OSCE promotes cooperation among Central Asia, Afghanistan law enforcement agencies in countering drugs trafficking

TASHKENT (TCA) — More than 50 representatives of law enforcement agencies and other ministries from France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Afghanistan as well as experts from nine international organizations gathered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 13 and 14 November to discuss greater cooperation among law enforcement agencies in combating the threat of illicit drugs, including New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), facilitated by the Internet and the “Darknet”, the OSCE reported.

The workshop aimed at improving inter-agency cooperation among law enforcement, coordination and information-sharing at the regional and national levels, and in identifying ways and means to cope with the emerging threat of NPS and drug-related crimes facilitated by the Internet and the “Darknet”.

The event was organized by the Strategic Police Matters Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threat Department jointly with the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan, and in cooperation with the Academy of Uzbekistan’s Interior Ministry and the country’s National Centre for Drug Control (NCDC).

“The Republic of Uzbekistan is concerned by the current level of drug trafficking, especially by the spread of Afghan opiates which undermine security and stability of the Central Asian region and elsewhere,” said Fazliddin Gayirov, Chief Expert of the NCDC. “Following a complex approach in combating drug trafficking, its links with other types of crime and terrorism, Uzbek law enforcement authorities are determined to further co-operate with partners, such as UNODC, CARICC, SCO and OSCE in developing training courses, action plans, conducting seminars and other awareness-raising activities aimed at combating trafficking in illicit drugs and related crimes.”

Ambassador John MacGregor, Head of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator’s Office in Uzbekistan said: “The persistent increase of drug abuse and illicit trafficking remains a serious transnational threat in the OSCE region. In co-operation with the NCDC, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator is developing the National Inter-Agency Online Database on Drug-Related Crimes that will be opened to international stakeholders as a contribution to enhancing the potential of Central Asian countries and Afghanistan in fighting illicit trafficking in drugs.”

Guy Vinet, Head of the OSCE’s Strategic Police Matters Unit, said: “The development of New Psychoactive Substances and the emergence of a new market place – the ‘Darknet’ – is facilitating the illicit drug trade. It is linked to other types of crime, such as money laundering, corruption, trafficking in human beings and weapons, smuggling of migrants and terrorism. Reinforced law enforcement co-operation will help us to fight these evils in order to strengthen the well-being of our populations.”

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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