07ASTANA1988, KAZAKHSTAN: COUNTER NARCOTICS DONOR MEETING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA1988 2007-07-23 05:10 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9485
PP RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #1988/01 2040510
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230510Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0153
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUCNCLS/SCA COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ5/
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ5
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/APSA-CA
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/GSA-CN

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001988 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN (OMARA), INL/AAE (BUHLER) 
CENTCOM FOR MALCOM AND ROESNER 
DHS FOR CBP - GLYNCO 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR PGOV KCRM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: COUNTER NARCOTICS DONOR MEETING 
 
ASTANA 00001988  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary:  On July 16, the International Narcotics and Law 
Enforcement Section of the US Embassy in Kazakhstan hosted another 
in a series of Counter Narcotics Donor Coordination meetings.  Major 
General Nukenov, Chairman of the Committee on Combating Drug 
Trafficking (KBN) briefed participants on the drug situation in 
Kazakhstan and spoke frankly about the material shortcomings of the 
KBN.  He described the concept for strengthening internal 
"Rubezh-Narkotiki" (Narcotics Frontier Posts).  Securing funding for 
the interdiction checkpoints was a focal point of the meeting. 
Donors noted that while resources are limited and preclude 
commitment to fund expensive equipment, e.g. UAVs, much can still be 
achieved through joint effort.   Participants appeared ready to fund 
additional projects,including development of a counter-narcotics K-9 
breeding/training program and equipment for public affairs work to 
enable KBN to establish public outreach and demand reduction 
programs In addition, INL has $1.1 million to assist in the 
development of the checkpoints.  End summary. 
 
---------------------- 
NUKENOV SETS THE SCENE 
---------------------- 
 
2.  (SBU) For the first time since assuming  leadership of the 
Committee on Combating Narcotics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs 
(MVD) in March, Major General Maratkali Nukenov participated in a 
counter-narcotics donor community meeting.  At the July 16 meeting 
hosted by INL officer at Embassy Astana, Nukenov said that between 
January 1 and June 30 the MVD initiated approximately 5,600 drug 
cases and seized 6,660 kilos of drugs including 75 kilos of heroin 
and 200 kilos of opium.  He reported that 55,000 drug addicts are 
registered in the country.  He noted the KBN works closely with 
Kazakhstan's drug addiction treatment centers and has a demand 
reduction program that he would like to expand.  The MVD is planning 
to add staff and purchase additional equipment to counter the 
projected increase in narcotics transit and sale in Kazakhstan. 
 
3.  (SBU) Regarding interdiction, Nukenov outlined his committee's 
plan for improving results.  Using the limited number of highways 
and the immense open spaces of Kazakhstan to the best advantage, the 
MVD established seven "Rubezh-Narcotiki" checkpoints (Narcotics 
Frontier Posts) to stem the flow of narcotics transiting Kazakhstan. 
 The posts are Kargaly in Aktobe oblast; Post Arasan in Akmola 
oblast; Post Ayagoz in Eastern Kazakhstan oblast; Post Syrdarya in 
Kyzylorda oblast; Post Ulken in Almatinskya oblast; Post Kyzyltu in 
South Kazakhstan oblast; and Post Leninskiy in Pavlodar oblast. 
(Note: To more effectively combat drug flow the Committee plans to 
move the post from the Akmolinskaya oblast to Karagandinskaya oblast 
which is now considered to be as more vulnerable area. End note.) 
 
4.  The checkpoints are located at intersections of major 
north-south traffic arteries in the interior of the country where 
readily available alternate vehicle routes are not possible.  The 
desert surrounding the posts prevents smugglers from detouring 
around the posts.  The bottlenecks serve as excellent locations to 
monitor the passage of vehicles and passengers.  Currently, 19 MVD 
counter-drug officers work at each post. 
 
5.  (SBU) Nukenov presented his vision of the overall functioning of 
the posts.  He described a future with established posts, fully 
staffed and operational 24/7.  The staff will be a team of 
professional counter-narcotics officers.  They will have received 
advanced professional training from foreign experts (including 
Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Agency) to 
develop their skills.  Training will include courses for 
counter-narcotics operations officers, profiling, vehicles, and 
personnel search techniques.  The officers will use modern drug 
detection devices for which they will have also received training. 
The officers' detection and investigation skills will be 
supplemented by a high pedigree K-9 corps trained to locate 
narcotics. 
 
6.  (SBU) The posts will launch from 3-6 mobile teams each who will 
deploy randomly on paths and desert tracks to detect and deter those 
who try to skirt the main highways to avoid the fixed checkpoints. 
The checkpoints and mobile teams will be equipped with unmanned 
aircraft capable of working twenty-four hours a day and will be able 
to communicate with data and voice channels throughout the country 
via satellite connectivity. 
 
7. (SBU) Nukenov outlined the government of Kazakhstan's 
contribution to establishing, staffing, and equipping the 
 
ASTANA 00001988  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
"Rubezh-Narcotiki."  He said the government had allotted
funding for 
construction of staff offices, erecting inspection hangars, and 
establishment of dog kennels.  He pointed out that given the 
checkpoints' remote locations establishing them was neither easy nor 
inexpensive.  The locations are usually far from existing electrical 
lines and cell phone towers, communication by land-line is limited, 
if available at all, and the travel time from population centers is 
lengthy.  Nukenov said that the Committee will perform the necessary 
engineering work, construct inspection hangars, provide staff, and 
construct office space.  He requested donor assistance to complete 
the "picture" with equipment such as fixed and mobile X-ray 
machines, unmanned aircraft, communications for data and voice. 
(Note: a scanned copy of the complete list of the requested 
equipment has been forwarded to INL/AAE.  End note.) 
 
 
-------------------------- 
HALF A LOAF IS NOT TOO BAD 
-------------------------- 
 
8. (SBU) Budget limitations preclude the assembled donors from 
sponsoring the expensive items the MVD requested such as UAVs or 
x-ray machines.  However, some of the less expensive items were of 
interest to the attendees.  Hardy Roehling, Team-Leader of the 
European Union-sponsored Border Management for Central Asia (BOMCA) 
and representative of Central Asia Development Assistance Program 
(CADAP)noted that the equipment and other assistance requested by 
the Nukenov to create an Public Information Section seemed like a 
good fit with three CADAP projects scheduled for the next year.  He 
said EU programs on raising awareness of drug consumption, drug 
abuse prevention, and drug abuse monitoring systems could fit with 
Nukenov's desire to produce press clips, training films, and 
information pamphlets for public outreach campaigns on demand 
reduction. 
 
9. (SBU) Jean-Francois Puel, Attach of Internal Security of the 
French Embassy reported that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of 
France is ready to provide training for K-9 experts and to train 
agents on shadowing techniques.  Mike Welch, newly arrived Deputy 
Chief of Mission of the British Embassy stated that most UK funds 
are allotted for regional programs involving Afghanistan.   He said 
that cooperation with the Kazakhstani MVD may therefore be 
considered only within a regional framework. 
 
 
10.  (SU) INL Officer noted State's substantial $1.1 million 
dedicated funding for the Rubezh-Narcotiki checkpoints and 
encouraged other donors to contribute.  U.S. funding is split 
between an $860,000 grant to UNODC to purchase equipment and 
training and $300,000 managed at post to purchase specialized 
training from U.S. sources.  The funds will be used to purchase a 
portion of the communications system to connect checkpoints and HQ, 
professional training, and expand K-9 capacities.  In addition, 
UNODC is considering training MVD officers under one or more of its 
regional programs. (Note: technical specifications of the 
communication equipment to be purchased have been provided to 
INL/AAE and OMC/CENTCOM via email.  End note.) 
 
11.  The head of the Office of Military Cooperation briefly 
described CENTCOM's Counter Narcotics Program.  He noted ongoing 
cooperation with the Border Guards and expressed interest in the GOK 
Counter-Narcotics Strategy 2006-2010. Nukenov promised to provide 
the strategy to all attendees including representatives of the 
British Embassy, French Embassy, UNODC, BOMCA/CADAP, OSCE. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
12. (SBU) Persuading Nukenov to come to the embassy for a 
counter-narcotics coordination meeting was not difficult - he is an 
engaging, open fellow - but it is a big milestone in INL's 
relationship with the MVD.  Generally, there is a strong reluctance 
by security service officials to visit, much less conduct business, 
in the chancery.  The donor and quasi-donor turnout at the meeting 
(most, but not all, now reside in Astana) and the active 
participation of the MVD is a strong indication that a quorum can be 
achieved in the new capital city to create multilateral cooperation 
to assist the GOK to counter the drug trade. 
 
13. (SBU) The MVD request was ambitious but the equipment and 
 
ASTANA 00001988  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
training fit into an overall development plan which is a marked 
improvement from requests received as recently as last year. 
Nukenov's can-do approach is a welcomed change.  To present the 
request to the donors, the MVD had to admit gaps in its current 
approach; this was a sign of openness and a new serious approach of 
the Committee to improving interdiction capability.  It is obvious 
that Nukenov is going to actively participate and closely oversee 
the work of his Committee.  Proof of this was his invitation to 
donor meeting participants to visit the MVD posts and see how the 
KBN works behind the scenes. 
 
MILAS

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