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Smuggling and violence on trains gather steam

Update: December, 27/2012 - 10:34

 

A Ha Noi-Hai Phong freight train runs through Ha Noi's Long Bien District. Smuggling and violence on trains are increasing in the days prior to Tet, posing a headache for railway companies and relevant authorities. — VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet
HA NOI (VNS)— Both smuggling and violence on trains are increasing, and the problems will only get worse as the Tet festival approaches, warns the Viet Nam Railway Corporation.

Authorised forces detected 18 cases where goods were illegally transported by train this year, an increase of 30 per cent compared with the 2011 figure.

"Most of these cases were discovered on trains running on the West and the North routes," said Ngo Viet Cuong, head of the corporation's Security and National Defence Department.

In October, for example, security guards on board a Thong Nhat TN1 train found 61 packs of Jet-brand tobacco without a clear origin, while authorised forces seized more than 1,900kg of unregistered goods from a Thong Nhat SE12 train, he said.

Meanwhile, the corporation reported 949 cases of throwing stones at trains this year - 227 more than last year. The rocks broke 1,106 glass windows and doors.

The problem is especially pervasive in Lao Cai, Phu Tho, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces, particularly in months with a large amount of passengers such as January and February (near Tet) and the summer months from May to August (when teenagers, who commit the majority of such crimes, are out of school).

A representative from the Sai Gon Railway Passenger Transport Company blamed the increase of stone throwing cases on local authorities for failing to educate people and punish violators.

Young people, particularly children, viewed throwing stones at trains as a game and did not understand the consequences of their actions, he said.

The corporation's Deputy Director General Pham Cong Trinh said smuggling remained complicated, particularly at the end of the year, and urged authorised agencies to step up inspections.

He suggested the railway sector work closely with relevant forces, including police, customs and local authorities, to prevent smuggling and ensure security and order. — VNS

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