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Myanmar frontline officers strengthen capacities to track cross-border criminals

Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), 12 August 2016
- A comprehensive training workshop was held for law enforcement officials to collect and share cross-border crime information in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

The 5-day-hands-on workshop, in which a second group of 25 officers from nine Myanmar Border Liaison Office (BLO) locations participated in, focused on shoring up data collection capability and communications essential to strengthening the region's borders.

The workshop focused on data collection, data management, developing intelligence, and sharing information. Interactive exercises on BLO Field Tablets reinforced the usefulness of collecting and sharing cross-border crime data. Instruction was provided by experts from UNODC, the Australian Federal Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Royal Thai Police.

In March, UNODC 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 evolving national data mechanisms, such as the installation of the new Case Management and Information System (CMIS) system at police headquarters.

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

Officers from Myanmar police, customs, immigration, the division against transnational crimes, human trafficking, drug and other specialised agencies participated in group exercises to develop and act on information received from foreign law enforcement agencies and neighboring BLO locations on suspicious foreigners crossing their border.

"We've watched these officers innovate with the technology they've been provided and with the expertise provided by international trainers - such as from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police," said mr. Matthew Nice, UNODC Regional Coordinator for Border Management. "They've taken their skills to the next level already in this workshop". Police Brigadier General Myaint Htoo, Deputy Chief of Myanmar Police, an experienced police trainer himself, announced his keen support for UNODC during the training, particularly for training-of-trainer courses, and equipping of frontline officers for success.

Officers also received copies of the latest UNODC field guide on investigating Irregular Migration and Migrant Smuggling for Frontline Officers in Burmese, which provides basic knowledge, important terminology and skills to identify and stop transnational organized crimes. By providing standardised 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.

Click here to read more on UNODC Regional Border Management Programme

Click here to read more on UNODC Global eLearning Programme