VCN- In the afternoon of September 11, 2017, the General Department of Vietnam Customs published on the handling of violation for 2 Customs officers of Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department related to the case of 213 containers at Cat Lai Port.  

vietnam customs published on 2 customs officers who were arrested
Banned goods were seized in a shipment in transit by HCM City Customs Department. Photo: T.H

According to Vietnam Customs, on September 9, 2017, the Investigation Police Department of Economic and Corruption Crimes (C46, under Ministry of Public Security) implemented the decision on temporary custody for Mr. Nguyen Van Lam (a Customs officer of Sai Gon Port Customs Branch Zone 1, HCM city Customs Department) on the act of “taking advantage of assigned responsibilities and duties to intend for non-compliance with regulations of the Customs sector and colluding with some subjects to take advantage of policies on transshipment and transit of goods to import banned goods from abroad into Vietnam for consumption”.

Regarding to above case, on August 25, 2017, C46 provisionally arrested Mr.Tran Thanh Tung, an officer of Express Customs Branch (formerly Mr.Tung worked in Import Cargo Customs Procedure Team under Sai Gon Port Customs Branch Zone 1) on the act of “understand but not comply with assigned responsibilities and duties and not manage seal in accordance with regulations of Vietnam Customs causing serious consequences.

“Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department issued Decision No.1818/QD-HQHCM and Decision No.1742/QD-HQHCM to temporarily suspend Mr. Nguyen Van Lam and Mr. Tran Thanh Tung from their work for investigation of the Police authority” Vietnam Customs stressed.

According to Vietnam Customs, for the case of 213 containers mentioned above, Vietnam Customs actively set up the inspection teams to inspect the implementation of Customs procedures for goods of independent transport at some municipal and provincial Customs Departments in a key area of the North and the South. In the middle of 2015, 213 containers of 56 enterprises which transported goods in transit through Cat Lai Port (Ho Chi Minh City -border gate of departure) to transship by road and then exported them to Cambodia (place of destination). However, the above containers were transported out of Cat Lai Port but not to the border gate of export as prescribed.

Vietnam Customs determines that apart from the reason that some officers at Sai Gon Port Customs Branch have not properly implemented Customs procedures (updating information, tracking status of goods transport, tracing goods when the registration deadline has not been confirmed), there are some important reasons such as many subjects took advantage of favorable factors in the stage of licensing business registration and the post-license management to operate smuggling (As verified by Customs, 56 enterprises which have 213 containers above have not been active or not have headquartered at the registered address). Currently, Vietnam Customs has collaborated with Investigation Police Department and units under General Department of Security- Ministry of Public Security and Ho Chi Minh Police to inspect and investigate containers and violating enterprises.

Vietnam Customs confirmed that it has requested Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department to seriously consider and strictly punish for violating officers and proposed to correct the stage of licensing and strengthen the post-license management for enterprises of competent authorities and local authorities.

“In the coming time, besides speeding up the administrative procedure reform and Customs modernization and facilitate trade under the Government’s policy, Vietnam Customs continues to direct units to strengthen the Customs inspection, supervision, control and collaborate with competent authorities to promptly detect and strictly punish for individual and organizations who violated in import-export operation. At the same time, enhancing internal inspection and audit and strictly punish for offended officers”- Vietnam Customs stressed.

By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan