08ASTANA358, KAZAKHSTAN: DRUG AND CRIME REPORT FOR 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA358 2008-02-21 09:51 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO3532
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #0358/01 0520951
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210951Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1822
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 0244
RUCNCLS/SCA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000358 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE (BALABANIAN), INL/C, SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR ASEC PREL KCOR KCRM PREL KZ
 
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: DRUG AND CRIME REPORT FOR 2007 
 
ASTANA 00000358  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. According to the Statistics Committee of the Procurator General's 
Office, 10,502 drug-related crimes were committed during 2007.  The 
number of individuals that committed these crimes decreased 1.2% to 
8,147.  Drug seizures in 2007 decreased 6.2% from the previous year. 
Total seizures in 2007 were 23.479 metric tons, including 522 
kilograms of heroin and 335 kilograms of opium.  The number of 
registered drug addicts increased 1.6% to 55,286. 
 
-------------------- 
DOMESTIC INITIATIVES 
-------------------- 
 
2.  On December 12, Saparbek Nurpeisov, Official representative of 
the Procurator General's Office (PGO), announced that the PGO 
submitted a proposal to the government to institute mandatory drug 
tests for all minors (under 16 years old) and students.  He stated 
that such a measure will protect the rights of children.  The 
proposal anticipates the participation of doctors specialized in 
drug addiction to conduct examinations of students from schools, 
colleges and higher education institutes.  According to the PGO's 
statistical data, there has been a 10-fold increase in the number of 
registered drug addicts in the last 15 years; the increase among 
teenagers over the same time has been 18-fold.  Currently, 55,286 
people are registered by treatment facilities, 4,104 of which are 
minors.  The population of Kazakhstan is over 15.5 million people. 
 
3.  In a newspaper interview, Chairman of the Committee on Combating 
Drugs Maratkali Nukenov said that, within the "Astana - Drug Free 
City" program, voluntary testing took place among students during 
medical exams.  He explained that early detection of a drug problem 
lessens the chance of becoming an addict.  In five schools in 
Kokshetau (Akmolinskaya oblast), 2,627 students were drug-tested and 
the number of children testing positive increased from three the 
previous year to nine in 2007. 
 
4.  The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) stated that 2,258 crimes 
were detected with the help of the civilian population.  In 2007, 
local governments allotted 29 million tenge (approximately $240,000) 
for programs to encourage citizens to participate in crime 
prevention programs.  Local executive bodies gave rewards to 3,932 
people for providing information about criminal activity, including 
homicides, robberies, and the sale of narcotics and psychotropic 
substances. 
 
------------------- 
CHILD DRUG COURIERS 
------------------- 
 
5.  During the Shekara-2007 (Kazakh for Border) operation, the 
Border Guard Service (BGS) of the Committee for National Security 
(KNB) seized ten packages containing 10 kilos of heroin from 
children's backpacks.  The Tajik children, ages 10 and 12, were 
accompanied by their mother as they illegally crossed the border 
from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan.  The family crossed through the green 
zone, avoiding the Saryagash checkpoint.  The Tajik mother was 
charged with illegal trafficking of drugs in large amounts. 
 
 
 
----------------- 
POLICE CORRUPTION 
----------------- 
 
6.  The Almaty Department of National Security arrested three police 
officers for selling drugs.  The policemen were selling heroin, 
previously seized as evidence.  The drugs were sold to local users, 
who were then arrested.  The police then requested a bribe to drop 
the case.  Master Sergeant Talgat Bekzhanov was sentenced to ten 
years in prison for illegal purchase, transportation, and storage of 
drugs with the intent to sell.  Due to the frequency of such cases, 
the MVD has proposed draft amendments to the Criminal and 
Administrative Codes to allow for the destruction of seized drugs 
with only a small sample kept as evidence.  The MVD hopes that these 
amendments will put a stop to evidence being resold by police.  They 
believe that one of the main reasons for drug-related crimes 
committed by police is low salaries. However, police also want 
bonuses or other recognition for seizures. 
 
---------------- 
MAJOR OPERATIONS 
---------------- 
 
7.  In 2007, the KNB closed 21 distribution networks used by 
traffickers and arrested 252 people for involvement in trafficking. 
More than a metric ton of narcotics, including 688 kilograms of 
heroin and opium, were seized.  The KNB and its counterparts from 
Russia, Uzbekistan, and Germany jointly carried out three 
operations, crushing five trans-national drug rings and cutting off 
some transit routes from Afghanistan.  Ninety-five kilos of drugs 
 
ASTANA 00000358  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
were seized, 54 criminal cases were initiated, and 23 people were 
convicted in 2007in Astana as part of President Nazarbayev's "Astana 
- Drug Free City" campaign.  Furthermore, two large drug rings that 
operated in some cities were wiped out during Operation Eastern 
Safari
 and Operation Typhoon.  Twenty-one people were arrested and 
more than 160 kilos of opium and heroin were seized.  In 2007, the 
KNB closed warehouses used by traffickers in Almaty (0.5 kilos of 
cocaine and 14.6 kilos of opium seized), Pavlodar (21.5 kilos of 
heroin seized) and Kostanai (127 kilos of opium and 3 kilos of 
heroin seized). 
 
8.  The Barrier-2007 interagency operation resulted in the seizure 
of 378 kilos of drugs and over 210 weapons and pieces of ammunition, 
537 criminal cases, and the arrests of 665 people.  The operation, 
conducted throughout Kazakhstan from November 20 to December 15, 
focused on drug trafficking through the borders and on the 
transportation arteries roads.  The KNB, MVD, the Customs Control 
Committee of the Ministry of Finance (Customs Committee), and the 
Agency on Combating Economic and Corruption Crime (Financial Police) 
assigned officers to 319 mixed mobile groups to participate in the 
operation.  The mobile groups patrolled the entire border and all 
major international and national highways. 
 
------------ 
LEGISLATION 
------------ 
 
9.  The Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency reported that the Mazhilis 
(lower house of Parliament) has approved a bill to increase criminal 
penalties for drug-related crimes, including life imprisonment. 
Vice Minister of Internal Affairs Kalmukhanbet Kassymov stated that 
life imprisonment will be appropriate in cases of the sale of drugs 
in educational institutions, sales to minors, sales of large amounts 
by organized criminal groups, or involvement in a death caused by 
overdose.   The bill also allows for the temporary suspension or 
closure of bars and clubs in which narcotics are used. 
 
------------------------- 
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 
------------------------- 
 
10.  The pilot phase of the Central Asian Regional Information 
Coordination Center (CARICC) was launched on November 1, 2007 in 
Almaty.  During the pilot phase, UNODC is assisting CARICC to 
recruit staff, design databases, construct communications 
infrastructure, and renovate its facilities. CARICC will be fully 
operational after the Russian Federation signs the CARICC 
Agreement. 
 
11.  The Federal Service on Drugs Control (FSKN) of the Russian 
Federation assigned a representative to Kazakhstan.  On November 15, 
Colonel Sergei Varnin was officially assigned to the Russian Embassy 
and has been empowered to officially represent the FSKN in its 
relationship with Kazakhstan in the area of countering drugs. 
 
 
ORDWAY

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