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    Kyrgyzstan risks becoming narcotics transit-state - drugs tsar

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    Police say one of the largest drug trafficking routes in the region passes from Afghanistan, the world's biggest opium producer, through Kyrgyzstan and then on to Russia and western Europe.

    BISHKEK, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - Kyrgyzstan's drug control chief issued a stark warning Thursday that the Central Asian country could be becoming a transit-country for narcotics as up to five metric tons a year cross its borders.

    Police say one of the largest drug trafficking routes in the region passes from Afghanistan, the world's biggest opium producer, through Kyrgyzstan and then on to Russia and western Europe.

    "Between three and five tons of opiates a year may be transshipped across Kyrgyzstan," Zhenish Zhakypov said.

    He said that despite a recent crackdown on drug trafficking, the illegal flow of heroin through the former Soviet republic - which borders on China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - had shown no signs of abating because of the republic's porous borders.

    "In effect, this country has turned into a drug transit state," he said.

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