Law enforcement officials from across the region have come together at an in-depth training initiative held at RMIT Vietnam, boosting efforts to fight transnational organised crime.
The 36th Asia Region Law Enforcement Management Program (ARLEMP) is a three-week initiative that builds police cooperation to address cross-border crimes such as drug trafficking, money laundering, cyber-crime, terrorism and human trafficking.
ARLEMP is the result of a long-term partnership between the Australian Federal Police, the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and RMIT University Vietnam.
The program gathered 25 law enforcement officials from 19 countries in the Asian region, with a focus on the issue of money laundering.
RMIT Vietnam President, Professor Gael McDonald, said the University was proud to be an educational partner in the effort for cross-border collaboration across law enforcement agencies.
"Our approach involves engaging with ARLEMP participants to share experiences and ask questions to improve the global criminal justice response to significant international issues such as money laundering," Professor McDonald said.
In the past nine years, more than 650 police and law enforcement officials from 25 countries across the region have taken part in the unique program, including more than 200 Vietnamese police.
Speaking at the ARLEMP opening ceremony, Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner for Operation Sovereign Borders, Steve Lancaster, said money laundering was an issue that spanned borders.
"Money laundering is the life blood of organised crime," he said.
"Your job is to cut off the supply.
"We must all move to better understand money laundering and enhance our skills and improve our confidence to attack it.
"This is not only necessary, but is an essential capability now required of law enforcement agencies operating in the transnational criminal environment."
Lieutenant General Trieu Van Dat, of the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security, said the issue presented a vicious cycle.
"Money laundering not only helps criminals to hide the origin of illegal assets but also provides grounds for them to enjoy those assets and reinvest the assets which have been laundered into other criminal activities," he said.
General Dat also encouraged the participants to share their experiences with each other to ensure the fight against organised crime was a global effort.
ARLEMP graduates have achieved success in the international law enforcement field, with many now occupying key roles in the United Nations and other leading international taskforces addressing transnational crime.
Through their coordinated efforts ARLEMP graduates are mobilising successful actions to combat serious organised crime.