VCN – Operation Mekong Dragon co-initiated by Vietnam Customs and China Customs was included in the Vietnam-China joint statement.
Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Luu Manh Tuong speaks at the Award Ceremony of the Asia Environment Enforcement Award (November 2021). Photo: T.B
On Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s official visit to China from October 31- November 1, Vietnam and China issued a joint statement on continuing to promote and deepen the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
The section 7.3 of the Joint statement says the two sides hold that ensuring pandemic prevention and control means ensuring the customs clearance for goods, and agree to bring into play the role of the joint mechanism to handle congestions at border gates and cooperate in pandemic prevention and control, maintain smooth trade activities at border gates with the premise of ensuring pandemic prevention and control, so as to ensure the goods supply chain and facilitate customs clearance; continue to strengthen coordination in preventing and combating drug crime and the illegal trade of endangered animals, implement the joint regional programme “Operation Mekong Dragon”, to ensure the safe, healthy, balanced and smooth development of bilateral trade.
According to the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, Operation Mekong Dragon co-initiated by Vietnam Customs and China Customs was launched in September 2018 and received great technical support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO A/P), and was participated in by six customs administrations in the Mekong sub-region.
“Previously, the states in the Mekong sub-region signed a cooperation agreement on crime prevention and combat. Therefore, we thought why not launch a specific custom cooperation programme. This will help enhance the role and position of Vietnam Customs in the region and the world,” said the leader of Division 2, the department that developed the initiative of implementing the operation.
Currently, the operation has been implemented in four phases with the participation of the UNODC, the RILO AP and 22 national and territorial customs administrations.
The Customs administrations of member states and territories have handled 2,016 violations related to the illegal transportation of drugs and wildlife.
In November 2021 Vietnam Customs was awarded the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award for joint collaboration with China Customs and Thai Customs in implementing Operation Mekong Dragon III.
The Asia Environmental Enforcement Award was organised by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and the World Customs Organization (WCO),
By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan