Government cracking down on illegal trading & smuggling

The Union government is planning to take stringent measures against illegal trading in order to prevent the smuggling of contraband, which causes a great loss of revenue, said U Kyaw Win, Union Minister for Planning and Finance.

“It is essential for the nation to control contraband but it must be carried out in a systematic way by taking lessons from previous arrangements. We firmly believe it will be successful if arrangements are made in collaboration with the Customs Department, respective regions, state cabinets and aligned departments,” said U Kyaw Win at a meeting on coordinating arrangements for controlling contraband at the Ministry of Planning and Finance yesterday.

“Due to the smuggling of contraband, the State has suffered a great loss of revenue. And these contraband goods include foodstuff that is hazardous to health and commodities of bad quality,” he added.

In addition, illegal smuggling is harming the benefits of local businesses and industries. Within the flow of these illegal goods, there can be drugs, arms and weaponries, and goods that will harm the security of the nation and national morality, U Kyaw Win said.

With plans to establish a checkpoint in Yepu, Shan State, and Mayanchaung in Mon State, the Union minister said critical reports of traffic jams, corruption and damage to perishable goods can also be alleviated with the opening of the two checkpoints.

“The criticism that there can be bribery and corruption cases has been reported. Arrangements have been made to solve the critical reports. For traffic jams not to take place at the checkpoints, multiple teams will be formed as necessary to check at the gates, instead of one team,” he said.

Following the approval of the Government of the State, the team will carry out the tasks — issuing daily press releases through media, recording by CCTVs, using Mobile-X-ray equipment, checking trucks carrying goods that become easily spoilt at the place of loading and unloading, examining in detail upon receipt of tip-offs given by informants, posting examiner teams at designated places to stop incidences of bribery, allowing media to observe at the check-points, issuing daily press releases of arrests and seizures of contraband and awarding bounties of up to 50 per cent to informers whose information leads to an arrest.

Kyaikhtiyoe pilgrimage vehicles will not be examined unless information has been received that there is contraband aboard. Sale and purchase of contraband in the country will result in arrest in accord with the tax laws.

Merchants who fail to abide by the rules and laws will be arrested, and if staff has been found to have been involved in bribery and corruption, they will be severely punished, the minister said.

The Union minister has urged regional and state governments and departments to co-operate for the success of the project.
Present at the co-ordination meeting were Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win, ministers from Cabinets of Kayin State, Bago Region, Mon State and Shan State and responsible officials.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar

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