Countering drug trafficking from Afghanistan

From the very beginning, UNODC has concentrated its efforts on supporting the most vulnerable border areas against  the trafficking of Afghan drugs. One of the first projects, the so-called "Osh Knot" was successful in strengthening of local drug control capacities and cross-border cooperation in the three neighbouring provinces of Osh, Murgab and Andijan, which is the common border area of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan also known as "Osh Knot". Experience in development cross-border cooperation among border control and law enforcement authorities was utilized in a follow-up counter-narcotics assistance package based on a comprehensive regional strategy to bolster narcotic interdiction efforts along Central Asia's borders with Afghanistan. UNODC is working to strengthen border control, to develop intelligence-led law enforcement capacity as well as to facilitate communication, analysis and exchange of operational information on cross-border crime. A key element is the establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) to increase cross-border communication and sharing of crucial intelligence information. As a result, UNODC contributes to building trust and dialogue between the opposing border control agencies and increases the spontaneous information exchange about the movement of goods, suspects and vehicles across common borders. Mobile Interdiction Teams (MOBITs) provide a flexible solution to the need to guard long, rugged borders which are often difficult to access. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is also working to strengthen ports of entry along the Afghan-Central Asian borders

SUCCESS STORY: Over the past decade, UNODC has worked in partnership with the Government of Tajikistan to make the DCA a fully integrated and self-sustainable lead agency in national drug enforcement. One of the key areas of assistance has been in the creation of an intelligence led policing capacity. Intelligence-led policing is a targeted approach to crime control, focusing on the identification, analysis and management of criminal developments.  This capacity was fostered in the establishment of the DCA Analytical Centre in 2004. The Centre now fully supports the operational units at the agency with invaluable intelligence analysis. Furthermore UNODC, in cooperation with the US Embassy in Dushanbe, created a Mobile Unit capacity in the DCA.  The Mobile Units react solely on intelligence and are a model of how to raise efficiency, expanding operational target areas by using mobile support in order to target criminal constellations within the country. As a result of UNODC's efforts, the DCA has strengthened its coordination role within the country and increased its operational capacity. In 2008, the DCA seized 1,317 kg of drugs including 349 kg of heroin, 574 kg of opium and 360 kg of cannabis. Additionally, 64 joint operations were carried out during this timeframe. Such cooperative efforts led to the arrest of several criminal groups operating on the national and international level and serve as a model of law enforcement in the region.

SUCCESS STORY: Since 2006, UNODC has worked in partnership with the NATO-Russia Council to deliver high-quality, professional law enforcement training to mid-level counter-drug officers of Afghanistan and the five Central Asian countries in order to help them combat the threat of trafficking in opiates within and through their territories. Expert trainers from the DEA (US), the Federal Drug Control Service (Russia), the Federal Customs Service (Russia), Belgian Federal Police, German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and Turkish International Academy Against Drug and Organized Crime (TADOC) have shared their expertise with local counterparts in training on diverse law enforcement topics including informant handling, suspect profiling techniques and drug and precursor identification and testing. On 5 March 2008, ten Uzbek officers who received training under the UNODC and NATO-Russia Council project participated in the largest seizure of heroin ever made in the country (560 kg). Similarly, in 2008 law enforcement officers trained under the project seized over 550kg of heroin and opium in a single case in Tajikistan.