VCN- In comparison with Kien Giang and Dong Thap, sugar smuggling at the An Giang border is far more sophisticated. In addition to the way to change the packaging, using invoices to deal with competent forces, the way of "processing" illicit sugar into alum sugar is still working.
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Process of illicit sugar
In June 2017, An Giang's inter-agency anti-smuggling forces raided a TB sugar processing plant in Binh Di hamlet, Khanh Binh commune, An Phu district, An Giang province which processed Thailand sugar into alum sugar. The Task Force found 128 sugar bags carrying Thai brands waiting for "process", two tons of finished alum sugar and a series of unfinished cooking utensils. Especially the bag covers this outer shell was manufactured in domestic market but inside there is a class of packaging branded sugar Thailand. The owner of the sugar production facility was one of the perpetrators which were put into the sights of the competent forces last time.
Mr. Thai Van Liem, the Director of Customs Department of Khanh Binh border gate, said that at present, there were 6 warehouses and sugar factories in An Phu district, An Giang province. One of which was in the area of Customs operation. As the boundary between the two countries has a common river, the perpetrators strictly exploited to smuggle across the border. Just a glance was on the high-speed boat to the river and put into the warehouse to pave the way out and into the domestic road. These facilities were always available domestic sugar packings and sewing machines so the packaging was very professional. They also had vouchers to deal with competent forces. It is rare to see the difference between the amount of sugar in the warehouse and the voucher.
In order to verify this, we went round to avoid being watched by the sightseers, down the canal of the district to the Binh Di River. Just step down canoe, there were also two boats carrying the road of smuggling objects into the river. A customs officers came along to turn off the engine, dropped to avoid detection but he did not make it. They saw us, two camshafts turned back. Along the Binh Di River, in Cambodia, we observed that at least 5 large boats were filled with bags of sugar waiting for opportunities to move into Vietnam. In Vietnam, Ms. D.'s warehouse was open as waiting for the bags of smuggled from the river to move up. At the warehouse next to the river was the trough designed to stretch the edge of the water to put the bag of sugar into the store quickly.
Sugar smuggling widens the area
Mr. Duong Sen Hai, the Director of Vinh Xuong Border Gate Customs Branch said that the situation of processing sugar to eradicate illegal sugar in Vinh Xuong border area, Tan Chau town was quite complicated. Here, there are 6 sugar processing facilities. In particular, the AAA facility located just 100 meters from the border, has been displaced by the local authorities but they remain unchanged. This area has 5 spontaneous trails, border residents smuggled goods through these 5 spontaneous trails. On the other hand, in addition to cooking alum sugar in Vietnam, some perpetrators also organized the crystallization of sugar in Thailand into alum sugar in Cambodia and transported them back to Vietnam to consume, causing smuggling of sugar in the zone An Giang to become more complicated.
Outside of Khanh Binh district, An Phu district smuggled sugar also operated to the border lines of Chau Doc and neighboring districts. At the end of May 2017, at Ba Bai, Vinh Te Commune, Chau Doc City, An Giang province, Border Guard Force An Giang caught a smuggled sugar case with material evidence of 90 bags of sugar, and the total weight of 4.5 tons. When competent forces discovered, perpetrators removed the package of Thailand bags filled with sugar, to escape to Cambodia. At the same time, the Economic Police and the Waterway Traffic Police - An Giang Police Department inspected two wooden boats in the area of Hoi An commune, Cho Moi district, An Giang province. Through inspections, competent forces found 76,400 kg of sugar, worth about 988 million VND. At the time of inspections, the shippers could not present the invoice proving the origin of the goods.
Nearly 400 tons of illegal sugar trafficked in An Giang province in the first half of 2017 showed the efforts of the authorities, but in fact, the number of smuggled traffic was still small. According to the survey, now the price of sugar in the domestic market is 2,000 VND per kg higher than the smuggled sugar, so consumers chose smuggled sugar. On the other hand, a part of border residents who are unemployed and have no productive land has joined the "chain" of smuggling across the border, which has made the sugar smuggling condition more complicated.
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By Dang Nguyen/ Hoang Anh