00:47 GMT +320 February 2019
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    British national detained in Kazakhstan for drug trafficking

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    ASTANA, July 22 (RIA Novosti) - A British national has been detained in Kazakhstan on charges of organizing drug smuggling from Tajikistan to Europe, the country's National Security Committee said on Tuesday.

    "Tajikistan's drug control agency has uncovered a drug smuggling route from [the Tajik capital] Dushanbe to Spain's capital Madrid, organized by British national, S. Towers, who recruited a group of Central Asian nationals as drug mules," the committee said in a statement.

    A number of the group had earlier been detained in Tajikistan, but Towers fled the country before he could be arrested, He was detained in Almaty, in southern Kazakhstan. He is currently being extradited to Tajikistan.

    The smuggling of drugs from and via Tajikistan has increased significantly since the withdrawal of Russian border troops from the Tajik-Afghan border in mid-2005.

    According to the United Nations Development Program, up to 100 metric tons of heroin is smuggled through Tajikistan annually, enough to meet the combined annual 'demand' of Europe and North America.

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