10 Years of Activity of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors

CARICC celebrates the 10th Anniversary as of the date of decision to launch the pilot phase of the Center’s activities.
 Prerequisites for the beginning of the Center’s activities arose several years earlier. Thus, in December 2004, at a meeting in Moscow of 04 May 1996, the States Parties to the Memorandum of Understanding on Regional Cooperation in Drug Control (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) agreed and approved an idea of CARICC establishment.
 The pilot phase of CARICC’s activities began on November 01, 2007, which allowed to prepare a basis for the full functioning of the Center. The location of CARICC is Almaty, the Republic of Kazakhstan.
 The establishment of CARICC as an intergovernmental body to coordinate the efforts of the competent authorities of member states to counteract transnational drug-related crime is one of the most ambitious projects of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
 CARICC was established not on the basis of any economic, political or any other foundation, but solely for the general counteraction to the threat of the spread of drugs. Moreover, the Center’s activities cover law enforcement and special authorities of member states (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) involved in counteracting illicit drug trafficking.
 Over the years of development, the Center together with member states have taken measures to promote the establishment of international cooperation. At present, 16 countries  - Austria, Afghanistan, Belarus, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Mongolia, Pakistan, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, and 2 international organizations - INTERPOL and Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC). This enables CARICC to liaise with partners from other countries, and to address the issues of cooperation in the field of combating transnational drug-related  crime on-line.
 In terms of coordination of international operations, over the 10-year period of CARICC’s activity, with the direct participation of the competent authorities of member states, 39 international operations have been implemented, which resulted in the prosecution of 94 individuals from among the leaders and active members of stable transnational organized criminal drug trafficking organizations. All in all, 6.5 tons of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as more than 64.6 tons of precursors, were seized.
 Cooperation of the competent authorities of member states with the Center tends to improve both the quantity and quality of joint international operations carried out by expanding the geography of operations and involving more law enforcement agencies of foreign countries, which facilitates  to effectively combat transnational drug-related crime and interdict  drug trafficking  channels.
 In terms of informational and analytical support, assistance has been provided to the competent authorities of member states as part of the strategic analysis of the drug situation by sending a series of analytical surveys and various information products, the total volume of which exceeds 950 units.
 At this stage of development, CARICC, in cooperation with the competent authorities of member states and other partners, creates the conditions for implementing system-wide measures to counteract illicit spread of new types of psychoactive substances and synthetic drugs in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, the Central Asian countries, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan.
 In order to form a system-wide approach and create conditions for undermining the financial foundations of transnational drug trafficking structures, CARICC jointly with the competent authorities of member states envisages the phased implementation of the Regional Program on System-Wide Struggle against Organized Drug Trafficking through the weakening of its financial resources and strengthening capacities of law enforcement agencies.
 Thus, in conjunction with the competent authorities of member states and partners, CARICC continues to work on implementing tasks and these initiatives, the implementation of which will give impetus to sustainable development and further consolidation in the world arena as an international organization.
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