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Detect sophisticated tricks in trafficking petroleum products on sea

10:01 | 27/09/2022

VCN – The trafficking of petroleum products by sea is increasing with sophisticated methods and in large quantities. The Coast Guard has provided many practical solutions to prevent and handle this situation, the Coast Guard Command said.

Officially reducing import duty of petroleum products to 10% Officially reducing import duty of petroleum products to 10%
Many tax policies issued to stabilize petroleum products prices Many tax policies issued to stabilize petroleum products prices
Coast Guard combats illegal transportation of petroleum products at sea Coast Guard combats illegal transportation of petroleum products at sea
Detect sophisticated tricks in trafficking petroleum products on sea

Coast Guard force seals infringing DO oil. Photo: Khanh Nhan.

Sophisticated tricks

The trafficking of petroleum products on sea routes is a big problem due to its impact on the domestic economy. Especially, the surge in petroleum prices has increased petroleum smuggling with sophisticated tricks.

According to Coast Guard Command, the smuggling, trade fraud, and illegal transportation of goods have surged against petroleum products. The suspects have set up many rings of smuggling and illegal transportation of petroleum products on a large scale.

As of the yearly year, due to the surge in the petroleum price, the number of petroleum smuggling from abroad into Vietnam has risen with sophisticated methods, especially on the Southwest coast.

The law enforcement agency said that the smuggling and illegal transportation of goods on the sea can be classified into three suspect groups. First, the owners of fishing boats buy petroleum products from foreign vessels and then sell to other fishing boats; the owners and private enterprises buy petrol products from transport ships and then sell them to fishing boats or petrol agents; The ships that are allowed to retail the petroleum products, buy the products of the vessels at sea for resale. In addition, some ships transporting smuggled cargo have changed their registration number to outsmart.

In order to avoid detection by the law enforcement forces, the smuggling have used many supplicated tricks such as remodelling fishing boats into boats transporting petroleum products for trafficking of petroleum products. Primarily many suspects have used e-commerce platforms in transactions and applied advanced technology for smuggling, such as installing modern equipment on ships to monitor the boats of law enforcement forces.

The trafficking of petroleum products at sea is conducted via intermediaries and operated under a closed model. The receipt and delivery of petroleum products have taken place sophisticatedly. The recipients are other residents and only use unofficial sim cards to contact. Therefore, law enforcement agencies face difficulties in combating smuggling at sea because petroleum transportation often takes place at night to avoid detection by the agencies. In addition, the smugglers often abuse bad weather, strong waves and strong winds or the time when the law enforcement agencies have not patrolled or inspected to transship and transport smuggled goods.

Statistics show that from the beginning of the year until now, the Coast Guard has arrested and handled 33 cases with 111 suspects and seized about 3 million litres of DO oil, over 100,000 litres of gasoline, and over 100,000 kg of FO oil. The total fines for administrative violations and the value of infringing goods are estimated at VND 70 billion.

Recently, law enforcement forces have detected and seized a large amount of smuggled DO oil on the sea. Notably, the Coast Guard force has seized a ship carrying about 100,000 litres of DO oil.

Accordingly, in the sea area about 100 nautical miles the Southeast of Con Dao, the competent force seized the fishing boat TG-93998-TS operated by Mr. Tran Van Pho, residing in My Tho, Tien Giang as the captain.

During the inspection, the force detected four crew members on the ship. However, the members did not present their professional certificates. In addition, the force discovered about 100,000 litres of DO oil, with an estimated value of about VND 2.5 billion. According to the captain, all of the DO oil had no documents to prove its origin.

Providing stricter measures

The Coast Guard Command said that to improve the efficiency of the fight against smuggling and commercial fraud, the Coast Guard force needs to provide various dissemination methods to the fishermen's boats that are fishing far from the shore.

Detect sophisticated tricks in trafficking petroleum products on sea
The Coast Guard Region 2 Command officers instruct fishermen in Con Co Sea area (Quang Tri) not to violate IUU.

Deputy Commander of the Vietnam Coast Guard Colonel Vu Trung Kien cites Article 9 of the Law on Coast Guard as saying that when performing tasks, the Coast Guard is allowed to inspect and control residents, ships, goods and luggage in Vietnamese waters following the Law on Coast Guard and other relevant laws. Handling administrative violations in line with provisions of the Law on handling administrative violations and implementing criminal investigations in accordance with the Law.

Accordingly, the Coast Guard Command representative said that to improve further the efficiency in combating violations at sea, Coast Guard forces at all levels need regularly distribute leaflets and publicize smugglers' methods and the harmful effects of violations caused by smugglers on the economy and people's lives.

The political system at all levels and local government committees must urge residents and schools to coordinate to prevent this situation. Especially, they need to disseminate provisions in the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard to fishermen to understand and comply with the law.

The representative also said that the promulgation of the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard has created a legal framework for the Coast Guard's performance. However, the law enforcement activities at sea are also governed by many other legal documents, such as the Criminal Procedure Code, the Law on Organization of Criminal Investigation Agencies, the Law on Handling of Administrative Violations and guidance documents.

Therefore, in order to create a favourable legal framework for the operation of the Coast Guard, it is necessary to continue to review and propose to the Government and the Ministry of National Defense to amend, supplement and build new legal documents on enforcement measures, competence to criminal investigation and sanction administrative violations of the Coast Guard to promote well the leading role in law enforcement at sea.

Currently, the fishing vessels operating in the Southwest Sea account for the largest number in the country with about 16,000 vessels, so there is high petroleum demand for fishing vessels. Some smugglers have abused the difference between the petroleum price in the country and neighbouring countries for trafficking and illegal transportation of the items from abroad to Vietnam for consumption.

By Nu Bui/Ngoc Loan