An Giang Customs focuses on preventing targeted smuggled goods

VCN- Smuggled sugar and cigarettes and banned goods are targeted goods An Giang Customs Department is focusing on solutions to tackle in the peak months before, during and after the Lunar New Year 2019.  
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Customs officers of Khanh Binh Border Gate (An Giang Customs Department) process customs procedures for imported fruits. Photo: T.H

Focusing on sugar and cigarettes

According to An Giang Customs Department, due to high consumer demand and profit, smuggled Thai sugar and cigarettes are forecasted to be transported by smugglers inland for consumption. Recently, on November 5, in Khanh An commune, An Phu District (An Giang), the Customs Enforcement Team coordinated with PC03- An Giang Provincial Police and detected a truck transporting 60 sugar sacks. The sacks were printed with a red inscription in English and Thai. The driver of the truck did not present documents for these sugar sacks.

An Giang Customs Department said in recent years, the transportation of Thai refined sugar products across land borders via tracks and trails inland for consumption has increased. Smugglers hire people to transport goods by motorbikes from three to five sacks each time and drive at high speed, causing difficulties for anti-smuggling forces. Smugglers used Thai refined sugar smuggled from Cambodia to sites next to borders to process into alum sugar and then make into cakes, pack in boxes with a large volume and then use fake documents and invoices of domestic sugar companies to deal with inspections by competent forces.

For tobacco products, smugglers use motorbikes and hire people to carry smuggled goods through the two sides of border gates. The smuggled goods are mainly foreign cigarettes due to high consumption demand and being easy to hide and transport 200 packs to 1,000 packs to avoid criminal penalties.

Notably, smugglers in almost all arrests of smuggled goods in the An Giang borders leave smuggled goods when they are detected, leading to derelict goods. In dozens of smuggled sugar cases detected by An Giang Customs Department, only smuggled items were seized and perpetrators were not arrested. Recently, the Customs Enforcement Team- Vinh Xuong Border Customs Branch worked with the Mobile inter-sector patrol team under Steering Committee 389 Tan Chau town in patrolling and inspecting at border belt in Vinh Xuong commune and detected some smugglers who were gathering sacks and boxes in Water Bridge No. 2. When recognising competent forces, these smugglers left the goods and ran back to Cambodia. Through inspection, the competent force discovered 1.75 tonnes of smuggled sugar, 1,600 packs of foreign cigarettes, nine beer cans and 240 bottles of herbicide illegally transported from Cambodia via the Vinh Xuong border gate.

Remove difficulties

It is forecasted that besides targeted goods such as refined sugar, tobacco and some essential commodities for the Lunar New Year such as alcohol, beer, soft drinks and carbonated drinks, confectionery will be collected by smuggler leaders and hire people to transport illegally across the border to Vietnam for domestic consumption in the near future.

In addition, people in the neighbouring province of An Giang take advantage of visiting relatives in Cambodia and bring large amounts of cash into casinos for gambling. In the first 10 months of 2019 alone, An Giang Customs Department tackled three cases of illegal cross-border transportation of currencies and seized nearly VND 700 million brought to Cambodia to gamble.

Due to the particular terrain of An Giang province, which has a long border with two Cambodian provinces, smugglers transport drugs from Cambodia to Vietnam via An Giang inland for consumption or transport goods to a third country. Recently, Ho Chi Minh City Police arrested two smugglers using cars to transport 15 heroin packages and six kg of synthetic drugs. This is the result of the expansion of the destruction of large illegal drug transport lines from An Giang Border to Ho Chi Minh City for consumption implemented by Police and Customs authorities in mid April and two people were arrested, with 21 heroin packages and 5 kg synthetic drugs seized.

According to An Giang Customs Department, smugglers often collude and closely connect from smuggler leaders, individual business households, street watchers, monitors to transporters to illegally transport goods across borders to deal with competent forces, thereby, the Customs force faces many difficulties in anti-smuggling amid the lack of customs officials.

Leaders of An Giang Customs Department requested units effectively deploy plans to prevent smuggling before, during and after the Lunar New Year with solutions in line with the characteristics and management of each unit. Accordingly, the border-gate customs units should focus on performing customs clearance and preventing congestion at border gates in the last months of the year and the Lunar New Year. At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen strict inspection and supervision of import and export goods, so as not to allow goods owners to take advantage of customs procedure reform policy for smuggling and trade fraud. In particular, focusing on controlling sensitive regimes and easy to be abused and violated such as transit, temporary import for re-export, bonded warehouses, value-added tax refund, etc.

As of November 15, An Giang Customs Department discovered and made a record of 72 violations, the value of infringing goods was VND 1,521 million, reducing in number and value of infringing goods compared to 2018. Of which, 70 cases were handled with total fines of VND 1,914 million, total value of infringing goods of VND 1,213 million, and total tax arrears of VND 17,622 million
By Le Thu/ Ngoc Loan

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