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Training on data collection strengthens Myanmar's borders

Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), 29 March 2016
- Improving data collection and communications are essential to strengthening the region's borders, according to members of the Myanmar PATROL Advisory Committee (M-PAC). Kicking off a two-day event of consultations and training in Nay Pyi Taw, eighteen officers from nine Border Liaison Office (BLO) locations, including officers from the soon to be established location along the border with Bangladesh, received training at the 4th meeting of the M-PAC.

Efforts to curb transnational organized crime in the region have long been impeded by a lack of effective data collection mechanisms and clear communication channels. Increasing regional integration is likely to amplify opportunities for organized crime groups.

"Myanmar holds a key position in the Greater Mekong Subregion, where drug, chemical, wildlife, timber and human trafficking are increasingly common", said Matthew Nice, UNODC Regional Coordinator for Border Management. The country, which borders two of the largest precursor chemical manufacturing countries in the world, is a location for significant illicit drug production, and sees substantial irregular migration and migrant smuggling cases.

The training focused on key cross-border data collection and management concepts for officers. It provided structured data collection tools and a number of interactive exercises on how to use advanced BLO Field Tablet technology to collect and share cross-border crime data, even in remote locations.

"Partnerships with neighboring BLO locations must be further strengthened, and data must be collected, examined and shared if officers are to quickly identify emerging trends at their borders," said Mr. Inshik Sim, UNODC expert in information analysis. "It is a critical component in the intelligence assessment cycle."

UNODC has equipped each BLO in Myanmar with innovative BLO Field Tablet technology, which allows officers to access a wide array of law enforcement tools, such as data collection and management tools, investigative, communications, and reference and training tools, including the latest UNODC eLearning modules in Burmese. Trainings like these support national data mechanisms, such as the installation of the new Case Management Information System (CMIS) system at police headquarters. 

Officers also received copies of UNODC anti-smuggling training manual for frontline border officers in Burmese, which provides basic knowledge, important terminology and skills to identify and stop transnational organized crimes. By providing standardized training manuals and related materials in local languages, the Regional Border Management Programme helps to better prepare frontline officers to counter rapidly evolving transnational crime threats at the borders.

The M-PAC, comprising 14 national representatives from police, customs, immigration, the division against transnational crimes, human trafficking, drug and other specialized agencies, was opened by Police Brigadier General Thein Oo, Deputy Chief of Myanmar Police, who reaffirmed his keen support for UNODC training and equipping of frontline officers.

Click here to read more on UNODC's Regional Border Management Programme.