Border Liaison Office (BLO) and Mobile Detection Team (MDT)

Assist with the Seizure of 16 tonnes of Acetic Anhydride


On 14 September 2017, officers of the Herat Mobile Detection Team (MDT) and Islam Qala Border Liaison Office (BLO) stopped and searched a truck and trailer crossing the border from the Islamic Republic of Iran into Afghanistan at Islam Qala border crossing point. The container was allegedly transporting 1,059 drums of liquid declared as motor oil. A thorough examination of the drums revealed that only 252 contained motor oil while 807 contained acetic anhydride. Three suspects were arrested in connection with the case. It is worth noting that the acetic anhydride seized could have been used to manufacture over 8 tonnes of heroin.


In follow-up investigations, MDT members confiscated USD 50,000 that had been transferred through the Hawala system an exchange office in Herat by the traffickers involved in this shipment. The confiscated cash was intended to be used to pay bribes that would have ensured the unhindered smuggling of the acetic anhydride. 


This seizure is as a result of close coordination between Border Liaison Office (BLO), Mobile Detection Team (MDT) and the Intelligence Investigation Unit (IIU) of the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA).


BLO and MDT are trained, equipped and mentored by UNODC under Sub-Programme 1 Law Enforcement AFGZ87 of the UNODC Country Programme for Afghanistan utilizing the funding from the Government of Japan.