VCN- The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Truong Hoa Binh, Head of the National Steering Committee 389 has requested ways to handle right ringleaders of tobacco smuggling, in a meeting (organized on October 18, 2016 in HCM City) on strengthening the prevention and fight against tobacco smuggling at hot spots.
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|The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Truong Hoa Binh speaks at the meeting. Photo: T.D.|
At the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Nguyen Huu Chi said, during the drastic implementation of the Prime Minister’s Directive No. 30/CT-TTg of September 30, 2014, the functional forces of 6 key Southern areas (including Tay Ninh, Long An, Dong Thap, An Giang, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City) implemented a series of operations from the border to the domestic market and achieved remarkable results. Specifically, in 2 years of implementation of Directive 30, the functional forces discovered, arrested and handled 15,363 cases, with 11,390,366 cigarette packs; and prosecuted 372 cases with 471 perpetrators.
According to the functional forces, because profit from tobacco smuggling and trading of illicit tobacco is very high, from 3,500 vnd to 12,000 vnd per pack, perpetrators have found many ways to smuggle cigarettes from the border to the domestic market, which has made the situation of cigarette smuggling in key areas complicated and growing.
The methods of transporting illicit tobacco have changed dramatically compared to the previous time. Perpetrators have carried out more sophisticated methods of smuggling such as hiding illegally imported cigarettes in the cab, hood and fuel tank of their vehicles; arranging followers to watch over the operations of the anti-smuggling forces, using shipping navigation; using high speed motorboats and boats for transport, transporting at night, and perpetrators are even prepared to attack members of the functional forces when they are detected.
"Mark" the perpetrators correctly but not to be effective
Regarding the prevention of tobacco smuggling, Mr. Ngo Tien Dung, the Deputy Commander of the Border Guard said that tobacco smuggling was a burning issue, creating high profits, but the laws are overlapping, which means some perpetrators are handled inappropriately.
For example, Joint Circular No. 36/2012 of April 18, 2012 of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, the People's Supreme Court and the People's Supreme Procuracy specifies the number of cigarette packs from 1,500 packs to less than 4,500 packs to be “bulk”, whereas Decree 124/2015/ ND-CP of November 19, 2015 amending and supplementing some articles of Government Decree No. 185/ 2013/ ND-CP of November 15, 2013 specifies that “bulk” cigarettes are 500 packs or more, instead of 1,500 packs or more, etc.
According to Mr. Nguyen Xuan Son, the Deputy Commander of the Coast Guard, although the functional forces have implemented drastic measures at the border and coast, the circulation of illegally imported cigarettes in the domestic market is very easy and extensive, which proves that the control of smuggled cigarettes is not effective, creating loopholes for smuggling.
On the other hand, according to many delegates, people living in border and remote areas are very poor with unstable jobs and limited knowledge. Thus, they are lured by many perpetrators for the purpose of transporting contraband cigarettes.
At the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Truong Hoa Binh stressed that in recent years, the National Assembly and the Government have paid much attention to operations against smuggling, commercial fraud and counterfeiting, including contraband tobacco prevention. The results which functional forces have achieved over the years are very encouraging.
However, according to the Deputy Prime Minister, the actual number of smuggled cigarettes that come into the country is far greater than the number of seized cigarettes. Smugglers are arrested but it is not effective because they are mainly border residents who are hired to transport illegal cigarettes, instead of the ringleaders. The situation of cigarette smuggling has increased and perpetrators are ready to attack functional forces if necessary.
In fact, the equipment to serve the fight against smuggling is quite limited, not meeting current requirements. In order to improve the efficiency of anti-tobacco smuggling, especially in key provinces, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Truong Hoa Binh directed the Ministry of Finance to study a policy of supporting equipment and facilities for the functional forces against smuggling. At the border gate, the functional forces must be closely coordinated through briefings to provide information properly and destroy smuggling lines in a timely fashion.
In particular, the Association of Tobacco should seek solutions to improve production, enhance living conditions, create jobs for people, popularize the laws for people to understand and not to engage in smuggling activities. Building peaceful, friendly, legal and cooperative border areas for economic development.
|More than 37 tonnes of suspected smuggled tobacco discovered in Lao Cai
Lao Cai Customs Department in coordination with the forces of the Department of Crime Prevention of smuggling ...
The Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that if any province did not have positive solutions on reducing the complicated and prolonged smuggling, the leaders of these provinces must be responsible for these problems.
By Thu Diu/ Hoang Anh