Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09ASHGABAT712
2009-06-09 06:04:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Ashgabat
Cable title:  

TURKMENISTAN: COUNTERNARCOTICS SERVICE

Tags:  PGOV KCRM SOCI TX 
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DE RUEHAH #0712/01 1600604
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P 090604Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2930
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASHGABAT 000712 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, INL/AAE BUHLER
DOJ/ICITAP FOR MOGLE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCRM SOCI TX
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: COUNTERNARCOTICS SERVICE
DEVELOPING TRAINING ACADEMY, FORENSICS LAB

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASHGABAT 000712

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, INL/AAE BUHLER
DOJ/ICITAP FOR MOGLE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCRM SOCI TX
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: COUNTERNARCOTICS SERVICE
DEVELOPING TRAINING ACADEMY, FORENSICS LAB


1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for public
Internet.


2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Visiting DOJ/ICITAP Forensic Advisor
and DEA Chemist recently met with section chiefs of the
Turkmenistan State Counter Narcotics Service (SCNS) to
discuss possible cooperation between the USG/ICITAP and
SCNS on the development of a forensics lab. A SCNS
official noted ongoing close collaboration between his
agency and the U.S. Government. In addition to a
forensics lab, the SCNS is also setting up a training
academy. Since its creation last year, the agency has
primary responsibility for counternarcotics efforts,
although it works with the Ministry of Internal Affairs,
which previously took the lead on counternarcotics
issues. END SUMMARY.


3. (SBU) On June 4, DOJ/ICITAP Forensic Advisor Robert
Bianchi and Drug Enforcement Administration Chemist Bryan
Geer met with representatives of the SCNS. The Acting
Head of the International Legal Department, Aman
Muhammedkuliev, and the Acting Chief of the Investigation
and Prevention of Illicit Drug Trafficking Department,
Colonel Nurmuhammed Yusupov (previously head of the
Dashoguz Directorate of the Ministry of National
Security) were present, as well as two junior SCNS
officers. As is customary, a representative of the MFA
Americas Desk also attended.


4. (SBU) Muhammedkuliev opened by noting the "close
collaboration" existing between the SCNS and the U.S.
Embassy, and said the two sides have been meeting "two or
three times a month," including with representatives of
the Office of Military Cooperation/CENTCOM, the Defense
Attache Office, and TDY DEA Agent Vladimir Trynkin (who
was also present at the meeting). Muhammedkuliev
expressed appreciation for the training programs and
study tours that the Embassy has arranged for SCNS
officers. When asked about the agency's history and
functions, Muhammedkuliev said the SCNS was created in
January 2008 and is an independent "military law
enforcement agency," acting and functioning within the
framework of a special presidential decree and other
laws. He said that SCNS staffing is incomplete; they are
still in the process of hiring personnel. The agency
also has a training center under construction where
predominantly junior officers would be trained in
operative skills and investigative techniques, however no
training for chemists or lab experts was yet planned for
the site.


5. (SBU) The ICITAP team asked whether SCNS has
established its own forensics lab, to which
Muhammedkuliev replied that they have purchased the main
equipment needed for its establishment and also
identified a building where it will be located. He
declined to specify which equipment had been purchased
for the lab, but assured that they had obtained "the most
modern equipment available" at the advice of experts from
the Criminal Research Center (CRC) of the Ministry of the
Interior. The SCNS plans to have 10 to 12 chemists at
its main lab in Ashgabat, as well as well as five or six at
each of the provincial labs it plans to establish.


6. (SBU) In discussing the relationship between SCNS and
the Ministry of Interior (MVD),which previously held
responsibility for Turkmenistan's counternarcotics
functions, the SCNS officials indicated they had "no
problems" working with them and had a good working
relationship. Colonel Yusupov emphasized, however, that

ASHGABAT 00000712 002 OF 002


according to current Turkmen legislation, the SCNS is the
lead counternarcotics agency. He noted that drug-related
crimes are set forth in articles 292-301 of the Criminal
Code, and that all activities investigating trafficking,
usage, purchase, distribution and sale of illegal
narcotics are solely the purview of the SCNS, although
they continue to rely on the CRC for drug testing and
analysis. Once the SCNS lab becomes operational, drug
analysis will be carried out there, but "this does not
mean that the CRC lab will cease to exist." Its
activities will be coordinated with the SCNS.


7. (SBU) COMMENT: The meeting started on a somewhat
embarrassing note for the SCNS officers. As soon as the
DEA Agent sat down, the back of his chair broke.
Although the chair was quickly replaced, the meeting got
off to a poor start. The SCNS officers were evasive when
responding to many of the questions. END COMMENT.

MILES