Anti-drug Tsar demands digital warfare

Viktor Ivanov (RIA Novosti / Ruslan Krivobok)
The head of the Russian Federal Service for Drug Turnover Control has said that Russia and the US should introduce digital technology together to counter Afghan heroin traffic.

­Speaking at the session of the Russian-US presidential commission for fighting illegal drug trade in Chicago on Friday, top Russian drug enforcement official Viktor Ivanov said that his country was promoting a new system which he called “Digital Poppy Road Map”.

The heart of the idea is in creation of a digital interactive map that would allow all users to submit and gather information about illegal drug production and turnover in Afghanistan. The map will have on it all facilities such as poppy fields, opium bazaars, drug laboratories, transit depots and transport routes.

The project would allow the display of the most up-to-date information on a single medium and also for information to be updated and changed using the input from the entire international community, Ivanov said. “The public placement of such a map would allow the actions of the responsible structures to coordinate their fight against drug trafficking and would promote the transparency of relations and cooperation development between the key international players who fight the Afghanistan drug menace,” the Russian official said.

Ivanov added that by introducing digital technologies the cost of the process would be reduced “by order of magnitude” and amount to about $150 million annually.

Apart from that, Ivanov presented the Russian Rainbow-2 plan for opposing Afghanistan’s drug producers. It includes putting the drug production in this country on the list of top threats to humanity through the UN Security Council, imposing sanctions on Afghani landlords who allow opium poppy plantations on their land and running a large-scale aid plan that would create millions of workplaces in Afghanistan. The Russian side also suggested that the International Security Force in Afghanistan be charged with the task of destroying opium poppy crops, thus making drug enforcement a more comprehensively-addressed program.