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UNIS/NAR/701
20 October 2000
Prime Minister of Tajikistan Mr. Akil Akimov and United Nations USG Pino Arlacchi
To Officially Inaugurate the Tajik Drug Control Agency

VIENNA, 20 October (UN Information Service) – In a ceremony scheduled to take place in Dushanbe on 20 October 2000, the Prime Minister of Tajikistan Mr Akil Akimov and United Nations Under-Secretary -General Pino Arlacchi, Executive Director of the Vienna-based UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) will officially inaugurate the Tajikistan Drug Control Agency (DCA).

The Agency, was established on the basis of an agreement signed in Dushanbe by H.E. the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rakhmanov and Under-Secretary-General Pino Arlacchi on 27 April 1999. Under the direct supervision of the country's president, DCA's main functions are to document and curb regional drug trafficking as well as to collect, analyze and store all related information.

In June 1999 ODCCP began providing the Tajik Drug Control Agency with technical assistance and financial support to hire and cover the administrative costs for up to 350 highly qualified specialists, for an initial period of three years. In addition, ODCCP equipped the DCA with communications and other facilities, to enable it to operate effectively, and to set up a reliable system of contacts with other states and organizations. The total ODCCP investment to date amounts to about US $ 2.5 million.

Additional facilities , as computers, two-way radios, and other specialized equipment was provided by the ODCCP to the Russian Federal Border Service- which in Tajikistan operates in close cooperation with the DCA in the work of interdiction of drug trafficking- for a total amount of US$ 850,000.

Through the combined efforts of the RFBS , the DCA and all other law enforcement agencies in Tajikistan a total of over four tons of narcotics have been seized in the first nine months of 2000, including the record amount of 1300 kilogrammes of heroin. The Tajik Drug Control Agency , which started being operational in April 2000, is directly responsible for the seizure of almost 450 kilogrammes of narcotics, including 130 kilos of heroin. These results set Tajikistan as one of the countries with the highest rate of heroin seizures in the world.

As a direct consequence , the price of heroin in North Afghanistan dropped dramatically from some US$ 700/kilogramme to US$ 400/kilogramme. The cost of refining the necessary quantity of opium to produce one kilogramme of heroin, in North Afghanistan is commonly estimated at about US$ 450/kilo of heroin produced.

The Tajik Drug Control Agency is also playing an important role in improving cooperation among law enforcement bodies in Central Asia. Recently, the DCA signed protocols of cooperation with a specialized agency in Kazakhastan and with the Ministry of Interior and Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. Other countries in the region are looking with interest at the successful experience of establishing a specialized drug control body with full law enforcement capabilities.

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