|My Quy Tay Border Gate's soldiers from Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta Long An Province check smuggled tobacco.— VNA/VNS Photo Trong Duc
HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday called for more effective measures against smuggling, trade fraud and the production and trade of counterfeit goods.
He said relevant agencies should clearly assign responsibilities and continuously co-ordinate and concentrate efforts in the fight against these evils.
He was speaking at a meeting of the National Steering Committee on Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Goods in Ha Noi.
He said despite the committee's work, several serious cases of smuggling, fraud and counterfeit production have been recorded since the beginning of the year.
These problems have persisted for years and continue to have adverse impacts on socio-economic development, he said.
He said relevant agencies, both in border and central provinces, must take full responsibility for their failure to crackdown on the problems, and increase their capabilities.
Phuc asked the committee members to comprehensively review and identify agencies that are not wholly dedicated to the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit production.
Legal frameworks and control mechanisms should be improved to severely punish individuals and organisations engaged in these activities, as also corrupt Government officials helping them from the inside, he said.
He ordered the Ministry of Public Security to form an anti-smuggling department.
The Deputy PM stressed the importance of disseminating information among citizens and encourage their participation in efforts to get rid of all economic crimes.
In the first quarter of this year, notably shortly before and after the Tet holiday, there was a sharp spike in smuggling and counterfeiting activities as demand for goods increased.
A common practice among smugglers was to store goods in warehouses near the border and split them up in smaller quantities for trafficking to different places in the country. Sentries and lookouts were deployed to warn the smugglers and in some cases, they were even ready to fight back after being detected and approached by Government forces.
Since the beginning of the year, relevant agencies have detected over 50,000 cases of economic crime and collected VND3 trillion (US$141 million) in fines and other punitive measures. Of these, 351 cases were prosecuted and 430 individuals sentenced. — VNS