Drug Crime Increasingly Sophisticated and Reckless

2:23:58 PM | 4/6/2019

This is the comment by Mr. Nguyen Phi Hung, Director of Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, General Department of Vietnam Customs, at a press conference held recently by the General Department of Vietnam Customs in Hanoi. Le Hien reports.

Can you tell us why there are more and more cases of drug confiscation in large amounts and with sophisticated methods?

Drug crimes are transnational crimes, so transporting drugs must go across the border, including the open-path trail and the phenomenon of crossing the border via road; sea and air.

Drug crimes are international in nature and are the origin of numerous other crime types, so they have the most sophisticated organizations and the most dangerous level of crime. Therefore, they have many sophisticated methods to organize transnational drug transport.

Especially recently, the situation of drug transport from the Golden Triangle to Thailand and Laos, then Vietnam to continue transshipment for consumption in a third country through the Vietnam-Laos border area in the Central region and the Vietnam-Cambodia border in the Southern region, is very complicated.

 Through the process of performing the tasks, the Customs authorities discovered many tricks used by drug criminals. They include taking advantage of the policy of preferential treatment, attracting investment, establishing enterprises to transport vehicles, equipment, raw materials, hire warehouses to serve the illegal production and transportation of drugs from foreign countries to Vietnam and continue to sell to third countries for consumption.

They also took advantage of State policies in facilitating customs clearance for import and export goods, luggage, and means of export and import to hide drugs.

On the other hand, for goods and transit means at the border, drug criminals often take advantage of customs management policies for transit goods, in which only supervising goods from import border gates to export border gates, without customs inspection, so that they can conceal drugs in goods in transit vehicles (especially container vehicles) in order to avoid the control of functional forces.

Another trick is taking advantage of the type of temporarily imported - re-exported goods to hide drugs in goods stored in containers, transporting them from abroad into Vietnam, then to third countries for consumption.

For goods sent by express mail, criminals take advantage of this method to transport narcotic drugs and substances for drug production with tricks such as declaring unclear names and addresses of senders, unclear recipients, making false declarations of goods name, mix, impregnating drug related substances and drugs into drinks, cosmetics, perfumes, popular foods such as candies, cigarettes, dry tea, coffee, fermented shrimp paste sauce, medicated oil and other powder.

Could you please tell us about the prevention and combat of illegal drug trafficking, especially synthetic drugs in the past time?

Since July 2018, especially after the General Director of Vietnam Customs Department issued Directive 4550/CT-TCHQ dated August 2, 2018 on enhancing drug prevention and fight work of the customs sector, the anti-drug force of the Customs sector has worked with the functional forces to detect and arrest 129 cases.

Exhibits seized were up to more than 1.6 tons of various drugs and nearly 180,000 synthetic drug tablets - the record number of narcotics so far held by the Customs force. Among them there were 218 kg of heroin, 30 kg of opium, 725 kg of ice drug, 127.6 kg of cocaine, 502 kg of ketamine, 40.6 kg of marijuana.

Particularly, the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department alone coordinated with functional forces to successfully carry out 20 projects, arresting 22 individuals, seizing 346.72 kg of ice drugs, 127.6 kg of cocaine, 142, 8 kg of heroin, 502.1 kg of ketamine and tens of thousands of synthetic drug tablets.

What are those successful results attributed to?

With the complicated developments of drug crimes, thanks to the attention and regular direction of the Ministry of Finance leaders and the close support and coordination of the functional forces like Police and Border Defense Guards, over the years, Customs forces have taken the lead and coordinated to create and fight many projects, successfully busted many transnational drug crime networks, detected and arrested many cases of drug trade and transportation narcotics on borders, border gates, seizing thousands of kilograms of drugs. It can be said that the tricks of drug criminals are very sophisticated and reckless, hence without the high level of determination, professional skills as well as the means to support preventing drug trafficking and transportation, it will be very difficult and hard to achieve success.

Thank you very much!