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International relations

New crime-fighting network to help ASEAN tackle cross-border cases

Japan and UN back effort to combat traffickers and cyberthieves in time of COVID

A police officer arranges seized drugs in Bangkok in 2018: The region's governments hope better communication will help tackle cross-border crimes including smuggling.   © Reuters

KYOTO -- Ten Southeast Asian countries have established a new framework to fight cross-border criminal activity, from human trafficking to cybercrime, amid fears that COVID-19 has created more fertile ground for lawbreakers.

The new South East Asia Justice Network (SEAJust) includes prosecutors, national police and other law enforcement authorities from nine members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations -- except Indonesia -- and East Timor. Together, with help from Japan and the United Nations, they aim to lower the hurdles for pursuing justice.

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