Effective coordination in handling cases with criminal signs in the customs field

VCN - Over the past time, the handling of violations with criminal signs in the customs field has achieved remarkable results. In addition to the directing role of leaders at all levels, the efforts of the customs officials and civil servants, cannot fail to mention the effectiveness in coordination with functional agencies, including the coordination between the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department. (General Department of Customs, Ministry of Finance) with the Department of Prosecution Practice and Economic Investigation Supervision (department 3), the Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam.
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Effective coordination in handling cases with criminal signs in the customs field
A meeting on coordination between the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department and Department 3 - Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam (July 2023). Photo: T.Binh

Thanks to the close, methodical and timely coordination of Department 3 in the process of dealing with violations, the Customs has prosecuted and recommended to prosecute many large smuggling cases. Also through the cooperation with the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department, Department 3 has brought a number of large smuggling cases to prosecution.

In 2022, the whole Customs sector prosecuted 53 cases, an increase of 36% compared to the same year in 2021; transfered to another agency to propose to prosecute 141 cases.

In the first 7 months of 2023, the whole Industry prosecuted 21 cases; transfered to another agency to propose to prosecute 69 cases.

Typically, the recent case related to Thu Duc House Development Joint Stock Company (Thuduc House). The coordination between the two units contributed to timely preventing and repelling crimes of smuggling, illegal cross-border transportation of goods, and trade fraud, contributing to protecting the national economy and combating budget revenue loss, protecting people's health and effectively handle crime, etc.

A representative of the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department said that, in order to strengthen and improve the efficiency of coordination between the two sides, in August 2018, the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department and Department 3 signed a regulation on coordination (Regulation 851).

Since the signing of the regulation on coordination, the two sides have focused on comprehensively implementing relevant contents such as: coordinating to notify, send and provide information and documents according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and relevant guidelines.

Coordinate in notifying, sending and providing information and documents related to violations and crimes; handle criminal reports and denunciations, and propose prosecution in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code; cooperate in prosecuting and settling criminal cases according to relevant legal documents, etc.

Notably, the coordination in identifying violations, violators and prosecuting and investigating cases under the jurisdiction of the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department has achieved many positive results.

Accordingly, in the course of performing the task, if detecting a case of violation of the customs law, administrative or criminal violations have not been determined, the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department will discuss with Department 3 to agree to determine Violations in order to have a direction to investigate and handle to ensure the right person, the right error, and the law, etc.

Based on the reference to the response of Department 3, the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department will handle the case according to its competence or transfer it to the competent authority.

When performing tasks in the field of management, the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department detects crimes and prosecutes criminal cases according to regulations, the Department is responsible for sending the decision to prosecute and notify in writing to Department 3 on the content of the case to practise the right to prosecute and supervise the settlement according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.

For the content of coordinating the investigation of cases prosecuted by the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department, the Department exercises the authority to prosecute criminal cases and send collected documents to Department 3 for the practice of power to prosecute and supervise investigations according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.

After prosecuting a criminal case, the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department shall take measures: take testimonies, seize, take into custody and preserve exhibits and documents directly related to the case, search people, search the place where goods are stored in a customs controlled area.

After transferring the case file to the competent investigating agency for further investigation, the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department shall notify in writing Department 3 to exercise its right to prosecute and supervise the investigation or monitoring, directing ( when transferring the cases to the local investigating agency).

In addition, the two sides also coordinate to guide and direct the profession. Accordingly, within the scope of their assigned functions and tasks, the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department and Department 3 shall coordinate in guiding, directing and inspecting operations of affiliated units and local units under the jurisdictions of the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department to guide and direct. At the same time, inform and exchange about difficulties and obstacles in the application of legal provisions, violations of local units to come up with solutions.

Regulation 851 has contributed to strengthening the coordination between the two units, contributing to ensuring the closeness, quality and efficiency in the fight against crime, thoroughly handling violations in the field of customs law and crimes related to smuggling and trade fraud.

The implementation of the above coordination regulation is carried out on the principle that sources of crime information and cases discovered, searched and arrested by the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department are discussed with Department 3 before being administratively handled or transfered the settlement according to the notification procedure before the criminal case is prosecuted.

In case, through research and exchange, Department 3 finds that there are contents that need to be checked and verified, there is a written exchange (for exchange cases) or a request for inspection and verification (for cases that need to be solved pursuant to the notification procedure), requesting the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department to carry out the contents to clearly identify violations.

For criminal cases prosecuted by the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department, they all transfer the decision to prosecute the criminal case and the decision to assign investigative officers to Department 3 to supervise the investigation. All prosecution cases are grounded and transferred to competent investigating agencies for settlement in accordance with the provisions of law.

By Thai Binh/Phuong Linh

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