Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Public Security, Dang Van Hieu, has asked law enforcement agencies to take strong, concerted actions against drug-related crimes and to put a stop to the illegal trafficking of drugs in Vietnam.

Hieu made the appeal at a meeting responding to ‘International Day against Drug Abuse and Trafficking’ (June 26) in the northern province of Ninh Binh on June 24.

When addressing the event, which also marked the national ‘People’s Day against Drugs, Deputy Minister Hieu proposed that the concerned ministries, sectors and provinces step up anti-drug education campaigns that focus on synthetic drugs and target young people.

Socio-political organisations at all levels need to become more involved in joint efforts to combat this social evil and create a drug-free community.

The senior security official called on the international community and the United Nations (UN) to continue with their financial and technical support for the fight against drugs in Vietnam.

Zhuldyz Akisheva, country manager for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vietnam , praised the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to deal with the issue.

The Ministry of Public Security reports that the police uncovered more than 30,000 drug-related crimes and made 40,000 drug-related arrests in 2011 and the first half of 2012, breaking up hundreds of dangerous drug trafficking rings.

Vietnam has almost eradicated the cultivation of opium poppies but at one point in the past the country had nearly 20,000 hectares of poppy fields.-VNA