Việt Nam-Laos enhance drug prevention and control cooperation

October 27, 2022 - 07:44
Việt Nam was committed to supporting Laos in the fight against drugs, said deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyễn Duy Ngọc
Vietnamese deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyễn Duy Ngọc and his Lao counterpart Lieutenant General Khamking Phuilamanyvong chair the bilateral ministerial meeting reviewing an MoU on drug prevention and control co-operation between Việt Nam and Laos. VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên

HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam was committed to supporting Laos in the fight against drugs, said deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyễn Duy Ngọc.

On the basis of the traditional and special friendship between the governments of Việt Nam and Laos, Việt Nam hopes bilateral co-operation between the two ministries of Public Security would be promoted in an effective way, Ngọc said on Wednesday in a meeting with Lao deputy Minister of Public Security, Lieutenant General Khamking Phuilamanyvong.

The bilateral ministerial meeting was a venue for the two sides to review and re-evaluate the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in drug prevention and control.

Việt Nam and Laos are neighbouring countries facing great pressure of drug trafficking from the "Golden Triangle" area, which is considered one of the major drug production and trading centres in the world, said Ngọc.

The task of promoting international co-operation in drug prevention and control in general, especially co-operation between neighbouring countries, is crucial.

Last year, the two ministries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on drug prevention and control in order to deal with crime, especially those involving drugs, especially on the Việt Nam-Laos border.

These are concrete and important steps to promote drug prevention and combat towards a new, more practical and effective level.

After a year of implementing the MoU, the two police forces have actively developed plans, drastically carried out the assigned tasks and achieved very important initial results.

During the fight against drug crime, the Vietnamese police discovered and handled 5,338 cases, arrested 7,397 offenders, seizing 292kg of heroin, 2.7kg of opium and 1.62 million synthetic drug tablets and other related evidence.

The Drug Crime Investigation Police Department and the local police co-ordinated with the units in Laos to establish joint projects, successfully arresting 16 wanted drug suspects hiding in Laos.

“Việt Nam highly appreciated the close coordination and active and effective support of the Lao authorities and functional forces in drug combat.

“This bilateral ministerial-level conference was also an opportunity for the ministries of Public Security to review and re-evaluate the situation and results of implementing the information dissemination and suppression of drug crimes between the two ministries, as well as clearly identify existing difficulties,” said the Vietnamese deputy minister.

“The two sides also discussed and proposed directions to make the co-operation more practical and effective,” he said.

After the meeting, drug prevention and combat co-operation between the two countries would be raised, contributing to controlling and eventually repelling drugs in each country and the region, he said.

Speaking at the meeting, Lao’s deputy minister, Lieutenant General Khamking Phuilamanyvong, stressed that the Lao Ministry of Public Security applied the national programme on solving the drug problem to coordinate with the Vietnamese police.

The ministry has strengthened information dissemination and education for border officers, soldiers and people to have a sense of respect for the laws and customs of each country, and to implement the treaty on border management to protect security and safety in border areas, the Lieutenant General said.

The two ministries have coordinated and created favourable conditions for each other in arresting criminals who fled to the other country.

In addition, both police forces have also monitored the drug transport route from the "Golden Triangle" through the northern provinces, he said.

The Lao deputy minister highly appreciated the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security in assisting in the construction of police headquarters in bordering villages, which was invaluable and meaningful help, contributing to preventing and combatting cross-border crime between Laos and Việt Nam.

Laos ministry thanked the Vietnamese ministry for providing 1,000 sets of detox pills, four sets of drug assessment machines, 30 boxes of urine test kits and some other equipment.

It is forecast that drug crimes on the Việt Nam-Laos border will worsen, requiring effective measures to tackle suspects and gangs.

The two ministries will further exchange information through hotlines, cross-border liason offices (BLOs) and enhance patrols.

The two sides will further coordinate in the collection of documents, information exchange to establish a joint special project.

Dissemination activities on drug prevention and control for people in border areas will be organised with an aim to build drug-free villages, communities and schools as well as proactively prevent, detect and thoroughly handle acts related to the cultivation of drug-containing plants and illegal production of drugs, especially synthetic drugs.

During the meeting, the two deputy ministers presented Certificates of Merit to 20 collectives and 60 individuals of the two ministries for their outstanding achievements in implementing the MoU. VNS