Society 15:54 07/03/2013

Azerbaijan is significant transit country for illicit drug trafficking, and through its territory 11 tons of heroin transfer

Azerbaijan is a significant transit country for heroin and other narcotics, as it is situated along major drug trafficking routes from Afghanistan and Iran to Europe and Russia, the annual report of the US State Department on “2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy (INCSR)” says.

Drug use and cultivation exist on a relatively small scale in Azerbaijan and are less significant problems.

“Due to Azerbaijan’s location along major drug smuggling corridors, up to 11 metric tons (MT) of heroin is estimated to transit Azerbaijan every year, much of it entering through the southern border with Iran,” the report says.

According to the report the most recent drug seizure and arrest statistics available are for 2011. in 2011 Azerbaijan seized 557 kilograms (kg) of drugs during anti-smuggling operations, including: 164.9 kg of hashish; 52.2 kg of heroin; 298.9 kg of cannabis; and 14.1 kg of opium.

“Though the Government of Azerbaijan has expressed its desire to address drug addiction, government-sponsored programs targeting drug abuse remain inadequate, hindering substantial progress,” the State Department notes.

The same document says that Armenia is not a major drug-producing country, and domestic abuse of drugs is modest. Narcotics seizures declined overall in 2012.

In the previous report of the State Department was mentioned that Azerbaijan is a transit country for transporting drugs from Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran to Russia and Europe. The report also said that the number of drug addicts in the country has increased. Azerbaijan is mainly famous for the heroin, and plants that contain narcotics.

In September 2010, Deputy Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan Rustam Usubov said that about 35% of drugs produced in Afghanistan illegally are carried through Azerbaijan.

According to a UN report, of "Northern Balkan Route" drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe lies precisely through Azerbaijan. Drugs cross through Azerbaijan-Turkey-Iran freely. The second, "Old Balkan Route" lies straight from Iran to Turkey.
People engaged in the smuggling are mainly used by the Azerbaijani and Kurdish population of northern Iran. The third way is through Azerbaijan and the Caucasus is lies next the Turkmen seaport after Turkmenbashi, in Baku, where the drugs easily smuggled into Russia. Moreover, the telegram to former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Anne Derse, which was published by the WikiLeaks, said that the drug mafia in Russia is largely controlled by ethnic Azerbaijanis.



Source Panorama.am
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