Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh speaks at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for combating smuggling, trade frauds, and counterfeits on January 29 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The National Steering Committee for combating smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeits has said it will step up inspections and fight against petrol and oil smuggling and trade fraud in 2018.

The committee announced the outcomes of the combat against smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeits at a press conference on January 31.

Dam Thanh The, Office Manager of the committee, said aside from petrol and oil, wood, minerals, wild animals and plants, waste, scrap, and used electronic, refrigeration, and household appliances are among the most smuggled goods. Most of them were trafficked to northern port Hai Phong city, central Da Nang city, southern Dong Nai province, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Smuggling was mainly bustling in border areas of the provinces of Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Lang Son, Quang Ninh, Quang Binh, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, An Giang, and Kien Giang. However, smuggling activities in Lang Son, Quang Ninh and Lao Cai which border China have shown signs of decline as many items of commodities which used to be smuggled have been allowed to import via the border gates.

Meanwhile, cigarette smuggling along the south-western borderline with Cambodia remains complicated, The said, adding it is popular that big volume of cigarettes, from 10,000 to 40,000 packs, are trafficked by coaches, trucks and boats.

He attributed the problem to obstacles to criminal proceedings against cigarette smugglers.

He said smugglers also take advantage of sea routes and sea and river ports via which major amount of goods is transported.

In 2017, relevant agencies discovered more than 225,800 violation cases and collected over 23 trillion VND (1 billion USD) from administrative fines, sale of seized goods, and tax arrears for the State budget.

The said there remain many latent risks in the fight against smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeits due to authorities and agencies’ inconsistent efforts and lax settlement of poor-performing officials responsible for the work. -VNA