Education vital in fighting drug crimes
DA NANG (VNS)— Increased communication and education efforts were key to the success of the fight against drug related crimes, a national meeting in the central province of Da Nang heard yesterday.
|Former drug users learn vocational skills at the Treatment, Education and Social Labour Centre in Ha Nam Province. Education is seen as crucial in helping former drug addicts start a new life. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan
The fight, which aimed to prevent drug trafficking and addiction, had brought police, border guards, militia and communities together.
Local people had provided authorities with 1.7 million pieces of information regarding criminal activities as well as drug and human trafficking over the past five years, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications.
Following a report from the Viet Nam Fatherland Front, residents set up 20,000 mailboxes and 22,000 hotlines to receive reports on criminals in the community.
Nearly 700,000 security teams had been set up at community level in a mass campaign against drugs.
"Communication in the community has played a crucial role in the endeavour to prevent drug related crimes. Media and armed forces nationwide have also joined hands in the communications campaign, which started in 2006," said Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Do Quy Doan.
He also said that over 7,500 community-based education centres had been built to raise awareness of drug prevention
Between 2006-10, the Public Security Ministry's drug-related crime forces arrested 79,000 drug offenders and seized 236kg of opium, 945kg of heroin, 9,200kg of marijuana, and 22,000 amphetamine tablets, along with guns and ammunition.
The results were significant given that authorities did not have hi-tech equipment to hunt down criminals.
"We have faced difficulties while trying to monitor drug traffickers. Police dogs are only trained to detect opium, while criminals have increased the illegal trade of heroin, amphetamine, ketamine and crystal methamphetamine," Major Nguyen Ngoc Hanh from the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum told Viet Nam News.
"Criminals are also equipped with weapons and cars, and hire local people to carry drugs over our borders. We have been assisted by the border guards and militia along the 47-km border between Kon Tum Province and Laos," Hanh said.
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Cong Khoai from the northern mountainous province of Son La's Public Security Department said dozens of policemen and border guards had died during clashes with drug traffickers.
"Son La is known as a major drug trafficking hot spot. The province, which shares a 250-km border with Laos, is favoured by traffickers because of its remote nature and scattered inhabitants," Khoai said.
"The province, with a population of 1 million, has 17,000 addicts – the highest figure in the country's 63 provinces and cites," he said.
"The province has wiped out 79ha of opium in 28 districts, and helped communities to become drug-free by raising awareness of drug trafficking and addiction."
He said that Son La Police alone had seized 195kg of heroin and 34,000 amphetamine tablets, along with 60 rifles and pistols. — VNS