Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình speaks at the national online conference yesterday. — Photo baohaiquan.vn
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình yesterday urged authorised agencies involved in crime prevention and the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and fake commodities to strictly punish and prevent corruption.
He also ordered those agencies to supervise and control their power to avoid abuse and group benefits.
“There need to be effective mechanisms to supervise and control power. Government must step up the investigating role of ministries and sectors and their self investigation,” he said while chairing the national online conference to assign the 2018 tasks of National Steering Committee against Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Fake Commodities (Steering Committee 389) and the National Steering Committee on Crime Prevention and Control (Steering Committee 138/CP).
Bình, who is the head of the two committees, hailed their achievements in 2017. However, there were still hot spots of organised crime, crimes hidden under business operations and high-tech crime with trans-national gambling worth a large amount of money.
He said that police in Phú Thọ Province cracked down on a trans-national gambling case valued at over VNĐ5 trillion (US$217,400). Foreign currency sent abroad was estimated at $3.6 million.
“There are very big gambling cases and gambling organisations. Every day several millions of US dollars of foreign currency have been sent overseas via gambling,” he said.
Bình said that the steering committees would establish a supervising group to monitor those who fail to take on their duties, lack responsibility or conceal crimes. The supervision will be conducted secretly or unannounced.
He urged ministries, sectors, localities and committees to follow regulations and the Prime Minister’s orders related to smuggling, trade and fake commodities, crime prevention and control without any exception.
“Crime and smuggling, trade fraud and fake commodities’ prevention must be conducted even at agencies which are in charge of this work,” he said.
Relevant ministries and sectors need to step up efforts to crack down on crimes, smuggling, trade fraud and fake commodities during Tết (Lunar New Year), which is coming in a few weeks.
He ordered ministries and sectors to improve efficiency of fighting all types of crimes.
They must take measures against criminals who escape convictions by going overseas and launch mass investigations into drug-related crimes and the smuggling of petrol, natural resources and cigarettes.
Crimes on the decline
According to Senior Lieutenant General Lê Quý Vương, Deputy Minister of Public Security, as many as 42,577 criminal violations were discovered last year, a decrease of 3.02 per cent compared to the previous year.
As many as 83,475 criminals were arrested. More than 17,000 economic cases, over 19,400 environmental violations and over 21,400 drug violations were discovered.
Extremely serious corruption cases were investigated and prosecuted, Vương said.
According to the office of the national steering committee 389, about 225,837 smuggling, trade fraud and fake commodity cases were discovered last year, collecting more than VNĐ23 trillion ($1 million) for the State budget.
The smuggling and trade fraud at the border route of three northern provinces of Lạng Sơn, Quảng Ninh and Lào Cai have been eased. However, cigarette smuggling on the border route of the southwest region is getting complicated with increases in quality and quantity. Smugglers transport 10,000 to 40,000 packets of cigarettes via coaches, trucks and boats each time.
According to Major General Nguyễn Văn Sơn, deputy head of Việt Nam’s Coast Guard, petrol and oil smuggling is a hot issue.
Vietnamese smugglers exchange petrol and oil with foreigners about 50 to 100 nautical miles far from the shore and prepare documents if they are discovered.
Meanwhile, commodity trafficking, especially drug trafficking, is getting more complicated at Việt Nam’s borders with China, Laos and Cambodia. — VNS