VOV.VN - An international conference where law enforcement, pharmaceutical companies and industry experts join together to tackle the severe problem of illegal drug manufacturing began in Hanoi today (August 29). The two day conference will focus on law enforcement strategies to stop the manufacture of deadly amphetamines such as methylamphetamine and MDMA, commonly referred to as ice and ecstasy, respectively.
In recent years in Vietnam there has been a substantial increase in the use of synthetic drugs such as MDMA. Methylamphetamine continues to be a problem, Colonel Hoang Anh Tuyen from the Ministry of Public Security said. The hope is that this summit will enhance our offensive on the drug trade both here in Vietnam and throughout Asia.
With industry and law enforcement working with each other, we can tighten controls on precursor chemicals which makes it harder for criminals to trade in these illicit substances. The conference brings together agencies committed to preventing the diversion of precursor chemicals into the illegal manufacture of amphetamines. This involves a range of groups from law enforcement agencies who investigate and prosecute those who produce and sell the drugs, to the laboratories who make the drugs, the companies who make the glassware necessary in the illegal ‘cooking’ process, to the pharmacists who sell over-the-counter pseudoephedrine products.
All these groups throughout Vietnam and Asia need to work together in order to be one step ahead of the criminal networks that manufacture and sell these deadly drugs, noted Colonel Tuyen. Jeremy Douglas, regional representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Southeast Asia and Pacific, introduced some proposed legislation to prevent pseudoephedrine products being accessible to the public other than by prescription. It included a centralized pharmacy database system that would provide pharmacists with an enhanced ability to identify suspicious requests for pseudoephedrine-containing medications.
The legislation aims to put an end to the criminal practice of ‘pseudo running’. Pseudo running involves criminals obtaining the pseudoephedrine products from pharmacies using fake identities, usually along planned routes throughout the entire Asian region. Ideally, if all pharmacies could be registered and a collective database properly implemented and utilized, that would help we in law enforcement prevent diversion of products for illicit purposes. Better legislation is also needed to address the increasing patterns of freight theft of precursor chemicals around the globe, Mr Douglas added. The drug policies currently in place in Vietnam and Asian aren't working, so we need a fresh look by delegates at this summit to look at best alternative strategies to minimize the harm that the illegal drugs such as ice and ecstasy cause to society.