VCN – Operation Mekong Dragon co-initiated by Vietnam Customs and China Customs was launched in September 2018.
Vietnam Customs participates in the online conference within the framework of executing phase III of the Operation.
Currently, Operation Mekong Dragon has gone through three main and one expanded phase.
Within the framework of the operation, the member customs administrations discovered and handled 1,203 drug and wildlife trafficking cases and reported them to the Customs Enforcement Network Communication Platform (CENcomm).
The first phase of the operation was participated by six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion, namely Vietnam, China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar.
The first phase ended in February 2019, and 164 cases were discovered and about 2,230kg of drugs were seized.
In the second phase, which lasted until 2020, nine new members participated in the operation, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand and Singapore.
During the second phase, 284 drug and wildlife trafficking cases were handled, with about 2,000kg of drugs and 2 million drug pills; nearly 2,000kg and more than 1,500 wildlife products, and some 150 tonnes and 1,000 cubic meters of rare wood seized.
To closely control and detect violations, Vietnam Customs and member customs administrations have run the third phase in 2021.
Director of the GDVC’s Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department Nguyen Hung Anh said the third phase was participated in by 23 law enforcement agencies from 20 member countries and territories in the Asia Pacific. The phase had detected 868 cases, including 756 drug trafficking and 112 wildlife animal and wood smuggling in violation of CITES.
Thanks to the achievements, Vietnam Customs was awarded the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award for joint collaboration with China Customs and Thai Customs in the Asia-specific Operation Mekong Dragon III on November 30, 2021.
The Director General has directed local customs departments to launch Operation Mekong Dragon phase IV (from April 15 to September 15, 2022).
To express the active role of Vietnam Customs and successfully implement Operation Mekong Dragon IV, the GDVC has asked the departments to raise awareness and assign tasks to their subordinate units for effective execution.
The country’s top customs regulator has also required departments to collect information related to methods and tricks of drugs and wildlife trafficking to assess risks for customs supervision and control.
By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan