Brunei commits to fighting transnational crimes

Izah Azahari

As the incoming chair of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC), Brunei will focus its efforts on identifying opportunities and challenges in fighting transnational crimes in the post-COVID-19 era.

This was said by Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof as Chairman of the National Security Committee at the end of the 14th AMMTC Meeting yesterday.

The minister emphasised the need for AMMTC and ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) to adopt lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic into their plans, which includes the SOMTC Work Programme 2019-2021 which will be reviewed next year.

The minister also shared Brunei’s efforts in combatting transnational criminal activities such as joint operations to prevent the movement of illicit drugs and other contraband through the country’s borders and waterways.

Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi also mentioned the progress that Brunei has made in fighting other transnational crimes, such as human trafficking and cybercrime.

Minister of Public Security of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam General To Lam chaired the meeting that was convened virtually.

The meeting, which carried the theme of ‘Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Against Transnational Crime’ brought together ministers and high level representatives of all ASEAN member states to discuss the changing trends in transnational crime and criminal activities in
the region.

The 14th AMMTC concluded with a handover of the Chairmanship of the AMMTC from Vietnam to Brunei. Next year will mark the first time that the chairmanships of both AMMTC and SOMTC will be held by the Chair of ASEAN in the same year. As chair, Brunei will also play host to the 15th AMMTC and 21st SOMTC.

Permanent Secretary (Security, Enforcement and Law) at the Prime Minister’s Office Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Pengiran Haji Muhamad Sazali bin Pengiran Haji Yakob as well as senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office were also at the virtual meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office building.

Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof during the virtual meeting. PHOTO: PMO