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On 10-11 March 2021 CARICC together with UNODC held an expert working meeting with representatives of the General Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Financial Monitoring Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan on development of national, interagency, cross-border cooperation mechanism effectively disrupting financial foundation of organized crime.

The event was organized to expand capacity of responsible authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan in carrying out parallel financial investigations and detection of financial flows derived from illicit drug trafficking, to strengthen and develop interagency and regional cooperation, and to upgrade skills in performing financial investigations.

The meeting reviewed international experience in combating money laundering, international standards requirements for conducting parallel financial investigations, trends in legalization of proceeds generated by illicit drug trafficking.

It was stated that interagency and cross-border mechanism of interaction between law enforcement, fiscal authorities and financial intelligence units plays a key role in disrupting financial resources of criminal groups.

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Second seminar of the training course “Use of specialized software for data collection and analysis” was held in Nur-Sultan from 9 to 13 March 2021.

Training was delivered by experts of CARICC Information and Analytical Unit and research and liaison officer of the Paris Pact Initiative of the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia to officers of the Situation Center of the Border Service of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

During practical sessions participants gained skills in processing and analyzing large data arrays and constructing dashboards in Microsoft Excel.

This training course is part of Border Cooperation Component of Sub-Programme 1 “Countering transnational organized crime, illicit drug trafficking and preventing terrorism” of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia. This component is funded by the Government of Japan.

The training course was fully consistent with functional responsibilities of employees and was highly constructive and useful in their daily work. Participants of the training mentioned high level of organization of the event, professionalism of instructors and support provided by CARICC.

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Mr. Rustam Miralizoda, CARICC Director, was on a meeting with Mr. Erkebek Ashirhodjaev, Deputy Minister of Interior, in Bishkek on 3 March 2021 during his working trip to the Kyrgyz Republic.

Also present at the meeting were heads of key units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan.

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Mr. E. Ashirhodjaev thanked CARICC leadership for long-term cooperation, mentioning that the Centre has made a significant contribution to efforts to combat illicit drug trafficking in the region and has gained high prestige in the international arena.

CARICC Director informed the Kyrgyz side about successful operations seizing large consignments of drugs and stated the need for further fruitful cooperation in this area.

The parties discussed further development of mutual relations within the framework of joint efforts of responsible authorities of CARICC Member States in countering transnational drug crime. Additionally, they recognized efforts of competent authorities of CARICC Member States in identifying new coordinated, comprehensive and concerted ways and opportunities to build reliable barriers against large-scale drug penetration in the region.

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Mr. Rustam Miralizoda, CARICC Director, met with Mr. Nuran Niyazaliev, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, in Bishkek on 3 March 2021.

During the meeting CARICC Director briefed the Kyrgyz side on current situation in the Centre, prospects for enhanced bilateral and multilateral cooperation and joint collaboration within regional and international organizations in effectively countering illicit drug trafficking in the region and beyond. Successful interaction with competent authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic was mentioned, especially 14 anti-drug operations, starting from 2016 up to the present time.

The parties underscored the necessity to develop mechanisms of interaction of Kyrgyzstan relevant authorities with CARICC and other participants, international organizations and partners on current projects and programmes.

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Plenary Meeting of the Network of Prosecutors and Central Authorities from Source, Transit and Destination Countries in response to Transnational Organized Crime in Central Asia and the South Caucasus (CASC Network), attended by representatives of CARICC, took place on 25 and 26 February 2021 via videoconference.

CASC Network is a UNODC initiative in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, which aims to help improve international cooperation in criminal cases under investigation and to coordinate and establish contacts between prosecutors' offices of participating countries and prosecutors' offices of countries that are not members of the Network.

More than 50 participants were registered for the meeting, representing 8 member countries of the CASC Network, 10 invited countries as well as 7 international organizations and UNODC projects.

Mrs. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, delivered welcome remarks, noting the importance of developing international cooperation in countering crime.

The meeting discussed further steps for cooperation within the CASC Network and work plan for 2021, expanding interregional cooperation on criminal cases under investigation, sharing best practices and views on specific issues, including human trafficking, drug trafficking, asset recovery, and other relevant topics.

Centre employees offered a presentation on “CARICC: a Platform for International and Regional Cooperation”, which, among other things, demonstrated the Centre's existing capacity to assist in criminal investigations related to countering transnational organized crime.

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Staff member of CARICC Information and Analytical Unit and a research and liaison officer of the Paris Pact Initiative of the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia delivered a training on “Use of specialized software data collection and analysis” to personnel of the Situation Center of the Border Service of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan from 16 to 19 February 2021. The training course was held in a hybrid format and included lecture and practical sessions.

During practical sessions participants improved their skills in Microsoft Excel, which will be used in their analytical work in the future.

The training was conducted under Border Cooperation Component of Sub-Programme 1 “Countering transnational organized crime, illicit drug trafficking and preventing terrorism” of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia. The component is funded by the Government of Japan.

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Mr. Rustam Miralizoda, CARICC Director, had a meeting with Mr. Emmanuel Gravier, Security and Counterterrorism Coordinator for Central Asia at the European Union Delegation in Bishkek, and Mr. Jerome Ribault-Gaillard, Director of the EU Project LEICA, at the Centre on 12 February 2021.

Participants included heads of CARICC units and Centre personnel and members of the European Union Delegation.

During the visit Mr. E. Gravier informed of main goals and directions of the LEICA project, including attraction of highly qualified specialists, experts to deliver trainings on counterterrorism and anti-extremism topics, organization of study tours for advanced training of officials involved in countering terrorism and extremism as well as plans for further productive cooperation under the European Union project.

In turn, CARICC Director briefed the interlocutor on prospects for enhancing bilateral cooperation and coordination, with consideration of CARICC and LEICA project capacities.

The two sides also indicated their readiness to work together within existing mandates and to collaborate actively and productively.

Meeting resulted in agreement to jointly organize training and workshops for law enforcement officers in the Central Asian region on combating terrorism financing via proceeds derived from drug trafficking.

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Mr. Rustam Miralizoda, CARICC Director, met with Mr. Muzaffar Huseinzoda, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, in Dushanbe on 15 January 2021.

During meeting CARICC Director informed about current situation in the Centre, prospects for enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation and joint collaboration through regional and international organizations.

The parties also discussed accession of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of Turkey to the Agreement on CARICC, the Centre work on review and coordination of draft agreement between CARICC Member States on exchange and protection of secret information and other challenges on cooperation of parties in combating illicit drug trafficking and development perspectives.

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