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Efforts to combat smuggling urged with Tet on horizon

Update: February, 05/2015 - 09:53
According to a report presented at the meeting, Ha Noi dealt with more than 1,300 cases of smuggling and trade fraud in 2014 and handled fines worth more than VND6.4 billion. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai

HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked all ministries, provinces and relevant agencies to strengthen inspections at border gates, border areas and major markets to increase vigilance against smugglers as Tet draws near.

In an official note sent out yesterday, Phuc, who is also head of the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Fake Commodities, asked that special attention be devoted to goods that are in high demand during Tet: beverages, confectionaries, fruits, and other foods.

Phuc stressed the importance of co-ordination and information-sharing among authorised agencies and localities in anti-smuggling activities, as well as enhancing anti-smuggling campaigns to raise public awareness and encourage the prioritisation of Vietnamese goods.

Phuc told leaders of Quang Ninh ministries and localities during a working session on Tuesday that they would be strictly punished if smuggling and trade fraud were detected in their jurisdictions.

Provincial officials said smuggling and trade fraud were getting more complex, and that smugglers often took advantage of mountainous terrain in border provinces to transport the goods. In addition, they agreed that co-ordination among agencies must improve.

Quang Ninh, which shares a border with China, handled 2,514 smuggling and trade fraud cases in 2014. Criminal proceedings were initiated against 126 individuals, according to a provincial report. More than VND76 billion (US$3.6 million) in goods was seized during the year, the report said. As many as 915 cases of domestic trade fraud and tax evasion were uncovered, and nearly VND60 billion ($2.8 million) was collected in administrative fines. VND190 billion ($8.9 million) was reclaimed in taxes.

Phuc also met with officials and border police at Mong Cai International Border Gate and stressed the need to increase inspections on trails near the borders, as the number of goods and people passing through has dramatically been increasing.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Head of Ha Noi Customs Nguyen Van Truong said the capital was also speeding up efforts to detect smugglers during the busy period of time leading up to Tet.

According to a report presented at the meeting, Ha Noi dealt with more than 1,300 cases of smuggling and trade fraud in 2014 and handled fines worth more than VND6.4 billion.

Ha Noi customs officials said criminals were taking advantage of air travel, and that patrols would be increased to monitor arrivals at Noi Bai International Airport's new terminal. — VNS

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