AFP logo at EBB Canberra

News Centre

Our latest media releases, podcasts and stories
06 October 2023, 7:34am
Media Release

AFP celebrates 20 years in Vietnam

Editor’s note: Images are available via Hightail

The AFP and Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) have come together to mark the 20th anniversary of AFP’s liaison post in Ho Chi Minh City at an event last week (27 September).

The event was attended by a large cohort of current serving and retired Senior MPS officers, along with the foreign law enforcement community.

Guests heard from Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski, AFP Deputy Commissioner Lesa Gale and MPS Lieutenant General Do Van Hoanh, who all reflected on the accomplishments of both agencies over the past 20 years.

Deputy Commissioner Gale highlighted some of the key achievements of the partnership, including the disruption of multiple significant transnational criminal syndicates and the seizure of more than $8 million in cash and luxury items in Vietnam under Operation Ironside.

The evening provided an important opportunity to celebrate the previous and current AFP members who, through their professionalism and dedication, were able to build genuine friendships and working relationships which are now used as a benchmark by the Foreign Law Enforcement Community.

Deputy Commissioner Gale also endorsed a new Letter of Agreement between the AFP and the MPS’ Counter Narcotics Police Department (CNPD), which promotes enhanced engagement and collaboration on joint operations.

The letter reinforces the AFP’s commitment to working in close partnership with Vietnamese authorities to target illicit drug trafficking and related crimes, and provides new opportunities to work together.

The AFP’s first Ho Chi Minh City office was established in 2003, but the AFP has been working in close partnership with the MPS to combat transnational serious organised crime groups since 1999.

In 2005, the AFP and MPS, in partnership with RMIT university, jointly-established the Asia Region Law Enforcement Management Program (ARLEMP), which provides officers with leading-edge training in best practices to combat transnational crimes, strengthen networks and encourage collaboration.

The program delivers training to law enforcement officers from 43 law enforcement agencies across Asia and the Pacific. ARLEMP has delivered 55 programs to more than 1200 officers to date, who continue to work together to combat transnational crimes in the region.

The AFP and MPS also established the Vietnam Australia Joint Transnational Crime Centre (now Joint Transnational Crime Team) in 2010 to target organised crime impacting both nations. It is the only partnership of its kind in Vietnam.

Deputy Commissioner Gale said the AFP was proud of its long-standing relationship with MPS and the immense, positive impact it has had on the communities of both Australia and Vietnam.

“The AFP was the first law enforcement agency to open a diplomatic presence in Ho Chi Minh City and we thank the MPS for their ongoing collaboration, trust, respect and friendship,” Deputy Commissioner Gale said.

"The AFP and MPS have forged a strong partnership over the past two decades and together, we have achieved outstanding results in the fight against transnational crime.

“Physical borders no longer pose a barrier to transnational crime groups, which is why we collaborate closely with our international partners to ensure we can counter the impact of illicit drugs, firearms and dirty money.

“We remain more committed than ever to strengthening our ties with MPS and will continue to deliver maximum impact against the transnational syndicates targeting our communities in Australia and Vietnam.”

MPS Lieutenant General Do Van Hoanh said Vietnam MPS highly appreciated the achievements in cooperation between the Vietnam Police force and AFP, especially between the AFP Office in Ho Chi Minh City and functional units of Vietnam MPS in recent times.

“On the basis of trust and mutual understanding, we recommend that the two police forces continue to cooperate more closely in exchanging information about crimes, joint investigations and criminal cases involving the two countries,” Lt Gen Hoanh said.

The AFP has more than 200 personnel located in 33 countries as part of its international network. AFP members posted offshore work in partnership with foreign law enforcement agencies to detect, deter, prevent and disrupt crime and harm at its source to ensure a safer Australia.

Media enquiries:

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

Connect with us:

Follow our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube pages to learn more about what the AFP does to keep Australia safe.

AFP Media

Journalists can contact us Monday to Friday from 6.30 am to 6 pm Canberra time. Outside those hours, a rostered officer is on call.