|Customs officials inspect visitors at Coc Nam border gate in Lang Son Province. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called upon the authorities of HCM City on Monday to strictly punish customs officials who assist smugglers and tax evaders and to regularly rotate officers through sensitive positions. — Photo baohaiquan.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called upon the authorities of HCM City on Monday to strictly punish customs officials who assist smugglers and tax evaders and to regularly rotate officers through sensitive positions.
The request was made during a working session with representatives of the municipal Customs Department to examine the prevention of smuggling, fraud and counterfeit goods during the first eleven months of 2015.
According to the report of the city's Customs department, as of mid November, it could collect VND80,300 billion (US$3.6 billion) for import and export duties. Customs officials discovered 2,000 cases of smuggling and fraudulent trading. However, according to the Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, that modest result does not correspond with the situation in Viet Nam where the import and export turnover reached $67 billion per year.
This situation can be explained by the negative attitude of customs officials who assisted the smugglers and tax evaders.
Phuc stressed that such a big city as HCM City should pay special attention to reducing the bad attitudes of officials.
Hoang Viet Cuong, Deputy Director of the General Department of Viet Nam Customs, said Viet Nam, and HCM City in particular, often become a target destination for wildlife smuggling over the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday period early next year.
According to Cuong, the government should sack the customs officials violating the law to prevent them from repeating an offense. The current law only grants them suspended sentence.
To deal with fraud, Phuc requested closer co-operation between the city's police forces and customs officials to discover and prevent fraud. — VNS