Customs changed the way to fight against drugs, gaining many results

VCN- When facing the many tricks of cross-border smugglers, it demands the Customs agency to strengthen its international cooperation in professional information exchange for investigation, verification and analysis in the fight against smuggling. The Customs sector always pays attention to these activities and considers it as an effective channel.
customs changed the way to fight against drugs gaining many results
Exhibits and criminal in the seizure of 52 cakes of heroin and 25 kg of drugs arrested in the Ha Tinh Customs Department in July 2018.

Changing mindset in the fight

In fact, by the synchronous implementation of solutions, the Customs forces have cut off important links in the drug trafficking chain quite considerably. The achievements have contributed to show its the centralized, unified steering role, and at the same time, affirming the position of the Customs forces at all levels.

One of the typical cases was when the Drug Control Team (Customs Department of Ha Tinh) used luggage scanners to arrest 3 people transporting 52 cakes of heroin and 25 kg of narcotics from Laos to Vietnam (in July, 2018).

Nguyen Ba Trung, head of the Anti-Drug Control Team, said that the leaders of the Customs Department of Ha Tinh had directed the units to carry out 100% inspections of luggage and baggage in order to improve the efficiency of detecting prohibited goods, explosives, drugs...), while reducing the pressure on the Customs authorities in the context of increasing number of passengers. At the same time, the unit also focused on gathering information, grasped the situation in the area to promptly advise the leaders of the Department, issued a warning risk. After more than a week of high alert, through inspection and supervision by using the scanner at the entry gate at Cau Treo international border gate, the unit coordinated inspection of a car displaying the Lao licence plate NN: 7719 and detected drugs in the car.

Previously, in August 2011, also in the detection of foreign objects by luggage scanners, customs forces discovered two people transporting 5.4 kg of solid narcotic blocks from Laos to Vietnam for consumption.

At the end of March 2018, through the functions of the Joint Action against cross-border trafficking between Nanning Customs Department (China) and Quang Ninh Customs Department (Vietnam), the Drugs Control Team (of the Customs Department of Quang Ninh) shared that it received a Diplomatic note from the Nanning Customs Department. The Quang Ninh Customs Department assigned the Drugs Control Team to quickly verify information on a suspect and telephone number related to an illegal drug trafficking line in China that had been deployed. By July 2018, at the Tung Dao Traffic Control Station, the forces of Quang Ninh Customs Department in coordination with C47 (the Ministry of Public Security) and PC47, Lang Son Police; Tung Dien Traffic police station stopped a car with licence plate 34B-01020 for inspection, and arrested two suspects, seized 10 cakes of heroin with a total weight of nearly 3.47 kg.

Identify challenges

Mr Ngo Thanh Binh, Deputy Director of Police Department for investigating drug crime said that, in the first half of 2018, the amount of drugs which were seized by functional forces is equal to the total amount of narcotics that the functional forces captured throughout 2017. Contributing to this result is the impressive record of drug prevention and control by Customs forces. In particular, the prevention and control of drugs in the Customs sector has made great progress in detecting and handling large scale cases.

Director General of the Department of Anti-Smuggling Investigation (General Department of Customs) Nguyen Phi Hung said, the risk of drug smuggling from abroad into Vietnam is growing, operating on a large scale. In addition to the implementation of the policies and regulations of customs at the borders, the prevention and detection of drugs is also paid attention to by the Customs forces, and these are also major challenges for the Customs sector. Cross-border activities of passengers and luggage on entry and exit; goods temporarily imported, re-exported and transshipped are increasing; at the same time, facing the international integration that requires Customs agencies to accelerate the reform, modernization, simplification and convenience of the customs procedures and management methods of the customs offices, are conflicting between facilitation and control.

Facing this challenge, the Customs forces found a variety of solutions to deal with different types of crimes, including drug crimes. Over time, the General Department of Customs has focused on training specialized forces in the elite and regular manner. Besides the human problem, in order to meet the requirements of modern customs management, the General Department of Customs is actively investing in equipment, integrating available information technology systems (luggage scanner, container scanner, surveillance cameras...) to find abnormal signs of crime to prevent at the borders.

By Quang Hung/ Kieu Oanh

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