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Law enforcement agencies mull ways to combat transnational crime

Prosecutors, judiciary and law enforcement agencies from the southern provinces along with experts from ILSTA, Canada and the University of Luxembourg last week met in Khammuan province to discuss the combatting of transnational organised crime.
The conference focused on the trade in illicit narcotics, human trafficking and money laundering, and was attended by more than 100 people.
The third regional Conference on Strengthening Capacities on Combatting Transnational Organised Crime took place in Thakhaek district from August 28-30.
Among those attending the meeting were the Deputy of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor Office, Mr Xaysana Khotphouthone, and President of the Institute for Legal Support and Technical Assistance (ILSTA) from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Mr Richard Philippart.
Opening the conference, Mr Xaysana said “Organised crime is a highly important topic. Law enforcement agencies have to be ready to cope with this issue, which is threatening our citizens as well as the wellbeing and security of the country as a whole.”
Also addressing the meeting, Mr Philippart said “Laos has now the legislative tools, a penal code, a criminal procedure code, an anti-money laundering law, a law on narcotics, and a law on human trafficking. But the enforcement of these laws remains of major importance, to combat organised crime and to protect society, but also in view of the upcoming Asia-Pacific Group evaluations.”
The conference brought together public authorities from the provinces of Khammuan, Champassak, Saravan, Savannakhet, Attapeu and Xekong.
The conference discussed topics of particular concern such as the types of organised crime, money laundering and financial investigation, and human trafficking.
Specific working sessions were dedicated to practical exercises and hands-on experiences shared by experts and participants.
These centred on financial investigations, a particularly important topic in the context of the approaching Financial Action Task Force evaluation, set for 2020.
The recently held North, Central, and South conferences served as a nationwide forum for representatives of judiciary, policy and law enforcement institutions. They helped facilitate the sharing of best practices and lessons learned, besides supporting coordination and policy development.
The fruitful outcome of these three conferences is testament to the successful cooperation between the Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor and ILSTA, and sets new goals for future joint events and conferences.
The conference was supported by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Finance, Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency, and the government of Canada.

By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update September 3, 2019)

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