Viet Nam News
LONG AN — Long An Province has busted 1,250 cases of smuggling and over 1,000 cases of commercial fraud so far this year, and collected fines of VNĐ57 billion (US$2.55 million).
Tobacco and sugar were the most commonly smuggled items, provincial authorities told a conference on combating smuggling, trade fraud and fake goods last week.
Anti-smuggling authorities have confiscated over 1.6 million cigarette packs and 600 tonnes of sugar that were illegally transported over the Cambodian border.
According to Colonel Phạm Hữu Châu, deputy chief of the province police, the smuggling situation is “complicated” and worsening.
The fight against smuggling and fraud faces many difficulties since smugglers are “smart,” he said.
Besides, since smugglers pay people well to transport contraband, many poor people are lured into it, making the situation harder to deal with, he said.
Thus, in most cases, authorities are only able to catch henchmen and not the smuggling kingpins, he said.
The smuggling tends to peak before Tết (lunar New Year), when demand for certain items skyrockets.
Nguyễn Văn Được, vice chairman of the Long An People’s Committee, has urged various authorities to improve co-ordination, step up inspections and come up with measures to prevent cross-border smuggling and reduce counterfeit goods.
He called for more programmes to generate jobs in border areas and raise public awareness of smuggling.
District people’s committees are responsible for implementing the measures and reporting to the province People’s Committee, he added. — VNS