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Monday, July 30, 2018, 15:45 (GMT+7)
Coast Guard Region No. 1 enforces the laws on combating smuggling and trade frauds

The Coast Guard Region No. 1 (hereinafter CGR) is tasked with managing and enforcing the laws in 10 coastal provinces and cities, spanning from Bac Luan estuary in Quang Ninh province to Con Co island in Quang Tri province; acts as a Northern gateway of marine economic significance to the region and the world. This area has been considered a hot spot concerning order and security, smuggling and fraudulent trade; illegal commodity trafficking and transport such as minerals, petrol, firecrackers, foreign cigarettes and wines, cosmetics, poultry of unknown origin, etc.

CGR Party Committee and High Command have regarded the enforcement of the laws on combating smuggling and trade frauds as a matter of the utmost importance to sea and island security and order; strictly observed the Vietnamese laws and relevant international conventions to which Vietnam is signatory. To this end, CGR Party Committee and High Command have focused their leadership and direction on fighting smuggling and trade frauds. The realities have shown that smuggling and trade frauds have been so complicated, and units in charge of combating smuggling and commercial frauds frequently have to conduct their mission in diffuse areas by themselves. Those necessitate the work of fighting smuggling and trade frauds being carried out creatively and flexibly via focalized, uniform, and practical leadership and direction in line with units’ professionalism. Firmly grasping documents and plans by the national Steering Board No. 389 and the Ministry of National Defense as well as resolutions and directives by Vietnam’s Coast Guard Party Committee and High Command, CGR Party Committee has promulgated a special resolution on enhancing the quality of the work of maritime patrol, inspection, control and law enforcement. For the sake of high efficiency, during the implementation process, CGR High Command has directed its affiliates to focus on fostering the work of education in a bid to raise awareness amongst party committees and commandants; on properly promoting the role and responsibility of cadres and party members, especially party committees and key cadres at all levels; and on regularly renewing party committees’ leadership styles in tune with units’ particularities, ensuring uniform, swift, smooth, and effective direction and leadership over the work of enforcing the laws on combating smuggling and trade frauds.

Competent forces of the CGR inspect a boat in the area

Second, regularly carrying out the work of education to heighten consciousness of the task and legal knowledge; cultivating moral dignities; upholding unity and determination to surpass difficulties in the work of fighting smuggling and trade frauds. The particularities of the task of implementing the laws on fighting maritime smuggling and trade frauds have imposed increasingly demanding requirements on cadres and soldiers in charge of this task. The work of combating maritime smuggling and trade fraud has been regarded an intense and complicated battle with greater difficulties and risks. Smugglers often take full advantage of diffuse areas, unfavourable weather conditions and massive means of maritime transport to disguise illicit goods. In addition, they also resist competent forces, particularly law enforcement ones via their various artifices and schemes. Meanwhile, forces in charge of preventing maritime smuggling and trade fraud will not successfully accomplish their tasks without steadfast political and ideological willpower, unity in their will and action, and pure morality and lifestyle when they are always facing challenging working conditions and material temptations, etc. Therefore, CGR Party Committee and High Command have properly carried out the work of political and ideological education to raise cadres and soldiers’ awareness of this task whilst promoting the study and following of Uncle Ho’s thought, morality, and lifestyle in association with the implementation of Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (11th and 12th tenures) and other movements launched by Vietnam’s Coast Guard High Command; enhancing cultivation of political, moral, and lifestyle dignities and professionalism; and resolutely avoiding being bribed by or colluding with smugglers. With a sense of unity, active and proactive cooperation and strict law observance, CGR’s cadres and soldiers have always exhibited their single-minded devotion to duty and never yielded to material temptations, preserved dignity of Coast Guard soldiers and ensured transparency in their work, thereby contributing to maintaining maritime security and order and law enforcement.

Third, fostering the quality of combating smuggling and trade frauds. Under the auspices of the Party, the State and the Coast Guard High Command, CGR High Command has been equipped with dozens of assorted ships and canoes; legal advisory departments and divisions under the CGR have been fully staffed and initially capable of fulfilling their missions. For the sake of higher efficiency in the work of preventing smuggling, CGR Party Committee and High Command have paid due attention to fostering their forces’ professionalism and executing concrete and scientific anti-smuggling plans with reconnaissance as a core solution and basic investigation as a breakthrough; regularly maintaining on-duty regime; intensifying patrol and inspection forces; and combining routine patrol activities with mobile and unexpected ones in a bid to spot smuggling activities in hot and key sea regions. Furthermore, there has been close coordination in exchanging relevant information between CGR and local party committees and governments and relevant forces such as Public Security, Border Guard, Customs, market management in key areas. The CGR has properly implemented regulations on anti-smuggling responsibilities and cooperative relations amongst relevant state management agencies, thereby grasping stationed area situation, artifices and rules of operation by smugglers to formulate appropriate countermeasures. During the implementation process, CGR’s forces always abide by the laws; properly and actively implement principles and draw out effective countermeasures to neutralize smugglers.

Since 1998, the CGR has inspected 10.535 ships and boats with signs of violation; fined 5.973 ships (including 5.942 Vietnamese ones and 31 foreign ones), contributed over 27 billion VND in administrative fines to national budget; spotted, seized, and fined 224 ships and boats with illicit goods, confiscating a massive number of exhibits and contributing above 154 billion VND in fines to national budget. Those achievements bear out CGR cadres and soldiers’ efforts and determination to surpass all difficulties and properly implement their assigned missions, especially their maritime anti-smuggling tasks.

Fourth, accelerating propagation work to mobilize people in preventing and combating maritime smuggling and trade frauds. Imbued with Ho Chi Minh’s teachings “when people give us much assistance, we have great success; as they give us little assistance, we have limited success; when they give us unconditional assistance, we achieve a complete victory”, CGR’s cadres and soldiers have always concentrated their efforts on consolidating civilian-military relations; accelerated the emulation movement of “skillful mass mobilization” and built a unit of “good mass mobilization” with an emphasis on promoting propagation work to encourage people preventing marine law violations. CGR’s affiliates have proactively cooperated with local party committees and governments and sectors, branches and press agencies in working out propagation schedules and effectively executing the work of legal propagation and education on sea and islands as well as on the function and performance of Vietnam’s Coast Guard Force in general, and the CGR in particular. In addition, the CGR has collaborated with local party committees and governments in persuading households in stationed areas not to participate in smuggling activities or collude with smugglers whilst working with press agencies in reporting news and footage of maritime smuggling cases in an effort to render people aware of highly dangerous smuggling offences, thereby contributing to heightening consciousness of law observance among cadres and fishermen in stationed areas; maintaining political security and social order and safety in stationed areas; and encouraging people and fishermen in the Gulf of Tonkin to actively provide competent forces with valuable information on smuggling developments and maritime law violations; building civilian-military relations; and upholding noble image of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers- Coast Guard soldiers” in people’s hearts and minds.

With the efficient implementation of those above-mentioned solutions, the CGR High Command has properly fulfilled their missions of enforcing the laws on combating smuggling and trade frauds, contributing to firmly maintaining security, order and safety in the Homeland’s sacred sea and island regions.

Senior Colonel Ngo Binh Minh, Commander of the CGR

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