Tajik-Afghan border used by drug-traffickers

The Afghan-Tajik border remains a source of constant danger due to mounting violations by drug traffickers from the territory of Afghanistan, reports Nikolai Reznichenko, first deputy head of Russia's federal frontier guard service.

UN experts indicate that areas sewn under opium poppy in Afghanistan have expanded 30 per cent in comparison with the previous year and constitute over 65,000 hectares enabling the production of up to 350-odd tons of heroin.

With the amount of drugs confiscated on the border in 2001 having grown 2.5 times as against 1977, the mounting frontier drug trafficking tendency is persisting this year as well, said Reznichenko.

Thus, 2,025 kilos of narcotics, including 1,370 kilos of heroin, have been detained over the past eight months of 2002. This September alone has seen the confiscation of about 273 kilos of narcotics, including about 185 kilos of heroin, over 70 kilos of opium and over 16 kilos of hash.

Additional measures have been introduced to meet the recent developments on the border, said Reznichenko.

The Russian frontier guard service in association with the leadership and frontier guard command of the Republic of Tajikistan are busy intercepting drug traffickers as well as Islamic extremists on the Tajik-Afghan border.

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