On June 15, Quang Binh police arrested a man for transporting more than 47,700 tablets of ecstasy from Laos to Vietnam for sale. Vietnam and other ASEAN countries are struggling in the fight against drug trafficking.(Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam and other countries located near Southeast Asia’s notorious 'Golden Triangle’ are facing numerous challenges in the fight against drug trafficking.

The appearance of new psychotropic substances (NPS) and a rise in organised crimes have increased production and trafficking of highly-addictive methamphetamine and added to the problem.

Major General Vu Xuan Vien, chief of the Office for Crime and Drug Prevention under the Ministry of Public Security, made the remarks at the 5th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the ASOD (ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters) Working Group on Law Enforcement in Hanoi on June 26.

The two-day meeting aimed to offer delegates from Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines a chance to share their experiences and discuss ways of bringing the situation under control, he said.

Vien said he also expected that harsh measures to tighten control of the trade would be more effectively implemented following the meeting.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOCD), several Mekong countries had already surpassed the targeted number of seizures set for all of last year just a few months into 2018, and methamphetamine from the Golden Triangle – the border areas of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar – was being seized in high volumes across Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia.

In Vietnam, a report on collaboration between agencies, including the Police General Department and the General Department of Vietnam Customs, showed that nearly 21,471 drug-trafficking cases were reported in 2017, up 14.5 percent from 2016. Some 32,950 offenders were detained, a 13.6 percent increase.

Laos arrested 4,241 drug offenders in 2017, 148 more than in 2016, and seized 12 million tablets of methamphetamine, four times higher than the previous year.

In the Philippines, police seized over 35 kilos of shabu, 1,006 ecstasy tablets and 109 grammes of marijuana being transported via post between January and May 2018. Also during that time, about 90 kilos of cocaine and nearly 13 litres of liquid cocaine were seized. On May 26, 2017, police seized about 604 kilos of shabu.-VNA