UNODC to strengthen ANF against illicit drug trafficking

ISLAMABAD: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) through financial support of Japan, will strengthen the capacity of the Anti- Narcotics Force (ANF) and other law enforcement agencies against illicit drug trafficking and related transnational organized crime in Pakistan.

UNODC Country Office Representative in Pakistan, Cesar Guedes informed that Japanese government had contributed an amount of US$ 6.5 million for the project to be implemented during 2016-19.

Talking to APP, he highlighted that the project will contribute to the vision of creating “A safer community, free from the threats posed by illicit narcotics trafficking and transnational organized crime.”

“It is, therefore, aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Anti- Narcotics Force (ANF) and other law enforcement agencies for effectively interdict illicit narcotics entering or leaving the country through air, land and sea by way of effective border management.

This will be done through the provision of essential operational equipment, positioning the ANF more strategically, implementation of specialist training programmes and other capacity building measures,” he added.

He informed that about 90 percent of the total cultivation of poppy is carried out in Afghanistan, adding, the drug smugglers were using the neighboring countries including Pakistan as transit to reach international market.

Cesar Guedes said that the money through illicit drug trafficking is used for illicit activities like human trafficking and money laundering. He said that Pakistan shared about 2500 Km border with Afghanistan and a lot of quality work has been done by the world community to assist Pakistan to check drug smuggling.

The UNODC Representative said the Japanese financial support would be used for purchase of equipment and training of Law Enforcement Agencies, Narcotics Control Force and other related department.

He said the Japanese support would also help authorities to crease awareness programmes against use of drugs.

He said the UNODC is leading global efforts against drug trafficking and is the sole guardian of all international conventions on drugs and transnational organized crime. The UNODC Country Office in Pakistan has been active for over 35 years and works in close collaboration with Government of Pakistan, he added.

Its mandate is to empower the government in its efforts to overcome the challenges associated with transnational organized crime, thereby contributing towards the nation’s stabilization and development, he concluded. APP