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Tashkent, Washington To Jointly Combat Drug Trafficking

The DEA's Middle East and Central Asia Regional Director, Mark Destito
The Uzbek Interior Ministry says it has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in countering drug trafficking and the spread of drug abuse.

The document signed in Tashkent on October 11 after Uzbek Deputy Interior Minister Adkham Akhmedbaev held talks with the DEA's visiting Middle East and Central Asia Regional Director Mark Destito.

According to Uzbekistan's National Drug Control Information Center, almost 5,500 kilograms of drugs were impounded in Uzbekistan last year, which is almost 800 kilograms more than in 2010.

Uzbek officials say drugs produced in neighboring Afghanistan are being illegally transported to Russia and onward to the West via Central Asian countries.

Last year, 107 foreign citizens were detained in Uzbekistan on suspicion of committing drug-related crimes.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS