Effectiveness of Countering Illicit Drug Trafficking

Several recent operations conducted by Kyrgyzstan's State Service on Drug Control (SSDC) have resulted in the confiscation of drugs worth approximately US$ 1.35 million which were being smuggled as "bullets" - sealed packets of drugs swallowed to avoid detection. These latest results follow an April 2011 agreement between UNODC and the Kyrgyz Government which supports the re-established SSDC in a bid to assist in building the capacity and effectiveness of countering illicit drug trafficking. As the country's lead entity in tackling the flow of illicit drugs moving out of Afghanistan en route to markets in Europe and Asia the SSDCs latest operation were aimed at targeting "swallowers", (traffickers who hide drugs in their stomachs), through enhanced operational and intelligence work. In September, three  controlled delivery operations were conducted  by the SSDC jointly with Russian  counterparts and the agency intercepted over 30 kg of heroin and a similar amount of hashish worth some US$ 1.35 million. The seizures, some two months after the SSDCs formation, are a positive development in stepping up targeted actions against drug trafficking in the country and the region. UNODC has provided assistance to the SSDC in organization of two week training on intelligence analysis for selected staff and two intelligence analysts from the Financial Intelligence  Service (FIS) of Kyrgyzstan. Earlier UNODC was requested by FIS to provide assistance in training of the dedicated staff in modern analytical techniques. In January-June 2011, Kyrgyz law enforcement agencies seized a total 1,506 kg of drugs including 175 kg of heroin (up 75% compared to the same period of 2010), 45 kg of opium (up 38%), almost 450 kg of hashish (up 32%), and 413 kg of marijuana (up 203%).