Petrol smuggling at sea still a problem

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petrol smuggling at sea still a problem
Officials inspect goods on ship TG 92855 TS carrying 60,000 litres of DO oil. Photo: DinhThi

“Hot” in the southwest sea

Petrol and oil smuggling at sea has been taking place in the waters of Hai Phong, QuangNinh, Da Nang and the waters of Con Dao, the southwest, a representative of the Vietnam Coast Guard said. In more than a month, the Coast Guard has discovered and arrested many oil and gas transportation cases in large volume.

On March 12, in the southwest sea area about 130 nautical miles from South Hon Khoai, Ca Mau, the task force of the Region 4 Coast Guarddetained the ship TG-94998-TS for carrying about 100,000 litres of DO oil of unknown origin.

On the afternoon of March 30on the ​​sea about 40 nautical miles from southwestern Con Dao, officials of Region 3 Coast Guardinspected the ship TG93798TS for signs of violations. Through inspection, the marine police discovered about 90,000 litres of DO oil without documents or invoices.

At the beginning of April, also in the sea area about 13 nautical miles northwest of Tho Chu island (KienGiang), Reconnaissance Team No. 2 – the Coast Guard inspected the wooden-hulled ship TG 92855 TS captained by Nguyen Van Hau, born in 1978, residing in Chau Thanh, Kien Giang together with three crew members for having about 60,000 litres of DO oil without invoices and documents, while the captain and crew members lacked the necessary qualifications.

On the night of April 8, in the sea area about 13 nautical miles southwest of Tho Chu island, Reconnaissance Team 2 also inspected the wooden hulled ship KG 94299 TS. captained by Do Van Thanh, born in 1973, residing in Rach Gia, Kien Giang for carrying more than100,000 litres of DO oil without invoices or documents.

At dawn of April 11, in the sea area about 15 nautical miles east of Tho Chu Island, Reconnaissance Team 2 inspected the wooden-hulled ship KG 94533 TS for carrying about 100,000 litres of DO oil without invoices or documents.

On April 16, in a sea area about 15 nautical miles southwest of Tho Chu island, Kien Giang, the Reconnaissance Team 2 inspected a wooden-hulled ship KG 95697 TS for carrying over 100,000 litres of DO oil without invoices and documents. The captain and crew members do not have qualifications as prescribed.

According to Major General Tran Van Nam, Deputy Commander of the Vietnam Coast Guard, although many violation cases have been detected, trafficking and smuggling of petrol and oil has shown complex developments and reckless criminal acts. In which, ships suspected of carrying illegal goods of foreign origin are always at risk of encroaching Vietnamese waters to perform illegal act of ship-to-ship transfer. The sea is large while the forces, equipment and mechanisms for supervision and inspection are limited

Strengthening control of fishing vessels

According to the Vietnam Coast Guard, understanding the needs of fishermen in the use of petrol and oil for fishing, some people have taken advantage of differences between domestic prices and other neighbouring countries, to illegally carry this item to Vietnam for profit.

In the past year, illegal transportation of petrol and oil products in the sea has tended to increase, especially in marine areas bordering Thailand and Cambodia. To avoid anti-smuggling forces, the smugglers have modified fishing ships andinstalled additional equipment and tools for illegal oil trading.

From the beginning of the year, the illegal petrol and oil transportation in Kien Giang waters has increased. The reason is that oil prices in Thailand and Cambodia are lower than in Vietnam, while fishermen have high demand for petrol and oil, so smugglers have used tricks to create hidden oil compartments with a capacity of up to hundreds of thousands of litres in fishing ships and equipped high-capacity pumps, and then taken advantage of the stormy weather and night to move to the bordering waters to buy oil of unknown origin for sale to fishing ships to make profit.

According to a representative of the Department of Professionalism and Law, the Vietnam Coast Guard, smugglers usually transport goods without invoices and documents proving their origin. When inspected, the smugglerstry to cope with the competent forces by validating documents, invoices, or preparing astatement and documents of the goods to validate the goods.

Strengthen goods supervision at land border gates Strengthen goods supervision at land border gates

To combat crimes at sea, especially smuggling and illegal transportation of petro and oil, the Coast Guard continues to strengthen patrol, inspection and control at key seas; carry out synchronous solutions to coordinate with other forces in preventing and combating crimes of smuggling, trade fraud, and illegal transportation of goods at sea, and attach importance to strengthening control of trading activities of fishing vessels in bordering sea areas.

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