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Posts Tagged ‘illegal’

Floods, landslides as illegal sand miners erode central region rivers

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

Many rivers in the central region are overflowing and causing floods as rampant mining of sand has from stripped their banks clean.

People use pumps to suck sand illegally in the Tra Khuc River in the central coastal province of Quang Ngai (Photo: SGGP)

The 15-kilometer-long Tuy Loan River in Da Nang, for instance, sees tens of boats equipped with pumps sailing up and down daily to illegally exploit sand.
They berth one after another between 2am and 2pm to set up the pumps on the banks and extract sand.
There are dozens of illegal mines along just one kilometer of the river and many craters.
Le Thi Lan, who owns a vegetable farm near the river, said the river has encroached deeply into the land. If authorities fail to do act, there will be no land left by the end of this year to grow vegetables.
People living on Mo Coi hillock in Quang Nam Province’s Dien Ban District said dozens of boats come every night to take away sand, causing landslides.
According to the Dien Phong Commune Farmers Association, some 40 hectares of land in the commune have been lost to encroachment by the river, lands that once supported many families.
Triem Tay hamlet in the commune lost tens of hectares, forcing over 20 households to move.
More than 30 boats come every day to this area to take away thousands of cubic meters of sand.
Ninety out of 125 families have moved out of Vinh Thanh hamlet due to landslides.
In Quang Ngai Province the Tra Khuc River’s vicinity looks like a war zone with a huge number of boats mining sand from dunes.
In Quang Ngai town, dozens of trucks line up early morning every day in Le Hong Phong ward to mine sand from dunes.
Natural resources stolen
The People’s Committee of Hoa Nhon Commune in Da Nang, established a team equipped with a boat to patrol dunes and detect illegal miners earlier this year.
However, due to a shortage of personnel and limited powers, the team cannot arrest illegal miners but only impose fines of up to VND1.5 million.
As a result, the illegal exploitation continues.
Nguyen Dang Du, chairman of the committee, said his commune has lost three hectares of farmland in less than a year to the mining and admitted his administration’s helplessness to do anything.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Quang Ngai said the province People’s Committee plans to auction away the right to mine sand along the Tra River.
In recent years, after every flood season, many landslides occur along the river.
The central region is in chaos — illegal sand miners are everywhere, river banks and nearby lands are being eroded, people are losing their farmlands, and official agencies are unable to do anything to prevent all this.

Related articles:
Illegal gold miners dig up central coastal region
Titanium mining causes distress along central coast

Source: SGGP

Illegal gold miners dig up central coastal region

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 7:03 am

Authorities in the central coastal provinces seem helpless to curb a “gold rush” as thousands of people converge on the region with rudimentary tools, making it look like a battlefield.

People illegally dig in a mountain for gold in Tuong Duong District in the central coastal province of Nghe An. Authorities seem powerless to stop the mining.

Ho Van Thanh, police chief of Dakrong Commune in Quang Tri Province’s Dakrong District, said the mining has not only caused air pollution and landslides in the region, but also accidents.
A mine collapse in September killed a woman and injured three men, he said.
The police have staged some 30 raids in the last six months to catch the illegal miners.
However, these have not deterred the prospectors who continue to dig in mountains and rivers.
To avoid the police and other authorities, the miners start in the evening and work until early morning, fleeing to neighboring places when detected.
Among the worst affected is Phuoc Son District in Quang Nam Province.
Dinh Van Dong, chairman of the district’s Phuoc Duc Commune People’s Committee, said he does not have enough personnel or funds to stop the illegal mining and take over the mines.
Hoang Dinh Nhat, deputy head of the district Natural Resources and Environment Department, admitted the illegal prospecting continues because of poor management by local authorities.
While the police sometimes manage to expel the miners, the administrative authorities fail to stop them from returning, he said.
Besides, the prospectors often get advance information of the raids and flee into forests before the police arrive, he added.

Related article:
Titanium mining causes distress along central coast

Source: SGGP

Australia orders visitors to declare illegal porn

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Australia has ordered visitors to reveal illegal pornography to customs officers in a move which was criticised as “totally confusing” and an invasion of privacy on Tuesday.

Justice Minister Brendan O’Connor on Monday said illegal material must be declared on arrival, watering down recent rules that asked for all pornography to be revealed.

But he said anyone who is not sure whether they have illegal pornography should reveal it just in case. The revamped rule is outlined on arrival cards which are filled in by travellers coming to Australia.

A man looks at pirated pornographic CDs at a market stall.

Australian Sex Party leader Fiona Patten said the measure amounted to an invasion of privacy, and warned that many tourists and even Australians would not know what pornography was illegal.

“They are still totally confusing,” she said of the arrival cards. “What is illegal to import to our country is not necessarily illegal to possess,” she added.

Patten said while Australians were rightly concerned about child pornography, travellers should not have to declare all erotic material to customs officers just to be safe.

“It’s a breach of people’s privacy,” she said.

The government said it changed the wording on passenger arrival cards after becoming aware of confusion among travellers about what pornography to declare.

“People have a right to privacy and while some pornography is legal and does not need to be disclosed, all travellers should be aware that certain types of pornography are illegal and must be declared to customs,” O’Connor said.

Banned material includes child pornography, bestiality, explicit sexual violence, degradation, cruelty and non-consensual sex.

“Even though there have been import bans on illegal pornography for a long time, some travellers still don’t realise that,” O’Connor said in a statement.

Making a false statement to a customs officer carries a fine of up to 11,000 dollars (10,856 US) while bringing in objectionable material, such as child pornography, can incur a fine of up to 275,000 dollars and ten years’ jail.

Source: SGGP

Educational ministry to impose punishment on illegal formation of schools

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 8:03 am

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has decided to enhance punishments on illegal acts in establishment of educational institutes.

Under a decision issued by the ministry, anyone to illicitly set up educational facilities from pre-schools to universities will receive fines ranging from VND10 to 100 million. Forming classes without permission of the local government will be fined VND500,000 to over VND10million.

Educational institutes will be penalized over VND40 million if they grant students licenses which doesn’t come within their jurisdiction. Schools shortening curriculums will be fined over VND200,000.

MOET will impose punishment on those universities who have enrolled students more than regulated admission.

The maximum fine of VND 10 million will be inflicted on abusing students and teachers’ physical and mental health.

MOET complained some managers did not fulfill their duty of implementing punishments ruled in a MOET previous regulation.


Source: SGGP

Labor department asks to impose fines on illegal school

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 8:02 am

To prevent further wrongdoings of Ho Chi Minh City-based American Vietnamese International School (AVIS), the city labor department asked the local government to impose penalty on the school.

AVIS disappears  but it turns out to be  Van Xuan Training Institute and International Cooperation (Photo; SGGP0

AVIS disappears but it turns into  Van Xuan Training Institute and International Cooperation (Photo; SGGP)

In a report on wrongdoings of AVIS, the city Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs (DOLISA) said the school opened a unaccredited three-year college degree and enrolled 300 students for this degree while it was allowed to offer only short-term courses.

DOLISA, the Department of Education and Training, the Department of Planning and Investment of Ho Chi Minh City and other relevant agencies will discuss penalties on AVIS although the school has taken the initiative to pay back over VND1 billion tuition fee to 75 enrolled students for 2010-2011 academic year.

However, the school has still not paid back to 300 students of the last academic year.

Moreover, after Sai Gon Giai Phong reported its wrongdoings, AVIS disappeared. The school turned into Van Xuan Training Institute and International Cooperation.

Related article:
School deceives students into enrolling in unaccredited program

Source: SGGP

Fight against illegal posters ‘difficult’

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Fight against illegal posters ‘difficult’

QĐND – Saturday, August 07, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

The HCM City authorities are trying to eliminate the popular, long-term illegal adverts on walls and electricity poles around the city by setting up small billboards for a low fee.

In April, the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism requested that authorities erect a billboard to collect all adverts for better management and add to the State coffers.

“Advertisement demand is huge, and many residents and companies don’t have enough money for TV adverts, newspapers or leaflets. These kinds of billboards at a very small fee are necessary,” Le Quang Vinh, senior official of the department, said.

However, before implementing the plan, districts have asked the department to impose fines on violators.

“We have tried to stop the situation by imposing cash penalties for those who made illegal adverts,” an official of Phu Nhuan District said. “Most of them were disadvantaged people who didn’t have any money, so we had to search for the owners to issue fines.”

“It took a long time and didn’t work well because with such a small fine for illegal adverts, the owners continued,” he said.

Another solution was to suspend all telephone numbers on illegal ads, but the practice continued until recently.

It is difficult to stop the use of the phone numbers because official reports are first needed from the department.

In the past, billboards were erected for free at District 1’s Tu Du Hospital at Tan Binh District’s Hoang Van Thu Park and headquarters of Ward 11, but no one put up ads.

To end the practice, residents in Tan Binh District’s Ward 11 took stronger action by strictly punishing those who made illegal ads. They immediately removed or painted over all the ads as well.

Local authorities gave awards of VND200,000–500,000 (US$10-30) for those who caught the illegal admakers. After that, the violators had to pay high fines and remove the adverts.

The district was able to get rid of the illegal ads without any help from the city.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

Illegal foreign workers to be expelled

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Illegal foreign workers to be expelled

QĐND – Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 22:32 (GMT+7)

Foreign workers working in Vietnam for three months or more without work permits will be expelled from the country, according to a new decision issued by the Prime Minister.

Companies without plans to train Vietnamese workers to replace foreigners in the managerial and technical fields or employing foreign workers who do not have work permits will be fined 15-20 million VND (780-1,100 USD).

Companies hiring foreign workers without informing the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs will be fined 20-30 million VND.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Illegal pharmaceutical trade continues to run rampant in HCMC

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 6:13 am

Following the discovery last month of fake drugs in 10 Viet-France Pharmaceuticals Company warehouses, SGGP reporters have unearthed more information on illegal drug-selling practices in Ho Chi Minh City.

A cache of fake drugs found in a small workshop in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

To Hien Thanh Street in the city’s District 10 is well known for its wholesale pharmaceutical markets. Some enterprises on the street refused to purchase medicines with unclear origins, but other dubious traders are known to sell nearly expired drugs at half the original price.

Demand for the drug Viagra, used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, has recently skyrocketed, as have prices for the medicine.

Four blister packs of the drug cost VND700,000 in the mainstream market, but fake varieties are sold rampantly to pharmacies by illegal drug traders for only around VND200,000. The phony drugs are then resold to unknowing customers.

In addition, unscrupulous pharmaceutical company representatives can earn profits from selling their company’s drug samples, which are normally offered to doctors for free.

Such companies are not permitted to sell their medicine samples, but some employees with access to the drugs have been found reselling them cheaply, without receipts or proof of origin, to local pharmacies.

Independent, illegal drug traders also work throughout the city. One trader named Tuan was found to have purchased a large quantity of the drug Sagacef 200, manufactured by Saga Laboratories of India and imported by Pharbaco Central Pharmaceutical JSC No.1.

The medicine has been banned in Vietnam, however, for failing to meet Vietnamese safety and quality standards, and the Ministry of Health ordered the importer to withdraw the medicine from the local market.

Some fake-drug traders also find ways to remake and sell expired and prohibited medicines to pharmacies and private clinics at high prices.

Local police last month discovered a large quantity of fake medicines and production equipment including stamping machines and a device to make drug capsules. The paraphernalia, stored in 10 warehouses on Ly Thuong Kiet Street in District 10, allegedly belonged to Huynh Van Quang, director of the Viet-France Pharmaceuticals Company JCC.

Quang reportedly purchased cheap, domestically made medicines and then placed the drugs in brand-name containers including Novartis, Roche, Gedeon Richter, Janssen Cilag and Solvay to resell at higher prices.

Last month, HCMC Market Managers also discovered 2,000 containers of expired drugs in a warehouse belonging to Dong Phuong (Oriental) Pharmaceutical Ltd. Company in District 1. The company was found illegally applying new expiry dates to the drugs.

According to the HCMC Market Management Board, over 10 major cases were unearthed in 2009 involving local pharmacies selling fake or expired drugs. In addition, many more were found selling drugs without clear origins or receipts.

Each Vietnamese citizen spends around US$16.40 on drugs annually, and could be putting their health at great risk when purchasing medicines of unknown origin and safety.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

City struggles with illegal nightclubs

In Vietnam Society on September 15, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Inspectors from Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Culture and Society recently swooped into a bar, BB Club, in Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 3, after investigating it for sometime and found employees allegedly without labor contracts nor did it have food hygiene certificates.

A nightclub in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

They also found prescription drugs which the inspectors believe may have been used recreationally.

Over 100 people, dressed scantily, were unable to present identity papers and taken to District 3’s police station to be tested for illegal drugs.

The BB Club was licensed to open as a restaurant, however, it allegedly operated as a nightclub with hundreds of people dancing most nights.

Under the ground floor was another bar, G8. It was earlier named Louis, a bar where tens of people were caught for allegedly taking drugs.

Local authorities had previously asked Louis to close it doors in 2008 after breaking various regulations.

According to an unverified report, HCMC currently has about 40,000 restaurants operating without licenses. Of these, 1,000 bars run undercover of restaurants, which are mainly located in districts 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, Tan Binh, Tan Phu and Binh Tan.

Recently, some bars have broken regulations by remaining open after official closing-time, playing music that is prohibited, nude dancing, heroin and ecstasy drug use and prostitution, among many other violations. 

Sanctions have not been strict enough to ward off such nightclubs

In a 2006 Government decree, 56/NĐ-CP, punishment for administrative violations in culture and information activities, violations like using workers under 18 years old or staff without labor contracts, creating excessive noise, or opening doors past 11pm are to be punished with fines of VND2 million.

Some have questioned the small penalties, especially compared with the large profits earned. As such, such places continue despite being fined regularly.

In 2005, the Government instructed local authorities to control negative activities in bars, restaurants, karaoke bars and nightclubs.

Accordingly, provincial authorities should stop granting licenses for this business type.

People wanting to trade in this field have asked for licenses to establish companies and restaurants with ever more simple procedures. As a result, there are many bars, nightclubs and karaoke bars operating illegally.

Dang Minh Su, deputy head of HCM City’s sub-department for social problems, said that to withdraw licenses of restaurants with illegal bars, authorities have to catch them while they organize prostitution, or sell or allow drugs to be taken on the premises.

However, it is very difficult to uncover as those being investigated are able to hide illegal activities in time.

Moreover, some bar and nightclub owners in the city have good relations with some senior officials. The number of inspectors is also thin and they have to cover a large area, leading to difficulties to clear illegal bars and nightclubs.

Source: SGGP

Illegal, unskilled foreign workers to be expelled

In Vietnam Society on September 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Aiming at tightening the management of foreign workers, the Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, signed a dispatch, No. 3353/LDTBXH-VL, asking provincial and cities’ People’s Committees across the country to inspect foreigners’ work papers.

Chinese workers in Nghi Son Industrial Zone in Thanh Hoa Province.

The inspection has to focus on regulations of recruitment and the granting of work permits and extensions, especially foreign companies employing foreign workers.

If any individuals or organizations are found to have broken the law, they will be fined. Illegal and unskilled foreign workers will be expelled from the country.

Local authorities must send monthly summary reports to the ministry, including the number of foreign workers and businesses using foreign workers, and management measures of such workers.

Source: SGGP