The first Border Liaison Office in Afghanistan inaugurated

Photo: Fardin Waezi (UNAMA) 8 December 2010 - The first Border Liaison Office (BLO) in Afghanistan was inaugurated on Sunday 6 December at the Torkham crossing point between Pakistan and Afghanistan. At the inauguration ceremony General Sadat, the Deputy Commander of Afghan Border Police thanked UNODC for the facility and stressed the importance of BLOs in the fight against transnational organized crime.

According to the UNODC report Addiction, Crime and Insurgency: The transnational threat of Afghan Opium, approximately 40% of Afghan heroin, or 150 tons are trafficked to Pakistan annually. Same report is citing that from Pakistan, Afghan heroin is smuggled all over the world, namely 35 tons to Islamic Republic of Iran, 20 tons to Africa, 25 tons to South and South East Asia, 11 tons to Middle East, seven tons to China, six tons to Europe and two tons to North America. Although, the manufacturing of acetic anhydride was discontinued in Pakistan in 1995, the country borders two major chemical producers, China and India.

"Based on seizure data, Pakistan appears to be a major source of precursors entering Afghanistan. The largest precursor flows arrive at Karachi or other seaports on Balochistan's coast, in recent years often from or via the Republic of Korea. The majority then crosses Pakistan's borders with the southern Afghan provinces of Nimroz, Hilmand and Kandahar", Addiction, Crime and Insurgency: The transnational threat of Afghan Opium report reveals.

Photo: Fardin Waezi (UNAMA): Mr. Fedotov visits clients at the Jangalak drug treatment centre in AfghanistanThe opiate trade in Pakistan, according to same report, is worth one billion USD.

"The volume of licit trade excludes total control of all consignments, and while efforts are underway to introduce more modern interdiction techniques, such as risk profiling, cross-border cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours is a much needed component to tackle international crime in the region, and sharing experiences on both sides of borders is an important to develop effective drug control interventions", said Mark Colhoun, Senior Law Enforcement Advisor with UNODC Afghanistan.

He also underlined that the BLO at Torkham is a pilot for West Asia, and expressed his hope that soon more BLOs would be opened along the borders of Afghanistan with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The Country Office for Afghanistan established the BLO at Torkham crossing under the project AFG/J55 Integrated Border Control Project in western/south-western Afghanistan, with financial support from the Government of Canada.

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