|Customs officers in An Giang Province check a batch of tobacco. The Prime Minister has ordered border forces to tighten checks and stop people from smuggling tobacco. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued a directive on Tuesday ordering ministries and relevant agencies throughout the country to curb tobacco smuggling.
The practice has increased in many localities, primarily Quang Tri, Tay Ninh, Long An, Dong Thap, HCM City, Ha Noi and Hai Phong, due to poor management by authorised agencies as well as the fact that smuggling has become increasingly lucrative. Nearly 8,000 smuggling cases were discovered in the first eight months of 2014, according to the Market Watch Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Dung assigned the Ministry of National Defence to order border soldiers to conduct more patrols, while the Ministry of Finance was required to encourage people to inform authorised agencies if they knew anything about smuggling cases. He told the Ministry of Information and Communications to raise public awareness about the negative impacts of smoking on human health.
The National Steering Committee 389, which was set up to prevent and control smuggling, trade fraud and fake commodities, was asked to send a report about tobacco smuggling every three months to the Prime Minister.
The People's Committee head of each locality would take responsibility if tobacco smuggling was discovered in the locality, he said. — VNS