Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed the role of the army in combating smuggling, trade fraud and crime in recent years, helping ensure political security, social order and safety during a teleconference held on March 27 by the Defence Ministry.

The event was to review operations to fight drug trafficking, smuggling and trade fraud before, during and after the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

In the last three months, the armed forces detected and handled 3,942 cases involving 6,780 suspects, a drop of 652 cases and 855 suspects from the same period in 2014. Legal proceedings also commenced on 445 cases against 500 suspects, a rise of 190 cases and 178 suspects.

The forces also applied administrative fines on 980 cases and collected over 10 billion VND (460,000 USD) as well as razed 44 drug trafficking cases, seizing 67.3 kilograms of heroin and 40,702 kilograms of meth.

Nearly 1,200 smuggling and trade fraud cases were detected, 804 cases more than the same period in 2014.

However, Deputy PM Phuc, who is also Head of the Steering Committee for Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Fake Commodities, said the results remained modest as armed drug transport in border areas remains high, especially on the Vietnam-Laos border.

Illegal transport and trade of wine, beverages, cigarettes and wood along border areas passing Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Quang Tri and An Giang provinces continue, as does illegal fuel trade.

He also pointed out that coordination between armed forces and security forces has been poor.

The Deputy PM urged for increased determination, organisational restructuring and human resources training to enhance the capacity of soldiers and officials in fighting criminals.

He also asked the Defence Ministry to strengthen its supervision over entry and exit activities at the border, as well as closer cooperation between the ministry, other forces and localities.-VNA