March 13, police in Tajikistan burned more than 722.3 kilograms of seized drugs, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The destroyed substances included 43 kilos of heroin and 11.2 kilos of opium.
Although the statement did not make it clear, the remainder (and big majority) of the burned hauls was presumably cannabis. The Interior Ministry did say that troops of the Drug Control Agency (AKN) seized 100 kilograms of hashish at a car stop in Khusheri village. This was the latest and largest of several hashish and heroin seizures by the AKN in recent weeks. In one case, police are searching for a suspect who injured an AKN officer with a knife before making his getaway.
Tajikistan, which shares a remote 1,300-kilometer border with Afghanistan through rugged and hard-to-police mountains, has long been a transfer point for Afghan heroin bound for Russia, Europe and international markets. However, over the past decade it has also emerged as a major producer of both opiates and hashish in its own right. The US has predictably boosted security assistance to the post-Soviet state over this period. While security aid to Tajikistan was less than 5 percent of total US spending in Central Asia in the 1990s, it has climbed to more than 30 percent since 2007.