"Balkans main route for drugs from Afghanistan"
VIENNA -- Even though the quantity of drugs has come down in recent years, the Balkans remains the main route for smuggling from Afghanistan.
This is according to Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), who spoke on Thursday in Vienna.
In a meeting with members of the regional program for Southeast Europe, he noted that around 60 tons of heroin, worth USD 13 billion, have reached Western and Central Europe via the Balkan route, said a release on the UNODC website.
The program, established last year at the request of regional governments, is aimed at suppressing drug trafficking through the Balkans and combating transnational organized crime, corruption and money laundering.
Fedotov warns that trafficking in narcotics could have a destabilizing effect on the region's economy and social development.
According to the UNODC chief, the program has already been very effective. Albania and Montenegro have launched a program of control of shipping containers and Albania has set up a control unit in the port of Durres. Montenegro has drafted a new anti-drug strategy and a new anti-terrorism action plan, and carried out training for the treatment of drug addicts.
Last year the regional program reached a 99 percent implementation rate, said Fedotov.
He noted that a lot of work remains, adding that efforts to suppress the smuggling of opiates from Afghanistan must continue.
As the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan approaches, the country should be offered support in the form of cooperation along the drug smuggling route, both at the level of individual countries and the region, he said.
March 6, 2013 | 16:59 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (22) | Send comment
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