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Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and China Join to Fight Crime on Mekong



Chinese Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu, second right, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kowit Wattana, left, Lao Defense Minister Douangchay Phichit, second left, and Myanmar's Home Affairs Minister Ko Ko


An agreement has been made in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and China to break down cross-border crime together and safe transport along the Mekong River is a timely decision and will be received by the 70 million people living in the river valley. This will help ensure a safe route for passengers and cargo ships traveling along the river also.
The decision was taken at a meeting of law enforcement one day, held in Beijing on Monday between members of the senior cabinet of the four nations.
Their renewed efforts to work even more closely on security matters have come to Mekong result of the worsening security situation in the “Golden Triangle”, an area where the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet. A region known for its production and drug trafficking.
Under the new framework, the four countries to build sub-mechanisms for exchange of intelligence, patrolling and enforcement, and to address major problems threaten public order, combating transnational crime and respond to emergencies.

The results reflect the commitment of the four nations to build the Mekong, especially its “Golden Triangle” where the security situation is more precarious, in a peaceful channel, free from security risks. Of course, to translate political will into action, more efforts will be needed to develop the legal and institutional framework.

At the suggestion of China, the four nations have conducted cross-border cooperation to enhance security along the river since 2001, when transnational commercial shipping regularized.
The Mekong, known as the “Oriental Danube”, is a major transportation route linking China with Southeast Asia. Handling about 10 million yuan ($ 1. 57 billion) worth of goods of cargo each year, which plays an increasing role in regional trade.
However, in recent years, drug and arms smuggling along the river also has been increasing, and theft crimes such as extortion, armed robbery are frequent and endanger people’s lives and shipping .

In the latter case, less than a month, 13 Chinese sailors were brutally killed in a deadly attack boat. Kowit Wattana Thai Deputy Prime Minister has promised a fair and just trial of a group of suspects in connection with the murders. The official said the suspects are military in Thailand and the Thai police are still investigating the incident.

In a joint statement issued after Monday’s meeting, the quartet has “agreed to take effective measures to intensify joint research efforts to discover all the details of the case and bring criminals to justice as soon as possible “.

Given the complex situation in the “Golden Triangle” area, translational research and coordination is essential.
For justice to prevail, the masterminds and perpetrators must be ferreted out and dealt with by law. The case should be handled with due diligence and through close cooperation between the nations involved.

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