Cigars seized in a smuggling (Source: http://vietnamnet.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, head of the national steering committee for combating smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeits, has signed into issuance of official dispatch No.222/CD-BCD389 on strengthening the fight against illegal smuggling, transportation  and trading of cigars.

Under the document, customs forces nationwide were asked to intensify the inspection and control and coordinate with authorized agencies to timely detect, arrest and handle those who illegal transport and trade cigars through international border gates, especially at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International Airports and customs areas.

The Ministry of Defence was requested to direct border and coast guard forces to intensify patrols and control at border areas, both on land and at sea, for timely detection, arrest and handling of cigar smugglers.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Security was asked to hold responsible for working with authorized agencies to identify areas and target groups, thus stepping the fight against cigar smuggling gangs.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade was demanded to direct market management forces to coordinate with relevant agencies to regularly inspect and control the market, handle the illegal storage, transportation and trading of cigars in the domestic market and the illicit cigar trading via the Internet.

According to the official dispatch, authorized forces and localities have arrested and handled over 20 million packages of cigarettes.

However, illegal cigar trading and transportation activities have become increasingly complicated, especially in big cities and key provinces.  Notably, Hanoi’s authorized forces and the General Department of Customs have arrested two cases of cigar smuggling and illegal transportation with a total of 42,000 cigars.-VNA