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Coast Guard combats illegal transportation of petroleum products at sea

11:33 | 26/06/2022

VCN - Due to the surge in prices of domestic petroleum products, smuggling, trade fraud and trafficking of these products has increased, especially in the Southwest sea area. The Coast Guard Command has taken measures to combat the crimes.

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Coast Guard combats illegal transportation of petroleum products at sea
Coast Guard officers inspect smuggled oil. Photo: Duc Tinh

Smuggling takes place in Southwest Sea

According to the authorities, from the beginning of the year, due to the sharp increase in the price of petroleum products, the smuggling of these products from abroad into Vietnam has taken place with many sophisticated tricks at sea.

The Coast Guard has continuously detected and handled many cases of petroleum smuggling, especially large quantities of oil.

Colonel Luong Dinh Hung, Director of the Department of Professional Affairs and Law, said that currently, crimes related to smuggling and trafficking of goods at sea have increased.

The operation of these crimes has been implemented in the Northeast, North Central, Southeast and Southwest sea areas. Smuggled goods are petroleum products, coal, firecrackers, minerals and household goods. The smugglers' tricks are increasingly sophisticated. The transactions of petroleum products by smugglers have taken place quickly on land.

In the Southwest Sea, fishermen have stashed petroleum products in vessels and conducted trading, delivery and receipt of the products in bad weather; frequently changed ship numbers and used fake documents, causing difficulties for competent forces.

In mid-February, while patrolling and controlling 55 nautical miles from Tho Chu Island, the Coast Guard Command coordinated with Kien Giang Border Guard to detect a ship transporting about 70,000 liters of oil without invoices and documents proving its legal origin.

In early March, about 100 nautical miles from Hon Khoai (Ca Mau province), the competent forces discovered a fishing vessel operated by Mr. Truong Van Muoi, 45, residing in Vinh Lac ward, Rach Gia city, Kien Giang province, which was transporting about 60,000 liters of oil without invoices and documents.

At the end of April, about 70 nautical miles southwest of Con Dao, the Coast Guard forces discovered a ship operated by Mr. Ho Tien Dung, residing in Tan Phuoc, Go Cong Dong, Tien Giang, which was transporting about 70,000 liters of oil without invoices and documents.

From May 12 to 17, in the Southwest Sea area, the Coast Guard force consecutively detected and handled five oil transportation cases and seized about 440,000 liters of illegal oil.

In the sea areas of the Northern provinces, although the illegal transportation and transshipment of petroleum products has not increased, there are new and sophisticated tricks.

The fishing vessels have modern radar and navigation to detect competent forces from afar. In addition, these ships often anchor bordering the demarcation line and transport petroleum products to small ships at night to avoid detection.

Recently, the force has discovered many ships illegally transporting petroleum with tricks such as changing the name and number of the ship, the route, and turning off the navigation device.

Drastically combat smuggling

According to the assessment of the Coast Guard Command, the seizures have shown that the petroleum trafficking cases have been implemented in a sophisticated manner. The perpetrators have not directly implemented illegal trading but directed captains and crews to conduct the delivery and receipt of money quickly inland. Traders have used many sim cards for transaction so the competent agencies faced difficulties in handling violations.

Coast Guard combats illegal transportation of petroleum products at sea
Coast Guard force inspect infringing goods. Photo: Duc Trinh.

The fight against the trafficking, illegal transportation and transshipment of petroleum at sea areas has been not yet performed effectively. The competent forces have only detected and arrested transporters or small smugglers. The dealers directing these operations are oversea or large vessels only operate in neighboring sea areas or international sea areas. Therefore, the handling of the smuggling rings is still a big challenge for functional forces.

Meanwhile, petroleum smuggling is predicted to increase in the near future when domestic prices continue to soar. Colonel Luong Dinh Hung, the Coast Guard authority will grasp the situation, especially in key sea areas; strengthen patrolling, inspection and control of vehicles as well as encourage people, especially fishermen to actively denounce smuggling acts and commit not to support the smugglers.

The authority will also take measures to collect information and collaborate with other agencies such as Border Guard, Police, and Customs to make plans to tackle smuggling rings and crimes in the sea areas.

On April 13, in the sea area of ​​Hai Phong, the 1st Coast Guard Region Command coordinated with other competent agencies to bust the HT22 Plan and seized HP-4893 ship for transporting 150,000 of oil worth about VND3 billion.

The Minister of National Defense sent a letter of commendation to the Department of Professional Affairs and Law.

By Nu Bui/Ngoc Loan