Standing firm at the Nam Giang border gate

VCN - We arrived at the Nam Giang Border Gate Customs Sub-Department (Quang Nam Customs Department) during acold spell in early winter. Wind whistling in the freezing frost revealed asolitary scene at the border gate in the Central region.
tin nhap 20200122233640 Nam Giang Customs seized nearly 2 tons of Techicai Sitan wood
tin nhap 20200122233640 Quang Nam Customs seize a case of illegal transport wild animal
tin nhap 20200122233640 Quang Nam Customs seizes smuggled fireworks
tin nhap 20200122233640
Nam Giang integrated checkpoint. Photo: T.H.

Raise the spirit of vigilance

Before going to the border gate, according to the Chief of Office of Quang Nam Customs Department, the distance from Quang Nam city to the border gate is about 200 km, but tortuous mountainous roads are very difficult to pass, especially when the cold monsoon at the border gate is harsh, which made us more curious and worried on the first timevisiting the border gate.

Indeed, with winds whistling in the cold frost, tortuousroads with mountains on one side and cliffs on the other, we could see the solitary scene in the Central border of the country.

At seven a.m., when the border gate was still covered with dense fog, heavy rain and strong winds, customs officials start their working session at the integrated checkpoint of Nam Giang Border Gate.

Nguyen Hoang, Director of Nam Giang Border Gate Customs Branch, said the unit had just eight officials and they worked from seven a.m. to seven p.m. every day (the opening and closing hoursof the border gate). Customs officers here mainly did procedures for vehicles of border residents.Imports and exports were few, ofwhich imports included fresh cassava, dried cassava, coffee beans, as well as re-imported machinery and equipment for hydroelectric projects in Laos. Export and import turnover of the whole year was more than US$16 million; immigration totalledabout 4,500 arrivals.

Although import and export goods and immigration through the border gate are few and simple, the leaders of the unit always direct the officials to raise theirspirit of vigilance to prevent subjects taking advantage of the complicated border areas to commit acts of smuggling and illegal transportation of banned and/or illegal goods. In the past, the unit detected two cases of wood smuggling, which were criminally prosecuted by the Nam Giang Border Gate Customs Department.

tin nhap 20200122233640
Customs officers of Nam Giang border gate check transport through the border gate in the fog of early winter. Photo: T.H.

Border is home

Speakingwith us about the lives of Customs officersin the border region, Director General Nguyen Hoang said most officials in Nam Giang Border Gate Customs had families in Tam Ky City - Quang Nam and Da Nang, nearly 200 km from the unit.It was difficult to travel, so they all remained at the border, considering the border as their home.Thanks to the attention of the leaders of the General Department of Customs and the leaders of Quang Nam Customs Department, officials of Nam Giang border gate customs have worked in spacious and modern headquarters in recent years.

"The new settlement is a great spiritual encouragement for us to work, maintaining economic and political security in the border areas of the country," Head of the Department Nguyen Hoang stated.

As the border residents in Laos and Vietnam are more than 20km from the border gate, and roads are difficult to travel, it is difficult to buy daily necessities and food for the Branch's officials. Therefore, their food is dry and frozen all year round.

"Daily food is not easy to buy in the border area, so we often take advantage of holidays and city trips to buy food and essential utensils,” Director of the Department Nguyen Hoang said.

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Coordinate with the Border Guards to inspect theluggage of a passenger on exit. Photo: T.H.

To improve daily life, the officialsincrease production, raise chickens, and plant vegetables in their spare time. Taking us to the vegetable garden and chicken cages behind the kitchen, they saidfresh food of the members in the unit was from here.Chickenswere sometimes bred up to a few dozen, partly to help them have a fresh meal, without going to the market. Due to the cold winter, vegetables kept dying, so they lacked vegetables for daily meals. In summer, this garden is sufficient to provide some vegetables for the officials.

Working in difficult conditions of material and spiritual life, including being far away from home, far from the centre, cold and foggy winter, but officials of Nam Giang Border Gate Customs Department are firm in the remote border gate. They always united and perform well the assigned political tasks, maintaining the border security of the country.

By Le Thu/ Ha Thanh

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