VietNamNet Bridge – Chinese merchants have been flocking to fishing ports in Khanh Hoa province to collect seafood materials. Meanwhile, the local authorities still do not know what they should do to settle the problem.
Two months ago, the Khanh Hoa provincial market control taskforce seized 40 tons of fish from two Chinese merchants at the Vinh Luong fishing port. However, Chinese merchants do not intend to give up the job. A lot of Chinese merchants still can be seen at the fishing ports in the locality, while many of them even go to the ships to examine products.
Some Chinese names have become well known at the ports, because they usually collect seafood materials in big quantities. Three or four Chinese men always wait at the ports for the fishing boats to return.
“They only haggle prices, while they do not pay much attention to the quality,” a Vietnamese fisherman said.
Chinese businessmen collecting seafood under the names of Vietnamese
Deputy Head of the Board of Management of the Vinh Luong fishing port Nguyen Thanh Hau said that many Chinese merchants have returned to China to celebrate Tet holiday and they have not returned. However, there always some people present at the port to collect fish.
As local newspapers have reported to the local authorities about the seafood material collection by Chinese merchants, the market control force has strengthened their inspection. Therefore, Chinese merchants now rarely go the port. They only had a quick look at the products and then leave the ports. Meanwhile, the other works are being taken by Vietnamese.
“This means that Chinese merchants still keep collecting Vietnamese seafood materials, but with the assistance of Vietnamese people,” Hau said.
According to Nguyen Minh So, Head of the Market Control Team in Khanh Hoa province, the Vietnamese laws do not prohibit Chinese merchants to collect seafood, but the merchants have to register their business and pay tax.
So went on to say that the illegal seafood collection has not only caused the loss of the tax collection to the sate budget, but has also badly affected authentic businesses.
“The fact that Chinese merchants collect materials in Vietnam has made Vietnamese businesses angry, because this has created an unhealthy competition,” So said.
According to him, Chinese merchants are now collecting seafood in two different ways, either they collect materials directly from farmers, then hire people to carry the materials to workshops for processing, or they collect materials under the names of Vietnamese people.
In the former case, it is easy to find the frauds because there is clear evidence. Meanwhile, if Vietnamese people come forward and collect seafood with their names, it would be more difficult for the management agencies to discover and punish.
It’s difficult to discover fraud; it’s more difficult to punish violators
Nguyen Van An from the Khanh Hoa provincial market control taskforce has admitted that it is really difficult to treat Chinese merchants.
“They speak to Vietnamese people in Vietnamese, but when we meet them, they said that they cannot speak Vietnamese. They always ask for interpreters and lawyers,” An said.
“The biggest challenge for us is to define the investment source, which goes beyond our capacity,” he added.
It is difficult to discover fraud, while it is even more difficult to treat the cases. The provincial authorities released the decision to impose fine on two Chinese merchants Lin Da Quang and Zheng Quan Xing and seized 40 tons of fish. However, to date, the two have not paid fines.
According to An, it is impossible to find out the accommodations of the two, while the 40 tons of fish have been kept at the cold storage of an enterprise which costs one million dong a day.