Conference highlights wide array of goods being smuggled into Vietnam

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A lot of stockpiled goods have been smuggled along the coasts and rivers into Vietnam since 2009 as consumption in the US and Europe markets declined, officials said at a Wednesday conference in Da Nang.

The conference was organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to discuss ways to fight smuggling and fake products in 2010.


Nearly 200,000 cases of fraud were busted last year, according to the Market Management Department under the ministry at the conference, the local newswire Dan Tri reported.

The department contributed more than VND2.4 trillion (US$127 million) to the state budget, a 13 percent increase over 2008. The money included penalties and the value of goods seized.

Items seized included electronic products, bicycles, kitchen utensils, textiles and garment products, said the deputy minister Nguyen Cam Tu. The textile and garments products had been exported from Vietnam.


At marine ports in Hai Phong and Quang Ninh Province in the north, businesses lied about the number of goods, kinds of goods, produced fake origin certificates and prices.


In Ho Chi Minh City and several southern provinces such as Ca Mau and Tien Giang, petrol has been smuggled via Malaysia and jewelry via Thailand, officials said at the conference.


According to the General Customs Department, many people have driven cars from Laos to Vietnam, with some having been driven back to the country every month to avoid fines.


Vietnam's customs regulations allow Lao cars to drive in Vietnam for 30 days.


But there're a large number of Lao cars staying beyond the limit in central Vietnam neighboring Laos: 394 in Nghe An Province, 312 in Quang Tri Province and 283 in Ha Tinh Province, the conference heard.


Meanwhile, minerals are being smuggled out of Vietnam in significant quantities.


Around 100,000 tons of coal and 20,000-30,000 tones of titanium left Vietnam illegally every month, customs officials said.


Officials at the conference also said that many trafficking cases have been busted recently, concerning gold, drugs and addictive medicines, elephant tusks and scabs of the endangered pangolin, also known as anteater.


Different denominations of Vietnamese currency were being circulated around populated areas in the country, the conference was informed.


Customs officials at the Tan Son Nhat Airport on Wednesday caught Dinh Chinh Nhay, a Vietnamese flying from Hong Kong, carrying 25 digital cameras and six lenses of known brands like Canon and Sony.


The goods were valued at more than VND200 million (US$10,560) in total.


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