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Int'l cooperation expanded to combat smuggling(26/10/04)


    A top Chinese customs official vowed here Tuesday to enhance cooperation between Hong Kong, Macao and major Chinese trade partners to combat international smuggling activities and customs fraud.

    China has "effectively" contained massive smuggling activities since 1998 when it launched a nationwide campaign to fight against the crime, Sheng Guangzu, deputy director of the General Administration of Customs, told a press conference.

    "However, under new circumstances, smuggling situation remains severe and smugglers have become more shrewd," Sheng said. "That poses new challenges to the anti-smuggling task."

    Currently, smuggling of refined oil is also rampant in key sea areas, he said. In addition, non-tarrif related smuggling cases, such as waste products and drugs, are also rising.

    "All that shows as long as the price difference between domestic and international market and trade restrictions exist, smugglers will never stop risking themselves for huge profits despite severe punishment of law," he noted.

    To carry out further the fight against smuggling, Sheng said, China will adopt a series of measures, such as improving the customs' anti-smuggling legal system, establishing a defense against commercial price fraud, a credit management system for businesses, and a strict supervision and control of imported and exported goods.

    Statistics show that Chinese customs have investigated some 13,800 smuggling cases, including some 7,000 criminal cases, during the January-September period this year.

    During the period, compulsory measures have been adopted on 2,314 suspected smuggling criminals, which is roughly equal to that of last year.


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