Drug trafficking on rise in Armenia

27 June 2014 11:50 (UTC+04:00)

By Jamila Babayeva

The number of registered cases of drug trafficking and drug addicts is on the rise in Armenia.

According to a report by Armenia's Police Department for Combating Drug Trafficking, during the five months of 2014, some 443 cases of drug trafficking were registered in the country. This comes as during the same period last year, 331 cases were registered. Currently, some 166 people were prosecuted.

The department also said that during the reported period, the number of drug addicts has increased in the country. Some 264 people are being treated at specialized clinic.

Over 4,300 drug addicts were registered in the Armenian Drug Treatment Center in 2013, which is 30 percent more than 2012. There has been a 50 percent growth in the number of addicts in the last few years. Local experts believe that there are 30,000 drug addicts, of which 7,000 use heavy drugs.

The department said 850 kilogram of heroin was confiscated during the reported period.

The largest consignment of narcotics at 928 kilogram was confiscated in Armenia on January 17, 2014. The consignment is valued at more than $200 million.

Local media called on the government to release a detailed report on the confiscated drugs, as they believe that 78 kilogram of the confiscated drugs has not been destroyed yet. "Where is the 78 kilogram of the confiscated heroin, the value of which is about $15 million?" media wondered.

In addition, Armenia uses 20 percent of the occupied Azerbaijani territory for cultivation, sale and transit of drug. As a result, occupied territories and 132 kilometres of the Azerbaijani-Iranian border have become an uncontrolled area, creating conditions for drug trafficking.

Azerbaijan has repeatedly expressed its concern over drug transit through the occupied territories to international organizations, including the UN.

Citing various reasons, Armenia does not allow UN experts to visit Azerbaijan's occupied territories, and related organizations do not take the necessary measures either.