Many challenges in preventing and combating drugs through express and postal delivery

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Imports and exports through express delivery. Photo: N. Linh
Imports and exports through express delivery. Photo: N. Linh

Taking advantage of simple and convenient procedures

According to the leader of the Express Customs Branch, from strengthening inspection and control of parcels coming from abroad, the unit has coordinated with other forces to detect many big drug cases. From January 1, 2023 up to now, the Express Customs Branch detected and coordinated with PC04 Hanoi City Police and provincial police, the Drug Enforcement Team of Hanoi Customs Department to seize four cases, detaining more than 3,152 grams of methamphetamine; more than 1,935 grams of ketamine; 7,000 grams of marijuana and three suspects and is further investigating many other cases.

Deputy Director of the Express Customs Branch (Hanoi Customs Department) Le Tri Dung said that the characteristic of goods sent via express and postal services have a very large number of packages and parcels and come from many different countries, so the customs clearance on time and ensuring inspection, supervision and anti-smuggling control pose huge pressure on officials of the Express Customs Branch.

In fact, traders often take advantage of the simple and convenient procedures prescribed by the World Postal Convention and the facilitation of sending gifts from individuals abroad to individuals in Vietnam and vice versa, to hide and disguise infringing goods.

In recent years, the Express Customs Branch has handled many cases of smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across borders related to drugs…

“The tricks of the traffickers are sophisticated, hiding drugs in bottles of nutrition foods, cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoo, soles of sports shoes… or mixing them in gift packages covered by many layers of foil to avoid being detected when going through the scanner,” said the leader of the Express Customs Branch.

The Customs agency encounters many difficulties in fighting because the traffickers often provide unclear addresses and do not have ID cards/citizen identity cards. “They often do not receive the goods immediately, but observe the goods for a long time before receiving the goods, so when being discovered, they often cannot identify the real owner and cannot catch the boss. The bosses often conduct drug trafficking through social networks and the two parties do not know each other and use fake addresses,” said the Deputy Director of the Express Customs Branch.

In addition, the World Postal Convention stipulates that member countries and designated operators are not responsible for customs declarations in any form. Therefore, the Customs agency has difficulty in attaching responsibility to international postal and express delivery companies when detecting drugs and precursors from abroad into Vietnam.

Facing with that situation, the Express Customs Branch has organized and implemented many customs control solutions such as: investigating, researching and understanding the situation, investigating and collecting information on customs control operations, and forecasting and grasping the situation in the area, strengthening inspection and strict supervision of goods requiring protection of intellectual property rights, goods with counterfeit trademarks, origin… thereby promptly detecting and handle violations. At the same time, the Express Customs Branch has strengthened customs control and screening of import and export goods, focusing on goods of individuals, goods that are gifts that can be used to mix and hide infringing goods as drugs into other goods to avoid customs inspection and control such as hiding them in consumer goods.

Proactively identifying key routes and risky items

It is forecasted that in the coming years, the situation of drug trafficking will continue to occur with many new and more sophisticated tricks to avoid customs inspection and control. The leader of the Express Customs Branch said that to improve efficiency of the anti-drug, the unit determines to synchronously, consistently, and effectively deploy the regulations, plans, and professional warning programs of the General Department of Customs and Hanoi Customs Department on drug prevention and combat;

Focus on collecting information, investigating, researching, grasping the situation, forecasting the situation, firmly grasping, identifying, warning about methods and tricks, and strictly follow customs procedures. Customs, customs inspection and supervision to proactively and promptly detect and handle cases of illegal trafficking and transportation of drugs and precursors.

Proactively identify key routes and risky items to organize strict monitoring and screening; stop customs clearance and stop goods through the monitoring area for physical inspection when there are signs of suspected drugs or precursors. At the same time, arrange officials with qualifications in image analysis and effective use of provided equipment such as drug detectors and reagent suitcases to promptly detect drugs and precursors. At the same time, the customs branch closely coordinates with competent authorities inside and outside the sector to share information, seize and promptly handle drug violations.

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