Proposal to deploy phase 6 of Mekong Dragon Campaign

VCN - Within the framework of the Conference summarizing Mekong Dragon Campaign phase 5 (taking place in Hanoi on November 21-22), Vietnam Customs and China Customs (the two co-initiative countries) requested members to continue deploying phase 6 of the Campaign.
More than 100 pieces of information about anti-smuggling processed through international cooperation More than 100 pieces of information about anti-smuggling processed through international cooperation
Vietnam Customs attends briefing of Operation Mekong Dragon Campaign V Vietnam Customs attends briefing of Operation Mekong Dragon Campaign V
Training for the implementation of Operation Mekong Dragon 5 Training for the implementation of Operation Mekong Dragon 5
Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (Vietnam Customs) Nguyen Hung Anh spoke at the Conference. Photo: T.Binh.
Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (Vietnam Customs) Nguyen Hung Anh spoke at the Conference. Photo: T.Binh.

Vietnam is determined to fight against crime

Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs) Nguyen Hung Anh emphasized: The results achieved in phase 5 are testaments to the great efforts of all member agencies, the active coordination of the Operation Coordination Team (OCU), effective support of UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and RILO AP (Asia - Pacific Intelligence Liaison Office) of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

However, these are also indicators showing the increasing activities of criminal gangs.

“This conference not only reviews the results achieved but more importantly, jointly determines the directions for continuous cooperation in the future. On this occasion, as one of the Campaign coordination members, I respectfully send the invitation of Vietnam Customs as well as the Campaign Coordination Board to continue launching Mekong Dragon Campaign 6 in next year. At the same time, we request all focal points and delegates of member countries attending the Conference to seriously and responsibly discuss the orientation and implementation of the next phase of the Campaign, ensuring effectiveness, quality and professionalism", Director Nguyen Hung Anh suggested.

Leaders of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs) affirmed efforts to implement the commitments of the Vietnamese Government and be more proactive in cooperating with member Customs agencies and international organizations in the fight against illegal trafficking and transportation of drugs, wild animals and plants, as well as other types of transnational crimes.

Mr. Nguyen Hung Anh believes that members will continue to unite in action in the next phase of the Campaign.

Conference summarizing Mekong Dragon Campaign phase 5 (took place in Hanoi                     on November 21-22). Photo: T.Binh.
Conference summarizing Mekong Dragon Campaign phase 5 (took place in Hanoi on November 21-22). Photo: T.Binh.

4 proposals from China Customs

Agreeing on the necessity of implementing phase 6 of the Mekong Dragon Campaign, at the Conference, Deputy Director of the Anti-Smuggling Department (Chinese General Department of Customs) Vuong Hoa proposed 4 solutions for cooperation in next stage.

First, analyze and evaluate trends. “During phase 5 of the Campaign, a total of 1,715 arrests were reported with a high increase compared to phase 4. We should study these incidents together, paying special attention to the characteristics of drug and wildlife trafficking, such as the channels, routes, smuggled goods and other characteristics reflected in those incidents, and warn of changes in trends, potential routes, and simultaneously propose countermeasures and cooperation," Mr. Vuong Hoa said.

The second is to expand the use of advanced technology in task cooperation. Accordingly, the impact of new high-tech products such as AI (artificial intelligence) and 3D printers on law enforcement should be fully considered, while also using big data, cloud computing to conduct more comprehensive and accurate analysis to improve efficiency, etc.

Third, expand the Mekong Dragon Campaign's partner network. “We will strengthen cooperation with express delivery companies, logistics companies, etc. At the same time, we also need to increase contact and exchange with experts from international organizations and international non-governmental organizations involved and coordinated in preventing smuggling crimes, building capacity and global notifications," the leader of the Anti-Smuggling Department (Chinese General Department of Customs) proposed.

The fourth proposal is to plan tasks for 2024. In which, law enforcement needs are taken into account in the Asia-Pacific region, etc.

The Mekong Dragon Campaign, jointly initiated by Vietnam Customs and China Customs, was launched in September 2018 and received great technical support from UNODC and RILO AP, as well as consensus to participate of the Customs authorities of 6 countries in the Mekong sub-region.

The Mekong Dragon Campaign phase 5 will be deployed from April 15, 2023 to November 16, 2023 with the participation of 25 Customs agencies, law enforcement agencies and international organizations. The total number of arrests reported by country members in phase 5 was 1,715, an increase of 111% compared to phase 4.

By Thai Binh/ Phuong Linh

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