Although the trails and paths along the Se Pon River along the Vietnam-Laos border are blocked by the border guards, the boats transporting illegally-imported firecrackers still run up and down, disguised as fishing boats to carry smuggled goods if the border guards are absent.
Tan Thanh Commune in Huong Hoa District is a hot spot for firecracker smuggling. Therefore, the Lao Bao Border Guard Station has strengthened its forces. At midday and late afternoon to night, patrol groups often go along the riverbank and organize ambushes along the trails and paths.
Captain Pham Quang Quoc, Captain of the Armed Team of the Lao Bao Border Guard Station, said that as the Lunar New Year is coming, the illegal trade and transportation of goods across the border have shown signs of increasing, especially the illegal transportation of firecrackers. Faced with that situation, the border guard station has set up patrol teams to ambush 24/24 to detect and prevent promptly smuggling activities across the border.
Firecracker smuggling brings high profits. A box of firecrackers costs less than VND200,000 on the other side of the border. However, when brought into the domestic market, it costs from VND500,000 to VND700,000 per box. The subjects have used all kinds of tricks, such as hiding smuggled firecrackers under agricultural products and banana leaves to bypass the border guards.
"It is just a few months until the Lunar New Year. My family is too miserable and poor. That is why I illegally transport firecrackers", said Tran Thi Lan, a subject living in Tan Long Commune, Huong Hoa District, Quang Tri Province.
Besides blocking, patrolling, and ambushing along the border, the border guards have coordinated with other forces to fight and prevent the illegal transportation and trade of firecrackers on the National Highway No.9 route extending from the border to the domestic market.
Major Le Trung, Vice-Captain of the Quang Tri Border Guard Task Force on Drugs and Crime Prevention, said that Due to high profits, the subjects thoroughly took advantage of all methods and tricks to illegally transport and trade firecrackers from the other side of the border into Vietnam for consumption. Faced with that situation, the unit has actively developed plans to fight and prevent their acts, at the same time, closely coordinating with relevant forces to organize ambush plans and arrest the subjects so as to prevent and minimize firecracker smuggling before and during the Lunar New Year.
About a month ago, Quang Tri border guards discovered and seized approximately one ton of firecrackers in the Vietnam-Laos border area. The closer the Lunar New Year comes, the hotter the firecracker smuggling gets. The Steering Committee No.389 of Quang Tri Province has also asked the Quang Tri Border Guard to strengthen its forces and closely coordinate with relevant units to fight and prevent the smuggling of goods thoroughly.