06ASTANA188, KAZAKHSTAN: COUNTER-NARCOTICS GOES UPTEMPO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06ASTANA188 2006-10-18 10:25 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2683
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0188/01 2911025
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181025Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7319
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ5//
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DHO-2//
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ5//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP EURASIA//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP-SOLIC-CN//
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC//IET//
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000188 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL SNYDER, CARROLL, ALTON; SCA/CEN FOR OMARA 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR KCRM KCOR PREL KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: COUNTER-NARCOTICS GOES UPTEMPO 
 
REF: Astana 131 
 
ASTANA 00000188  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. Summary:  Kazakhstan is increasing its anti-narcotics efforts in 
the capital and increasingly throughout the country.  The "Astana - 
Drug-Free City" program was a key issue at the Security Council 
Session chaired by President Nazarabayev on September 20.  The 
intensified counter-narcotics operations may increase arrest numbers 
but likely will affect only small users. 
 
-------------------------- 
THE PRESIDENT PROCLAIMS... 
-------------------------- 
 
3.  President Nazarbayev stated in a September 20 meeting of the 
Security Council that the commitment of the capital city to combat 
narcotics should set an example for the rest of Kazakhstan.  With 
the president's public backing, the akimat (city hall) of Astana in 
consultation with the MVD developed a 2006-2008 program entitled 
"Astana - Drug-Free City," to tackle demand reduction, treatment of 
addiction, and drug trafficking.  According to the official internet 
news site "Kazinform," on September 29 the Government decided to 
allot one billion tenge ($8 million) to implement the program. 
 
------------ 
AND PRODS... 
------------ 
 
4.  In his speech at the Security Council Session President 
Nazarbayev prodded the Committee for National Security (KNB) and the 
MVD to crack down on drug use and the drug trade.  Claiming officers 
knew all the distribution networks in the city, he instructed law 
and security officials to raid nightclubs and discotheques to curb 
drug use in the capital.  Nazarbayev advocated publicizing the raids 
on TV in order to get the message out to the population that drug 
use is unacceptable.  Finally, he proposed that students themselves 
should speak out against drug use. 
 
------------------------------------ 
...AND THE GOOD TIMES COME TO AN END 
------------------------------------ 
 
5.  After the President's remarks to the Security Council, 
law-enforcement bodies reacted swiftly to implement the program. 
According to an MVD contact, there are 35 entertainment 
establishments in Astana.  Even though KNB and MVD officers 
previously regularly conducted raids in the night clubs they were 
considered superficial efforts.  In the earlier raids most young 
people were caught unawares by the police forces but none had reason 
to be afraid since they were in possession of marijuana weighing 
less than 50 grams.  In his interview on "Khabar" channel on 
September 21, Chairman of the Committee of Combating Drug 
Trafficking and Drug Circulation Control Anatoly Vyborov said that 
50 grams of marijuana is a significant amount and would be 
sufficient to "fumigate" half of a school.  (Note: Three years ago 
the Parliament reduced the penalty for possession of a small amount 
of marijuana and as a result marijuana is distributed everywhere 
especially in universities and schools.  Therefore, any student who 
knows the law can safely carry 50 grams in his pocket and if caught 
by the police pay the administrative penalty of 2,060 tenge ($16). 
End note.) 
 
-------------------------- 
MVD MINISTER LEADS THE WAY 
-------------------------- 
6.  According to a September 22 broadcast on "Khabar" television 
channel, Astana police conducted a series of raids concentrating 
their attention at entertainment establishments and "shady" 
apartments.  Unlike the past, every patron in the nightclubs was 
carefully searched.  It is a commonly accepted belief that night 
clubs are focal points for drug dealers and that even some owners 
are involved in the trade.  However, that night the Minister of 
Internal Affairs Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov personally ran the special 
operation along much stricter guidelines.  The raids intercepted six 
drug related crimes including two cases of drug dealing, 33 people 
were detained for variety of reasons including drugs.  The First 
Deputy Head of the Astana city Internal Affairs Department Marat 
Demeuov stated the raids will continue on a weekly basis. 
7.  The Head of the Astana city Internal Affairs Department, 
Serimzhan Dosumov, in an interview on "Khabar" said he had closed 
one disco-club and may close others should investigation show that 
drug sales are linked to a particular establishment.  Additionally, 
he continued, if found complicit in the drug use or sales, 
 
ASTANA 00000188  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
night-club owners may be arrested and/or fined.  In response, 
according to "Mir" Television and Radio Company news, the nightclub 
and other entertainment establishment owners formed a Union of 
Owners of Nights Clubs and Entertainment Centers to counter the 
spread of drugs in their businesses. 
 
-------------------------------- &#x000
A;PUTTING BIG NUMBERS ON THE BOARD 
-------------------------------- 
 
8. The "Astana - Drug-Free City" program was designed for the 
capital; however law-enforcement agencies have begun to apply it to 
the whole country.  After five days, the program eliminated 30 drug 
dens and checked 455 entertainment establishments around the 
country.  Officers seized 10 kilos of illegal drugs, including more 
than 3 kilos of heroin.  Police announced they had uncovered 64 
cases of drug trafficking.  On October 3 the officers of the KNB 
revealed a farm for growing high quality Afghan quality marijuana in 
village of Romanovka, 30 km from Astana.  The owners of the farm set 
up an entire process to produce drugs.  KNB officers seized 100 
kilos of marijuana and 77 grams of heroin in this operation. 
 
--------------------------------- 
THE KNB MAKES SIGNIFICANT ARRESTS 
 -------------------------------- 
 
9. To implement the President's wishes as stated at the Security 
Council session, KNB divisions began operations against large drug 
groups.  The KNB press service reported that early morning on 
October 6 at the last stage of a "controlled delivery" operation the 
officers of Almaty KNB Department detained a five-person 
international criminal drug ring.  The members came from Tajikistan, 
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and were trying to smuggle drugs through 
the territory of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan inside a load of grapes. 
As a result of the operation, officers seized high 66.5 kilos of 
high quality afghan heroin and 197 kilos of opium.  Since September 
20 the bodies of national security seized 69 kilos of heroin and 200 
kilos of opium in the country. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
10. Kazakhstan law enforcement is definitely stepping up its 
activities to attack illegal narcotics.  Whether this is a permanent 
effort or a production made for television is uncertain.  Note: On 
December 4 in Washington, INL is sponsoring a U.S.-Kazakhstan 
discussion of the GOK counter-narcotics strategy and lessons which 
can be learned from U.S. experience. End note. 
 
ORDWAY

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