UNODC supports Vietnamese Customs to establish Cash Detector Dogs programme

UNODC and the Australian Border Force are working in collaboration with Viet Nam in establishing a Cash Detector Dog programme as a way to combat money laundering. Photo: UNODC 14 September 2016 - UNODC and the Australian Border Force (ABF) are working in collaboration with Viet Nam in establishing a Cash Detector Dog programme as a way to combat money laundering. This illicit activity is a serious threat to Viet Nam's economic growth and security. In this regard, at a recent meeting between the three partners, Christopher Batt, UNODC Regional Advisor on Anti-money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism mentioned how Viet Nam has implemented strong anti-money laundering policies to fight cash smuggling across borders.

"However," Mr. Batt added, "there is more we can do. Cash detection dogs can play a major role in identifying smuggled cash and those persons associated with this type of crime. Training cash detector dogs will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Vietnamese Customs. UNODC, together with the ABF, will continue to work with them to improve their capacity to use dogs as an effective method of combating this issue."

Viet Nam is both a transit route and destination country for illegally trafficked goods and, as such, Noi Bai - Hanoi's International Airport - is one place where trained dogs can be used. Currently, four dogs are based at the airport, but they are only trained to detect drugs. Addressing this issue, Nguyen Truong Giang, Vice Director of Hanoi Customs Department, said: "Although Viet Nam started the programme on training detection dogs in 1986, cash detection dogs are still relatively new. We hope that through meetings and open discussions, further cooperation will enhance the capacity for Viet Nam Customs' officers to use detection dogs to combat these crimes."

UNODC is now assessing the Southeast Asian country's specific needs, with a focus on improving the capacity of Vietnam Customs to deal with cross border smuggling. UNODC, together with the ABF, is working closely with Vietnamese Customs in a pilot programme to enhance the capacities of the available dogs and handlers to identify smuggled cash. If successful, the programme will be implemented on a larger scale. Previously, UNODC has supported Vietnamese Customs in the development of various methods of combating money laundering, such as anti-money laundering and cash courier training to detect illegal cash.

Further Information:

UNODC in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

New handbook offers assistance for Vietnam Customs to combat money laundering

UNODC's anti-money laundering work

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