Misuse of Licit Trade for Opiate Trafficking in Western and Central Asia

Hakan Demirbuken, Natascha Eichinger, Platon Nozadze, Hayder Mili, Yekaterina Spassova, Hamid Azizi, Shaukat Ullah Khan, Abdul Qahir Khan, Saurabh Sati

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Dry ports play a key role in regional trade and in particular in facilitating the movement of goods between different forms of transportation within the Western and Central Asian transport network. Goods arrive at and depart from dry ports by a range of modes of transport, including by road, rail, inland waterways and airports, and the ports provide services for the handling and temporary storage of containers and general and/or bulk cargo. For countries in the region with no direct access to the sea, such as Afghanistan, dry ports are crucial hubs for commercial trade. In order to facilitate the movement of goods across borders, a number of trade agreements have been implemented to reduce the level of customs inspections at dry ports and border control points and to standardize transport regulations. However, while the volume of trade handled at dry ports in the region has increased, there has been no corresponding expansion in the level of law enforcement in these locations. This report analyses the role of dry ports in the regional trade network and highlights the risk of their abuse by drug traffickers. It also contains an in-depth analysis of the ways in which drug traffickers abuse the trade network to smuggle opiates. Many of the problems and risks that are identified in relation to trade agreements, dry ports and the transportation network in Western and Central Asia can also be applied to many other regions in the world.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna, Austria
PublisherUnited Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Commissioning bodyUnited Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Number of pages117
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


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