The ASEANAPOL Secretariat and law enforcement agencies and units specializing in anti-narcotics of 9 ASEANAPOL member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Philippines, and Vietnam) attended the conference.
As the current Chairman of ASEANAPOL, Major General Do Van Hoanh, Chief of the Office of the Criminal Investigation Authority of the Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam, delivered the opening remarks.
The global outbreak of COVID-19 has indirectly affected the drug supply and demand markets. New ways in drug production, transportation and trade have posed new challenges to countries in the drug prevention and control.
The shutdown and travel restriction that governments implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop illicit drug trafficking, but criminal organizations took advantage of the pandemic to increase their activities with the use of sophisticated and unpredictable tricks.
In this circumstance, the virtual meeting aimed to share information about the drug trafficking and trading situation, drug traffickers’ tricks and experience in the fight against drug crimes, as well as predicted drug crime trends during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Delegates also discussed difficulties and challenges faced by law enforcement forces of member countries and sought common efforts and solutions to overcome the difficulties and strengthen their cooperation in drug prevention and fight with the aim of building a drug-free ASEAN Community.
Speaking at the conference, Major General Do Van Hoanh said, “The ASEANAPOL video-conference on drug prevention and control is an important information channel for member countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.” He also stressed the importance of regional cooperation in drug control.
The Vietnamese delegation shared the criminal situation and results of the fight against illicit drugs in Vietnam over the past time. According to him, the number of drug cases and involved people seized in the first half of 2020 decreased compared to the same period in 2019.
In addition, the Vietnamese delegation shared several specific measures to promptly respond to new challenges of the drug trafficking and trading situation during the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the region. He said, Vietnam’s police force is strongly committed to joining the police forces of other countries in implementing the common strategic goal of drug control, contributing to building a drug-free ASEAN Community.