UNODC enhances law enforcement inter-agency and cross-border cooperation at the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border

UNCT-UNODC-KG-SimulationExercise

OSH, 12 May 2017 – The State Border Service of the Kyrgyz Republic in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conducts joint simulation exercises at the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border crossing-point “Dostuk” to intercept drug trafficking and precursor chemicals.

This is the first joint simulation exercise held at the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border since UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) had established and made operational Border Liaison Offices along this borderline in October 2015 with the funding support from the Government of Japan.

Participants of the simulation exercise worked on two ‘real-life’ scenarios at the border area which aimed at improving coordination between officers at the BLO with the border guards and law enforcement units at another check points.

According to the first scenario, a Border Liaison Officer (BLO) from border check-point "Bor-Dobo" (Kyrgyz- Tajik border) informed his BLO colleague at "Dostuk" check-point on high risk of narcotics trafficking from Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan approximately in the mid-May 2017. In their turn, officers at "Dostuk" check-point passed on the information to the law enforcement units, recommending strengthening the border control on this date.

Aibek Kutmanov, Chief of Main Operational Department of the State Border Service of the Kyrgyz Republic, said, “Today we witnessed a successful joint work of LE agencies involved in border protection, which is one more positive step towards coordination of measures for solving the problem of drug trafficking, which does not have national borders.” He also expressed a hope that this UNODC efforts will enable beneficiary countries to promote greater inter-agency and cross border cooperation, especially at the operational level.

Yusuf Kurbonob, UNODC International project coordinator, emphasized that communication, coordination and cooperation among law enforcement agencies are the key elements aimed at effectively combating illicit drug trafficking. “Thus, a network of Border Liaison Offices is considered to be one of the most sustainable systems that can help develop mutual trust and regional intelligence information sharing system among law enforcement agencies responsible for border protection”, she added.

Joint simulation exercises were held to unite efforts of law enforcement agencies in forming a regional response against all forms of smuggling, including drugs and precursors. The representatives of the Ministry of Interior, Border and Customs Services of the Kyrgyz Republic participated at the exercise. The representatives from UNODC, the Kyrgyz Border Guard Service under the National Security Committee and Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan attended the event as observers.

The event was organized as part of the UNODC ROCA 2015 -2019 Sub-Programme 1 on «Countering the trafficking of Afghan opiates via the northern route by enhancing the capacity of key border crossings points (BCPs) and through the establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs)».

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