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Focus on technology training to strengthen capacities of Border Liaison Officers

Phnom Penh (Cambodia), 21 June 2016
- Cambodia recently saw the completion of a 2-day practical national data collection workshop for frontline officers to detect and interdict cross-border trafficking. Harnessing the latest technology, the region's next generation of Border Liaison Officers were trained on collecting and disseminating data related to these and other emerging crimes.

Each year, an estimated 550,000 people from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar enter Thailand illegally or are trafficked as part of a multi-billion dollar illicit industry in Southeast Asia that threatens the stability of the region. Through its Regional Border Management Programme, UNODC is providing support Border Liaison Offices (BLO) and enhancing capacities of front line staff to address these threats.

Officers from each of the 12 BLOs and representatives from the National Authority of Combating Drugs (NACD) participated in the training. Deputy Secretary General of NACD, Pol. Lt. Gen. Neak Yuthea presided over the opening of the workshop, attended by 24 officers from Immigration, Customs, Police and specialized units which received instructions on capturing data from incidents of migrant smuggling, human trafficking, drug and other forms of trafficking at their remote locations.

"The use of tablets in the field are a practical solution that allows officers to collect and communicate data quickly on the go", said Mr. Inshik Sim, UNODC's regional expert in data management. "Officers stationed at Border Liaison Offices (BLO) need the capacity to not only identify transnational crimes such as migrant smuggling and drug trafficking at their border, but the ability to collect, manage and communicate data related to these crimes. If officers can use a smart phone, they can be effectively trained to use these tablets."

"Officers in many locations are often unaware of the level of trafficking at their own borders", said Mr. Matthew Nice, UNODC Regional Coordinator for Border Management. "These practical tools will allow them to not only collect data on what crimes are being committed and where, but develop the ability to quickly identify changing trends and emerging threats at remote border crossings. This allows for the development of strategic and operational intelligence capacity to counter crime along and across borders."

Immediate, practical results

Officer immediately began using their new BLO Field Tablets to record and communicate data related to cross-border trafficking. During the second day of training, NACD forwarded an alert message to all BLO via the BLO Field Tablet detailing a 1.9 kg methamphetamine drug seizure occurring just hours earlier at the Cambodia - Lao PDR border, near the tri-border area with Thailand. Two days later, BLO Bavet communicated details from a similar incident at the border with Viet Nam, which included details, geo-coded photos and a map with the exact coordinates of the seizure provided via BLO Field Tablet.

Each BLO location in Cambodia has been equipped with innovative BLO Field Tablet technology which allows officers to access a wide array of law enforcement tools, such as investigative, reference, communications and other tools, designed for use in remote locations. In addition, officers received access to the suite of UNODC eLearning cloud-based training modules in English and Khmer, to continue their professional development anywhere long after training ends.

The Regional Border Management Programme

UNODC provides support to 74 BLO locations throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion, including in Cambodia, China Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Regional Border Management Programme enhances their multi-agency cross-border communication and cooperation; improves officer capabilities to collect, analyze and disseminate data and information; and enhances knowledge and skills through specialized training and practical equipment delivery.

Click here to learn more about UNODC's Regional Border Management Programme.