Friday, 27 April 2018 10:37

Afghanistan: new drug disaster...

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Afghan security officials are sounding the alarm. In addition to traditional poppy fields and heroin, the country is rapidly being drawn into the production of synthetic drugs - methamphetamines ("meth"), in no way connected with opium.  if the first case of their seizure (0, 004 kg) was recorded in 2008, then in 2012 there were already 99 such cases (2, 675 kg), in 2016 - 196 (almost 55 kg), in the past 2017, 458 such facts were revealed and more than 216 kg of potion were confiscated. Statistics, other reliable information, for example, recently introduced intravenous “meth” use among injecting drug users, “purely Afghan” technologies for the production of stimulants and new psychoactive substances indicate a further aggravation of the drug situation in this unfortunate country.
The situation, in general, was easily predicted: the country that had been fighting for 40 years soon and turned into an international drug nursery was simply doomed to a new round of narconomics and drug expansion. The absence of firm power, transformation of drugs into the main source of income for terrorists, and geopolitics, finally, are not only accompanying, but also factors that specifically determined this course of events..
In 1979-89, cannabis products from the country were exported in coffins, with a "load of 200". Then the opium poppy bloomed here, soon the drug business reoriented to heroin, and now, a new round - amphetamine-type stimulants and psychoactive substances. And the precursors necessary for their production, obviously, go through the same channels through which they were supplied for heroin laboratories.

How does this threaten Kyrgyzstan?

Spices and other new psychoactive substances, along with methamphetamines, are becoming more and more popular in the global black drug markets. And our country, unfortunately, is no exception. It is sufficient to recall their large seizures, at least only this year: a dron-protected laboratory, from where “new” drugs were distributed under classical schemes, and money was laundered through offshore companies and banks from third countries. Night Club 312. February seizure of 20 kg spikes in Orto-Sai. Special services operation, which allowed to neutralize an international drug group, - details are still classified...
Afghanistan, with its highly developed narcostructure and narco-economy will be able to produce tons of new types of drugs, constantly improving this process. In the early 1990s, opium expansion began in the same way, then heroin. I remember first seizures: 5 kg, 15, in a week - already 50, and further, like a snowball.
I think that a new “drug producer” did not appear in Afghanistan, and the production of “meth”, spice, etc., is being carried out by the same classic drug-mafia that has risen on opium and heroin. Which for many years believed in their impunity. So, at least at the beginning of the change in the drug price, the former drug infrastructure will be used, the same ways and methods of supply, etc.
It turns out that the new “chemicals” will go to black markets of Russia along the so-called “Northern Route” - through Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Mainly, old proven ones, including drug channels implicated in corruption, will be used, and short-term border clashes are not excluded.
A certain part of drug smuggling will settle in our country. In this regard, I would like to highlight 3 main points related to this situation to our security forces:

  1. It is necessary urgently, “in the marching order”, to start training personnel, first of all, of the Service for Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking (SBNON), traffic police, border guards and customs officers on methods of concealment and camouflaging small-scale drug trafficking consignments. This includes training of service dogs, mainly focused on detection of opiates and cannabis products.
  2. In addition to the main Osh-Bishkek highway, along which the main drug traffic flowed before, one should pay attention to an alternative road passing through the Naryn and Issyk-Kul regions. Its construction is almost complete, it is urgent to create and equip inspection posts, checkpoints. To stop the drug smuggling along an alternative route, it is necessary to immediately select and train specialists - today, for example, only 2-3 officers of the SBNON are serving in the Naryn region.

Perhaps, in this regard, we should recall the experience of creating mobile task forces, which include representatives of SBNON, customs, border guards, a specially trained four-legged member of such a mixed crew. And it doesn’t matter who takes credit of the seized. Result is more important.

  1. Study international experience. Although, hand on heart, I am afraid, we will have to rely here mainly on ourselves...

Alexander Zelichenko,
Director of PF "Central Asian Drug Policy Center"
Candidate of Historical Sciences, retired colonel


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