Australia, Vietnam UK Sign Anti-Crime Pact

Australia, Vietnam, UK strike anti-crime pact

Posted Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:21am AEDT

Communist Vietnam has signed pacts with Australia and Britain to jointly fight migration fraud and other transnational crime, statements from London and Canberra said.

Australia and Britain stress their growing diplomatic and trade ties with Vietnam but both governments have also sought to crack down on illegal immigration and drug-related crime from the South East Asian nation.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans and Vietnam's Public Security Minister General Le Hong Anh signed an Exchange of Immigration Information memorandum of understanding (MoU), Senator Evans's office said.

“Minister Anh and I discussed the importance of strong migration management in the region to address people smuggling by sea and air, human trafficking and other irregular migration issues,” Senator Evans said in a statement.

Senator Evans said Australia had already donated to Vietnam five document examination laboratories to counter migration fraud at airports and seaports.

“The laboratories include a specialised video imaging system, microscopes and light sources including ultraviolet and white light,” he said on a four-day visit to Vietnam.

“Identity fraud is a global issue, and possessing specialist equipment and examination techniques is crucial for enhancing the integrity of international borders in our region.”

Senator Evans also proposed setting up a working group “to generate open discussion of the bilateral relationship and migration-related issues of mutual interest.”

The bilateral pact also aimed for “increased prosecutions and reduced occurrences of crimes such as cannabis production, drug trafficking, e-crime, money laundering and organised migration crime, child sexual abuse.”