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Lao Officials Unite in Fight Against Drugs

Vientiane (the Lao People's Democratic Republic), 26 July 2011
- From 20 June to 1 July 2011 the Computer-Based Training Workshop for Lao Officials on Basic Drug Investigation Techniques was organized under the joint cooperation of the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) and UNODC. Presenting a united front, 60 participants from several government departments attended the Workshop at the National University of Laos.

Statistics from drug seizures in recent years have shown an upward trend in parallel with the increase in drug trafficking and crime in the Greater Mekong Subregion. As a major transit country for drugs, Lao PDR is estimated to have US320 billion worth of drugs trafficked through the country each year. In 2010, an estimated US100 million worth of drugs was seized in the country.

UNODC's specifically developed Computer-Based Training Programme is targeted at law enforcement officers, in order to strengthen the capabilities of law enforcement departments in the country. The computer-based training course is delivered in the local language using high quality pictures, voices, videos and animations to guide trainees through the lessons and to keep participants engaged throughout the course.

The CBT Course on Basic Drug Investigation Techniques is comprised of 15 training modules. The training consists of the following subjects:
* General Course on Drug ID and Drug Testing
* Interdiction Techniques for Land Controls
* Search Techniques for Cars/Containers/Persons

The 5-day course was conducted twice for 2 groups of participants from various law enforcement departments including the National Police Academy, Criminal Investigation Department, Counter Narcotic Department (including Vientiane Capital Police), Department of Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Public Security, Office of the Supreme People's Prosecutor and People's Supreme Court. The training was organized as part of the UNODC Project LAOI95 "Development of the National Drug Law Enforcement Strategy" with substantive support by the UNODC CBT Unit from the Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific.

"There is an urgent need to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officials to detect and suppress drug trafficking and prosecute drug traffickers according to the law," said Mr. Kou Chansana, Vice Chairman, Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC).

Since 1999, UNODC has been providing Member States with technical assistance to address a range of issues related to transnational organized crime through computer-based training. The existing UNODC curriculum contains 78 modules and is available in 18 languages. It is currently being delivered via 300 centres in 52 countries. More than 100 of these centres are in South-East Asia and the Pacific. The CBT Unit coordinates and implements operations from the Regional Centre in Bangkok.