An Giang (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has urged police and market watch forces in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang to intensify their fight against smuggling and trade fraud.
Deputy PM Binh, who is Head of the National Steering Committee for Anti-Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeight Goods, has said An Giang, with its long border with Cambodia, should focus more on the fight against border smuggling and trade fraud in bordering areas.
The province should handle violations with stricter punishment to smugglers and officials found supporting smuggling, Binh said.
In addition, Binh asked provincial anti-smuggling authorities to consolidate their co-operation with Cambodian partners, including border guards and authorities, to prevent and discover smuggling cases, trade fraud and counterfeit goods.
The deputy PM visited the Tinh Bien Border Station, where he praised border guards and soldiers for their contribution to the province’s anti-smuggling fight.
Meanwhile, provincial authorities shared their opinions on the province’s transport planning and upgrades at a meeting with the deputy PM, saying that they wanted the Government to interfere on a project to upgrade a road section into national highway 80B, connecting Cao Lanh District in southern Dong Thap Province with Vinh Xuong border gate in An Giang Province.
It also requested a support toward building the Long Bình-Chrey Thom bridge connecting An Giang Province with Kandal Province of Cambodia.
The province proposed the Government not allow auctions of seized illegal sugar products and promulgate relevant policies for re-exporting seized illegally imported tobacco.
An Giang Province borders Cambodia, and it has become a hotbed for smuggling in recent years.
Despite police steps to prevent the illegal practice, it is becoming more complicated. Smuggling is particularly on the rise as Tet (Lunar New Year) approaches and demand for goods increases. Gold, electronics, tobacco, wood and wine are some of the most popular smuggled products.
Smugglers often transport goods in the middle of the night or early in the morning to get them over the border more easily, local officials said.
They also separate products into smaller packages to make them easier to hide and change locations to make it more difficult for authorities to discover them. More seriously, smugglers have sometimes been violent against authorised forces.-VNA