Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang addresses the meeting on Thursday. VNA/VNS Photo An Đăng

Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang on Thursday presided over the first quarter meeting of the National Steering Committee against Smuggling, Counterfeit Goods and Trade Fraud (National Steering Committee 389), discussing solutions for bottlenecks in dealing with recent violations. 

According to the report presented in the meeting, the first quarter of 2023 saw the economy recover after the pandemic and travel and import-export activities resume.

Meanwhile, the illegal trading and transportation of drugs, explosives, cigarettes and wildlife, as well as trade fraud regarding food, petroleum and goods of foreign origins, remained complicated, but there are no critical cases.

Most of the violations took place at the borders between Việt Nam and China, Laos and Cambodia, and several seaports in Hải Phòng City, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, HCM City, and through air routes. 

Criminals have also been taking advantage of delivery services, social media platforms and small businesses for illegal goods transport and commercial fraud. 

In Q1, authorities detected and handled more than 28,000 cases, of which 278 cases and 679 people were prosecuted. 

The number of cases dropped by 11.24 compared to the same period last year. 

Speaking at the meeting, Nguyễn Văn Cẩn, director of the General Department of Việt Nam Customs (under the finance ministry) said that criminals have been using complicated methods for illegal trading. 

As of current, there are up to 6,000 shipping containers that show signs of violations. A significant amount of containers carrying used machinery are unable to go through registration due to their lack of technical documents.

The customs department is now sorting out these goods and requires solutions from business owners and shipping lines. 

Meanwhile, a representative of the Ministry of Public Security's Investigation Police Department on Economic, Corruption-related Crimes and Smuggling said that the illegal transfer of foreign currencies is very complicated, with criminals taking advantage of commercial banks by using fake customs dossiers or foreign trade contracts. 

At the meeting’s conclusion, Deputy PM Trần Lưu Quang acknowledged and praised the achievements of different departments and units in the fight against smuggling, commercial fraud, counterfeit goods and illegal goods transport, especially during Tết (Lunar New Year). 

Agreeing with the report, the Deputy PM said that there are specific bottlenecks in these violations, prominently the huge immediate benefits that lure officials to commit crimes.

Meanwhile, consumers looking for low-priced goods also unintentionally encourage smuggling and commercial fraud. 

Shortcomings in State management and difficulties in the current context also present multiple problems, requiring relevant authorities and localities to put in more effort with better effectiveness in their work. 

Deputy PM Quang required leaders to take measures and strictly control those under their responsibilities against violations and not assist or cover up any offence. 

Forces on duty need to constantly improve their professional skills and coordination. 

Communication and investigative journalism also play a role in increasing people’s awareness. 

Regarding overlapping regulations, the Deputy PM requires that units and localities must review the legal documents within 10 days from May 11, with specific solutions proposed, and submitted to the National Steering Committee 389 for compilation and report to the Government. — VNS