The fight against drug crimes is still extremely arduous and challenging

VCN - Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs) Nguyen Hung Anh gave an interview to Customs News on the occasion of the peak month of drug prevention and combat in 2024.
Mr Nguyen Hung Anh, Director of the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department (General Department of Customs).
Mr Nguyen Hung Anh, Director of the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs).

Could you please tell us what is noteworthy about the drug crime situation in the area of ​​customs operations?

The authorities said that the number of drug-related cases and subjects being arrested is increasing, each case is larger than the previous case with very complicated, serious and unpredictable developments; many new types of drugs appear that are not yet on the management list. Drugs are hidden, mixed in goods, foods, drinks, etc., and are illegally traded and transported in increasingly large quantities to Vietnam or continues to transport to third countries.

On the road, drug criminals often take advantage of long borders, complex mountainous terrain, many trails, openings and loopholes, and openness in mechanisms and policies to facilitate import-export activities, immigration, customs procedures to mix, hide, and illegally transport narcotics from Laos and Cambodia into Vietnam through the Northwestern provinces, Central - Central Highlands and Southwestern regions.

In the aviation and express delivery routes, violations were detected mainly through Noi Bai international airports (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat (HCMC), and Da Nang (Da Nang City).

The subjects used disguises, hid drugs in personal bags, medicine, food..., and even swallowed drugs on their bodies. From there, drugs were mixed in consignment goods, express deliveries, and non-commercial gift goods sent from countries in Europe, America, Africa and Oceania... to Vietnam that is consumed domestically or shipped to a third country or vice versa.

The sea route, which emerged in the first quarter of 2024, is the situation of drugs drifting off the coast of the Central provinces. Notably, the authorities discovered and seized drug packages drifting at sea with tracking devices attached in large quantities in the waters of Nghe An, Da Nang, and Ba Ria - Vung Tau provinces, An Giang, Kien Giang, Ca Mau…

What plans does the Customs sector have to fight, sir?

The Customs sector is clearly aware of the need to continue to make efforts, be proactive, and promote the synchronous implementation of many solutions to increase the effectiveness of advisory work and directly anti-drug and precursor control.

Specifically, continue to increase focus and promote the combined strength of the entire industry, especially the force specialized in drug prevention and combat.

Maximize external support resources within the framework of mechanisms, coordination and cooperation with functional forces, ministries, branches, agencies and domestic and international organizations to promote effectiveness of drug prevention and combat in all stages, levels and areas.

Promote effective coordination with ministries, branches, functional agencies and specialized forces. In the area of ​​customs operations, the Customs agency performs the leading role; outside the area, the Customs agency coordinates with other forces, ministries and branches, the core of which is the Police force.

In addition, the Customs sector is unified and determined to synchronously and effectively deploy comprehensive solutions.

Promote propaganda and professional training to raise awareness, skills, and knowledge of law and drug prevention and combat operations in the customs field.

Continue to participate and demonstrate an active member role in regional and global international cooperation projects on drug prevention and combat.

Through the results of the recent struggle, what important lessons has the Customs force learned in drug prevention and combat, sir?

To effectively prevent illegal drug transport lines from abroad to Vietnam, success can only be achieved when drug evidence and subjects are captured. To do this, there needs to be close cooperation and coordination between the functional forces.

During the process of participating in the project, the Customs force increased the collection, analysis, and evaluation of information and documents related to this crime ring and synchronously deploy professional measures according to regulations during the process of implementing the project and organizing the case solving.

Along with that, the Customs and Police forces have proactively coordinated closely right from the stage of exchanging and verifying information; develop plans and establish specialized projects; use professional measures to quickly and promptly dismantle networks and groups of drug offenders.

Fighting drug crimes, the Customs force faces many difficulties and challenges such as: buying, selling and sending goods via electronic methods is very easy, while drugs are bought and sold without payment in advance, the Subjects can track shipping time as well as customs clearance time for sent packages. If the goods arrive in Vietnam but have not been cleared through customs after the time has passed, the subject will abandon the goods.

Or, drug criminals hide drugs in sea shipments that are difficult to check such as export frozen goods, detergents, animal feed, wooden furniture, agricultural products, plastic beads, machinery, and granite... meanwhile, the phenomenon of subjects taking advantage of sea routes to buy, sell and transport drugs is increasing.

In addition, many new types of synthetic drugs are increasingly appearing, some of which have not been updated in the data of drug detection equipment and are not included in the control list in legal documents.

During the peak month of drug prevention and combat in 2024, what solutions will the Customs sector deploy to effectively carry out this important task, sir?

To effectively deploy special drug prevention and combat work in the peak month of drug prevention and combat in 2024 (June-PV), the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department has advised the leaders of the General Department of Customs to build Key plans and work programs to warn and guide local customs departments on drug prevention and control in customs operations areas...

Along with that, we continue to promote the proactive role of the entire Industry to promptly detect, arrest, and identify the increasingly sophisticated and complex methods and tricks of illegal drug transportation by subjects to bypass the authorities.

In addition to the above solutions, in the coming time, the Customs sector will continue to closely follow and effectively deploy and unify the directions of leaders at all levels.

Strengthen the synchronous application of professional measures, focus on collecting information, grasp the situation's developments early and from afar, avoid being passive or surprised, proactively propose preventive and combat measures that are close to reality and ensure effectiveness.

Promote inspection, supervision, and control of import-export goods, luggage, vehicles, and immigration to promptly detect acts of taking advantage of mixing and hiding drugs in goods and luggage or means of transportation.

Units need to thoroughly grasp and increase the use of screening tools and equipment, especially specialized equipment and professional dogs for drug prevention...

By Thái Bình/Huu Tuc

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