Fighting smuggling on the Southwest border has no end in sight


Authorities at My Quy Tay border gate, Long An, check the luggage of passengers on exit. Photo: T.D
Authorities at My Quy Tay border gate, Long An, check the luggage of passengers on exit. Photo: T.D

Smuggling gold and foreign currency is still complicated

The “hottest” is still the illegal transportation of foreign currency, cigarettes, sugar, drugs, and firecrackers from the Cambodian border into some Southwest border provinces such as Long An, Tay Ninh, An Giang, and Dong Thap, etc.

Typically in Tay Ninh, a locality bordering Long An and also adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City, smuggling activities, illegal transportation of goods across the border, drugs, and prohibited goods are extremely complicated.

Carrying out coordination work, on April 6, 2024, at the entry flow of Moc Bai international border gate, Moc Bai Border Gate Customs Sub-department (Tay Ninh Customs Department) presided over coordination with the Border Guard Station at Moc Bai International Border gate, Ben Cau District Police inspected and discovered that Nguyen Ngoc Dai (born in 1993, residing in Hai Phong City) illegally transported 20,000 USD. Moc Bai Border Gate Customs Sub-department has made a record to arrest the offender red-handed and continue to investigate and handle according to regulations. Previously, on April 2, 2024, at milestone 171 – Moc Bai international border gate area, Moc Bai Border Gate Customs Sub-department coordinated with the Police and Border Guard to catch CHAN SAROM red-handed (Cambodian nationality) who illegally transported more than 2kg of drugs.

Recently, Long An Customs has promptly implemented the instructions of the General Department of Customs and Long An Provincial People’s Committee in the fight against smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across the border. Deputy Director of Long An Customs Department Nguyen Van Khanh said that in the management area, the Customs force has strictly managed, not allowing criminals, smugglers, and subjects that illegal transport goods and prohibited goods through border gates to escape. In addition, Long An Customs Department has signed a coordination regulation with functional forces in the area such as Police (3 provinces of Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre), Border Guard, and Long An Market Surveillance to promptly detect violations.

In particular, many cases were jointly arrested by Long An Customs Department such as the arrest of Nguyen Quang Luong (born in 1988, residing in Ha Tinh) on March 19, 2024 for illegal transportation of discharge gun and attached needle tip and bullet casing; Or like the incident on April 9, 2024, My Quy Tay Border Gate Border Guard Station working group in coordination with My Quy Tay Border Gate Customs Sub-department, through luggage control of incoming passengers, discovered the subject Van Ngoc. Binh (born in 1983, residing in Hanoi) illegally transported more than 1.2 grams of drugs across the border.

An Giang is identified as one of the hot areas, famous for illegal transportation of foreign currency and gold. In recent times, anti-smuggling forces in the area have implemented many solutions and discovered many violations. In early April 2024, professional units of An Giang Police caught Nguyen Thanh Phi (born in 1976, residing in Chau Doc City, An Giang province) red-handed driving a motorbike carrying a black nylon bag, on the way to the border (Vietnam – Cambodia), showed signs of suspicion so an inspection was conducted. Through inspection, the Working Group discovered the subject was transporting 150,000 USD.

Previously, at Tinh Bien international border gate, Tinh Bien Border Gate Customs Sub-department (An Giang Customs Department) coordinated with competent forces to detect and arrest a case of illegal transportation of currency across the border. Currently, the cases are being investigated and handled by the authorities according to regulations.

Overcome difficulties and challenges

It is noted that during the peak fight against smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeit goods during the Lunar New Year 2024, Long An province authorities discovered 255 smuggling cases and 613 cases of violations in production activities, business and food safety. Evidence confiscated more than 452,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes, 6.6 tons of firecrackers of all kinds, dozens of tons of sugar, prosecuted and investigated 31 cases with 32 subjects.

Typically, on April 26, the Economic and Position Crime Investigation Police Team (Ben Luc District Police, Long An) coordinated with a number of units under the Traffic Police Department (Ministry of Public Security) conducted an anti-smuggling patrol on the road leading from DT.830 to Ho Chi Minh City – Trung Luong highway and discovered a black car with license plate 51K-201.36 showing suspicious signs, so he issued a stop sign for inspection. Through vehicle inspection, the police discovered 10,000 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes. The police arrested Vo Minh Khang (20 years old, permanent resident of Cu Lao Dung district, Soc Trang province) who was driving the vehicle; At the same time, temporarily confiscate the vehicle and the evidence. Through initial quick exploitation, subject Vo Minh Khang admitted that he was transporting these cigarettes for sale when he was discovered by inspection.

Although some remarkable results have been achieved, the functional forces of the Southwest border provinces have determined that the fight against smuggling, illegal transportation of goods, counterfeit goods, and poor quality goods always has no end. Difficulties along with potential risks are no small challenges for officers performing their duties, requiring the coordination of forces to overcome difficulties, limitations, and promote the role and effectiveness of Front-line forces in the fight against smuggling and trade fraud.

Notably, on the Southwest border, many Casino locations on the Cambodian side of the border attract quite a large number of people from both sides of the border to participate every day. In particular, the number of people with permanent residence in the border area uses the excuse of going back and forth to visit relatives, buying, selling, and exchanging goods to participate in evils, causing difficulties for inspection and control work at the border gate areas. Locations storing contraband goods along the Cambodian border still maintain operations, gathering goods waiting for favorable opportunities to quickly smuggle across the border. Faced with the above situation, to control the area, the Customs force of many Southwest border provinces has coordinated with the Border Guard force to inspect and control at border gates according to the functions and tasks of each sector, ensuring stable immigration and exit activities through border gates are maintained; promptly detect and arrest violations.


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