In an attempt to combat narcotics trafficking and transnational crime in Laos, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Security, General Vilay Lakhamphong, met with Singaporean Ambassador to Laos, Sudesh Maniar, on 2 November to discuss ways to enhance bilateral security cooperation.
“We look forward to working closely with the [Lao] Ministry of Public Security to address the common challenges facing our countries,” stated the Singaporean Embassy in Vientiane.
Drug trafficking has been a serious issue in Laos, with local authorities seizing a large amount of drug pills from traffickers in recent years.
On National Anti-Drug Day, 12 October, local authorities in Bokeo destroyed over 53 million methamphetamine pills. In Oudomxay Province and Vientiane Capital, police wiped out more than 2 million meth pills, according to Lao Security News.
General Vilay addressed the people of Laos, pointing out the increasing drug problem in the country. He called for local and regional cooperation to tackle the issue, highlighting that drug trafficking has become a cross-border challenge and is on the rise in Laos.
Meanwhile, non-drug-related crimes have also been drastically increasing over the past months. Cyber scammers have grown in both numbers and skills. In early September, the Lao police handed over 164 online fraud suspects to the Chinese authorities for further investigation. The suspects were accused of defrauding Chinese citizens through cross-border telecommunications systems.