Thai police on Vietnam mission to combat multibillion-dollar cross-border crime
Senior Thai police officers landed in Vietnam on Tuesday on a mission to fight transnational criminal networks exploiting Southeast Asia’s porous borders.
The cross-border trafficking of illegal drugs, people, wildlife, timber and counterfeit goods in Asean generates “tens of billions of dollars” each year, according to the UN.
Led by assistant national police chief Prachuap Wongsuk, the Thai visit marks an escalation of the battle against cross-border crime under a knowledge-sharing and cooperation agreement between the two countries. It comes after Vietnam was demoted to the bottom tier in the latest US Trafficking in Persons report.
The Thai delegation met with representatives from Vietnam’s Public Security Ministry and Immigration Bureau in Hanoi.
The two sides discussed cooperation to combat online gambling websites, online fraud and other cybercrime, people trafficking, and the arrest of suspects wanted on Interpol warrants. Exchanging information on transnational drug trafficking rings and seizure of their assets was also discussed and the two sides agreed to exchange police coordinators.
Prachuap said a Thai police coordinator will be stationed in Hanoi to coordinate with Vietnamese, Lao and Taiwanese police in crime suppression efforts.
The two sides also agreed to a training exchange for police officers.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Prachuap expressed satisfaction with the results, saying the two sides had committed to implementing Thai-Vietnamese cross-border crime suppression agreements.
Last year, all 10 countries in the region signed the Asean Border Management Cooperation Roadmap to improve policy and collaboration on transnational crime at and along borders.