Hong Kong holds first Regional Anti-drug Expert Group Meeting (with photos)

6 Mar 2015

A two-day Regional Anti-drug Expert Group (RAEG) Meeting co-hosted by Hong Kong Customs and the World Customs Organization (WCO) Asia Pacific Vice-Chair (the Royal Malaysian Customs Department) in Hong Kong for the first time was completed successfully today (March 6).

Aiming to provide a platform for regional drug experts to discuss and formulate effective enforcement strategies to tackle the drug issue, the meeting was attended by more than 40 representatives from 18 customs administrations/enforcement agencies, as well as the WCO's regional intelligence and capacity building offices.

The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Clement Cheung, and the Director General of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Dato' Sri Khazali Bin Haji Ahmad, officiated at the opening ceremony of the Meeting. Both of them called for stronger and consolidated enforcement efforts against the drug problem through enhancement of regional co-operation among the respective agencies.

The RAEG was established under Project CADS (Customs Anti-drug Strategy), which advocates the adoption of a holistic and sustainable strategy to effectively combat transnational drug trafficking activities in the region.

The Director of WCO Compliance and Facilitation, Mr Zhu Gaozhang, and the Director General of the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of China Customs, Mr Liu Xiaohui, were invited as keynote speakers at the meeting. At the meeting, Mr Liu said that the establishment of the RAEG is a milestone in the development of Project CADS. The set-up not only allows regional drug experts to meet regularly for exchanging views on drug issues, but also helps pool together their expertise and creates synergy effects to deal with the drug problem in a more professional manner.

The two-day meeting concluded with fruitful results. Apart from identifying capacity building needs for front-line officers in detecting drugs, participants also unanimously agreed to take forward the anti-drug initiatives of Project CADS through the implementation of an action plan, including the launching of a regional operation later this year.

Ends/Friday, March 6, 2015

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