Establishing a functioning licit control mechanism

In addition to the trafficking of drugs, the trafficking of precursor chemicals is of growing regional concern. Transforming raw opium into heroin requires a significant amount of precursor chemicals. Afghanistan does not produce nor has any legitimate use for these chemicals domestically and all are smuggled into the country. The role of UNODC is to increase the awareness of the Central Asian countries about illicit precursor trafficking and provide equipment, training and legal assistance to help law enforcement detect and interdict smuggled precursor chemicals.

Having established a functioning licit control structure in Central Asia, UNODC now focuses on strengthening the capacities of law enforcement agencies in the identification and interception of consignments of precursors being smuggled through the region and on improving regional operational cooperation between relevant national agencies. A major component of UNODC's activities against precursors trafficking is Operation TARCET, an international initiative targeting the smuggling of acetic anhydride en route to Afghanistan.

SUCCESS STORY: In 2008, operational activities conducted in all Central Asian States as well as in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan resulted in seizures of more than 19 tons of acetic anhydride: 6 tons of sulphuric acid in Kyrgyzstan, 1.6 tons of acetic acid in Uzbekistan and over three tons of diverse chemicals in Afghanistan. In addition, regional cooperation and coordination was improved through the utilization of CARICC as the Operational Coordination Unit (OCU) for Operation TARCET. Built on the successes achieved with the Operation TARCET in 2008, Operation TARCET II will be launched in 2009.