State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan and the UNODC-supported Border Liaison Office at the Ayritom border crossing point foiled attempts to smuggle drugs

In March 2021, the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan, together with the officers from the UNODC-supported Border Liaison Office (BLO) at the Ayritom border crossing point located in Uzbekistan’s Surkhandaryo Region, foiled two attempts to smuggle drugs.

The first incident took place early this month. Four foreign nationals arrived from a neighboring country at the Ayritom border crossing point a few minutes apart from each other.

When the officers inspected their luggage, they found hair shampoo bottles containing liquid heroin.

As a result, a total of 12 kilograms and 355 grams of heroin in 53 shampoo bottles were seized.

Later this month, the officers at the Ayritom border crossing point prevented another attempt to smuggle drugs in an unusual way.

The customs examination of two foreign nationals who arrived at the border crossing point resulted in finding a total of one kilogram and 785 grams of heroin.

The smugglers used an innovative way to smuggle the illicit substance – they saturated the inner lining of their jackets and a carpet with heroin.

Chemical examination showed that the lining of the jackets was saturated with a total of 608 grams of heroin and the carpet with a total of one kilogram and 177 grams of heroin.

The customs authorities have initiated criminal cases for offenses committed, and an investigation is underway.

BLOs are established at the key border crossing points in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan as part of the Regional Cross-Border Cooperation Component of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia designed to counter the trafficking of Afghan opiates through the northern route. It is the first project to establish BLOs in Central Asia, and its stakeholders are the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Border Guards, Customs and Drug Control Agencies of each country.

The establishment of BLOs in Central Asia builds a strong foundation for further effective interagency and cross-border cooperation. To date, 17 BLOs have been established on the Tajik-Afghan, Uzbek-Afghan, Tajik-Uzbek, Kyrgyz-Tajik, Kyrgyz-Uzbek, Kyrgyz-Kazakh and Kazakh-Uzbek borders. Each country assigned staff for the establishment of BLOs and allocated premises at the BCPs, while technical assistance was provided by UNODC, Regional Office for Central Asia through organizing training courses and providing equipment to support the operation of the offices.

Since its launch in May 2016, the Regional Cross-Border Cooperation Component has been conducting a series of training courses for the Ayritom BLO officers, amongst others, on documents profiling and verification of individuals crossing borders, risks profiling, IBM i2 intelligence analysis software application, and new types of synthetic narcotics to strengthen their capacities to address and counter cross-border crimes effectively.

The component is funded by the Government of Japan.


*Photos are taken from and


For all inquiries, please contact

Nurangez Abdulhamidova,

Communication and External Relations Officer

UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (Dushanbe)

Email: nurangez.abdulhamidova[at]