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Drug Trafficking – Cambodia and Vietnam

Since the beginning of 2017, Intelligence Fusion has recorded dozens of drug trafficking related incidents in Cambodia and Vietnam. While they do not capture every single incident or arrest, they do provide valuable intelligence as to where drugs are flowing from and to, as well as the types of drugs. Most incidents recorded in Vietnam have taken place in its northern provinces, particularly those bordering Laos: Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Son La, and Thanh Hoa. These provinces are particularly targeted by drug traffickers due to the fact they border northern Laos where the majority of opium growing areas are located. In Cambodia, Stung Treng province has seen several instances of drug trafficking due to it bordering Laos, but also being the entry point for the Mekong River between the countries. The most common drugs flowing into Cambodia and Vietnam are heroin, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. The high number of drugs flowing into both countries from Laos is due to Laos being not only a destination country for drugs, but also a source country, exporting high amounts of opium and heroin as part of the Golden Triangle. While the majority of drugs into Cambodia and Vietnam have flowed from Laos, it is also important to be aware of the increasing amounts of incidents of drug mules smuggling cocaine from South America through air routes. The most common has been drug mules coming from Brazil via Dubai. In August of 2017, both Cambodia and Vietnam vowed to increase cooperation with one another to counter cross-border drug trafficking.This follows the increase in cooperation between Laos and Vietnam announced in March. Laos announced it would be deploying additional security forces along the border to try to reduce the number of drug smuggling incidents between the two countries.
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