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Specialized container risk management training assisting Viet Nam to minimize wildlife trafficking through sea ports

Hanoi (Viet Nam), 1 October 2015 - Today 20 Vietnamese law enforcement officials completed a three-day advanced wildlife crime training course, which aimed to strengthen their detection and investigation skills to build on the momentum of a recent string of large seizures of illicit wildlife products at sea ports in Viet Nam.

The course was organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), synergizing efforts between UNODC's Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime, and the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme.

Amongst the participants were Customs Officers from ports and specialized Environmental Police, who completed a combination of theoretical and practical activities covering topics such as CITES regulations and procedures for checking CITES permits, indicators to identify high-risk shipping containers, concealment methods, controlled delivery techniques, and interagency cooperation and information exchange.

The vigilance of Viet Nam's law enforcement authorities attracted international attention last month, following three high-profile seizures that were made within a two-week period at the Tien Sa port in Da Nang. The three seizures yielded a total of more than 3.6 tonnes of elephant ivory, 142 kg of rhino horn, and more than four tonnes of pangolin scales. While the cases revealed sophisticated new concealment methods, they also present opportunities for further investigation into the local companies that were addressed as recipients of the shipments.

"This training course supports law enforcement authorities to take the next step and go beyond detecting wildlife crime and seizing contraband," said Mr. Daniel Moell, Environment Programme Manager from World Customs Organization and one of the trainers on the course. "Conducting further investigations and controlled deliveries where possible, are crucial to lead to the arrests of those who benefit the most from wildlife and forest crime, such as the organisers and financers, and make a real impact on wildlife crime and the organized criminal networks behind it."

"The training course was very interesting and useful," said Ms. Duong Thi Hoang Lien, Deputy Head of the Risk Management Division of General Department of Viet Nam Customs. "It will be helpful for my professional work as I now have a better understanding of the trends and risk indicators such as high-risk routes and countries for our risk management activities. I also found the sessions on controlled delivery and the CENcomm communication platform very interesting."

The same wildlife crime training course was also conducted last week for law enforcement authorities in Thailand. The Viet Nam course was financially supported by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US Department of State, and the Thailand course was financially supported by the Government of Norway.


Container Control Programme
The Container Control Programme (CCP) is a joint initiative of UNODC and World Customs Organization (WCO). It aims to minimize and prevent the exploitation of maritime containers and legitimate commercial trade for the trafficking of illicit goods, and other transnational organized crime activities. CCP is designed to strengthen and promote alliances between Customs, the Police, Maritime Institutions and the private sector, by facilitating cooperation and maintaining strategic alliances.

Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime
The UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime (GP) is a four-year programme linking regional efforts to a global framework, enhancing capacity building and wildlife law enforcement networks at regional and sub-regional levels. The GP is working for and with the law enforcement community to ensure that wildlife crime, illegal logging, and related crimes are treated as serious transnational organized crimes.