Assigned staff should not be involved in bribery cases in illegal trade measures: Vice-Senior General

It is necessary to continuously raise public awareness on the disadvantages of illegal trade, said Chairman of the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee Vice-Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win at a meeting 1/2023 of the steering committee at the Ministry of Commerce in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon.
Speaking at the meeting, the Vice-Senior General said commodities in illegal trade worth approximately K65.056 billion were seized in 4,232 cases from January to December 2022, compared to approximately K8.459 billion in 2,240 cases in the same period of 2021.
Illegal trade is caused by government policy, supply and demand, transparency and trade, and customs environment, according to the transnational alliance to combat illicit trade, he added.
The government often changed exercising the necessary policies to systematically control spending on foreign exchange. Especially, trade policies were changed in order to reduce the import of unnecessary goods. In this regard, according to the trade bulletin 10/2022 related to the export and import process issued by the Department of Trade, the number of applications for import licences declined at the Myawady border trade zone in December 2022 due to the plan to allow the importation based on incomes from export or other earnings at the Myanmar-Thai border trade.
The Vice-Senior General continued to say that supply and demand depend on the market, and it is difficult to control them, urging responsible departments to strive for gaining progress in transparency, trade and customs measures.
Hence, the Nay Pyi Taw Council, region and state illegal trade eradication special task forces are to eradicate illegal trade under the law and enforce the people to follow the law as much as they can. Their acts of combating illegal trade should not cause misunderstanding among the people.
It is necessary to reduce the unofficial gates which accepted the passing of illegal trade through bribes. If necessary, more official posts and entrances must be opened. Legal border trade camps must give a smooth process for trade and on the other hand, severe action must be taken against those who use illegal routes and posts for tax avoidance. To do so, an emphasis must be placed on enforcing rule of law along border regions.
The Vice-Senior General pointed out noticeable points that assigned staff should not be involved in bribery cases in illegal trade measures. The Vice-Senior General said he has often told all to be free from bribes in all meetings and warned the staff not to take any money and bribes in illegal trade. If not, the Vice-Senior General clearly warned all to take severe action against those staff as an example. Likewise, it is necessary to continuously raise public awareness of the disadvantages of illegal trade.
In checking illegal trade, arms and ammunition and narcotic drugs were seized in addition to illegal commodities. Drug producers change the distribution of drugs in the form of foodstuffs targeting the youths. Hence, parents and family members need to know whether the foodstuffs they consume are normal or not.
The staff members assigned to arresting the illegal commodities are to dutifully serve their duties free from bribes for levying taxes deserved by the State. Region and state special task forces and relevant departments are to go on their adopted plans to combat illegal trade.
Secretary of the steering committee Deputy Minister U Nyunt Aung reported on accomplishments over the minutes of the meeting 5/2022 and undertakings of the steering committee. Officials reported on letters sent to the coordination meeting 1/2023 of the steering committee.
Steering committee vice-chairman Union Minister U Win Shein and members Union Minister U Aung Naing Oo and Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Maj-Gen Soe Tint Naing and officials presented reports on their sectors in eradicating illegal trade. The leader of the steering committee office task force sought approval for the 1/2023 meeting decision (draft).
Before concluding the meeting, the Vice-Senior General coordinated the discussions. — MNA

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