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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Afghan, Tajik Offices for Drug Agency

The Federal Drug Control Service will open offices in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and several other countries in an effort to improve regional coordination in the war on drugs.

"Efficiency in the fight against drug-related crimes depends on international cooperation," Viktor Cherkesov, head of the service, said Tuesday, Interfax reported.

Afghanistan looks set to produce up to 800 tons of heroin in 2007, up from 610 tons last year, Cherkesov said, adding that the international community should boost efforts to halt the export of drugs from the country.

In addition to opening offices abroad, the service will also post official representatives in the United States, Austria and other countries.

Cherkesov said his agents had cooperated with foreign narcotics officers to stop more than 50 international smuggling operations and to "track down and eliminate" major elements of the drug trade.

Police recorded 90,000 drug-related crimes last year and shut down 136 underground labs and 3,679 drug dens.

Cherkesov said that in addition to heroin, he was concerned about the increasing use of synthetic narcotics in the last two years, particularly 3-Methylfentanyl, or TMF.

In 2006, federal agents seized 27 kilograms of the synthetic narcotic -- just 0.1 percent of all drugs confiscated by the state.

"This amount, however, could have yielded 1.33 billion average single doses," Cherkesov said.