|Three subjects and methamphetamine were seized by competent forces on November 10th, 2022. Photo provided by Customs Enforcement Team|
Hiding drugs in luggage and vehicles upon entry
According to the Quang Binh Customs Department, from the beginning of the year until now, on the road border gate, goods, vehicles and passengers passing through the border gates decreased sharply compared to the same period in 2021. However, for import-export activities through the area, transit goods still account for a high proportion of goods passing through the border gate, accounting for more than 75% of goods turnover. Furthermore, due to several objective reasons, such as China continuing to implement the Zero Covid policy, some goods that were previously transported by road through the Cha Lo border gate to be brought to China are now transported via Laos – China high-speed railway. In addition, the Office of the People’s Committee of Kham Muon province (Laos) has issued a directive to ban the entry of empty trucks and containers from abroad.
Talking to reporters, Deputy Head of Customs Enforcement Unit (Quang Binh Customs Department) Phan Chi Hieu said that in 2022, the situation of smuggling, trade fraud, and illegal transport of goods and drugs across the border in the area increased both in several cases and subjects compared to 2021. Violations detected and handled in the area were mainly trading and illegally transporting goods and drugs across the border; violating regulations on bringing imported goods to preservation; violation of the customs declaration (incorrect declaration of HS code, name of goods, value) leading to a lack of payable tax amount. Moreover, infringing goods were wild animals, firecrackers, Covid-19 rapid test kits, and drugs.
“At Cha Lo international border gate, the activities of smuggling, trade fraud and illegal transportation of goods across the border are still complicated. The smugglers took advantage of transporting import and export goods, transit goods to hide goods and banned substances on means of transport to evade the inspection and detection of competent forces. In particular, the illegal transportation of narcotics has shown signs of increasing, posing many potential risks,” Mr Phan Chi Hieu said.
In the first few days of November 2022, the Quang Binh Customs enforcement force detected and handled three cases and arrested five people illegally transporting narcotics across the border. It is worth mentioning that in these cases, the subjects hid drugs in luggage, means of transport of goods and passengers upon entry.
At three o’clock on November 10, 2022, the Drug-related Crime Investigation Police Department (PC04, Quang Binh Public Security) coordinated with Tuyen Hoa District Police, Minh Hoa District Police, Quang Binh Border Defence force, Quang Binh Customs Department (Customs Enforcement Unit and Cha Lo Border Gate Customs Branch) arrested Kham La Cong Ma Ni (was born in 1981, residing in Lau Ngua village, Tha Khet town, Kham Muon province, Laos) who was a tractor driver with Laos’ license plate No.1326, pulling a trailer with license plate No.1325 into Vietnam.
Expanding the project, at 4:30 pm on the same day, at Km93+900 National Highway 12C, the competent force caught the suspect Dinh Thi Thanh (was born in 1972, residing in Hoa Tien commune, Minh Hoa district) due to the act of receiving more than 13 kg of ketamine.
Right after that, the competent force arrested Dinh Thi Hoang Yen, who gave money for transporting drugs of more than VND22 million and 13,750,000 kips (in cash) to Kham La Cong Ma Ni in Hoa Phuc commune, Minh Hoa district.
In this case, Dinh Thi Hai Yen is the mastermind who often crossed the Vietnam-Laos border to connect with some people with Lao nationals. Through verification, the subjects had smuggled many drugs across the border into the interior of Vietnam, but it could not identify the method of trading and transportation tricks.
Then, on November 14, 2022, Cha Lo border gate Customs Branch arrested Dinh Xuan Thu (was born in 1968 and residing in Hai An district, Hai Phong city) traveling in a passenger car with license plate No. 9938 from Laos to Vietnam. 1kg of methamphetamine was hidden in the luggage.
Screening shipments with signs of risk
It is forecasted that in the coming time, the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to be controlled, the economy will grow stably, and the flow of people, means of import and export, import-export and transit goods will increase again. The illegal trading and transportation of narcotics, firecrackers and petrol across the border are likely to increase.
Facing that situation, the Quang Binh Customs enforcement force continued to develop and effectively implement plans to fight against smuggling and illegal transport of goods across the border; drug prevention. In particular, the unit focused on implementing customs control measures synchronously and effectively, especially on collecting information for risk management. At the same time, the unit used detection dogs to perform the task at the border gate, check all luggage of drivers and passengers on entry through a scanning machine, using a rapid drug detector to check and collect information on several drug-related suspects.
The unit also strengthens the search, analysis and evaluation of key commodities, key objects and key import and export types to screen shipments with signs of high risk of fraud in terms of quantity, type, and item policy. Furthermore, controlling and closely monitoring import and export goods, vehicles, and passengers entering and leaving the border gate; deploying to collect and grasp the developments and operation rules of subjects who frequently cross the border gate with suspicious signs and symptoms related to smuggling and illegally transport of goods and drugs to focus on fighting effectively.