MANILA - Airport and narcotics officials from 7 Southeast Asian countries began a meeting in Manila on Wednesday aimed at curbing drug trafficking in the region, focusing on methods and strategies used by organized crime syndicates.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Arturo Cacdac said participants in the two-day ASEAN Airport Interdiction Task Force Meeting "will exchange vital information and best practices on airport interdiction in order to effectively prevent drug trafficking in the Southeast Asian region."
The meeting's chairperson, Jacquelyn de Guzman from the same agency, said Southeast Asia is not only a destination for methamphetamine and other illegal drugs smuggled in by air from outside the region, but also a transshipment point.
Noting that Chinese nationals are often involved in drug trafficking activities in the Philippines, de Guzman said inviting China to future task force meetings would be "a good idea."
The two-day event is being attended by delegates from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The three other ASEAN member countries -- Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar -- did not send participants to the annual meeting, which is the fourth to be held so far.