UNODC ROCA’s Cross-Border Cooperation Component brings another result: Drug seizure at “Sariosiyo” Border Customs post in Uzbekistan

For many decades, efforts have been made to counter drug trafficking and abuse, and multiple measures and initiatives have been developed and implemented by UNODC jointly with national counterparts to address these challenges at the national and international levels.

One of such initiatives – the establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) – is considered as a critical element for enhanced cross-border communication and intelligence-sharing aimed at detecting and intercepting smuggling, including narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals, while facilitating legitimate international trade.

To date, UNODC Regional Office in Central Asia assisted in establishing 15 BLOs in geographically remote and potentially vulnerable checkpoints between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The offices are equipped with the necessary high-tech and specialized software, enabling the analysis of the database information. Furthermore, the UNODC Regional Office in Central Asia is working on establishing four additional BLOs to be located on the Uzbek-Kazakh border and at railway Border Customs Posts on the Uzbek-Tajik borders.

In late August, the officers of the border checkpoint “Sariasiya” of Surkhandarya Regional Department of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in accordance with the established procedure, carried out customs control in relation to the truck of the “MAN” brand, which was heading to the neighbouring state by the citizen A.A.

As a result of the control procedures carried out, the attempt to hide 2500 units of psychotropic drugs "Phenazepam" and "Baclosan" from customs control failed. The drugs were discovered inside the vehicle.


*According to World Health Organization, at a relatively high dose, phenazepam induces muscle hypotonia, deep sleep, and coma. Like other benzodiazepines, phenazepam has severe toxicity when concomitantly used with other CNS depressant drugs, especially opioids and alcohol, which increases the risk of respiratory depression and death.

There is a high risk of overdosing on baclosan (Russian brand name for baclofen). Signs of an overdose include muscle weakness, vomiting, drowsiness, dilated or pinpoint pupils, and weak or shallow breathing. If untreated, an overdose can result in possibly fatal seizures, hypothermia, a dangerously slow heart rate/bradycardia, coma, and in some cases death.

The turnover of both substances was prohibited or limited in the Republic of Uzbekistan by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers dated November 12, 2015 "On improving the procedure for the import, export and transit through the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, as well as control over their circulation".


Currently, according to the revealed fact of the offence, customs inspections are underway.

Earlier this year, in Uzbekistan alone two more major drug seizures were successfully carried out thanks to joint actions of BLO Officers:

  • 920 boxes of cigarettes worth 18 million Uzbek Soums were seized in the course of customs search operation of the cargo truck which arrived from Afghanistan by BLO officers at “Ayritom” border checkpoint in Surkhandarya region of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

  • 11,900 boxes with 238,000 psychotropic pills “Sonlife-Zopiclone” 7.5 mg were detected on a freight train transiting through Uzbekistan during the inspection by BLO Officers at "Kudukli" railway border checkpoint in Surkhandarya region of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

In 2019-2020, 54 law enforcement officers in Uzbekistan, out of 248 in the Central Asian Region overall, enhanced their capacities on risks profiling, planning and implementation of joint operative activities at the border, drug interdiction and information sharing through series of trainings organized by UNODC in Central Asia as a part of the Component on Regional Cross-Border Cooperation in Central Asia.


Additional information

*Photos are taken from the website of State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

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