Uzbekistan-UNODC Joint Efforts on Countering Illicit Drug Trafficking at the Uzbek-Afghan Border

4 February 2019, Termez, Uzbekistan - A joint delegation of law enforcement agencies of Uzbekistan, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia and Embassy of Japan in Uzbekistan visited Termez, Surkhandarya region of Uzbekistan. The delegation was joined by Mr. Olim Narzullaev, Director of the National Informational-Analytical Center on Drug Control and Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative. Mr. Kunihiko Aida, Second secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Uzbekistan, the donor of the initiatives on establishing the Interagency Mobile Teams (IMT) and Border Liaison Offices (BLO), also had a chance to observe the achievements in Termez.

The visit to the Department of Interior of Surkhandarya region, which hosts one of the counter-narcotics IMTs allowed to witness the effective cooperation and coordination established between the Ministry of Interior, the State Security Service and the State Customs Committee within the inter-agency operational units in combatting drug trafficking in Surkhandarya region which shares common borders with Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. As it was stressed by Mr. Shukhrat Buranov, First Deputy Head of the Department of Interior of Surkhandarya region, "creation and support of IMT units allowed to increase the efficiency of cooperation between various law enforcement agencies at operative level."  

The delegation also visited the BLO located on "Ayritom" Border-Crossing Point on Uzbek-Afghan border, main arteria for automobiles on the way from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan and onward to Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.  The participants got familiarized with BLO activities and discussed opportunities for interaction between IMT and BLO units in conducting joint operations to intercept illicit drug trafficking across the Uzbek-Afghan border.

The mission to Termez also included visit to the Educational center for training Afghan citizens of the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan located in the city, which allowed to explore and discuss the possibilities of future cooperation between the center and UNODC ROCA.

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