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For his contribution to the development and strengthening of international cooperation between the competent bodies of the member states of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, on the eve of the National Holiday - Constitution Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Director Major-General of Militia Mr. Miralizoda Rustam Aziz rewarded the authorized representative of the MIA of Azerbaijan in CARICC Mr. Radjabov Elbrus Nuraddinovich, Police Colonel-Lieutenant with the commemorative medal of the Centre for Contribution to cooperation development.  

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On 4 November 2021, representatives of CARICC and Phase 7 of the European Union's Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP 7) had a meeting via videoconference. 

Azizbek Erkaboev, Advisor/Head of the Information and Analytical Division of CARICC, and Barzu Avazzoda, Analyst of the Centre, participated on behalf of CARICC.

On behalf of CADAP 7 attended Ernest Robello, Programme Manager, and the programme's employees as well.

Mr. E. Robello informed that CADAP Phase 7 is implemented by the Consortium of EU Member States (Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Greece).

Mr. A. Erkaboev informed about current activities of CARICC as one of the large-scale UNODC projects in the Central Asia, as well as the information and analytical work being carried out by the Centre.

The meeting focused on prospective of bilateral cooperation and supported CARICC's initiative to exchange experiences with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

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On November 2, 2021, a delegation of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Group of the UN Security Council Committees 1267 and 1988 (hereinafter referred to as the Group), represented by experts Mr. V. Stojunda and Mr. T. Ashetov, visited the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center for combating illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors (hereinafter referred to as the CARICC/Centre) in Almaty.

As a result of the visit, working meeting of the CARICC representatives consisting of Mr. A.Yazlyev, Mr. A.Erkaboev and Mrs. T.Yevdokimova with the Group experts was held, during which the parties discussed the situation in Afghanistan. There was an exchange of views on the impact of the "new reality" on the production and supply of drugs of Afghan origin in foreign markets, including the "Northern route".

The threats emanating from Afghanistan to the Central Asian region, the prospects for the involvement of Central Asian terrorist groups in the drug trade, as well as changes in the structure and logistics of drug trafficking and the redistribution of the drug market under the influence of the trend of distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances of synthetic origin were considered. During the working meeting, the changes in drug prices in Afghanistan and their impact on the profits of the groups involved were assessed. 

In addition, the meeting participants outlined the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing against the background of the economic and financial crisis in Afghanistan, including the use of virtual assets (cryptocurrencies) and virtual asset service providers, as well as international payment systems and the non-traditional transfer system “Hawala”. 

The Group Experts, on their part, shared their assessments and forecasts of the situation in Afghanistan and the sanctions regimes of 1267 (ISIS, Al-Qaeda) and 1988 (war and peace issues in Afghanistan).

As a result of the working meeting, there were developed approaches and outlined plans for further cooperation between CARICC and the Group, taking into account the development of the situation in Afghanistan and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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November 2, 2021 in the city of Nur-Sultan, a meeting was held between the Director of CARICC, Major General of Militia Miralizoda Rustam Aziz with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Kazakhstan, Mr. Jun Yamada.

Head of the UNODC Almaty Office, Mr. Naweed Riaz, and the Adviser / Head of the CARICC Organizational Unit, Ms. Asel Rakhimova also attended the meeting.

During the negotiations, the parties exchanged views on the state and prospects of international cooperation against the background of the evolving situation in Afghanistan, discussed issues of joint interaction within the framework of UN anti-drug projects funded by the Japanese side.

The director of CARICC informed about the activities of the Center, which is a permanent regional intergovernmental body to assist in the organization and conduct of joint international operations to combat drug trafficking. He said that with the onset of the crisis in Afghanistan, the Center focused its efforts on monitoring the drug situation in this country to analyze and prepare an objective assessment of the threat of drug trafficking, study and identify financial flows of transnational organized crime from drug trafficking and financing through terrorism.

Mr. R. Miralizoda thanked the Japanese side for the support provided to CARICC and UNODC projects and expressed readiness to intensify cooperation in the implementation of joint anti-drug projects.

Ambassador Jun Yamada expressed the commitment of the Japanese side to expanding financial and technical assistance to Afghanistan and the Central Asian region through the prism of international organizations, including projects implemented under the auspices of the UN.

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On 28-29 October 2021, the CARICC employees attended online the Expert Working Group meeting on Precursors of the Paris Pact Initiative online held in Vienna, Austria, in hybrid format.

The Expert Working Group is directly linked to Pillar III on Prevention of Diversion of Precursor Chemicals of the Vienna Declaration adopted at the Ministerial Meeting of the Paris Pact Partners in 2012.

The meeting brought together leading practitioners from more than 25 Paris Pact partner countries and organizations responsible for precursor action (more than 100 participants). During the two days, the participants looked at existing gaps, challenges and problems, as well as anticipated operational actions in precursor-related areas.

In the course of the meeting, a presentation entitled "Collaboration of CARICC and UNODC in the framework of the regional operation "Substitution Operation" was delivered by a specialist from CARICC International Operations Facilitation and Coordination Unit, including Controlled Delivery. Phase 3".

It is noted that Operation "Substitute. Phase 3" is focused on identifying and intercepting smuggled consignments of acetic anhydride, ammonium chloride, acetic acid, as well as non-scheduled chemicals that are directly used in the illicit manufacture of heroin.

As a result of the event, participants developed and adopted priority recommendations with concrete proposals and identified opportunities for operational initiatives and new activities aimed at disrupting trafficking in precursors. 

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On October 25-26, 2021 the delegation of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors (CARICC/Centre) represented by Mr. A.A. Erkaboev and Ms. T.V. Evdokimova attended an international workshop on exchange of experience in the implementation of FATF requirements regarding virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VA/VASP) in Almaty.

Virtual assets, including cryptocurrencies, have been increasingly used in money laundering and terrorist financing. This workshop aims to improve measures to counter money laundering and terrorist financing by sharing experiences.

The workshop was organised by the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG), the Financial Monitoring Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan (FMA), the International Training and Methodological Centre for Financial Monitoring (ITMCFM) and the People's Bank of China. 

The workshop was attended by representatives of the Secretariat of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the FATF Contact Group on Virtual Assets, the EAG Secretariat, UNODC, CARICC, delegations from the financial intelligence divisions of Australia, China, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sweden, as well as representatives from Switzerland, Uzbekistan and the USA. 

Participants were provided with presentations on the clarification of the FATF standards, the results of the second 12-month review of the revised FATF standards for virtual assets and virtual asset providers, and a brief overview of the key changes to the FATF Guidance on the Risk-Based Approach for Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Providers and an explanation of the key provisions.

In addition, the first day of the workshop the experience of countries which have been assessed for compliance with the new FATF standards was reviewed, in particular the experience of China (the country which banned VA/VASP) as well as Japan (the country which regulates VA/VASP) were presented.

There is also as an example of the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Uzbekistan and the United States in which participants considered the specifics of assessing ML/TF risks associated with VA or VASP activities.

The second day of the workshop consisted of presentations by delegations from the Republic of Belarus, Australia, Sweden on the organisation of VASP supervisory activities, including international cooperation in the VASP supervision process and the application of administrative, criminal or civil penalties against VASP for failure to comply with AML/CFT requirements and obligations. 

Representatives of national financial market supervisors, regulators and supervisors of financial institutions and VASPs, experts in blockchain analysis and cybercrime made presentations at the workshop.

The workshop concluded with an extensive discussion of the new FATF standards on VA and VASP and an exchange of experiences on measures to improve the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing using VA and VASP. 

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On October 28, 2021, at 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 Director of the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors (CARICC), Mr. Miralizoda Rustam Aziz, and the Center staff together with the head of the UNODC Program Office in Kazakhstan, Mr. Naweed Riaz, took part in an international scientific and practical conference on the topic: "Future without drugs."

The conference were attended by representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Drug Enforcement Administration of the US Department of Justice, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement of the US Embassy in the Republic of Kazakhstan (INL), representatives of the authorities of Almaty and public organizations, as well as experts of drug prevention programs implemented in the region, specialists in the field of drug addiction and psychiatric care.       

The event discussed the latest trends related to the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in Central Asia and new threats in the sphere of illicit drug trafficking. Participants also provided information on the work done and existing priorities in this area.

In turn, the director of CARICC informed about the role of the Center in international cooperation and expressed interest in strengthening cooperation by assisting in the training and advanced training of specialists in combating drug trafficking.

During the event, an employee of the Center presented the possibilities of CARICC as a platform for international and regional cooperation.

As a result of the event, the participants emphasized the importance of interaction by expanding international cooperation, sharing positive experiences and further developing relations in the field of combating drug trafficking and preventing drug addiction.

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On October 14, 2021 the Advisor/Head of CARICC OC Desivion A.O. Yazlyev attended the online briefing for representatives of the diplomatic corps including the Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. M. Akhmetzhanov on the topic: "Experience of implementing new mechanisms of anti-corruption: results and prospects". 

The briefing was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as regional and international organizations.

In the course of the event, which was held at the Academy of State Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. M. Akhmetzhanov informed about the ongoing reforms in the country in the field of combating corruption.  

Opening the event, the Chairman of the Agency noted that consistent measures taken over 30 years of independence, allowed Kazakhstan to form its own model of anti-corruption policy.

In this context he pointed out an important step, taken in 1998 in the framework of the implementation of "Strategy "Kazakhstan - 2030" the first in the Post-Soviet area the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On Combating Corruption".

According to the head of the Anti-Corruption Agency, it is precisely due to the systemic reforms that Kazakhstan in 10 years has improved its position in the Corruption Perception Index from 133 to 94, and the country currently ranks 62nd out of 128 countries in the international rule of law index.

Furthermore, the Chairman of the Agency underlined that this year, on the instructions of the Head of the State, the Agency is developing the Concept for Development of Anti-Corruption Policy for 2022-2026 with the involvement of civil society representatives. This document provides for the introduction of liability for unjust enrichment, which is one of the revolutionary innovations in the legislative system.

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