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Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 09:43

Nations unite to fight border crime

By Li Yingqing in Kunming and Zhang Yan in Beijing

China will partner with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to set up a special law enforcement college in Southwest China's Yunnan province in a bid to tackle rampant cross-border crime, according to the Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday.

The China-ASEAN law enforcement college, which will be housed within the Yunnan Police Officer Academy, will be funded by the Ministry of Public Security.

Cross-border crime - terrorist activities, the manufacture and trafficking of drugs, human trafficking, firearms smuggling, illegal immigration, cybercrime and telecom fraud - have become more prevalent and complex in recent years and pose a serious threat to regional security and stability, said experts.

"It's more than necessary to set up such a college to strengthen law enforcement cooperation between China and ASEAN countries to combat cross-border crimes. We need to maintain regional security and promote economic prosperity," said a senior official at the ministry's International Cooperation Bureau who declined to reveal his name.

According to the ministry, in addition to setting up the college, China and ASEAN will enhance communications and hold regular visits as well as exchanges between teachers and students. They will also conduct joint research into relevant cases and share practical experiences.

The ministry said China will train 2,000 police officers from ASEAN countries to help them improve their tactics and ability to combat border crime.

The partners plan to set up a committee to share information. There will also be annual round-table conferences between the ministry and law enforcement authorities from ASEAN countries.

Seng Phally, president of the Police Academy of Cambodia said: "We urgently need to seek help in fighting human trafficking and drugs manufacturing and smuggling."

He said the educational facility will sharpen the focus of enforcement agencies.

"Such a college will provide targeted training programs to our police officers, then help them improve their evidence collection techniques and their attack capabilities to cope with transnational crimes."

Azizan Bin Abu Taat, commandant of the Malaysia Royal Police College, said the initiative will also help combat terrorism.

"Terror attacks have become more complex and devastating and the terrorists will plan to stage attacks anywhere in the world where they can attract people's attention," he said. "They could even launch chemical, nuclear or biological attacks. It's more than necessary to set up such a college to enhance judicial cooperation with relevant countries to foil terror attacks and combat other transnational crimes, including human trafficking and illegal immigration."

Also, a comprehensive law enforcement and security cooperation center near the Mekong River will be established in the second half of the year in Jinghong, Yunnan province. It will help in the sharing of intelligence, the investigation of cases and offer training programs. The center will support the efforts of China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

Contact the writers at zhangyan1@chinadaily.com.cn

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