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Training of frontline officers goes high tech in Viet Nam

Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province (Viet Nam), 5 June 2015 - Fifty front-line officers representing Border Liaison Offices (BLO) and related customs agencies, border guards and police counter-narcotics, environmental and economic units finished two intensive five-day training courses from 26-29 May in Tay Ninh city, Tay Ninh Province and from 1-4 June in Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province on electronic surveillance and controlled delivery today. International experts from Australia and the United States put officers through the paces as they mastered the latest techniques and newest technology in the fight against transnational organized crime.

UNODC equipped authorities from around Viet Nam with the GPS tracking technology and trained officers how to use mobile platforms such as smart-phone and tablet applications to crackdown on traffickers of wildlife, drugs and other commodities. Practical exercises and simulations conducted in two remote provinces allowed officers to hone their new skills and prepare them for the difficult work in isolated border areas.

The border area between Cambodia and Viet Nam is highly exposed to the threats of trafficking, as confirmed by the seizure of 9.4 kg of rhino horn that took place during the first training, on 27 May, by officers of Border Guard of Tay Ninh Province.

"Criminal groups are utilizing the latest technologies to stay in business, and it's time frontline officers used it to put them out of business" said Matthew Nice, UNODC Regional Coordinator for Border Management. "Regional integration will serve to increase cross-border flow of goods and people, and with it the likelihood of trafficking in all of its forms-this technology and training needs to be readily available for remote border officials regardless of agency, not just big city cops."

These two courses on electronic surveillance and controlled delivery are among the latest in a series of innovative UNODC technology packages designed to enhance law enforcement knowledge and skills and better prepare officers for the challenges faced everyday along the more than 12,000 km of borders throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion.

UNODC is mandated under international conventions to assist Member States in their struggle against various forms of transnational organized crime. Through generous donor support of the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement of the US Department of State these training courses are the result of the synergy between the Global Programme on Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime and the Border Management Sub-Programme of the Regional Programme for Southeast Asia 2014-2017.