17 August 2011,

From Asian Harm Reduction Network

Co-operation in combating the drug trade along the East-west Economic Corridor topped discussions between Viet Nam, Laos and Thailand at a conference which opened in central Quang Tri Province today.

Participants put forward recommendations and shared experiences in fighting against drug trafficking across the borders.

Chief of the Ministry of Public Securities’ Standing Office for the Fight Against Drugs Nguyen Kien said the workshop confirmed a strong commitment from the three governments to co-operate in combating drugs in general and along the east-west economic corridor in particular.

The event would contribute to creating a new step between the three countries in controlling drugs and proposing measures to improve their co-operation effectiveness in fighting against narcotics and other kinds of crimes along the corridor, he said.

The drug situation had become complicated in the central regions and provinces of the corridor in Viet Nam where many transnational drug rings were now operating, Kien said.

Relevant forces of provinces and cities along the corridor in Viet Nam had taken drastic measures to combat drugs over the past years. Police, border guards and customs officials of central Da Nang city, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Tri provinces had discovered 290 cases involving 609 drug-related crimes over the past two years.

Border guards of Viet Nam had worked with the police of provinces in Laos in their fight against drug crimes and had uncovered six cases, arresting 19 drug criminals.

This was the second conference of its kind between the three countries, the first was in Thailand in 2009.

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