Jan 21, 2020 / 11:34

Vietnam, Cambodia sign agreement against transnational crimes

The Hanoitimes - Drug crime remains one of the biggest problems challenging police from both countries due to weak legal enforcement.

Vietnam and Cambodia have signed an agreement for further cooperation in 2020 in security and against cross-border crimes.

 Vietnamese Minister of Public Security To Lam (R) and Cambodian Minister of Interior Sar Kheng. Photo: MPS

Vietnamese Minister of Public Security To Lam and Cambodian Minister of Interior Sar Kheng signed the agreement at a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City last weekend.

“Both sides signed a cooperation plan for 2020 and agreed to pay attention to some important issues, such as taking serious action to prevent and the crackdown on all kinds of cross-border crimes, especially drug trafficking, forest crimes and natural resource crimes in the provinces bordering both countries.

“We will continue to take serious action to prevent all illegal border crossing. We will continue our cooperation to finalize border demarcation by solving remaining issues based on mutual understanding,” according to the Cambodian ministry’s statement.

The plan for this year also focuses on cooperation between the police of both countries to maintain security and public order, the Phnom Penh Post quoted Sar Kheng as saying on his Facebook.

In October 2019, the armed forces of both countries agreed to strengthen ties and be more active along the border to eliminate crimes.

Drug trafficking along the border remains one of the biggest problems for the two countries’ police over the past years. Former Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Ou Chanrath attributed weak law enforcement and the limited number of officers to this issue.

Drug trafficking through Vietnam’s Tay Ninh province has become more complicated along various paths in the locality which shares 240 km of border with Cambodia.

According to Tay Ninh's Customs Department, the drugs entering Vietnam through the province are mainly heroin, marijuana, addiction medicines, and methamphetamine.

To curb the situation, Tay Ninh and Cambodia’s Kompongcham, Prayveng and Svairieng provinces have signed an agreement to continue tightening security in their shared border areas and intensify the crackdown on armed crimes, illegal immigration, and trafficking of weapons and drugs.

Vietnam and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding on cross-border drug crime enforcement in 2017 after Cambodian anti-drug officials visited Hanoi to seek funding for a drug rehabilitation center in Sihanoukville, according to VnExpress.