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Long An: Smuggled cigarettes are stuck with domestic cigarette stamps

20:33 | 01/03/2021

VCN - The border control of functional forces is strict in the current Covid-19 pandemic, so smuggling across the border has been reduced deeply in Long An. However, cigarette smuggling is still complicated here.

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The means and exhibits of smuggled cigarettes captured by Long An Market Control Force. Photo: Duy Tuan

Destroying many cases of cigarette smuggling

According to authorities of Long An province, compared to previous years, the transportation of smuggled cigarettes has been clearly restricted because the border lines have many patrol and guard forces. But due to the high profit, the subjects used all tricks to bring cigarettes from Cambodia to Vietnam. Especially, on the occasion of before and during the Tan Suu Lunar New Year, the situation of cigarette smuggling in Long An tends to increase and develop complicatedly.

From December 20, 2020 to January 20, 2021 - the peak against smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeiting before, during and after the Lunar New Year, functional forces under the Steering Committee 389 Long An seized 384,113 smuggled cigarette packs. Only in the last three days of December 2020, the police of Long An province arrested four cases of illegal cigarette transport, seized 42,090 cigarette packs of smuggled cigarettes. In particular, most of the subjects used cars with fake license plates to illegally transport cigarettes and when detected by the authorities, the driver fled the scene.

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Cigarettes and exhibits seized on December 29, 2020.

Tough war

According to Steering Committee 389 of Long An province, the objects hired to transport smuggled good soften brought or used goods transporting vehicles (foreign cigarettes) across the border, gathered at some points, then used cars to transport inland and in neighbouring provinces, they operated mainly at night. The cigarette magnets also hired drug addicts, including those without a car license, to use fake car license plates to carry contraband goods. This group of subjects was very reckless, often used drugs when operating a means to ship smuggled goods and acted spontaneously and drove at high speed, making it difficult for functional forces to stop and arrest them.

There is also the situation of transporting smuggled cigarettes from Cambodia to Vietnam but on Vietnam's tobacco-stamped packages. On September 16, October 2, and October 4, 2020, anti-smuggling forces of Duc Hue district police arrested three cases of transporting smuggled cigarettes and seized 12,890 packs of imported cigarettes, including 1,000 bags of 555 brand and 2,500 bags of Craven A brand, with Vietnamese tobacco stamps.

According to Pham Duc Chinh, Director of Market Control Bureau, Standing Deputy Head of Steering Committee 389 of Long An province, the stamping of Vietnamese cigarettes on foreign tobacco packaging was to overtake the functional forces in patrol and control smuggled imported cigarettes. In the recent past time, the catching the magnates was still limited because they rarely appear. On the other hand, many people transporting contraband goods run away when detecting functional forces, leaving the goods, so the owner of goods cannot be identified for handling. Along with that, some poor people in borders do not have jobs and unstable incomes, so they join hands in smuggling. Therefore, although the smuggling of goods in general and cigarette smuggling in particular have basically been restrained and deeply reduced in Long An, but depending on the locality and time, there are still complicated developments. The achieved results are not commensurate with the actual situation.

Standing 389 Steering Committee of Long An province said that, implementing the peak plan to combat smuggling, trade fraud, fake goods before, during and after the Tan Suu Lunar New Year from December 20, 2020 to January 20, 2021, functional forces performed 281 checks and controls; detecting and handling 195 violation cases. In which, there are 156 cases of trading and transporting banned and smuggled goods; seized 384,113 cigarette packs, 33kg of firecrackers and 2,150 kg of fabric.

By Thu Diu/ Binh Minh