Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City is determined to keep out sugar smuggled in from Thailand and Cambodia and has stepped up preventive efforts, according to officials.
According to the HCM City Market Management Department, it recently carried out raids at 10 locations in districts 5, 6 and Bình Tân and found smuggled and expired sugar and sugar without sufficient information on the label or with fake information being sold.
As a result, it seized 125 tonnes.
In Bình Tân District, it confiscated 3,708kg of yellow sugar and 2,000kg of white sugar from the Thành Thành Phát Tourism and Trading Company, which allegedly failed to show invoices or proof of origin.
It seized 3,600kg of white sugar from Sóc Trăng Sugar Company since allegedly the sell-by date was in April.
Sugar is smuggled into Việt Nam mainly from Laos through Kiên Giang, An Giang and Tây Ninh provinces, anti-smuggling agencies said.
To avoid detection, smugglers usually transport large quantities of sugar to HCM City by trucks under cover of darkness.
The trucks arrive at designated parking spots at several places en route, and the sugar is loaded on to smaller trucks for distribution.
The smugglers try to legitimise the contraband by putting it into paper bags or repackaging it under registered brand names.
The department said smuggled goods seized so far this year are mostly cigarettes and sugar.
It found 62,423kg of sugar transported along with processed foods without an invoice or clear proof of origin and another 10,776kg smuggled along with fruits without sufficient information on the label or Vietnamese labels.
“It is difficult to handle cases where the sugar has no clear origins,” the department said.
Trần Vĩnh Tuyến, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, has instructed relevant authorities to strengthen inspections and slap severe penalties on smugglers.
District- and ward-level people’s committees are responsible for detecting smuggling, he said.
The Việt Nam Sugar Association held a meeting on June 21 with representatives of sugar factories and food and beverage companies.
It urged all of them to avoid using smuggled sugar and only use local products.
It has suggested to the Ministry of Finance to not impose excise duty on soft drinks in which the sugar content is not high enough to cause diabetes or obesity. — VNS