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Training courses at the border with China

Hanoi (Viet Nam), 1 December 2014
- The border between Vietnam and Southern China is exposed to several threats from organized crime. Drugs, counterfeit goods, wildlife, timber and electronic waste are just some of the commodities smuggled across this border. The smuggling of migrants - as well as cases of human trafficking - are reported to take place routinely. Borders are porous and the volumes of criminal movements may well dwarf the capacity of law enforcement authorities to respond effectively.

Against this backdrop, UNODC and the Standing Office on Drugs and Crime have jointly organised two anti-smuggling training courses for a total of 70 Vietnamese officers from Police, Customs, Immigration, Forestry Administration and the Border Army. The purpose of these multi-agency courses is to provide trainees with new skills to tackle illegal transboundary movements but also to promote a culture of cooperation amongst agencies in order to maximize effectiveness of the limited resources available. Some of the participants to the courses are representatives of the three Vietnamese Border Liaison Offices present in this area.

The courses took place in Lao Cai (17-21 November) and Mong Cai (24-28 November) two of the main Vietnamese gates at the border with China. Led by several national and international trainers - and in cooperation with Freeland Foundation - the two courses were designed to offer customised classes for frontline officers in high-risk areas. The Mong Cai gate in particular has been often depicted by media and NGOs as a hub for illegal trade to and from China.

These two courses conclude the series of anti-smuggling activities conducted in 2014 in Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam in the framework of the PATROL Programme. Financial support for the two recent courses was provided by the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau of the US State Department.