Vietnam’s smuggling season in full swing

| September 11, 2014

Vietnam is on high alert for the Mekong Delta flooding season, which usually occurs from September to November. Partly, this vigilance is about watching for tobacco smugglers, who can take advantage of the waterways formed by the flooding.

But they hardly need to wait for the flooding season. According to a bizhub.vn story, already this year Vietnam has demonstrated that it has a thriving tobacco smuggling trade.

Nearly 8,000 incidences of smuggling were discovered during the first eight months of this year, bizhub reported, citing figures from the Market Watch Department of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The authorities were said to have already dealt with 4,700 cases, imposing VND14 billion (US$636,000) in fines and confiscating one million packs of smuggled tobacco, along with eight cars, 432 motorbikes and seven boats that were used to transport the products.

Only 21 cases were prosecuted, however, because those transporting fewer than 1,500 packs of cigarettes are not subject to criminal prosecution.

The report quoted the chairman of the Viet Nam Tobacco Association, Vu Van Cuong, as saying that profits from smuggling tobacco had doubled in recent years; so more people were becoming involved, finding new roads and waterways across borders, and transporting under 1,500 packs of cigarettes at a time to avoid criminal prosecution if caught.

And what had become a border-town activity had now spread across the country, Cuong added.

Category: Breaking News

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