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Regional fight against drugs
Publication Date : 22-04-2014
Although the drug menace in Brunei can be considered as relatively under control, it does not mean that we should ever lower our vigilance and become complacent over this scenario.
Apart from the immense suffering caused to individuals, particularly to our vulnerable young, illicit drug abuse and trafficking can weaken the social fabric of society as well as nations, represent direct and indirect economic costs to not only Brunei but to other governments, and can entail criminal activities which could eventually threaten the stability of Asean member states.
As indicated in its report, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has highlighted that international drug syndicates are targeting “peaceful and safe” countries such as Brunei as transit points to avoid detection by enforcement agencies in destination countries.
One that we have to be wary is that as Asean aims to forge a single economic community by 2015, drug syndicates would be trying to take maximum advantage of the greater connectivity between member states. Drug syndicates have become increasingly sophisticated in methods to manufacture and traffic drugs across borders through their international network of carriers.
Brunei during a meet in September last year said that Asean anti-narcotic agencies need to cooperate with their international counterparts in order to effectively combat drug trafficking within Southeast Asia.
This is partly due to the fact that drug trafficking activities are now being carried out in the Asean region not only by Asean citizens, but also non-Asean nationals.
To effectively address these emerging trends, Asean has to ensure that national and regional policies and strategies must be constantly reviewed and developed, and we must strive to remain one or more steps ahead of these drug lords.