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China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand complete joint patrol on Mekong River

By : China Daily | Published: 2016-July-27

[InKunming--Sister Cities]  China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand have completed a joint police patrol on the Mekong River, aiming to crack down on crime in the region.

This is the 48th joint patrol since December 2011, when the four countries launched an initiative to strengthen law enforcement on the river.

They inspected five boats and ships during the 521 kilometers of patrol and visited 32 sailors and residents on the river.

During the four-day joint patrol, Myanmar hosted a meeting on information exchange aimed to better understand the severity of the cross-border crimes involving terrorism, drugs, illegal possession of weapons and smuggling.

To date, the four countries have provided assistance to 137 commercial ships during their joint patrols.

The joint patrol mechanism was set up by the four countries in response to the brutal killing of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River in October 2011 and to prevent attacks on river cargo vessels.

In recent years, extortion, robbery, drug smuggling and people trafficking have plagued the Mekong, especially in the "Golden Triangle" area, known for its opium production. Commercial ships are the most commonly targeted.

The joint patrol police command office is based in Yunnan province. Chinese police also help train and equip police in Laos and Myanmar.

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