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Lang Son: smuggling complicated on river route

10:00 | 04/01/2022

VCN - Lang Son province has strictly controlled road traffic to prevent the spread of Covid-19, so smuggling has declined. However, smuggling and illegal transportation of goods at the end of the year increased on the river at Binh Nghi border gate area (Trang Dinh district, Lang Son).

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Goods seized on December 4 are inspected by Tan Thanh Customs and other agencies. Photo: Thu Lan
Goods seized on December 4 are inspected by Tan Thanh Customs and other agencies. Photo: Thu Lan

Smuggling increasing

According to Lang Son Customs Department, from early October 2021, illicit cross-border trade of goods at landmarks 1036, 1036/5, 1037 (by river) under the customs management area at Binh Nghi sub-border gate, Tan Thanh border, showed complicated signs.

The suspects often use Chinese rafts along the riverbank to transport contraband goods which are mainly clothes, smartphones, electronic components and phone accessories. For example, a case of alcohol shipment was handled by Tan Thanh Customs Branch on December 4 at Pac Khuoi Bau wharf on Ky Cung river.

At about 1:29 am, the Customs force discovered three blue rafts from Na Man wharf through Pac Khuoi Bau riverbank toward China with signs of transporting contraband.

Immediately, the Customs force used boats to arrest the suspects. The customs officers stopped one raft with three men and two others fled into Chinese territory. The men were requested to present vouchers and documents when one man suddenly drove the raft towards China and two other men used a bamboo pole to crash into the boat of the customs officers. This injured a customs officer and the suspects fled towards China. The customs coordinated with Border Guard force to pursue them, but due to the dark, dense forest and fog, the suspects escaped and left the goods and means of transport.

Through inspection, the goods included 410 bottles of alcohol. Of which, there were 378 bottles of Cognac brand Hennessey V.S.O.P 40%, capacity of 1.5 liters, paper box; with import stamp "Imported alcohol with alcohol content of ≥ 300", unused; eight bottles of Cognac Hennessey V.S.O.P 40%, capacity 3 liters/one bottle, paper box; with import stamp “Imported alcohol 300”, unused and 24 bottles of Cognac Hennessey X.O 40%, capacity 3 liters/one bottle, paper box; with the import stamp “Imported alcohol with alcohol content ≥ 300”, unused.

In addition, there were 16 wooden smoking pipes combined with metal, of unknown origin, unused; two wooden boxes, two wooden mats and four wooden pillows.

The value of the shipment was estimated at VND1.2 billion.

A representative of Tan Thanh Customs Branch said that the unit issued a decision to temporarily seize the infringing goods and means of transport to continue the investigation.

Strengthening control

Lang Son Customs Department reported to Lang Son province Steering Committee 389 on the illegal transportation of goods across the river border at Binh Nghi sub-border gate.

Lang Son province Steering Committee 389 requested the Steering Committee 389 of Trang Dinh district to strengthen patrols, control and grasp the situation to effectively fight, prevent and arrest the criminals involved in smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across the border at Binh Nghi border gate.

The relevant forces were requested to continue coordination to effectively combat smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across the border at Binh Nghi border gate.

In addition, Lang Son province Steering Committee 389 directed the Provincial Team 389 to strengthen the understanding of the situation and proactively coordinate with other agencies to fight smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods in the province and Binh Nghi border gate.

In order to perform the functions and tasks in the management area, Lang Son Customs Department required the Customs Enforcement Team to strengthen support for Tan Thanh Customs Branch and work with Binh Nghi Border Guard Station to fight smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across the border in this area.

Lang Son Customs has directed units to actively coordinate with local authorities to enhance patrol and control of the area and close supervision of imported and exported goods across border gate, in order to prevent smuggling, trade fraud, origin fraud and illicit transshipment across the border.

A representative of Tan Thanh Customs Branch said that immediately after receiving the direction, the unit has developed a plan against smuggling and illegal cross-border transportation of goods in Binh Nghi sub-border gate from October 7, 2021.

Accordingly, the unit will focus on control of the river route in the area of ​​landmarks 1036, 1036/5, 1037 and strengthen the work of reviewing the situation of landmarks 1030, 1033, 1038 and strictly prevent smuggling and illegal cross-border transportation of goods within the customs control area at Binh Nghi sub-border gate amid the complicated development of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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According to the plan, the Customs Enforcement Team regularly receives information from the standing force at the Binh Nghi sub-border gate to participate in patrol and arrests upon request for aid from the Binh Nghi sub-border gate; actively exchange information with other agencies in the area to effectively fight smuggling and illegal cross-border transportation of goods.

Statistics from Tan Thanh Customs Branch show that in 2021, the unit handled 243 cases of violations, smuggling and trade fraud with an estimated value of nearly VND3.9 billion. The unit issued decisions to fine over VND677 million for 242 cases.

By Nu Bui/ Huyen Trang

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