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Recklessness in transnational drug trafficking cases

10:16 | 06/06/2021

VCN - In the first months of 2021, transnational drug trafficking from abroad to Vietnam for consumption or transshipment to a third country is still a problem, especially via air, post, and express delivery.

Two drug traffickers arrested Two drug traffickers arrested
Car transporting drugs with logo of Vietnam Television Car transporting drugs with logo of Vietnam Television
Ha Tinh arrests man for drug trafficking Ha Tinh arrests man for drug trafficking
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Drugs in a coffee can seized on April 26 by HCM City Customs Department in collaboration with the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department and the PC04 Division (HCMC Police). Photo: Le Thu

Air routes

The Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (General Department of Customs) said recent seizures by Customs have shown that drug gangs in Vietnam and abroad have closely worked with each other to form transnational organized gangs operating with sophisticated methods and increasingly aggressive and reckless transportation tricks.

Drug gangs with foreign elements take advantage of seaports and air routes (including airports, post offices, express delivery) to illegally transport narcotics from abroad into Vietnam, partly for domestic consumption, and mostly for transshipment to third countries.

In addition, drug gangs take advantage of e-commerce activities, online shopping or trading via social networks for exported and imported goods and postal parcels to transport drugs by various means and methods such as: hiding drugs in exported and imported goods and luggage such as gifts, medicines, milk, supplementary foods, shampoos, shower gels, children's toys and then packing them or processing and hiding between the edges of packaging, in speakers, machinery, plastic beads or transporting drugs hidden in granite blocks.

Traffickers often use fake addresses to send goods or hire customs clearance agency services for goods as personal non-commercial gifts to refuse responsibility when detected.

It is alarming that the Customs authority has coordinated with other authorities to discover drug gangs using a new route (Vietnam to Korea) to carry large amounts.

On the sea route, organized crimes select businesses that have never broken the customs law to entrust the export to foreign countries and establish a bogus enterprise to export goods with sufficient export licenses. Accordingly, drugs are hidden in containers of production materials and export goods.

Recent typical seizures by customs have been related to the air route.

Most recently, on April 26, HCM City Customs Department worked with the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department and PC04 Division (Ho Chi Minh City Police) to inspect 16 suspicious parcels imported from the US, Canada and Germany as personal non-commercial gifts. As a result, a total of nearly 36kg of drugs of all kinds were seized, including MDMA tablets (ecstasy), marijuana and ketamine.

Previously, on March 25, Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch (HCMC Customs Department) coordinated with HCM City Police to inspect an export shipment to Taiwan, declared as clothing, cosmetics, food and personal gifts. After inspection, the Customs force discovered 3,988kg of ketamine, worth more than VND4 billion hidden in cat food can and packages and nylon seals to look like 100% new products.

Efficiency in collaboration

According to the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, drug prevention and control of the Customs sector has always received the close attention and timely instructions of the Government, leaders of the Ministry of Finance, and leaders of the General Department of Customs and support and coordination of ministries and agencies.

Therefore, the drug prevention and control force of the customs sector always tries to overcome difficulties, strengthen the specialized force for drug prevention and control and sniffer dogs at key border gate areas.

At the same time, the customs actively coordinate with other forces of the Public Security, Border Guard, and Coast Guard to handle many special cases and successfully break many large inter-provincial and transnational drug gangs. Notably, the number of drug seizures increased, the volume of drugs per case increased, and the number of arrested traffickers also increased.

Moreover, the control of precursors at the import and export stage is always strictly managed by the Customs. The General Department of Customs has actively collaborated with other state management forces to control the source of precursors after being imported, used on the market or exported to other countries, thereby contributing to preventing the illegal use of precursors in drug production in Vietnam.

Car transporting drugs with logo of Vietnam Television Car transporting drugs with logo of Vietnam Television

Not only coordination within the country, the Customs sector also promotes international cooperation in drug prevention and control, thereby contributing to improving the efficiency in preventing and stopping transnational drug crimes with foreign elements. Notably, the implementation of the Mekong Dragon Campaign is jointly launched by Vietnam Customs.

By Thai Binh/ Huyen Trang