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9 June 2017CSTO member states to study Belarus' practices in fighting online drug trafficking

MINSK, 8 June (BelTA) – The countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will study Belarus' practices in combating online drug trafficking, Igor Zubov, chairman of the CSTO coordinating council of the heads of the competent authorities combating illicit drug trafficking, told the media on 8 June, BelTA has learned.

“Up to 90% of drugs are retailed via online stores and special websites. Today we have a whole illegal industry that should be monitored and eradicated by joint efforts. Belarus presented very interesting practices and guidance materials that were distributed among the members of the delegations,” Igor Zubov said.

As for the tightening of the penalties for drug trafficking in Belarus, CSTO Deputy Secretary General Ara Badalyan believes this is a positive step. “We could probably work out a standard approach to this issue so that to share the practices,” he said. The official added that the CSTO member states should take into account the current situation in the national segment. The Belarusian practices will be studied, and the countries will consider whether to adopt them.

The CSTO member states are working to combat drug trafficking and drug business, and also to reduce the demand for narcotic drugs. There is a team of drug therapists who make every effort to reduce the levels of drug addiction and provide rehabilitation services.

Igor Zubov said it is necessary to move towards tighter punishment for organized forms of drug trafficking. The leaders of such criminal groups, and their active members, should receive a punishment commensurate with the degree of public danger of their crime.

Members of the CSTO coordinating council of the heads of the competent authorities combating illicit drug trafficking met in Minsk on 8 June to discuss the topical issues of the fight against drug crime. The event brought together delegations from the CSTO member states: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Belarus, and also the CSTO Secretariat. The participants of the meeting discussed aspects of the fight against illicit drug trafficking and promising areas for further joint activities. The heads of delegations reviewed the results of the international anti-drug operation “Channel-Western Barrier”.