|Infringing goods and vehicles were seized by the Anti-Drug Enforcement Team on November 10, 2022. Photo provided by Quang Tri Customs|
Smuggling in the area increased
According to the Quang Tri Customs Department, in 2022, smuggling and illegal transport of goods across Quang Tri’s border increased compared to 2021 and continued to occur complicatedly, with many potential risks and challenges for competent forces, including customs forces. Methods and tricks of smuggling are organized more closely and sophisticatedly. On the border area of Lao Bao and La Lay border gates, illegal transport of goods across the Vietnam-Laos border also appeared in the situation of reinforcing cargo hold inside passenger vehicles, even mixing with import-export goods, which are fully paid tax to hide smuggled goods.
By the end of November 2022, affiliated units of Quang Tri Customs Department have conducted 589 patrols (reaching 170.7% of the assigned target) and established 17 sets of investigation and research dossiers (reaching 170% of the assigned target). In addition, the units have set 22 sets of dossiers of objects for investigation (reaching 146.6 percent of the assigned target), chaired to develop a specialized project.
The fight of Quang Tri Customs force showed that smugglers were still using motor boats to transport goods along the Se Pon river route or hiring people to carry them through the trails and opening paths to avoid control by competent forces. After successfully delivering the goods across the border, the subjects continued to gather at residents’ houses in border areas, waiting to load the goods into vans (low-load), small trucks, and passenger cars to transport them inland for consumption. The main types of infringing goods are foreign cigarettes, wine, beer, sugar and electronics made in Thailand.
Typically, on November 10, the Working Group of Anti-Drug Enforcement Team, Quang Tri Customs Department coordinated with the Anti-Smuggling Team of the Economic Police Department under Quang Tri Police and Lao Bao Town Police (Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province) to inspect the warehouse of Phan Thi Thuy Huong (addressed at Trung Chin Hamlet, Lao Bao town, Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province). As a result, the competent force discovered 13 foreign-made goods, including beer, rice cookers, and beverages, worth more than VND 800 million. However, at the inspection time, Phan Thi Thuy Huong declared that the above goods did not have legal invoices and documents.
Currently, Quang Tri Customs has issued a decision to sanction an administrative violation against Phan Thi Thuy Huong for buying and selling imported goods without legal documents in the customs operations area, with the amount of monetary penalty being VND37,5 million.
On the same day, on Highway 9 in Tan Lien commune, Huong Hoa district, the Anti-Drug Enforcement Team checked a passenger bus with license plated No.74F-005.XX moving in the direction from Lao Bao town to Dong Ha city, Quang Tri. Then, they discovered that the passenger cabin contained goods of foreign origin without legal invoices and documents. The total value of goods was VND204.9 million.
Grasping the developments and tricks
Recently, following the direction of the Director General of Vietnam Customs on strengthening the prevention and combat of smuggling of consumer goods during the Lunar New Year 2023, Quang Tri Customs Department has been gathering force to implement patrol plans and strengthening professional customs operation measures to effectively prevent and stop violations, especially at the end of the year.
In particular, based on the local situation, the unit proactively directed the border gate customs branches to strengthen the inspection, control and close supervision of import and export goods, means of transport, and luggage of passengers on exit and entry; promote the effectiveness of inspection through the baggage scanning machine, drug detectors, sniffer dogs and specialized goods inspection equipment. At the same time, the unit continues directing enforcement teams to regularly organize patrols along the Se Pon river route, the trails and opening paths on both sides of the border gate to promptly prevent and fight effectively against smuggling and illegal transport of goods across the border.
Furthermore, actively grasp the situation, new operation tricks of smugglers, and trade fraud; strengthen the control and prevention of smuggling and trade fraud to have an effective plan to fight and identify critical objects and goods into the spotlight. Actively coordinate with competent forces, especially the Border Guard, to strengthen patrols and control of the area on both sides of the border gate, trails, and opening paths, and fully arrange forces and effectively apply synchronous and effective professional measures, strengthen inspection and strictly control local routes and key goods, focusing on prohibited commodities, great value, and high tax rates.