VCN – More than 39 million packs of smuggled cigarettes have been seized, announced the Permanent Office of National Steering Committee 389 at the conference of discussing solutions to fullfil Decision No.20/2018/QĐ-TTg of the Prime Minister about handling confiscated foreign cigarettes, that was held in HCM City.
|Smuggled cigarettes were seized by competent forces of Long An province. Photo: N.H|
According to ministries, sectors and localities, from October 1, 2014 to the end of October 2019, forces in the country established hundreds of specialised projects and thousands of professional plans and tens of thousands of inspections to inspect and control the market, fighting fiercely with organisations and lines of smuggling and illegal transport of smuggled cigarettes.
As a result, 52,375 cases were discovered and seized, more than 39 million packs of smuggled cigarettes were confiscated and criminal prosecutions were launched in more than 917 cases with 1,150 people.
The Permanent Office of the National Steering Committee 389 said since Directive 30/CT-TTg of Prime Minister, localities and compentent forces have synchronously implemented the tasks. Initially, they have curbed and driven back the smuggling of cigarettes. This has contributed to maintaining order and security in border areas, raising people's awareness and creating an equal environment for the development of the tobacco industry, contributing to the country's economic development.
However, those results are inadequate with the situation of smuggled cigarettes in the country. Currently, the situation of smuggled cigarette is still complicated, especially in key areas such as Long An, An Giang, Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc, Dong Thap, Ho Chi Minh City and Quang Tri. The smugglers were still sneaky and found ways to transport goods and deal with anti-smuggling forces. Smuggled cigarettes are gathered close to the border to wait for an opportunity, then they used motorboats or hire a porter to transport them across the border and then put smuggled cigarettes on motorbikes, trucks and passenger cars which were waiting to be brought to the domestic market.
During operation, smuggled cigarettes were disguised, concealed sophisticatedly and the transport lines were organised and operated very professionally. The subjects always send people to watch the anti-smuggling forces 24/7 to promptly notify each other to avoid them. The place of delivery is usually in deserted areas, with many side roads to escape or leave the goods in a deserted place, if the goods were put into storage points, the smugglers divided goods into small packages and hid them in many places.
Smuggled cigarettes were often transported at night by smugglers and often they changed operating areas to avoid compentent forces. At the same time, the smuggling leader also blames the responsibility to pay compensation for the participants (most of them were poor people, some have criminal records, are drug addicts.), so they still opposed competent forces when they were arrested.
In big cities and provinces in the southwestern region, smuggled cigarettes were sold publicly by shops, restaurants, bars, and vendors along the streets. The operation mode was that smugglers hide smuggled cigarettes in other places or in houses and they are gradually transported to business places in small quantities.
According to Dam Thanh The, Chief of National Steering Committee 389 Office, the situation of smuggled cigarette was complicated, especially at the peak of year-end, the Permanent Office of National Steering Committee 389 has advised the Director of the National Steering Committee 389 to issue a peak plan to combat smuggling of commercial fraud and counterfeit goods before, during and after Tet holiday 2020. In particular, the Permanent Office of 389 has worked with the General Department of Vietnam Customs and compentent forces to step up the fight against smuggling in the southern region, along with the policy of determining responsibilities of enforcement forces and local management units, proposing localities and competent units raise their responsibilities in the fight against smuggling and trade fraud.
By Nguyễn Huế/Thanh Thuy