VCN- It is assessed by the Standing Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee 389, after 4 years (from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2018) of implementing the Prime Minister’s Directive 30/CT-TTg dated September 30, 2014 on strengthening the anti-smuggling of cigarettes.
|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|
|Smuggled cigarettes seized by Ho Chi Minh City at Cat Lai Port. Photo: T.H|
After 4 years implementing the Prime Minister’s Directive, the competent forces as the members of Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee 389, inspected and detected 5,695 cases with 2,295 offenders (there were 3,069 derelict cases), of which, sanctioned administrative violation for 2,444 cases with 2,098 offenders; criminally prosecuted 182 cases with 197 offenders; collected over VND 40 billion from administrative sanctions; seized over 3.6 million packets of cigarettes, 479 cigars; temporarily seized 953 motorcycles, 40 cars, 10 passenger cars and 9 boats.
According to the assessment from the Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee 389, Ho Chi Minh City is a very densely populated area including Tan San Nhat International Airport, Sai Gon International Terminal, terminal of North-South Railway Route and many river routes, road routes connecting with the City. Therefore, Ho Chi Minh City is considered as the target area of transport, storage and trafficking of smuggled cigarettes
The smuggled cigarettes are transported on Thay Cai Canal route from Vam Trang- Trang Bang, Tay Ninh to Than Bun – Hoc Mon, then transported by motorcycles to districts in the city for consumption. On routes such as Provincial Highway 2, 7, 8, 15 and National Highway 22, smuggled cigarettes are transported from Loc Giang-Duc Hoa, Trang Bang-Tay Ninh through Tan My-Duc Lap Thuong, My Hanh- Duc Hoa, Cau Lon- Xuan Thoi Thuong, Hoc Mon to the city.
Business outlets such as cigarette cabinets, grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops and etc., still sell smuggled cigarettes in the form of hiding for retail. These points have not been thoroughly eliminated, and smuggled cigarettes and cigars are consumed in significant volume in the city.
Ho Chi Minh City is a place for consumption and transshipment of smuggled cigarettes, so it is very difficult to destroy cigarette smuggling gangs because the smuggled cigarettes are transported across borders into Vietnam and gathered in neighboring areas and then they are separated into smaller volumes to transport to the city for consumption. Hoc Lac- District 5, Tran Quoc Toan- District 3 and borders next to Cu Chi, Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon districts are places where smuggled cigarettes are gathered to transport to the City and transshipped to provinces.
At routes next to Ho Chi Minh City, the smuggled cigarettes are mostly transported from the Long An-Tay Ninh route to the City; the smugglers operate sophisticatedly and often change their tricks. They act transparently, spontaneously and are ready to fight against the competent forces to disperse infringing goods and rescue arrested smugglers.
Ho Chi Minh City is a large city and next to many other provinces, so smuggled cigarettes are transported from many areas to the city for consumption and transshipped to other areas. Smuggled cigarettes are daily transported from Cambodian border areas to Tay Ninh and Long An on both roads and waterways. The perpetrators often take advantage of terrain where there are many rivers and few residents so that the mobilization of means by anti-smuggling forces faces difficulties. Smuggled cigarettes are transported from areas next to Long An, Tay Ninh with districts of Cu Chi, Hoc Mon, Binh Chanh to transport to the city and neighboring provinces.
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Instigators are mainly in Long An and Tay Ninh and they assign gang members to closely guard routes and use many mobile phone numbers for contact, and change time and place for delivery of goods, causing difficulties for competent agencies to identify the backgrounds of perpetrators and to apply methods of offline and technical reconnaissance . When transporters and consumers are arrested they do not disclose the head of smuggling gangs, so it is very difficult to determine and collect evidence to identify violations of head smugglers.
The Ho Chi Minh city Steering Committee 389, currently, the cigarette smuggling on Thay Cai Canal route in Cu Chi District has reduced due to the competent forces having established a point for anti-smuggling in the route next to Cambodia, thereby, perpetrators have transported smuggled goods in the roundabout routes on trucks and passenger cars from Long An through Hoc Mon, Binh Chanh to Ho Chi Minh for consumption. Other perpetrators transport smuggled goods to the western provinces via Trang Bang-Tay Ninh to Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Vung Tau for consumption.
By Le Thu/Ngoc Loan