Drug trafficking represents an ever-growing threat, an officer from the Kyrgyz State Drugs Control Agency, Bakhtiyar Mambetov [Kyrgyz coordinator for a UN anti-drug program], has said.
He said poppy growers in Afghanistan reached the highest opium production levels of the mid-90s last year, despite the efforts of the world community. Everything indicates that opium production will further increase in 2004. According to various assessments, 70-80 per cent of world opium is produced in Afghanistan. The transit of drugs through Kyrgyzstan is also increasing. Bakhtiyar Mambetov also said there was indirect evidence that organized crime that controlled this northern drug route [Kyrgyzstan] was involved in terrorist and subversive activities. The drug trafficking from Afghanistan has influence on the level of corruption in Kyrgyzstan.
There are facts, which show that Kyrgyz power-wielding structures are involved in drug trafficking, particularly in the country's south. Opium consumption is increasing in the country and, along with it, the threat of AIDS.
KyrgzInfo, April 12, 2004