Improving skills of Uzbek Customs officers on the use of specialized detection equipment

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA) organized a three-day national training course on the use of the "HazMatID 360" portable detectors and the "Draeger HazMat Kit" for Uzbek Customs officers, generously hosted by the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan at its Higher Military Customs Institute (HMCI) on 18-20 October 2017 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The training is implemented within the frames of "UNODC-World Customs Organization (WCO) Global Container Control Programme - Regional Segment for Central Asia and Azerbaijan" (CCP).

In total, 17 Customs officers availed themselves of the training opportunity aimed at increasing their practical skills in using the specialized detection equipment, as well as modern methods and tools of customs control. The participants exercised on the "HazMatID 360" portable detector equipment that was provided by the UNODC to the established CCP Port Control Units of Uzbekistan in 2016.

The training was delivered by an experienced forensic trainer from the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany and was composed of theoretical lessons and practical exercises during which the trainees became familiar with the methods of rapid identification of unknown solid and liquid chemicals/substances.

In his opening remarks, the Deputy Chairman of HMCI, Mr. Saidodil Gulyamov, emphasized that in the context of the rapid development of technological processes, the emergence of new forms of chemicals and other substances, such trainings and skills improvement sessions are essential for conducting accurate forensic analysis and making candid decisions by the relevant agencies.

Ms. Ashita Mittal, the UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia stressed that Uzbekistan is a priority country for UNODC since it is on the frontline of the flow of Afghan opiates headed towards international markets, playing a key role in the fight against drugs.

The CCP Regional Segment for Central Asia and Azerbaijan is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program as well as the Government of Japan.