The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Drug enforcement

Series of steps aimed at suppression of illegal traffic in narcotic drugs has been recently conducted in the country. This includes legislative initiatives, increased international cooperation and efforts to upgrade performance of the law-enforcement. The special National commission has been established for this specific purpose and the National Program for Combating Drug Abuse, Illegal Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors was adopted.

Together with the pieces of national legislation and by-laws in the field of combating illegal drug traffic our activities in this field are guided by the relevant UN Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party to. Recommendations of the influential international organizations and best practices of developed nations also provide a very helpful tool in this respect.

Since any lack of control in this sphere may significantly aggravate the drug situation in the country and have a negative effect of the crime dynamics in general, channels of drugs’ smuggle into the country are permanently scrutinized.

Meanwhile it should be regretfully noted that due to highly latent character of this type of criminal offences we only succeed in intercepting about 10 per cent of the whole bulk of narcotic drugs trafficked. The rest part is traded through the black market.

Another serious challenge of ours in this regard is to curb attempts of benefiting from Azerbaijan’s geo-strategic location and using the country’s territory as a transit corridor for drug transportation to the West.

Experience shows, that a question of use of territory of the republic, being attractive to transnational criminal groups, was rather carefully studied during last years. Mainly to 3 below mentioned routes can be paid more attention :

Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan (through the Caspian Sea), Georgia, Turkey and further Europe. Another optional route passes through Afghanistan, Iran, Azerbaijan (via occupied territories in Karabakh), Armenia and then Europe. The route Afghanistan-Iran-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey-Europe provides another possibility of transit.

Occupation 20 % of Azerbaijani territories by Armenian armed formations, displacement of about 1 million refugees, occupation of Nagorno Karabakh and 7 administrative districts adjacent to it, 132 kilometers of the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Iran got out of legitimate control. The situation currently existing in the area appears very beneficial for cultivation of drug-containing plants and production of narcotic drugs pending their subsequent transportation abroad.

As per confirmed info received that by eradication of crops of drug containing plants, lots of narcotics are produced and illegal funds derived from are used for strengthening military positions of Armenia at those places, transit of narcotics and  for unimpeded activity of secret training bases of international terrorist organizations.

Using all efforts and possibilities, comprehensive preventive measures are conducted in Azerbaijan to strengthen combating illegal trafficking in narcotics, psychotropic substances and precursors. Narcotics related situation is under strong control of related institutions and organizations of the National commission and necessary steps are being undertaken.

In 2003 National Database for recording persons involved in cases related to illegal drug trafficking as well as drug addicts, was created at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Information received from prosecutor, judicial, national security, health, customs and border authorities are recorded in database what in future allows to conduct analysis of real situation and to reveal main activity directions in combating illegal drug trafficking.

Statistics shows that 10965 drug related cases were recorded by police during last 5 years (2000-2004), around 747 kg of various narcotics (i.e. 474.3 kg marijuana, 172.6 kg opium, 31.7 kg heroin, 27.5 hashish and others) were seized. Heroin and opium are those that in most cases imported from other countries.

1221 cases of illegal cultivation of drug containing plants were recorded during period mentioned above and around 2000 tons of cannabis were destroyed.

At the same time, light narcotics obtained by addicts easily and their illegal trafficking is also carefully scrutinized. As 310.000 tablets and more than 3.000 ampoules of psychotropic substances were seized.

9.800 persons were brought to criminal responsibilities for commitment of such type of crime during 5 years. They are 29 juvenile, 2645 persons of 30 years of age, 7120 persons elder than 30 years of age, 600 women and 2685 previously convicted and 259 foreigners.
Meanwhile consistent steps are undertaken in the country in the field of eradication of crops of drug containing plants, exposure and treatment of drug addicts and awareness campaigns among the population.

Strengthening of international efforts and world community’s combating  illegal drug trafficking is the requirement of the day and serves for protection of human values.



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