Value of seized illegal commodities in 2023 some K70.31 billion more than that in 2022

The value of seized illegal commodities in 2023 was some K70.31 billion more than that in 2022 but illegal trade measures still occur in the nation, said Vice-Senior General Soe Win.
Vice-Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win delivered a speech at the work coordination meeting 1/2024 of the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee at the Ministry of Commerce in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
In his speech, the Vice-Senior General, who is also in the capacity of Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee Chairman, retold that the SAC Chairman Prime Minister at the meeting 1/2024 of Security, Peace and Stability and Rule of Law Committee on 26 January 2024 highlighted illegal trade can be financing armed terrorists and harming security measures, and it is necessary to effectively take action against the illegal trade measures. He continued that illegal trade considerably harms implementation of the sustainable development goals, especially legal businesses, revenues from investments in public service sectors of the government, thousands of job opportunities, ecosystem and life and property of the people, according to the Transnational Alliance to Combat-Illicit Trade-TRACIT.
He added that the globe faces approximately 8-15 per cent of loss in illegal trade. Investments worth billions of US$ obtained from illegal trade in other illegal businesses can worsen instabilities in businesses of the society, financing the terrorism which poses a threat to the global security.
The Vice-Senior General underscored that illegal trade causes disadvantages in productivity and profits of businesses, declining of incomes in legal businesses, harming economic development, reduction of production, sale and import of illegal businesses, lessening job opportunities, decrease of paying tax and revenue of the State, declining of investment, and increase of criminal gangs.
Moreover, he noted that illegal trade indirectly affects fish resource depletion, forced labour at illegal fishing trawlers by gangsters, degrading of ecosystem at forests and animals and threatening jobs in tourism sector due to illegal wood cutting and trading, loss in agricultural sector due to use of low-grade pesticides, and deterioration of natural environment in long run.
The Vice-Senior General highlighted that illegal commodities in the market will lose trust of consumers. Illegal trade may cause corruption and tremendously decline the revenue for the State. As such, eradication of illegal trade must be designated as a national duty for all, he added.
During the 24-month period after re-constituting the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee, he underlined that illegal trade and commodities worth some K200.422 billion were seized in 10,395 cases.
As such, he pointed out that it is obvious that assigned staff and special task forces from Nay Pyi Taw Council Area and regions and states have to take severe action against the offenders under the law.

Salient points in speech of the Vice-Senior General at meeting 1/2024 of the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee

• Illegal commodities in the market will lose trust of consumers.
• Illegal trade may cause corruption and tremendously decline the revenue for the State.
• Illegal trade and commodities worth some K200.422 billion were seized in 10,395 cases during the 24-month period.
• More effective ways and techniques must be sought for checking illegal trade measures which threatens domestic manufacturing.

He stressed that as the State Administration Council has allowed installation of a modern X-ray machine at Nyaungkhashay permanent checkpoint where Customs Department will inspect export vehicles, the Ministry of Planning and Finance needs to invite tender to the project so as to install the equipment as quickly as possible.
At present, he said that bill of loading system and SOPs is being implemented for train, inland water transport vessel and coastal liners in a three-month trial from 1 January 2024. Upon completion of the trial period, action must be taken against offenders for not conformity with the SOPs. Aviation cargo transport must be reviewed to address the weakness during the three-month trial from 11 January 2024, he noted.
The Vice-Senior General called for applying conventional inspection and ICT technological inspection in checking smuggled commodities in eradication of illegal trade. Officials need to supervise their assigned duties at checkpoints, security gates and container ports not to cause bribery cases.
On the other hand, he urged all to provide assistance for MSME businesses for their long term existence so as to increase export volume and import-substitute manufacturing at home. Hence, more effective ways and techniques must be sought for checking illegal trade measures which threatens domestic manufacturing.
Secretary of the steering committee Deputy Minister for Commerce U Min Min reported on accomplishment over the minutes of the meeting 6/2023 and work process of the steering committee.
Task force leaders of the steering committee office reported the letters to the meeting and Union ministers and the deputy minister discussed reviews on illegal trade, taking action against seized narcotic drugs, prohibited materials, vehicles, fuel, foodstuffs, medicines and cosmetics in regions and states including Nay Pyi Taw Council Area, comparison of exports with imports, commodity flows at trade camps, e-lock system measures, and illegal sales of goods online.
The leader of the task force at the steering committee office reported on the draft minute of the meeting 1/2024. The Vice-Senior General coordinated all discussions and reports.
The meeting was also attended by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, U Win Shein and U Tun Ohn, deputy ministers and officials together with chairmen of special task force from regions and states through video conferencing. — MNA/TTA

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