In light of increased flows illegal drugs across its borders, the Tajik Drug Control Agency (DCA) has sought the assistance of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Due to the changes in the political situation in Afghanistan, reemergence of organized criminal groups in the region, and the increase in drug smuggling through Tajikistan, the Tajik and U.S. authorities expressed their readiness to strengthen bilateral cooperation to address drug trafficking,” the DCA announced in March 2022.
Tajik law enforcement agencies seized more than four tons of illegal narcotics in 2021, 68.4% more than seized in 2020, according to the DCA. Notably, the amount of heroin and hashish seized in 2021 was more than twice that of 2020.
The U.S. has stepped up its efforts to help Tajikistan secure its border from illegal arms and drug trafficking, as well as illegal migration. On March 5, 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe launched a three-year project, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, to address these border problems.
The U.S. Embassy planned to allocate $900,000 to the project, which will include training of Tajik border guards and improving the infrastructure along the Tajik-Afghan border.
“Since 2002, the U.S. government has delivered various projects to strengthen border security through the renovation or rebuilding of border outposts, border crossing facilities, and three training centers. It has also provided other assistance projects, including equipment upgrades and training to maintain security and stability in Tajikistan,” the embassy announced in March 2022.
In March 2022, DCA Chief Khabibullo Vohidzoda appealed to the international community to help his country stem growing threats from Afghanistan, which include trafficking of drugs, weapons and people, terrorist and extremist activities, and other transnational crimes.
Sources: Eurasia Daily, Radio Free Europe, U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan, AzerNews