Official killed by cigarette smuggler

20:32 17/09/2016
A market management official was killed last night by a cigarette smuggler, while being on duty near Vàm Cỏ River in Long An Province.

The case was reported this morning by Nguyễn Anh Việt, manager of the province’s market management branch.

The deceased official was identified as Nguyễn Kim Danh, age 46, a member of the branch.

While waiting for smugglers on a stretch of Vàm Cỏ River in Đức Hòa District, Danh and three other inspectors stopped a motorboat which was carrying approximately 9.000 smuggled cigarette packages, according to officials. The motorboat’s driver, however, was able to escape.

A motoboat travelling on a river

The team was returning the cigarettes to the market management branch’s headquarters when a group of 10 motorboats appeared. Twenty smugglers chased the officials, seeking to recover the illegal cigarettes.

The officials’ boat accelerated and they called for support, however, one motorboat driver caught up with the officials and attacked the team with a stick. After being struck in the head, Danh fell into the river and died.

The case is under investigation.

Smuggling has been a serious problem in Long An Province. As of last month, the province had collected fines of VNĐ75 billion (US$2.55 million) from more than 2.200 smuggling and fraud cases this year.

Tobacco and sugar were the most commonly smuggled items, according to provincial authorities.