Today I announce a $30 million initiative to help our partners in the Mekong region combat transnational crime and strengthen security in our region.
The Mekong-Australia Program: Transnational Crime (MAP-TNC) is an eight-year investment that will promote cross-border cooperation between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, supporting their efforts to tackle serious threats such as drug trafficking, child sexual exploitation and financial crimes.
Illegal flows of goods in Southeast Asia are estimated to exceed US$110 billion per year. Transnational organised crime in Southeast Asia undermines regional stability and economic development and directly harms communities and individuals in Australia.
Strong regional cooperation is critical to combating transnational crime in this complex and challenging environment.
Australian law enforcement, security and border protection agencies will work with their regional counterparts to enhance policy development and build the technical and operational capabilities needed to combat transnational crime threats.
This new investment will build on Australia’s deep engagement in the law and justice sector in Southeast Asia. It will complement our efforts to combat human trafficking in the region, in which Australia has been actively involved for more than 15 years.