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Greater efforts from ASEAN needed to address drug crimes

Update: October, 17/2018 - 20:00
Delegates meet on the sidelines of the Preparatory ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Drug Matters in Hà Nội on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tuấn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The emergence of new kinds of illicit drugs and increasingly complicated drug-related crimes have posed greater challenges for the world, including ASEAN, and necessitate renewed efforts from governments in the fight against drug abuse.

Director of the Ministry of Public Security’s Investigation Police Department of Drug-related Crimes Phạm Văn Các spoke on the subject at the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Drug Matters, which was held in Hà Nội on Wednesday ahead of the sixth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters (AMMD) on Thursday.

As the world enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution, emergent technologies have great potential for abuse.

Các said that "Organised crime groups were using new technology to commit increasingly sophisticated crimes. For example, they can manufacture new illicit drugs and develop online marketplaces to sell them."

"The Golden Triangle remains a hotspot of drug production and has become a world methamphetamine production centre," he added.

"The East Asian and Southeast Asian region is now home to more than three million heroin users and five million methamphetamine abusers."

To increase the efficiency of co-operation between countries in the fight against drugs, he suggested the sixth AMMD focus on discussing the implementation of the ASEAN Work Plan on Securing Communities Against Illicit Drugs during the 2016-25 period and the ASEAN Co-operation Plan to tackle illicit drug production and trafficking in the Golden Triangle during the 2017-19 period.

He stressed that information played a key role in the fight against drug abuse, urging countries to actively increase information sharing and joint investigations to uncover drug production and trafficking rings.

At the AMMD, participants are scheduled to endorse a joint ASEAN Statement on the issue.    

The first AMMD was held in Thailand in 2012 with the target of turning ASEAN into a drug-free region.

In Việt Nam, a report on collaboration between agencies, including the Police General Department and the General Department of Việt Nam Customs, showed that nearly 21,500 drug trafficking cases were reported in 2017, up 14.5 per cent from 2016. Some 33,000 offenders were detained, a 13.6 per cent increase. — VNS

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