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Cambodia cartels prove to be elusive

Update: October, 14/2013 - 10:53
Duong Cong Khanh of the HCM City Market Watch Department said smugglers take advantage of border waterways to transport contraband cigarettes by boat to Long An Province.— Photo baocongthuong

HCM CITY (VNS)— Smuggling of cigarettes and other goods from Cambodia into south-western Viet Nam is becoming more sophisticated and remains a step ahead of the law, which is unable to combat it, a meeting heard last week.

Duong Cong Khanh of the HCM City Market Watch Department said smugglers take advantage of border waterways to transport contraband cigarettes by boat to Long An Province.

Their mules, most of them young, are ready and waiting with motorcycles to carry the goods to HCM City, he said.

Smugglers bringing contraband from Cambodia into Tay Ninh Province have changed their modus operandi, switching to tourist buses and taxis from public transport buses, officials said.

In border areas in Long An, smuggling is mainly done at night and in small quantities to avoid detection and minimise problems if caught, they said.

Smugglers also come through the Moc Bai border gate in Tay Ninh by using various tricks, others said.

Smugglers keep a close watch on anti-smuggling authorities to find the best time to make their runs through the border, they said.

Nguyen Van Mon of the Cu Chi District Market Watch Team said his team and those of his counterparts in Long An and Tay Ninh had discovered and seized massive quantities of cigarettes and alcoholic drinks being smuggled from Cambodia to HCM City.

Phan Hoan Kiem, head of the HCM City Market Watch Department, said co-operation between HCM City, Long An, and Tay Ninh has produced early results, but a shortage of personnel, the tricky terrain, and smugglers' sophisticated methods make it difficult to combat smuggling.

Relevant agencies should regularly exchange information about the market and smuggling situation and provide each other information about people involved in transporting contraband, he added. — VNS

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