HCM City Customs promotes the effectiveness of scanning machines in goods inspection

VCN – Besides the synchronous and drastic implementation of professional measures, HCM City Customs Department effectively applied modern machinery and technology, including scanning machines, bringing positive effects in anti-smuggling.
Nearly 26kg of drugs was detected via scanning machines. Photo: T.H
Nearly 26kg of drugs were detected via scanning machines. Photo: T.H

Many smuggling cases were detected

According to HCM City Customs Department, in the context of limited personnel, smuggling and fraud activities are increasingly sophisticated and complex, so to achieve positive results in the fight against smuggling and trade fraud, besides implementing synchronously and drastically professional measures, the application of modern machinery and equipment, including scanning machines is also important. HCM City Customs Department has detected and seized many violations through scanning machines that facilitate and achieve high economic efficiencies, such as reducing time and costs in carrying out clearance procedures for import and export goods.

On November 8, 2022, through the image of a cargo scanning machine, the Anti-Drug Enforcement Team and HCM Express Customs Branch (HCM City Customs Department) detected suspicions from five gift parcels. The inspection results showed four parcels containing drugs in large quantities. Accordingly, Customs discovered nearly 20 kg of methamphetamine hidden in coffee packages in two packages sent from the US to Vietnam via express delivery service.; two parcels were sent from Germany to Vietnam by international post, and over 5.6 kg of MDMA synthetic drugs were found hidden in candy packages by the working force.

According to the Head of the Customs Enforcement Team of the HCM City Customs Department Ta Hong Khanh, implementing the instructions and plans as set, HCM City Customs Department has closely coordinated with functional units to promptly detect and prevent many cases of smuggling, illegal transport of goods across the border, cases related to drugs, precursors, goods in the list of CITES... Typically, on September 15, 2022, through baggage inspection of passengers on exit via scanning machine, Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch detected and arrested two passengers who were on the flight VJ803 departing from Tan Son Nhat to Bangkok – Thailand due to illegal exporting US$1 million. Those money was dyed black. The case has been handed over to Tan Binh District Police for investigation and clarification following its competence.

Before that, at the end of May 2022, through analysis of scanned images for imported containers of KLT Import-Export Services Trading Co., Ltd., on duty division of the General Department of Vietnam Customs and Customs Enforcement Team in coordination with the Saigon port area 1 Customs Branch; Southern Anti-Smuggling Enforcement Unit (Unit 3), the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department - General Department of Vietnam Customs to conducted physical inspection and detected a large number of smuggled goods. Specifically, the Working Group discovered nearly 600 kg of dried seahorses, 38 animal bones, and 86 kg of pangolin scales disguised with imported processed snail shells.

Using scanning machines effectively

As a large-scale unit with quite complex work, HCM City Customs Department always received the attention and concerns of leaders at all levels. As a result, in the past, the whole Department has been equipped with many baggage scanning machines, cargo scanning machines and container scanning machines located at the points of customs procedures. In particular, seven container scanning machines are put at three ports: Cat Lai, ICD Phuoc Long and VICT port; 23 scanning machines for checked baggage and parcels (of which 15 scanning machines are used in conjunction with the airport's screening force which is port's machine); 18 hand baggage scanning machines (12 machines used in conjunction with the airport's screening force which is port's machine); 9 parcel scanning machines put at HCM Express Customs Branch.

To promote the effectiveness of the scanning machines, HCM City Customs Department directed professional units to coordinate to increase the screening rate to ensure strict control of import and export goods while facilitating and reducing cargo clearance time. As a result, HCM City Customs Department promptly detected many violations by screening goods and luggage. Notably, thanks to being equipped with container scanning machines at some seaport border gates, HCM City Customs Department has pre-screened import and export goods to reduce clearance time and improve efficiency in the fight against smuggling and trade fraud. As a result, in 10 months of 2022, HCM City Customs Department scanned 31,747 containers, detected 1,030 suspicious cases and, discovered 302 cases of violations, transferred them to relevant units for further handling following regulations.

For the screening of luggage and parcels, HCM City Customs Department has detected 120 cases of law violations in the customs field. Accordingly, there were nearly 70 cases of trade fraud, 40 cases of drugs and 6 cases of illegal transport of foreign currency.

Besides sending the suspicious screening images to Customs units where the enterprises opened the customs declarations to check and identify violations, according to the HCM City Customs Department, the screening also has a deterrent effect on the subjects which are at risk of violations because when the Customs have publicized the list of scanned containers on the website of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, businesses would know that they are screened first. So they would increase the sense of making a correct declaration for imported goods and comply with the law better.

By Lê Thu/Thanh Thuy

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