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Recklessness of Cigarette smuggling at border areas

09:56 | 09/08/2017

VCN - Strong attraction from the market has made smuggling and illegal transportation of cigarette in Long An and Tay Ninh borders continue to rise up. A series of smuggling and illegal transportation cases of foreign cigarettes through borders were seized by competent forces 

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Perpetrators and smuggled cigarettes seized by Moc Bai Border Customs Branch on July 27, 2017

Many sophisticated tricks

With the drastic implementation of Tay Ninh and Long An competent forces, now, we no longer see the image of motorbikes carrying smuggled cigarettes as many years ago in some border gates in these provinces. However, according to the competent forces, this is just the surface of the "iceberg", the real smugglers are still "silently waiting for the opportunity and seek ways to smuggle cigarette from Cambodia to Vietnam. Especially the transportation of smuggled tobacco by cars becomes more popular. According to Long An steering committee 389, only in July, 207, the competent force arrested many transportation cases of smuggled tobacco by cars with sophisticated tricks.

The most recent reckless act which was to attach fake state license plates to cars to deceive competent forces was discovered the Kien Tuong town’s police, Long An. On the evening of July 18, 2017, through a patrol, Kien Tuong public security discovered a Jolie car license plate 51A-020.01 (state license plate) without a driver. Through inspection, the police detected 14,400 foreign cigarette packs including 1,500 Raison packs, 2,400 Caravan packs, 8,500 Esse packs and 2,000 Capri packs in the car. The police found some documents such as passport, two driving licenses including one state license plate 51A-020.01. Through initial verification, this car had a license plate 51F - 926.14, Mitsubishi brand, and was registered by Mr. Le Van Vu, permanently residing in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City. The state license plate 51A - 020.01 was fake and used to deceive competent forces for cigarette transportation.

The day after, while on patrol at Hoa Binh 1 village, Hiep Hoa commune, Duc Hoa district, Long An province, Duc Hoa district’s police discovered a car license plate 51F-413.72 with suspicious signs, so the force requested for an inspection. The driver named Lu Thanh Viet (born in 1967), living in An Ngai Commune, Long Dien district, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province, failed to prove the origin of 12,000 packs of cigarettes in the car. Continuing the investigation, Duc Hoa police identified that the above plate was fake

Similarly, on July 27, 2017, at the entrance of Moc Bai International Border Gate Control Station, Tay Ninh province, Moc Bai border gate Customs branch and Customs Control Team in cooperation with Moc Bai International Border Guard Station discovered two perpetrators Vu Anh Tuan (driver), born in 1957 and Nguyen Thi Dung, born in 1978, living in Bien Hoa city, Dong Nai province, illegally transporting 2,440 packs of cigarettes from Cambodia to Vietnam. The perpetrator's hidden goods in the cabin, the bonnet, and bottom of the trailer (container tractor trailer license plate 57L-1763) to transport the goods in transit of Tam Lap Thanh Trading Services Transportation Company Limited from Cambodia to Vietnam.

Taking place complicatedly

Director of Tay Ninh Customs Department, Deputy Head of Tay Ninh steering committee 389 Mr. Huynh Van Duc said that although the competent forces have strictly handled cigarette smugglers in the past time, the smuggling has taken place complicatedly with the increasingly serious manner and scale due to high profits and strong attraction from the market.

In the first 7 months of 2017, competent forces in Tay Ninh province discovered and arrested nearly 350,000 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes. Of which, Customs found out and detained more than 4,400 packs; imposed administrative penalties for over 300 cases and prosecuted a criminal case for a smuggler.

On the other hand, smugglers take advantages of the complexity of border routes and key border areas of Trang Bang district, river boundaries between Tay Ninh and Long An and two wings of Moc Bai and Xa Mat international border gates to transport cigarettes. Or when being discovered, those smugglers abuse complex terrain to run away and leave their goods. In the border areas, My Quy Tay and Long An border guard station arrested a seven-seat car carrying 13,800 packs of foreign Jet and Scott cigarettes. When being detected, the driver opened the car to escape, left the vehicle.

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Currently, the inconsistency of legal documents on the criminal handling for trade and transportation of smuggled cigarette made it difficult for agencies. This is also an opportunity for smugglers to illegally transport cigarettes across the border. From now to the end of 2017, it is forecasted that cigarette smuggling activities will continue to be complicated and the fight against the smuggling will become more difficult.

By Dang Nguyen-Thu Diu/ Huyen Trang