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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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On June 21-23, 2022, in Almaty, representatives of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors (CARICC/Center) took part in the international forum "Conducting financial investigations and interaction of competent authorities to counter legalization of criminal proceeds. International experience, state and problems”. The event is organized in a hybrid format.

The forum is organized with the support of UNODC and the OSCE with the participation of national partners, represented by the Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies under the General Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Security Committee and the Financial Monitoring Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The event was attended by representatives of the prosecutor's office, the agency/ service for financial monitoring and control, anti-corruption, state revenue and national security committees, specialized educational institutions of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and also the delegations of UNODC, CARICC.

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, including the return of assets from abroad.

At the end of the forum, the results of a broad discussion of new approaches and methods in conducting parallel financial investigations, the interaction of state bodies to combat money laundering and the withdrawal of capital, the exchange of experience on measures to improve the prevention of legalization of proceeds from crime were summed up, and recommendations were developed containing regional responses, measures, including a strategy and joint action plans for financial investigations.

The participants emphasized 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 economic and financial crimes.

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On June 17, 2022, CARICC hosted a meeting between the Director of the Center R. Miralizoda and the Senior Advisor for Law Enforcement Programs of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement of the US Department of State (INL) James Callahan and the Head of the INL Programs Department at the US Embassy in Nur-Sultan John Dudley.

During the event, which was also attended by the heads of CARICC departments and invited employees of the competent authorities of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the state and prospects for the activities of the Center, the main donor of which is the United States, were discussed.

At the meeting, the American side was informed about the results of international anti-drug operations under the coordination of CARICC under the method of controlled drug delivery.

The Director of CARICC informed about the activities of the Center in terms of expanding international cooperation with the countries of the Council of Arab Gulf States. Noted about the signing in March 2022 Memorandum of Understanding with the GCC Criminal Information Center to Combat Drugs headquartered in Doha (Qatar). The implementation of this Memorandum also provides for international operations with the Arab countries of the Gulf.

Representatives of the US State Department reported on the planned approval by Washington of a new grant aimed at supporting the activities of CARICC.

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Within the framework of the components “Law enforcement systems for the collection, analysis and exchange of operational information in the field of drug control and law enforcement initiatives based on operational analytical data” and “Countering the traffic of opiates from Afghanistan through the northern route by strengthening the capacity of the main checkpoints and establishing border interaction offices” of Subprogramme 1 of the UNODC Program for Central Asian States during the period from June 6 to 11, 2022 in Tashkent, employees of the CARICC on the basis of the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a national training course was held on the study of methods for processing and analyzing information using specialized programs for employees of analytical departments of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

According to the participants, the training matched the functional responsibilities of the trainees and proved greatly helpful in the daily service and military activities of the employees of the above-mentioned agencies.  

The participants of the training noted the high level of organization of the event and the instructional staff as well as the interesting and simple presenting of the training material. 

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On May 30–31, 2022, a meeting of the Working Group of Experts of the Paris Pact on illicit financial flows was held in Vienna in a hybrid format.

The meeting was attended by delegations from 58 partner countries and 23 organizations that are members of the international coalition of the Paris Pact initiative. Updates, research findings and selected initiatives from the UNODC Global Program to Combat Money Laundering, the Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism, the UNODC Afghan Opiate Trade Project (AOTP), the Western and Central Asset Recovery Network for Inter-Agency Asia (ARIN-WCA) and the Judicial Cooperation Network for the South Caucasus and Central Asia (CASC).

Analyst of the IAP CARICC, Mr. Shahboz Komilzoda, made a presentation to the meeting participants on the role of CARICC in countering the laundering of criminal proceeds from drug trafficking.

The participants of the meeting paid special attention to the issues of countering the criminal use of virtual assets and money transfer systems such as "Hawala" in the financial support of the illicit trafficking in Afghan opiates.

As a result of the event, the participants developed recommendations containing response measures, including a strategy and joint action plans.

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