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On August 11-12, 2022, CARICC specialists, together with a representative of the Regional Program for Afghanistan and neighboring countries in Tashkent, conducted an assessment mission, combined with a one-day training on collecting and classifying information within the framework of the RO "Reflex" and "Substitution".

The event, organized on the basis of the NIACCN under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, was attended by senior officials of the NIACCN, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Border Troops of the State Security Service and the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan.

During the working meeting, the specialists of the Center presented the results of the RO "Reflex-2021" and "Substitution. Phase 2” as well as plans for the implementation of the next stages of these regional operations.            

For reference: RO "REFLEX-2021" was held on the territory of the CARICC member states from October 4 to November 30, 2021 and was sent, like the three previous ones ("REFLEX-2017", "REFLEX-2018" and "REFLEX-2019”) to combat the spread of new psychoactive substances, psychotropic substances and other synthetic drugs. The second phase of Operation “Substitution”, carried out in 2017-2018, was aimed at identifying and stopping the smuggling of acetic anhydride, acetyl chloride, acetic acid and ammonium chloride into Afghanistan. At the same time, the main attention was directed to the transportation channels in the region, including rail, road and sea routes.

The parties noted that in the Central Asian region there is a multiple increase in the facts of detection of illicit trafficking in precursors, synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances. Conducting RO "Reflex" and "Substitution" undoubtedly contributes to strengthening regional cooperation and provides an opportunity for the participating states of the operation to exchange significant information in real time in order to conduct joint coordinated anti-drug actions.

CARICC experts conducted practical exercises on the collection and classification of information within the framework of the planned RO "Reflex-2022" and "Substitution. Phase 3. The participants also discussed the needs of the competent authorities of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the successful implementation of regional operations.

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In accordance with the invitation of the European side, within the framework of the visit of the CARICC delegation to Madrid, a meeting was held between the Director of the Center R. Miralizoda and representatives of the Spanish Centre for Intelligence against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO).

At the meeting, the parties exchanged information on the emerging drug situation in Central Asia and the European Union, discussed the relationship between the drug business and terrorism and organized crime.

The parties also exchanged meanings on the issues of cooperation between CARICC and CITCO and possible areas of bilateral cooperation through the exchange of information and analytical materials.

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In accordance with the invitation of the European side, on August 10, 2022, a meeting was held in Madrid between the Director of CARICC R. Miralizoda and representatives of the International and Latin American Foundation of Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).

FIIAPP is the executing agency of the European Union Central Asia Drug Action Program (CADAP).

At the meeting, the parties exchanged information on the emerging drug situation in Central Asia and the European Union, discussed the prospects for cooperation between CARICC and the CADAP 7 Program.

The European Union CADAP program aims to support the countries of Central Asia in strengthening the information system for the preparation of objective, reliable and evidence-based information on the drug situation, based on EU best practices and international standards.

The activities of CADAP 7 are based on the provisions of the fundamental UN conventions that provide the international legal framework for solving the problem of drug trafficking. The implementation of CADAP 7 is carried out in accordance with the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development for the period up to 2030.

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On 2-3 August 2022 in CARICC in hybrid format the regular Regional Expert Meeting of Heads of Analytical Units of Competent Agencies of Central Asian States took place within the framework of the UNODC Border Cooperation Programme component.

The heads of analytical departments of border and customs agencies, as well as law enforcement and special agencies of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Republic of Uzbekistan, experts from UNODC Programme Offices in Central Asia and CARICC took part in the working meeting.

Mr. Yusuf Kurbonov, International Coordinator of the UNODC Programme in Central Asia and Major General Rustam Aziz, Director of CARICC, made the welcoming speech during the event.

At the meeting, the delegations were briefed on the implementation of the UNODC Programme component and its impact on border security and cross-border cooperation in the region, activities of the established Border Liaison Offices' coordination and monitoring centers, as well as information on the results achieved, including planned activities envisaged under the Border Cooperation Component.

In accordance with the program of the meeting, CARICC employees made presentations on advanced analytical software products for collecting, summarizing, analyzing and visualizing statistical data in real time, on the issue of creating a regional information and communication network with the coordinating role of CARICC, as well as optimal options for an architectural solution for creating schemes of national information communication networks, with the possibility of remote access to information.

As a result of the event, the main priorities of the competent authorities of the Central Asian states to strengthen state borders were identified, relevant recommendations were developed, in particular, UNODC and CARICC were recommended to continue to assist in the study, implementation and application of modern analytical products, organization and holding of working meetings at the expert level, training courses and technical equipment of the Situation/Coordination Centers, as well as discussed joint action plans, including the further development of the UNODC Program component using the potential of CARICC.

The participants stressed the importance of interaction through the expansion of international cooperation, the exchange of positive experience and the further development of relations in the field of border security and combating transnational drug crime.

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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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