07ASTANA2214, KAZAKHSTAN DRUG AND CRIME REPORT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2214 2007-08-13 23:56 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9237
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #2214/01 2252356
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 132356Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0372
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUCNCLS/SCA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002214 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE (BUHLER), INL/C, SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EFIN SNAR SOCI PREL PGOV KCOR KCRM AU KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN DRUG AND CRIME REPORT 
 
ASTANA 00002214  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. Summary:  According to the Agency of Statistics, law enforcement 
agencies documented 53,700 crimes during the first quarter of 2007. 
Economic crimes accounted for .07% (3,892) of the total.  These 
crimes included fraudulent property legalization, illegal business 
activity, and other financial crimes.  The government estimates 
damages and lost revenue of nearly 65 million USD.  Crimes related 
to illegal manufacturing, purchase, transit, and sale of drugs 
accounted for .04% (2,371) of the total.  The number of drug-related 
crimes has increased by 14.5% since last year.  End summary. 
 
------------------- 
HIGH-PROFILE CASES 
------------------- 
 
2. The highest profile criminal case of 2007 has been the 
investigation into the activities of Rakhat Aliyev, the 
ex-Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Austria and President Nazarbayev's 
former son-in-law.  Aliyev is being investigated in connection with 
the kidnapping of two senior managers of a Kazakhstani bank and is 
also being investigated by Austrian authorities for money 
laundering. 
 
3. Authorities opened an investigation after Austrian banks reported 
several suspicious deals involving large amounts of money via 
accounts opened in Aliyev's name.  According to financial documents, 
Aliyev established several accounts and registered them in both his 
name and the names of eight companies that he managed. Several deals 
involving large amounts of money were conducted via these accounts. 
Austrian authorities are continuing to track the origin of the 
money.  However, according to the Prosecutor's Office, current 
legislation is insufficient to charge Aliyev. 
 
4.  Kazakhstan requested extradition of its Ambassador on May 26, 
2007 after attempting to recall him as part of the investigation 
into the kidnapping of two senior Nurbank managers (Nurbank is one 
of the largest commercial banks and Aliyev was a major stakeholder). 
 Though there is no bilateral extradition agreement between Austria 
and Kazakhstan, some Austrian law enforcement authorities had 
expressed their support for extradition, but a federal court 
rejected the request on August 8 on the grounds that Aliyev would 
not receive a fair trial. 
 
5. Other high-ranking officials have been caught up in the Aliyev 
case.  Former head of Nurbank Abilmazhen Gilimov is under 
investigation for illegal business activities and abuse of power. 
Local press speculates that the chief of the Almaty Department of 
the Financial Police, General Vladimir Kurbatov is also under 
investigation for abuse of power and hindering the investigation of 
Aliyev. 
 
6. In another high-profile case, Deputy Head of the Tax Committee of 
the Ministry of Finance Sabit Kanatov is under investigation by the 
financial police for abuse of power and tax evasion. 
 
------------------ 
POLICE CORRUPTION 
------------------ 
 
7.  Major Arman Sapkin, former Deputy Head of the Criminal Police 
Section of Internal Affairs of Semey was sentenced to 10 years in a 
prison colony for attempting to force a woman to sell heroin. 
Sapkin approached Malina Vertrova, the daughter of a woman convicted 
of narco-trafficking, gave her 25 grams of heroin, and instructed 
her to sell it and pay him 35,000 tenge (290 USD).  Vertrova 
destroyed the heroin and reported the incident to the Committee for 
National Security (KNB).  The KNB conducted an undercover operation 
using marked money and arrested Sapkin. 
 
8.  The Internal Affairs Department in the Pavlodar region has 
opened an investigation in the disappearance of nearly 107 grams of 
heroin.  While examining evidence, an inspection team of police and 
prosecutors discovered that the heroin, seized in 1991, had been 
substituted with a mixture of salt and baking soda.  The authorities 
have reportedly initiated a criminal case against police officers. 
 
9.  In an attempt to stop seized drugs from being resold, the 
Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) is submitting draft amendments to 
the law to allow for the destruction of seized drugs.  According to 
Maratkali Nukenov, Chairman of MVD Committee on Drug Trafficking, 
there are currently 25 tons of drugs held as evidence.  The draft 
amendment would allow for the destruction of most of the evidence 
with only a sample kept for expert examination. 
 
---------------------- 
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES 
---------------------- 
 
10.  On July 21, the Chairman of the Committee on Combating Drugs 
appealed to nightclub managers to cooperate in the fight against 
drug trafficking.  Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding 
 
ASTANA 00002214  002.
2 OF 002 
 
 
and Cooperation.  The signing took place as part of the "Astana - 
Drug Free City" program.  The Chairman of the Committee discussed 
cooperation in the fight against drug addiction with the owners of 
nightclubs.  MVD provided recommendations on drug profiling to 
security services of the night clubs and pledged to provide further 
training.  This cooperation between the GOK and nightclub owners 
follows a series of raids on nightclubs in September 2006 and the 
threat of closures of nightclubs linked to drug sales.  The most 
recent raids were conducted in July 2007. 
 
11.  Kazakhstan has officially registered 55,000 drug addicts. 
However, according to experts, there are actually more than 200,000 
addicts, which is equal to 1.7% of the population of the country. 
According to Alexander Katkov, Director of the National Scientific 
and Practical Center of Medical and Social Problems of Drug 
Addiction, drug addicts do not seek help because the law requires 
that information be submitted to law enforcement agencies.  Katkov's 
center has developed and proposed to the GOK a national and regional 
program on combating drug addiction.  The programs will focus on 
effective drug addiction prevention, including a focus on teenagers 
and children, and opening more centers for treatment of drug 
addicts. 
 
12.  To obstruct drug trafficking to Astana and into Russia, the 
Department of Internal Affairs of Karagandinskaya in central 
Kazakhstan, opened three fixed checkpoints in Karaganda, Temirtau, 
and Osakarovka.  The representatives of the KNB, Financial Police, 
Special Units, and Department of Internal Affairs will actively 
participate in the operation of these posts.  This measure aims to 
disrupt the drug trafficking routes from the south through Karaganda 
to the north and Russia. 
 
13. The draft law on combating money-laundering and terrorist 
financing has been stalled in Parliament since October 2005, because 
of the need to conclude the property legalization program.  On 
August 1, GOK concluded the legalization program and can now begin 
work on adoption of the new law. 
 
------------------- 
DRUG INTERDICTION 
------------------- 
 
14.  On July 12, officers of the Kyzylorda Department of the KNB, 
jointly with the MVD, detected and destroyed a marijuana plantation 
near the Berdykul artesian well.  They destroyed 7,014 marijuana 
plants which would have weighed from 2,500 to 3,000 kilograms upon 
maturing. 
 
15.  In March, Mangystau Department of the KNB arrested three 
sisters and their husbands involved in trafficking heroin from 
Uzbekistan.  As a result of operation, 1.3 kilos of heroin was 
seized with a street value of 27 million tenge (approximately 
219,000 USD).  In August, the Zhanaozen city court sentenced the 
family members to 14-15 years in prison. 
 
16. On June 26, MVD special units in joint operations with law 
enforcement agencies from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and 
Russia conducted 10 operations to disrupt established drug routes 
that had been in existence since the beginning of the year. 
 
17. On July 23, Kazakhstani MVD and the Russian Federal Service on 
Control of Drug Trafficking (FSKN) signed a bilateral agreement on 
cooperation for combating drugs, psychotropic substances, and 
precursors.  In accordance with this agreement, the two will 
exchange information and conduct joint interdiction operations.  The 
agreement also includes a provision for assistance in the efforts of 
combating money laundering as a result of drug trade. 
 
ORDWAY

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