Vietnam to join regional operation against drug, wildlife trafficking next month

by NDO01 April 2022 Last updated at 17:00 PM

A conference held for the Operation Mekong Dragon III last year. (Photo: VNA)
A conference held for the Operation Mekong Dragon III last year. (Photo: VNA) - The General Department of Vietnam Customs will participate in the Operation Mekong Dragon IV, a joint regional operation against drug and wildlife trafficking, from April 15 to September 15 this year, the department has announced.

Under the Operation Mekong Dragon IV, local customs units are requested to accelerate collection of information regarding the drug and wildlife trafficking situation across Vietnam and the methods and tactics that traffickers use. The information will be used for risk analysis and warnings to improve the effectiveness of customs inspection and supervision.

Initiated by Vietnam and China, the Operation Mekong Dragon was launched in September 2018, and has gone through three main and one expanded phases, drawing the participation of 20 customs authorities and law enforcement agencies in Asia Pacific. Over 1,200 drug and wildlife trafficking cases have been reported to the Customs Enforcement Network Communication Platform (CENcomm).

The first phase of the operation brought together six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion, namely Vietnam, China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. The participation in the second phase was expanded to nine, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Hong Kong (China), India, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand and Singapore.

Ending the first phase in February 2019, 164 cases were discovered with nearly 2,230kg of drugs seized.

During the second phase, which lasted in 2020, 284 drug and wildlife smuggling cases were brought to light, with close to 2,000kg of drugs and nearly 2 million drug pills; 2,000kg of wildlife animals and more than 1,500 wildlife products; and some 150 tonnes and 1,000 cu.m of rare woods seized.

Running in 2021, the third phase was participated by law enforcement agencies from 20 member countries and territories in Asia Pacific. It had detected 868 cases, including 756 drug trafficking and 112 wildlife animal and wood smuggling.


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