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In 29-30 July 2021 in Tashkent, the Director of CARICC, Major General Miralizoda Rustam Aziz, met with the leadership and representatives of the competent authorities of Uzbekistan and the UNODC Regional Office in Central Asia.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister G. Fazylov noted that the priority of Uzbekistan's foreign policy is the region of Central Asia. In this regard, the issue of expanding cooperation with CARICC is in the focus of attention of the foreign ministry of Uzbekistan. At the same time, he expressed support for the CARICC initiatives to expand bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the field of combating drug trafficking.

At the meeting in NCDC, representatives of the competent authorities of Uzbekistan expressed interest in enhancing cooperation with CARICC on a wide range of anti-drug interaction. An agreement was reached to intensify interaction in areas of cooperation of mutual interest.

At the meeting of CARICC Director R. Miralizoda with UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia A. Mittal, proposals for the draft Program for Central Asian countries for a new five-year period were discussed, the official adoption of which is planned to coincide with the first visit of the new UNODC Executive Director Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly to Central Asia.

R.Miralizoda said that in the modern conditions of the development of the drug situation, interaction within the framework of UNODC projects through the possibilities of CARICC as an instrument of inter-network cooperation in the international fight against drugs is acquiring special relevance.

The parties reached an agreement to expand cooperation between CARICC and UNODC on topical issues of modern development of the drug situation.

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On July 28th, 2021, the UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries, together with the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center, convened an online preparatory meeting on the regional operation " Substitution. Phase 3".

The meeting was attended by law enforcement officers of the precursor units from Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as representatives of CARICC, UNODC and INCB.

This operation is the result of the long-term and fruitful cooperation between CARICC and the Regional Program.

During the meeting, the participants considered the draft plan of the regional operation "Substitution. Phase 3", presented by specialist of the International Operations Promotion and Coordination Unit, including Controlled Deliveries of CARICC as well as expressed their support for the plan and pre-approved the terms of the operation and its timing.

It was decided that the operation would focus on identifying and seizure of contraband shipments of acetic anhydride, ammonium chloride, acetic acid, as well as uncontrolled chemicals that are either directly used in the illegal manufacture of heroin, or serve as a cover for contraband shipments of acetic anhydride.

The meeting was organized under the auspices of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and neighboring countries, with financial support from Finland. The INCB provided expert support to the meeting.

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On July 6, 2021, representatives of the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors (CARICC / Center) by invitation of the Bureau for the Coordination of Combating Organized Crime and Other Dangerous Types of Crimes on the Territory of the CIS States, via videoconference took part in the International Scientific and Practical Conference under the auspices of the Council of Ministers of Internal Affairs of the CIS member states on the theme: "Organization of coordinated measures in the field of countering cross-border drug trafficking", which was organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Armenia.

The event was attended by employees of the internal affairs bodies of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, representatives of authorized bodies in the field of security and law and order, as well as experts of scientific and educational organizations of the Commonwealth countries.

During the event, the participants presented relevant reports on various topics of the field of activity. The staff of the Center presented a report on the topic: "CARICC as a leading platform for regional and international cooperation in the field of combating drug trafficking and cross-border drug-related crime".

The organizers of this event expressed gratitude for the fruitful participation and presentation of meaningful information.

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On June 25, 2021, in the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the city of Nur-Sultan, a meeting took place of the adviser / head of the Information and Analytical Division of CARICC A.A. Erkaboev with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan to discuss issues of expanding cooperation with CARICC and providing assistance in finding additional funding for its activities.

Deputy Director of the Department of International Security of the MFA A. Tanalinov, Head of the Department for Combating Drug Crimes of the MIA I. Kantserov, as well as employees of Kazakhstan foreign affairs agency took part in the meeting on behalf of the Kazakh side.

The representative of CARICC briefly informed about the current activities of the Center, as one of the large-scale and significant projects of the UNODC in Central Asia, the drug situation in the countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan, as well as the analytical work of the Center, including its improvement.

Mr. A. Tanalinov emphasized the importance of CARICC functioning in the region as a tool to combat international drug trafficking. Also, he noted the progressive development of the Center, the anti-drug operations "Channel" (CSTO) and "Web" (SCO) carried out on its basis, which were highly appreciated by international experts and organizations.

In order to continue funding CARICC from the main donor - the United States, Mr. A. Tanalinov noted the need to study through diplomatic channels with the Tajik side the issue of revising its position on the entry of Afghanistan and Turkey as full members of CARICC.

The Kazakh diplomat also announced the readiness of the Japanese side in the resumption of funding for CARICC from 2022 (from the beginning of the new financial year).

In addition, during the meeting, an exchange of views took place on the consideration and signing of the draft Agreement on the Exchange and Protection of Secret Information CARICC (SOZSI), as well as discussed a number of current and problematic issues related to the activities of CARICC.

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On May 27, 2021, a representative of the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors (CARICC/Center) Mrs. T.Evdokimova took part in the meeting of the Working Group on Typologies and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Crime (WGTYP), organized by videoconference during the 34th Plenary Meeting of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG).

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

During the WGTYP meeting, participants noted the importance of strengthening national AML/CFT systems. Considerable attention was paid to the issues of identifying, analyzing and minimizing ML/TF risks in the Eurasian region, which becomes especially relevant in connection with the continuing trends that have formed against the background of the pandemic. The interim results of the project on identification and analysis of ML/TF risks in the Eurasian region were discussed.

It was noted that among the main threats to money laundering in the region are activities related to the illegal cross-border movement of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (smuggling) and their illegal turnover.

The report of the EAG Secretariat on the results of the activities of the project group on the preparation of the EAG Guidelines for financial investigations in the field of AML/CFT was heard, in which Ms. T. Еvdokimova represents the Center and acts as an expert representative of observers in the EAG. Further work plans of the project group were also approved.

At the same time, the meeting participants considered proposals for a mechanism for monitoring the operational situation in the EAG member states in terms of new ML/TF risks and exchanged best practices, typologies and experience in automating analytical activities.

It was noted that the EAG member states carry out significant work to identify and analyze new ML/TF methods in the region, contribute to raising awareness among government agencies, the private sector about the latest global trends and emerging risks, and take active steps to strengthen international cooperation in order to strengthening national AML/CFT systems.

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Major-General R.A. Miralizoda, CARICC Director, participated in the Second International Anti-Drug Campaign “For a World without Drugs” within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation via videoconference on 21 May 2021 at invitation of the SCO Secretary-General.

During his presentation at the “strengthening international cooperation to combat drug crime” segment, Mr. Miralizoda introduced the Centre as one of the largest and most significant UNODC projects in Central Asia, one of the priorities of which is to expand partnerships in the field of counter-narcotics.

It was suggested that SCO and CARICC should become flagships in promotion of joint interests in the region as well as a good example for other international organizations involved in countering drug threat.

In this context, attention was drawn to the need to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation between the SCO Secretariat and CARICC, an integral part of strategic and programme documents of the organizations, approved by heads of state of their members.

The event supported the “One Belt, One Road” initiative of the People's Republic of China, implementation of which opens up broad prospects for cooperation, with maximum benefit in strengthening cooperation on the anti-drug track.

The idea of creating the SCO Anti-Drug Center in Dushanbe was endorsed, provided that the created Center and CARICC will not duplicate each other, and ensure a clear division of functions and tasks between them, with a definite gradation of goals and organized subsequent coordination of their activities.

Meanwhile, it emphasized CARICC's consistent position that national interests of individual states should not prejudice and contradict strategic principles of development and operation of our organizations.

The meeting was conducted in the format of a constructive dialogue on full range of aspects of anti-drug cooperation.

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On 12 May 2021, Major-General R.A. Miralizoda, Director of the Centre, met with Colonel U. Sultanov, Head of the Drug Control Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. Mr. D. Toichiev, representative of the UNODC Programme Office in the Kyrgyz Republic, also took part in the meeting.

During the event they discussed areas of joint activities and directions of cooperation between the SBNON MVD of Kyrgyzstan and CARICC in countering drug trafficking and further development of collaboration within the mandate of the Centre, which to date is an effective mechanism for coordinating efforts of competent authorities of CARICC Member States in combating transnational drug crime.

In addition, discussions highlighted the UNODC's continued support towards the Centre and appreciation for efforts of competent authorities of CARICC Member States in seeking new coordinated, comprehensive and concerted ways and opportunities to tackle drug trafficking in the region.

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Major-General R.A. Miralizoda, Director of CARICC, and Mr. Naweed Riaz, Head of the UNODC Programme Office in the Republic of Kazakhstan, met with H.E. Mr. John Mikal Kvistad, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of Kazakhstan, via videoconference on 29 April 2021.

This event was a continuation of dialogues that took place during bilateral meetings in Nur-Sultan from 20 to 26 April this year with heads of diplomatic missions and embassies of foreign countries, to discuss expansion of cooperation with CARICC and to assist in seeking additional funding for its activities.

During the meeting, Director of CARICC informed Mr. Ambassador that CARICC is one of the largest and most significant projects of UNODC and has 7 Member States and 17 Observer countries. The Centre under its mandate promotes, coordinates and supports efforts of countries in combating drug trafficking not only in the region, but also far beyond it, and carries out important analytical work.

Mr. Kvistad's attention was drawn to the potential of the Centre, not only in combating drugs, but also in countering international organized crime, terrorism, human trafficking and corruption.

In turn, Mr. Ambassador underscored the importance of CARICC and confirmed the need for increased cooperation. At the same time, it was suggested that part of funding allocated by Norway to UNODC for counter-terrorism programmes could be used for this purpose.

Conversation was open and constructive.

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