling at the border is extremely difficult. Therefore, customs officers in charge of this task must have passion, love their job and make more efforts to achieve the best results.
|Smuggled goods loaded on atruck seized by AnGiang Customs on the night of May 9, 2020.|
The leader of An Giang Customs Department also pointed out a number of key areas and items that border-gate customs units must pay special attention to and strengthen control in the last months of the year, such as smuggled goods crossing Tinh Bien border in flooding season, keeping the initiative in seizing illegal goods for strict handling of material evidence. At the same time,smuggled goods related to fruits and gold through this area are also common, so the unit should pay attention.
In the near future, customs units should develop feasible plans, focusing on a number of key points of synchronization and professionalism; review key subjects, monitor and regularly update information about these subjects and capture the situation of the suspectswithwarehouses and business locations in the border area;
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Coordinate closely with the other competent forces to exchange related information as well as patrol and control with Border Guards, Police, Market Surveillance and local governments. Promote information and education; raise the awareness of people, encourage them to support the competent forces in the struggle, prevention and combat of smuggling and banned goods, contributing to stabilizing and developing the country’s socio-economy.
By Le Thu/ Huyen Trang