So far this year, the market watch authorities have made 120,000 inspections and dealt with 62,000 cases that violate market regulations, imposing fines totalling 240 billion VND (11.5 million USD).

The Market Management Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade further said the cases fined include smuggling, contraband, substandard products and those that violate intellectual rights and food safety.

Deputy head of the department Do Thanh Lam attributed the situation to the application of more sophisticated methods by smugglers, the shortage of personnel and budget and the low capability of the anti-smuggling forces, and the incomplete system of legal documents.

In order to deal with this, the department has worked out plans to intensify the checks and control of the market, especially on the occasion of the coming traditional new year, the most important festival in Vietnam which will come at the end of January next year.

Lam further said that from now to the end of this year, the department will closely work with the Pricing Department under the Ministry of Finance to strengthen the control of the market so as to deal with trade frauds, unreasonable price hikes and violations of regulations on product quality and food safety.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu has asked relevant authorities of border provinces to join hands with those of neighbouring countries in the fight against smuggling.-VNA