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Changing or stealing postal items can be punished as criminal cases

According to Mr. Do Huu Tri, Deputy Director General of the Department of Inspectorate, stealing other people's property worth more than 2 million VND will be criminally punished. The most effective solution to prevent is the vigilance of the recipient.

In recent days, the story of sending goods of high value, but receiving only bricks, screws...has been told by many people. The phenomenon happened not the first time.

For each case, the culprit could be the senders, the shippers, or even the recipients. If strict procedures are not applied or without vigilance and responsibility of stakeholders, it will be very difficult to identify the exact culprit of changing goods items.

Changing or stealing postal items may be criminally punished

Talking with VietNamNet Newspaper's reporter about the penalties of exchanging goods sent through the postal delivery service, Mr. Do Huu Tri, Deputy Director General of the Department of Inspectorate, MIC said: “Term 5 Article 7 of the Postal Law has clearly defined the prohibited acts, including appropriating or stealing postal items and fraudulently exchanging contents of postal items and according to Point C, Term 4, Article 10 of the Decree No. 15/2020 /ND-CP on  penalties for administrative violations against regulations on  postal services, telecommunications, radio frequencies, IT and electronic transactions, a fine ranging from 20 - 30 million VND shall be imposed for appropriating or stealing any postal item worth less than 2 million VND or unlawfully destroying postal items. If the goods are worth more than 2 million VND, criminal penalties may be applied”

It can be seen that stealing, changing contents of postal items are punished according to current law as the same as property stealing.

Discussing solutions to limit the situation of "sending iPhones, receiving bricks and screws", Deputy General Director of the Department of Inspectorate, MIC emphasized: "When buying online, the buyer must directly receive and unpack the goods, check before the witness of the shipper regardless of its value with a view to check the information such as label, volume, quality of the product whether they are right as advertised by the seller or they are exchanged. Recently, there has been a case that the recipient asked another person to receive an iPhone worth tens of millions dong. The situation is absolutely not recommended. When asking another person to receive the goods, it may happen intentional exchanges of goods. It could also be caused by the shipper or the sender intentionally cheated. Therefore, it will be difficult to identify the culprit.

The postal delivery enterprises also have to strictly control their staff. Therefore, a labor contract specifying the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the delivery staff is required.

According to VietNamNet, most of incidents of changing postal items sent by postal delivery services happen in small enterprises, specializing in e-commerce delivery which customers always request to send fast, use express services with large amount of orders. 

During the sale seasons, especially at the end of the year, when the number of orders increases, these enterprises often hire temporary employee without contracts and request just to deliver ensuring standards of time and volume. Therefore, it happens risks of exchanging goods and postal items, affecting the reputation of these enterprises.

The latest statistics announced by the Ministry of Information and Communication in November 2020 show that 521 enterprises were licensed as postal businesses, increasing 51 enterprises (equal to 11%) in comparison with the end of 2019.

Postal delivery services in the context of the e-commerce booming have developed strongly with risks during shipping and delivery activities.

Many people thought that in order to enhance the effectiveness of the prevention of risks of changing postal item contents, in particular and other violations in the postal delivery sector in general, the state management agencies need to strengthen cooperation relations. For example, it is possible to set up an interdisciplinary working group of Industry and Trade - Finance - Information and Communications to regularly inspect and punish violations in e-commerce delivery.