VCN - Changing hiding methods and splitting smuggled cigarettes to avoid criminal handling when arrested are just some tricks of smuggled cigarette transporters on the border of An Giang and Dong Thap.
|Backlog of 6 million packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes|
|Researching two solutions for handling seized smuggled foreign cigarettes|
|Study two options for handling confiscated smuggled foreign cigarettes|
|Smuggled cigarettes seized by Dong Thap Customs. Photo: T.H.|
Avoid criminal handling
According to Steering Committee 389 - An Giang province, functional forces have implemented many measures to fight smuggling, so the smuggling situation has eased.
In May, An Giang anti-smuggling forces discovered more than 120 violation cases of purchasing, selling and transporting illegal and smuggled goods, a decrease of more than 9.7% over the previous month and 20% compared with the same period. However, smuggled sugar and cigarettes tended to increase again after falling down in the first few months of 2019, of which, more than 103,000 packages of illegal cigarettes were seized, up 84.7% over the previous month.
According to Steering Committee 389 - An Giang province, to transport smuggled cigarettes, the subjects constantly change their tricks to avoid detection. After transporting illegal cigarettes inland, smugglers immediately transfer them to motorbikes running at high speed with lookouts on each route. Notably, smugglers do not collect illegal cigarettes to store in houses, warehouses as before. They leave them on vacant land with guards and wait for people to pick up the goods. When discovered, they quickly run away, leaving the goods and vehicles, so authorities struggle to seize exhibits.
In addition, there are also some who bring cigarettes into storage points, but divide them to many places, with small quantity to avoid criminal handling. Currently, the subjects are limited to using trucks to transport large quantities of smuggled cigarettes. They mainly use high-speed motorbikes running by groups from 2 - 3 units on Highway 91, transporting from 1,000 to 1,450 packages, which are not be sufficiently quantified for criminal treatment (the number of 1,500 packages will be criminally handled as a rule).
According to the leader of Dong Thap Customs Department, the smuggling situation on the border line is slower than before. The reason is that forces have coordinated in managing, controlling, and blocking tightly key routes. Besides, the price of some products between Vietnam and Cambodia has no big difference. The situation of smuggling and illegal cross-border transportation of goods is controlled; smuggling groups do not arise. However, there is still illegal transportation of goods, but it is small and unfixed. Smuggled goods are mostly cigarettes and sugar. From early 2019 to April 15, through control activities, the Customs forces detected 45 violations, worth more than 750 million VND.
According to the Steering Committee 389 - An Giang province, smugglers often use small motorbikes or small boats from Cambodia to the territory of eight communes of Hong Ngu district, Hong Ngu town and Tan Hong district. In Hong Ngu district, objects transport smuggled cigarettes mainly through hamlet 1 (Thuong Thoi Hau B commune) and provincial road DT-841. Their main tricks are to split goods and then use motorboats and motorbikes to transport them inland with external camouflage.
Many cigarette smugglers are ready to fight and operate vehicles at high speed, which makes it difficult for functional forces. They even oppose people on duty. Most recently, on May 17, while the working group of the Traffic Police Department - Dong Thap Police was patrolling on National Highway 30, passing My Phu Ward, Cao Lanh City, Dong Thap Province, they discovered a young man driving a smuggled cigarette motorbike at high speed. The working group sent a signal to ask the man to stop but he did not abide, ran out to Highway 30, and then sped towards Hong Ngu town. Immediately, the traffic police used special vehicles to follow and caught up with the young man at 11 Ward. At this time, another person, who was suspected of being an accomplice of the smuggler, appeared. This person drove a motorbike into a position to obstruct, impacting the driver of the special vehicle, causing two policemen to fall off the road and get injured. This individual also fell but he left his motorcycle and quickly escaped from the scene.
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By Le Thu/ Ha Thanh