China will establish a comprehensive law enforcement center in Yunnan province aimed at strengthening intelligence exchanges with Laos, Myanmar and Thailand to curb drug-trafficking and illegal immigration along the Mekong River, said a senior official at the Ministry of Public Security.
“A comprehensive law enforcement and security cooperation center along the Mekong River will be set up and based in Jinghong, Yunnan province, in 2016 to conduct intelligence sharing, case investigation, joint operations and training programs with the three countries,” said Liao Jinrong, director at the ministry’s International Cooperation Bureau.
He said after the center is set up, a director will be appointed. That director will serve for one year and come from one of the four countries on a rotational basis.
That liaison’s task will be to collect intelligence and coordinate actions. The center will be expected to operate in the latter half of 2016.
Three information-sharing branch centers will be set up in Laos, Myanmar and Thailand to assist with intelligence analysis and case investigation. It will also dispatch law enforcement officers to fight transnational crimes on the river, he said.
In recent years, the number of cross-border crimes along the Mekong River－including drug-trafficking, terror attacks, organized smuggling and illegal immigration－has been sharply rising, according to the ministry.
“Such crimes tend to become more severe and complex, posing a serious threat to regional security and stability,” said Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun.
The ministry’s Liao said the four countries will work together in 2016 and 2017 to fight drug-related crimes, to capture and repatriate Chinese fugitives escaping abroad and to combat human and firearms trafficking, terror attacks and cybercrime along the Mekong River.
In Oct 2011, China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand agreed to set up a law enforcement cooperation mechanism in Beijing, under which they would conduct joint patrols to fight cross-border crimes along the Mekong River, after 13 Chinese sailors were killed by a drug trafficking ring in the Golden Triangle area of the river.
Law enforcement officers from the four countries have uncovered 9,111 cross-border drug-trafficking cases, arrested 10,455 suspects and seized 35.7 metric tons of drugs on the river in the past four years, the ministry said.