Market management units in southern Vietnam said they had dealt with over 9,180 smuggling cases, of which cigarettes were the most common products, in the first six months of 2018.
The information was announced during a meeting in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang onSaturday, which was attended by 19 market management departments in southern localities.
According to Nguyen Van Be Tu, deputy head of the Hau Giang Market Management Department, officers across the region have imposed fines worth a total of more than VND100 billion ($4.4 million) in this year’s first half.
The most common smuggled products were cigarettes and sugar, followed by clothes, shoes, cosmetics, electrical appliances, eyeglasses, watches, and alcohol, Tu elaborated.
Given its 133km-long borderline with Cambodia, Long An Province is considered a hotspot for cigarette smuggling, Tu continued, adding that provincial market watchdogs have busted 71 cases during the six-month period, confiscating over 98,000 packages of the products.
|Nguyen Van Be Tu, deputy head of the Market Management Department in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang, speaks at the meeting. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The products, if successfully smuggled, would be distributed to Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, and Dong Nai Provinces.
Smugglers often carry their illegal goods on motorbikes, in cars, and in trucks, Nguyen Van Bach, deputy head of Ho Chi Minh City’s market management division, said, adding that local officers had confiscated nearly 88,000 packs of cigarettes, 45 motorbikes, and 11 automobiles.
In order to curb the situation, competent agencies in Long An proposed that smuggling over 500 packs should be considered a criminal violation.
Aside from cigarettes, sugar is also illicitly imported into southern Vietnam on a regular basis.
After being smuggled into Vietnam, the sugar will be transported to facilities along the borderline, where it is given Vietnamese labels before being distributed elsewhere.