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Within the framework of the UNODC national initiative  in Tajikistan "Strengthening control along the Tajik-Afghan border" of Sub-program 1 of the UNODC Program for Central Asian states from 06 to 14 December 2021in Dushanbe, the CARICC staff, together with the DCA RT at the Serena Hotel, conducted a training course for the employees of analytical units of the Border Troops of the Republic of Tajikistan on the use of the specialized software “i2 iBase”, “i2 Analyst Notebook” in practical work, as well as other necessary programs.

This training course facilitated the study of analytical tools such as MS Excel, ArcGIS, and I2 that can reduce processing time.

According to the participants' assessments, the training corresponded to the functional duties of the trainees and turned out to be useful in the framework of the daily service and military activities of the employees of the above departments.

The training participants noted the high level of preparation of the event and the instructor staff, as well as an interesting and easy way of presenting educational material.

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On December 15-16, 2021, a meeting of the Working Group of Experts on Cross-Border Cooperation of the Paris Pact Initiative was held in Moscow in a hybrid format.

The delegation from CARICC headed by the Director, Major General of Militia Miralizoda Rustam Aziz attended this event.

The meeting, which was chaired by the Russian side, was also attended by delegations from the Central Asian countries, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, France, experts from the UNODC, the executive committee of the CIS, the CSTO, the EAG and other international structures.

During the meeting, an exchange of views took place on topical issues of combating the illicit trafficking of Afghan opiates, practical experience and methods of suppressing international drug trafficking, issues of better coordination of law enforcement agencies, as well as international and regional organizations in the fight against drugs were discussed.

Within the framework of the thematic sessions, the presentations “CARICC as a leading platform for regional and international cooperation in countering drug trafficking and drug crime” and “Multilateral cooperation within CARICC - results and prospects” made by the Director of CARICC Miralizoda R.A.

In his report, the Director of CARICC drew attention to the work carried out by the Center to collect, synthesize and analyze information to assist CARICC member countries in preparing national anti-drug strategies. He noted about a number of operations carried out with the assistance of CARICC with the participation of member states and observers of the Center, as well as other countries of Asia and Europe. He emphasized that for the continuous functioning of CARICC, it is necessary to increase the financial assistance of the Center by the international community.

The CARICC Director expressed the hope that the proposals adopted at the Expert Working Group meeting would allow the international community to develop new effective mechanisms to counter the serious threats posed by the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors. He called for more active development of international anti-drug cooperation, primarily in the framework of CARICC, as well as expanding the exchange of information and experience in countering transnational drug crime.

As part of the event, the CARICC delegation also took part in the Tenth Steering Committee Meeting of the UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries.

At the meeting, the Director of CARICC noted that in the context of the rapidly changing situation and the growth of the drug threat in the region, the role and importance of UN agencies and specialized regional organizations are increasing. He informed that CARICC, as one of the significant projects of the UNODC in Central Asia, will closely cooperate with the Regional Program in achieving common goals and objectives.

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At the initiative of the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors with the financial support of the UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries on December 7-8, 2021, in Almaty in a hybrid format, a regular working meeting was held to discuss the Concept on the CARICC methodology for assessing the drug situation in the Member States.

This event was attended by the heads of the information and analytical units of the national coordinating bodies and leading experts in narcology of the national drug treatment centers of the CARICC member states, Iran and Pakistan, as well as experts from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

During the meeting, the state of the drug situation in the CARICC member states and the UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan and neighboring countries was discussed.

The experts were presented with a draft analysis of the drug situation in the CARICC member states for 2016-2020, prepared by the Center staff in accordance with the accepted reporting forms developed within the framework of the Concept on CARICC methodology for assessing the drug situation.

In addition, they discussed the need to conduct a study on the movement of drugs of Afghan origin through countries located on the so-called "Northern Route", within which CARICC initiated the creation on its basis under the auspices of the UNODC, a permanent Working Group from among the representatives of the CARICC member states and interested countries, its goals and objectives are supposed to determine the conduct of comprehensive research and analysis of an objective assessment of the drug situation and the volume of supplies of Afghan opiates along the "Northern Route". This initiative was supported by the meeting participants.

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December 27, 2021 at the Central Asian Information Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors, the Director of the Center, Major General of Militia Miralizoda Rustam Aziz met with representatives of the Almaty Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the US Department of Justice Mr. Carmen.J.DeSheplo and Mr. Matthew.C.Zastrow.

During the negotiations, the sides discussed issues of cooperation between CARICC and DEA in the area of ​​information exchange in the field of combating drug trafficking.

The CARICC Director drew attention to the advantages of the Center as a regional information tool, taking into account its international status, allowing interaction with a wide range of competent authorities of the participating States and observers.

The presence of the CARICC Centralized Data Bank makes it possible to accumulate information from open and closed sources, followed by strategic and operational analysis using modern programs.

In turn, Mr. Carmen.J.DeSheplo informed about the readiness to build up cooperation in the exchange of information with the involvement of information and analytical resources of DEA.

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Delegation of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for combating illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors (CARICC), headed by Major General Rustam Miralizoda, Director of CARICC, attended the signing and launch of the UN Office Programme on Drugs and Crime for Central Asia 2022-2025 (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) on 24 November 2021.

The event was also attended by Ms. Ghada Waly, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, who arrived on a working visit to Central Asia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan - Akan Rakhmetullin, Kyrgyz Republic - Azizbek Madmarov, Tajikistan - Muzaffar Huseynzoda and Turkmenistan - Vepa Hodzhiev.

Foreign affairs chiefs in their statements highlighted the main areas of cooperation with UNODC, summarized the results of the previous phase of the UNODC Programme and noted its performance in helping Central Asian states to achieve practical results for combating drugs, organized crime, corruption and terrorism, and emphasized the importance of the Programme to be signed in countering transnational threats. Rustam Miralizoda, Director of CARICC, in his speech noted that the Programme will contribute to the efforts of the countries in the region in countering transnational drug trafficking and organized crime.

At the same time, CARICC operates as a regional platform to consolidate law enforcement and information-analytical capacity of competent bodies of Central Asian states.

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On 23 November 2021, the regular meeting of the Council of National Coordinators of CARICC member states (hereinafter - CNC meeting) was held in the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center for combating illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors (CARICC).

Formal opening of CNC meeting took place with participation of UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Ms. Ghada Waly who arrived with working visit to the countries of Central Asia.

The event which was held in a hybrid format, was also attended by the Ambassadors of Japan Mr. Yamada and the Consul General of the United States of America to Almaty Ms. Caroline Savage.

Director of CARICC, Major General of Militia R.A. Miralizoda, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Police Major General A.R. Zapparov, and the delegation from the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia took part in the opening session of the CNC meeting.

Mr. E. Z. Turgumbayev, the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, addressed the participants of the meeting with greeting video message.

Ms. G. Waly and other distinguished guests addressed the participants with welcoming speech.

During the CNC meeting, issues of improving the activities and contractual and legal framework of the Center were discussed. In addition, it was decided to include the Kingdom of Sweden as an Observer state of CARICC. The CNC members welcomed and made statements on the drug situation in CARICC member-states.

As the result of the CNC meeting there were adopted collective decisions aimed at increasing the effectiveness of interaction and expanding cooperation of CARICC with international partners in priority areas.

The program of the visit of UN Under-Secretary General Mrs. Ghada Waly also includes her participation in the signing and launching of the UNODC Program for Central Asia for 2022-2025 in Tashkent (Republic of Uzbekistan) on November 24 of 2021. The CARICC delegation headed by Mr. R.A. Miralizoda, Director of the Centre also travelled to Tashkent in order to participate in the launch of the Program.

CARICC as the permanent interstate body was established under the auspices of the United Nations to coordinate the efforts of the competent bodies of CARICC member states in countering transnational drug-related crime.

The member states of CARICC are the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Council of National Coordinators of the CARICC member states oversees the activities of the Center and determines the main directions of the Organization's activities. The CNC from each state includes the Head of the coordinating competent body and the Director of CARICC.

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From November 16 to 19 of 2021, on the basis of the Law Enforcement Academy under the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan, there was held the national simulation training on combating the legalization (laundering) of the proceeds obtained from drug crime for practitioners. 

It was organized by the Program Office of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the OSCE Program Office in Nur-Sultan and INL at the US Embassy to the Republic of Kazakhstan in partnership with the Law Enforcement Academy under the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Representatives of CARICC, Academy of General Prosecutor's Office, Academy of MIA of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Financial Monitoring Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan, National Security Committee, Ministry of Internal Affairs, prosecutorial bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as invited international experts on the project "Strengthening capacity of competent bodies to conduct parallel financial investigations and suppress illicit financial flows related to organized crime and illicit trafficking" have participated in the event.   

Ms. T. Evdokimova, representative of CARICC made welcome speech and provided practical assistance to the participants of national simulation training from the position of international expert in the field of financial investigations in combating money laundering (legalization) of criminal proceeds obtained from illicit drug trafficking.

The simulation training was designed to simulate the actual conditions and situations in order to develop specialists' practical skills in detecting, suppressing and investigating this type of crime; strengthen cooperation between financial intelligence divisions and law enforcement agencies in combating drug trafficking; and identify and use key indicators for the detection and seizure of drug money.

One of the main objectives of the simulation training was to practise the methods of interaction within interagency investigative and operational groups to identify channels and schemes of drug-related crime financing.

Expert opinions, experience and best practices on the latest achievements in financial investigations and interdiction of illicit financial flows related to organized crime, drug trafficking, cybercrime and virtual assets were shared among the participants of the simulation training.

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On 11-12 and 18 November 2021 meetings of working groups and the 35th Plenary meeting of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) were held online, which were attended by representatives of EAG member-states, FATF Secretariat as well as states and organizations-observers of the Group.

On November 12, 2021 the representative of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center for combating illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors (CARICC/Centre) Ms. T. Evdokimova took part in the meeting of the Working Group on typologies and combating financing of terrorism and crime (WGTCFTC) organized via video conference within the 35th EAG Plenary meeting.

The representatives of 9 EAG member states (Republic of Belarus, Republic of India, Republic of Kazakhstan, People's Republic of China, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan), FATF Secretariat as well as 13 states and 18 organizations-observers of the Group took part in the event.

Ms. T. Evdokimova, the member of the project group on development of the typologies project "EAG Financial Investigation Manual on AML/CFT" concurrently, presented current results of the typologies project, which include: project progress, current status of questionnaire responses, activity of individual observers in the project, conducted activities of the project group during the intersessional period, as well as further short-term steps of the project.

The Secretariat, due to justified reasons and objective circumstances, proposed to consider postponing the approval of the EAG AML/CFT Financial Investigations Manual for one plenary cycle, i.e. until the 37th Plenary meeting in November 2022.

The WGTCFTC participants exchanged best practices, typologies and experience in automation of analytical activities. In particular, the working group held a round table on the exchange of AML/CFT best practices. The participants of the meeting considered the practice of the Russian Federation on the topic: "Transparent Blockchain digital service for monitoring and analysis of cryptocurrency transactions", as well as heard the speech of the UN Monitoring Group on the topic: "History and current status of the sanctions regime of the UN Security Council Committee 1988", discussed the situation in Afghanistan.

The Plenary meeting elected Mr. Y.A.  Chikhanchin as the EAG Chairman. (Russian Federation) and Deputy EAG Chairman Mr. D.D. Khalbayev (Turkmenistan) for the period 2022-2023 and approved the main priorities of the presidency in 2022-2023.

The Plenary heard the 3rd report on the progress of the Kyrgyz Republic without reviewing the technical compliance ratings under the second round of EAG mutual evaluations and noted the country's progress in improving the AML/CFT system, and approved the high-level mission to the Kyrgyz Republic to confirm the political will to follow the specified FATF Principles for voluntary tax compliance programs.

In addition, it was agreed to hold the next Forum of the Eurasian AML/CFT Group, which will be held in the beginning of 2022 in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Plenary meeting approved the extension of work on the first round of ML/TF risk assessment in the Eurasian region. Following the decision of the Plenary meeting amendments were made to the Methodology of ML/TF risk assessment in the Eurasian region.

The results of the 7th International Forum on supervisory activity "Instruments and mechanisms of application of risk-oriented approach in AML/CFT supervisory activity" and the seminar on exchange of experience in terms of implementation of the FATF Standards in relation to virtual assets were summarized.

The Plenary meeting welcomed the results of the first International Financial Security Olympiad. The important role of the International AML/CFT Network Institute and MUMCFM as the basic training organization of the CIS countries in preparation and holding the First International Olympiad on Financial Security was noted.

The 36th EAG Plenary meeting will be held in May 2022 in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

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