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From July 19 to 21, 2022, the EU Border Management Assistance Program in Central Asia (BOMCA) held a regional seminar in Almaty for heads of investigative departments of the border services and law enforcement agencies of the Central Asian states.

The event was aimed at familiarizing participants with the methods of criminal analysis and information exchange related to investigations, tools and forms of cooperation used in EU Member States in the investigation of cross-border organized crimes such as human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and excisable goods, drug smuggling, firearms, ammunition and explosives.

CARICC analyst Mr. Barzu Avazzoda took part in the seminar as an expert and made a presentation “CARICC as a leading platform for regional and international cooperation in the field of combating drug trafficking and cross-border drug crime”.

As a result of the meeting, the participants developed a number of recommendations to simplify the exchange of information between law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation of cross-border crimes, and proposals were made to amend the relevant legislation of the Central Asian countries.

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From July 19 to July 21, 2022, the Eurasian AML/CFT Forum was held in Nur-Sultan in a hybrid format, organized by the Secretariat of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG).

The event, organized in partnership with the OSCE and the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Financial Monitoring in an online format, was attended by CARICC analyst Sh. Komilzoda.

The Forum was attended by leading experts in the field of AML / CFT of the EAG member states, including representatives of law enforcement agencies, financial intelligence units of the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as representatives of observer states in the EAG, international and regional organizations and anti-terrorist structures.

The objectives of the Eurasian Forum were the exchange of expert opinion, experience and best practice on the latest achievements in the investigation of cases of laundering proceeds from crime and the financing of terrorism.

Forum participants presented presentations and reports on financial investigations, in particular, its analytical tools and products, investigative and judicial practice, interaction between interested law enforcement and government agencies, as well as international cooperation.

At the end of the forum, the results of the discussion of new approaches and methods in conducting financial investigations, the interaction of state bodies in combating money laundering, the exchange of experience on measures to improve the fight against the legalization of proceeds from crime were summed up.

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As part of the implementation of its mandate, CARICC has in recent years stepped up joint activities to provide assistance and coordination in conducting international operations aimed at identifying and eliminating transnational drug supply channels from their centers of production to global drug markets.

One of the most effective practices used by law enforcement agencies in countering these threats is special operations under the "international controlled delivery of drugs" method.

As a result of operational developments carried out according to the information of the Kazakhstan side, from 2020 to the present, under the coordination of CARICC, 7 short-term anti-drug operations have been successfully carried out with the participation of law enforcement agencies of the member states of the Center, Afghanistan, as well as European countries (the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy). As a result of the operations, 740 kg of drugs (heroin, mephedrone, MDMA, cannabis) were seized.

Similarly, in March 2022, following the results of conducting, together with the competent authorities of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, an international controlled delivery along the Almaty-Tashkent route, by air in the form of a postal item, a long-term development of an international organized drug group from among the citizens of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan was carried out, with the seizure of more than 13 kg of mephedrone.

It is important to note that these operations initiated by the Kazakhstan side, complex in their design, were implemented for the first time not only in the history of the Center, but also in the practice of most of its member states.

It is noteworthy that during the period of quarantine and the global transition to the online mode of national and international organizations, CARICC with the existing staff of 5 employees continued to work in person and coordinate these operations, acting as a link between the participants in the operations and ensuring close cooperation between the competent authorities of the parties.

The de-briefing was attended by 40 representatives from the delegations of UNODC, the United States, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Italy, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as in the online the format of over 80 employees of the competent authorities of the participating states and CARICC observers, international organizations.

The holding of this event allowed the participants in the operations to make presentations and discuss the practical aspects of the interaction of the parties in the implementation of such events in order to develop appropriate recommendations.

In particular, a number of important and fundamental issues that arise in the conduct of international controlled drug deliveries were identified during the speeches of representatives of the delegations of the CSTO, the CIS ATC, the SCO RATS and the China National Narcotics Control Commission.

The participants of the de-briefing, expressing their full approval and support for the special operations carried out under the auspices of CARICC, expressed the opinion that their results can serve as a good example of operational work at the international level, and the results achieved should be widely applied in the practical activities of law enforcement agencies to increase the efficiency of their work.

In turn, expanding the circle of participants from among international partners in conducting such operations will contribute to the successful organization and implementation of joint measures to combat drug crime.

During the de-briefing, in the context of the theme of the event, the Tajik side organized a presentation of the book-monograph of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, Colonel-General of Militia Rakhimzoda R.Kh. "International Controlled Delivery", recognized by the international expert community as an outstanding scientific work and recommended as a methodological guide and manual for practitioners, faculty and students of specialized educational institutions of law enforcement and special bodies.

In general, the de-briefing confirmed the importance of further cooperation in combating transnational drug crime, outlined the prospects for its development in the future, and the constructive and concrete proposals made it possible not only to identify new directions in the organization of anti-drug operations, but also to begin developing specific mechanisms for their implementation in perspective.

At the end of the event, it was noted that CARICC today has reached a sufficient operational and information-analytical level to ensure effective interaction at the regional and international levels, and its openness to all and readiness for close practical cooperation in the anti-drug sphere was emphasized.

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On July 19, 2022, a de-briefing will be held in Almaty to sum up the results of a number of international operations using the “International Controlled Delivery” method of drugs from Afghanistan through Kazakhstan to European countries, as well as synthetic drugs from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan, implemented with the assistance and coordination of CARICC.

In the period from 2020 to 2022, with the assistance and coordination of CARICC, these international operations were successfully implemented with the seizure of especially large consignments of opium group drugs from Afghanistan to Kazakhstan and European countries, as well as synthetic drugs from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan.

The event, which will be held in a hybrid format, will be attended by heads and employees of the competent authorities of the participating states and CARICC observers, as well as representatives of international organizations.

Operations, complex in their design, were implemented for the first time not only in the practice of the Center, but also in most of its member states.

During this meeting, participants in the operation are expected to make relevant presentations, exchange views, and discuss positive and problematic aspects of interaction during such activities.

The de-briefing will also allow participants to develop appropriate recommendations for improving the mechanism for operational interaction at the international level.

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From June 27 to June 30, 2022, a conference was held in the city of Istanbul, “Early warning networks in the field of counter -terrorism for Central Asia”, organized by the UN regional center for preventive diplomacy for Central Asia (RCPP) and the UN Counter terrorism department (KTU UN).

The event, which was organized in hybrid format, was attended by more than 40 delegates in person and a large number of online participants representing civil servants from Central Asia, as well as representatives of the UN structures, regional and non-governmental organizations.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia, Head of UNRCCA Natalia German addressed the participants of the event with a welcoming speech.

In her speeches, a special representative noted that as a goal reflected in the new updated joint plan of actions to implement the Global counter -terrorism strategy of the UN Central Asia, together with the UN KTU, proposes to launch a counter -terrorist network of early warning for Central Asia. This initiative should not only ensure a more complete and timely exchange of information in current unpredictable conditions, but will also serve as a platform for coordinating interaction with Afghanistan at the national, regional and international levels.

Analyst of CARICC IAD Mr. Shahboz Komilzoda spoke at an event with the presentation “CARICC as a leading platform of regional and international cooperation in the field of counteracting illegal trafficking in drugs and cross-border drug crime.”

Also, the participants had the opportunity to exchange opinions about the events related to security in Afghanistan and the region and get acquainted with the efforts of the governments of the five countries of Central Asia, international and regional organizations and groups of civil society to counteract current security threats.

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On June 29, 2022, in Almaty, a regular meeting of the Council of National Coordinators (CNC) of the CARICC member states was held in a hybrid format.

The event was attended by members of the CNC and their delegated representatives, employees of the UNODC headquarters and regional office in Central Asia, as well as heads of CARICC divisions.

The meeting participants discussed the emerging drug situation in the CARICC region and exchanged views on the necessary measures to stabilize it.

Director of CARICC Major General of Militia R. Miralizoda informed about the current activities of the Center, in particular, about the ongoing activities from 2020 to the present 7 short-term anti-drug operations with the participation of law enforcement agencies of the CARICC member states, Afghanistan, as well as European countries (Netherlands, Belgium, Italy). As a result, 740 kg of drugs (heroin, mephedrone, MDMA, cannabis) were seized. CARICC acted as a link between the participants in the operations and ensured close cooperation among the competent authorities of the parties.

As part of the information and analytical activities of CARICC, work is underway to fill the Centralized Data Bank with information and update the data of the CARICC web portal on seizures of large consignments of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Strategic analysis is carried out on the basis of information materials prepared by the Center (weekly summaries, reviews, news releases, bulletins and messages).

The Director of the Center noted that against the background of the current situation in Afghanistan, the drug situation in the CARICC member states is deteriorating. The volume of seized drugs in 2021 compared to 2020 increased by 21.9%, the amount of confiscated heroin increased by 82.1% and opium by 41.5%. Given the development of the drug situation in the region, a further increase in the smuggling of Afghan opiates along the Northern route is predicted.

At the meeting, the parties also exchanged information on the progress of the participating states' internal procedures for agreeing on the draft Agreement on the exchange and protection of classified information within the framework of CARICC, previously approved at the CNC meeting on November 23, 2021.

The parties discussed the information of CARICC and UNODC on the financial stability of the Center, exchanged views on the issue of making voluntary contributions to its activities, as well as amending the statutory documents of the Center.

At the meeting, the CNC members prepared a recommendation to the Heads of CARICC member states on the appointment of a representative of Turkmenistan to the position of Director of CARICC in the order of rotation.

As a result of the event, an agreement was reached to hold a regular meeting of the CNC in Almaty in the second half of 2022.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 17:20

Presentation World Drug Report 2021

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On June 27, 2022 online, CARICC Director, Major General of Militia Miralizoda Rustam Aziz took part in a regional press conference in connection with the release of the World Drug Report.The event was organized by the Regional Office of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Tashkent in a hybrid format.

The press conference was attended by the head of the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia, Ms. Ashita Mittal, representatives of the competent authorities of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

Ms. A. Mittal made a presentation of the World Drug Report, according to which about 275 million people around the world used drugs over the past year, while more than 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders.

The Report also notes that over the past 24 years, the “potency” of cannabis has more than quadrupled in some parts of the world, with the percentage of adolescents and young adults who considered the drug harmful falling by as much as 40 percent, despite evidence that that the use of cannabis is harmful to health and not only, especially for regular users. Over 1.5 million people in Central Asia and the South Caucasus are estimated to have used cannabis at least once in the past year.

It is estimated that more than 11 million people inject drugs worldwide, half of whom are living with hepatitis C. Opioids continue to account for the largest number of drug use-related illnesses.

Dark web drug markets emerged just a decade ago, but today the largest of them has annual sales of at least $315 million. Although this is only a small part of total drug sales, there is an upward trend, with a fourfold increase between 2011 and mid-2017 and between mid-2017 and 2020.

Overall, the 2021 World Drug Report provides a global overview of the supply and demand for opiates, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances (NPS), and their impact on health, taking into account the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the meeting, the Director of CARICC, Mr. Miralizoda R.A., spoke, who emphasized the symbolism and significance of the presentation of the Report on the background of the celebration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking - June 26.

Attention is drawn to the negative impact on the global drug situation of various negative processes taking place today.

Under these conditions, for all countries of the world community, United Nations research, reflected in the World Drug Report, is of priority importance, which allows:

- timely determine the general directions for the implementation of a unified and balanced drug policy;

- establish effective state and social control over the development of the drug situation;

- progressively seek its stabilization and limit the negative impact on the state of internal and external security of countries, the health and well-being of citizens.

It was noted that the internal anti-drug policy of the CARICC member states is based on improving the effectiveness of drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, combating drug trafficking, strengthening interagency cooperation, with the active involvement of public institutions.

Special attention was paid to the situation in Afghanistan and the location of the CARICC member states on the "Northern Route" of Afghan opiate trafficking.

At the same time, the importance of developing common approaches to assessing the volume of heroin trafficking along this route was emphasized, and the readiness of the Center for open cooperation in this direction was confirmed.

Trends in the drug situation over the past year in the CARICC member states are characterized by an increase in the volume of seized drugs - by almost 22%, the amount of seized heroin - by 82% and opium - by 41.5%, the number of detained foreign citizens - by 19% and facts of drug smuggling - by almost 32%.

In this regard, CARICC, being one of the most significant projects of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Central Asia, within the framework of its mandate, provides assistance, coordination and support to the efforts of the countries of the region in the fight against drug trafficking.

In modern conditions of the development of the drug situation, the development of optimal measures in the analysis and forecasting of the drug situation is of particular relevance. In this regard, the World Drug Report 2021 will set the stage for further joint efforts in the fight against trafficking, both at the regional and international levels.

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On June 24, 2022, on the basis of the Interdepartmental Center for Training Specialists in Combating Drug Crime of the Almaty Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the delegation of the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors (CARICC) namely  Adviser / Head of the Information and Analytical Division, Mr. Erkaboev A.A. and analytics of the same division Mr. Ergazin A.Sh. took part in the international scientific and practical conference on the topic: "The future without drugs", which was held in a hybrid format.

The Conference was attended by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the leadership and staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the office of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), representatives of the authorities of Almaty and public organizations, as well as experts from region of drug prevention programs, experts in the field of drug treatment and psychiatric care.

The participants discussed the latest trends related to illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in Central Asia and new threats in the field of illicit drug trafficking, as well as preventive measures aimed at reducing the demand for drugs.

In turn, Mr. A. Erkaboev informed about the role of the Center in the fight against international drug trafficking and expressed interest in strengthening cooperation by assisting in the training and advanced training of specialists in combating drug trafficking.

Following the meeting, the participants emphasized the importance of interaction through the expansion of international cooperation, the exchange of positive experience in the field of combating drug trafficking and preventing drug addiction.

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