Drastically suppress smuggling activities at sea

VCN - Since the beginning of 2024, the Command of Coast Guard has implemented measures and promptly established a specialized project to fight against criminals, and criminal lines at sea.
Coast Guard Region 4 Force checked the violating ship's documents. Photo provided by Coast Guard
Coast Guard Region 4 Force checked the violating ship's documents. Photo provided by Coast Guard

Effectiveness from peak season

Mr. Luong Dinh Hung, Director of the Department of Legal Operations, the Command of Coast Guard, said that in the last months of 2023 and early 2024, smuggling activities and illegal transportation of gasoline, oil, and minerals at sea still faced many potentially complicated factors although it has been controlled.

In particular, illegal trading, storage, and use of narcotics were complicated in coastal areas; increased drug use by fishermen led to the formation of drug supply lines for crew members on fishing vessels; subjects chose some sea areas as places to deliver drugs; detecting criminal networks transporting drugs from Laos across the land border, gathering in coastal areas and then shipping to China, Hong Kong (China), Taiwan (China) for consumption. It concentrated on key seaports such as Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria - Vung Tau; Quang Ninh and Hai Phong sea routes; coastal areas of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri...

Notably, subjects often use small ships to buy coal of unknown origin, then mix, process and legalize documents, and use rotating invoices to evade taxes; purchasing raw ores (copper, iron, zinc ores...) mixed with minerals that are permitted for export, using domestic sales and transportation records to avoid and export illegally to China. Key areas are focused on the coastal areas of Hai Phong and Quang Ninh; Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Binh Dinh.

In addition, for gasoline and oil products, subjects often use converted fishing vessels or fishing logistics boats to illegally transport gasoline and oil and then resell it immediately in distant waters (bordering Vietnam and Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Cambodia) in smaller numbers compared to the previous year. It is worth mentioning that when they were discovered and chased, the subject was ready to pump and discharge oil into the sea to reduce the ship's load and destroy evidence; falsifying records, legalizing documents and frequently changing itineraries. Key areas are focused on the southern sea region; Southwest coast; and Gulf of Tonkin waters.

During the peak of the fight against crime, Coast Guard agencies and units have synchronously deployed professional measures, regularly maintaining 20-25 hours of working ships to perform duty and operating in key sea areas, ready to handle situations. At the same time, closely coordinating with local authorities, agencies and units of the Border Guard, Police, Customs, Fisheries Surveillance... to deploy professional measures, creating a seamless posture in the fight against crime and violations.

Accordingly, the entire force arrested and handled 403 cases involving 478 criminals and violations at sea and in coastal areas. In particular, 30 cases were prosecuted with 42 subjects; sanctioned administrative violations in 308 cases with 326 subjects; 5 cases with 5 ships handling. The total amount of fines for administrative violations and the value of exhibits handled and handed over to the forces are estimated at over VND100 billion.

Specifically, the fighting force arrested 88 cases with 116 subjects, confiscated evidence of 1.5 bricks of heroin + 540,612 grams of heroin, 20,115 pills + 13,844,7403 grams of synthetic drugs, 2 guns, 10 bullets, 3 cars, 29 motorbikes, 85 mobile phones, VND335,220,000, 3 gold bars. Detecting and fighting 25 cases with 72 subjects and confiscated 772,843 liters of DO oil; 17,085 kg of FO oil; 21 ore containers; 2,873 m3 of sand; 19 kg of drugs + 19 detonators; 1,232 kg of firecrackers...

Tight control in key sea areas

In the first months of 2024, criminals violating the law in general and smuggling and trade fraud in particular continue to develop complicatedly in most maritime areas. Faced with the above situation, according to Major General Vu Trung Kien, Deputy Commander of Law, Vietnam Coast Guard Command, the Coast Guard synchronously deployed professional measures, increased patrols and inspections, and control over key sea areas. Proactively developing professional plans, establishing specialized projects to fight against criminal groups and lines that violate the law at sea, especially smuggling lines and groups, trade fraud, and drug-related crime...; firmly grasping the activities of foreign ships in the East Sea, protecting security and sovereignty, preventing sudden and unexpected situations from occurring.

At the same time, developing specific plans to fight crimes and violations at sea by strengthening inspection, understanding the situation, and coordinating with competent forces, party committees and local authorities; continue to grasp the situation, especially in key sea areas; communicating and mobilizing fishermen to proactively and actively denounce smuggling activities and commit not to participate in assisting gasoline smugglers.

In addition, proactively deploying professional measures, investigation, collection of information and evidence, and coordination with the following forces: Customs, Border Guards, and Police to establish specialized projects to destroy smuggling lines and groups at sea, opening peak periods of fighting and thoroughly preventing illegal trading and transportation of petroleum at sea. Furthermore, implementing specialized projects, cases, violations of law, and activities of foreign fishing vessels violating Vietnamese waters; drastically launched troops to suppress all types of crimes at sea.

By Nụ Bùi/Thanh Thuy

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