Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed the determination of combating smuggling and trade fraud, underlining that strict punishment should be given to officials who cover up violations.

Addressing the launching ceremony and the first meeting of the National Steering Committee on the Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Fake Commodities (also known as Steering Committee 389) in Hanoi on April 8, he said smuggling and fraud remain serious problems, affecting the people’s health and domestic production.

Deputy PM Phuc, who is also head of the committee, urged the media to enhance communications against fake goods, helping people recognise and boycott low-quality products to protect themselves.

According to Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Thanh Cung – deputy head of the committee – it is necessary to assign a specific force in every locality to take the charge in preventing smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit commodities.

The leader of the force will be responsible if the situation lingers in that locality, he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Public Security Senior Lieutenant General Le Quy Vuong, another deputy head of the committee, noted that more effective measures should be taken to prevent smuggling across land, air and marine border lines, especially in the north where poultry and low-quality food trafficking remains serious.

According to a report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, authorities detected 32,000 smuggling cases with goods totally valued at 430 billion VND in 2013, up nearly 8,500 cases.

The Coast Guard, Maritime Border Guard and customs forces handled nearly 940 trafficking cases.

The Steering Committee is upgraded from Steering Committee 127, with members coming from all ministries and sectors, aiming to increase the efficiency of smuggling, trade fraud and fake commodities prevention and control.

Deputy PM Phuc also called on ministries and localities to introduce competent officials to join the committee at the local level.-VNA