S. A. Avtukh, Student,
Belarusian State University,
The rapid spread of drugs has become a real threat to the world community. The problem of drug trafficking has long gone beyond the borders of individual countries, spanned all continents and acquired an international character. It is extremely necessary for a modern customs specialist to possess the information where drugs come from. This is primarily due to the ability to identify the most dangerous among a large flow of goods and passengers, as well as to conduct customs control operations against them.
The main regions for the production of drugs and psychotropic substances are traditionally considered to be:
- The countries of the so-called «Golden Crescent»: Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan. These countries are the main suppliers of raw opium, heroin and morphine;
- The countries of the «Golden Triangle»: Myanmar, Laos, Thailand. It produces large quantities of raw opium and heroin;
- The countries of the South American region: Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia. In this region, coca is mainly grown;
- China is famous for manufacturing synthetic drugs such as amphetamine, ecstasy, and precursors.
In order to identify and suppress the facts of illegal movement of cultural objects, drugs, weapons and ammunition across the customs border, customs conduct special operations and activities. Surveillance usually begins when a person gets out of the vehicle or in the process of passing through passport control. When it comes to talking to the alleged violator, it is very important for the customs officer to formulate the questions so to get the necessary information, and to understand the internal state of tension, nervousness or inhibition that is characteristic of a person reacting to a dangerous situation.
In parallel with the survey, the customs officer is required to notice nonverbal signs-gestures, facial expressions and other manifestations of the emotional state, which ultimately identify the potential smuggler.
The methods of detecting drug smuggling by customs authorities during customs control are always individual, but three of the most common ones can be distinguished: the use of drug detector dogs, controlled delivery of goods, as well as the use of technical means of customs control.
Controlled delivery of goods is an operational search activity in which the import, export or movement through the customs territory is allowed with the awareness and under the supervision of customs and law enforcement agencies .
The technical means of customs control make an invaluable contribution to helping customs authorities to stop the illegal movement of drugs and psychotropic substances.
Technical means of customs control – is a set of special technical means used by customs authorities directly in the process of customs control. Such means may be portative and stationary divecies for documents verification, magnifying glasses, X-Ray maschines, intrusive devices and etc.
Technical means are used for the purpose of:
- control of the authenticity and reliability of the declared documents;
- determining whether the content matches the information provided;
- identification of items of customs offences.
Technical and chemical means of identification allow you to identify the chemical nature of certain goods and assign them to certain groups that are prohibited or restricted to movement. It helps also identify the presence of cargo opening in certain places, thereby identifying caches and other places of hiding of goods.
A promising task is to equip all international transport hubs with modern X‑ray inspection complexes, which allow detecting prohibited goods within 10 minutes without opening and unloading vehicles .
It is obvious that in order to increase the effectiveness of the fight against smuggling, further development of the infrastructure of customs checkpoints is necessary.
Another important method of countering the illegal movement of drugs and psychotropic substances is the use of drug detector dogs. Dogs help identify drugs in caches, luggage and other places hidden from the eyes of a customs official. If you look at the news on the detention of drugs at the border, you can conclude that more than 50 % of all drugs are found by dogs.
To my mind, the state economic security, as well as the safety of life and health of the population depends on the correctness of customs control. Customs authorities strive to carry out customs control in the most comprehensive and effective way in order to reduce its time and at the same time ensure compliance with customs legislation .
Thus, the customs officer should pay close attention to the goods coming from the countries of the «Golden Crescent» (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan), the countries of the «Golden Triangle» (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand), as well as the adjacent countries from which the transit of opiates is possible. In addition, it is extremely important to keep in mind the possible illegal movement of cocaine from Latin America and synthetic drugs from China.
Thus, it can be concluded that the customs authorities are actively fighting the illegal movement of narcotic drugs primarily through customs control. It is obvious that customs control is the main tool of the struggle in this difficult battle.