October 24, 2019 12:53

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Smuggled cigarettes still a problem in the South West border area

08:21 | 15/09/2019

VCN – According to the Steering Committee 389 of South West border provinces such as Tay Ninh, Long An, Dong Thap and An Giang, the transport and trade of smuggled cigarettes in the first eight months of 2019 was still a problem. The areas with the most activity were Duc Hoa, Duc Hue (Long An province), Ben Cau, Trang Bang (Tay Ninh province), and Highway 91 (An Giang province).

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More than 26,000 packs of cigarettes were seized by Police force on July 29. Photo provided by An Giang Police

Border issues

According to the Steering Committee of 389 Long An province, in the first eight months of this year, the competent forces seized nearly 1.2 million packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes. In August alone, competent authorities discovered and seized 133,252 packs of smuggled cigarettes of all kinds.

According to the judgment of the Provincial Steering Committee 389, the smuggling of goods across borders in the province was difficult to control. In particular, the transport of foreign cigarettes through Long An along national highway 62, N2 road had increased. In August, the authorities in Long An province handled many cases of storing, gathering and transporting large quantities of smuggled cigarettes.

In early August, the police force discovered a stash of illegal cigarettes in Hoa Binh 2 hamlet, Hiep Hoa commune, Duc Hoa district, seizing 30,000 packs of foreign cigarettes, and two cars. In this case, the police also arrested Cao Minh Hoang (born in 1973). In the area adjacent to the border, on August 17, in ​​Hamlet 3, My Quy Tay Commune, Duc Hue District, the Southern Special Force (Department of Anti-Drug and Crime Prevention – The Command of Border Defense Force) cooperated with Border Post of My Quy Tay Border Gate to handle two cases of transporting illegal cigarettes by car, with 8,500 packs of foreign cigarettes seized. The suspects escaped, leaving the cigarettes and vehicles behind.

The smugglers often chose the "golden triangle" of Tay Ninh-Long An-HCMC to operate. This was also an area with many open trails and interlaced canals so it was very easy to evade detection. If they successfully transported the smuggled cigarettes, they were often taken to HCM City for sale.

In Tay Ninh, on August 20, Trang Bang district police also busted a stash of illegal cigarettes with 10,000 packs of foreign cigarettes. The location was discovered when the anti-smuggling force of Trang Bang District Police in collaboration with the Phuoc Chi Border Station and the Phuoc Chi Commune Police (Trang Bang District, Tay Ninh Province) went on patrol and stopped Lam Bai Cao while he was driving a motorbike, carrying 1,250 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes and Canh, carrying 1,250 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes of all kinds. These two suspects transported the above illegal cigarettes to Bui Thi Anh Loan's home. The force arrested Lam Bai Cao and conducted an inspection of Loan's home, confiscating 7,500 packs of smuggled cigarettes of all kinds. The total amount of exhibits in this case was 10,000 cigarettes.

Lam Bai Cao claimed that he was hired by a Cambodian to transport smuggled cigarettes from the Vietnam-Cambodia border to the intersection of Truong Dau in Phuoc Thuan hamlet, Phuoc Chi commune, Trang Bang district (Tay Ninh), for VND120,000/trip. He called Canh to help transport the cigarettes. According to the Provincial Committee 389, cigarette smugglers often operated at night, on holidays, at rush hours and were very aggressive, sometimes getting violent with the officers when detected.

Motorcycles used

In An Giang, in August, police seized cases of illegally transport smuggled cigarettes. On the evening of August 13, the Anti-Smuggling, Commercial Fraud and Counterfeiting Team of the Economic Police Department, An Giang Province Police Department conducted an ambush in the area of ​​Canal Road 1, Vinh Thanh Hamlet, Cai Dau Town, Chau Phu District, An Giang province. They seized 10 motorbikes with each carrying 1,000 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes. The smugglers took advantage of the dark and area with canals, leaving vehicles and exhibits to escape. Earlier, at dawn on August 9, the patrol team of Chau Phu district police (An Giang province) while conducting patrols on Highway 91, discovered a group of young people transporting smuggled cigarettes on motorcycles from Chau Doc city to Long Xuyen city. When seeing the police, this group tried to escape. As a result, the police arrested four people and seized five motorbikes with 5,000 packs of foreign cigarettes.

On July 29, the Economic - Police Department of An Giang province stopped a truck that was transporting a huge number of smuggled cigarettes. The driver was named as Le Thanh Hiep (born in 1982, living in Long Hung Ward, Tan Chau Town, An Giang Province). The truck was on Lac Long Quan Street, Ward Long Hung, Tan Chau Town, An Giang Province. When the truck was stopped for inspection, Hiep did not comply with the request of the competent forces and tried to escape. The working group pursued the suspect to Long Hoa commune, Phu Tan district to stop the truck. Through an inspection, the competent force detected 26,500 cigarette packs of foreign brands. Le Thanh Hiep claimed he was hired to transport the cigarettes from Tan Chau town - An Giang province to Tien Giang province for an unknown person but when he was driving to the above area, he was detected by competent forces.

By Đăng Nguyên/Thanh Thuy