Kazakhstan Reaffirms Commitment to Tackling Drug Trafficking in Central Asia

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen cooperation with other central asian countries to address drug trafficking in Central Asia, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerzhan Ashikbayev at the Nov.13 meeting with Rustam Aziz Miralizoda, the Director of Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors (CARICC), in Nur-Sultan, reported the ministry’s press service.

Photo credit: Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Based in Almaty, the CARICC was established on the initiative of Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2009. Its member states include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. More than 15 states and international organizations serve as observers at CARICC. The center’s main activities are to coordinate the efforts of the member states in countering transnational drug crimes. 

Ashikbayev said that the center plays a major role in information support and the coordination of anti-drug activities of law enforcement agencies of the member states. 

“Kazakhstan supports the center’s work and observes its progress in strengthening its legal framework and growing interest in developing cooperation from international partners,” Ashikbayev said.

Miralizoda spoke about the preparations for the next meeting of the CARICC Council of National Coordinators slated for the end of November. 

Recently, the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan reported that a large transnational criminal group involved in synthetic drugs trading was detained. 

“Kazakhstan has become a target for international drug trafficking structures. The dispatch of synthetic drugs in Kazakhstan is recorded through postal services and logistics companies. The drugs identified include MDMA, LSD brands, aPVP, amphetamine, pyrovalerone analogs, synthetic cannabinoids and other substances,” reads the release. 

The National Security Committee of Kazakhstan conducted an operation to suppress a transnational criminal group that delivered drugs from Russia to Kazakhstan and their manufacture and sale through the Borat 24 online store, from the end of 2019. 

“These measures have improved the drug situation in the country,” says the release. “The activities of the transnational drug structures should be localized otherwise the drug trade will continue. The National Security Committee in cooperation with the special services of Russia, the U.S, and Germany is working to identify all the participants in transnational drug structures.” 

The National Security Committee has identified more than 50 associates of the transnational group in Kazakhstan. Their representatives in Russia and Ukraine were also revealed. As a result of the operation, 34 associates of the transnational drug structures were detained, eight drug laboratories were destroyed.

Under-Secretary General for Counter-Terrorism of the United Nations Vladimir Voronkov praised Kazakhstan’s activities in countering international terrorism during the videoconference on Nov.17 with Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi. Voronkov also noted the results of the Zhusan and Rusafa humanitarian operations for the return of our citizens from Syria and Iraq.

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