A drug trafficker arrested (Photo: VNA)
Dien Bien (VNA) – Vietnamese and Lao border provinces signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in preventing and combating cross-border drug crimes at a meeting in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien on December 8.

The meeting drew representatives from Vietnam’s Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Son La and Dien Bien provinces and their Lao border localities of Xieng Khouang, Houaphan, Luang Prabang and Phongsaly.

Participants discussed measures to improve the provinces’ coordination in the drug fight in 2016 and the following years.

The provincial steering committees for drug and crime prevention suggested the serious implementation of documents on international cooperation in the field signed between Vietnamese and Lao governments, ministries, departments and localities.

The committees will step up communication campaigns to raise public awareness of law on drug prevention, and continue persuading inhabitants, especially those living in the border areas, not to replant opium trees and engage in the fight.

Police, border guard and customs officials are expected to enhance collaboration in preventing drug crimes along the shared border.

Competent forces from the eight Vietnamese and Lao provinces have so far this year detected 2,887 cases involving 3,856 individuals, representing respective declines of 361 and 470 year-on-year.

Of the figure, Vietnam busted 2,683 cases with 3,533 traffickers while Laos discovered 204 cases with 323 people.

The two sides collected over 316,000 kilogrammes of heroin, 130 kilogrammes of opium, 470,000 pills and 1,438 grammes of methamphetamine.-VNA