BAKU: Azeri Min says use of NK for drug trafficking finally proven

Azeri minister says use of Karabakh for drug trafficking finally proven

ANS TV, Baku
31 Mar 04

[Presenter] After the terror blasts in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan is also
strengthening its fight against terrorism, like other member countries
of the anti-terror coalition. Azerbaijani National Security Minister
Namiq Abbasov said there were people in Azerbaijan who could commit a
terrorist act in the country. Mr Abbasov also spoke about an
operation that has proved that Armenians are using Azerbaijan’s
occupied territory of Nagornyy Karabakh to cultivate and traffic in

[Correspondent over archive footage of Karabakh] Although it has been
known for a long time that Armenia has used these territories, beyond
Azerbaijan’s control, to cultivate and traffic in drugs, this was
proved three days ago. We are referring to the detention of Iranian
citizen, Xudan Panahi, 35, and four other members of a criminal group
who smuggled drugs into Azerbaijan from the Fuzuli sector of the
Iran-Azerbaijan state border.

[Abbasov, speaking to microphone] The investigation into the case is
still under way. We cannot say anything else for now. The person whom
we caught red-handed disclosed in his testimony where he had got the
drugs from. The territory of Nagornyy Karabakh is a main source for
financing the Nagornyy Karabakh separatists. The detention of a
non-Azerbaijani citizen, an Iranian citizen, once again confirmed

[Correspondent over video] According to Abbasov, they received
information about drugs cultivation in Nagornyy Karabakh a few years
ago. This fact has been proven for the first time.

[Abbasov] We believed 100 per cent in our operational reports. Because
our sources were reliable. Simply, we could not disclose them. This
could have caused them tragedies in Armenia. We revealed the first
evidence and made it public.

[Correspondent, over video] Although there is factual information
showing that Armenians use Azerbaijan’s occupied territory of Nagornyy
Karabakh to traffic in and cultivate drugs, Armenia has denied this
every time and regarded this as a fabrication by Azerbaijan. We wonder
how Yerevan will react to this now.

Parvana Sabirqizi, Ali Ahmadov, ANS.