Smuggling at sea increases during the pandemic

VCN - According to the Vietnam Coast Guard, the main commodities are DO oil, FO oil, coal, firecrackers, and seafood having complex factors, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Coast Guard gave flags and distributed leaflets to disseminate Vietnam Coast Guard Law to fishermen. Photo: Phạm Doanh
The Coast Guard gave flags and distributed leaflets to disseminate Vietnam Coast Guard Law to fishermen. Photo: Phạm Doanh

Handle 434 cases

According to the Professional and Legal Department, the Commander of Vietnam Coast Guard, despite the impact of the pandemic, the situation of smuggling, trade fraud, and illegal transport of goods occurring on the Vietnamese coast is tending to increase in the number of cases in many different types, fields and industries.

In the first six months of 2021, the Coast Guard detected and handled 434 cases with 586 subjects, increasing in the number of cases but down in subjects compared to the same period in 2020. The Coast Guard prosecuted 63 cases with 66 subjects; handled 297 cases of administrative violations with 400 subjects, and coordinated with competent forces to tackle 71 cases with 112 subjects. The total amount of monetary penalties of administrative violations and estimated value of confiscated exhibits is nearly VND 40 billion.

The force inspected and handled 39 cases of smuggling and trade fraud with 148 subjects; seized 3,467,303 tonnes of coal; 1,847,886 litres of DO oil, 23,700 kg of FO oil; 11,430 kg of seafood and 22 kg of firecrackers. The force has handled 132 cases with 175 subjects of illegal drug trafficking and transportation, prosecuting 63 cases with 66 subjects; coordinated and hand over 69 cases with 109 subjects; seized 85.5 bricks and 345,3451 grams of heroin, 239,228 tablets and more than 51 kg of synthetic drugs, 524.15 grams of marijuana, three guns, 14 cars, 52 motorbikes, 110 phones, more than VND 2 billion in cash and related evidence. Besides that, the force also detected and handled 263 cases with 263 subjects violating maritime regulations, sanctioning administrative violations with an amount of VND 372 million.

Major General Tran Van Nam, Deputy Chief of the Law Department of the Vietnam Coast Guard, said the tricks smugglers often use are connecting with subjects transporting goods at sea. The illegal trading of gasoline and oil is concentrated in the southern exclusive economic zone, the subjects made transactions, and then bring the goods to the mainland to consume and sell directly to the owners of fishing vessels. The transportation and delivery of goods is mainly carried out at night.

Subjects often take advantage of bad weather at sea, big waves, high winds or when there is no patrol and control activity of law enforcement forces at sea to gather, transport and receive contraband goods at sea or in coastal areas, Major General Tran Van Nam said.

Reconnaissance Group 2 - Commander of Coast Guard seized the case of transporting DO oil at sea. Photo: Cao Phong
Reconnaissance Group 2 - Commander of Coast Guard seized the case of transporting DO oil at sea. Photo: Cao Phong

Strengthen dissemination and law enforcement at sea

According to the Commander of Coast Guard, taking advantage of the wide sea area, the subjects change methods and tricks to deal with law enforcement agencies. At present, the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam continues to be complex and prolonged, leading to an increase in the use of the pandemic situation to make profit and violate the law such as smuggling and illegal transport of goods. Smuggling and transporting commodities such as petroleum, coal, drugs, etc. by sea is always at high risk. The fight against smuggling, trade fraud and illegal acts at sea needs to be more specific, practical and drastic.

To effectively combat various types of crimes at sea, the Coast Guard has come up with many solutions. According to Major General Tran Van Nam, the force has implemented synchronous solutions to coordinate with competent forces in preventing and combating crimes of smuggling, trade fraud, and illegal transport of goods at sea.

At the same time, the units must strengthen patrol, inspection and control in key sea areas; promote and improve the quality and efficiency of coordination in grasping, exchanging situations, and organising professional activities to detect, promptly prevent and combat crimes of smuggling and trade fraud, transporting goods illegally in the sea.

The Coast Guard will also renovate in the information exchange and the situation of criminal activities and violations at sea; renovation in deploying its professional activities, patrolling, inspecting and controlling key routes and sea areas.

To contribute to bringing the Vietnam Coast Guard Law to life, helping people in coastal provinces and fishermen operating at sea to understand the regulations and strictly comply with the law, the Vietnam Coast Guard has implemented many practical activities. In particular, the Coast Guard has been working with the People's Committees of coastal provinces to communicate and disseminate Law on Vietnam Coast Guard in combination with distributing leaflets to fishermen, crew members and vehicles operating at sea.

To encourage people and fishermen to cooperate with competent forces, especially the Coast Guard in implementing policies and regulations effectively, the Vietnam Coast Guard will also develop and implement a plan to communicate and disseminate the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard more widely and deeply. From there, helping people and fishermen operating at sea to have a better understanding of the state management by law in the sea and islands, willing to work with the Vietnam Coast Guard to protect the sovereignty and national interests at sea, maintaining security, order and safety for the seas and islands of the fatherland.

By Nụ Bùi/Thanh Thuy

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