Joint Operations at the Tajik-Afghan Border Resulted in Seizure of More Than 120 kg of Hashish and Opium

18 September 2018 - "The BLO (Border Liaison Offices) mechanism is an integral part of the interagency joint plans which increase effectiveness and reduces bureaucratic procedures" -  noted Mr Bozorali Safaralizoda the Head of Border operations Unit under the Mobile Operative Department of the Drug Control Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, during the working group meeting held as a part of the Border Security and Cross Border Cooperation component of the Sub-Program 1 of UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2015-2019.

During the meeting, the outcomes of monitoring mission conducted at the Border Liaison Offices established at the BCPs (Border Crossing Points) "Ishkashim", "Kizyl-art" and "Fotehobod", achievements of the BLO officers, barriers and future plans were discussed.

Monitoring mission revealed that the BLO officers perform their service despite of harsh weather conditions. In some cases, BLO officers operate at the distant the BCPs with limited water and electricity supply, and poor communication infrastructure. With a generous support from the Government of Japan, Norway and the USA, the working conditions at the BLOs are improving.

Staff turnover and reassignment of BLO officers were also listed as the main challenges to BLO activities. Working group members proposed to hold regular BLO trainings for newly assigned officers as a measure for resolving officers' rotation problem.

Monitoring mission resulted in creation of joint action plans for each BLO that also envisages joint cross border operations with the neighboring BLOs. In addition to the work plans, working group members recommended to develop detailed guideline for newly appointed Border Liaison Officers that will include Standard Operating Procedure of BLOs and other legal documents for interagency and cross border cooperation. 

On the other hand, working group members noted that the BLO concept provides an opportunity to avoid long-lasting bureaucratic procedures. Participants have also noted that the recent successful operations of BLO officers at the border area and Border Crossing points are the good examples of interagency cooperation. In particular, the working group members shared information regarding recently conducted joint operations at the Tajik-Afghan border that resulted in the seizure of more than 120 kg of drugs (hashish and opium).

The event was organized by the border cooperation component of the Sub-Programme 1 of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia.

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