DA NANG (VNS)— Viet Nam needs better co-operation and information sharing from other countries in the fight against drug-related crimes, an official from the Public Security Ministry told an international conference held here on Wednesday.
Addressing the international drug enforcement conference in the far eastern region, head of the ministry's General Department of Crime Prevention and Control Lieutenant General Phan Van Vinh added that the fight should be broadened to address trans-national drug criminals and drug trafficking rings.
"As Viet Nam is located near the ‘Golden Triangular' and ‘Golden Crescent' areas – two of the main illicit opium-producing areas in Asia - we have been seriously affected by drug-trafficking," he said. "We also face difficulties from high-tech crimes, so it's necessary to connect drug fighting forces belonging to different countries in the region."
Head of the Counter Narcotics Police Department Major General Nguyen Anh Tuan said a number of international drug traffickers had been busted thanks to co-operation between police agencies from neighbouring countries, highlighting the importance of sharing information across international borders.
He also said Viet Nam has been struggling with international hi-tech criminals, increasing crystal methamphetamine trafficking rings and armed gangs.
The latest report showed that the ministry's drug-related crime forces had arrested 29,000 drug offenders and seized 390kg of heroin, 76kg of opium, 134kg of marijuana, and 335,000 amphetamine tablets in 2012 alone.
Major Nguyen Ngoc Hanh from the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum told Viet Nam News that the Bo Y border gate has been a hot spot for worldwide criminal drug trafficking rings.
He said the province's drug police forces have faced difficulties in monitoring traffickers due to a lack of electronic detection devices and police dogs.
The ministry and the US Drug Enforcement Administration will open a training centre for counternarcotics police in Cua Lo town in the central province of Nghe An.
The two-day conference, which drew participants from 18 countries in the Far East region, also focused on drug-related crimes and ringleaders' possible whereabouts.
Speaking to Viet Nam News, deputy director of the Anti-drug Department under the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia Leng Bunna said that trans-national drug trafficking had become more serious because of the huge influx of money from illegal drug trading.
"Drug dealers and traffickers have set up many complicated networks across the borders of many countries worldwide, so co-operation and connection among drug police forces from countries in the region will be crucial for wiping out gangs," he said.
"I cannot remember how many drug trafficking rings we have found due to close co-operation with Vietnamese narcotics enforcement police. We set up an information network on the Internet and update it with the movements of drug dealers between the two countries," he added.
He said drug traffickers often cross the border between Viet Nam and Cambodia, which police forces are unable to patrol all the time.
"They (drug traffickers) can use motorbikes or carry drugs through forests or remote areas along the borders of the two countries. So information from police agents and intelligence agencies in both countries still plays a key role in the fight against drug trafficking rings." — VNS