Close coordination against smuggling by air

VCN - Smuggling and illegally transporting goods, currency and drugs by air are complicated. The subjects used many new tricks to evade the control of the authorities.
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Civil servants of Noi Bai international airport border gate Customs Branch monitor through a camera system. Photo: N.Linh
Civil servants of Noi Bai international airport border gate Customs Branch monitor through a camera system. Photo: N.Linh

Constantly changing tricks

According to the authority's assessment, the recently discovered cases show that the increase in trade fraud, smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across the border by air is increasingly sophisticated and complex.

In particular, the illegal transportation of narcotics operates irregularly with new methods and tricks (hiding and disguising drugs as common goods and luggage), recklessness and ingenuity (being carried with them).

Mr Do Manh Hung, Head of the Noi Bai International Airport Customs Branch (Hanoi Customs Department), said that from the area control work, the unit had discovered many emerging subtle acts and tricks of smugglers, illegal transportation of goods by air, express delivery to bypass the Customs. Goods smuggled by air are mainly compact and high-value goods. Objects take advantage of the selectivity of the customs declaration form to choose other commodities that are easily selected as Green, Yellow channel, avoiding Red channel. Taking advantage of the policy of importing gifts and presents, shredding goods, sending them to many different recipients, and then recollecting them.

Notably, the functional forces discovered tricks to hide, pack and mix drug items; products from wild and rare animals and plants on the list of CITES and other goods for declaration, packed in normal goods boxes and packages to avoid detection during the inspection. Objects taking advantage of sending goods by air, hand luggage of passengers on exit or entry, international students, and people on business trips abroad; Drugs are often hidden and disguised in functional foods, alcohol, cosmetics, etc.

According to Mr Phan Nhu Thao, Deputy Director of Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, in the first quarter of 2023, the unit detected and handled 13 drug violations. Exhibits include 30.5kg of drugs and more than 4.4kg of marijuana. Drug traffickers and transporters exploit the form of sending by post and express delivery, and drugs are hidden in gifts and non-commercial goods and camouflaged quite sophisticatedly in bottles/ cosmetic boxes, shampoo, confectionery, milk boxes, food powder, medical rubber gloves. The recipient's address is unclear; the address changes or refuses to receive the goods when the authorities proceed to take professional measures, making it difficult to investigate and handle violations. For export goods, subjects often use social networks to communicate with shipping units and use technology delivery services, so it is difficult to trace. As for passengers' luggage on entry and exit, the objects that hide drugs, such as pressing drugs into cartons, in products such as toothpaste. They often hire objects to transport, even Laos, and Thailand subjects.

Strengthen coordination

To proactively prevent and promptly detect, fight, prevent, arrest and strictly handle violations, on May 22, the General Department of Customs issued a written request to units to implement key tasks such as: continuing to implement Official Dispatch No. 92/BCD389 - DVTT dated December 5, 2022, of the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance and Official Letter No. 5346/TCHQ-DTCBL dated December 9, 2022, of the General Department of Customs on the implementation of the Plan to combat smuggling and illegal transportation of goods through international airports.

Notably, over the past time, the Customs sector has coordinated with forces, including the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, to control and ensure aviation security and safety and detect and fight against traffic violations, smuggling, commercial fraud, and illegal transportation of goods via air routes. Sharing at the recent training conference on aviation security risk management and anti-smuggling by air, the Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (General Department of Customs), Nguyen Hung Anh, said to strengthen further coordination to ensure aviation security and safety and promptly detect and fight smuggling activities, trade fraud, and illegal transportation of goods across the route. In the coming time, the General Department of Customs and the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam will focus on closely following Directive No. 06/CT-TTg dated February 24, 2023 of the Prime Minister on improving the capacity of security assurance, aviation security and safety in the new situation. Furthermore, continue strengthening mutual coordination and working closely with other forces such as the Police, Army, and aviation service providers to ensure aviation security, political security, social order, and safety at airports and airfields.

Simultaneously, the units strengthen the propaganda for all officials and civil servants to master the provisions of the law on the prevention and combat of smuggling; terrorism prevention and combat; regularly raise vigilance, not allowing hostile forces to take advantage of loopholes or lose vigilance to conduct terrorist activities to harm national security, social order and safety; do not allow subjects to take advantage of the air route to smuggle or illegally transport banned goods and goods affecting national security and community safety into the country.

To promote more effective anti-smuggling and trade fraud, the Hanoi Customs Department proposed to state management agencies, airlines and businesses operating in the international airport area to strengthen coordination with Customs authorities in inspecting and controlling passengers, luggage and means of transport at the port.

The Hanoi Customs Department also suggested that Noi Bai International Airport continue to increase sharing and exploitation of information technology systems and specialized equipment such as surveillance cameras, flight information systems, etc.

By Linh-Diu/Phuong Linh

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