Central Asia: April 10, 2003


Police arrested two Tajik soldiers working with Russian border guards on the Afghan border. The Tajik soldiers were caught with a large quantity of heroin, and there was evidence that they had been aiding Afghan drug smugglers get their drugs across the border. In the first three months of the year, Russian and Tajik border guards have seized 1.8 tons of drugs, four times the quantity seized last year. The Afghan drug smugglers are trying to bribe Tajik officials to look the other way as drug operations expand in Tajikistan. There is fear that such corruption will make the government more unpopular and trigger another civil war. Drug production and smuggling is rampant in Afghanistan.


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