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Frauds take HCM City consumers for a ride

Update: February, 13/2012 - 10:05

HCM CITY — There were 1,200 cases of price-related violations in HCM City last year, almost double the 2010 number, the HCM City Market Watch Department told a review meeting last week.

They included failure to list prices, listing in foreign currencies, and selling at higher than indicated prices, and the department slapped total fines of VND5.2 billion ($250,000) on violators.

The violators were mostly operating in the consumer goods, food, construction materials, cosmetics, household appliances, spare parts, and toys sectors.

The department conducted more than 15,000 inspections last year, uncovering 10,812 violations – half higher than in the previous year – like selling fake and imitation goods, frauds, intellectual property violations, and illegal import and transport of foreign goods.

The offenders were becoming more sophisticated and their violations were becoming harder to detect, the department said.

The laws do not cover the entire gamut of violations, allowing some offenders to get away.

Besides, the administrations of some markets like Sai Gon Square, An Dong, and Ben Thanh do not co-operate with market management teams to crack down on fake goods.

Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the city People's Committee, said the department needs to co-operate with district agencies to crack down in time on speculators and check price hikes.

Le Van Lieu, deputy head of the Market Management Department, said this year his agency would co-ordinate with others to monitor food hygiene and safety, especially of products like alcohol, soft drinks, milk, oil, and processed foods. — VNS

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