Data bank to counter drug trafficking

[] The anti-drug agencies of the member countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization will establish a data bank that contains details about transnational criminal groups engaged in drug trafficking. With the assistance of the data bank, the law enforcement agencies of the seven CSTO countries, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Uzbekistan, will coordinate efforts in fighting against drug trafficking from Afghanistan and other countries.

Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service was ordered to launch the bank on Tuesday, and its pilot version will appear today. "The bank will work at its full capacity only next year. The relevant services of the seven countries will exchange surveillance information, and this will help them to carry out analyses aimed at intercepting drug trafficking," a spokesman to the CSTO told our correspondent.        

Although the data bank is in the launching stage, the law enforcement organizations of the CSTO countries have been able to counter drug trafficking. In the past six months, Russia’s law enforcement bodies have seized about 17 tons of drugs, including 1.5 tons of heroin, an increase by 20 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.       

Moreover, CSTO member countries carry out an operation code-named Kanal or Channel to intercept drug trafficking channels. "This is an effective tool aimed at countering drug-expansion," an expert at the anti-drug agency of the CSTO, Mikhail Melikhov says:

"Besides the CSTO member countries, the US, Ukraine and Germany are involved in this operation, says Mikhail Melikhov. Our colleagues from Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia also work effectively. Lately, law enforcement agencies of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Colombia and Venezuela have joined the operation. Police seized 1.5 tons of cocaine during an operation carried out in November", Mikhail Melikhov said.       

The fight against drug trafficking is an integral part of countering terrorism, which is fed by the proceeds from drug sales. It has to be waged only by coordinating efforts of all countries.