TASHKENT, October 11 (Itar-Tass) — Uzbekistan’s Interior Ministry and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration have signed in Tashkent a memorandum of cooperation in the fight against trafficking of narcotics, psychotropic substances and control over precursors.
According to the press service of the Central Asian republic’s Interior Ministry, the document was signed by First Deputy Interior Minister, Major General Adkham Akhmedbayev, and DEA Regional Director Mark Destito.
The two countries expressed confidence that “the signing of the document will further strengthen productive cooperation in resolving pressing narcotics-related problems.”
Akhmedbayev emphasized that “stronger international cooperation” helps the Interior Ministry’s drug control division “to increase its professional level.”
According to the special services, drug trafficking from Afghanistan through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to other CIS countries and Russia (the so-called northern drug trafficking route) makes up 80 tonnes a year, while the export of precursor chemicals to Afghanistan totals 13,000 tonnes a year.
Along with this the head of the Afghan Ministry of Counternarcotics’ office, Habibi Shuaib, said in August that law enforcement agencies in the CIS countries seize a mere 8 percent of narcotics on the average.
According to his estimates, annual profits from drug trafficking reach 2.6 billion U.S. dollars, which are distributed among mafia clans in other countries.