Vietnam Customs joins Regional Customs High-level Drug Enforcement Forum

VCN – The Regional Customs High-level Drug Enforcement Forum attracts the participation of more than 100 representatives from 40 customs administrations, police authorities of countries and territories and international organizations.
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The forum. Photo: Thu Huong
The forum. Photo: Thu Huong

Appointed by the Director General of Vietnam Customs, Mr Nguyen Hung Anh, Director of the Investigation and Anti-smuggling Department led the Vietnam Customs delegation to attend the Regional Customs High-level Drug Enforcement Forum and discuss Operation Mekong Dragon 5 (OMD).

The forum took place in Hong Kong (China) from 12 to February 17 2023, with the attendance of more than 100 representatives from 40 customs administrations, police authorities of countries and territories and international organizations. The Director General of the General Administration of Hong Kong Customs chaired the forum.

In their speeches, high-level delegates expressed appreciation for international cooperation and information sharing among law enforcement agencies in the fight against drugs.

They presented drug situation and control in their local places and coordination in the regional drug enforcement.

Notably, OMD, co-initiated by Vietnam Customs and China Customs with technical support from the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific (RILO AP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs Crime (UNODC), has been reported by the RILO AP as a regional outstanding and typical campaign in cooperation on drug enforcement.

In his speech at the event, the leader of the China Customs Administration highly appreciated the initiative and suggested that countries in the region actively participate in OMD 5.

The forum is the first large-scale international event held in Hong Kong after three years of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the business trip, the delegation of Vietnam Customs met the Anti-Smuggling Department (China Customs), RILO AP and UNODC to discuss the implementation plan of OMD 5 in 2023.

The parties agreed on the implementation time, and the plan to expand the inter-regional scope, improve the technical support activities for the participating members, and strengthen the coordination activities to analyze each case.

Director of the Investigation and Anti-Smuggling Department of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Hung Anh (on the left) and Director of the Anti-smuggling Department of China Customs Ton Chi Kiet (on the right). Photo: Thu Huong
Director of the Investigation and Anti-Smuggling Department of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Hung Anh (on the left) and Director of the Anti-smuggling Department of China Customs Ton Chi Kiet (on the right). Photo: Thu Huong

At the meeting, the Vietnam Customs delegation spoke about the importance of international cooperation and intelligence sharing in drug enforcement and proposed customs administrations and international organizations continue to support the OMD5.

In addition, Vietnam Customs had a bilateral meeting with the Anti-Smuggling Department (China Customs) led by Director Ton Chi Kiet. At the meeting, the two sides agreed on coordination directions in strengthening the fight against smuggling and illegal transportation of goods across borders between the two countries. Accordingly, the two sides will strengthen information-sharing mechanisms through existing communication channels, boost the development of common control plans and closely coordinate together in the implementation of OMD5 following the Joint Statement between Vietnam and China on the occasion of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong's visit to China (from October 30 to November 1, 2022) on continuing to promote and deepen the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership; and agree on the contents of holding a bilateral conference on anti-smuggling in 2023.

Vietnam Customs has been highly appreciated for its proactive participation and coordination in joint control activities worldwide.

On the sidelines of the event, the delegation of Vietnam Customs had bilateral meetings with customs administrations of other countries and international law enforcement organizations to strengthen cooperation on anti-smuggling control in the future.

By Thai Binh- Thu Huong/ Huyen Trang

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