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Petroleum smuggling is “sophisticated” on the sea

10:42 | 19/11/2016

VCN- That was the statement of Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Commander of the Border Defense Force at a conference on 17th November 2016, which was held by the Border Defense Force to review the fight against smuggling on the sea and the plan to conduct anti-smuggling activities from now to the start of Lunar New Year 2017.

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The conference. Photo: H. Nu.

According to the High Command of the Border Defense Force, the operations of smuggling, trade fraud and illegal transportation of goods on the sea are quite complicated, especially for gasoline, petroleum, coal, wood, sugar and tobacco in some key areas such as the Northeast coast, South Central coast and South West coast.

However, in recent months, smuggling activities on the sea have been not really complicated. In many key areas, smuggling is under control, without any serious issues. Nevertheless, the domestic situation of illegally transporting illicit goods is still sophisticated with some commodities such as petroleum, coal, tobacco, wines, fireworks, wild animals, electronic components and refrigerators, etc. Also, there are illegal operations of transporting acid residues, waste and furnace dust to China, causing environment pollution at sea.

At the conference, Major General Bui Duc Hanh, the Deputy Commander of the Border Defense Force said that, from February to 15th November 2016, the Border Defense Force on the sea, 4 Coast Guard fleets and 3 Special Forces discovered and destroyed 213 smuggling cases with 563 perpetrators and 7,456,000 liters of petroleum (including 172 cases destroyed independently). Also, the Border Defense Force has seized 88,762 tons of coal; 13,837 tons of waste acid residue; 6,770 tons of sand; 65,589 foreign cigarette packets; more than 2 tons of fireworks; 1,000 kg of sugar; 24 tons of soybean residue; 30 m3 of wood; 600 bottles of foreign wine; 4.3 tons of iron and 14,000 fishes. For petroleum, the functional forces have destroyed 68 cases with 124 perpetrators.

The total value of goods temporarily seized was about 145.8 billion vnd. The value of gods paid to the State budget was 50 billion vnd. The functional forces have handled 190 cases of administrative violations with 530 perpetrators, with a total fine of 4.97 billion vnd; and the remaining 23 cases with 33 perpetrators have been derelict cases which are under investigation to verify.

Typically, on 15th October 2016, at 09032'N-104 003 'E, the Coast Guard Fleet 28 carried out physical inspection of a fishing vessel No. 91241TS captained by Mr. Ngo Thanh Tam and four crew members who transported 35 tons of petroleum, equivalent to 41,230 liters (these perpetrators said that they had bought a tanker from a Thailand vessel on the sea of Cambodia). At the time of inspection, there were no residence cards and documents for people, vehicles and goods.

Earlier, on 29th September 2016, the Coast Guard Fleet 18 seized Truong An Vessel No. 145 at Soai Rap River transporting 3,001 tons of coal without legal documents as prescribed by Law.

At the conference, Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien said that the operations of smuggling, trade fraud and illegal transportation of goods on the sea were still complicated. Specifically, smuggling activities and illegal transport of coal, minerals, gasoline, furnace dust, oil, firecrackers, poultry, frozen food, electronic components, refrigerators, cigarettes, wines and wildlife products will be more complicated with many tactics on the occasion of Lunar New Year 2017. Accordingly, the key areas with smuggling activities are Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh , Binh Thuan, Binh Dinh, Quang Ngai, Khanh Hoa, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Tien Giang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh and Kien Giang.

Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien stressed that although the functional forces had achieved positive results, there were still many problems such as slow innovation and management methods; and inefficient coordination among the Police force, Customs force and Coast Guard force. Thus, in the near future, functional forces should carry out more drastic anti-smuggling activities on the sea. Specifically, they need to boost innovation of activities on the fight against sea smuggling effectively, focusing on some key rings and areas. There is also a need for close coordination among the functional forces in the destruction of smuggling rings in key areas.

In addition, the Border Defense Force should make a strategic plan in each team to implement its anti-smuggling operations. Accordingly, the Border Defense Force needs to focus on basic operations firstly such as basic investigation to understand the situation of key areas to proactively fight against smuggling, promote the work of reconnaissance measures, increasing the number of patrols to detect illegal cases and to handle them in a timely fashion under the current regulations.

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Besides, the Coast Guard Force should closely collaborate with relevant forces and local authorities in the exchange of information, patrols, control, detection and handling of smuggling activities on the sea.

By Dao Le/ Hoang Anh