VCN – The World Customs Organization (WCO) Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific (RILO AP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have just reached an agreement with Vietnam and Chinese Customs administrations to execute the Operation Mekong Dragon V (OMD V) on customs cooperation in the fight against drugs, wildlife trafficking in the Asia-Pacific region with the participation of several African countries.
Conference reviewing Operation Mekong Dragon IV in Da Nang on November 23, 2022.
OMD V will be implemented from April 15 to November 16.
To successfully implement the operation, the leaders of the General Department of Vietnam Customs directed the local customs departments to perform well, such as raising awareness and assigning tasks to the branches.
During the official visit to China by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (from October 30 to November 1, 2022), Vietnam and China issued a joint statement on continuing to promote and deepen the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, and the Operation Mekong Dragon was included in the Joint Statement and was highly appreciated.
Strengthening the collection of information on the status, methods and tricks of smuggling and illegal transportation of drugs and wildlife species for risk analysis, targeting identification and risk warnings to serve the customs control and supervision and expediting inspection and supervision of goods, records and documents for suspicious shipments. If detecting violation signs, necessary measures will be applied to detect, arrest and handle offences.
Coordinating with enforcement forces, especially the Police, Border Guards, to effectively dismantle the illicit trade of drugs and endangered wildlife species.
Participating in programs on capacity building, information exchange, and coordination.
OMD initiated by Vietnam and China Customs administrations has achieved outstanding results in the prevention and control of the illicit trade of drugs and endangered wildlife species.
According to the World Customs Organization (WCO), OMD IV executed in 2022 recorded the largest number of seizures since 2020.
The operation has been participated by 29 law enforcement agencies in the Asia-Pacific region. 1,362 arrests, including 1,267 drug-related cases and 17 drug precursor cases and 78 cases of illicit trade of wildlife species and wood.
Operation Mekong Dragon was initiated in 2018 by Viet Nam and China Customs administrations with support provided by the WCO, RILO AP and UNODC and participated by six member customs administrations in the Mekong sub-region.
Until OMD IV, 29 regional law enforcement agencies have participated in the operation, and some African countries have participated in OMD V.