Scrap illegal import in southwest border is bustling

Update: August, 25/2018 - 09:00

In Tây Ninh Province’s border area, for example, around 100 tonnes of scrap is smuggled into Việt Nam from Cambodia every day. — Photo

AN GIANG — Illegal smuggling of waste into Việt Nam is getting more complicated as the southwestern border becomes a gateway of choice for traffickers, amidst fear of the country turning into ’the world’s junkyard’ following China’s ban on imports of several types of scraps.

In Tây Ninh Province’s border area, for example, around 100 tonnes of scrap is smuggled into Việt Nam from Cambodia every day, according to Huỳnh Văn Đức, head of their Customs Department.

The illegal loads are often packed with plastic, iron, waste paper, aluminum cans which were pressed into blocks.

In An Giang Province, traffickers took advantages of the rainy season to bring scraps into the province because heavy-capacity boats could easily travel in high waters.  

Earlier this week, the province’s customs seized two boats carrying 154 tonnes of paper scraps in Phú Hội Commune of An Phú District.

Lý Việt Thái, head of anti-smuggling unit of An Giang Province’s Customs, told the Hải Quan (Customs) newspaper: “Implementing the Government’s instruction on controlling scrap import, the province’s customs had carried several measures to control the situation.”

“However, seizing boats carrying the illegal load was very difficult due to the season’s conditions,” said Thái.

“Strong efforts were made by custom officers to arrest those involved,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Long An Province, smugglers have used roads at night to transport scraps to Việt Nam, the paper reported.

Recently, police in the province’s Kiến Tường Commune captured a truck carrying 3.6 tonnes of plastic scrap and 3.5 tonnes of aluminum scrap destined for HCM City. The truck’s driver was unable to produce legitimate licences or documents proving the origins of the scraps.

At the Hà Tiên border gate of Kiên Giang Province, scrap trading is big business, with multiple arrests - including Cambodian citizens - having been made.

Tightening of supervision along the border has partly suppressed the scrap smuggling and discouraged would-be offenders, however, the recent illegal activities occurring in southwest border areas were still of great concern to authorities.  

The southwest border areas with Cambodia include provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Đắk Lắk, Đắk Nông, Bình Phước, Tây Ninh, Long An, Đồng Tháp, An Giang, and Kiên Giang. — VNS