Friday, 25 April 2014

Czech field workers may help Vietnamese migrants

30 May 2013

Prague, May 29 (CTK) - Field workers might help Vietnamese migrants staying in the Czech Republic to protect those in need from being hired for drug production, Czech anti-drug coordinator Jindrich Voboril said after talks at Vietnam's embassy in Prague Wednesday.

Voboril said the discussion with Vietnamese diplomats about possible measures to be taken would continue.

He said operators of Asian marketplaces might face punishment if drugs were distributed at their marketplace, for example, their trading licence would be taken away from them.

Voboril said the Vietnamese side is focusing on the issue and it wants to deal with it itself as well.

People from Germany have started to go to Czech border markets to buy drugs, particularly marijuana and pervitine (methamphetamine). The German police have recently been pointing to the increase in drug crime in these border areas. They say mainly foreigners sell the banned substances in the markets and that Vietnamese stall vendors have stopped selling forgeries of brand goods and started selling drugs.

The Czech police and customs officers recently raided the markets close to the border.

Voboril said the present extensive checks are only a short-term measure that must be followed by other steps, including prevention.

He said state control is necessary because the Vietnamese fear a possible settling of accounts within their community.

Voboril said Vietnam's embassy checked what background Vietnamese citizens arrested over suspected drug crimes come from.

It turned out that these people came from very poor families from the Vietnamese countryside. They arrived in the Czech Republic to start a better life, but they did not find a job and had no money. This bad situation led them to accept slave labour and participation in drug production, Voboril said.

He said field workers could help the newcomers, who do not know the Czech environment, arrange all that is necessary and give them advice.

Voboril said he plans to meet representatives of the Vietnamese community based in the country. He said he would like to complete the proposals for the necessary steps to be taken at the end of the summer.

The Czech and Vietnamese interior ministers recently discussed a plan under which several Vietnamese police experts would participate in fighting drugs in Czech regions bordering on Germany to mar the criminal activities of their compatriots.

The Czech Republic is also preparing an agreement allowing the Vietnamese convicted in the Czech Republic of drug crimes to serve their prison sentences at home.

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