Customs officers from the UNODC-supported Border Liaison Office intercepted a shipment of around 100 kilograms of narcotic drugs

Interagency cooperation, intelligence-sharing and information exchange among law enforcement agencies in Central Asian countries play a key role in fighting against drug trafficking. UNODC has been concentrating its efforts on supporting the vulnerable border areas against the trafficking of Afghan opiates through strengthening the border crossing points and establishing the working intelligence-sharing and enhanced cross-border communication mechanisms allowing detection and interception of contraband, including narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals.

On 25 August, at 3:30 am, a Mercedes-Benz truck driven by a citizen of a neighboring state arrived at the Sariosiyo border crossing point (BCP) located in Uzbekistan’s Surkhondaryo region.

According to the driver, the truck was loaded with 20 tons of yarn - as stated in the documents. However, during the inspection of the truck trailer with the help of a service dog, the officers found 93 parcels wrapped in polyethylene that were hidden in its front part under the floor covering.

82 green and red parcels contained a total of 85 kilograms and 505 grams of heroin, and the remaining 11 yellow ones - a total of 11 kilograms 425 grams of hashish.

“Customs officers at the Sariosiyo border crossing point applied a risk profiling system to detect drugs hidden under 20 tons of yarn. The training courses provided by UNODC under the Cross-Border Cooperation Component helped enhance the efficiency of customs control,” said Ravshanjon Ruziev, Head of the Situation Center of Anti-Smuggling and Customs Audit Department of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

BLO at the Sariosiyo BCP was established in 2014 and is one of 19 BLOs in the Central Asian region established at the key border crossing points under the Cross-Border Cooperation Component designed to counter the trafficking of Afghan opiates through the northern route of the Sub-programme 1 “Countering transnational organized crime, illicit drug trafficking and preventing terrorism” of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia. It is the first project to establish BLOs in Central Asia, and its stakeholders are the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Border Troops, Customs and Drug Control Agencies of each country.

The Cross-Border Cooperation Component strengthens the capacities of officers working at the BLOs representing all law enforcement agencies in countering transnational organized crime, including through various training programmes. In 2020-2021 alone, 77 law enforcement officers in Uzbekistan enhanced their capacities on risk profiling, planning and implementation of joint operational activities on the border, drug interdiction and information-sharing through attending a series of trainings organized under the component.

On 14-18 June 2021, UNODC conducted a training course on modern control techniques for vehicles, cargo and goods inspection for 25 mid-level law enforcement officers working at the BLOs at the road and rail border crossing points in Uzbekistan, including at the BLO at the Sariosiyo border crossing point. The training was held in the premises of the Ayritom border crossing point on the border between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

The component is funded by the Government of Japan.


*Photo is taken from the website of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan.


For further information, please contact:
Nurangez Abdulhamidova
Communication and External Relations Officer
UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (Dushanbe)
Email: nurangez.abdulhamidova[at]