CARICC and CSTO Create an Effective Platform for the Joint Counter-Narcotic Operation

The Joint Multilateral Counternarcotic Operation called "Kanal-Center" of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was conducted at CARICC from 26 February to 1 March 2019. The operation aims to to curb the channels of entry and illegal distribution of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and other synthetic drugs, opioids and cannabis by the competent law enforcement agencies of the CSTO Member States.

The competent authorities of CSTO Member States, namely Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, participated in the operation. Representatives of national competent authorities such as China, France, Iran, Italy, Mongolia, Turkey, UK, USA, and international organizations such as CIS, EAG, Interpol, OSCE, SCO and UNODC also participated in the operation as observers.

During the operation, participating countries made a special focus on illicit NPS trafficking channels, as synthetic drugs are a serious health issue and are a threat to national security, no less that Afghan opiates. The International Coordination Staff of the operation was located at CARICC. Members of the International Coordination Staff coordinated both their joint activities and activities of the national competent authorities involved in each country.

In total, more than 19,500 officers were involved in the operation, which resulted in seizure of more than 11.4 tons of various drugs, including more than 8.8 tons of opium, more than 1.8 tons of hashish, more than 220 kgs. of heroin, almost 127 kgs. of marihuana, more than 205 kgs. of synthetic drugs. In addition, during the operation, 579 individuals were detained and one illegal laboratory producing   synthetic drugs was detected and dismantled.

Participants noted that this successful operation demonstrated the importance of organizations such as CARICC and CSTO for facilitating counter narcotics cooperation. Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative in Central Asia, urged all counterparts to actively use the CARICC platform to implement joint initiatives.  

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