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Border management officers receive innovative live simulation training in
Viet Nam

Long Xuyen, An Giang (Viet Nam), 22 July 2016 - Frontline law enforcement officers from six Border Liaison Offices (BLO) gathered for a weeklong training on anti-smuggling techniques to counter transnational organised environmental crimes in the city of Long Xuyen, Viet Nam. An international and national team of experts delivered the practical training to improve the capacity of the thirty participating officers to detect, interdict and communicate cross-border smuggling crimes as part of UNODC's Border Management Programme for Southeast Asia and the Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime.

During the training, the officers learned practical skills including interview techniques, evidence collection, environmental crime investigation, surveillance, and reporting. Emphasis was placed on the need to adopt advanced investigative techniques at the border, such as controlled deliveries, to integrate or complement the information obtained through seizures of contraband. They practiced these techniques in reality-based simulations along the border with Cambodia.

Pol. Maj. Col. Phan Ngoc Cam, Deputy Head of International Cooperation Division of the Standing Office on Drugs and Crime of Viet Nam, stressed the importance of real-life scenario training for the capacity building of the Border Liaison Officers; "The training that UNODC delivers is invaluable for all participants," he said. "They learn how to properly react to crimes that they may encounter throughout their duties. The course also helps frontline law enforcement officers to develop a set of standardised skills that address transnational crime. Thanks to hands-on exercises like crime scene search and surveillance simulation, participants are engaged and excited to participate in the training activities."

Vietnamese border officers addressing cross-border trafficking

The Border Management Programme provides capacity building and training to a network of 74 BLO locations across six countries staffed by hundreds of law enforcement and regulatory officers. As ASEAN integrates through trade and infrastructure, effective border management is required to facilitate the movement of people and goods while interdicting transnational organised crime. Transnational organised crime in Southeast Asia is valued at nearly US $100 billion dollars, or roughly half of Viet Nam's annual gross domestic product (USD$ 193 billion).

Viet Nam has fifteen BLO locations strategically placed to strengthen cross-border security and cooperation. UNODC's early 2016 report on synchronizing economic and security agendas, found Viet Nam exposed to many illicit trade and trafficking flows including drugs, precursor chemical, counterfeits, and wildlife and timber.

Border Management delivering innovative technology

Viet Nam was the first country to pilot the BLO field tablets, integrating them into practical classroom exercises, to identify security features of passports from different countries, endangered wildlife and fauna, and to access a series of eLearning modules.

In addition, the BLO field tablets received software updates to equip them with photo, sketch, messenger and other useful applications to improve the quality of seizure reports and the ease with which they can be shared across BLO locations of the region. The BLO field tablets are also equiped with GPS devices to track suspects during surveillance.

"Technology can be a huge asset when investigating smuggling cases," explains UNODC expert trainer Doug Goessman. "By learning how to use GPS tracking technology and other capabilities of BLO field tablets for reporting and cross-border communication and eLearning modules for self-learning, frontline officers are better equipped and prepared to identify and stop transnational organised crimes."

Click here to read more on the UNODC Border Management Programme.

Click here to read more on the UNODC Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime.

Click here to read more on the UNODC eLearning Programme.