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India-Vietnam pact to fight terror, drug trafficking

India and Vietnam on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in security matters...

| New Delhi |
March 24, 2008 11:40:49 pm

India and Vietnam on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in security matters, including terrorism and trans-national crime. The agreement also covers another critical area that has been worrying India for quite some time now — illicit drug trafficking through the region.

The MoU was signed after talks between Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Vietnamese Minister for Public Security General Le Hong Anh, who is on a visit to India with a team of senior officials.

The MoU on security cooperation comes close on the heels of a Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters signed during Patil’s visit to Vietnam in October last year. The treaty ensures close mutual assistance in prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime in the two countries. It also covers service of summons and other judicial papers, execution of warrants. Tracing proceeds and instruments of crime, their forfeiture and confiscation are also covered under the treaty.

The latest round of talks saw the two sides reviewing existing initiatives, including capacity building and training issues. India had offered to train officers from Vietnam in investigating bank fraud, cyber crime and drug trafficking and two such courses have already been conducted. India is also working on establishing a Rs 2.2-crore cyber forensic laboratory in Vietnam.

The engagement with Vietnam is part of India’s Look East policy.

The Defence Ministry has also been in close touch with its counterpart in Vietnam to work effectively towards strategic goals.

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