Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly, left, and his Laotian counterpart Saysi Santivong, center, speak to the press in Jakarta on Monday. (JG Photo/Diana Mariska)

Indonesia and Laos to Work Together in Fighting Transnational Organized Crimes


NOVEMBER 04, 2019

Jakarta. Indonesia and Laos agreed on Monday to join hands in the fight against transnational organized crimes, including drug smuggling and human trafficking.

The agreement was signed by Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and his Laotian counterpart Saysi Santivong in Jakarta. 

Yasonna said the bilateral cooperation aims to help Laos cut off drug traffickers' distribution line in the region.

"Laos is part of [Southeast Asia's] Golden Triangle, and so it has a special focus on eradicating smuggling and the illicit trade of drugs," Yasonna said after the signing ceremony.

The Golden Triangle includes mountainous border areas in Thailand, Myanmar and Laos known as the global center of opium and methamphetamine production. 

"Between 2018 and 2019, 120 tons of drugs have been confiscated inside and around Asean," Yasonna said.

Yasonna said three Indonesians are currently being detained in Laos charged with drug smuggling. 

"These Indonesian citizens could potentially face the death penalty. They have to deal with the legal consequences of their actions, but we're hoping for no death penalty," Yasonna said.

The agreement also covers cooperation in combating human trafficking. 

"Laos has made significant inroads in the fight against human trafficking, including by establishing its own Anti-Human Trafficking Unit in 2003," Yasonna said.

The agreement will allow both countries to share experience and expertise in law enforcement, according to Cahyo Rahadian Muzhar, the Justice and Human Rights Ministry's director general of public administration.

"Cooperation in legal issues is not easy due to differences in our judiciary systems. But with this agreement, Indonesia and Laos can now organize exchanges of legal experts, study and training workshops, conferences and seminars and other cooperations even more technical in nature to help us counter transnational organized crimes," Cahyo said.

Also on Monday, both countries commenced a joint capacity building and training program on transnational crimes and extradition, topics that have become the mutual concerns of Indonesia and Laos.

Participants of the program included delegations from the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, the National Police, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Laotian Justice Ministry.