Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Nearly 15,500 cases of smuggling and trade fraud have been uncovered this year, the General Department of Việt Nam Customs reported.
These statistics were released at a meeting held on December 28 by the department to summarise results of the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and illegal transportation of goods across the border in 2016.
The smuggled goods were estimated to be worth nearly VNĐ416.5 billion (US$18.3 million). More than VNĐ171.2 billion was contributed to the State budget during this period through seizure of smuggled goods.
Among the violations, customs agencies detected 31 cases related to illegal trade in wild animals, plants and their products, including some notable cases involving large quantities, such as the illegal traffickings of 137.5kg of ivory and products made of ivory from Angola to Hà Nội’s Nội Bài International Airport and more than 9,000kg of tortoise shells, over 1,300kg of gecko and 16kg of living tortoise from Indonesia to Hải An Port in northern Hải Phòng City.
Regarding the illegal transportation of oil, gas and minerals, 13 cases of violations were discovered. Nearly 12,300 tonnes and 6,500 litres of petroleum were seized.
At the meeting, Nguyễn Phi Hùng, head of Việt Nam Customs’ Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department, said smuggling of fake goods was getting more complicated as smugglers were using sophisticated techniques.
He added that the main areas of smuggling included Hà Nội, HCM City, Quảng Ninh and Đà Nẵng, as well as the border provinces of Lạng Sơn and Lào Cai and some central and southern provinces.
The most common illegally trafficked products are drugs, weapons, documents and wild animals, as well as wood, gold, foreign liquor and oil, along with minerals, cigarettes, automobiles and machinery, in addition to refrigerators, food and many other types of goods, Hùng said.
In an effort to fight this crime, authorities are reinforcing patrolling teams and inspection in key areas such as border lines, Hùng said, adding that they had also strengthened the investigation and assessment capacities in hotspots of smuggling and trade fraud and were imposing strict penalties on smugglers.
Hùng added that customs agencies had increased the use of high-tech equipment to efficiently and timely support the tracking and identification of smuggling activities on a larger scale. — VNS