Our country is an important producer of marijuana. The vast territory of Kazakhstan also plays considerable role in the transit of heroin from Afghanistan to Russia and the delivery of synthetic drugs from Western Europe to China. However, despite its vital position in the Eurasian trafficking, Kazakhstan in this respect has a negligible coverage by international media. One has to limit himself with hearsays and gossips. There are rumors that a little brother of President Nazarbayev, Bolat Nazarbayev, is a drug kingpin. Actually, he is an uncrowned ruler of the Almaty Region – a wealthy southeastern part of the country with a brisk drug trading, bordering upon China. They say that Colonel Arman Orazaliyev, a deputy head of the Criminal Police under the Interior Ministry of Kazakhstan, supervises drugs trafficking too. He exerts significant power over southern regions of the country, bordering on drug giants – Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
Many people here have suffered from drug abuse. Among them, famous film actor Asanali Ashimov – People’s Artist of the USSR. His son, Sagi, was an actor, who died prematurely from an overdose. Outstanding civil engineer, Alexander Ryazanov, had a nice son, Valentin, who also died prematurely from an overdose. You see, how narcotics have ruined even elite Kazakh families! Local culprits are quite inventive in their dark business. A photo, taken in March 2012, shows an apparent drug peddler in Almaty City, who attracts clients with multicolored balloons. Typically, he would negotiate briefly with a motorist, looking for drugs. Then, he would quietly invite the motorist to a more secluded place to finalize a transaction. Nowadays, such method of trafficking has generally ceased to exist. Perhaps, they have relocated themselves to nightclubs, mail delivery, etc. Personally, I have seen very little of them recently. However, just a couple years ago the drug peddlers with balloons were active.