Several recently discovered cases of fraud related to weights-and-measures equipment at petrol stations and jewellery shops have sounded the alarm over increasing and more sophisticated trade frauds. — Photo vnexpress.net
HÀ NỘI — Several recently discovered cases of fraud related to weights-and-measures equipment at petrol stations and jewellery shops have sounded the alarm over increasing and more sophisticated trade frauds, the Ministry of Science and Technology reported.
The Ministry’s inspectors found violations at 400 of 1,700 jewellery shops they examined, mainly relating to scales.
“These shop owners have pocketed tens of billions of đồng from consumers, seriously violating consumer rights, “an official of the Market Watch Department was quoted as saying by Tin Tức (News) newspaper. Nguyễn Nam Hải, deputy head of the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality said the violations were mainly related to using substandard scales.
In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Market Watch Department reported 66 cases of petrol fraud in the first six months of 2016.
During a May crackdown carried out by the ministry’s Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, inspectors caught red-handed staff of two petrol stations - in Trần Khát Chân Street and Gia Lâm District’s Yên Viên Commune in Hà Nội - using remote electronic chips to rig the display of fuel prices and quantities to cheat customers.
In Tây Ninh and Đăk Lắk provinces, inspectors also found petrol stations where employees controlled a remote chip, enabling them to sell less gas than the quantity displayed on the pump screen and pocket a certain amount of money for every sale.
In HCM City, inspectors discovered several jewellery shops using non-standard scales.
However, penalizing businesses for these violations was challenging due to the overlapping legal regulation.
An official of Đồng Tháp Province’s Standards, Metrology and Quality Department said punishment for petrol fraud was regulated by two different Government decrees and was not unified.
Punishment for fraud in the jewellery business was not sufficiently detailed. Nguyễn Quang Tiến of Quảng Ninh Province’s Standards, Metrology and Quality Department admitted that inspectors only examined and discovered violations but were not authorized to sanction violators.
Trần Minh Dũng, chief of inspectors at the Ministry of Science and Technology, said unskilled staff and lack of advanced equipment at province-level standards have also restricted inspection ability. — VNS