Deploying third phase of Mekong Dragon Operation


VCN – The General Department of Vietnam Customs directed competent forces and local customs departments to strengthen the deployment of the Mekong Dragon operation III (OMD3) in the fight against transnational drug-related crime and wildlife trafficking.

deploying third phase of mekong dragon operation
Exhibits in the case of seizing 36 kg of drugs by HCM City Customs Department in coordination with Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department – GDVC, PC04 – HCM City Police in April of 2021. Photo: Lê Thu

Speaking with reporters, the leader of Division 2, Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs) – the focal unit of implementing campaign of Vietnam Customs, said that based on the success of OMD2 in 2020, Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices for Asia and the Pacific of World Customs Organisation (RILP AP-WCO), United Nationas Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) agreed with Vietnam Customs and customs authorities of other nations to continue with OMD3.

The campaign was launched at the International Online Conference on January 26and now has the participation of Customs authorities of Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and RILO AP. The official operation time of OMD3 is from April 15to September 15.

To actively control, closely and promptly detect acts of illegally transporting drugs, wildlife, and transnational criminal lines, demonstrating the proactiveness of Vietnam Customs as well as implementing OMD3, recently, the leaders of the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued a document directing local Customs Departments to implement the work.

They requested local Customs Departments to strengthen collection of information on the situation, methods and tricks of smuggling and illegal transportation of drugs and wild animals and plants for risk analysis, identify key points, to warn of risks to serve customs inspection, supervision and control. They were also told to strengthen control and strict inspection of goods, dossiers and documents for suspicious shipments. In case of detecting signs of violation, necessary measures must be taken to detect, arrest and strictly handle violators. If the unit needs to verify information from a foreign organisations, please send a document to the General Department of Vietnam Customs (via the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department) to ask another country for assistance in verifying and providing information.

Leaders of the General Department of Vietnam Customs also asked units to work with competent forces such as the Border Defence force and the Police to organise and fight effectively.

Regarding specific tasks, the General Department of Vietnam Customs assigned the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department to chair coordination with UNODC and agencies to deploy the campaign under the action plan, gathering information, and exchange information and prepare project reports.

Regarding warning information, the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department works with units to conduct investigation, verification, and seize. Regarding seizure information of Vietnam Customs, the national focal points are the professional units of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department that directly update.

For the local customs departments, it is necessary to be ready to be on duty, receive and promptly handle information provided by national focal points from the Customs of the countries participating in the campaign.

By Thái Bình/Thanh Thuy

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