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DUSHANBE, May 5 (Itar-Tass) — Tajikistan has requested the European Union’s assistance in strengthening border with Afghanistan for more effective counteraction to drug trafficking through the Tajik-Afghan border, the head of the Tajik drugs control agency, Rustam Nazarov, said at a meeting with the delegation of the European parliament on Saturday.
“Thanks to such support of the international community, including that of the EU, beginning from 2001 the republic’s law enforcement structures seized over 74 tonnes of different drugs, including 31 tonnes of heroin,” he said. “This would be enough to make up to 40 million people drug addicts.
Until 2005 the Tajik-Afghan border across the Pyandz River was protected by Russian border guards.
“The talk is about the construction of new border checkpoints and modernization of existing ones at hard-to-reach border areas and equipment of law enforcement units with modern tracking and detection means,” Nazarov said.
He stressed importance of staff training to combat drug trafficking networks.
“We propose to create a training centre for drug control servicemen on the basis of the national cynology training centre that will officially start operation at the end of this month,” he said.
According to Tajikistan’s special services and UN experts, last year’s production of raw opium in Afghanistan exceeded 5,400 tonnes, which is enough to produce 540 tonnes of heroin. Moreover, Afghanistan increases cannabis crops.