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Monday, August 16, 2021, 14:37 (GMT+7)
Quang Tri Provincial Border Guard’s experience in crime prevention and combat

The Provincial Border Guard (PBG) of Quang Tri is tasked with managing and protecting a land border of 187.864km within 15 communes and 1 township of the districts of Huong Hoa and DaKrong with the two Lao provinces of Savannakhet and Salavan as well as a 73.345-km-long coastline. In recent years, political security and social order and safety within the province have been basically stable. However, crime of various types has had extremely complex developments with their increasingly foxy, dangerous methods and artifices. Drug and military weapons trafficking, transport, and use as well as illegal immigration tend to increase. Smuggling and trade frauds have been reduced but still complicated and hard to control. The area under the PBG’s management is both wide and long with many trails and river ports. It should be noted that the province has two international border gates of Lao Bao and La Hay within the East - West economic corridor, which is favourable for trade with Laos but causes a lot of difficulties in controlling crime, particularly trans-national drug trafficking. The people’s living standard and educational background are still low; therefore, they are easily bribed and induced into criminal activities. Meanwhile, the number of units in charge of crime prevention and combat, especially reconnaissance and investigation is still limited. Means and supporting tools have yet to sufficiently or opportunely meet the task requirements.

The PBG cooperates with the provincial security department of Savannakhet (Laos) in cracking a case of drug trafficking

To fulfil the assigned political mission, the PBG’s Party Committee and Command have focused on directing divisions, committees, and units to synchronously, comprehensively perform the border defence work, with importance attached to measures to raising the effectiveness of preventing and combating drug crime and others. As a result, they have proactively successfully investigated and cracked many special cases and cases of illegal transport and use of drug, weapons, medical equipment, forest products, minerals, livestock, animals, and seafood, thereby making contributions to purifying land and marine border areas and maintaining political security and social order and safety; they have been presented with numerous noble awards by the Party, the State, the Ministry of National Defence, the Border Guard Force’s High Command, and local party and authorities. Those above-mentioned achievements are the result of the sound, timely, creative leadership and direction from the PBG’s Party Committee and Command, which is manifested in several points as follows.

1. Focus leadership and direction on crime prevention and combat. According to the PBG’s Party Committee and Command, in addition to national border management and protection, it is necessary to enhance crime prevention and combat so as to maintain political security and social order and safety. On a yearly basis, under the specialised resolution on “raising the quality of reconnaissance and drug and crime prevention and combat,” the PBG’s Party Committee has directed offices and units in charge of drug and crime prevention and combat to concretise this document into their own resolutions and action plans/programmes with specific targets, contents, measures, and breakthroughs in accordance with the characteristics of the areas, objects of struggle, forces, and means. In the process, the PBG’s Party Committee and Command have placed emphasis on promoting the responsibility of party committees, commands, cadres, and party members, particularly the undercover reconnaissance force, while aligning the results of reconnaissance and drug and crime prevention and combat with the task performance of party committees and key cadres of offices and units in charge of this work. Due attention has been paid to rendering troops fully aware of the importance and necessity of preventing and fighting against drug and crime. Consideration has been given to effectively implementing resolutions, directives, and plans by the Ministry of National Defence, the Border Guard Force’s High Command and the Province Party Committee and People’s Committee of Quang Tri on crime prevention and control. As a result, the force in charge of crime prevention and combat has always heightened a sense of responsibility and determinedly fulfilled all assigned tasks to deserve to one of the Vietnamese Border Guard Force’s leading flags.

2. Synchronously, effectively adopt specialised measures for drug and crime prevention and combat and for the border defence work. The PBG’s Command has focused on directing specialised forces to grasp criminal activities along the border and at sea, especially in the key areas, such as Lao Bao township, Tan Thanh and Tan Long communes (Huong Hoa district) and other border communes. Due regard has been paid to both conducting the work of propagation and education to promote the synergy of the entire political system and all people to prevent violations of law and organising special operations on drug and crime prevention and combat. Within 5 years (2015-2020), the PBG itself and other competent forces adopted border defence measures and scientific-technological advances to collecting information, documents, witnesses and evidence to successfully resolve 37 special cases, 179 cases and 32 dens of illegal drug trafficking, transport and use, 1 special case and 8 cases of weapon trafficking with 11 criminals, while cracking a lot of cases and operations of human trafficking and illegal transport of explosives, medical equipment, wild animals, livestock, foods of unknown origin, forest products, minerals, and seafood worth nearly 17 billion VND.

In addition, the PBG has cooperated with local party committees and authorities in organising a large number of campaigns against crime and executing the movement of all people’s participation in defending national border sovereignty and security under the Prime Minister’s Directive 01/CT-TTg, dated January 9th, 2015 and the 12th Politburo’s Resolution 33-NQ/TW, dated September 28th, 2018 on “the Strategy for national border protection.” Coordination has also been maintained to build and promote self-management teams tasked with protecting border line and markers along the land and sea border together with the models, namely “villages and hamlets without drug criminal” and “all people take part in denouncing criminals.” Border guard cadres have been deployed to join political bases, while border guard party members have been required to participate in building village-level party cells and give assistance to border households in order to build a firm posture of all-people border defence and promote the synergy for crime prevention and combat and the defence of border sovereignty and security.

3. Closely cooperate with relevant forces to raise the effectiveness of crime prevention and combat. As many cases of cross-border drug, weapons, and goods trafficking and transport are very complex and relate to different countries, there should be coordination between both domestic and foreign border guard forces. Therefore, the PBG has proactively closely collaborated with the Public Security Force according to the Government’s Decree 03/2019/NĐ-CP, dated September 5th, 2019, the Coast Guard, the Navy, the Coastal Militia and Self-Defence Force, the Fisheries Resources Surveillance, the Forest Ranger, provincial offices, and local party committees and authorities in gathering information, investigating violations of law, and arresting criminals. At the same time, it has enhanced the work of border defence diplomacy and closely cooperated with border guard units, localities, and citizens of the two Lao provinces of Savannakhet and Salavan in exchanging information, executing projects on crime prevention and combat, managing and protecting the border. Between 2015 and 2020, the PBG worked with other relevant foreign forces to crack 30 special cases and 111 cases, arrest 242 criminals (198 Vietnamese, 42 Laotians, and 2 Nigerians), and seize over 1 ton of dry weed, 1.5 million crystal meth tablets, and 50 kg of methamphetamine, thus contributing to containing this type of crime, maintaining peace in the border area, and building a border of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development.

4. Concentrate on building a strong specialised force capable of fulfilling the task of crime prevention and combat and implementing preferential treatment policies for this force properly. Due to the importance of crime prevention and combat, the PBG’s Party Committee and Command have focused their leadership and direction on building the force in charge of drug and crime prevention and combat both qualitatively and quantitatively in line with the policy on adjusting the organisational structure. Emphasis has been placed on recruiting, training, cultivating members of the force in charge of crime prevention and combat, particularly improving their knowledge and professional competence in order to promote the strengths of each cadre and soldier in their mission. Significance has been attached to building a specialised force with political zeal and absolute loyalty to the Homeland, the Party, the people, and the Military so that its members would dare to face difficulties and dangers and even sacrifice their life, grasp and creatively, effectively apply the Party’s guidelines, Vietnamese law, Lao law, and international law to crime prevention and combat. Moreover, due attention has been paid to improving their capabilities in grasping, analysing, and handling information, evaluating the characteristics, artifices, and organisation of each type of crime, correctly anticipating situations, and opportunely giving advice on effectively executing crime combat projects.

Adhering to higher echelons’ regulations and guiding documents, the PBG’s Party Committee and Command have designed and issued statutes to ensure preferential treatment policies for the force in charge of drug and crime prevention and combat. Due regard has been paid to ensuring troops’ material and mental life, opportunely rewarding collectives and individuals with remarkable achievements in the Determination to Win Emulation Movement, the PBG’s emulation movements, and local patriotic emulation movement so as to encourage cadres and soldiers to keep fulfilling the task and maintaining political security and social order and safety within the province.

Sr. Col. LE VAN PHUONG, Commander of the PBG

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