Drug Situation in the Collective Security Treaty Organization region of responsibility: Criminological Indicators and Trends

11.01.2022

Basic Educational Organization of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Member States

The Federal State Educational Institution of Higher Education

"Siberian Law Institute
of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation”

 

  

"The Drug Situation
in the Collective Security Treaty Organization Region: Criminological Indicators

and trends"

 

Analytical review

 

 

 Krasnoyarsk 2021


UDK 343.976 + 343.57 + 351.761 + 341.24

BBK 67.05+67.51

 The analytical review (abridged version) was prepared by the professor of the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology of the Siberian Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Doctor of Law, Assistant Professor P.V. Teplyashin, Deputy Head of the Siberian Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (on scientific work) Doctor of Law, Assistent Professor N.N. Tsukanov, advisor of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Secretariat, candidate of law, Associate Professor M.G. Melikhov, research assistant of the research and editorial-publishing department of the Siberian Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Y.N. Kalinichenko.

The Drug Situation in the Collective Security Treaty Organization region of responsibility: Criminological Indicators and Trends: Analytical Review [abridged version]. P.V. Teplyashin, N.N. Tsukanov, M.G. Melikhov [et al]. - Krasnoyarsk: SibJUI MIA of Russia, 2021. - 14 с.

 

 

The analytical review (abridged version) presents the main criminological indicators, analytical data and trends of the drug situation in the region of responsibility of the CSTO member States for the year 2020.

© SibLI of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, 2021



Introduction

 

Continuous criminological study of the drug situation in the region of responsibility of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (hereinafter - CSTO, the Organization) inevitably leads to the further formation of its normative principles, norms and functioning strategy implemented to solve the problems of legal regulation of consolidated anti-drug activities. The foregoing causes significant relevance of the topic of the study. Complex comprehension of these criminological regularities ensures the optimal assessment of both traditional and avant-garde methods and techniques of combating drug-related crime in the territory of the CSTO member States. It is not by chance that on December 2, 2020 at the session of the CSTO Collective Security Council the Anti-Drug Strategy of the CSTO member States for 2021-2025 was adopted. According to the Anti-Drug Strategy of the CSTO member States in accordance with the international treaties to which they are parties and their national legislations they intend to combine efforts of the corresponding state bodies, civil society institutions as well as use the mass media possibilities in order to counteract the illegal circulation of drugs and their precursors and non-medical drug use.

In connection with the formation of more adequate measures to ensure and strengthen national, regional and international security in the CSTO region of responsibility, the development and strengthening of necessary guidelines and historically tested forms of allied relations in the sphere of countering transnational drug challenges and threats, the expansion of experience and information exchange between the competent bodies of the CSTO member states and similar bodies of other countries the study of the drug situation for 2020 in the states located in Central Asian region are necessary. Having studied the drug situation in 2020, it is possible to adequately assess the possibilities, legal potential and available law enforcement reserves in counteracting drug-related crime and developing effective strategies and tactics to combat illicit trafficking of narcotic and psychotropic substances in the territories of these countries.

The Republic of Armenia

 In 2020, 1,226 drug offenses were detected, 138 more than in 2019. However, there was a decrease in administrative offenses related to drug trafficking, from 299 in 2019 to 256 in 2020.

Of the total number of drug offenses detected, 532 were acts related to the illegal sale of drugs, an increase of 24 compared to 2019.

The amount of drugs of various types, 7.552 kilograms of psychotropic substances and 1.175 kilograms of precursors seized from illicit trafficking was 114 kilograms, 671.5 grams; and 161.758 kilograms, 1.685 kilograms and 0.05 kilograms, respectively, for 2019.

490 persons, including 23 citizens of other states (510 in 2019), were brought to criminal responsibility for committing crimes related to illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.

According to the data provided by ZAO "Psychiatric Treatment Center" of Addiction Medicine Clinic of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia, as of January 1, 2020, there were 7209 people registered with the diagnosis of "drug addiction", 4532 of them had drugs of cannabis group, 2671 of opiate group and 6 of them had drugs of cocaine group.

Thus, the drug situation in the Republic of Armenia is characterized by an increase in the number of registered drug-related crimes, the number of persons brought to criminal responsibility for committing crimes related to illicit drug trafficking and the volume of drugs seized, which demonstrates both the demand for drugs and their supply, the focus on identifying latent drug crimes, the real activation of the relevant activities of law enforcement agencies and difficult social processes.

The Republic of Belarus

 The current situation in the Republic is under control and is quite stable, as evidenced by the 34.3% decrease in the number of registered drug crimes.

In 2020, as a result of the practical measures taken by the internal affairs bodies, 3,541 (-34.3%) drug-related crimes were detected, of which 3,358 were directly related to drug trafficking. 1,780 crimes (53% of all crimes under Article 328 of the Criminal Code) related to the sale of psychoactive substances were registered.

The volume of drugs seized increased significantly. Thus, according to the state statistics (initial examinations), the internal affairs authorities seized 135.4 kilograms (2019 - 1,211.3 kilograms) of narcotic drugs and 46.7 kilograms (2019 - 64.4 kilograms) of psychotropic substances.

While in 2019 heroin (40%), hashish (32%) and marijuana (12%) dominated the volume of seized drugs, and the share of psychotropic substances in the drug market was no more than 5%, in 2020 marijuana (81.5%), poppy straw (9.3%), heroin (4.8%) and hashish (3.5%) already dominated. At the same time, the share of psychotropic substances was already 21%. In 2019, alpha-PVP (60%), para-methylephedrone (18%), MDMA (16%) were the most common psychotropic substances; in 2020, mephedrone (47.4%), alpha-PVP (33.9%), amphetamine (5.3%), MDMA (3.3%) were the most common psychotropic substances.

The use of synthetic drugs and psychotropic substances (methadone, alpha-PVP, morphine, mephedrone, etc.) caused a 1.8-fold increase in fatal overdoses compared to 2019. The increase in fatal drug and psychotropic substance overdoses is due to the fact that 78.6% of those who died were previously convicted (of which those over 30 were 77.5%).

1,737 (-26.6%) drug offenders were identified. 472 (-32%) criminals were detained directly for selling psychoactive substances.

The reduction of juvenile drug-related crime is evidence of the improvement of the drug situation - the number of drug-related crimes committed by juveniles or with their complicity decreased from 57 to 36 socially dangerous acts.

The number of drug-related crimes committed by previously convicted persons decreased from 787 to 599 (-23.9%).

There was an increase in the share of drug crimes committed with the use of the Internet (22.7%) in the total amount of drug crimes. In 2019, this figure was 16.4%. 805 criminal cases were initiated against 565 persons involved in drug trafficking using various web resources.

The main source of drugs entering the domestic drug market is illegal supplies from abroad. In 2020, 26 (2019 - 29) such supply channels were identified and disrupted, partly due to quarantine measures, which had an impact on the reduction of passenger traffic.

The Russian Federation also remains the largest supplier of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, their analogues and precursors to the Republic of Belarus (25 out of 26 channels detected in 2020). One supply channel was detected along the Tajikistan-Russia-Belarus route.

Internal affairs officers suppressed the activities of two (in 2019 - four) clandestine drug laboratories. Fifty-nine premises specially adapted and equipped for the cultivation of narcotic plants were detected.

Sixteen cases (30 in 2019) of falsification of documents for the purpose of purchasing drugs were uncovered.

As of January 1, 2021 there were 7,313 people on the records of the drug treatment system (as of January 1, 2020 - 7,507) and 5,033 people on the preventive treatment system (as of January 1, 2020 - 5,157).

Thus, with the overall relatively favorable drug situation observed in 2020, a decrease in the number of registered drug-related crimes, despite the measures taken by state agencies and other actors interested in preventing the spread of drug addiction, the problem of drug addiction of the population does not lose its relevance.

The Republic of Kazakhstan

 In 2020, 7,808 (6,568 in 2019) criminal drug offenses were detected in the country. 2,517 drug offenses were detected, an increase of 7.4% compared to the previous year (2,342 in 2019).

The number of crimes recorded under the article "Smuggling" decreased from 330 to 144.

The number of crimes related to the illicit cultivation of illegal plants containing narcotic substances increased slightly, from 225 to 276, compared to 2019.

The largest number of offenses falls under Article 296 of the Criminal Code (Illegal handling of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, their analogues without intent to sell) - 4,381, or 80% of all drug-related offenses. Of those, 629 cases were prosecuted under part 1 of article 296 of the Criminal Code, 2,955 under part 2, 531 under part 3, and 266 under part 4.

Internal affairs agencies liquidated the activity of 6 (5 in 2019) organized criminal groups, against the organizers and participants of which 11 criminal cases were initiated for creation and management of organized criminal groups (Article 262-265 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan), and 24 (14 in 2019) for selling drugs as part of them (part 4 Article 297 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan).

One fact (2 in 2019) is revealed of legalization of drug proceeds totaling 13 million tenge and 276 facts of illegal cultivation of cannabis with seizure of more than 15.7 tons were revealed, with 58 thousand cannabis bushes destroyed.

Eighteen tons 653 kilograms of drugs were seized from illicit trafficking, an increase of 23.1 percent, or 5 tons 630 kilograms, over 2019. (24 tons 283 kilograms). At the same time, 71 kilograms of heroin (1 ton 152 kilograms in 2019), 721 kilograms 157 grams of opium, and 30.6 kilograms of poppy straw (36.3 kilograms in 2019) were seized.

Opium poppy - 10715 pcs. (destroyed - 10,499 pcs.); cannabis - 1,03845 pcs. (destroyed - 337588 pcs); wild-growing hemp - 66 pcs (destroyed - 55 pcs) (destroyed - 55 pcs.) were detected; 2,205 square meters of drug plantations were detected and destroyed.

Cannabis group drugs can account for up to 99% of the total amount of drugs seized, with marijuana/cannabis being the primary drug of choice.

In 2020, 580.3 kilograms of hashish were seized from illicit trafficking, a decrease of 128 kilograms, or 18.1%, from 2019.

24 drug laboratories were liquidated, 8 of which were eliminated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the seizure of 65 kilograms of ready-to-use psychoactive substances, including 11.1 kilograms of mephedrone. Considering that its single dose does not exceed 0,3 grams, 220 thousand doses for 1,8 billion tenge are not allowed in the illegal turnover.

On an annual basis, operational and preventive measures "Karasora" with the involvement of employees of special units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and special equipment are carried out. During the operation "Karasora-2020" more than 1750 drug crimes were detected (1082 facts of sale, 266 facts of storage of drugs). More than 22 tons of drugs (3.4 kilograms of heroin, 5.9 tons of marijuana, 415.2 kilograms of hashish and 83 kilograms of synthetic drugs) were seized from illegal circulation. With the support and assistance of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, all measures taken allow us to control the situation in the Shukskaya valley.

According to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the number of drug addicts on the registry was 20378, compared to 22121 in 2019 (-7.9%), of which 1593 were women (1641 in 2019, -2.9%) and 78 were minors (95 in 2019, -7.9%).

According to the data of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020 out of the total number of those convicted of drug offenses and drug-related crimes, 346 people were sentenced to compulsory treatment for drug addiction, which amounted to 7.1% of the total number of those brought to criminal responsibility for the specified acts.

Thus, as a result of the anti-drug policy pursued in the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2020, the drug situation continued to be positive in terms of such important indicators as reducing the number of drug dependent citizens, increasing the number of registered drug crimes, undermining the domestic raw material base of drugs, but with a simultaneous reduction in the volume of drugs seized from illicit trafficking, and strengthening measures to counteract the transit drug trafficking.

The Kyrgyz Republic

In 2020, 795 drug crimes were detected, 204 (20.42%) fewer than in 2019 (999). The share of drug-related crimes in the total number of crimes registered in the country was 2.55% (2.4% in 2019).

4 tons 943 kilograms 580 grams of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors were seized from illicit trafficking, a decrease of 14 tons 338 kilograms 870 grams, or 74.36%, from 2019.

315 misdemeanors related to illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors were detected, which is 60 facts, or 23.53% more than in 2019 (255).

The share of offenses related to drug trafficking in the total number of recorded offenses (14,448) was 2.18% (1.14% in 2019). The structure of recorded offenses related to drug trafficking for 2019 shows that there are 307 (246 in 2019) and 8 (9 in 2019) offenses under Article 123 of the Kyrgyz Offense Code, and under Article 124 of the Kyrgyz Offense Code - 8 (in 2019 - 9).

In offense cases, Kyrgyz law enforcement agencies, including internal affairs agencies, seized 8 kilograms 252 grams of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, an increase of 117 kilograms 231 grams, or 93.42 percent, compared to 2019 (125 kilograms 483 grams).

Thus, the drug situation in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2020 as a whole remained stable and was characterized by a certain decrease in drug use, which still remains at a fairly high level, a decrease in the number of detected drug crimes and the volume of seized narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors.

The Russian Federation

 

In 2020, of the total number of identified offenders (for all offenses, 852,506; -3.6%), 8.7% (74,464; -2.8%) were users of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, about 1% (6,787; -16.4%) committed crimes while under the influence of drugs.

The number of cases of smuggling of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, their analogues and precursors, as well as strong substances detected by law enforcement agencies decreased by 16.3% (969 facts). The amount of hashish, seized by law enforcement agencies from illegal turnover at the moment of initiation of criminal cases, decreased by 66.5% (932 kg), MDMA - by 75.1% (110.5 kg).

The number of crimes related to the illegal production of drugs increased by 42.5% (500 facts). Among synthetic drugs, N-methylephedrone and its derivatives (5.6 tons), as well as mephedrone (2.3 tons) are most often trafficked in Russia, the number of which (by seizures) increased almost threefold in 2020.

In 2020, the number of recorded crimes related to the illegal cultivation of narcotic plants (Article 231 of the Criminal Code) increased by 1.2% (1,155).

Cannabis group drugs (35.4%, 10.6 tons, -18.7%) and synthetic drugs (28.9%, 8.7 tons, +68.5%) lead in the total amount (30 tons, +38.1%) of prohibited and controlled substances seized by law enforcement agencies at the time of initiation of criminal proceedings.

For the first time since 2015, the share of seized precursors increased significantly (7.3 tons; a 6.4-fold increase). Strongly potent substances accounted for 4% (1.2 tons, +65.2%) of the volume of substances seized, opium group drugs - 2.9% (861.4 kilograms, +7.9%), cocaine - 2.9% (862.4 kilograms, +67.2%), psychotropic substances - 1.9% (559.9 kilograms, +50.4%).

We recorded 189,905 (-0.2%) crimes related to drug trafficking. The share of drug crimes in the total number of criminal acts was 9.3% (9.4% in 2019). 100,975 (-1.7%) drug-related crimes were investigated, with 83,137 (-2.7%) persons identified. Almost twice as many (134) crimes related to the organization of criminal associations (criminal organizations) operating in the field of drug trafficking, or participation in them were registered, representing 41.6% of all detected crimes under Article 210 of the Criminal Code (322). In addition, there was a 12.2% (6496) increase in the number of investigated drug crimes committed in organized forms.

47,496 drug crimes committed with the use of information and telecommunication technologies were recorded (Art. 228.1, 228.2, 228.4, 230, 234 of the Criminal Code), an increase of 91.4 percent over 2019.

The number of foreign nationals who committed drug-related crimes in Russia increased by 6% (2,585), and their share increased slightly from 2.9% to 3.1%.

According to the results of 2020, the number of drug addicts registered in specialized medical institutions of the Ministry of Health of Russia and the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia decreased by 6.8% compared to the indicators of 2019 and amounted to 448 thousand people.

The number of people diagnosed with drug dependency syndrome (drug addiction) decreased by 7.3% (to 281,500 people), and the number of people diagnosed with “harmful” (with harmful consequences) drug use decreased by 5.8% (to 166,500 people). The number of minors registered as drug addicts decreased by 21.9% (to 493 persons), and the number of minors using drugs with harmful consequences decreased by 15.3% (4,000 persons). There was a 14.6% (to 16,600) and 15.8% (to 26,7%) reduction of the number of persons registered for the first time with diagnoses of drug addiction and hazardous drug use.

Thus, the Russian Federation steadily maintains control over the process of reducing tension in the sphere of non-medical drug use and illicit drug trafficking, at the same time the continuing significant level of drug use of the population of the country continues to pose a serious threat to the national security of Russia, which dictates the need to further develop a comprehensive and multi-level system of anti-drug prevention and optimization of methods of countering illicit drug trafficking.

The Republic of Tajikistan

 

In 2020, 700 drug crimes were recorded, an increase of 16.9%, or 118 crimes, compared to 2019 (582). The predominant part of drug-related crimes was the purchase, possession, transportation or sale of drugs – 511 (422 in 2019). Drug smuggling increased significantly - 75 (43 in 2019).

The share of drug-related crimes in the total number of registered crimes was 2.6% (3% in 2019).

The number of people detained for drug-related crimes increased from 789 in 2019 to 800 in 2020, including 19 women (16 in 2019), 2 minors (3 in 2019), 11 foreign residents (12 in 2019).

In 2020, the law enforcement and security agencies of the Republic of Tajikistan seized 2,425.238 kilograms of drugs from illicit trafficking (1,637.505 kilograms in 2019). With an overall increase in the volume of drugs seized, there was a decrease in seizures of heroin - 118.451 kilograms (171.723 in 2019) and precursors - 0.002 liters (57.665 liters in 2019). However, seizures of cannabis group drugs increased - 1,474.584 kilograms (2019 - 668.426 kilograms), including hashish - 1,315.669 kilograms (2019 - 607.907), marijuana - 158.915 kilograms (2019 - 60.519).

The total number of drug addicts on special registry was 5,099 (5,375 in 2019), of which 110 were women (115 in 2019). The number of drug addicts with a primary registration in 2020 was 158 (273 in 2019), of which 4 were women in both 2019 and 2020.

Thus, the drug situation in the Republic of Tajikistan is characterized by a stable decrease in the number of citizens diagnosed with drug addiction who have been registered for the first time, an increase in the number of registered drug crimes and citizens arrested for committing them, a stable number of drug addicts in the country, and an increase in the volume of seizures of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

 

Trends in the drug situation in the region of responsibility of the Collective Security Treaty Organization member States

 

1. In 2020, there was a partial decrease in the number of registered drug-related crimes (in the Russian Federation, the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Republic of Belarus), which, on the one hand, is the result of the optimization of law enforcement activities of the CSTO member States and the deepening of interstate cooperation in this area. On the other hand, the increase in the number of recorded drug-related crimes (in the Republics of Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan) is caused by the expansion of the circulation of synthetic drugs and the non-medical consumption of psychoactive substances, for which no control measures are in place, and the active use of virtual technologies.

2. Most CSTO member States (with the exception of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Russian Federation) saw a decrease in drug seizures in 2020, with a continued predominance of opioids (but with a gradual decrease in this type of drug), the cannabis and synthetic groups of drugs, but at the same time there is a significant level of trafficking in spices, smoking mixes with characteristic psychedelic properties and significant narcogenic potential that can cause persistent dependence. At the same time, there was an almost universal increase in seizures of psychotropic substances (except for the Republic of Belarus).

3. The proportion of crimes related to the sale of drugs is naturally high, which shows, on the one hand, that the competent authorities are becoming more active in detecting drug dealers and suppressing the sale of drugs, and on the other hand, that drug criminals are optimizing their work on the distribution of drugs through drug distribution networks.

4. On the "criminal drug map" of the CSTO member States, a mechanism of the drug industry has formed and is functioning, consisting of four groups of factors, through which economic, social, cultural and technological aspects of the drug threat in the CSTO region of responsibility are manifested: 1) drug production; 2) drug business; 3) social narcotism; 4) criminal drug technology.

5. An important pattern of the drug situation in the CSTO member States' region of responsibility is the stable connection between the illegal spread of drugs and migration processes, which is determined by the use of migrants to move narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances across borders and the establishment of network sales of drugs in the territory, primarily, of the Russian Federation. This situation is influenced by the unfavorable socio-political and economic migration situation in the states of the European Union, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and some other states.

6. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a slight decrease in the intensity of illegal movement of controlled substances across the state borders of CSTO member States and a decrease in the absolute number of detected drug smuggling incidents. The reason for this was a general decline in the living standards of the Central Asian states due to the closure of borders due to the coronavirus pandemic and their economic recession.

7. There is a clear correlation between the increase in Afghan drug trafficking into the Russian Federation and the escalation of the drug threat to Central Asia. From a geopolitical point of view, this is due to the fact that opium routing is taking over the territory of the Caucasus, which is contiguous with a hotbed of political and social instability near Iran. In the Central Asian region itself, transport communications with Afghanistan continue to develop actively, which objectively complicates the criminological situation in the territories of the respective states.

8. The mechanisms of using international mail channels, mobile communications and electronic communications, blockchain technologies and hidden information and telecommunication networks (primarily Darknet) and specialized online trading platforms for drugs (including the largest of them - Hydra) in the technological system of "supply - demand for drugs", the use of information and new financial technologies by drug trafficking to involve new recruits in the drug trade are expanding.




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