KABUL, Afghanistan – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Country Office for Afghanistan and the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) held a groundbreaking ceremony, marking the start of constructing a Counter Narcotics Canine (K9) Center at CNPA Headquarters in Kabul Wednesday, according to UNODC press release.
General Mohammad Hashim Urtaq, Deputy Minister Counter Narcotics, Ministry of Interior; Mitsuji Suzuka, Ambassador of Japan in Afghanistan; Dmitriy A. Zhirnov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Afghanistan; and Mark Colhoun, UNODC Representative in Afghanistan attended the ceremony.
The government of Japan and Russian Federation provided financial and technical assistance to implement this project.
“The project is a pivotal element in the creation of a dedicated counter narcotics canine capacity within the country,” said an emailed statement to Khaams Press. “It has been made possible through financial and technical assistance received from the Governments of Japan and the Russian Federation.”
“Given the fact, that the majority of seizures made by Afghan law enforcement agencies are intelligence based and only 15 percent of the drugs seized are as a result of interventions using detection equipment and tools, the introduction of specialized working dogs will greatly enhance the interdiction efforts of the Government of Afghanistan,” Mark Colhoun, the UNODC Representative in Afghanistan, said.
Starting in 2012 as a training programme for Afghan counter-narcotics officers, the project evolved into the “Domodedovo Training Programme” which included the five Central Asian Republics and was utilized as a tool to promote greater regional cooperation, the statement read.
“The successes achieved through that initiative made it possible to further expand the scope into the operational environment and 2018 saw the development of a new project to establish a “Counter Narcotics Canine (K9) Unit in Afghanistan.”