US Govt. Donates Equipment to Improve Drug and Contraband Detection in Laos

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The US Ambassador Peter M. Haymond handed over contraband-detection equipment and patrol vehicles to the Lao Customs Department Director General of the Customs Department Phoukhaokham Vannavongxay

 On November 15, the US Government donated contraband-detection equipment and patrol vehicles to the Lao Customs Department in a handover ceremony presided over by the US Ambassador Peter M. Haymond and Director General of the Customs Department Phoukhaokham Vannavongxay.  

The donated materials include two four-wheel-drive pickup trucks, 20 contraband detectors that can analyze and identify chemicals, two videoscopes that allow inspection of otherwise inaccessible spaces, and 170 mirrors to inspect vehicle undercarriages.

The pickup trucks will be used by Customs Inspection and Suppression Division personnel to patrol remote areas and to respond to criminal violations, and the remaining equipment will be disseminated to Customs officers at various border crossing points to improve the detection of drugs and other illicit contraband.

“The devices and trucks that the United States is handing over today will provide Lao Customs officers with the right tools to do their jobs well,” said Ambassador Haymond.

“The trucks will allow officers from the Investigation and Suppression Division to reach remote areas and to rapidly respond to criminal incidents.  The cutting-edge contraband scanners we are turning over allow vehicles to be searched comprehensively within five minutes. These tools will help officers at border crossing points improve their effectiveness and efficiency while increasing the probability that they will detect transnational crime. We value the relationship with Lao Customs Department and are proud to assist Laos in detecting cross-border crime,” he added.

The International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Section at the US Embassy funded the purchase and donation of the equipment and vehicles to the Lao Customs Department. INL works closely with Lao law enforcement and justice sector agencies on transnational crime and justice issues, including trafficking in persons, drugs, and wildlife, money laundering, violations of intellectual property rights, and more.