Azerbaijan, Baku, 21 February / Trend corr I. Alizade / The attempt to use the trans-national criminal groups engaged in drug smuggling and to use Azerbaijani territory as a transit route- while smuggling drugs to Europe, has been prevented. "According to the recent reports, drug mafia has chosen a new drug smuggling route. They smuggle the drugs produced in Afghanistan via the southern borders to the African countries, and onwards to Europe by the sea transport," Mazahir Afandiyev, the National Coordinator of the UN Program on Drug Control in South Caucasus, said to Trend on 21 February.
He said that the economic development in Azerbaijan is a factor preventing the involvement of the people in Drug Mafia. According to Afandiyev, before the USSR collapsed, the drug mafia was smuggling drugs in the following route: Afghanistan-Iran-Turkey-Balkans-Europe. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the new route was operated - Afghanistan-Iran-South Caucasus-Europe.
"There are favourable conditions for drug smugglers to operate via Africa, because the unemployment and low life level in the African countries enables drug mafia to involve more people at a small amount," he said.