Preparing dragon fruits for export in Binh Thuan province. (Source: VNA)

Binh Thuan (VNA) – Standing Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the central province of Binh Thuan, Huynh Thanh Canh, has directed local departments and agencies to strictly deal with Chinese fruit traders illegally operating under the cover of Vietnamese businesses in the locality.

The provincial has set up an interdisciplinary inspection group (or Group 2241) to investigate and deal with Chinese traders who have illegally traded dragon fruit in Binh Thuan since early this year.

At the inspection group’s advice, the provincial People’s Committee has imposed fines worth 410 million VND (18,600 USD) on 17 Chinese nationals for entering and working in Vietnam without permission from authorised agencies.

The province also fined two Chinese citizens 50 million VND (2,270 USD) for illegally doing business in Vietnam, seizing 12 tonnes of packed dragon fruit.

Meanwhile, the provincial Migration Management Office shortened the duration of stay in Vietnam for those committing administrative violations for the first time. Those who repeat the offence will be banned from entering Vietnam for certain duration.

Binh Thuan currently has over 26,000 hectares of dragon fruit farms, accounting for 80 percent of the country’s total dragon fruit area and output.

According to the provincial People’s Committee, 232 organisations and individuals are involved in trading the fruit in the province.

Currently, only about 15-20 percent of the dragon fruit output is sold in the Vietnamese market, while the majority is exported to China via unofficial trade.-VNA