Border guards of Huu Nghi Border Gate Station detected a group of people attempting to enter the country illegally and arrested five people on December 30. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Duy

With a 277km border with China, the northern province of Ha Giang has the most illegal entry and exit activities in the country.

Colonel Luu Duc Hung, an official from Ha Giang Province Border Guard, said COVID-19 prevention work would be harder prior to Tet because illegal immigrants tend to increase.

Border guards have strengthened inspections and maintained 59 checkpoints and 17 mobile teams comprising 425 staff to work around the clock.

Campaigns have been launched to encourage people to comply with the Government’s regulations on COVID-19 prevention.

Head of Xin Cai Border Guard Station in Meo Vac District Ta Tan Hoang said they have handled 840 unlawful immigrant cases involving 6,746 people since the outbreak of COVID-19.

It is likely that there will be an increase in illegal immigration from China to Vietnam for the Tet holiday, he said.

Major Mua Mi Cay, a political officer at the station, said despite facing hardships and poor living conditions, soldiers on the front lines always showed strong determination and will only return home after the pandemic ends.

“All officers and soldiers of the station have decided to stay at the station during the Tet holidays,” he was quoted by Nhân dân (People) newspaper as saying.

Prevention measures against COVID-19 are also being deployed in the northern province of Cao Bang.

Colonel Luc Van Tiep from Cao Bang Border Guard Command said border guards in coordination with local authorities have tightened control over immigration.

Local residents are encouraged to inform border guards as soon as they detected illegal migrants or individuals involved in unlawful immigrant activities.

Border guards in the province said they have prevented about 8,300 illegal immigrants since the beginning of the year. Criminal proceedings have been initiated against 36 people who arranged for people enter the country illegally.

The northern province of Quang Ninh is also reportedly taking action against illegal immigration.

Le Hong Van, head of Mong Cai City Police, told Vietnam News Agency that in addition to setting up 39 stations at important positions, the city has implemented disease prevention measures on the basis of promoting the role and responsibility of the party committee, residential groups, commune police, self-governing groups in villages and neighbourhoods. 

In 2020, local police handled 207 cases involving foreigners, including many cases related to illegal entry and residence, he said.

The People’s Committee of the south-eastern province of Binh Phuoc, which has more than 260km of border, has ordered relevant agencies to tighten management along the border as one of the important tasks in COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.

The province has kept 62 stations and 11 mobile COVID-19 control stations open 24 hours a day.

Mekong Delta provinces of Dong Thap, An Giang, Kien Giang and Vinh Long which share a border with Cambodia have simultaneously tightened control of people moving across the border. More control stations have been established to prevent illegal entry.

With a 50.5km long borderline with Cambodia, border guards, police and militia in Dong Thap Province have been present at 14 checkpoints to do their duties.

Lieutenant Phan Thanh The from Cau Muong Border Station in Dong Thap Province’s Hong Ngu District said he had been on duty since the pandemic broke out in early 2020 in spite of feeling homesick.

“Day and night we take turns patrolling, both on land and waterways. Everyone is aware that they have to fulfil the assigned tasks, especially the prevention and fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people and also to protect ourselves and our families,” he said.

According to the Border Guard High Command, illegal border entries have been rising recently in Vietnam.

The first day of 2021 saw 180 undocumented immigrants detected. Of these, 162 people entered the country via the China-Vietnam border and the rest via the Vietnam-Cambodia border.

As of December 28, the border guards have dealt with 32,679 illegal immigrants.

Suspects have adopted new tricks such as hiding in vehicles transporting goods; using social networks and mobile phones to collude or arrange for people to enter the country unlawfully, making the job of border guards more difficult.

At an online meeting held between the Government and localities last Tuesday, Minister of Public Security To Lam admitted that hundreds of people illegally enter the country each day, putting increasing pressure on local police forces.

According to the official, more than 70,000 Vietnamese people have been brought home from abroad on repatriation flights organised by the government so far this year.

The number of immigrants is expected to rise ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday which is just a month away, he said.

"The life of Vietnamese people in virus-hit areas abroad is very difficult so many of them want to return home, especially during the Tet holiday,” Lam said.

A large number of Vietnamese people based in China and Cambodia will attempt to cross the border and enter the country in the near future, making it vital to strengthen border management, he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on all citizens to report illegal immigrants and stay vigilant about such entries as they may pose risks of COVID-19 infection.

Cases entering Vietnam illegally must be strongly denounced, he said.  VNS


Camera systems installed to help detect illegal border trespassing

Camera systems have been installed along the border line to monitor and detect illegal trespassing amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Major General Le Quang Dao, Vice Commander and Chief of Staff of the Border Guard High Command, has revealed.

Talking to Vietnam News Agency, Dao said the border guards have adopted a series of measures to intensify monitoring and inspections in border areas to prevent illegal crossings which can cause an outbreak of the disease.

The force has performed the task of disease prevention well, thus contributing to containing the spread of the pandemic in the country, he said.

The Vietnamese Border Guard is monitoring around 5,000 kilometres of land borders, and over 3,000 kilometres of maritime border. Rough terrain and severe weather conditions make it difficult for border management.

Currently the border guards have maintained 1,600 stations along the border of the country. They have also coordinated with relevant forces of other countries.

According to Dao, from now to the Lunar New Year which falls in mid-February, the weather will be quite favourable for the development of diseases. A lot of Vietnamese people want to return home on this occasion. Many would try to enter Vietnam illegally to avoid being quarantined.

He said the risk of an outbreak of the disease is high due to the fact that people are still complacent on COVID-19.

He said the border force will tighten control over the entry and exits in border areas from now to the the end of the Lunar New Year.

The Ministry of Defence has directed the military-run Viettel Group to coordinate with the Border Guard High Command in installing the modern camera systems along border areas, which help reduce the number of personnel on duty, he said.  VNS

Border guards contribute to COVID-19 fight

Border guards contribute to COVID-19 fight

Secretary of the Party Committee and Political Commissar of the Vietnam Border Guard Command Do Danh Vuong talks about COVID-19 prevention and control measures in border areas.

Lang Son: 146 checkpoints set up to prevent illegal entries into Vietnam via trails

Lang Son: 146 checkpoints set up to prevent illegal entries into Vietnam via trails

A total of 146 day-and-night checkpoints have been established by border guards in the northern province of Lang Son to stop illegal entries into Vietnam through small trails along border with China.