ASEAN told: fight money laundering

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DA NANG (VNS) - Viet Nam's Deputy Minister of Public Security Le Quy Vuong has warned against the emerging threats of money laundering and cyber crime and called for ASEAN nations to work together to stop these criminals operating in the region.

Vuong made the call at the opening ceremony of the 13th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime, which was held in the central city of Da Nang yesterday.

"These growing transnational crimes challenge the security of every ASEAN nation, so members must work together to deal with them," he said.

Viet Nam's police force, working with its ASEAN colleagues, detected 261 cyber crimes last year which resulted in a loss of VND2 trillion (US$95 million), the Viet Nam Interpol office has reported.

In the first three months of this year, police detected 17 incidents and arrested 34 people on online fraud charges.

According to Lieutenant General Do Kim Tuyen, deputy head of the Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security, money laundering is still a very new crime in Viet Nam.

He said the police force had detected 650 suspicious bank transactions last year, of which 22 have since been placed under investigation.

However, the financial damage done by money laundering has yet to be reported.

The meetings in Da Nang will end on Friday.

There are 200 participants from the 10 ASEAN member nations and the bloc's key dialogue partners: China, Japan, the US, South Korea, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, the head of the Philippines delegation Felizando Serapior said: "During the group session we discussed initiatives to improve the training of staff working to combat human trafficking.

"We also emphasised that further education is needed for border patrol officers because they play an important role in the management of immigration."

Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, head of the Thai delegation, revealed that his country had requested environmental crimes to be included in the transnational crime meeting discussions.

"This type of crime is an alarming problem because it infringes wildlife and can badly impact the environment in many countries. Despite this, strong enough action has not yet been taken to bring environmental criminals to justice," he said. — VNS


June 20th, 2013