Transnational narcotics trafficking and law enforcement: a Vietnam perspective

Luong, H 2017, Transnational narcotics trafficking and law enforcement: a Vietnam perspective, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global, Urban and Social Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Transnational narcotics trafficking and law enforcement: a Vietnam perspective
Author(s) Luong, H
Year 2017
Abstract Close proximity to the major production zones, porous borderlands, mountainous frontiers and long coastlines offer advantageous conditions for trafficking narcotics. The illicit drug situation has become much more complex in Vietnam with the growth in amphetamine-type stimulants production and trade. Even so, empirical research and analysis of the organization and operation of transnational narcotics trafficking (TransNT) remains limited. The purpose of this thesis is to present the first detailed inquiry into the nature of TransNT across the border between Lao PDR and Vietnam using an exploratory approach which draws upon qualitative and quantitative methods. In particular, the thesis presents findings from case studies of cross-border trafficking between Vietnam and Lao PDR in the period of 2003-2013 combined with interview and survey data from criminal investigation police and drug-related crimes officers (CIPDRC) from six border provinces who are directly and indirectly involved in investigating these cases.

The findings of this study indicate that drug markets in Vietnam are not controlled by monopolistic, hierarchical organizations or ‘cartels’. The structures of TransNT entities operating across the Lao-Vietnam border are small, based on family ties and fellow-countrymen relations, are fluid and loosely organized. They are very adaptable and sophisticated with diverse modus operandi and multiple divisions of labour. This presents particular challenges to law enforcement agencies (LAEs).

This thesis questions to capacity of Vietnam’s police to enforce the government’s zero-tolerance anti-narcotics policy. The study highlights practical problems and specific barriers in combating TransNT. LEAs in Vietnam and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) operate without effective mechanisms to cooperate and share information. It is also the case that traffickers often have more sophisticated equipment at their disposal to help them avoid arrest. Police forces work within national structures and yet are faced with the task of combatting transnational crime. This reality affects law enforcement capacity at a national as well as regional level, but Association of the Southeast Asian Nations member states have yet to establish effective structures for dealing with this non-traditional security challenge. Based on these findings, therefore, the thesis proposes recommendations to enhancing the effectiveness of LEAs in dealing with TransNT across Vietnam’s border with Lao PDR.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Sciences
Subjects Causes and Prevention of Crime
Criminological Theories
Police Administration, Procedures and Practice
Keyword(s) Transnational narcotics trafficking
Law enforcement agencies
Drug policy
International cooperation
Criminal network
Modus operandi
Criminal investigation police on drug-related crimes
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Created: Mon, 24 Apr 2017, 11:07:55 EST by Adam Rivett
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