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Ashdown Sees Bosnia-Herzegovina as 'Safe Haven' for Drug Trafficking

The top international mediator in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Paddy Ashdown, says the country's ineffective approach to fighting narcotics has turned it into a save haven for drug trafficking.

Mr. Ashdown said Wednesday that Bosnia works with outdated lists of internationally controlled substances and has no adequate mechanism to help it fight international drug trafficking.

He noted that drug control legislation exists only at the level of the country's Serb and Muslim-Croat entities, although some nationwide legislation banning controlled substances has been prepared.

He also said Bosnia has failed to introduce what he termed adequate controls over acetic anhydride, a substance used to manufacture heroin. Mr. Ashdown added that most of the narcotics produced in or trafficked from Bosnia-Herzegovina make their way to Western Europe, although he acknowledged that drug abuse is also becoming a problem in Bosnia.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.