More than 700 boxes of medical masks from Ho Chi Minh City to An Giang seized by the authorities. Photo: Tien Tam
In the last days of March 2022, authorities of An Giang province handled many illegal transportation cases of medical masks. The smugglers hired drivers to transport the goods from Ho Chi Minh City to a gathering place at the border area beforeto transporting them to Cambodia.
When inspected by the authorities, the drivers could not present documents proving the origin of the goods.
On March 27, via the hotline of the Director of the Provincial Public Security, the Inter-sectoral Working Group on Anti-Smuggling in An Giang Province coordinated with the Tinh Bien International Border Guard Station to patrol border areas.
The group stopped a truck driven by Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phu (born in 1983, residing in Khanh Hoa commune, Chau district) for inspection at Xuan Phu area, Tinh Bien town, Tinh Bien district.
As a result, the working group discovered 722 boxes of medical masks with different brands, valued at about VND900 million.
At the time of inspection, the driver could not present invoices and documents proving the origin of the goods and admitted that he was hired to transport the goods by a company from Binh Chanh district, Ho Chi Minh City to Tinh Bien district, An Giang province.
Earlier, on March 22 at the border area of Tinh Bien district, the An Giang Inter-sectoral Working Group on Anti-Smuggling coordinated with Tinh Bien International Border Guard Station to inspect three trucks.
The group discovered 1,400 boxes of medical masks of unknown origin. These smuggled masks were transported from Ho Chi Minh City to Tinh Bien district, An Giang city by a driver paid VND4million/vehicle unit.
Notably, the traders also tried to illegally bring consumer goods such as milk, beer, and cosmetics into the domestic market by hiring porters to carry small quantities to evade the control by authorities.
On March 25, through inspection of a car driven by Ha Minh Hanh (born in 1992) at Tra Su area, Nha Bang town, Tinh Bien district, the Inter-sectoral Working Group on Anti-Smuggling in An Giang Province detected a large number of foreign-branded goods without invoices and documents, suspected smuggled goods including 4,800 bottles of oils of all kinds, 2,400 stickers, 120 boxes of ginseng cream and 24 deodorant roller bottles. The driver said he was hired to transport the goods.
One day later, the working group worked with Tinh Bien IBorder Guard Station, also discovering a truck with suspicious signs, through the inspection, the authorities discovered 1,145 cartons containing 34,350 bags of wet wipes brand YUNIKU (of foreign origin, worth VND860 million).
The driver also failed to present invoices and documents proving the origin and said he was hired by a person in Ho Chi Minh City to transport the goods to Tinh Bien district for VND6 million.
In Binh San ward, Ha Tien city, Kien Giang Customs Enforcement Team arrested a person carrying 296 boxes of Ensure milk (24 bottles/carton, totaling more than 7,000 bottles of milk).
In addition, foreign beer, wine and tobacco products with high profit margins are also smuggled.
For example, on March 22 and 23, in Chau Thanh district, Tay Ninh province, authorities seized hundreds of boxes of suspected smuggled foreign beer. On March 22, the Tay Ninh market surveillance officers seized a truck driven by Nguyen Tuan Tai (born in 1994) carrying 300 cases of beer (24 cans/barrel), manufactured by foreign factories with Tiger and Angkor brands without invoices and vouchers.
On March 23, in Phuoc Vinh commune, Chau Thanh district, Tay Ninh, the police also discovered on a motorcycle eight boxes of Crown beer and two boxes of Tiger beer of foreign origin. Expanding the investigation, the authorities discovered 197 more boxes of Crown beer and three boxes of Yeos brand soft drink, the owner of the goods could not present invoices and documents.
Previously, on March 14, the Market Surveillance Team No. 2 also seized a truck driven by Mr. Vo Van Giau carrying 160 boxes of Tiger beer imported from abroad, valued at VND56 million.
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According to the Steering Committee 389 of Tay Ninh province, during the investigation, most of the ringleaders used sophisticated tricks, operated remotely, and hired border residents who are jobless to illegally transport smuggled goods across the border, so it is difficult for authorities to arrest the leaders. This makes the fight against economic crimes at the border as well as inland difficult.