The Safe Mekong Coordination Centre (SMCC) has been established in each country of the Mekong sub-region. This centre is a joint effort of countries struggling to combat drug trafficking. The Narcotics Investigation Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security held a meeting on April 6, in Hanoi to review the operation of the SMCC. At the event, Major General Nguyen Van Vien, the head of the department pointed out that countries in the Mekong sub-region are working hard together. He emphasised that Vietnam is paying attention to strengthening cooperation with regional countries to effectively implement the Sub-Regional Action Plan (SAP) on Drug Control. The SAP on Drug Control for the 2023-2027 period comprising five key solutions was approved by the participants. One of the measures is running a joint drug crime combat campaign and cracking down on drug-related crimes on roads, rivers and along borders. According to last year’s figures announced at the meeting on April 6th, the Vietnamese anti-drug police raided 23,952 cases involving 36,126 suspects. They seized 741.78 kilos of heroin, 1,857.57 kilos of meth, over 3.68 million tablets of meth, 105.33 kilos of opium, and 268.03 kilos of cannabis. As said by Major General Nguyen Van Vien from the meeting, there were many drug trafficking rings with vast quantities of narcotics of all kinds detected by police in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, China, and Myanmar. The Safe Mekong cooperation mechanism was co-initiated by China and Thailand in 2013, and Vietnam officially joined the campaign in 2019. So far, all six Mekong sub-regional countries have established and alternately chaired the activities of the SMCC.
Note: This article does not reflect the opinion of High Thailand. Although the Mekong drug control measures seem to have a positive effect in preventing drug trafficking, the ideal scenario would be for drugs like cannabis to be legalized and taxed, making them safer for consumers and creating a new revenue stream for the government.