Long An Province’s anti-smuggling forces have strengthened border patrols, supervision and inspections to prevent and fight smuggling at border areas (Illustrative image. Source: baolongan.vn)

Long An (VNS/VNA)
- The Mekong Delta province of Long An has made significant achievements in preventing and fighting smuggling and trade fraud at border areas.

In the first six months of the year, 497 cases of smuggling and trade fraud were uncovered, while 1.2 million packages of smuggled foreign-made cigarettes, 240 bottles of foreign wine, and more than 24 tonnes of sugar were seized.

The province fined a number of cases, collecting nearly 5.5 billion VND (238,740 USD) for the State budget, and prosecuted 17 cases involved trade and transport of prohibited goods.

The province’s investigation police office has decided to start criminal proceedings against many of the violators.

The My Quy Tay Border Gate Economic Area in Duc Hue district has long been seen as a transit point for cigarette smuggling from Cambodia into Ho Chi Minh City. Thanks to more frequent inspections, the number of smuggling cases has fallen.

Lieutenant Colonel Trinh Anh Kiet, the district’s deputy police chief, said that smuggling of cigarettes in the district had been placed under strict supervision.

Several cases involving trade and transport of banned goods in large numbers have been strictly punished, acting as a deterrent to repeat offenders, according to Kiet.

In the first months of the year, the district’s anti-smuggling police discovered more than 20 cases involving storage and transport of prohibited goods.

The police said they would prosecute seven of the cases and charge a total of eight people.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Ngoc Trai, deputy police chief of Kien Tuong town, said that smuggling and transport of prohibited goods at the town’s Binh Hiep International Border Gate had decreased significantly.

He said that authorities had compiled a list of masterminds and retailers suspected of involvement in storing and transporting banned goods and illegal cigarettes.

Since the beginning of this year, the town police have discovered 34 cases of cigarette smuggling, with a total of 77,980 packages.

Tran Van Can, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, has directed the province’s anti-smuggling forces to step up patrols and control of smuggling and trade fraud.

Officials, civil servants and soldiers who engage in smuggling and trade fraud must be punished, he said.

More jobs need to be created for people in border areas so they will not turn to smuggling, he added.

The province will also raise public awareness about laws on smuggling and trade fraud via the media.-VNS/VNA