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A seminar on countering trafficking in drugs, in particular Lyrica (pregabalin), was held in Kuwait City, Kuwait, from 5 to 7 February 2024.

The event was organized by the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, the Gulf Gulf Cooperation Council Criminal Information Center to Combat Drugs (GCC CIC) and the General Directorate of Drug Control of the Ministry of Interior of the State of Kuwait.

Delegations from Oman, the State of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the State of Kuwait, Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, as well as experts from GCC CIC, US DEA, INCB and CARICC participated in the workshop.

The event aimed at developing an effective strategy for the Gulf countries to combat drug trafficking and prevent the abuse of narcotic drugs, as well as sharing successful regional and international experiences in preventing substance abuse, including Lyrica (pregabalin).

Participants exchanged information on drug situation in their respective countries and discussed measures to enhance cooperation in addressing distribution of new psychoactive substances.

CARICC representative made a presentation on current development of drug situation in Central Asia, informed about ongoing measures on organization and implementation of joint counternarcotics operations, provided information on analytical products of the Centre, and made suggestions on enhancing collaboration between Central Asian and Gulf countries.

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CARICC Information and Analytical Unit staff members participated in an online meeting of the sub-working group on precursor interdiction established under the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats on 17 January 2024.

The event was chaired by Mr. Jonathan Earles, INL/GPP foreign affairs officer, coordinator of the sub-working group meetings.

CARICC made a presentation on current drug situation in CARICC Member States. It was pointed out that drug situation in the region is characterized by increased production of opiates and methamphetamine in Afghanistan, emergence of new types of synthetic drugs and distribution methods. Over 40 tons of precursors were seized in CARICC Member States in 9 months of 2023 alone, an increase of 144% or more compared to the same period in 2022. In this context, CARICC initiated Operation "Substitute" to identify and intercept smuggled shipments of acetic anhydride, acetyl chloride and ammonium chloride to Afghanistan. CARICC also expressed its readiness to conduct a subsequent phase of Operation "Substitute" in 2024, and to provide premises to host its international operational coordination unit.

Friday, 22 December 2023 12:27

CARICC expert working group meeting

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A meeting of CARICC Member States working group on improvement of legal framework of the Centre was held in Almaty on 21 December 2023.

The event held in a hybrid format gathered delegations of CARICC Member States including representatives of coordinating bodies, ministries of foreign affairs and financial services, as well as authorized representatives of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, along with experts from UNODC and CARICC.

Participants reviewed items related to organization of CARICC activities and made relevant decisions upon discussions.

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A meeting of heads of information and analytical departments of national coordinating bodies and leading specialists of drug treatment centers of the countries of Western and Central Asia was held in Almaty on 19-20 December 2023.

The event was organized under the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Delegations from Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan shared information on the state of drug situation and measures taken to stabilize it in their countries. It was underscored that an effective response to the growing transnational drug crime would not be possible without close regional counter-narcotics cooperation.

Participants pointed out the importance of joining efforts of the countries of Western and Central Asia in putting a solid barrier in the way of growing drug trafficking. The event stressed the need to call attention of international donor community to this challenge.

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Mr. Atageldi Yazlyyev, CARICC Director, met with Mr. Marat Seksembayev, Rector of the Law Enforcement Academy under the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in Almaty on 13 December 2023.

The meeting was part of implementation of the Protocol of Intentions on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking signed between two organizations in June 2018.

Parties reviewed results of joint work in the field of professional development of law enforcement officers of Central Asian countries under joint training events. They outlined further plans for 2024 to increase cooperation in arranging national and international trainings on countering modern challenges of drug threat aimed at strengthening international security.

The meeting resulted in an agreement to develop and publish joint methodological recommendations on identification of synthetic narcotic drugs, as well as to design a simulation training on "Combating Drug Crime on the Internet".

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Staff members of CARICC Information and Analytical Unit took part in the training on "Interdiction of Synthetic Drug Smuggling through Parcel Systems" under UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries 2022-2025 in Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan on 6-8 December 2023.

The training was conducted by international trainers of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). 

This event brought together representatives of competent authorities of Kazakhstan, representatives of the INL Office of the U.S. Embassy to the Republic of Kazakhstan, experts from the International Narcotics Control Board and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

INCB measures to combat new psychoactive substances (NPS), non-medical synthetic opioids and other dangerous substances, as well as seizures and concealment methods of dangerous substances were presented to participants. Moreover, international trainers taught participants on data exchange through the secure communication platform IONICS and data analysis, risk profiling using the GRIDS software tool.

Also, CARICC staff members in their remarks informed about current drug situation in Member States, and also briefed on ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

Constructive exchange of views and experience in counternarcotics field also took place with the training attendees.  

Training participants marked high level of preparation of the event and instructors, as well as an interesting and relaxed manner of delivery of training material.

Participants were awarded certificates upon conclusion of the event.

Tuesday, 12 December 2023 15:13

CARICC participation in Government Hour

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Mazhilis hosted a Government Hour dedicated to measures to combat drug crime in Astana on 11 December 2023.

Mr. Atageldi Yazlyyev, CARICC Director, delivered a report at the event and informed about drug situation development and state of combating transnational drug crime in the Centre’s Member States during 9 months of this year.

Director of the Centre called attention to the fact that according to estimates of international experts the area of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has decreased by 95%. Meanwhile, CARICC statistics indicate an increase in drug smuggling in the region.

Based on data for 9 months of 2023, the amount of drugs seized in CARICC Member States as a whole increased by more than 100% compared to figures for the same period in 2022. The number of drug crimes increased by 8.3%, while the number of crimes related to the sale of narcotic drugs increased by 8.9%. Overall, drug situation in Central Asia is characterized by an increase in production of opiates and methamphetamine in Afghanistan, emergence of new types of synthetic drugs and distribution methods.

Mr. Yerzhan Sadenov, Minister of Internal Affairs, presented a report on current drug situation in the Republic of Kazakhstan, pointing out that the spread of synthetic drugs is gaining momentum. In an effort to counter the spread of synthetic drugs, Kazakhstan has dismantled 75 clandestine drug laboratories and seized over 100 tons of precursors since the beginning of the year.

Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan also arranged an exhibition in Mazhilis during the Government Hour. Attendees were shown an interactive map of efforts to combat drug crime, equipment for drug laboratories and drug imitators, uniforms and special equipment of the National Guard.

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An expert meeting was held in Tashkent on 5-6 December 2023 to discuss trends in distribution of opiates and methamphetamine from Afghanistan via the Northern and Caucasus routes.

Representatives from Central Asia, the Caucasus and Pakistan, together with experts from UNODC, the OSCE, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice, discussed trends in distribution of opiates and methamphetamine originating in Afghanistan through the Northern and Caucasus routes.

CARICC representative gave a review presentation on current development of drug situation in Central Asia, informed about ongoing efforts in organizing and carrying out joint counter-narcotics operations, provided information on analytical products of the Centre, as well as outlined proposals for intensification of proposals in this direction.

Delegations from Central Asian and Caucasus countries informed about drug situation in their countries and measures taken to stabilize it.

In conclusion, participants identified priorities for further joint action in analyzing and anticipating developments in order to strengthen cooperation in countering trafficking in opiates and methamphetamine originating in Afghanistan in countries along the Northern and Caucasus routes.

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