Russia proposes large-scale anti-drugs operation in Afghanistan

KABUL, September 5 (Itar-Tass) — Russian government proposes to hold a sweeping four-country anti-drugs operation in northern Afghanistan before the end of this year, Viktor Ivanov, the chairman of Russia’s State Committee for Narcotic Drugs Control said at a regional anti-drugs conference underway here.

The efforts of the four countries – Afghanistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Pakistan – should be concentrated on Badakhshan, the key springboard at the northern drugs trafficking route, Ivanov said.

“Consolidated anti-drugs operations are needed,” he said. “For Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Badakhshan and its Wakhan Corridor make up a common geographical space and that’s why it’s especially important to concentrate the common efforts of the four countries’ operative services in that particular area.”

“Instances of cooperation of this kind exist already,” Ivanov said.

As the latest instance of this, he singled out Operation Octopus that resulted in the arrests of a number of drug dealers in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Russia.

“In Russia alone, twenty-three drug dealers were exposed,” Ivanov said.

He also recalled a joint operation in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarkhar in October 2010 that helped destroy four major laboratories producing narcotic drugs.

In December 2010, as well as in January and February 2011, another four operations were held. They brought about elimination of 1,400 kilograms of heroin, 4.5 tons of morphine, and 300 kilograms of opium.

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