Viet Nam News
QUẢNG TRỊ — As Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday approaches, firecracker smuggling is again "hot" in the border areas. Several tonnes have already been seized by customs authorities as they head across the border into Việt Nam.
Police, border guards and market managements in the central province of Quảng Trị and Quảng Bình provinces have been seizing tens of cases of Lao-made firecrackers.
On December 30, moe than 150kg of fireworks were discovered in Quảng Trị Province’s Lao Bảo Township, according to border point officials.
Earlier, provincial police stopped a suspicious car in Vĩnh Linh District.and discovered nearly 300kg of firecrackers.
The driver, Nguyễn Tấn Tân, 32, confessed that he bought the goods at Hương Hóa District of Quảng Trị Province to sell in Quảng Bình Province.
Border guards also arrested two people for allegedly transporting 163kg of explosives for sale at A Ho Village in Thanh Commune on December 25.
In Quảng Bình Province, police have seized more than 3.7 tonnes of different types of firecrackers.
Smugglers are using more and more sophisticated tricks to transport banned products into Việt Nam, said Colonel Phan Thanh Quảng, head of Police Office in Hướng Hóa District.
The Government has banned firecracker production, trade and use since 1995. However, every year there are reports of illegal firecracker smuggling and subsequent accidents in the days ahead of the Tết holidays.
Colonel Quảng said the Police Office also sent officials to hot spots such as Tân Long and Tân Thanh communes and Lao Bảo Township to encourage local residents to sign a commitment not to buy, sell or use firecrackers.
In order to effectively prevent smuggling, they are co-ordinating with authorities in Laos to implement drastic measures, he said.
Northern border provinces including Lạng Sơn, Hà Giang and Quảng Ninh are also hot spots for firecracker smuggling.
Authorities in Lạng Sơn Province have discovered 134 cases involving 173 suspects and seized more than six tonnes of firecrackers.
Recently, provincial police seized 150kg of firecrackers transported by waterway from China to Việt Nam and then by car and motorbike to the domestic market.
Nguyễn Xuân Tiến, head of a provincial police patrol team, said smugglers used many tricks to hide the products, especially in passenger cars departing from Móng Cái City.
In particular, Highway 18 was the road that smugglers often use to illegal transporting firecrackers from China, he said.
Smugglers from Quảng Ninh and Bắc Giang provinces are also known to get together to carry goods to Hải Dương Province for selling, Tiến said.
On December 7, police in Hải Dương Province discovered three smugglers transporting 183kg of firecrackers.
On Sunday, January 1, police and soldiers in Hà Giang Province detected people transporting firecrackers in Mèo Vạc Distict’s Xín Cái Commune. They seized 58 casks containing 1.2 tonnes of foreign-made firecrackers.
According to the soldiers, this was the largest cache of firecrackers uncovered in the province. — VNS