Smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods are seriously damaging the national economy and negatively affecting society, stated Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a teleconference on tobacco smuggling.

Chairing the May 21 teleconference reviewing the six-month implementation of a Government decree on intensifying the fight against tobacco smuggling, the PM said the Government always considers combating smuggling and trade fraud a key task.

He asked ministries and localities to synchronously carry out measures to fight tobacco smuggling, with the focus on ringleaders.

The Government leader stressed the need to strictly address sales of contraband tobacco, while intensifying communications to raise public awareness of tobacco trafficking.

Disseminating the bad impacts of smoking among the public, particularly among the young, is also essential, he added.

Ministries and localities were also asked to prevent smuggling activities at border areas, and at the same time improve the quality of domestic products to encourage people choose made-in-Vietnam products.

According to a report delivered by Deputy Finance Minister Do Hoang Anh Tuan, who is also deputy head of the National Steering Committee on Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Goods, the Government decree on intensifying the fight against tobacco smuggling has proved effective.

Over the past six months, authorised agencies have uncovered over 5,400 tobacco-trafficking cases, collecting nearly 5.2 million packs of tobacco, and seizing 1,400 motorbikes, 31 cars and 22 canoes involved.

Police have also started legal proceedings against 108 cases with 176 people involved.-VNA