First Border Liaison Offices established in Uzbekistan with the assistance of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
First Border Liaison Offices (BLO) have been established and become operational at selected border crossing points "Oybek" and "Sari Osie" in Uzbekistan to allow direct communication between the law enforcement agencies involved in border control, which will in turn foster improved cooperation between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The Border Liaison Offices were established in the framework of the UNODC project "Countering the trafficking of Afghan opiates via the northern route by enhancing the capacity of key border crossings points (BCPs) and through the establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) in Central Asia" with the funding support provided by the Government of Norway.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Uzbek officials from the National Information and Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministry of Interior, State Customs Committee, State Border Protection Committee of the National Security Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
- Uzbek Government is committed to fight illegal drug trafficking and transnational organized crime to promote trade and economic development, stability and peace, - said the Colonel Abubakir Tajibaev, first Deputy Chief of the Uzbek Regional Customs Committee in the opening ceremony. - The support to improve cross border partnership between the countries of Central Asia from UNODC comes at a good time of withdrawal of Coalition troops from Afghanistan.
Since the inception of the project, series of activities were implemented in order to launch the first Border Liaison Offices in Central Asia including procurement of specialized searching and office equipment, construction and refurbishment of four buildings under Border Liaison Offices at the Uzbek-Tajik border and the training courses aimed at enhancing the capacity of border liaison officers assigned to work in the BLOs were provided. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), which provides a legal basis for operations of the BLOs and the border liaison officers in particular, were developed and approved by the project national counterparts.
Border Liaison Offices are Inter-agency units that are located at the selected BCPs, and consists of liaison officers from competent law enforcement agencies involved in border control. The overall objective of the BLO concept is to enhance border crossing facilities and mechanisms by establishing lines of communication and intelligence-sharing between national agencies deployed at specific crossing points and as necessary, between international counterparts across common borders. These mechanisms and procedures are intended to lead to an increase in the detection and interception of contraband goods, including narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals.