Handling 29 criminal cases in customs field

VCN – In the first quarter, the Customs sector dealt with a total of 4,039 violations, with value of infringing goods estimated at nearly 321 billion VND and the amount of money paid to the State budget in excess of 38 billion VND. Notably, Customs authorities prosecuted eight criminal cases and transferred 21 other cases to other agencies for prosecution.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the most notable development related to anti-smuggling work in the first quarter of 2019 was the involvement of customs authorities in tackling a series of drug cases and seizing large illegal shipments of ivory and pangolin scales.

handling 29 criminal cases in customs field
Ivory was seized by Hai Phong Customs in January of 2019. Photo: T.Bình

The General Department of Vietnam Customs assessed that smuggling and illegal cross-border trafficking activities have developed complicatedly in recent years. Cases have been detected with a large amount of drugs.

In the process of transport, the suspects used many sophisticated, cunning, reckless and perceptive tricks. They also carried weapons and were ready to fight back when they were surrounded. The case which is considered as the biggest drug case ever in the area of ​​Ho Chi Minh City ran by the Police in coordination with the Customs and Border Defence forces involved the seizure of 300 kg of meth.

Besides drugs, in the first quarter, the Customs force seized more than 12 tonnes of ivory and pangolin scales. This is considered the largest amount of exhibits related to ivory and pangolin scales seized by Customs authorities in recent years.

According to Dr. Dang Tat The, Head of the Department of Molecular Systematics and Conservation Genetics (Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology), a leading expert in the field of wild flora and fauna, there has never been a record of any ivory seizure weighing more than 9 tonnes or more like the seizure in Da Nang.

"Even in the world, there is no record of any arrest that has such a large amount of ivory in the past decade," The added.

Facing smuggling and illegal transport of goods with many complicated developments, as a Permanent Office of the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has advised submitting to the leadership of the Ministry of Finance the work of cooperating with ministries, agencies and competent agencies to strengthen the prevention and combat of smuggling, trade frauds, counterfeit goods and illegal transportation of goods across borders. At the same time, the sector will direct the units to implement many important measures seriously and effectively.

Specifically, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has issued regulations and plans to combat smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods.

In addition, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has issued many documents to direct and warn smuggling, trade fraud, counterfeit goods and illegal transportation of goods across borders.

The Customs sector has also sent its officials to participate in campaigns within the framework of a joint programme between the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). The task of propaganda also gets more concern of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Moreover, the Customs sector has cooperated with press agencies to disseminate information to people and businesses.Thanks to these efforts, less people will participate in or cover for the acts of smuggling, trade frauds, counterfeit goods and illegal transportation cross the border. Along with that is to intensify propaganda on the results of the struggle, arrest and handling of violations of Customs laws.

By Thái Bình/Thanh Thuy

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