VCN- Behind-the-scenes stories and difficulties in the fight against smuggling, especially cases with the value of infringing goods of hundreds of billions of VND were told by Director General of the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) Nguyen Van Can and leaders of specialiseddepartments at the seminar “For the goal of protecting the national interests and sovereignty” held by the GDVC on September 8 on the anniversary 75 years of establishment of Vietnam Customs (10/9/1945 – 10/9/2020).
|Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can participates in talkshow to celebrate “75th anniversary of establisment of Vietnam Customs”|
|Dong Thap Customs seizes three motorboats transporting smuggled pigs|
|Piloting tax exemption, reduction and refund information management system|
|GDVC’s Director General Nguyen Van Can talked at the seminar.|
“Backbone” task of Customs sector
The first session of the seminar “Protecting public interests, sovereignty, security and safety” was participated in by speakers: Nguyen Van Can-Director General of the GDVC, Nguyen TienLoc- Director of the Post-Clearance Audit Department; Nguyen Hung Anh- Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department; Dinh Ngoc Thang-Director of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department and NghiemXuanTho, Head of Criminal Investigation Unit under the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department.
At the beginning of the first session, Director General Nguyen Van Can talked about the key milestones and events in 75 years of Vietnam Customs.
“Throughout 75 years of establishment and development, Vietnam Customs has developed in all aspects. During the past development years, especially since the 1980s, when the country beganto implement international integration, the two key tasks of the customs sector are trade facilitation and anti-smuggling, ensuring public security and safety,” Director General Can said.
In the field of ensuring public security and safety in the past years, especially, in the lastfive years (2015-2019), the customs sector has obtained achievements, showingits leading role in the fight against smuggling.
To perform the taskseffectively, the Customs sector should promote the application of modern customs management methods and equipment; boostinternational cooperation; and at the same time, constantly improve the capacity, qualifications, efforts and determination of officers of the sector.
|A view of the first session of the seminar. Photo: H.V|
Untold stories about smuggling cases valued at hundreds of billions of VND
The content that attracted the attention at the seminar wasinteresting stories from the Director General and speakers related to huge cases valued at hundreds of billions of VND detected and destroyed by Customs over the past time.
Typically, the destruction of large-scale petroleum smuggling in the waters of Thanh Hoa province (in 2012) with the value of infringing goods at hundreds of billions of VND. In this case, five oil tankers and offenders were arrested by customs. The destruction of this case was due to the compliance of the disciplines by customs officers performing public duties. After nearly two months of monitoring, the Customs force had to fire fishing boats to supervise and investigate. Some 100 customs officers boarded the five tankers to arrest thesmugglers, Director General Nguyen Van Can said.
Or the seizure of petroleum products in BinhThuan (in 2016), where the value of infringing goods was up to a trillion VND.
According to the Director General, after the time limit for the destruction of the case was endorsed, 200 customs and police officers went secretly from many directions and localities via sea and land to tackle the case. However, when arriving to the waters ofBinhThuan province, there was a storm and the smuggling ship could not dock in the port. All 200 customs officers did not mind difficulties and secretly waited for more than a week until the storm ended and the smuggling ship docked to tacklethe case.
Talking about the dangers in this field, Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department Nguyen Hung Anh said during destroying the drug trafficking and transportation ring of 446 heroin bricks (in HCM City in October, 2019), when arriving to the residing of suspects at midnight, and facing the dangerous situation that suspects could use grenades and explosives to fight back, causing danger to his life, but customs officers promptly controlled and arrested suspects and infringing goods.
Regarding the danger in destroying drug crimes, Director of HCM City Customs Department Dinh Ngoc Thang talked about his workon the destruction of special case M918 (in May 2019) to seize 500 kg of ketamine.
“The special case was tackled after six month of collection of evidence and monitoring the transportation of goods since the importation along with coordination and assignment of work to both analyse the situation and closely monitor the movements of suspects, especially when suspects regularly changed vehicles and hotels and warehouses,” he said.
“The destruction of the special case shows the strong consensus between leaders of the Customs and the police in the assessment of evidence, information, goods and roadmap. This is the largest case of coordination between the HCM City Customs Department and the Investigation Police Department on Drug- related Crimes (C04). Regarding dangers in tackling the special case, I think that officers performing the task face dangers whensupervising and monitoring of goods transportation or inspecting warehouses. But the most important thing is the discussion ofthe plan to arrest suspects. When deciding to destroy the case beyond the customs control area, a series of problems is legal framework and safety protection equipment for officers and soldiers. At that time, with my determination, I directly reported to the Director General to participate in the jobwith the competent forces,” Director Dinh Ngoc Thang said.
This also leads to difficulties to combat criminal crimes in customs field andHead of Criminal Investigation Unit Nghiem Xuan Tho mentioned a rare situation in destroying scrap smuggling ring.
Before arriving to HCM City to arrest the perpetrator of the case, Customs received news that the perpetrator had suddenly died.
“The case was thought to be more difficult because the legal representative of the company importing scrap haddied. However, with the investigation experience, we identified that there were other individuals involved and reviewed, analysed all records, documents, combined with reconnaissance information. Thereby discovering one more directly related suspect who was successfully arrested. The competent authorities criminally prosecuted, arrested related suspects and determined the volume of scrap to be100,000 tonnes”said Tho.
Regarding fighting origin fraud which is a hot public issue, Director of the Port-Clearance Audit Department said that in the first phase, Customs inspected and identified 76 cases, detected 29 violations; workedwith the Ministry of Public Security to investigate a case of falsifyingorigin. At the same time, customs seized 3,590 bicycles, more than 4,000 bicycle parts and 12,000 accessories to assemble kitchen cabinets which are infringing goods; collected and paid VND 47 billion.
The Director of the Port-Clearance Audit Department said the biggestdifficulty for the fight against origin fraud is the insufficient and unspecific legal document system, so the handling of violations still faces many problems.
By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan