Cocaine Smuggled Into Kazakhstan From Italy and Poland Hidden in Coffee Capsules


One channel of illicit cocaine smuggling into Kazakhstan has been blocked, according to website In Almaty, authorities found that a rented apartment was being used for the distribution of illegal drugs, which were imported into the country from Italy and Poland. Police seized plastic capsules disguised as coffee – inside of each was a unit of cocaine weighing 250 grams.

Furthermore, Almaty police seized a parcel at a Kazpost office that belonged to the suspect. It held plastic jars that contained drugs, the total weight of which was about 0.5-1.0 kilogram (kg) of cocaine and more than 400 grams of ecstasy. In total, that’s more than 3,000 single doses. It turned out that the detained foreigner had been acting as a courier for three months.

“A pre-trial investigation is being conducted against the detainee for the illegal acquisition and possession of a particularly large amount of narcotic drugs for the purpose of their sale. Further measures are being carried out to establish the channels of cocaine supply in the country,” said the deputy head of the department for combating drug crimes of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Bakhytzhan Amirkhanov.

Possession and sale of drugs in Kazakhstan is punishable by harsh prison terms ranging between 10 to 15 years and the confiscation of property. According to the latest data, 47 anti-drug operations were carried out last year, including in cooperation with the corresponding authorities of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Australia. Eight international and 14 regional drug-trafficking operations were eliminated.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the annual illicit trafficking of narcotic substances in Kazakhstan amounts to 20-25 tons, 95% of which are from cannabinoid group drugs. Most often they are smuggled into the country from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Iran via the Caspian Sea. Additionally, the transit of synthetic drugs from Europe is also an issue accounting for about 5% of the total, with less than 1% in the form of opium, heroin, and other types of hard drugs.

Also, a number of drug laboratories have been discovered in Kazakhstan itself, with Astana, Almaty and Shymkent considered to be the leaders in terms of production sites and sales of new types of drugs. In total, 67 participants in criminal drug organizations were detained in 2023, and 483.2 kg of psychotropic substances, 11 kg of heroin, 32.8 kg of opium, 63.7 kg of hashish, 41.6 kg of marijuana, more than 17 tons of poppy raw materials and more than 22 tons of chemical reagents seized. At the same time, more than 3,000 people were convicted for crimes related to the trafficking of synthetic drugs.

Statistics show that over the last 10 years, the number of drug addicts globally has increased by 23% and reached 296 million people. Currently in Kazakhstan, the illegal drug market has almost completely moved on to cyberspace, making it much more difficult to track down drug dealers.


Times of Central Asia