A sugar smuggling was caught by the police. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged relevant agencies to take tougher measures to curb smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit, especially in the time running to the Lunar New Year.

At a meeting on December 11 reviewing the performance of the National Steering Committee on fighting smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit in 2015, the Deputy PM, who is also head of the committee, said relevant agencies and forces have made great efforts with better coordination since early this year, gaining positive outcomes.

However, he pointed out outstanding shortcomings like the slow handling of some cases and loopholes in State management of certain fields.

The deputy PM stressed the need to intensify investigation work and increase punishment of violations in this sphere.

According to the committee’s report, as of mid-November, 187,000 cases of smuggling, trade frauds and counterfeit trading were detected, up 6.47 percent from 2014, of which 19,360 cases were caught by the Customs and 2,295 cases by the border guard force.

Some of the serious cases include the smuggling of 31.6 kilograms of cocaine, the smuggling of 94 handguns in HCM City or the smuggling of 142 kilograms of rhinoceros horns, four tonnes of pangolin scales and 3.8 tonnes of ivory in Tien Sa Port, Da Nang.

Goods like drug, alcohol, tobacco, cosmetics, and home appliances were often smuggled through the border and border gates while gas, oil, coal, and wood were usually illegally transported by sea.

Relevant forces at airports often discovered cases relating to the smuggling of weapons, banned materials, wildlife animal products and products of high value.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Senior Lieutenant General Le Quy Vuong said the ministry’s division in charge of fighting smuggling will step up its efforts in 2016.-VNA