Clandestinely transport contraband cargo across the Dong Thap Border

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Smuggling on Dong Thap border controlledSmuggling on Dong Thap border controlled
Clandestinely transport contraband cargo across the Dong Thap Border
Dong Thap Customs Department seized smuggled wood on April 19. Photo: T.H

Shipping contraband cargo

“Receiving information that a group of smugglers transporting cargo across the river from Cambodia to Vietnam, the working team of So Thuong Customs Enforcement Team under Thuong Phuoc Border Gate Customs Branch (Dong Thap Customs Branch) used a canoe to patrol the So Thuong River area. As a result, the working group seized more than 50 logs illegally transported by motorboat. However, smugglers abused the night to escape from the scene quickly,” said Officer Nguyen Van Ri, who directly pursued the smuggler.

This was one of the illegal transportation cases across the border, which Dong Thap Customs Department seized in April. The department has led and coordinated with other competent forces to control the border area, especially at night, and prevented many cases of transportation of smuggled goods.

Head of the Customs Enforcement Team Nguyen Huu Tam said that currently, hamlet 1, Thuong Lac commune, Binh Hoa Thuong hamlet and Binh Hoa Trung hamlet, Thuong Thoi Hau A commune in Hong Ngu district, were hot routes for illegal transportation of goods. The suspects abused the river between Vietnam and Cambodia to gather smuggled goods and use motorboats to transport them to Vietnam at night.

Motivated by strengthening the control, Dong Thap Customs Department has arrested many cases of transporting contraband at night. Earlier, at 9:30 p.m. on April 14, the working team of So Thuong Border Gate Customs Branch collaborated with the Police of Thuong Thoi Hau A, Cau Muong Border Guard Station, to inspect the river route at Binh Hoa Trung hamlet, Thuong Thoi Hau A commune, Hong Ngu district and seized 3,000 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes.

The smugglers abused the night to receive foreign cigarettes and divided them into many nylon bags, transported by motorboats to the inland for consumption. Then, when detecting the law enforcement force, the smugglers left these foreign cigarettes and means of transport to escape.

Investigating owners of illegal consignments

Regarding the two smuggling cases and smugglers, the Director of Dong Thap Customs Department, Nguyen Thanh Toan, directed the working teams to investigate and identify owners of illegal consignments for handling.

“Smugglers operated sophisticatedly and used motorboats to transport a large quantity of smuggled goods from the border area to the country. Although the Customs force has seized the infringing goods and the means of transport, I requested officers to investigate and identify offences,” said Director Nguyen Thanh Toan.

Deputy Director of Dong Thap Customs Department Nguyen Huu Thanh said that the smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across the border along the Dong Thap route in the first months of 2023 did not increase compared with the previous year because the law enforcement forces strictly controlled citizens and vehicles across the border to prevent smuggling and other violations. However, some suspects still transported contraband cargo from the border into the domestic market for consumption.

Currently, 18 sites storing smuggled goods along the Cambodian border have operated and waited for favourable opportunities to transport illegal goods across the border quickly. The smuggled goods are mainly foreign cigarettes, refined sugar and consumer goods.

Smugglers have used high-speed motorboats to transport smuggled goods across the border and gathered goods at many sites, then they have used motorcycles to ship the goods to the inland quickly. Before and during the transportation of contraband, the smugglers closely monitored and dispersed the contraband goods when the enforcement forces arrested them.

According to Deputy Director Nguyen Huu Thanh, although the smuggling on the border route is well controlled and does not increase compared with the previous time, the department’s leader has directed subordinate units to strengthen the prevention of smuggling and trade fraud, fake goods and drugs, and coordinate with local government, Border Guard, Police, and Market Surveillance to combat smuggling and other violations well.

The department has also requested border gate customs branches, the Customs Enforcement Team, to strictly follow the direction of their superiors and leaders of Dong Thap Customs Department, actively coordinate with law enforcement forces to disseminate and closely control and handle violations, prevent the establishment of the hot spot for smuggling, illegal transportation of goods, prohibited goods and drugs in the Customs control area.

In the first months of the year, Dong Thap Customs Department seized 21 cases of transporting and gathering smuggled goods valued at over VND685 million. In addition, the department prosecuted a criminal case for illegal transportation of VND167.58 million across the border gate. The local government handled one case, arrested one suspect, fined VND70 million, and seized 5.2 tons of refined sugar worth VND93.6 million.

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