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U.S. Department of State
1997 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, March 1998

United States Department of State

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs


Europe and Central Asia

MONGOLIA

Drug trafficking and abuse in Mongolia are not high by international standards, but is growing as Mongolia becomes more integrated into the international community. Drugs such as heroin and marijuana, while still far behind alcohol as the intoxicant of choice, are becoming available and the occasional bust is reported in local newspapers; a PRC Chinese citizen is in jail here awaiting trial for drug trafficking. Mongolia does not lie along any of the major drug trafficking routes to the US but some drugs do transit Mongolia by train from China and Southeast Asia to Russia.

The Government of Mongolia and its police, because of the severe financial constraints they face, have very few resources devoted to combatting drugs. Unlike the case for alcohol, there are very few educational programs about drug abuse underway in Mongolia, although this may change in the future as illicit drug abuse grows. Although Mongolia is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, Mongolia has not yet become a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The Mongolian Police have an organized crime division, which also is responsible for drug-related crimes. The police are aware of no illicit cultivation or production of narcotics in Mongolia. The Mongolian police have begun to work with Interpol and Russian and Chinese law enforcement and customs officials on drug trafficking, and last November a Mongolian police delegation attended an Interpol conference in France where drug issues were raised. Unfortunately, police lack even the most basic knowledge (for example, how to identify illegal drugs) needed to combat trafficking, and lack money necessary for training or greater efforts in this field, although Mongolian police did recently purchase two specially trained drug-sniffing dogs from Hungary.

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