|Dong Thap Customs officers coordinate to check smuggled cigarettes. Photo: T.H|
Smuggled cigarettes slipt into the domestic market
According to the reporter’s record, the smugglers did not organize mass transportation of cigarettes, but the subjects still smuggled this item from Cambodia to Vietnam. In particular, the method of tricks has a new point compared to the previous one, which is not gathering goods at a certain point; smuggled goods are quickly switched to other vehicles to transport to the inland for consumption or transporting to the transshipment point, which is changed frequently. Subjects of transport are border residents who are experts and understand the area. Under the control of some leaders, they use all means of transport to carry out smuggling, from transporting by motorbikes and motorboats, which are large capacity and run at high speed. On the other hand, they transport goods in small quantities and run from the Cambodian border through border trails from the side gate, through fields, canals and even national highways to transport smuggled goods.
Recently, competent forces of southern provinces and cities have discovered and arrested many cases of transporting smuggled cigarettes from Cambodia to Vietnam. Recently, through understanding the situation in group 14, Vinh Xuyen cluster, Nui Sam ward, Chau Doc city, An Giang province, some subjects took advantage of the flood season to transport foreign cigarettes from the border inland for consumption. Thus, the Economic Police force of the An Giang Province coordinated with the Chau Doc City Police to cover up and arrest. When they discovered the working group taking advantage of the night, the smugglers fled toward Cambodia. However, two subjects were arrested with the exhibits. At the scene, the police force seized 4,000 packs of smuggled foreign cigarettes of many brands, four motorbikes and one motorboat.
On October 11, the Special Task Force for Drug and Crime Prevention, Drug and Crime Prevention Division of the Border Guard of Long An Province, chaired and coordinated with the Song Trang Border Guard Station; Police of Tan Hung district, Long An province to secretly ambush on the area of Nguyen Van Troi canal in Ha Thanh hamlet, Hung Ha commune, Tan Hung district, Long An province (about 12km from the border to the inland) and discover four people who were driving motorcycle to transport smuggled cigarettes to the gathering point. Through encirclement and arrest of subjects, the Task Force collected 32 red sacks and 20 black plastic bags containing many smuggled foreign cigarettes of all kinds, totaling 12,200 packs.
Previously, from August 18 to the end of September, Dong Thap Customs Department chaired and coordinated to seize nearly 8,500 packs of smuggled cigarettes. Smugglers transported these cigarettes in the dark to gather at the border area, waiting for the opportunity to continue transporting by motorbike into the country for consumption.
In the Tay Ninh area, in the eight months of 2022, the forces of the Tay Ninh Customs Department detected and arrested 262 cases of law violations of customs, an increase of 121 cases compared to the same period last year. In particular, only in August did the Tay Ninh Customs Department detect and arrest four cases of transporting smuggled cigarettes with a quantity of 220 packs of cigarettes of all kinds.
Implementing measures synchronously
According to the competent authorities, the smuggling situation will increase in the coming time, especially before, during and after the Lunar New Year 2023. Therefore, the authorities will strengthen the management, especially commodities such as alcohol, beer, cigarettes, firecrackers, gold, foreign currency, and petroleum…
On October 14, 2022, the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance issued Official Letter No. 79/BTC-BCD389 implementing the plan to combat smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods on border lines, sea areas and management areas from the inland.
Accordingly, the Steering Committee 389 of the Ministry of Finance assigned the General Department of Vietnam Customs to strengthen the work of collecting information, firmly grasping the situation in the area; synchronously applying professional operations measures to closely inspect and control import-export goods, luggage, means of transport on entry and exit along routes, locations, essential items and objects.
Furthermore, focusing on essential commodities such as prohibited goods, goods that have great value, high tax rates, conditional import and export goods…; Key types of import and export such as export processing and export production, duty-free investment, independent transportation, goods temporarily imported and re-exported, temporarily exported and re-imported, transshipment, transit and goods deposited into bonded warehouses… to detect, prevent and promptly and effectively handle acts of smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods, and other violations of the law in the field of customs.
At the same time, developing plans to verify, fight, and prevent complicated and prominent cases of smuggling and illegal transport of goods across the border affects diplomatic relations and public opinion. Moreover, strengthening the information exchange, coordinating with the competitive forces in the country and from abroad in the development of plans to investigate, verify, fight and effectively prevent those who commit acts of smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods in the field of customs. In particular, clearly defining the leading role of the Customs authority in the coordination of combating smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeiting occurring in the area of customs operations.