HA NOI (VNS)— Anti-smuggling inspections will be conducted with a higher frequency at maritime boundaries, and land borders between Viet Nam and Cambodia, China and Laos.
The move is one of the attempts to bring activities of smuggling and commercial fraud nationwide under control, according to participants at a conference targeting the issue in Ha Noi on Saturday.
"The situation is forecast to be more complicated this year," said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu.
Tu added that authorised teams will intensify their inspection on products such as coal, cigarette, consumer goods, firecracker, petrol, poultry, wild animal and wine.
According to Tu, authorised agencies detected nearly 31,400 cases involving in smuggling and illegally trafficking of banned goods, worth about VND440 billion ($21 million), in 2012.
The number of cases was 6.7 per cent lower than that in 2011, however, the total value of seized goods was 1.5 times higher, he said.
Statistics from the Viet Nam Maritime Police show police arrested 11 Indonesian pirates and 46 heroin traffickers, seized nearly 800 pills of ecstasy, 24 kilos of explosive material and around 5,800 tonnes of iron ore, in four months from November 15, 2012.
The value of the seized goods in the four months was estimated at 30 times higher than 2011.
According to Nguyen Quang Ngan from the Viet Nam Maritime Police, traffickers have taken advantages of seaports, with increasingly sophisticated tricks, including changing itineraries to travel to China to sell the smuggled goods.
The punishment has so far been targeted at hired transporters, leaving the real traffickers safe, Ngan said, suggesting fines for the transport of smuggled goods be nearly equal to the goods' values.
Many delegates also proposed to set up a smuggling-related database and connect localities and agencies in the same traffic route to enhance the effectiveness of the fight.
Major General Nguyen Canh Hien, Deputy Commander of Border Guards Command, said, "Creating more jobs for local people living in mountainous and remote areas is believed to be a good way to prevent them from being involved with smugglers."
Poverty and lack of awareness were blamed for their actions, he said.
Major General Nguyen Tien Luc, Deputy General Director of the Ministry of Public Security's Anti-Crime Police Department, said that the Ministry of Industry and Trade should review a list of enterprises that have got licences for mining, processing and consuming.
It aimed to avoid the situation where minerals were exploited but had no local customers, resulting in an illegal export of the minerals through the borders, he said. — VNS