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UN drug official praises work of Central Asian anti-trafficking body

UN drug official praises work of Central Asian anti-trafficking body

Taking stock of seized drugs in Tajikistan (File Photo)
The United Nations can work more closely with regional organizations in the fight against drug trafficking, a senior official with the world body said today as he commended the efforts carried out in Central Asia.

Speaking at the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) in Kazakhstan during a regional tour, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, praised the Centre’s work and called for it to take on an expanded role.

The Centre, which opened last year, helps to coordinate law enforcement operations against the trafficking in chemicals used in the illegal manufacture of heroin, sharing and analyzing intelligence and information with regional and international organizations such as Interpol, Europol and the World Customs Organisation.

Mr. Fedotov said he hoped CARICC would coordinate its intelligence operations closely with regional organizations such as UNODC’s newly-launched Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries.

“This Programme will serve as a platform for the countries of the region and the international community to work together to develop and implement effective, integrated strategies to counter organized crime and drug trafficking,” he said.

“UNODC would like to help CARICC play a more active role in the intelligence-led approach to tackling drug trafficking,” he added.

Mr. Fedotov praised the results achieved since the Centre opened, including the disruption of more than 20 trafficking channels, resulting in the seizure of more than 200 kilogrammes of heroin and over 100 kilogrammes of opium.

The Executive Director’s visit to CARICC is part of his larger trip to Central and West Asia. He also visited the United Arab Emirates, where UNODC will open a sub-regional office early in 2011. Mr. Fedotov spoke of an expanding relationship between UNODC and the UAE and spoke of the country’s important role in the fight against drug trafficking.

“As a critical area in the region, the United Arab Emirates is positioned both geographically and economically to make a tangible difference in fighting crimes such as in the trafficking of drugs and humans,” he said.