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Warning foreigners hidden behind enterprises for transporting drugs

10:08 | 20/02/2020

VCN – In recent years, drug-related crimes involving foreigners in Vietnam have continued occurring complicatedly, with a connection between foreigners and domestic people.

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Customs officials of HCM City Customs coordinated with competent forces to close the case and seized 500kg of narcotics on May 11, 2019. Photo: Thu Hòa

“Trouble spots” of drug

According to Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Police Nguyen Sy Quang, Ho Chi Minh City has many characteristics which are identified as the "bottom land" of different types of crime. Drug-related crimes involving foreigners have developed in a complicated manner, becoming Vietnam's "trouble spot" in the past year.

The recent discovery and seizure of lines transporting drugs from Vietnam showed that HCMC in particular and Vietnam in general were not only places of consumption but also a place of transit drugs to other countries. Notably, groups of Taiwanese (China) who colluded with domestic people to transport drugs in very large quantities from the Golden Triangle through Laos and Cambodia into Vietnam through Central and Southwestern provinces then drugs would be gathered at warehouses in provinces adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City. Then they were transferred to warehouses in districts such as Hoc Mon District, District 12, Binh Tan District to mix in cargo containers. They use companies as a screen for exporting drugs to third countries such as the Philippines and Taiwan (China) through seaports in Ho Chi Minh City.

Besides that, foreigners who were mainly Taiwanese and Chinese took advantage of the open-door policy, integration and favourable policies of the State applying to customs procedures and loopholes in management of immigration, import and export in the name of tourism, visiting relatives, business investment and linking with domestic objects to establish enterprises as a "screen" for trading, importing and exporting, renting warehouses and workshops to disguise and illegally transport drugs in large quantity.

Notably, there were many cases involving large numbers of foreigners. For example, the seizure of 300kg of meth in Ho Chi Minh City in March, 2019. In this case, drug-related crimes investigation Police Department (Ministry of Public Security) coordinated with units of the Ministry of Public Security, the Ho Chi Minh City Police, the Dak Nong, Tay Ninh and Binh Duong provincial Police, the Anti-Drug and Criminal Prevention Department (High Command of Border Guard), Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs) to arrest 11 suspects (including eight Chinese and three Vietnamese).

Shelterred behind enterprises

Besides that, a number of Europeans and Africans have been arrested due to illegally transporting narcotics at international airport areas. On August 12, 2019, Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch in coordination with competent authorities arrested a male Senegalese passenger, aged 39, on flight No. BL30 with a itinerary from Nigeria to Ethiopia, Thailand and then to Vietnam via Tan Son Nhat International Airport. He had swallowed a total of 77 tablets of cocaine to avoid detection.

The foreign subjects took advantage of business activities to hide and produce synthetic drugs illegally. For example, the arrest of seve Chinese people who illegally produced drugs at the factory of Dong An Vien Import and Export Co., Ltd. (Kon Tum). The competent force seized 140 litres of liquid containing methamphetamine; more than 13 tonnes of chemicals and precursors; 20 tonnes of machinery, equipment and tools installed in the production of illegal drugs; more than 500 kg of ketamine was seized by the HCMCity Customs Department and the Criminal Investigation PoliceDepartment in May, 2019.

According to authorities, the prevention of drug-related crimes involving foreign elements has not been effective; the management of residence, especially residence management, activities of foreigners in Vietnam still have loopholes and shortcomings.

It is forecasted that the number of foreigners involved in drug-related crimes will continue to increase. Besides existing complex routes, drug-related criminals will seek to form new routes of drug transportation to Vietnam and then continue to other countries and territories.

To limit this situation, there is a need to improve the provisions of the law. The law needs provisions on the management, monitoring and supervision of the activities of foreigners in Vietnamese territory, rather than merely grasping the situation on the volume of import and export.

At the same time, closely coordinating between Police, Customs, Border Defence and Coast Guard forces in inspecting and controlling border areas, border gates and sea to prevent, fight and handle foreigners who commit drug-related crime in Vietnam.

Promoting international cooperation in drug prevention, especially in neighbouring countries to effectively prevent drugs smuggling through border areas; enhance information exchange and documents for effective cooperation in combating foreigners commit drug-related crime in Vietnam./.

By Lê Thu/Thanh Thuy