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Southwest border: Cigarette smuggling is still a problem amid social distancing

09:24 | 23/08/2021

VCN - Amid social distancing measures to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic according to Directive 16/CT-TTg, many suspects took advantage of the night to organize the transport of smuggled cigarettes across the border in large quantities.

Moc Bai Customs seizes 10,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes Moc Bai Customs seizes 10,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes
About 1,000 packages of cigarettes stored in bonded warehouse About 1,000 packages of cigarettes stored in bonded warehouse
Dong Thap Customs seizes smuggled cigarettes hidden inside straw Dong Thap Customs seizes smuggled cigarettes hidden inside straw
Southwest border: Cigarette smuggling is still a problem amid social distancing
The box containing vehicle parts of the truck was reinforced to transport smuggled cigarettes from Cambodia to Vietnam through Moc Bai border gate and was arrested on August 7, 2021. Photo: Tran Van Phu

Smuggled cigarettes at night

Taking advantage of the authorities who are straining to prevent and control the Covid-19 pandemic, smugglers use all kinds of tricks to bring smuggled cigarettes into the domestic market for consumption, despite the ongoing pandemic situation. However, by professional measures, a series of cases of transporting cigarettes in large quantities were promptly intercepted by the authorities.

According to the Steering Committee 389 of An Giang province, in recent times, especially during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control, anti-smuggling forces have continuously handled many cases of transporting and storing smuggled cigarettes on the border.

According to An Giang Police, at dawn on July 31, while patrolling the border, when they arrived at Thot Not ditch area of ​​Vinh Chanh 3 cluster, Vinh Nguon ward, Chau Doc city, the Joint Working Group detected and seized 4,500 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes.

Since mid-July 2021, the anti-smuggling force of the Inter-sectoral Anti-Smuggling Working Group on the An Giang border has detected and handled over twenty cases of drug transportation. They seized tens of thousands of packs of drugs of all kinds.

According to functional forces, the suspects mainly took advantage of the night to transport smuggled cigarettes from Cambodia to Vietnam. Recently, at about 3:30am on August 8, 2021, around ​​Long Quoi C clump, Long Phu ward, Tan Chau town, Tan Chau town police destroyed a large gathering point, buying and selling cigarettes. At the scene, the police arrested two suspects, seized nearly 3,000 packs of cigarettes and 11 motorbikes used by the subjects as means of transporting and trading in smuggled foreign cigarettes.

In addition, during social distancing according to Directive 16 of the Prime Minister, people are only allowed to go out in case of absolute necessity, but some suspects have used motorbikes and cars transporting smuggled cigarettes in groups of two to three people, when detected, they often leave their vehicles behind and escape.

Typically, from 1 to 3am on July 9, 2021, at An Xuyen bridge area in Thuan Nghia Hoa commune, Thanh Hoa district, the delegation of Market Management Team No. 5, Department Long An market manager, during the patrol, stopped two cars transporting 2,980 packs of smuggled cigarettes. When detecting the functional force, the drivers stopped and ran away, leaving the vehicle.

At the end of July 2021, in the area of ​​Group 10, Vinh Tay 2 cluster, Nui Sam ward, Chau Doc city, Nui Sam ward police coordinated with the anti-smuggling inter-sectoral group of Chau Doc group to arrest one suspect and seize three motorbikes transporting over 3,900 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes, two suspects escaped.

Southwest border: Cigarette smuggling is still a problem amid social distancing
Cars carrying smuggled cigarettes were seized by the Long An Market Management Department on July 9, 2021

Taking advantage of cargo trucks to transport illegal drugs

According to the authorities, during the time when the southwestern border provinces implemented social distancing according to Directive 16 of the Prime Minister, although the smuggling and illegal transportation of goods in the border areas decreased, the tobacco smuggling situation remains complicated. The main reason is due to the large consumption demand, the increasing price difference, so the suspects took advantage of the night to transport goods across the border.

Storage points along the Cambodian border are still operating, waiting for favorable opportunities to quickly transport smuggled goods across the border in small quantities at a time. In particular, the suspects mainly took advantage of the night to carry goods across the border, gathering at places including houses to find opportunities to transport into the area.

In addition, to ensure the prevention of the pandemic when delivering and receiving goods, the authorities at the border gates have sealed the car cabin, when the vehicle passes the milestone to change the goods or the container, drivers returned to Vietnam, but the suspect took advantage to bring smuggled cigarettes into the country.

At Moc Bai international border gate area, Tay Ninh, since the beginning of the year, functional forces have handled five cases of transporting smuggled cigarettes of all kinds with an amount of 11,700 bags. The behavior of the suspects is to hide in the cabins, spare parts boxes and seats behind the cabin.

On August 7, 2021, the Moc Bai border gate Customs Branch coordinated with the Customs Enforcement Team (Tay Ninh Customs Department), Ben Cau District Police, Moc Bai international border gate (Tay Ninh Province Border Guard) in inspecting the cabin and the box containing the spare parts for the tractor truck driven by driver Le Duc Thuan (born in 1980, residing in Phuoc Long Quarter, Long Thanh town, Long Thanh district, Dong Nai province) carrying 10,000 packs of smuggled Jet and Hero cigarettes.

The suspect also confessed to receiving cigarettes from a Cambodian man, transporting cigarettes from Cambodia with a salary of VND4 million per time.

Previously, on August 6, at the entry of Moc Bai border gate, Moc Bai Customs Branch coordinated with border gate units to detect the seat in the cabin of the truck, controlled by 70C-04975, driven by Mr. Nguyen Thanh Trung from Cambodia to enter Vietnam, contained 200 packs of illegal Jet and Hero cigarettes. According to the confession, the suspect transported the above-mentioned cigarettes from Cambodia to Vietnam.

By Hoa-Diu/Quynh Lan