VCN - Many cases of cigarette smuggling in large quantities were caught by functional forces on the An Giang border.
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Nearly 3,000 packs of contraband cigarettes seized by Vinh Xuong border gate anti-smuggling force. Photo: T.L
Many smuggling cases seized
Despite being in the peak period of Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control, some suspects took advantage of the night to organize the transportation of smuggled cigarettes across the An Giang border.
At 22:30 on September 1, Vinh Xuong Border Gate Customs Branch (An Giang Customs Department), the Anti-drug force of An Giang Border Guard and Vinh Xuong International Border Gate Border Station coordinated in arresting a person using a motorboat to transport nearly 3,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes from Cambodia to Vietnam. Two suspects involved in the transport took advantage of the night to escape.
On September 2, these two suspects surrendered at the Vinh Xuong International Border Gate Border Guard Station, confessing to transporting contraband.
According to Mr. Tran Tan Loi, Director of Vinh Xuong International Border Gate Customs Branch, the inter-agency anti-smuggling force at the border gate area operates 24/7, so the situation of goods transportation is significantly reduced.
However, some suspects transported, gathered, and divided smuggled cigarettes in people's houses near the border area. Customs authorities and functional forces at the border gate struggled to fight and prevent this crime.
On August 26, 2021, Police of Vinh Xuong commune, Tan Chau town coordinated with Vinh Xuong International Border Gate Border Guard Station and Vinh Xuong International Border Gate Customs Branch to conduct an administrative inspection of Mr. Nguyen Van Ngot's house in Vinh Xuong commune (area bordering the border, near landmark 241). Mr. Ngot's house was discovered to contain 240 packs of foreign cigarettes.
Through investigation, Mr. Ngot admitted that the above cigarettes were bought from Cambodia to resell for a profit. On the same day, the working group inspected an abandoned house at group 12, hamlet 5, Vinh Xuong commune, discovering and seizing 449 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes.
According to An Giang Customs Department, facing the Covid-19 pandemic, functional forces have strengthened checkpoints and closed patrols on the border area to perform the task of pandemic prevention and control, so the smuggling situation is somewhat controlled.
However, on the border areas in some places, smugglers find ways to bring smuggled goods across the border, mainly at night. The suspects chose places far from the checkpoints and then carried the goods on the roads, the suspects used motorbikes or hired people to carry the smuggled goods across the border.
On the river, the suspects took advantage of the terrain with many canals, sometimes a common river, using motorboats with high powered engines to transport goods across the border, avoiding inspection, control of the authorities; hired guards on the roads and in front of the headquarters of functional agencies, inter-sectoral anti-smuggling groups, causing difficulties for detection and arrest.
The reckless smuggling
Recently, the transport of smuggled goods across the border has been carried out by the suspects in large quantities, organized into groups to carry contraband goods across the border, showing boldness and recklessness of the attackers.
The case of three people using motorboats to transport nearly 3,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes mentioned above is typical. According to the leader of Vinh Xuong border gate Customs Sub-Department, when the working group signaled the suspects to stop the vehicle for inspection, they did not comply but drove the vehicle to flee containing smuggled cigarettes into the river, at the same time jumped into the river to escape, causing the task force to go down to the river to salvage the contraband.
In addition, the suspects often organize themselves into groups of people carrying goods across the border at night, when they detected functional forces, the suspects leave their goods to escape. Recently, on the night of August 31, Phu Huu Border Guard Station coordinated with the Anti-drug and Crime Prevention Department (An Giang Border Guard) to organize a secret uniform, handle a smuggling case, and seize 7,000 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes of all kinds.
At about 2am on August 30, Vinh Nguon Border Guard Station (An Giang) presided over and coordinated with the Task Force on Drug and Crime Prevention and Nhon Hung Border Guard Station to seize 3,850 packs of smuggled cigarettes in the area of Ba Bai hamlet, Vinh Te commune, Chau Doc city, because the suspects left the scene and escaped.
According to the assessment of the Steering Committee 389 of An Giang province, in the complicated developments of the Covid-19 pandemic, functional forces have strengthened checkpoints, closed patrols and control on the border area, well controlled the situation.
The illegal transportation of contraband, especially tobacco, a key commodity on the border, makes this item scarce and highly priced. Therefore, the suspects find ways to gather and transport smuggled cigarettes from Cambodia to Vietnam to sell for a profit.
With the above situation, the Customs Department of An Giang province has always maintained to send civil servants to fully participate in the inter-sectoral working groups of An Giang province according to the plan of implementing checkpoints on the border to fight against anti-smuggling and commercial fraud in border areas.
In the future, the unit will continue to further strengthen coordination in anti-smuggling between forces on the border and inland. Highlighting the roles and responsibilities of heads of subordinate and subordinate units in the fight against smuggling and commercial fraud.