Thursday, February 20, 2020, 17:45 (GMT+7)

Friday, July 12, 2019, 06:36 (GMT+7)
Solutions for coordination in drug crime prevention and combat between Son La Province Border Guard and Laos' Security Force

Son La province is a focal area of drug crimes. Recently, numerous drug trafficking lines have been removed; the situation, however, is still complicated. Struggling to prevent and defeat such dangerous crime in the border area is preliminarily the responsibility of the Border Guard. To be effective, it is necessary to synchronize several solutions, of which, the coordination between the Provincial Border Guard and Laos’ Security Force is an important content and solution.

Currently, drugs have really become a threat to people and society as it degrades the races, corrupt the morality, and seriously affects social order and safety and national security. In Vietnam, according to the statistics, only in the first 5 months of 2019, the amount of drugs confiscated was up to 7 tons. This is a testimony and a warning that the crime has turned into a new form of activity - lawlessly, the criminals desperately commit felonies with an increasing amount of drugs. The border area of ​​Son La Province has a rugged terrain with convenient roads to Hanoi and inland provinces. Taking advantage of the open-door policy of the State and the kinship relations of the people on both sides of the border, especially the border villages of the H'Mong people, criminals often collude, connect and entice objects in the area and the other side of the border to form transnational lines for illegally buying and selling drugs from the "Golden Triangle" area and other parts of Laos across the border to our country to consume or transport to third countries.

In such situation, Son La Province Border Guard has thoroughly grasped and strictly implemented the instructions, plans, and guidelines as well as strengthened the leadership and direction and proactively coordinated effectively with functional forces and the local authorities and people in preventing and combating drug crimes in border areas. In particular, the Provincial Border Guard Command has directly coordinates with the Security Service of the two provinces of Houaphanh and Luang Prabang (Laos) through signing memorandums of understanding, rules, and operation regulations to develop and implement dozens of drug prevention and combating plans, including professional plans, operational plans, etc. Thanks to good work of coordination and cooperation and timely implementation of professional measures, from 2013 to February 2014, Son La Province Border Guard and Laos’ Security Force successfully performed 14 operations, arresting 23 objects (having Lao nationality) and confiscating 78 bars and 29 kg of heroin powder, 10.3 kg of opium, 13 kg of opium seeds, 16 kg of Methamphetamine, 94,991 synthetic drug tablets, and other relevant exhibits. The results were very encouraging. However, through evaluation and experience, it is shown that the coordination between the two sides reveals some limitations, such as: simple cognitive expression; the unsynchronized, or even mechanical, rigid, and untimely, methods of organization; poor quality of exchange of information and operation situation and the coordination results of the forces, etc. To overcome such limitations, it is necessary to pay attention to a number of solutions as follows:

Firstly, do a good job of thoroughly grasping, educating and raising awareness for Provincial Border Guard officials and soldiers, especially those who directly work on drug prevention and combat, of the importance of the coordination with with Laos’ Security Force. To do this well, leaders and commanders at all levels need to educate officials and soldiers to realize the importance of coordinating activities on the work of drug crime prevention and combat in the border area. Thereby, the officials and soldiers have a firm grasp of views, guidelines, and directives of the Party, Party committees, and commanders at all levels in the prevention and combat against drug-related crimes, particularly the Directive No.1302/CT-BTL issued on May 5th, 2015 and the Plan No.2339/KH-BTL issued on July 15th, 2016 by the Border Guard High Command on the implementation of the National Strategy for Crime Prevention and Combat in the 2016 – 2025 period with orientation to 2030, etc. At the same time, leaders and commanders at all levels, especially at the grassroots, should focus on educating officials and soldiers, especially those who directly perform the tasks, on thoroughly grasping the signed coordination rules and regulations and regular action plans as well as specific operational plans between the two sides, etc. This is the most necessary and direct issue for rhythmic, pairing, and highly efficient coordination and collaboration. It, then, helps officials and soldiers to raise awareness and responsibility and maintain orientation and practical capacity in the process of performing tasks, contributing to building trust, cohesion, and positive cooperation between two sides. In the process of implementation, all levels need to keep abreast of reality, task characteristics, and operating areas; flexibly apply educational measures; and attach importance to integrating regular education with task-based education,... to ensure that the educational work is systematic and carried out continuously, creating a high consensus in the performance of the task between the two sides.

Secondly, in combination with Laos’ Security Force, to review, unify, supplement, and complete the coordination regulations and plans in line with the actual situation. In order to ensure the legality of the coordination in management and protection of borders in general and in the prevention and combat of drug crime in particular, the Provincial Border Guards and Lao’s Security Force should agree upon principles, purposes, contents, and process of coordination, ... and it must be expressed in regulations and plans signed by the legal representatives of the functional agencies of the two sides. To do this, Son La Province Border Guard and Security Services of Laos in the border areas should base on the undertakings, guidelines, and foreign policies of the two Parties and the two States and treaties or agreements, ... signed by the two governments. At the same time, it should be based on their functions, tasks, powers and scope activities to review and supplement various types of regulations, memorandums, action plans, options, operations, etc. These are very necessary legal documents that demonstrate the unity in organization, action, and coordination to prevent and combat drug crime in border areas to suit with the reality and achieve high efficiency. In particular, the coordination contents should be specific, meticulous, and deep to clearly define responsibilities, scope, methods, forces, or means for coordination in both regular and irregular activities and in all conditions, time, and situations, ensuring high feasibility.

Finally, be creative and flexible in organizing the coordination and combination with Laos’ Security Force in preventing and combating drug crime. The coordination and combination of specialized forces on both sides of the border need to be cleverly and flexibly applied in accordance with the practical situation. Accordingly, Son La Province Border Guard and Security Services of Laos should maintain full and serious implementation of the agreed contents with focus put on professional activities, including rotating briefings and regular and irregular provision of information; organization of shared duty and patrol; organization of training and maneuvers; collection information, investigation of areas and gathering places, and professional management of drug-related objects; or implementation of plans for coordination in prevention and combat of crime, etc. In combat of crime and coordination in dealing with and settlement of drug cases, the laws of each country must be strictly complied with to ensure political and diplomatic requirements. Secret forces on both sides need to be built and used flexibly and appropriately with importance attached to objects in each nest, group, and line to firmly grasp their operational methods and tricks and unify to create professional situations to break the cases, etc.

In addition to the above solutions, the Provincial Border Guard needs to do well the work of advising the Party committees and local authorities of the two sides to promote foreign affairs and people's diplomacy; strengthen law propaganda and education for the people; build the political base, "the people's posture", and the entire-people border posture; and propagandize and mobilize people to actively participate in building drug - free villages and hamlets and proactively detecting and denouncing drug crimes. On the other hand, language classes of the two countries should be held for officials and soldiers to facilitate the coordinating activities. Moreover, preliminary review and total assessment of activities of drug prevention and combat in border areas should be well performed. Thereby, it is prompt to draw experience lessons and propose effective coordination solutions to contribute to strengthening understanding, trust, and effectiveness of coordination in implementing the task of managing and protecting borders in general and drug prevention and combat in particular, maintaining political security and social order and safety in border areas, and building the border of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development.

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Huy Du, MA.

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