"Cooperation with foreign law enforcement agencies is very important for us, in particular, in terms of combating drug trafficking, because today crime rings operate not only within the borders of one country, they actively use cutting-edge technologies, digital payment platforms and virtual crypto currency. And in this case, for the collection of electronic evidence, it is necessary to organize interaction with other bodies, including at the international level," the press service of the Interior Ministry quoted Avakov as saying, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.
The minister said that the parties agreed on a Memorandum of Cooperation between the National Police of Ukraine and the Office of Drug Control of the U.S. Justice Department.
"Today we are at the final stage of preparing a memorandum of cooperation and we hope for a fruitful work. In addition, our policemen will be trained in the DEA, and the Administration decided to send a specialist for permanent work and counseling in Ukraine," the interior minister added.
In turn, first deputy head of the National Police of Ukraine, head of the criminal police, Viacheslav Abroskin, said that the Ukrainian and American sides came to an agreement on the establishment of a joint contact group "Ukraine - Turkey - DEA" to counter cross-border organized criminal groups and illicit drug trafficking.
"We plan to create a joint group to combat international drug trafficking, as well as to exchange operational information," he said.
The first deputy head of the National Police of Ukraine added that now the department is working on reforming the units for countering drug trafficking.
"We strengthened the staff potential of the Department, hired properly motivated employees. We conducted an open recruitment, where each applicant was tested on a polygraph. The selected operatives began training according to Western standards," added the head of the criminal police.
He also recalled that in July 2017 a plan of joint actions was signed between the National Police and the American side for the implementation of the international technical assistance project of the Department for Combating Drug Trafficking.
"They have provided long-term financial support for the development of the Department, modeled on the best law enforcement agencies fighting the drug business, and the first tranche of $1 million has already been allocated," Abroskin said.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, which is responsible for the enforcement of federal drug legislation. The agency's authority includes not only control of drug trafficking within the country, but also the cessation of the production of these substances in foreign countries. Now the DEA numbers more than 4,600 special agents, 680 analysts and 4,100 employees of support staff, including chemists, investigators for the control of the diversion of precursors and narcotic drugs and administrative personnel.