By Anush Dashtents
US Ambassador to Armenia Michael Lemmon and Armenian Prosecutor-General Aram Tamazian
The US government on Monday pledged to help Armenia fight drug trafficking and addiction with a $1.5 million package of technical assistance to its law-enforcement agencies. Under a joint plan of actions signed by US Ambassador to Armenia Michael Lemmon and Armenian Prosecutor-General Aram Tamazian, the funds will be used for supplies of American equipment and training of local anti-drug officials.
Tamazian said the aid will allow Armenian law-enforcement agencies to trace and detect the flow of narcotics into the country more effectively. He said drug control is a major priority of his agency despite the relatively low scale of narcotics addiction in Armenia.
Figures from the prosecutor’s office showed 483 officially registered drug-related crimes last year. But according to Tamazian, their real number is higher. He said: “We are worried about drug-related crimes. They seemed to be hidden [by the authorities] in the past, and you wouldn’t think that the problem exists in Armenia. Now we don’t want to hide anything and are providing the real picture.”