Utilizing crime script analysis to identify modus operandi of transnational drug trafficking cases from Vietnam to Australia

Hai Thanh Luong

School of Global, Urban, and Social Studies, RMIT University, haithanh.luong@rmit.edu.au

In the Declaration on Enhancing the Australia-Viet Nam Comprehensive Partnership (2015) two sides recognized the significant and increasing threat of transnational crime and the importance of increased information and intelligence exchange to strengthening cooperation to combat transnational crime in the region, including narcotics trafficking. Despite the growing problem of drug trafficking from Southeast Asian countries in general and Vietnam in particular to Australia, there is currently little evidence of systematic knowledge regarding the crime-commission process involved in this criminal enterprise. In addition, both the Anti-Narcotics Police Task Force (ANPTF-Vietnam) and Australian Federal Police (AFP-Australia) recorded that strategic measures utilized in law enforcement interventions that extend beyond immediate operational goals towards a lasting reduction in organized forms of drug trafficking from Vietnam to Australia and converse are also lacking and insufficient effectiveness to supply reduction. The purpose of this study is to better understand the crime commission process of stockpiling, transporting, and trading illegal drugs and identify significant points for intervention by using crime scripts. This objective is achieved through a qualitative content analysis of typical cases with provided by the ANPTF about documentaries and information. A crime script comprising seven stages is established to analyze operations of traffickers after arresting at the Vietnam’s territories. It is considered as “cost-effective tool” that can not only facilitate specifically understanding about complex of crime and its various modus operandi, but also identify key scenes in the whole of crime commission process, it has the potential to seek “weak spots” which may support and assist LEAs against crime more effective. Potential prevention measures are also criticized and summarized to call for enhancing international cooperation between Vietnam and Australia authorities to prevent and combat drug trafficking in the next time.


Mr. Hai Thanh Luong graduated Bachelor of Law at the People’s Police Academy of Vietnam since 2004 and spent continuously around ten years in law enforcement agencies with both lecturing and practicing’ activities. In 2010, he awarded Australian scholarship and achieved Master for Transnational Crime Prevention at University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. To date, he is doing PhD with topic ‘transnational drug trafficking and law enforcement: a Vietnam perspective’ at School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Victoria, Australia.


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