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Customs seizes over 60,000 tablets of Covid-19 medication in gifts and donations

09:18 | 16/09/2021

VCN – Over 60,000 tablets of Covid-19 medication hidden inside packages of food products were seized by Customs, the authority said.

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Customs seizes over 60,000 tablets of Covid-19 medication in gifts and donations
This is one of the largest smuggling cases of Covid-19 medication seized by Customs. Photo by: Thai Binh

On September 14, the Northern Anti-Smuggling and Control Team (under the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department) coordinated with HCM City Customs Department, Express Cargo Customs Branch (under Ha Noi Customs Department) and Economic Police Department to inspect 15 packages of goods with suspicious signs in Soc Son District, Ha Noi.

The infringing goods were imported from India to Noi Bai International Airport under the form of gifts and donations and sent via express delivery service.

According to the Northern Anti-Smuggling and Control Team the 15 packages of goods were sent to different individuals in Hanoi and Cao Bang province.

Notably, although the names of recipient stated on the packages are different, they have the same phone number.

The goods were declared as food in the airway bill but the Customs inspected and detected 60,000 tablets of Covid-19 medication such as Favipiravir Tablets 200 mg; Favipiravir Tablets Fabiflu 400 mg; Baricitinib; Molnupiravir Capsules.

Customs seizes over 60,000 tablets of Covid-19 medication in gifts and donations

Favipiravir Tablets Fabiflu 400 mg are in the infringing shipment. Photo:Thai Binh.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the risk of smuggling of medicine and medical equipment for disease prevention is increasing, Deputy Head of the Northern Anti-Smuggling and Control Team, Nguyen Phuong Mai said.

The Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department has taken measures to prevent and handle many smuggling cases of medicine and medical equipment.

Recent seizures have showed the tricks of smugglers that they abused the form of gifts and donations to send goods via international postal service, declared low-value goods and falsely declare goods’ names to avoid detection by authorities. The team continues to investigate and clarify violations for handling, the Deputy Head said.

Director of Express Cargo Customs Branch Le Dung said the branch has facilitated importers who complied with regulations in medical imports, and strengthened inspection and control to handle violation.

In the near future, the Northern Anti-Smuggling and Control Team will closely inspect, control and coordinate with other agencies to prevent violations in medical imports, Deputy Head Nguyen Phuong Mai said.

By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan