Smuggling and trade fraud has become increasingly complicated across the northern border, officials proclaimed during a working session on April 21.

During the session, the National Steering Committee on Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Fake Commodities office (Committee 389) presented its report, saying a total of 6,491 violations were detected with fines amounting to more than 230 billion VND (10.7 million USD).

The legal system has begun proceedings against 936 individuals involved in 675 cases, it said.

Participating officials observed smuggling operations have constantly evolved to avoid easily disrupted patterns and to make catching them in the act more difficult. They have shifted away from long known hot spots and shipped goods by water and air rather than solely by road. They work as well-organised rings and have become more aggressive.

Participants went on to discuss efficient measures to countering smuggling and strengthening agency coordination.

Currently there are six separate government forces responsible for preventing smuggling and trade fraud: customs, border police, police, tax authorities, maritime police and market management forces.

In 2014, only 11 cases of counterfeit goods nationwide were prosecuted with the rest resulting in fines. Beer, wine, cosmetics, pesticides and fertilisers made up the majority of seized fake goods.-VNA