Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (UNODC)

Press Release:  West and Central and Asian countries will cooperatively respond  to precursors trafficking

7 November 2016, Almaty, Kazakhstan

A briefing regarding the organization of the second phase of "Operation Substitute" was held on 7 November 2016 in Almay and attended by 37 participants from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan as well as the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center (CARICC), Joint Planning Cell, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), as well as the World Customs Organization (WCO).

The plan of the operation was drafted at the ninth meeting of the Regional Working Group on Precursors, which was held within the framework of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries on 19-20 July in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 

The main objective of the operation is the identification and interception of smuggled consignments of acetic anhydride as well as of non-controlled chemicals that are either directly used in the illicit manufacture of heroin or serve as a cover for smuggled consignments of acetic anhydride.

Likewise, during the briefing, the participating countries reached an initial agreement to take part in the planned operation, expressed their support for the operation plan while also approving its implementation stages, time frameworks and modalities. The country delegates decided that UNODC will provide and conduct further correspondence regarding the planned operation.

Furthermore, as a part of the briefing, training on the "CENCOM II" system was provided by the World Customs Organization (WCO) expert to the operational staff of the participating countries. The training was designed for building the communication capacity of the nominated personnel to ensure the effective and secure exchange of  information during the operation.

This operation was organized and supported by the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries and funded by the generous contribution of the European Union.