Ho Chi Minh City swoops on $110 million worth of smuggled goods

By Anh Vuong   July 15, 2016 | 02:04 am PT
Ho Chi Minh City swoops on $110 million worth of smuggled goods
Tran Vinh Tuyen, Vice Chairman of HCM City’s People’s Committee, says at a meeting held on July 8 that violators engaged in smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods would be strictly punished. Photo by VnExpress
The city has stepped up fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods.

In the first six months, HCM City uncovered more than 13,800 cases of smuggling, trade fraud and fake goods, and collected VND2.47 trillion (US$110.78 million) for the state, Vietnam News Agency has reported.

The city also seized products worth VND20 billion ($897,000) and prosecuted 49 cases, VNA said.

Known as the most populous city in Vietnam, HCMC is also a trade hub and an attractive destination for foreign investment and tourists. According to Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of HCMC's People's Committee, smugglers often take advantage of the city's dynamic business environment to traffic goods and commit fraud.

Smuggled goods included drugs, firecrackers, explosives, oil and gas, wild animals and their products, wine, tobacco, food, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and electrical goods.

Organizations and individuals have also been caught smuggling in banned substances and additives to use for food production, cultivation and animal husbandry, sparking public health concerns.

Tuyen said that police, customs and market management officials will work together to fight smuggling via Tan Son Nhat International Airport and from the southern provinces of Long An and Tay Ninh to HCMC. Enforcement will also be strengthened at major bus stations around the city.

HCMC authorities expect illegal activities to increase in the second half of the year, especially during the fun up to Tet, Vietnam's Lunar New Year, when demand for food and other products grows.

Under a newly-approved regulation, anti-smuggling agencies may pay up to VND200,000 million ($8,900) for tip-offs on trade fraud or smuggling.

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