The bitter plague of sugar smuggling from Cambodia

Travelling on the muddy smuggling road in My Duc Commune, Ha Tien Town in southwestern Kien Giang is difficult, but each bike carries five or six bags of sugar with ease.

Having been warned of violence if the drivers realised they were being followed and photographed, a Hai quan (Customs) newspaper reporter, on his trip to the area notorious for sugar and tobacco smuggling, hid carefully to document the smugglers.Ngo Hoang Thai, head of Kien Giang Province Customs Department said that local authorities struggled to tackle smuggling as many local residents worked as seasonal porters transporting smuggled goods.

They took advantage of Government policies allowing residents in border areas to travel and trade cross-border goods in small volumes. They crossed the border, buying mangoes or waste materials and selling them to wholesalers in Viet Nam.

Wholesalers even offered them loans to carry out the trades.