Major drug seizure in Tajikistan

24 December 2008 - The UNODC-trained and supported Mobile Deployment Team of the Tajik interior ministry recently seized some 560 kilos of drugs. The seizure consisted mainly of hashish, but also almost 30 kilos of heroin. This is the biggest single seizure in Tajikistan's history.

The Mobile Deployment Team was established within the framework of the UNODC project "Strengthening control along the Tajik-Afghan Border," aimed at identifying, investigating, interdicting and prosecuting those groups involved in illicit drug trafficking. The seizure took place during the search of a truck at the road checkpoint "Chorbok", approximately 10 km north of Dushanbe.

The Mobile Deployment Teams became operational in January 2008, having been fully equipped and trained through the project. The 15 staff members of the MDT were selected on a competitive basis and underwent specialized training on undercover operations, risk analysis, search techniques, informant handling and intelligence analysis. Training sessions were organized by UNODC, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Interior.

In the first 11 months of 2008, the MDT has carried out a substantial number of operations, including joint operations with other law enforcement agencies. As a result of MDT activities, 16 persons have been detained and more than 900 kilos of drugs have been seized.