Measures to promote joint investigation in preventing drug trafficking along sea routes in Southeast Asia were discussed at a workshop in Hanoi on September 9.
|At the event (Source: VNA)
Hosted by the Ministry of Public Security, the event saw the participation of 60 delegates from nine ASEAN member nations, the ASEAN Secretariat and China – the dialogue country of the group.
Attendees agreed that the cooperation mechanism of the ASEAN working group on prevention and control of drug trafficking by sea is an important framework of the region, providing a venue for sharing information and experience and enhancing cooperation among regional countries in combating drug trafficking at sea.
They stressed the need to further strengthen coordination among ASEAN member nations in preventing drug crime in general and drug trafficking at sea in particular.
Lt. Gen. Pham Van Cac, Director of the Investigation Police Department of Drug-Related Crimes under the Vietnamese ministry said crimes related to trafficking and illegal transportation of narcotics at sea, especially on international sea routes, have increased and become complicated in nature.
Data from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime showed approximately 420 million containers are shipped by sea every year worldwide but the number of containers under control is less than 2 percent, making it easy for transnational criminal organizations to take advantage of sea shipping to illegally transport drugs and forbidden goods.
Cac said the transit through many countries of containers make it difficult to investigate ring leaders of drug crimes of this type, and called on ASEAN member nations to join investigation activities and proactively propose cooperation initiatives on combating drug crime and mobilizing resources for the work.
Representatives from Cambodia also pointed out difficulties in the work, and suggested solutions to the issue, including promoting the mechanism of information sharing; establishing hotlines among countries to promptly share information, and coordinate in arresting drug-traffickers along sea routes.
They reported that Cambodia has implemented five main strategies to effectively fight drug crimes, focusing on reducing supply of drugs, expanding international cooperation in combating drug crimes; making adjustment to policies and laws; and enhancing media campaigns to raise public awareness of the harms of illicit drugs.