Smuggled goods increase on the Southwest border near Tet holiday

VCN - As the Lunar New Year approaches, there has been a rise in the smuggling of consumer goods on the Southwest border. A series of cases of transporting and gathering contraband goods have been handled by the authorities.
The competent forces seized smuggled firecrackers at Moc Bai international border gate (Tay Ninh province). Photo: Văn Phú
The competent forces seized smuggled firecrackers at Moc Bai international border gate (Tay Ninh province). Photo: Văn Phú

Sugar and tobacco

In Dong Thap, emerging in recent times is the illegal gathering and transportation of sugar and smuggled cigarettes.

In December 2021 and January 2022, Dong Thap Customs Department worked with the Public Security Department to handle nearly a dozen cases of storing and transporting smuggled sugar and cigarettes. On January 10, Customs Enforcement Team (Dong Thap Customs Department) and Hong Ngu Waterway Police Station coordinated to control the area of ​​Thuong Thoi Tien canal in K Trung 2 water zone, Thuong Thoi Tien town, Hong Ngu district. The competent force discovered a fishing boat traveling from Thuong Lac commune to Thuong Thoi Tien town on the Tien River. After inspection, they found 20 bags (1,000 kg) of granulated sugar made by Thailand without invoices.

On January 4, 2021, in the area of ​​Thuong Thoi 1 cluster, Thuong Thoi Tien town, Hong Ngu district, the Customs Enforcement Team worked with the Police of Thuong Thoi Tien town, Hong Ngu district, to seize nearly half a ton of granulated sugar and 1,000 packs of foreign cigarettes gathered near the Muong Mieu wharf. However, no one claimed to be the owner of this contraband.

Mr. Nguyen Huu Tam, Head of the Customs Enforcement Team, said that smuggled granulated sugar in 2021 was negligible, but had increased in recent times due to the high demand for consumption during the Tet holiday. Smugglers often took advantage of the night to gather goods near the border area and then transport them inland.

An Giang border has been identified as a "hot" area for smuggling and illegal transportation of goods during the Lunar New Year period. In the first two weeks of 2022, the An Giang inter-agency anti-smuggling force detected many cases of transporting and storing smuggled goods and goods of unknown origin in the border area. Smugglers used both roads and waterways to carry goods of unknown origin from border gathering points to take advantage of the night in order to go inland, in very large quantities and high value.

On January 10, 2022, the police of An Giang province caught Nguyen Thanh Binh, (born in 1965, residing in Block 3, My Long ward, Long Xuyen city, An Giang province) and Trang Kien Cuong (born in 1976, residing in Hamlet 5, Chau Phu A ward, Chau Doc city, An Giang province) while they were trading smuggled gold. At the scene, the police force seized three yellow metal bars (weighing 3kg, suspected of being 9999 gold from Cambodia), nearly US$170,000 and VND700 million. Expanding the investigation, An Giang Provincial Police executed an urgent search at the Phuoc Quang gold shop, at 77 Nguyen Trai Street, Long Xuyen City and two other locations related to Nguyen Thanh Binh and Trang Kien Cuong. Then the force seized about 15kg of gold jewelry, more than US$2.1 million, some other foreign currencies and VND25 billion.

In Tay Ninh, competent forces have also handled many cases of smuggling and illegally transporting goods from Cambodia to Vietnam for consumption, especially tobacco and firecrackers of all kinds. On the afternoon of December 29, at the Moc Bai international border gate area, through the inspection of tractors from Cambodia to Vietnam, the Customs and Border Guard forces found 11kg of firecrackers of all kinds. Before that, for three days (December 15, 16 and 19, 2021), the Border Guard forces of Tay Ninh province at Chang Riec, Vam Trang Trau, and Tan Ha border guard posts detected and promptly prevented the shipment with a total weight of about 1 ton of fireworks from Cambodia to Vietnam.

Tighten control

Smuggled goods were mostly transported to Ho Chi Minh City and some neighboring provinces for consumption. At the end of December 2021, the Economic Police Team, District 12 Police worked with the Market Surveillance Team No. 12 (Ho Chi Minh City Market Surveillance Department) to inspect many warehouses in Tan Thoi Hiep ward, district 12, discovered tens of thousands of household products, cosmetics, sports equipment without papers proving the origin of the goods. A truck carrying bricks from Long An to Soc Trang had hidden nearly 1,500 packs of smuggled cigarettes and was handled by Soc Trang Police.

It is forecast that domestic consumption demand would increase sharply before, during and after the Lunar New Year and due to large profits, from now to the end of the year, cigarette smuggling would increase sharply. Implementing the Plan 119/KH-BCD389 on the peak period of anti-smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods before, during and after the Lunar New Year of the National Steering Committee 389, local governments in border areas Southwest simultaneously deployed troops to implement the plan. In particular, the areas identified as hot spots, such as An Giang, Kien Giang, Long An, Tay Ninh, competent forces detected and handled many large smuggling cases.

According to the assessment of the competent forces at the Southwest border gate, the violations, it showed that the transportation of smuggled goods on the borderline was increasing in complexity at the end of the year.

Besides the above methods, some points of storing smuggled goods also use invoices and vouchers which were turned around to deal with authorities, causing difficulties in inspection and handling of violations.

By Hòa-Dịu/Thanh Thuy

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