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HCM City, southern provinces step up efforts against fake goods, contraband as Tết approaches

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Smuggling and trade fraud are on the rise ahead of Tết, which falls on February 12. —VNA/ Photo.

HCM CITY – Officers tasked with preventing fake goods, trade fraud and smuggling in HCM City and southern border provinces have been forced to work hard ahead of Tết (Lunar New Year), which falls on February 12 this year.

Last week the HCM City customs department discovered 14 steel containers that consignee V.V Steel Company described wrongly to evade tax.

The company, in Long An Province’s Đức Hòa District, made a declaration that would have allowed it to enjoy 0 per cent tax instead of the 10-15 per cent it had to pay, equivalent to VNĐ1 billion (US$43,000).

Now, besides the tax it will also have to pay a penalty of 20 per cent of the amount.

Smuggling and trade fraud are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Trương Văn Ba, director of the HCM City Market Surveillance Department, said last year 25,538 violations had been discovered involving loss of tax revenues of VNĐ5.8 trillion.

Competent agencies filed charges in 113  cases.

According to Steering Committee 389 of HCM City, inspections had been reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic but specifically target warehouses, yards and sites where large volumes of smuggled goods are likely to be concealed, improving the efficiency of prevention efforts.

According to the city police, local militia have been urged to look out for dubious activities and crack down on the trade in prohibited, smuggled and counterfeit goods.

Drugs, weapons, illegal firecrackers, unsafe and violent toys, and cigarettes are in the sights of officials.

The city border guard force, the Southern Border Guard Soldiers’ Department of Drug and Crime Prevention, naval squadron No 28 under the Việt Nam Border Defence Force, and border forces in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu and Tiền Giang provinces will look out for possible violations at estuaries, sea ports and sea borders .

The city is also calling on businesses and consumers to join hands in the fight against smuggling and trade fraud.

Cross-border smuggling

Border authorities in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces of An Giang, Kiên Giang and Đồng Tháp are stepping up efforts to keep out smuggled goods, which usually increases during the year-end period.

The contraband is mostly cigarettes and sugar brought in through the Châu Đốc City border in An Giang Province.

Smugglers transport the goods from Cambodia in boats, motorbikes and trucks at night to evade officers, but if spotted are not averse to attacking them.

Kiên Giang Province’s Hà Tiên City also sees smuggling of goods from across the border, usually late at night.

Smugglers travel in groups and transport large quantities of contraband, mainly foreign-made cigarettes.

Authorities have discovered hundreds of cases of smuggling and confiscated tens of thousands of packs of cigarettes and other goods.

Fishing boats are used to illegally transport and sell oil and petrol at sea.

Hundreds of thousands of litres of oil of unknown origin have been seized by local agencies, who have also collected billions of đồng in fines.

The An Giang Province steering committee for anti-smuggling, trade fraud and fake goods said troops were patrolling border gates, trails and crossings to prevent smuggling. –

 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/860098/hcm-city-southern-provinces-step-up-efforts-against-fake-goods-contraband-as-tet-approaches.html

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36 face charges for involvement in expressway’s deterioration

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A section of the Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway in Phu Ninh District of Quang Nam Province is seen having potholes and cracks after a short period of use – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Investigators at the Ministry of Public Security have proposed the Supreme People’s Procuracy indict 36 people for their alleged involvement in the deterioration of the newly built Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway.

They were all accused of violating regulations on construction, causing serious consequences, the local media reported.

The investigative police agency has completed an investigation into violations at the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), the management board of the Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway project and the relevant agencies.

Of the accused, 35 people are Vietnamese, including former VEC deputy general directors Nguyen Manh Hung and Le Quang Hao, and Hoang Viet Hung, former director of the project’s management board. The 32 others are employees and technicians of the project’s management board.

In addition, a Japanese person, Takao Inami, chief consultant and head of an office for consulting of the project and supervision of its execution, was proposed to be indicted.

According to the results of the investigation, the Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway project, whose investor is VEC, has a total length of nearly 140 kilometers. In the first phase, a 65-kilometer section from Danang City to Tam Ky City of Quang Nam Province was developed. The remaining 74-kilometer section was built in the second phase. 

The project, which required more than VND34.5 trillion in investment, is a national key project. Work on the project started in 2013. The first section was put into service in 2017, while the second section was opened to traffic the following year.

However, just weeks later, many sections were riddled with potholes, sparking public concern, so the Investigative Police Agency launched an investigation.

During the execution of the project, the investor, contractors, consultants and other relevant agencies failed to comply with the regulations on construction, according to investigators.

They also failed to meet the technical standards and design requirements, resulting in the severe deterioration of the road.

On the 65-kilometer section in the first phase, there are up to 380 potholes and cracks, or six potholes and cracks on average per kilometer of the expressway.

Besides proposing the indictment against the 36 people, the Investigative Police Agency has transferred documents on two packages to the Criminal Investigation Office of the Ministry of National Defense for further investigation.

Mai Tuan Anh, general director of VEC between 2011 and 2017 and chairman of the board of VEC in 2017-2020, has also been found irresponsible while performing his duties, affecting the project’s quality.

The Investigative Police Agency will address the violations of Anh and some other foreigners in the second phase of the investigation later.

Violations in the second phase of the project have also been separated for handling at a later stage.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/80770/36-face-charges-for-involvement-in-expressway%e2%80%99s-deterioration.html

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Quang Ninh reopens certain tourist sites as Covid-19 under control

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Passengers wait at a boarding gate of the Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh Province before the recent Covid-19 outbreak. The province has reopened some tourist sites after the recent resurgence of the coronavirus – PHOTO: DAO LOAN

HCMC – After a long time of closure due to the resurgence of Covid-19, tourists from other parts of the country can now travel to the northern province of Quang Ninh as the provincial government has reopened a number of tourist sites, including the picturesque Halong Bay, but certain restrictions apply.

According to a decision on the resumption of some socioeconomic activities in the province, the provincial government required that all people traveling from Covid-19-hit areas to the province must be placed under quarantine at centralized centers and cover all fees incurred during the quarantine period. Meanwhile, those from other localities will just have to make health declarations.

Tourists on cruise ships visiting Halong Bay must not exceed half of their capacity, while those on cruise ships offering overnight stays in the bay, which are allowed to serve at their full capacity, must not hold large gatherings in public places in the province.

Conventions, seminars, wedding parties and cultural and sports events have also been allowed but anti-virus measures must be applied. Cinemas, karaoke and massage parlors, and bars will continue to remain shut.

The province has yet to allow the resumption of interprovincial passenger transport services but has permitted vehicles transporting workers, cargo and materials for production with sufficient documents on the cargo’s origin, people’s identification and health declarations.

The provincial government assigned the Department of Health to coordinate with the Department of Transport and other relevant agencies to review the pandemic prevention and control process at the Van Don International Airport.

At a recent meeting with the Government and the national steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control, Quang Ninh Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hanh said the province would spend at least VND500 billion buying Covid-19 vaccines for local residents. To have the amount, the province will cut 10% of regular expenditures, minimize funds for asset purchases, meetings, training courses and visits, and mobilize money from other sources.

The Covid-19 outbreak has heavily hit the province’s tourism sector. In the first quarter of the year, Quang Ninh welcomed only 700,000 tourists, well below the target of 3.6 million.

In related news, Vietnam Airlines has plans to resume flights to the Van Don International Airport from today, March 3. Until March 17, the airline will operate a flight per week on Wednesdays to the airport.

From March 18 to December 31, the frequency will be raised to three flights a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Flights will depart from the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC at 1 p.m. and from Van Don at 3:45 p.m.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/80768/quang-ninh-reopens-certain-tourist-sites-as-covid-19-under-control.html

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VinFast eyes global market, to open car plant in US

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VinFast eyes global market, to open car plant in US

An VinFast car is tested in a factory in the northern Hai Phong City. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Tuan.


VinFast plans to set up an automobile plant in the U.S. as part of its strategy to start selling there in 2022, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

The company, a subsidiary of conglomerate Vingroup, did not provide details about when it will be set up or where.

Bloomberg quoted its CEO Thai Thanh Hai as saying: “VinFast’s vision is to become a global smart electric car company and the U.S. is one of the first international markets that we will focus on.

“We will initially develop high-end models for the U.S.”

The company also plans to open 35 showrooms and service centers this year in California state where it has received a license to test autonomous vehicles on public streets.

Malaysian newspaper The Star quoted Hai as saying VinFast believes it can win over American and other overseas customers leery of buying an automobile from a Vietnamese company they know little or nothing about by offering top-quality vehicles with high safety standards and advanced technology.

The company has R&D centers in Australia, Germany and the U.S.

VinFast, founded by Vietnam’s first billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, began selling cars with BMW-licensed engines in 2019.

Last year it sold 31,500 units, all in Vietnam, where 296,634 cars were sold in all.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/business/companies/vinfast-eyes-global-market-to-open-car-plant-in-us-4242502.html

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