Export trucks get robbed at border | Halong Bay Airport

Export trucks get robbed at border

Many drivers have complained having been robbed while waiting to deliver produce loads to China at Tan Thanh Border Gate in Lang Son Province.

A group of young people rob from the trucks

At the peak of watermelon harvesting season in southern Vietnam comes, nearly one thousand trucks have gotten stuck at the border due to the low capability of customs clearance. On normal days each vehicle must wait for around three days to get through customs, but now the wait time has increased.

The drivers are not paid for the waiting time and watermelons are highly expirable. As the wait continues, some truck drivers say that they have been robbed. One driver said, “After I parked my truck, a group of strangers came and asked for a ‘security fee’, then some watermelons. I refused, but during the nighttime, I saw them sneaked back to help themselves. I was threatened not to say anything.”

Other drivers also complained about a group of young men that they said came to ask for money and watermelons, and some even said that their gas tanks were damaged in an attempt to steal fuel. Most drivers do not report these incidents for fear of reprisal.

Tran Ngoc Anh, deputy head of the police in Van Lang District, admitted that such cases do exist. He said they have deployed inspection teams, but have only arrested two suspects. “The way these thieves operate has become more sofisticated compared to the first incidents we’ve seen,” he said.

Deputy head of Tan Thanh Custom Branch, Dang Thi Ngan, said they have increased the working hours and asked Chinese authorities to cooperate to clear the waiting line as soon as possible.


 Trucks stuck at Tan Thanh Border Gate.

According to customs officials, they can provide clearance service for about 300 trucks per day. Both parking lots and the current facilities in Vietnam and China cannot meet the increasing number of trucks. Security services for waiting trucks remains heavily dependent on local authorities.

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