VCN - According to the Steering Committee 389 - An Giang province, at the end of the year, the situation of smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across the border is still complicated and difficult to control because smuggled goods transporters are increasingly sophisticated and reckless.
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On the morning of December 25, Vinh Xuong Border Gate Customs Branch (An Giang Customs Department), during the patrol and control in the border area, discovered a motorcycle user crossing the border and showing suspicious signs of smuggling goods, so they asked this person to stop to check. This person threw his vehicle and exhibits away, ran to Cambodia to escape. Through a detailed inspection, the Vinh Xuong Border Gate Customs Branch determined the exhibits were 936 Thailand slippers, worth tens of millions of VND.
Also at Vinh Xuong Border Gate Customs Branch, on December 22, the unit seized 44,000 illegally imported pharmaceuticals. These drugs were transported by motorbike by a Cambodian named Pha Na through the border gate without declaration and detected by the customs authorities. This person also camouflaged the bags by using straw to avoid the function force’s attention.
The above cases showed that, around the Lunar New Year when consumer demand is increasing strongly, smugglers and goods transporters used many tricks to bring a lot of illegal goods across the border to make a profit. Mr. Duong Sen Hai, the Director of Vinh Xuong Border Gate Customs Branch, said: “Implementing the peak plan against smuggling before, during and after the Lunar New Year, the Branch has deployed professional measures, coordinated with patrolling activities to promptly detect and handle cases.”
Contraband cigarettes are hot again
According to information from An Giang Provincial Police, a series of smuggled cigarettes were seized by police in the province in early December showed that cigarette smuggling was hot at the end of the year. At noon on December 19, on the National highway 91 in the area of My Duc commune, Chau Phu district, An Giang province, the police discovered a car with the license plate 65M-1274, showing signs of illegal transportation, so it was checked. Through inspection, the police discovered that hidden in this vehicle were 1,490 packages of foreign cigarettes of Jet and Hero brands. The driver named Chau Van Sang, had to sign a record of violations for transporting the prohibited goods.
A day earlier, on the morning of December 18, the Police of Chau Thanh district, An Giang province, during the patrol on the National highway 91 in the area of Binh Phu 1 hamlet, Binh Hoa commune, Chau Thanh district, An Giang province, discovered 2 young men “racing hot” on 2 motorbikes with the license plates of 29A1-004.11 and 94R1-0049, going from Chau Doc city to Long Xuyen city. The police asked them to stop their vehicles to check. Detecting the functional force, the two objects left the vehicles and run away. Checking the vehicles, the police identified these two objects were transporting 2,980 foreign cigarettes packs of all kinds. A few hours earlier, around 2:30 am on the same day, Chau Thanh District Police arrested 1 high-speed motorcycle transporting 1,490 packages of foreign cigarettes. The object also escaped when the functional force approached.
According to An Giang Provincial Police, foreign tobacco transporters are now constantly "avoiding" criminal prosecution when they only transport under 1,500 cigarettes packages, they also guard roads and escape at all costs, which makes it difficult to capture and handle them. In the last days of the year, smuggling and transporting smuggled foreign cigarettes were almost regular occurences due to domestic demand increasing sharply.
An Giang Customs Department has determined that there are still many shortcomings in anti-smuggling work because most people in border areas do not have a stable career, legal awareness of people in the border area is not high, and they do not have stable jobs. Therefore, they are easily hired by dealers to carry and transport smuggled goods, and are even willing to fight back against on-duty executives. The smuggling of cigarettes is still complicated, and although the plan to fight smuggling has been continuously implemented, the force is small and mainly involved in public activities. The roads are always closely monitored by the objects, so the number of arrests is still low compared to the real number of contraband goods transported across the border. Currently, with the tightening of inspection conditions for importing scrap products, there is a scarcity of raw materials as basic scrap items for production in the domestic market, it is forecatsed therefore, the situation of smuggling materials across the border is expected to be complicated.
In 2018, An Giang Customs Department seized 60 smuggling and illegal cross-border transportation of goods cases, the value of exhibits was over 2.1 billion VND. In particular, the Department has initiated 4 criminal cases having exhibits of waste and agricultural products.
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At the meeting of deploying anti-smuggling activity before, during and after the 2019 Lunar New Year of An Giang Customs Department, Deputy Director Nguyen Tan Buu asked the heads of subordinate units to synchronously and flexibly implement professional customs control measures in order to promptly detect, prevent and strictly handle the smugglers, illegal transporters of goods across the borders, trade frauds; associate the responsibilities of the heads of the units with the results of implementing the task of preventing and combating smuggling and illegal cross-border transportation of goods before, during and after the Lunar New Year 2019. In particular, the leader of An Giang Customs Department requires the unit to pay attention to monitoring ideological developments, internal situation of the unit. In the case of detecting that the civil servants have colluded, helped or ignored the act of smuggling, affecting the prestige of the industry, they must be verified, conducted reviews and strictly handled.
By Dang Nguyen/ Ha Thanh