Value of smuggled goods surges

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 09:37

Smuggled products seized at Cai Mep Port. — Photo

Nearly 15,200 cases of smuggling and trade fraud were uncovered in 2017, a decrease of 1.97 per cent from 2016, the General Department of Viet Nam Customs (GDC) reported yesterday at a press conference held in Ha Noi.

However, the smuggled goods were estimated to be worth nearly VND800 billion (US$34.6 million), a massive surge of 89.5 per cent year-on-year.

More than VND334.8 billion was contributed to the State budget this year through the seizure of the smuggled goods.

“The police, army and customs have been fighting smuggling, trade fraud and fake products but smugglers are using increasingly sophisticated techniques,” said Nguyen Khanh Quang, deputy head of the GDC’s Anti-smuggling Department.

“The most common illegally trafficked products include drugs, weapons, documents, wild animals, wood, gold, foreign liquor, oil, minerals, cigarettes, automobiles, machinery, refrigerators, food and many other types of goods,” Quang said.

“Offenders are usually import-export enterprises, people living near border areas and individuals who often cross borders”.

Customs authorities also encountered many difficulties, Quang said.

For example, only the Criminal Science Institute under the Ministry of Public Security has the right to test drugs, which may take 20 to 30 days of waiting, hindering customs forces from handling violation cases in a timely manner.

From now until the end of the year, the GDC would be reinforcing patrol teams and inspection in key areas such as borders, Quang said, adding that they had also strengthened the investigation and assessment capacities in hotspots of smuggling and trade fraud and were imposing strict penalties on smugglers.

The GDC would also increase the implementation of post-customs clearance and inter-sectoral co-operation to prevent and detect trade fraud.

He added that customs agencies had increased the use of high-tech equipment to efficiently support the tracking and identification of smuggling activities on a larger scale. — VNS

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