Smuggling has not ended on route 9

VCN- Motorcycles carrying smuggled cigarettes run at high speed, using converted passenger cars, hiring people to counter anti-smuggling forces... are smuggling tricks which are not new but cause many difficulties for Customs officers on route 9, Quang Tri.
smuggling has not ended on route 9
Thai sugar, cigarettes... are still popular smuggled goods on the Quang Tri border. Photo: Quang Hung.

Talking to the reporter, the head of the Customs Control Team (Quang Tri Customs Department) Le Chi Dung, said that it is not only converted passenger cars, some people also use touring cars and private cars to transport smuggled goods, especially for white-sugar, foreign wine and cigarettes. This is a common problem for anti-smuggling forces in the area.

The Quang Tri Customs Control Team has detected and arrested many kinds of goods which are smuggled in 15 seater passenger cars, converted cars. In order to increase the effectiveness of the arrest, the Customs forces are closely monitoring the situation since the carriers crossed the border, used the public transport vehicle at the gathering point, and then transported it inland. There are also cases that a team of 10-15 people carrying smuggled goods went through the forest trial..., when being detected by the Customs, they often “flee for their life”.

In order to be able to stop for means of inspection, the customs forces must have thorough information about the smugglers, but the stopping of vehicles always faces strong opposition from these smugglers. The reporter witnessed that smugglers drove cars at high speed for evading arrest, causing danger to the forces.

Impulsively, also on route 9, there are a number of smugglers using motorcycles carrying 3-5 boxes of cigarettes (equivalent to 1,500 packets to 2,500 packets). This group often takes advantage of crowded traffic (from 7am to 9am), driving motorcycles at high speed to deliver illegal cigarettes. If the functional force organizes to arrest, it will be dangerous to the lives of people involved in traffic.

In order to transport successfully smuggled goods, the smugglers also hired people to watch closely all activities of the customs forces at the headquarters. Where functional forces go, this group immediately follows.

Some officials in charge of control at the Quang Tri Customs Department also revealed: Around the headquarters, there have 7-8 people who often gather 24/24hr for watching closely. This group usually plays the role of buffalo or cowboys herdsmen, even drivers of motorbike taxis. Therefore, whenever the functional forces go into “battle”, this group immediately reports for finding ways to deal with the anti-smuggling force.

Talking to the reporter, the head of the Customs Control Team added that, for some cases after obtaining information on the transport of smuggled goods, the unit regularly coordinated to exchange information with the other forces in the area to arrest the violators.

Earlier, the Dakrong Traffic Police (the Quang Tri Police Department) detected and arrested a car on the route of Lao Bao-Dong Ha which was carrying illegally 10,000 cigarettes packets, because the traffic police stopped the traffic participants for a speeding test or checking for alcohol consumption.

The Quang Tri Customs Department has two units: the Customs Control Team and the Drug Control Team, who are assigned the task of combating the smuggling and illegal transportation of goods in the area of the Lao Bao international border gate and on route 9. In particular, in the first eight months of 2018, these two units detected, handled and seized violated goods worth billions of VND.

The Customs Control Team consists of 30 civil servants assigned to two teams: Advisory and Mobility, by August 20, the unit has detected and handled 134 smuggling cases, transporting goods without legal invoices in the area of customs management. The value of violations was more than 3.5 billion VND, including dozens of types of goods: tobacco, wood, cosmetics…, white-sugar accounted for nearly 50% (about 1.7 billion VND).

The exhibit storage of the Customs Control Team is currently storing dozens of commodities including: Thai white-sugar; tobacco, foreign wine; cosmetics, milk, wood... which are waiting for handling. Those exhibits have been captured by the Customs forces in just a few months, with a large number of Thai white-sugar, tobacco, wood and Ensure milk...

Overcoming the difficulties of a large customs control area while operating with small functional forces, the Quang Tri Customs Department forces regularly organize effective plans for the peak seasonal periods of fighting against smuggling. With converted cars for transporting smuggled goods also accounting for the high rate of violations, the Customs forces proposed that the competent authorities consider not granting accreditation, which is out of date for these types of cars because they do not ensure technical safety standards when joining traffic.

By Quang Hung/ Kieu Oanh

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