Three drug trafficking rings busted

The Drug Crime Investigation Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security recently announced that it, together with relevant agencies, had busted three major drug trafficking rings.


On June 20, the agencies arrested Do Tuan Bao, born in 1984 and residing in HCM City, confiscating 10,000 synthetic drug pills.


They also captured Vo QuocHoa, 27, from Can Tho, and seized 45kg of crystal meth, 8,000 drug pills and another 8kg of synthetic drug at his residence.


After further investigation, the forces arrested three ringleaders, all of them staying in HCM City.


The police found 300g of crystal meth, 200 drug pills, a CZ 75 pistol and five bullets when searching the residence of Nguyen Van Phuong in Binh Tan district.


In late June, in Hanoi, the police caught red handed three men trafficking drugs, seizing 54 bricks of heroin and related documents. They are all from the northwestern mountainous province of Dien Bien.


The police arrested two more men afterward, including the ringleader.


On June 30, relevant agencies apprehended Nong Van Hai from Cao Bang province into custody. They seized two guns, seven bullets and other exhibits at his place.


The third drug ring was busted the same day in HCM City. The police arrested Tran ThanhPhong, seizing 0.5kg of crystal meth.


Five other people were caught as the police seized additional 5.5kg of meth, six guns, 23 bullets, one grenade, an electric baton, four swords, three cars and other exhibits.


The cases are under further investigation.


According to the police, as COVID-19 has been brought under control in Vietnam and social distancing measures lifted, drug trafficking activities may likely be on the rise. Relevant agencies will enhance efforts to bust trafficking cases and not to let Vietnam become a drug hub.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

HCM City promises support for workers laid off due to pandemic


The HCM City Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs would take whatever measures are needed in the second half of the year to safeguard workers’ incomes and jobs, which have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Le Minh Tan, its director, has promised.


More than 327,000 workers in the city were laid off in the first half, he said. Tourism and other services were the hardest hit with some 4,400 enterprises being affected and 100,000-120,000 workers laid off.


To protect workers’ rights, the department has set up working groups to support businesses and ensure employees are treated in accordance with legal provisions, he said.


“Enterprises that lay off workers must notify them 45 days in advance.”


In addition, companies must have additional support policies for more vulnerable employees such as seniors and pregnant women, he added.


“Of the nearly 2,800 PouYuen workers in Binh Tan district who have been laid off, 745 want to stay in the city. We will look for businesses in the same industry to find jobs for those workers.”


The department is working with eight companies in Go Vap district to recruit 2,222 workers who had been laid off by Hue Phong Footwear JSC in the district, he said.


The department has learnt that a Taiwanese furniture company in Cu Chi would lay off around 800 jobs soon, and is looking for wood manufacturing enterprises seeking to hire workers, he said.


It would also send workers in need of vocational training to vocational centres, he said.


According to city authorities, 90 percent of 8,400 enterprises facing difficulties are eligible for the 62 trillion VND (2.7 billion USD) support package of the Government and Resolution 2 of the City People’s Council. The businesses that receive the funding from these two programmes should keep their workers.


The Government has allowed businesses to suspend paying social insurance premiums for their workers, trade union funds and others until the end of the year if they retain them.


According to a survey by the HCM City Statistics Office, nearly 14,000 out of the city’s 16,300 enterprises were affected by the pandemic in the first half, with around 8,400 enterprises suspending operations and thus laying off a large number of employees.


If the pandemic continues in the second half, another 4,800-5,000 enterprises in the services, industrial and construction sectors will be affected and 160,000-180,000 more workers could lose their jobs.


Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc recently approved the relief package worth over 62 trillion VND to benefit around 20 million people nation-wide with a focus on workers who lost jobs and incomes and businesses affected by the pandemic.


Under Resolution 42, as of the end of June, HCM City provided financial support worth a total of 560 billion VND to more than 510,000 out of a total of 542,000 people affected by the pandemic.


In March, HCM City authorities approved a support package targeting 600,000 workers and teachers at private pre-schools who lost their jobs and poor families.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

Farmers in Ba Ria-Vung Tau earn high profits thanks to high-tech shrimp breeding

More farmers in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau are seeing much higher profits by using advanced farming techniques to breed shrimp.


Under high-tech farming models which use super-intensive farming, the beds of shrimp breeding ponds are covered with plastic sheets and anti-sunlight nets are hung above. The models are also equipped with oxygen-generating facilities.


Besides shrimp breeding ponds, other ponds filter water which is released into shrimp breeding ponds or used for treatment of waste water.


High-tech shrimp farming has a success rate of 90 percent and offers far higher profit than traditional shrimp breeding in mud ponds, according to farmers.


Bui TheVuong began using advanced farming techniques to breed shrimp on a 7ha farming area in Long Dien district’s An Ngai commune last year.


In the 7ha area, he uses 1.5ha for shrimp breeding ponds and the rest for ponds to filter water and to treat waste water.


High-tech shrimp farming can produce three shrimp crops a year, up nearly two times against traditional farming models, Vuong said.


The death rate of shrimp bred in high-tech shrimp farming is significantly lower compared to traditional farming models.


He has bred five shrimp crops under the model and earns about 1.2-1.4 billion VND (51,000-60,400 USD) each crop.


Similarly, Le Quang Hung, one of salt farmers in Ba Ria city’s Ward 12, is applying high-tech shrimp farming.


He switched from salt making to black-tiger shrimp breeding in 2005, and then later switched completely to breeding shrimp.


In 2018, he invested 1 billion VND (43,000 USD) in high-tech shrimp farming for his 1.5ha. He built two ponds for breeding shrimp and three ponds for treating water, and bought oxygen-generating facilities, plastic sheets and anti-sunlight nets for shrimp ponds.


He now breeds three shrimp crops a year with an output of more than 16 tonnes of shrimp a year, earning a profit of nearly 1 billion VND a year.


The province has about 352ha of shrimp bred under high-tech shrimp farming, up nearly 100ha against a year ago, according to the province’s Fisheries Sub-department.


Under high-tech shrimp farming, shrimp can be bred at a density of 250-500 shrimps per sq.m. Water used for breeding shrimp is closely managed and is not affected by weather conditions, so shrimp can be bred year round.


Nguyen HuuThi, head of the sub-department’s Aquaculture Management Division, said the high-tech shrimp farming models in the province have had positive results and helped shrimp breeders cope with climate change.


High-tech shrimp farming has also improved production efficiency since shrimp are bred at a high density, he said.


To encourage more farmers to apply high-tech farming, the division is organising courses on advanced farming techniques to help farmers make the switch from traditional shrimp farming.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

Mediation at grassroots level under discussion

Results of a study into mediation at the grassroots level by the Justice Initiatives Facilitation Fund (JIFF) were discussed in Hanoi on July 8.


The event was co-held by the Vietnam Judicial Support Association for the Poor (VIJUSAP), Oxfam in Vietnam, and JIFF.


In an address, VIJUSAP President Dr Ta Thi Minh Ly said mediation at the grassroots level holds a great importance, as this is the first step in handling differences of opinion and legal violations, and serves as a cornerstone for stability and solidarity in the community and in socio-economic development.


It also helps protect citizens’ legitimate rights and benefits, especially those of the disadvantaged.


However, Ly noted, the study also found that access to mediation at the grassroots level remains limited, as people only pay attention to the issue when conflicts and disputes occur.


Local customs can also create conditions unfavourable for mediation.


She pointed out that there is a lack of constant communication, personnel, and documents on the issue, among other concerns.


During the discussion, delegates analysed bottlenecks in policies and legal regulations and put forward recommendations to improve mediation at the grassroots level.


Vietnam needs to amend legal regulations on the issue and review the role of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and social organisations in the establishment of mediation groups, they said.


Pham QuangTu, Deputy Country Director of Oxfam Vietnam, said the participation of many stakeholders, especially women, is significant in raising the efficiency of mediation at the grassroots level.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

Labour export market expected to recover soon


Vietnam’s labour export activities are showing signs of recovery from COVID-19.


Vietnamese labourers who have been working in Malaysia have been told they can return to work, but not until the end of August.


And moves are being made to allow workers to return to both the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China) in the near future.


The Department of Overseas Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has said the Malaysian Government officially announced to end the valid restricted movement order.


In a recent meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc assigned the ministry make arrangements to send labourers to countries which are safe and in need of workers.


Nguyen GiaLiem, the department’s deputy director, said the three markets received more than 90 percent of the total of Vietnamese labourers in foreign countries.


Employers in the RoK and Taiwan wanted Vietnamese labourers to come back to resume their production as soon as possible. The Human Resource Development Services of Korea last month organised the Korean language proficiency tests in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, showing that this market would be soon re-openned.


Liem said the labour demand in Japan was also very high, especially in sectors of agriculture, taking care of the elderly and food processing. The two countries have been under negotiations to resume their labour market hopefully by the end of this month or the beginning of August.


Pham Do Nhat Tan, vice chairman of Vietnam Association of Manpower Supply (VAMAS), said the labour export market has seen signs of recovery. It was expected that Japan would soon re-open. Local firms operating in the sector should prepare workers to meet the demand as soon as the country resumes the market.


In addition, the Government should negotiate with Japan to have flexible solutions to bring workers to safe areas without COVID-19, he said.


In mid-June, Hoang Long CMS Company brought 29 workers to Taiwan following an order of Kymco Group for its electronic motorbike assembly factory.


NghiemQuoc Hung, the company’s chairman cum general director, said labourers were provided with accommodation and isolated for 14 days before starting work.


Vu ThanhHai, director of international investment and service company, Interserco, also said they have started to complete procedures for labourers to move to Taiwan this month. Workers in production sectors would be given priorities. Some Taiwanese companies have already arranged quarantine areas for Vietnamese labourers.


Vietnam aims to send 130,000 labourers to work overseas this year. However, the country has so far only sent 33,500 people to foreign markets in the first half of the year due to the pandemic, reducing 40 percent from the same period last year. In May only, local businesses sent just 126 workers abroad.


In the last six months, more than 5,000 Vietnamese labourers in overseas markets returned home because of COVID-19.


Source: Vietnam News Agency


Life-changing opportunities come to foreign prisoners

Officials at Thu Duc jail have turned it into a place of education and support for its nearly 200 foreign prisoners, helping them become a better version of themselves before returning home.


Along with policies on meals, clothing, and healthcare services, regulations like reducing prison time and amnesties have been introduced for foreign prisoners, as they have been for Vietnamese prisoners.


Policies allowing foreign prisoners to meet relatives and have consular contact are also in place.


John Nguyen, a prisoner of the American nationality, said he has been in jail for 19 years and found the people and environment friendly enough. Any time his family members visit, they feel peace of mind and encourage him to behave himself, he said.


Closing the book he was reading, Nicholas Stars, a 42-year-old Nigerian, said he has served five years and has ten to go. Using his good Vietnamese, he said he enjoys the meals and comfortable environment.


“The officers here are kind,” he said. “I have a consular meeting every four months, and my family visit me once or twice a year. I feel okay.”


Foreign prisoners have received vocational training and academic studies and joined artistic and sporting activities, so can more readily return to society and become useful citizens.


Work is designed to suit the age and physical condition of each prisoner, helping them understand the value of labour while nurturing their confidence.


Chinese national Li Chun Ying said that thanks to advice given by wardens, she now feels much better than when she first arrived.


“Female prisoners are treated well,” she said. “Not only do we receive life’s necessities, we can also study Vietnamese, play sports, sing karaoke, and access healthcare services when we are sick.” Li has won many of the table tennis tournaments held at the jail.


“I am grateful to the officials here, who have made me feel at home.”


Speaking of her time in Thu Duc, Thai prisoner Preayamooch said the living conditions are totally different from what she had imagined. The officers are friendly and helpful, allowing her to settle into life behind bars, while she is subject to the same policies as her Vietnamese peers.


“My family are happy to see the conditions I live in and encourage me to follow the regulations and return home as soon as possible,” she said.


As part of efforts to educate prisoners, officers have focused on teaching them Vietnamese, through which they can also gain a better understanding of Vietnamese culture.


Peng Kang Yu, a Taiwanese who is monitor of the Vietnamese class, said studying the local language helps prisoners become closer together. Knowing how to read Vietnamese also allows them to read books from the jail’s library.


Preayamooch said that after returning to Thailand, she will find a job relating to Vietnam and continue using her Vietnamese skills.


Mohd Hafiz Gomez Bin Abdullah, a Malaysian who was quite unruly when he first arrived at the jail 19 years ago, said the support from jail officers changed him and made him determined to change his ways.


He said through learning Vietnamese he has come to love the culture and people of Vietnam.


“I have enjoyed seven sentence reductions and only have ten more months here,” he said with a smile. “It will pass quickly. Along with my family, I also have a Vietnamese girlfriend waiting for me outside.”


Before returning to Australia, Kevin Willia De Santos wrote: “I have served my sentence in Vietnam for four years and 11 months. While here, I have been fairly treated, even sometimes better-than-expected…I always feel comfortable and safe during the days of serving the sentence.”


Colonel Pham Thi Minh Hai, an officer at the Thu Duc jail, said that, like their peers in other jails, officers at Thu Duc have worked hard to help prisoners, including foreigners, recognise their wrongdoings and become better people.


“This is not a place for caging and punishing criminals, but a place to educate and support them so they become more confident and reset their lives,” Hai said.


“They are not ‘prisoners’ as such, they are people fixing their mistakes,” he added, emphasising that their management and education must be in line with the law and in the spirit of humanitarianism and respect, ensuring their human rights.


“By doing this, we can turn jails into schools for those who had chosen the wrong paths,” Hai said.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

Contest launched to seek digital transformation solutions

Viet Solutions 2020, a contest seeking solutions for digital transformation process in Vietnam for individuals and businesses over the world was launched by the Ministry of Information and Communication and the Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group.


The contest aims to find creative solutions to deal with social issues, contributing to implementing the national digital strategy.


Viettel Group will create favourable conditions and foundation for the contesting products and solutions to develop.


MIC Minister Nguyen Manh Hung said that digital transformation is the cradle for digital technology firms in Vietnam.


Viet Solutions will encourage the application of new technologies, especially digital ones, he said.


Underlining that digital transformation is a long way to go for the whole nation and people, Hung called for all technology organisations, businesses and individuals to participate in the work.


The Viet Solutions 2020 covers various areas including games, multimedia, social media, solutions and applications in different sectors such as health care, education, finance, banking, agriculture, transport, logistics, energy, natural resources and environment, and industry.


Le Dang Dung, Acting Chairman and General Director of Viettel, vowed that the firm is willing to cooperate with young technology firms to promote Vietnamese technology and solutions.


According to the organising board, the winner of the contest will receive 200 million VND in cash, while the runner-up will get 100 million VND and the team coming third will receive 50 million VND.


The winning solution will be completed towards Viettel standards and have the chance to reach the market with 100 million clients that Viettel is covering. The leading teams will also have the opportunity to cooperate with Viettel.


Source: Vietnam News Agency