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Cablegate: Exbs: Thailand/Vietnam Advisor Monthly Reporting

VZCZCXRO7049
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHBK #0997/01 0880825
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280825Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2473
RHMFIUU/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHDC
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUCNEXC/EXPORT CONTROL AND RELATED BORDER SECURITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASH DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 000997

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ISN/ECC YWONG, ACHURCH, KCROUCH, ROWEN, EAP/MLS
DRICHELSOPH, BBLACKSHAW
CBP/INA FOR BMCCRAY
DEPT OF ENERGY FOR NNSA TPERRY
AMEMBASSY HANOI FOR PECKSTROM
AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR FOR RMOODY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KNNP KSTC MNUC PARM PREL TH VN
SUBJECT: EXBS: THAILAND/VIETNAM ADVISOR MONTHLY REPORTING
CABLE - MARCH 2008

SUMMARY

1. (U) US Customs and Border Protection conducted an
International Seaport Interdiction Training (ISIT) course,
March 3-7, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement conducted an Export Control
Enforcement Training course, March 10-14, in Bangkok
Thailand. Advisor met with representatives of the World
Customs Organization (WCO), Australian Customs and New
Zealand Customs to assess potential areas for collaboration
or deconfliction.

SITE ASSESSMENTS AND MEETINGS

2. (U) Advisor met with representatives of the World Customs
Organization (WCO), Australian Customs and New Zealand
Customs to assess potential areas for collaboration or
deconfliction. Mr. Takashi Matsumoto, Director of the WCO's
Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB), explained that
his office maintains relationships with 32 countries in the
Asia-Pacific region. Twenty-four of these countries are the
recipients of ROCB assistance, including Thailand and
Vietnam. Mr. Matsumoto explained that details of each
country's ROCB Action Plan are held in confidence with each
country, but that he would be happy to advise us of any
overlap or areas for targeted assistance. Donor
organizations include the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World
Bank, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the
Pacific (UNESCAP), UN Environmental Program (UNEP), the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and others.

3. (U) Mark O'Toole, New Zealand's Customs Liaison Officer
for Southeast Asia, explained that most of his country's
assistance is directed at several Pacific Island nations
which pose a threat by drug trafficking. No assistance is
being given at this time to Thailand or Vietnam. Sandra
Caligari, Australia's Customs Counselor, said that her
program's focus is on strengthening inter-agency cooperation
among border agencies, particularly in the maritime
environment. She is planning a command post exercise for the
end of the year.

TRAINING CONDUCTED

3. (U) US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducted an
International Seaport Interdiction Training (ISIT) course,
March 3-7, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Twenty nine
Vietnamese officials participated, from the Border Army,
Customs, Maritime Bureau, and Port Authority. The U.S.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agent
posted in Ho Chi Minh City also attended many of the
sessions. The Vietnamese agencies brought in officials from
offices around the country, to ensure that CBP's best
practices would receive wide distribution. The training was
well-received, and strengthened the working relationship
between our respective border security agencies.

4. (U) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
conducted an Export Control Enforcement Training course,
March 10-14, in Bangkok Thailand. Twenty-one Thai officials
participated, from Customs, Police, Immigration and Port
Authority. Officials from the Office of the Attorney General
also participated in a session on the Investigator-Prosecutor
relationship. Particular interest was shown in the case
studies and practical exercises. Additional training was
requested in controlled delivery techniques, computer-related
crime, port of entry investigations and investigative
equipment. Participants were also interested in a more
thorough comparative discussion of Thai and American laws
affecting investigations.

EQUIPMENT DELIVERED

6. (U) None.


BANGKOK 00000997 002 OF 002


IMMINENT TRAINING/EQUIPMENT UPDATE

7. (U) A Legal-Regulatory Seminar will be conducted, April
8-10 in Hanoi, Vietnam. A major equipment donation for
Vietnamese Customs and Border Army is tentatively scheduled
for April 25. Thailand celebrates its New Year (Songkran) in
mid-April; the next Thai training event will be a Strategic
Trade Controls Licensing Workshop by DOE in May.

SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS

8. (U) None.
JOHN

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