Cameras set up at customs offices in Vietnam metro to stop corruption

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Officials go over tapes from the cameras that have been installed at Tan Thuan Dong Port customs in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City customs is installing surveillance cameras at ports and the airport to stop corruption by its officers, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Wednesday.

The newspaper quoted Le Dinh Loi, deputy head of HCMC customs, as saying cameras have been set up at customs in Tan Thuan Dong Port in District 7.

Cat Lai Port would be next, he said, followed by other ports and Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

Vietnam Customs had earlier this month ordered the establishment of such surveillance systems at all ports.

Tuoi Tre quoted an unnamed official at Tan Thuan Dong Port customs, officially known as the Saigon Port Zone III's Customs Division, as saying the cameras surveil the area where customs procedures are carried out.

They would spot any "mess" and officials deliberately causing trouble for businesses to extract bribes, he said.

A center has been set up and a supervisory team formed to scrutinize the tapes, he said.

Since the cameras were installed two weeks ago, they have yet to uncover any wrongdoing, he said.

At the Cat Lai Port customs division, the cameras will be installed in the container handling areas, Tuoi Tre reported.

Since Cat Lai is the main port where imports to and exports from southern Vietnam are cleared, surveillance cameras were installed long ago in areas where import-export paperwork is handled, it quoted the Vietnam Customs as saying.

But the cameras have yet to catch any official indulging in corruption.

For long businesses have complained that customs officers harass them to extract bribes.

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