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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

The Caribbean



I. Summary

The Bahamas is a major transit country for drugs en route to the U.S. from South America and the Caribbean. The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (GCOB) and the USG continue to enjoy a productive working counternarcotics relationship. The GCOB works to accomplish the goals and objectives of U.S.-Bahamas bilateral narcotics control agreements. The GCOB places a high priority on combating drug transshipments through its archipelago and works closely with the USG on Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT). The U.S. looks forward to assisting The Bahamas to develop its maritime end-game capability, without which sustained drug interdiction, arrest and conviction of traffickers and the forfeiting of their assets is improbable. Given the volume of commercial shipping through The Bahamas, the GCOB needs to rigorously implement its chemical control laws to prevent illegal diversion of precursor and essential chemicals.

Bahamian authorities continue monitoring bank compliance and investigating suspicious financial transactions under the 1996 money laundering law. Increased supervision of the offshore banking sector and training of all financial sector employees, however, will be necessary in order to increase the number of suspicious activity reports, which is still very small given the size of The Bahamas financial services sector. Despite several public statements of commitment, the GCOB has yet to establish a financial intelligence unit (FIU) or to seek membership in the Egmont Group. In 1999, the GCOB passed legislation which allows designation of the U.S. under Bahamian asset forfeiture laws, based on reciprocity. This will allow Bahamian courts to enforce U.S. forfeiture orders in many cases.

The GCOB took further steps in 1999 to strengthen its judicial system, with USG assistance. Despite these efforts, no major Bahamian drug trafficker has been convicted in The Bahamas and sent to prison, due largely to continuing, unnecessary delays in the courts. In addition, weak bail laws allow arrested drug traffickers to obtain bail and continue transshipping drugs while awaiting trial. Notwithstanding committed and talented judicial leadership, The Bahamas needs to improve the effectiveness of its court system and Attorney General's office in gaining convictions against major drug traffickers. The Bahamas also needs to improve its responsiveness to U.S. requests under the mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) and speed the processing of extradition cases.

In October, 1999, for the first time in recent history, a Bahamian law enforcement official was assassinated, allegedly by Bahamian drug dealers in retaliation for his standing up against a corrupt official or to prevent his testimony. The GCOB should ratify the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and assure that corrupt public officials are effectively prosecuted. Finally, the GCOB needs to move quickly to complete and adopt a comprehensive national drug strategy containing goals and objectives and measures of effectiveness. The Bahamas is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and works to meet its goals and objectives.

II. Status of Country

The Bahamas will remain a target of drug traffickers well into the future due to its geographic location. The Bahamas is a country of approximately 275,000 people located on the air and sea routes between South America and the U.S. The Bahamas has a strong anti-money laundering regime. Nonetheless, the country's bank secrecy laws, its role as a regional financial center, and the existence of a largely unregulated international business corporation (IBC) sector continue to make The Bahamas an attractive target for money laundering and other financial crimes.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. In 1999, the GCOB continued its efforts to fulfill the objectives of the 1988 UN convention by: (1) passing a law which allows designation of the U.S. under its asset forfeiture laws, based on reciprocity; (2) announcing its decision to create a financial intelligence unit (FIU) to process suspicious financial sector transaction reports; (3) passing several judicial directives aimed at reducing court delays; and (4) making progress in drafting the country's first national drug strategy report. The Office of Public Prosecutions continues to work closely with the U.S. Department of Justice to seize Bahamian bank accounts identified in the large USG-led "Operation Casablanca" international money laundering case. The Central Bank of The Bahamas continues to closely scrutinize banks' compliance with suspicious transaction reporting requirements.

Accomplishments. The GCOB, working closely with the USG, is in the final stages of a court automation project. The project's purpose is to reduce delays in criminal, especially drug, cases pending in the courts. The last step in the project, to be completed by the end of 2000, will be to install a court case management software system which will make The Bahamas judiciary virtually "paperless." Once this project is completed, the Bahamian judicial system will become the most technologically advanced in the region. Parallel to the computerization project, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has announced plans to implement case flow management practices in all Bahamian courts by Spring 2000. In June 1999, the Chief Justice passed a directive giving judges full authority to set court calendars and ordered that the practice of granting unnecessary adjournments be terminated. These decisions should have a major impact in reducing the length of court cases.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) works very closely with U.S. law enforcement agencies through OPBAT in interdicting drug transshipments. The DEU continues to maintain a separate money laundering and asset forfeiture investigative unit. In 1999, this unit prepared a strong asset forfeiture case against a major drug trafficker and asked the Attorney General's office to prosecute the case. Unfortunately, for nearly one year the Attorney General's office has not proceeded with this case, claiming that they have too few prosecutors to handle their caseload. The money laundering unit continues to pursue several local asset forfeiture investigations and is cooperating with U.S. and third country law enforcement agencies on several major transnational money laundering cases.

The Attorney General's Office of Public Prosecutions has successfully gained restraining orders in Bahamian courts over several million dollars in international money laundering cases involving Bahamian banks. The Office of Public Prosecutions is very committed to prosecuting local drug dealers and trafficking organizations. Their efforts at conviction are often thwarted by suspected jury corruption and weak drug and bail laws. In 1999, the GCOB amended its asset forfeiture legislation, allowing designation of the U.S. under its asset forfeiture laws upon assurances of reciprocity, thus resolving a longstanding bilateral irritant. This will allow Bahamian courts to enforce U.S. forfeiture orders in many cases.

Law Enforcement. The RBPF continued its active participation with USG agencies and Turks and Caicos police in OPBAT, a joint program designed to intercept drug shipments and arrest traffickers in the Turks and Caicos Islands and in The Bahamas. USG helicopters operating from three bases in The Bahamas facilitate these operations. The GCOB continued to demonstrate its strong commitment to OPBAT by funding its large police counternarcotics unit.

Cocaine seizures for 1999 were considerably lower than the 1997 and 1998 levels. Marijuana seizures in 1999, however, rose significantly over 1998.

The DEU, a special force within the RBPF composed of 80 officers, works closely with DEA on drug investigations. As of November 1999, the GCOB had arrested 1,785 persons on drug charges and seized 1.86 metric tons of cocaine and 3.5 metric tons of marijuana. The DEU is presently conducting several money laundering and asset forfeiture investigations.

Under Bahamian law, the assets of a convicted drug offender are subject to forfeiture. Unfortunately, defense attorneys for drug traffickers are often able to delay their cases many years. As a result, by the time the drug cases are adjudicated, the assets have lost much of their value. Funds from the sale of forfeited assets are deposited in the government's general fund. The Attorney General's office continues to experience little success in forfeiting the proceeds of crime.

Corruption. As a matter of policy, the GCOB does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of drugs, or the laundering of illicit proceeds therefrom. The USG is not aware of senior officials of the GCOB engaging in, encouraging, or facilitating the illicit production or distribution of drugs, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Over the past several years, however, a growing number of mid- and low-level law enforcement and Defence Force officials have been arrested for narcotics-related corruption. Several of these cases have been unduly delayed in the court system. Despite GCOB willingness to prosecute, the judicial system's weaknesses reduce the possibility that narcotics traffickers and corrupt officials who assist them will serve appropriately lengthy prison sentences. The GCOB has signed but not yet ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. The Bahamas is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GCOB works to accomplish the goals and objectives of U.S.- Bahamas bilateral narcotics control agreements, which facilitate cooperative action on a wide range of narcotics-control measures, such as improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the judicial system, impeding money laundering, reducing local demand for drugs, and preventing the transshipment of drugs through Bahamian waters via OPBAT and other bilateral law enforcement efforts.

The U.S.-Bahamas mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) is intended to facilitate the bilateral exchange of information and evidence for use in criminal proceedings. The MLAT can be used to pierce Bahamian bank secrecy laws where credible evidence exists of narcotics crimes, money laundering, or other serious offenses. The GCOB Office of Legal Affairs, however, is too slow in responding to MLAT requests. In addition, the burden of proof placed by Bahamian courts on MLAT requests exceeds the treaty standard of "reasonable grounds for believing." The GCOB has been receptive to U.S. extradition requests, based on the 1994 U.S.-Bahamas extradition treaty. Actual extraditions, however, continue to be slowed by procedural delays in the Bahamian courts. One important drug-related extradition request has been held up in the Bahamian court system for several years. A U.S. Department of Justice delegation traveled to The Bahamas in November 1999 to encourage better GCOB cooperation on extradition and MLAT requests.

The U.S. and The Bahamas entered into a maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement in May 1996. The agreement permits The Bahamas to embark Defence Force or Police officers to act as shipriders on U.S. vessels operating in Bahamian waters. The agreement permits the U.S. vessels to support these shipriders in Bahamian territorial seas to board, search, and, if evidence warrants, seize U.S., stateless, or third nation vessels; to enter Bahamian territorial seas to assist Bahamian law enforcement personnel in the enforcement of Bahamian laws; and to board, search, and seize Bahamian vessels on the high seas suspected of involvement in criminal activity. This agreement also authorizes USG law enforcement aircraft to overfly Bahamian territory.

Drug Flow and Transit. Detected air activity involving air drops of cocaine to The Bahamas dropped to less than half the 1998 level and all but ceased during the second half of 1999. This decline was probably due to several law enforcement operations that resulted in numerous arrests and the seizure of large quantities of drugs as well as smugglers' vessels and aircraft. Maritime activity involving go-fast boats, pleasure craft, and fishing vessels has remained somewhat stable compared to 1998. Coastal freighters with drugs concealed in hidden compartments or mixed with legitimate cargo remain a major smuggling threat. Currently there are more coastal freighter vessels on lookout than at any time in the past. U.S. counternarcotics agencies concur that drug traffickers continue to use Bahamian territory for cocaine and marijuana transshipments into the southeastern United States. While cocaine has traditionally been transported directly from Colombia to The Bahamas, it now appears to be moving through Jamaica and Haiti en route to and through The Bahamas.

Demand Reduction Programs. The GCOB makes modest budgetary contributions to demand reduction programs, especially in education and prevention. In 1999, the USG funded the second annual Certificate in Addiction Studies program in the history of The Bahamas. As a result of this program, fifty Bahamians working on drug demand reduction and abuse are now professionally trained. The USG provides modest assistance to the government's National Drug Council. The number of new drug users has declined in the past ten years. Drug usage among young Bahamians is restricted largely to marijuana, but there is a rising trend towards cocaine and crack abuse.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. The goals of USG assistance to The Bahamas are to dismantle trafficking organizations, stem the flow of drugs through The Bahamas to the U.S., and strengthen Bahamian law enforcement and judicial institutions to make them more effective and self-sufficient in combating drug trafficking and money laundering.

Bilateral Cooperation. The GCOB continues to allocate significant budgetary resources to its counternarcotics efforts-approximately 14 percent of its annual budget-and to bilateral cooperation with the U.S. The GCOB commitment to OPBAT, through its funding of the RBPF strike force unit, has led to close bilateral cooperation resulting in numerous drug arrests and seizures. A U.S. Customs Service canine team traveled to The Bahamas during February 1999 to assess and assist the Bahamian canine program at the Freeport international airport. Despite a high rate of arrest by the police, however, convictions of drug dealers remain very low due to weaknesses in local drug and bail laws and suspect juries. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF)-a potentially important player in drug interdiction-has yet to clearly define its counternarcotics role, and its response on bilateral counternarcotics operations has, with rare exceptions, been inadequate.

The Road Ahead. The Bahamas' proximity to the U.S. and expansive archipelagic geography guarantees it will be a target for drug transshipment and other criminal activity for the foreseeable future. Its niche as a financial center, its bank secrecy laws, and its liberal international business corporation (IBC) regime make it vulnerable to drug money laundering and other financial crimes. The Bahamians maintain a strong commitment to bilateral counternarcotics efforts. Because of the country's relatively small budget and growing drug transshipment problem, the GCOB will continue to depend upon significant USG assistance to fight international drug trafficking and crime. The principal short- and medium-term objective of U.S. counternarcotics assistance in The Bahamas is the strengthening of the country's institutions to allow the GCOB to assume a greater share of the burden of combating drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal activity.

The Bahamas Statistics












Seizures (1)


Cocaine (mt)










Heroin (mt)










Marijuana (harvested) (mt)




















(1) Data for 1999 is through October. Marijuana seizure statistics for 1991-93 have been revised.

Cocaine Seizures in the Bahamas (Chart)



I. Summary

Cuba's location between the United States and the Western Hemisphere's drug-exporting countries makes Cuba a logical transshipment point for traffickers. Although Cuba is not a major transit country for drugs coming to the United States, it remains a country of concern to USG counternarcotics agencies.

The lack of authoritative information from the Government of Cuba (GOC) about the illegal narcotics situation makes it difficult to assess the severity of Cuba's drug use and smuggling problems. Cuban officials cited Cuba's proximity to the U.S. and the growing number of tourists coming to the island as the cause of its growing, but still relatively low-level, drug use and trafficking problems. Resource constraints have led Cuban authorities to focus their law enforcement efforts on interdiction at Cuba's airports rather than at drop sites at sea.

During 1999, Cuba and the United States continued to exchange drug-related law enforcement information on a case-by-case basis. USG and GOC officials also discussed the possibility of more systematic cooperation. The U.S. Coast Guard and Cuba's Border Guard cooperated several times to apprehend boats and crews involved in drug trafficking. Cuba adopted new laws to stiffen penalties for those found guilty of producing, transporting, trafficking, or smuggling narcotics, but not consuming them. The GOC also enacted anti-money laundering laws as part of an effort to prevent money laundering from taking root in Cuba. Cuba is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Cuba does not appear to be a significant site for cultivation or production. There were no reports of money laundering in Cuba in 1999. The GOC continued to attribute drug use in Cuba to the significant tourist population and to drugs that wash ashore from apparently failed rendezvous between smugglers or when rattled traffickers decide to jettison drugs at sea rather than risk being caught with them. Cuban officials blame their lack of resources for the GOC's inability to patrol adequately its territorial waters.

The lead law enforcement agency on drugs in Cuba is the Ministry of the Interior's National Anti-Drug Department. The National Drug Commission is an interagency coordinating body headed by the Minister of Justice. The Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Relations, Public Health, and Customs, and the Border Guard are also represented on the Commission.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. In 1999, Cuba adopted new legislation to stem narcotics trafficking and money laundering. Cuba enhanced anti- narcotics cooperation with several countries including Colombia, Spain, France, the UK, and Canada. Spain, the UK, and France worked with Cuban authorities on interdiction; Canada focused on case development and investigations.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In February 1999, the National Assembly adopted legislation to stiffen penalties for those found guilty of producing, transporting, trafficking, or smuggling narcotics. Possible sentences include the death penalty and life without parole. The new laws did not deal specifically with consumption. The GOC did not publish statistics for 1999 for arrests or prosecutions of Cuban or foreign citizens on drug charges. The GOC continued to maintain that it had no serious domestic consumption or trafficking problem, but it indicated that domestic trafficking rose due to the increased number of tourists who visited Cuba in 1999 and from missed airdrops that wash up on Cuban shores. Domestic demand for drugs such as cocaine is believed to be low.

Cuban Customs and the Anti-Drug Police in the Ministry of Interior continued their cooperation and training with Canada and European governments. Training took place at numerous venues, including the international airports in Havana and the tourist haven of Varadero.

GOC officials admit that the country has inadequate naval resources to compete with the "go-fast" boats used by traffickers throughout the country's extensive territorial waters. 1999 saw an increase in the amount of information supplied by Cuban authorities to the U.S. Coast Guard for use in maritime interdictions. Some information was also exchanged for use in aerial interdictions.

Cuba exchanged prisoners with several countries in 1999, including Italy and Spain. Nevertheless, several countries reported some difficulty implementing these agreements fully. The exchanges include offenders found guilty of drug charges.

Drug Seizures/Arrests. The GOC made no information available on the total amount and type of drugs seized in 1999. In a speech on July 26, President Fidel Castro stated that 4,539 kilograms of drugs washed up on Cuba's northern coast during the first half of 1999, compared to 4,484 kilograms of drugs during the whole of 1998. He observed that this evidence of increased trafficking activity indicated that drug smugglers had chosen the waters between Cuba and the Bahamas as one of their favorite areas of operation in the Caribbean.

Corruption. Cuban authorities maintain that there is no narcotics-related corruption by government officials. While it is probable that some degree of corruption, at least at the lower levels of the Cuban police, is present, there is no evidence of high level involvement.

Agreements and Treaties. During 1999, the GOC signed anti-narcotics agreements with Spain, Colombia, and Guatemala. The GOC states that it maintains bilateral agreements on narcotics with 25 countries and less formal working arrangements with 25 others. Spain and France have posted counternarcotics police personnel to Havana to lead cooperative efforts with the GOC. A team of French customs officials conducted a canine technique training course for their Cuban counterparts at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport in August. British customs officers trained Cuban counterparts at the Jose Marti airport in January-February and at Varadero International Airport in October-November. Cuba and the United States do not have a bilateral anti-narcotics treaty or agreements, but continued to work together on a case-by-case basis. In June, USG and GOC officials discussed making bilateral cooperation more systematic, but there was no agreement by year-end.

Cuba is a party to the World Customs Organization's International Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance for the Prevention, Investigation, and Repression of Customs Offenses (Nairobi Convention), Annex X on Assistance in Narcotics Cases.

Cultivation/Production. There is no evidence that Cuba is a significant drug- producing country. Small quantities of marijuana are reportedly grown around Havana and in eastern Cuba. The GOC published no reports regarding crop size estimates, crop yields, or eradication efforts.

Drug Flow/Transit. Transshipment of illegal narcotics took place in Cuba's jurisdictional waters and airspace and through Cuban international airports in 1999. In the cases at sea, narcotics were either transported by boat through Cuban waters or dropped by aircraft and picked up by "go-fast" boats waiting nearby. On numerous occasions, the U.S. Coast Guard reported in real-time to the Cuban Border Guard incidents of suspicious aircraft over-flying Cuban airspace, dropping something, and returning south. None of the planes involved was apprehended. Detected overflights of Cuba in 1999 were down substantially from 1998. The U.S. Coast Guard and its counterpart, Cuba's Border Guard, collaborated on several occasions to locate and apprehend boats and crew suspected of narcotics trafficking.

In December 1998, Colombian authorities seized a shipment of 7.254 metric tons of cocaine hidden in compartments within maritime shipping containers at the Port of Cartagena. These drugs were apparently destined to transit Cuba. During 1999, the DEA aggressively investigated this shipment in cooperation with authorities in Colombia and Spain and found no information to indicate that this shipment was ultimately destined for the United States. Information-as yet uncorroborated by the DEA-provided by the Cuban Police to the Colombian National Police suggests that the shipment was bound for Spain.

Domestic Programs. Senior Cuban officials, most conspicuously President Fidel Castro, regularly warn the public of the peril of narcotics. However, their remarks almost always blame foreigners for the introduction of narcotics into Cuba. GOC officials say that drugs are being brought to Cuba by tourists, traffickers, or by missed airdrops washing up on the nation's shores. In December 1999, the official press reported that the National Assembly was drafting a new narcotics law that is expected to consolidate and strengthen existing laws to "prevent the island from being turned into a drug market."

IV. U.S. Policy initiatives

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. and Cuba do not share a bilateral narcotics agreement and there is no INL program in Cuba. The U.S. and Cuba continued, on a case-by-case basis, to share information, including non-sensitive real-time data regarding aircraft and vessels suspected of trafficking. Various high-level Cuban officials, including Fidel Castro, have repeated Cuba's willingness to sign a bilateral narcotics agreement with the United States. Discussions aimed at expanding bilateral cooperation on counternarcotics matters were held in 1999. By year-end, consideration was still being given to how this cooperation might proceed.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. and Cuba will continue to cooperate in anti-narcotics efforts on a case-by-case basis. These efforts are carried out by U.S. diplomats in Havana, as well as the relevant U.S.-based aviation and Coast Guard authorities, and consist of exchanges of information with Cuban officials about persons, aircraft, and vessels suspected of drug trafficking. Cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Cuban Border Guard is expected to continue.


I. Summary

The Dominican Republic (DR) is a major transit country for South American drugs, mostly cocaine, moving to the United States. Drugs are transported by air, sea, and across the land border with Haiti. Opportunities abound for the smuggling of drugs and laundering of money. The Dominican Republic has governmental anti-drug and financial regulatory institutions in place, but lacks a coordinated national strategy to combat these enemies of its society. However, in 1999 the National Drug Council (CND) drafted a National Drug Strategy, which will be submitted to the Dominican congress in 2000. The Dominican Republic is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

The CND holds seized assets worth over 40 million dollars, but has no mechanism in place to manage the divestment of assets. The National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) works closely with DEA on fugitive and special investigations, drug operations, and border interdiction, but could benefit from greater inter-agency cooperation, especially with the Dominican military. In cooperation with the U.S. military liaison, the Dominican navy and army engaged in joint counternarcotics exercises and received USG resources and training.

The GODR extradited 9 Dominicans to the United States in 1999, and the DNCD had several other fugitives in custody awaiting decisions on extradition requests. However, the extradition process has not been regularized, and extradition decisions remain subject to political influence. Dominican institutions remain weak and vulnerable to interest groups or individuals with money to spend, including narcotics traffickers. The Government of the Dominican Republic (GODR) is in the process of developing an anti-corruption bill, which is expected to be submitted to congress in 2000.

Bilateral counternarcotics cooperation is good and improving. The DNCD cooperates closely with USG authorities on drug investigations and participates in regional counternarcotics operations. Dominican forces have continued their practice of frequent participation in combined operations under the Dominican/USG Maritime Counternarcotics Interdiction Agreement. A group of private attorneys has been energetically promoting the passage of a newly drafted money laundering bill. The USG has played a decisive role in shaping this bill, modeling it on CICAD standards. The bill is scheduled for congressional debate in 2000.

A ministerial-level bilateral meeting with Haiti achieved historic accords in counternarcotics objectives. The GODR approved the accords at the highest levels and stands ready to carry them out, but precipitous personnel changes in the Haitian Government have stalled further progress.

II. Status of Country

Despite an increased number of interdiction operations, the GODR seized less cocaine in 1999 than in 1998. International drug trafficking organizations are increasingly more sophisticated and have acquired state of the art communications equipment to avoid detection. Law enforcement agencies in the DR have yet to match this sophistication. Commercial and non-commercial maritime vessels are the preferred mode of transport for drug smuggling. Dominican and Colombian drug trafficking organizations also smuggle cocaine and marijuana into the DR over the porous border with Haiti. During 1999, the GODR opened its fourth border control unit on the DR-Haitian border, and laid the groundwork to double the canine unit from five to ten dogs and handlers by April 2000.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. During 1999, the GODR committed approximately $3,500,000 in support of counternarcotics efforts, including $2.6 million to combat drug trafficking, $780,000 for demand reduction activities, and approximately $360,000 for rehabilitation and support projects. An additional $646,000 in FY 1999 funds was committed by the USG to train, equip, and develop GODR institutional and counternarcotics capability.

DNCD programs include a Joint Intelligence Coordinating Center (JICC), Financial Investigative Unit (FIU), a Special Investigative Team for Fugitive Investigations, (SITFI), a canine interdiction and narcotic detection program, and four border control units. In 1999 the GODR created two units for sensitive investigations of prominent international narcotics organizations operating in the DR and submitted their personnel to vetting by the USG.

The DNCD now requires pre-employment drug testing for new employees. All DNCD employees participate in random drug testing every six months. The Attorney General and the Secretary of Finance have agreed to create two Offices of Professional Responsibility, one within the Superintendency of Banking and another within the DNCD. Their primary mission will be to create standard procedures and internal control mechanisms to reduce or eliminate waste, fraud, and mismanagement.

Accomplishments. In November the GODR authorized a one-year extension of the Overflight Agreement, which allows counternarcotics air-tracking missions. Dominican authorities authorized, for the first time, wiretaps that can be used as evidence in U.S. courts for cases under investigation and cooperated with the Department of Justice in training prosecutors and judges in administration of justice and evidence handling.

During September, INL facilitated a high-level exchange between representatives from Haiti and the Dominican Republic that resulted in a recommendation by President Fernandez to implement thirteen (13) specific bilateral counternarcotics measures.

Illicit Cultivation, Production, Distribution. The DR is not a drug cultivating or producing country.

Drug Flow/Transit. The DR has a coastline of more than 1,000 miles and a 193 mile-long border with Haiti. It is a convenient staging area for the outward movement of drug shipments from South America. Small high-speed marine vessels, also known as go-fast boats, transit the DR freely. Inconsistent police controls at some international ports and airports contribute enormously to the narcotics trafficking problem. Heightened enforcement activity has substantially reduced, but not eliminated, offshore airdrops along the southern coast and in the Mona channel between Puerto Rico and the DR. Traffickers smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine over the border from Haiti. The Border Control Units confiscated approximately $750,000 at the border. Heroin seizures at the DR's international airports were in small quantities usually transported by "mules" swallowing several ounces in small, airtight containers.

Sale, Transport and Financing. The DNCD aggressively pursues and arrests individuals involved in the financing of illegal activities and the sale and transport of illegal substances. Nevertheless, corruption and the inefficient administration of justice caused the pretrial dismissal of a significant number of drug offenders during 1999.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In 1999, with USG cooperation and assistance, DNCD enforcement efforts within the DR led to the seizure of 1,011.9 kilos of cocaine, 142 kilos of marijuana, 11.9 kilos of heroin, 4.02 kilos of crack cocaine, and 4,029 drug-related arrests. The cocaine seized in 1999 was only 43 percent of the amount seized in 1998.

The DNCD consistently cooperates with USG agencies, including the Department of State, the DEA, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and the Department of Defense (DOD). GODR/USG cooperation in 1999 included information sharing, special operations targeting major international traffickers, highly successful joint anti-narcotics and anti-alien smuggling military exercises, and joint Haitian/Dominican counternarcotics operations on the border with Haiti. The DNCD's JICC maintains a close relationship with the U.S. Embassy's Tactical Analysis Team.

The DNCD's two Special Investigative Teams (SIT) continue to conduct in-depth investigations of major international narcotics operations, with training and equipment provided by the USG. In addition to working independently, the SITs provide valuable intelligence to all the DNCD's enforcement arms on a case-by-case basis. The JICC has been instrumental in developing information leading to numerous arrests of drug traffickers in the DR and elsewhere. The Special Investigative Fugitive Unit located a dozen felons who are living in the DR seeking refuge from American justice.

The DNCD has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the USG agreeing to double the canine narcotics detection program to ten dogs and ten trainers. The initial program began in April 1999, and the dogs are consistently deployed to the border, the main international airport, and the main port.

USG agencies, the DNCD, and the Dominican Armed Forces enjoy excellent cooperation. U.S. military support to the Dominican Armed Forces and the DNCD included $130,000 for the purchase of six vehicles through Foreign Military Sales to support border operations. Additionally, $500,000 from the U.S. Southern Command Counter Drug Construction Program has been committed for the construction of offices and barracks at remote locations along the border as well as DNCD office facilities at ports. In 1999 the U.S. military committed an additional $330,000 for two 80-foot patrol boats and a 133-foot buoy tender, and training to operate and maintain these vessels. These boats have been delivered to the Dominican Navy and will be utilized in maritime interdiction operations.

In April 199, the Dominican Republic hosted Exercise Tradewinds 99, a counternarcotics exercise that included maritime forces from the Bahamas, Belize, Haiti, Jamaica, and the United States. During 1999 the Dominican Navy and the USCG successfully concluded Operation Frontier Lance II to counter the increased threat of drug flow through the region.

Demand Reduction. The DR's demand reduction programs enjoy strong support from senior Dominican officials. The majority of Dominicans condemn drug use and support the GODR's efforts to combat drug trafficking. The National Drug Council (CND) has a demand reduction arm, PROPUID, which continues to operate under a joint grant from the Government of Spain, the European Union (EU), and UNDCP. The EU has provided approximately one quarter of a million dollars toward the demand reduction effort. The GODR, through programs administered through the Secretariat of Health and the Secretariat of Education, continues to focus attention on the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts. PROPUID estimates that approximately 50,000 Dominicans used cocaine or marijuana in 1999. The DNCD produced 20,000 booklets aimed at drug awareness and prevention and coordinated distribution by the postal service to all households in specially targeted areas.

The United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) is active and continues to fund Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) engaged in demand reduction programs.

Money Laundering/Asset Seizure. The Dominican Republic is not considered a major international financial center, but it continues to face a growing and systemic problem of narcotics-related money laundering.

In 1999 Dominican authorities confiscated $94,687 in U.S. currency, Dominican currency worth $1,926,862, non-currency assets consisting of 353 vehicles valued at over $4.5 million, and 33 residential and business properties linked to narcotics-related crimes.

CICAD-based asset forfeiture legislation, adopted in 1995, provides for seizure of all "goods, products and instruments" of crime (pertaining only to narcotics-related criminal activity). The kinds of goods, products and instruments that the GODR seizes under the legislation include money, real and personal property, bank accounts, vehicles, and aircraft. Although the GODR cannot legally forfeit seized assets until the courts render a definitive judgment, authorities often use such assets prior to the completion of the lengthy judicial process. New legislation incorporating CICAD international standards on money laundering will be introduced in congress for adoption early in 2000.

Extradition. The bilateral U.S./Dominican Extradition Treaty dates from 1910. Under the Treaty, extradition of nationals is not mandatory, and for many years Dominican legislation barred the extradition of Dominican citizens. In 1998, President Fernandez signed legislation explicitly allowing for the extradition of Dominican nationals. During 1999, the GODR extradited 9 Dominicans to the U.S. The GODR has yet to act on a number of other U.S. extradition requests for Dominican nationals, fugitives of the U.S. justice system, who remain in the DR, hoping to take refuge in their native country.

Mutual Legal Assistance. The GODR does not participate in any mutual legal assistance programs.

Corruption. The GODR does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, and other controlled substances, nor does it contribute to drug money laundering. The GODR has not prosecuted any senior government official for engaging in, encouraging, or in any way facilitating the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Dominican institutions are essentially weak and vulnerable to influence by interest groups or individuals with money to spend, including narcotics traffickers. The GODR is in the process of developing an anti-corruption bill that will require financial disclosures from senior civil servants and elected officials. This bill will be ready for submission to the congress by August 2000.

There are occasional reports of collusion by narcotics smugglers, airline personnel and Dominican immigration officials. Corruption has allegedly prevented the successful prosecution of a number of drug trafficking cases and has caused the premature release of convicted traffickers. Long delays in the judicial process continue to undermine convictions and asset seizures.

Agreements and Treaties. The DR's counternarcotics efforts are consistent with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention to which the GODR is a party. The GODR has participated in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) since 1994. The USG and the GODR signed a Maritime Counternarcotics Interdiction Agreement on March 23, 1995. In 1999 the GODR extended temporary overflight authority to the USG for rapid response in counternarcotics and alien smuggling operations. An amendment to the existing bilateral Maritime Counternarcotics Interdiction Agreement to include overflight/order-to-land provisions is still pending.

On September 28, 1999, the two governments signed a Letter of Agreement whereby the USG will provide $646,000 in FY 1999 funds for counternarcotics and law enforcement-related training and equipment. The GODR participates in regional law enforcement meetings and other conferences organized by the USG and international agencies.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. Cocaine trafficking, money laundering, institutional corruption, and reform of the prosecutorial and judicial systems continue to be the major USG counternarcotics concerns in the DR. The USG and the GODR continue to cooperate to develop Dominican institutions that can interdict and seize narcotics shipments and conduct effective investigations leading to arrests, prosecutions, and convictions. The USG will continue to urge the GODR to improve its asset forfeiture procedures and its capacity to regulate financial institutions. It will continue to urge the Dominicans to maintain their strict controls on precursor chemicals and continue their demand reduction programs. In 1999 USG assistance provided essential equipment and training, supported the expansion of the Border Control Units, deployed and expanded the Canine Unit, and assisted the DNCD with the vetting of its sensitive investigative units. The USG directed its military assistance in the DR towards training and maintaining military assets critical for narcotics interdiction activities and for training border patrol troops.

The USG has provided funding to assist in the location, apprehension, and extradition of individuals wanted on criminal charges in the United States, and has been influential in proposing new legislation to strengthen the extradition treaty. A machine-readable passport system and an upgrade of the computer capability at international airports are in process. Initiatives in rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance, and accountability in governmental institutions are also in final strategy development stages. A pilot project for reform and modernization of courts is under way in Santo Domingo, along with the introduction of an automated criminal case tracking system for the Public Ministry and the Judiciary. Efforts are under way to assist the Public Ministry with the creation of an anti-corruption unit and with training to develop investigative capability for the investigation and prosecution of high profile public officials.

A U.S. Customs training team traveled to the Dominican Republic during September 1999 to provide Embassy-funded training to the Dominican counternarcotics Border Control Units. U.S. Customs also conducted an INL-funded Sea Carrier Initiative in Santo Domingo and five site surveys at ports throughout the country during July 1999.

U.S. military, DEA, and U.S. Customs training continue to produce more effective and more efficient law enforcement capability focussed on counternarcotics efforts. DEA's Operation Columbus successfully linked 15 Caribbean nations in a joint counternarcotics operation.

During 1999, the USCG was very active in and around the Dominican Republic, providing training and maintenance support for the Dominican Navy and conducting counternarcotics patrols along the south coast of Hispaniola and in the Mona Passage. In November 1999, the USCG deployed the Caribbean Support Tender (CST) to the Dominican Republic on the third stop of its initial deployment. The Dominican Navy has assigned one of its personnel as part of the permanent crew of the CST.

The Road Ahead. National elections are scheduled for May 2000. The immediate USG goal is to help institutionalize judicial reforms and good governance initiatives. The DR and USG are working to build coherent counternarcotics programs, resistant to the pressures of corruption and capable of being strengthened and broadened to deal with new challenges brought by innovative narcotics trafficking organizations.

The USG and the GODR will continue to engage vigorously to strengthen drug control cooperation efforts through increased sharing of information and closer working relations among principal agencies. The USG will work closely with the office of the Attorney General in the development of an effective asset forfeiture regime. At the same time, the USG will encourage the GODR to adopt the draft National Counternarcotics Strategy Plan. The USG will continue to assist in the training of the DNCD's four Border Control Units, and continue to provide support for the enlarged Canine Detection Program. It will work vigorously to institutionalize procedures that provide for a reliable process for the extradition of Dominican nationals to the United States. The DNCD's Fugitive Investigation Teams will continue to pursue Dominican fugitives from justice seeking refuge in the Dominican Republic. The USG will provide the support required to ensure the enforcement of the Maritime Interdiction Agreement. It will support the continuation of the Fernandez administration's commitment to curb corruption especially as it affects the prosecution of narcotics traffickers. The USG will encourage the GODR to develop ways to cooperate with Haiti on law enforcement, interdiction and alien smuggling, and will assist the CND to create a professional asset forfeiture management program.

The ICITAP Program directs its efforts toward protection of human rights, good governance, accountability, and enhanced access to justice. Its goals include strengthening the criminal investigation system and supporting police reform through an improved Public Ministry/Police/National Pathology Criminal and Medical Forensics system. The USAID rule of law program is supporting congressional consideration of a Public Ministry Career Statute and a reformed Criminal Procedures Code. Training support for implementation of the recently enacted Judicial Career Law is under way.

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Cocaine Seizures in Dominican Republic (Chart)


I. Summary

The seven eastern Caribbean countries-Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines-make up the eastern edge of the Caribbean transit zone for drugs, mostly cocaine, traveling from South America to the U.S. and other global markets. Cocaine transits the eastern Caribbean mostly by sea, as it is moved to continental North America or Europe. Within the region, maritime cocaine shipments are destined for Puerto Rico and other U.S. island territories, as well as the French Caribbean Departments and Dutch territories. There were confirmed reports of numerous airdrops of cocaine in the eastern Caribbean in 1999.

The level of cocaine and marijuana trafficked through individual countries to the U.S. does not reach the threshold to designate any one of them a major transshipment country as defined by the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act. President Clinton's November 1999 notification to the U.S. Congress of the list of major drug source and transit countries stated, however, that the entire eastern and southern Caribbean is an area of concern to be kept under observation. If conditions warrant, the President will add relevant countries to the majors list. Marijuana is grown in St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Dominica, mostly for local use or for export to other islands in the region. Although the overall level of production is below the major drug producer threshold limits, the extent of marijuana production within St. Vincent and the Grenadines is considerable in relation to its gross domestic product.

Drug trafficking, and the crimes which derive from it-money laundering, drug use, political influence-buying, violent crime, and intimidation-threaten the stability of the small independent countries of the eastern Caribbean. Civil society in all of these countries has been damaged to varying degrees by the destructive nature of the drug trade and drug-related corruption. Representatives from each of the seven eastern Caribbean states attended the USG-funded U.S. Customs Integrity Reinforcement/Anti-Corruption Seminar for member nations of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) held in Puerto Rico in May 1999.

Colombian drug traffickers have infiltrated many of the eastern Caribbean nations, establishing their own infrastructure and contracting the services of local criminal organizations. To move the drugs within the region, the Colombian traffickers usually utilize a barter system for services, paying for services with drugs and/or weapons to limit costs but more importantly to increase demand and markets in the region. This results in increased amounts of cocaine and crack remaining in the eastern Caribbean.

All seven eastern Caribbean states are party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and the 1988 UN Drug Convention; all but St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. None of the seven states have signed the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

All seven governments signed mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties with the U.S. in 1996 and 1997. The treaties with Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are in force. An exchange of instruments of ratification, the final step necessary to bring these treaties into force, is scheduled with St. Kitts and Nevis for late February 2000. Barbados has signaled its readiness to exchange instruments of ratification. The new government of Dominica, which came into power following an election on January 31, 2000, has indicated its interest in expeditiously bringing its treaties into force.

Marijuana production and trafficking are serious concerns for eastern Caribbean officials. Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Kitts have active ground-based eradication programs. In 1999, the St. Vincent government again requested and received USG helicopter support to carry its police and RSS forces to remote areas of the country to conduct eradication operations. Most of the marijuana produced in the eastern Caribbean is consumed within the region or transported to Europe. Nevertheless, the U.S. supports and encourages these eradication campaigns as a means to combat high levels of eastern Caribbean marijuana use and the corrupting and corrosive effect of economic dependency on this illegal trade.

In general, eastern Caribbean law enforcement agencies are committed to controlling drug trafficking and working with their U.S. counterparts. Unfortunately, significant personnel resources are spent on arrests of relatively small-time traffickers and drug users as a means to control ever-increasing street crime. Meanwhile, conspiracy cases against ringleaders, complex financial investigations, money laundering and asset forfeiture cases are almost non-existent.

Although some of the necessary criminal statutes exist in all eastern Caribbean countries, such as asset forfeiture and money laundering laws, most jurisdictions lack the kinds of laws that allow law enforcement penetration into organized criminal groups. Such laws covering wiretap, controlled deliveries, conspiracy, authorization of undercover investigations, the use of paid informants, and plea bargaining are called for in the UNDCP and U.S.-Caribbean justice and security action plans, as well as by Caribbean police authorities on a regular basis, but to no avail. Constitutional impediments and limited real political commitment have effectively thwarted such legal initiatives in the eastern Caribbean jurisdictions. Without such tools, it is unlikely the region will develop significant defenses against drug traffickers.

Most of the countries devote significant resources and effort to maritime drug interdiction operations. Without investigative leads, however, these efforts are costly and of limited effectiveness. Law enforcement authorities in the region recognize the need for increased information collection and sharing, and efforts are underway in several of the countries to create inter-agency drug intelligence centers. But progress on these initiatives in most countries has been uneven, given traditional rivalries between law enforcement bodies and an apparent lack of political commitment to such centers.

Countries that have sought to expand their offshore financial sectors without ensuring effective regulation have been especially vulnerable to money laundering and to other financial crimes. As a result of legislation changes that weakened regulatory structures, in early 1999 the U.S. and the UK issued financial advisories concerning transactions to and from Antigua and Barbuda.

Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have economic citizenship programs. Unscrupulous individuals take advantage of these weakly-regulated programs to modify and/or create multiple identities. These identities are then used to aid in the creation of the offshore entities used in money-laundering, financial fraud, and other illicit activities, as well as to facilitate the travel of the perpetrators.

In 1999, the eastern Caribbean countries continued efforts to carry out the 1997 Caribbean-U.S. Summit justice and security plan of action. The plan consists of a comprehensive set of measures to combat transnational crime, particularly drug trafficking and money-laundering. It also calls for collaboration in strengthening criminal justice systems and interdiction efforts, combating small-arms smuggling and corruption, developing a criminal justice protection program, and reducing drug demand through education, rehabilitation, and eradication. Some progress in implementing the plan of action continues, although eastern Caribbean governments still need to take significant internal steps to fulfill some basic commitments.

In addition, the eastern Caribbean states continued to carry out the Barbados plan of action developed in 1996 at a UNDCP-organized Caribbean regional drug conference. While considerable progress has been made on many elements of the plan, the USG shares the UNDCP's concerns about the need to better integrate demand reduction and interdiction activities under the auspices of national drug councils. Such a move would increase information sharing and improve bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation on the counternarcotics front.

The seven eastern Caribbean countries continued to support the Regional Security System (RSS), which coordinates some counternarcotics operations among member states. The RSS operates a maritime training facility in Antigua for member-nation forces. Local instructors, complemented by U.S. and British trainers, provided a variety of law enforcement and seamanship courses. In 1999, the RSS received the first of two C-26 surveillance aircraft from the U.S. to provide a tactical maritime surveillance capability. This capacity should be significantly improved in 2000 when the second aircraft, outfitted with a customized surveillance package, is expected to be delivered to the RSS. Support for these aircraft will require a greater financial commitment on the part of each eastern Caribbean nation when the $11.5 million USG commitment concludes at the end of December 2000.

II. Status of Countries and Actions Against Drugs

The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are drug transit sites for cocaine moving from South America to the U.S. and global markets. Mothership operations use go-fast boats as pickup vessels. Secluded beaches and uncontrolled marinas provide excellent areas to conduct the drug-transfer operations. Cannabis cultivation on the islands is not significant and is for local consumption.

Until early 1997, Antigua and Barbuda had a virtually unregulated offshore banking sector. The country took steps in 1997 and 1998 to address problems and assert control by passing sound anti-money laundering legislation. In 1998, individuals with a vested interest in lax regulation of the offshore sector used their considerable financial influence to weaken Antigua's anti-money laundering legislation. Certain amendments to the Money Laundering (Prevention) Act and the 1982 International Business Corporations Act (IBCA), passed in November 1998, undermined the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute illegal financial dealings.

This development resulted in the imposition of a financial advisory by the U.S. in April 1999. Shortly thereafter the UK issued a similar advisory, and France publicly expressed its concerns. Since the issuance of the advisories, the GOAB has endeavored to rescind most of the objectionable legislation, increased its bilateral and multilateral cooperation on various law enforcement initiatives, and seems to be headed towards compliance with international norms governing offshore banking sectors. To address international concerns, the GOAB is taking other steps to strengthen its laws governing the financial services sector. Currently there are about 18 offshore banks operating in Antigua and Barbuda, down from about 57 in 1998. Internet gambling is largely unregulated in Antigua, although the GOAB has indicated it is developing regulations to control this burgeoning industry.

The GOAB is party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The USG and the GOAB signed a maritime drug law enforcement cooperation agreement in April 1995, and an overflight agreement in June 1996. A new extradition treaty and mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) came into force in July 1999, the GOAB being the first government in the region to move to bring these treaties into force.

One extradition and several legal assistance requests were submitted to the GOAB since the treaties entered into force. The GOAB has been largely responsive to these USG-initiated requests. In 1999, GOAB forces seized 21.5 kilograms of cocaine, 75 kilograms of marijuana, one metric ton of cannabis resin, and one metric ton of hash oil, arrested 147 persons and eradicated 23,384 cannabis plants. A USG-provided 82-foot patrol boat, delivered in mid-1998, has been used extensively for coastal patrolling. Unfortunately, it sustained significant damage when it ran aground off Dominica during a hurricane in November 1999. The GOAB received over $400,000 in 1999 via its asset seizure/sharing agreement with Canada.

Crossroads, a 36-bed private drug treatment facility, offers treatment to international and local clients. It is the only rehabilitation center in the country. The center offers its services to a limited number of local clients, who can take advantage of special payment and after-treatment work-programs to pay for the course of treatment. Crossroads and the GOAB are working to establish a halfway house in the capital, St. John's.

Barbados is a transit country for cocaine entering by sea and by air from Colombia, Venezuela, and Guyana, often in container vessels. Smaller vessels also bring in marijuana from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Almost all cocaine shipments entering Barbados and its territorial waters are destined for North America and Europe. Domestic cocaine and crack consumption has been on the rise in recent years. Barbados is a hub for commercial air passenger couriers moving cocaine to Europe. Container freight-forwarders and cruise lines are also reported as means of cocaine transport via Barbados. Barbados is party to the 1961 UN Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Government of Barbados (GOB) agencies reported seizing 133 kg of cocaine, 3.2 kg of heroin, and 334 kg of marijuana in 1999. They arrested 592 persons on drug charges and eradicated 1,181 cannabis plants.

The GOB and the U.S. have signed three important elements of counternarcotics cooperation: a maritime agreement with overflight authority, and extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties. As noted above, the latter two are not yet in force. However, the GOB has signaled that it is prepared to exchange instruments of ratification, the final step required to bring the treaties into force, and the Attorney General said that the GOB has already begun preparing domestic legislation to facilitate the implementation of the treaties.

Overall, manpower shortages and coordination difficulties hampered Barbados' cooperation with U.S. law enforcement to arrest and prosecute major traffickers. The GOB terminated a longstanding USG counternarcotics assistance program in 1999 because of human rights provisions connected to the program. Nonetheless, the Attorney General has pledged that the GOB would fund programs heretofore paid for by the USG.

Strong offshore bank laws and existing currency controls provide a defense against money laundering. Money-laundering legislation, based on the UK Commonwealth Secretariat model, was enacted in December 1998. In late 1999, the GOB proposed legislation that should allow greater access by regulators to offshore bank records. It should also allow the central bank to share information on licensees with regulators in jurisdictions where the licensees have a holding company, subsidiary or affiliate. The GOB's financial intelligence unit has been legislated, but is not yet in place. As a matter of policy, the GOB does not issue offshore business licenses to operate Internet casino gambling sites.

In 1999 the GOB began implementation of a penal system reform bill to provide alternative sentencing options beyond prison and fines. This includes community service orders, curfew orders, and other alternatives. The law is designed to reduce prison overcrowding and provide options for dealing with drug-addicted criminals.

The Proceeds of Crime Act of 1990 provides for the confiscation of property shown to have been derived or obtained by a person, directly or indirectly, from the commission of certain offenses, including drug trafficking and money laundering, and to enable law enforcement authorities to trace such proceeds, benefits, or property. There were no significant asset seizures in 1999.

The National Council on Substance Abuse continues to be active. It works closely with non-governmental organizations in prevention and education efforts and skills-training centers. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program remains active in the school system in spite of the end of the USG's three-year financial commitment to the organization. Barbados' excellent D.A.R.E. program has successfully engaged public and private sector sponsors to help continue the project. Drug detoxification is available at the mental health hospital. The government lacks a residential drug rehabilitation center.

Dominica serves as a transshipment and temporary storage area for drugs, mostly cocaine products, headed to the U. S. and to Europe via the French Departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Go-fast boats bring shipments from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Cannabis also is cultivated in Dominica.

The Dominica police conducted ground-based cannabis eradication missions in rugged, mountainous areas. In 1999, Dominican law enforcement agencies reported seizing 83 kg of cocaine and 190 kg of marijuana. They eradicated 55,210 mature cannabis plants and 8,405 seedlings. Dominica police arrested 178 persons on drug charges.

As in the rest of the region, efforts by the Dominica police to arrest drug traffickers have been undermined by a judicial process that emphasizes fines in lieu of jail sentences, especially for foreigners. Asset forfeiture is directed under Act 20 of 1988, titled "Drugs (Prevention of Misuse)." Dominica seized nine vessels and $6,294 under the Act during 1999.

Dominica criminalized money laundering, and banks are required to report unusual foreign exchange transactions. The Government passed regulations controlling offshore banks. The economic citizenship program, offshore banking, international business corporations, and Internet gaming are lucrative sources of income for the government. However, the government's limited regulatory and investigative capabilities are not adequate to prevent abuse of these industries. Dominican citizenship can be acquired easily, with little-to-no background investigation and no residency requirement.

The Ministry of Health oversees drug demand reduction efforts. Underfunded and understaffed, the Ministry and its National Drug Prevention Unit have nevertheless been highly successful in establishing a series of community-based drug use prevention programs. Starting at age three and proceeding through age 15, school children receive drug use prevention education. The D.A.R.E. program, a cooperative effort of the police force and the Ministry of Education, complements this effort in schools. There are no drug rehabilitation facilities in Dominica; the psychiatric hospital provides detoxification services.

Dominica is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Dominica signed a maritime agreement with the U.S. in 1995 and an MLAT and an extradition treaty in 1996. Dominica has not yet agreed to expand the maritime agreement to include overflight authority. The MLAT and extradition treaties are not yet in force. However, the new Government of Dominica, which came into power after an election on January 31, 2000, has indicated its interest in bringing the treaties into force expeditiously.

The Government of Grenada remains concerned and vigilant in drug control. Domestic marijuana cultivation is down, but marijuana from St. Vincent enters Grenada. Cocaine is trafficked through Grenada's international airport. Private vessels passing through and stopping in Grenada's coastal waters on their way to U.S. and other markets transport larger quantities.

Grenada is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GOG and the USG signed a maritime law enforcement cooperation agreement in 1995 and an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement in 1996. The GOG and the USG exchanged instruments of ratification on the extradition and MLAT treaties in September 1999, bringing these treaties into force.

Grenada has an active and quickly growing offshore sector with offshore banks, international business corporations, and an economic citizenship program, but with only a minimal two-person regulatory staff. Serious questions developed as to Grenada's ability to perform due diligence on applicants and otherwise properly regulate this sector.

The Proceeds of Crime Act requires a conviction before assets can be forfeited, although they can be seized and held prior to conviction. Notable 1999 seizures include $65,000 taken from a Barbadian trafficker and a high-value sailing yacht seized from local smugglers in November. No large-scale traffickers were arrested in 1999.

Cabinet approved Grenada's updated master plan for drug control in December 1997. Grenada has an active drug prevention unit within the Ministry of Education. Under dynamic leadership, and with the active involvement of many government agencies, the National Drug Avoidance Committee keeps drug prevention themes before the public. The police and the GOG at the highest levels actively support the committee. Drug use prevention education is incorporated into all levels of the educational curriculum of 32 primary schools. The D.A.R.E. program continues to function well.

Grenada has one 16-bed drug and alcohol treatment center, receiving about 50 patients per year. Most patients are admitted for alcohol abuse; all treatment costs are borne by the government. Drug detoxification is also done at the psychiatric hospital.

Law enforcement agencies in Grenada cooperate well on drug control. They meet regularly to plan joint operations, thereby maximizing available assets. Grenadian authorities reported seizing approximately 37 kg of cocaine, 772 blocks of crack-cocaine and 203 kg of marijuana in 1999. They arrested 216 people on drug charges and eradicated 9,464 cannabis plants.

St. Kitts and Nevis is a regular transshipment center for cocaine from South America to the U.S. Drugs are transferred out of St. Kitts and Nevis primarily via small sailboats, fishing boats, and go-fast boats bound for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Trafficking organizations operating in St. Kitts have direct ties to South American traffickers and appear highly organized. Local drug use, crack cocaine in particular, is on the rise as local traffickers are paid in product, which they then sell locally.

Since May 1996, the USG has sought the extradition of three prominent drug traffickers who are wanted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. A magistrate initially ruled against the extradition in October 1996. In April 1998 an appeals judge ordered the magistrate to reconsider his decision to deny the extraditions, pointing out that there was sufficient evidence to send the defendants for trial. Despite the order of the appellate court, the magistrate refused to reverse his initial decision, claiming that since the higher court judge did not quash his original order, the original order stood. The USG again appealed the magistrate's decision, and in January 2000 a high court judge announced his decision to quash the lower court's October 1996 and January 1999 denials of the USG extradition requests. Although the magistrate has not yet responded to the high court's January 2000 decision, the defendants filed notice of their intent to appeal the high court's decision to the Privy Council, the last court of appeal for the English-speaking Caribbean. In late February, however, the GOSKN arrested Charles Miller, one of the defendants, for the second time in the past month, on firearms charges and following Miller's recent intimidation of several individuals in St. Kitts. Miller appeared before a magistrate and waived his rights and stated his willingness to surrender to U.S. authorities. In the meantime, steps had been taken by the GOSKN to expel him from the country, using powers under the constitution that, in such instances of conduct detrimental to national security and the social and economic well-being of the federation, supersede the authority of the courts. The USG extradition request for the other two defendants is pending.

Since 1997, the GOSKN has made no further effort to seek the conviction of the assassin of Superintendent of Police Jude Matthew. A suspect in this drug-related case has been tried three times since the 1994 killing, all trials resulting in hung juries. During the third trial, which ended in June 1997, six people, including one of the three men under the U.S. extradition request, were arrested and charged with jury tampering, but cases against them were ordered dropped for procedural reasons. These cases reflect erosion in the proper functioning of civil society, brought about by influence and intimidation. The GOSKN reports that they have since changed their criminal law to allow judges to decide a case should there be a hung jury at a second trial.

St. Kitts and Nevis is party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GOSKN signed a maritime law enforcement cooperation agreement with the U.S. in 1995, and an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement in 1996. The USG and the GOSKN signed a new extradition treaty in 1996 and an MLAT in 1997. An exchange of instruments of ratification, the final step to bring the treaties into force, is scheduled for late February 2000.

St. Kitts and Nevis developed a master plan for drug control in 1996. However, coordinating the interdiction and demand reduction components of the plan has been problematic. The GOSKN is currently drafting alternative sentencing legislation for first- time drug offenders.

The GOSKN Defence Force, reestablished in 1997 after a 16-year hiatus, is augmenting the anti-narcotics efforts of the police, particularly in cannabis eradication operations. GOSKN officials reported seizing 0.95 kg of cocaine and nearly 16 kg of marijuana in 1999. They arrested 25 people on drug charges and eradicated 63,911 cannabis plants. However, the Kittitian drug squad has been effectively eviscerated, with the number of officers reduced from over 20 members in 1998 to eight by the end of 1999.

The high degree of drug trafficking activity through and around St. Kitts and Nevis and the presence of known traffickers in St. Kitts place this small country at great risk for money-laundering activity. In this climate, authorities in Nevis have actively sought to attract offshore banks and businesses, even though they lack the measures to vet and regulate this fast-growing sector. The GOSKN operates a poorly regulated economic citizenship scheme that can facilitate criminal activities.

St. Lucia has experienced a rapid increase in cocaine trafficking over the past four years. Colombian and Venezuelan traffickers are active in St. Lucia, working with local transshippers to stockpile cocaine awaiting onward shipment. Much of this cocaine comes from Colombia through Venezuela, either directly or through Trinidad and Tobago, or to a lesser extent St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The cocaine is then moved to Martinique or Dominica and on to Europe and the U.S. Much of the cocaine enters St. Lucia at or near its southern-most port of Vieux Fort. Offshore airdrops followed by small boat transport to seaside caches is a common smuggling method along St. Lucia's rugged coastline. Some marijuana is cultivated, mostly for local consumption. Overall, the GOSL has an excellent record on counternarcotics cooperation and is generally deemed the USG's most effective law enforcement partner in the Lesser Antilles.

The GOSL reported seizing 122 kg of cocaine and 349 kg of marijuana in 1999. They arrested 641 persons on drug charges and eradicated 29,850 cannabis plants. A joint USG/GOSL operation netted 26 kilos of cocaine and led to the arrests of smugglers, including two U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico. The USG and the GOSL cooperate extensively on law enforcement matters.

St. Lucian legislation, Number 22 of 1988, entitled "Drugs Prevention of Misuse Act," allows for asset forfeiture after conviction. The law directs the forfeited proceeds to be applied to treatment, rehabilitation, education and preventative measures related to drug abuse. However, there were no significant asset forfeitures in 1999. No major drug traffickers were arrested in 1999.

St. Lucia is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. St. Lucia has not acceded to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The GOSL signed a maritime agreement with the USG in 1995 and an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement. In February 2000, the U.S. and St. Lucia exchanged instruments of ratification which brought the MLAT and extradition treaties into force.

In late 1998 the GOSL appointed a new head of the National Drug Control and Prevention Secretariat. The Secretariat, with OAS/CICAD assistance, is currently finalizing a drug control master plan. Various community groups, particularly the police public relations office, continue to be active in drug use prevention efforts, with a particular focus on youth. St. Lucia offers drug treatment and rehabilitation at an in-patient facility known as Turning Point, run by the Ministry of Health. The St. Lucian police report that the D.A.R.E. program has been extremely successful.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the largest producer of marijuana in the eastern Caribbean and the source for much of the marijuana used in the region. Extensive tracts in the inaccessible northern half of St. Vincent are under intensive marijuana cultivation. However, because of the small size of the country, cultivation does not reach the major-producer threshold limit of 5000 hectares, nor does it significantly affect the U.S. As such, St. Vincent is not designated a major drug source country despite the pervasive influence of the drug trade in the country. Compressed marijuana is sent from St. Vincent to neighboring islands via private vessels. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has become a storage point for cocaine coming from Trinidad and Tobago and South America via inter-island cargo boats.

The illegal drug trade has infiltrated the economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and created dependence among some segments on marijuana production and trafficking. Vincentians acknowledge the dependence, but many have been reluctant to acknowledge the associated negative aspects occurring in the country: a decline in civil society, drug addiction, violent behavior, murders related to drug trafficking, disappearances, and increased general criminal activity.

To enhance its counternarcotics activities, the GOSVG requested and received U.S. Marine Corps helicopter airlift support for a marijuana eradication mission in December 1999. One hundred and twenty Vincentian and RSS forces destroyed approximately 700,000 mature cannabis plants and 4 million cannabis seedlings, and destroyed 14,000 lbs. of marijuana during the joint operation. The eradication effort, while substantial, must be viewed as only a beginning to a necessary on-going commitment to year-round ground-based eradication efforts by the GOSVG, if it is to make inroads in the pervasive cannabis production. Such continuous cannabis eradication efforts, together with the prosecution of known traffickers using conspiracy laws, seizure and forfeiture of trafficker assets, and vigilant port security need to be stepped up to have an impact. No major traffickers were arrested and no significant assets seized in 1999.

In 1999, GOSVG officials reported seizing over 15 kg of cocaine and 7.12 metric tons of marijuana. They arrested 501 persons on drug-related charges and eradicated 4.76 million cannabis plants. With insufficient resources, the police, customs, and coast guard try to control the rugged terrain and adjacent sea of St. Vincent and the chain of islands making up the Grenadines. Their reaction capability is limited.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a small, but growing, offshore financial services sector. Parliament passed a series of laws in 1996 to regulate the offshore sector, including an International Banks Act, an International Trust Act, and an International Business Companies Act. It is also currently putting into place the structure for an economic citizenship program. There is an offshore finance authority to regulate offshore activities. Money laundering per se has not been criminalized, although laundering of money received through certain crimes, including drug trafficking, is punishable under the 1997 Proceeds of Crime Act. Asset forfeiture is permitted under St. Vincent and the Grenadines' Drug Trafficking Offences Act of 1993, although no significant asset forfeitures have been made.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol. The GOSVG signed a maritime agreement with the USG in 1995, but has not yet signed an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement. The GOSVG signed an extradition treaty in 1996, and an MLAT in January 1998, both of which were brought into force in September 1999.

An Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and Prevention, mandated by statute, has been inactive for several years. Drug detoxification is available at the government mental hospital, but no in-patient drug rehabilitation services exist. Drug prevention education is part of the family life curriculum in the schools, and the police-run D.A.R.E. program continues to be warmly received in selected schools, helping to overcome a general lack of public trust in the police. One NGO, Marion House, provides drug counseling in St. Vincent and has developed worthwhile initiatives in prisoner rehabilitation and prison officer training.



Martinique, Guadeloupe, the French side of St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and French Guiana are subject to French law and all international conventions signed by France. The Government of France (GOF) is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention, its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The Police Judiciaire, Gendarmerie, and French Customs Service together play a major role in narcotics law enforcement in these overseas departments of France, just as they do in the rest of France. South American cocaine moves through the French Caribbean and from French Guiana to Europe and, to a lesser extent, the U.S. There is not enough evidence to establish that the quantities destined for the U.S. are sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S. However, the U.S. considers the broad geographical area of the eastern and southern Caribbean, of which the French Caribbean is a part, as an area of concern regarding the transit of drugs to the U.S. A small amount of cannabis is cultivated in French Guiana.

In addition to the agreements and treaties discussed in the report on France, USG and GOF counternarcotics cooperation in the Caribbean is enhanced by a multilateral Caribbean customs mutual assistance agreement which provides for information sharing to enforce customs laws, including those related to drug trafficking. Law enforcement cooperation in the Caribbean has also been greatly enhanced by the assignment of a French Gendarmerie liaison officer to the U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force-East (JIATF-E) at Key West, Florida. The USG and the GOF have been discussing a bilateral counternarcotics maritime agreement for the Caribbean for several years, and the USG still awaits a response from the GOF on agreement language proposed by the USG in 1998. During 1999, France stepped up its participation in joint interdiction operations in the Caribbean, which should pave the way to formalize these cooperative arrangements with an agreement. The USG believes such an agreement would further enhance the increasingly good operational relations in the Caribbean and hopes to resume negotiations in 2000.

The French Inter-Ministerial Drug Control Training Center (CIFAD) in Martinique offers training in French, Spanish and English to the Caribbean and Central and South America, covering such subject areas as control of money laundering and precursor chemicals, mutual legal assistance and international legal cooperation, coast guard training, customs valuation, and drug control in airports. CIFAD coordinates its training activities with those of UNDCP, OAS/CICAD and individual donor nations. U.S. Customs officers periodically teach at CIFAD. France supports European Union initiatives to increase counternarcotics assistance to the Caribbean. The EU and its member states, and the U.S. and other individual and multinational donors, are coordinating their programs of assistance closely through established mini-Dublin groups in the region and through bilateral and multilateral discussions. France is an active Cooperating and Supporting Nation (COSUN) to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). In addition, the GOF is providing an experienced anti-money laundering officer to serve as Deputy Director of CFATF, headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad.


I. Summary

Guyana is increasingly being used for transshipment of South American cocaine en route to the U.S. and Europe, although there is not evidence that the cocaine entering the U.S. from Guyana is in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S. Cocaine enters Guyana by sea, river, land or airdrop. Traffickers then take advantage of dense jungles, low population and weak law enforcement and judicial infrastructure to avoid more efficiently policed routes. While Guyana is not a major producer of illicit narcotics, drug traffickers have reportedly begun producing small quantities of cocaine in a very remote area and growing small amounts of marijuana. Despite limited resources, the Government of Guyana (GOG) had some success in interdicting drugs in 1999. Both the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) cooperated with DEA, which resumed regular coverage in 1998. At President Jagdeo's direction, the GOG created a joint GPF/CANU task force to apprehend drug dealers, which conducted several successful operations in late 1999. Guyana is a party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. However, the GOG needs to pass and implement a wide range of additional legislation before it will be in compliance with the 1988 UN Drug Convention's goals and objectives.

II. Status of Country

With neighboring countries strengthening their interdiction efforts, traffickers are turning to Guyana as a safer transshipment route for South American cocaine. Guyana's borders are porous and largely unpatrolled, allowing narcotics to enter the country by road or river. Airdrops also occur at several remote and unmonitored airstrips. The narcotics are then transported to Georgetown, where they are illegally exported by commercial ship or air via intermediate stops in the Caribbean or, increasingly, directly to the United States and Europe. The growing presence of narcotics in Guyana has led to increased domestic use of illegal narcotics. Small amounts of marijuana are grown locally. In 1999, processing of Peruvian coca base reportedly began in the extremely remote New River triangle area near the Brazilian and Suriname tri-border. The lack of resources severely limits the GOG's ability to interdict and prosecute drug traffickers.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The GOG continued to support regional and local counternarcotics initiatives. In order to improve CANU's authority, the GOG in 1999 passed legislation granting CANU status as a bona fide law enforcement agency with full arrest, seizure, and prosecutorial powers. Additionally, the legislation provides magistrates with greater flexibility in sentencing drug users. In November 1999, President Jagdeo created a special anti-narcotics task force comprising CANU and GPF personnel. The task force coordinated raids on drug dealers in several coastal villages to reduce the availability of narcotics for local consumption.

In early February 2000, Parliament passed the Money Laundering (Prevention) Bill which criminalizes drug-related money laundering and allows for the expansion to other predicate offenses, and requires suspicious transaction reporting. The USG has not yet determined whether it meets international standards. The GOG has not enacted legislation specifically covering asset seizure, asset forfeiture or asset and intelligence sharing. However, the new money laundering law contains limited clauses addressing asset forfeiture. While senior government officials consistently express commitment to fighting narcotics and cooperating with the U.S. and other Caribbean countries, the lack of resources severely inhibits the GOG's capacity to carry out successful interdiction operations.

Accomplishments. Due to a lack of resources, coast guard operations in 1999 were limited, and the Guyanese were unable to replicate the 1998 high-profile seizure of the motor vessel Danielsen carrying over three metric tons of cocaine. While the GOG said that some of the proceeds from the sale of the Danielsen would go toward supporting counternarcotics efforts, the GOG has not yet found a buyer for the vessel. Nevertheless, the CANU and GPF continued to seize drugs and arrest persons involved in the narcotics trade. Resource limitations caused an actual decline in the amount of narcotics seized in 1999 as compared to 1998, while narcotics trafficking through Guyana has increased substantially.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The GOG remains committed to combating narcotics trafficking with interdiction efforts, and CANU has had some success arresting drug smugglers at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. As discussed above, several successful operations were conducted by the newly created CANU/GPF task force. In August 1999, a delegation from the CANU, the Guyanese Defense Force (GDF) and the GPF visited the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) as part of an effort to prepare for the implementation of the Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC).

Corruption. There were reports that individual GPF and Customs officials were assisting narcotics traffickers; however, few cases have been fully investigated or prosecuted. One GPF officer faces charges for assisting a cocaine smuggler in 1999 at Cheddi Jagan International Airport. In December 1999, counternarcotics efforts were set back when the Director of Public Prosecutions failed to bring charges against five drug traffickers arrested in 1995 and 1996, leading a judge to dismiss the charges. Guyana signed the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption in March 1996, but has yet to ratify the Convention.

Agreements and Treaties. Guyana is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The 1931 U.S.-UK extradition treaty is still in force between Guyana and the U.S. Guyana has an agreement to share narcotics intelligence with the UK. Guyana has not yet signed a maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement with the U.S., which would enhance GOG effectiveness in combating narcotics trafficking.

Cultivation/Production. A small amount of cannabis cultivation takes place in Guyana's interior, and the police carried out several small eradication campaigns. There are reports of small cocaine processing operations in a remote area near the Suriname/Brazil tri-border.

Drug Flow/Transit. The flow of drugs, primarily cocaine or coca paste of Colombian or Peruvian origin, through Guyana is believed to have increased substantially in 1999. Because of Guyanese authorities' limited resources, a very large percentage of narcotics transiting Guyana probably is undetected.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. There is some domestic consumption of marijuana. Domestic consumption of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin is increasing. There are reports that international traffickers have given narcotics as payments to their Guyanese associates, which has increased the amount of narcotics available for local use. The GPF and the Ministry of Health conduct youth outreach through several local and international programs including D.A.R.E.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. In 1999, the U.S. continued to broaden its counternarcotics efforts in Guyana through discussions by senior Embassy and State Department officials with Guyanese counterparts and regular visits by DEA personnel. In addition, the USG continues to provide training and equipment to enhance the GOG's counternarcotics efforts.

Bilateral Cooperation. Guyanese leaders continue to be receptive to U.S. counternarcotics efforts and assistance as the narcotics problem grows in Guyana. In September 1999, the GOG signed a Letter of Agreement with the USG accepting $50,000 for use in counternarcotics training and equipment. In December 1999, the GOG agreed to provide crew for the Caribbean Support Tender, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel with a multinational crew that will provide training, ship maintenance and repairs, and logistics support to Caribbean nation coast guards. During 1999, the USG provided DEA training in basic narcotics investigations for the CANU and GPF and, through military training programs, counternarcotics training for the GDF. One Guyanese Customs official participated in the INL-funded U.S. Customs Integrity Reinforcement/Anti-Corruption Seminar for member states of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) conducted in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in May 1999. The USG provided funding for a visit by senior CANU, GPF and GDF personnel to the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) in an effort to improve coordination among Guyanese government entities involved in counternarcotics activities.

The Road Ahead. With narcotics trafficking through Guyana continuing to increase, the USG will redouble its efforts to assist the GOG in combating narcotics trafficking and abuse. We will continue to provide training, technical assistance and equipment to improve the counternarcotics capacity of the GPF, CANU, and GDF. We also plan to assist the GOG to update and modernize its criminal and legal statutes. The USG will encourage the GOG to take advantage of regional initiatives and fulfill its commitments under the 1996 UNDCP Barbados plan of action and the 1997 Bridgetown Summit action plan.


I. Summary

Haiti is a major transshipment point for drugs, primarily cocaine, moving from South America to the United States. Haiti's weak democratic institutions, fledgling police force, and eroding infrastructure provide South America-based narcotics traffickers with a path of very little resistance. Haiti is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Haiti achieved some anti-drug progress in 1999. The Government of Haiti (GOH) and the USG collaborated in targeting the principal Colombian drug trafficking organization operating in Haiti-the Coneo family-and arrested two of its key members. The GOH deployed its Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC). The GOH continued to implement the proposed GOH/USG Maritime Counternarcotics Interdiction Agreement. It officially agreed to expel non-Haitians fugitives wanted by the U.S. Justice Department. The GOH cooperated with the Dominican Republic in planning for a Haitian border control unit and police exchange program.

Prime Minister Alexis approved the concept of the 1997 draft CN master plan as well as the creation of a National Drug Council that the draft plan called for. He assigned a special judiciary team to update counternarcotics draft legislation for parliament's earliest approval. The Prime Minister also called for formation of a special anti-corruption commission.

Several important counternarcotics goals, however, remained unfulfilled. While the estimated flow of cocaine to Haiti increased slightly during 1999, the GOH seized less than a third of the amount of cocaine it did in 1998. The HNP deployed none of the twenty-five new officers it had pledged for its counternarcotics unit (the BLTS) for 1999. The GOH failed to draft a much-needed Memorandum of Understanding on Interagency Cooperation. It allowed Haitian Customs and Immigration to spurn CN cooperation with the HNP at ports and airports and to withdraw from participation with the HNP in the JICC. With only two exceptions, mere dismissal-rather than arrest and prosecution-continued to be the standard punishment for narcotics corruption among police. The GOH failed to produce a promised report on 1998's notorious "450 kilo affair." The judicial system continued to move slowly, and while numerous drug cases were handed to the system for investigation, there were no drug convictions in 1999. The GOH also took no steps to join the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.

In September, a ministerial-level bilateral meeting with the Dominican Republic resulted in the creation of a thirteen-part agreement to increase counternarcotics cooperation between the two nations. The GODR approved the accords at the highest levels and stands ready to carry them out, but precipitous personnel changes in the Haitian Government have put at risk further progress.

II. Status of Country

Because parliament has not functioned since 1997, the GOH has been unable to pass key counternarcotics bills. Thus Haitian authorities continued to be deprived of long-needed criminal laws and law enforcement tools. Those authorities continue to suffer from inexperience, lack of resources, a crumbling infrastructure, and an antiquated legal system. The police to population ratio is one of the lowest in the world, and the nation's counternarcotics police unit (BLTS), which serves a population of eight million, numbers only twenty-four. Haiti's poverty, the worst in the hemisphere, makes it exceptionally vulnerable to official narcotics corruption. As a result, Haiti increasingly serves as an important transit point and repository for large cocaine shipments en route from South America to the United States. Both USG and GOH authorities recognize the unmistakable signs of money laundering activities, which Haitian law has not yet criminalized.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Because of the continuing political impasse, the critical anti-drug policy initiatives begun in 1997 by the GOH continued to be on hold throughout 1999. These included adoption of an anti-drug National Master Plan and enactment of money laundering/asset forfeiture/chemical control laws. Some policy initiatives were undertaken, however. The Prime Minister approved the concept of a National Drug Council (NDC), and a decree by the Inter-Ministerial Council establishing the NDC is expected in early 2000. The NDC will likely modify an existing CICAD-approved CN master plan written in 1997 by Groupe Magloire (a panel headed by Special Judicial Advisor Rene Magloire). The Prime Minister ordered a special judicial review committee to ready new legislation, including anti-drug and anti-corruption bills, for presentation to the new parliament once it is seated, in early summer of 2000 at the earliest.

With backing from UNDCP, Rene Magloire organized a two-day seminar for discussion and clarification of the drug problem in Haiti in May of 1999. Members of both the private and public sectors met to debate the problem and seek solutions. The discussions resulted in the formulation of several recommendations in the areas of demand reduction, law enforcement, and national coordination. Groupe Magloire published a review of the seminar and its recommendations in December of 1999 for the review of both the GOH and UNDCP.

In its strategic plan to secure free and fair elections, the HNP leadership recognized the importance of urgent measures to fortify against the likely increase in drug trafficking during the pre-election period. Indeed the HNP made counternarcotics one of its five election related priorities. Under the plan, the HNP requested international donor assistance in the areas of equipment, training, and infrastructure, particularly for police stations along the south coast. By the end of 1999, three stations had been rehabilitated and two had been newly constructed.

In September of 1999, the Minister of Justice and the HNP leadership initiated a regional meeting with their Dominican counterparts. The meeting resulted in the creation of a thirteen-point agreement to increase counternarcotics coordination between the two neighboring nations. The GOH plans to implement several of the points, such as counternarcotics personnel exchange and increased communication between border control units, in the year 2000. However, implementation may be hampered by the October 1999 resignation of the GOH Public Security Secretary, a prime mover in GOH/GODR anti-drug collaboration.

Illicit Cultivation and Production. Haiti is not a major drug cultivating or drug producing country. The cultivation, production, distribution, sale and possession of narcotics are illegal in Haiti.

Drug Flow and Transit. USG estimates indicated that some 67 metric tons of cocaine moved through Haiti during 1999, a 24 percent increase over the 1998 USG estimate of 54 metric tons. USG estimates also indicated that nearly 14 percent of the cocaine moving from South America toward the United States passed through Haiti in 1999, compared to 10 percent in 1998.

During 1999, Colombian traffickers shifted somewhat from their 1998 pattern, which directed "go-fast" boats to the unprotected south coast of Haiti. Maritime movement relied increasingly on nondescript fishing vessels and targeted nearly every port of entry, principally Port au Prince, Cap Haitien and Jacmel.

In 1999, airdrops constituted over a third of the estimated flow into Haiti, whose highway system is in shambles and whose mountainous terrain provides nearly undetectable drop and landing sites. While the USG was able to track suspicious aircraft bound for Haiti, GOH law enforcement teams were usually unable to respond.

When cocaine enters Haiti it is often transferred overland to the Dominican Republic from whence it either goes directly to the U.S. mainland or Europe, or via small vessels to Puerto Rico. Once there, the cocaine is shipped via container cargo vessels or commercial airliners to the U.S. or Europe. Cocaine is also smuggled out of Haiti directly to the Continental United States in containerized cargo or on bulk cargo freighters.

Money Laundering/Asset Seizure. Because the GOH has no laws against money laundering nor any cross-border currency transfer declaration requirements, Colombian traffickers have moved cash freely through Haiti without threat of loss. In prior years and in the first half of 1999, the GOH almost invariably returned seized cash to its bearer. During the second half of 1999, however, the GOH manipulated existing laws to retain a substantial percentage of its cash seizures. The BLTS dramatically increased cash seizures in 1999 to approximately USD 3,600,000 from just under USD 1,000,000 in 1998. The BLTS also seized one house worth approximately USD 2,000,000 as well as several vehicles valued at $160,000 during 1999 cocaine seizures and investigations.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. The GOH does not operate a demand reduction or public awareness program. The Association for Alcohol Prevention and Chemical Dependency (APAAC), a private non-governmental organization, remains the only establishment with treatment programs for substance abuse. All anecdotal reports indicate that local consumption continues to increase as traffickers increasingly pay off their personnel in kind.

The UNDCP plans to carry out a survey in 2000 in conjunction with APAAC and, based on its results, the National Drug Council will contact educators to press for demand reduction programs in the schools.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The focus of the GOH anti-drug law enforcement efforts is on the prevention of transport and distribution of illegal drugs. GOH and occasional private sector concern over the destructive potential of trafficking through Haiti is on the rise. Counternarcotics efforts are less a priority than the more pressing matters of social order and personal protection.

During 1999, the HNP seized 430 kilos of cocaine, less than one-third the amount of 1998. This decline in seizures may be due in part to a shift by Colombian traffickers from maritime drug shipments to airdrops. The latter are effectively beyond the reach of Haitian law enforcement units.

The HNP made 72 drug-related arrests in 1999. Four of those arrested were Colombian members of the Coneo drug trafficking organization-two considered major traffickers and two minor members of that organization. Two arrestees were HNP officers. Of the 72, 61 were Haitian, four Colombian, two Dominican Republicans, two Syrian, one American, one Guatemalan, and one Guyanese. Of the 72 arrested in 1999, 62 are in prison at various stages of prosecution, none near actual trial, and six were released. The GOH expelled the four Colombians, who could not be prosecuted under existing Haitian law: one key Coneo member (the wife of the organization's kingpin) was expelled to the Dominican Republic where she faces passport fraud charges, and the other key member (a brother of the kingpin) was expelled to Colombia; one minor Coneo member (another brother of the Coneo kingpin) was expelled to the Dominican Republic (and subsequently to Colombia by the GODR) and the other Coneo henchman to Colombia.

During 1999, the Haitian Coast Guard (HCG), maritime arm of the HNP, seized 43 kilos of cocaine. During 1999 the HCG achieved its first seizure ever made without USCG assistance. The HCG recovered two "go-fast" boats on the south coast. HCG and USCG personnel joined in four dockside boardings that yielded positive evidence of smuggling. 1999 saw a significant increase in HCG boardings of local traffic inside the claw of Haiti. HCG personnel continue to participate in the shiprider program that allows for numerous USCG boardings within Haitian waters. The HCG also participated in a Caribbean-wide training operation.

HNP leadership repeatedly exhibited cooperation with U.S. authorities in counternarcotics efforts in 1999. In February, the HNP worked closely with DEA to successfully disrupt the Coneo organization's trafficking operation in Haiti. It also collaborated with U.S. authorities in two 1999 operations that combined assets from the USCG, DEA, and U.S. Customs and the GOH. The noticeable temporary decrease in airdrop and "go-fast" activity together with reports from in-country informants proved both operations to be major deterrents to smugglers. The GOH also collaborated with the USG in the federal prosecution of a U.S. airline flight attendant accused of transporting 10 kilos of cocaine from Port au Prince to Miami.

GOH law enforcement officials supported 1999 U.S. efforts to establish a Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC) in the Port au Prince International Airport. The HNP provided three well-trained intelligence analysts to the JICC staff, although Haitian Customs and Immigration did not carry out their commitments participate in the JICC. Following INL-sponsored training, the JICC began operations in October. It directly contributed to at least one late 1999 arrest and cash seizure in the Dominican Republic.

The HNP did not carry out its pledge to deploy twenty-five additional BLTS officers in 1999. However, it did identify ten officers to be assigned and deployed in 2000. The HNP leadership and the Prime Minister agreed to provide an additional forty officers following parliamentary elections set for March 2000. They also sanctioned bi-weekly coordination meetings of the HCG and BLTS with their U.S. Embassy counterparts to combat airdrops and maritime smuggling.

Despite some signs of progress, GOH law enforcement entities continue to suffer from inexperience, an outdated legal system, and lack of interagency coordination. The Haitian Customs force, while responsible for several airport drug seizures in 1999, continues to deny the BLTS complete access to the Port Au Prince airport. In November, the Prime Minister ordered the heads of HNP, Customs, Immigration, and the Foreign Ministry to meet to discuss increased cooperation among GOH law enforcement agencies in both the airport and other interagency endeavors throughout Haiti, but there have been no concrete results.

Corruption. Corruption continues to spread throughout the GOH, despite continuing official iterations that it must not be tolerated. The Prime Minister, in his May 1999 list of aspirations for the GOH, called for a special anti-corruption commission which will address, among other matters, money laundering. The Commission will reportedly be officially announced in January of 2000. Also, in late 1999 the Prime Minister issued a directive that all bank directors must inform both the Central Bank and the Ministry of Justice of any large financial transactions.

The HNP Inspector General's office issued no statistics in 1999 on police implication in the drug trade. With two exceptions in 1999, police arrested for drug trafficking were only dismissed from the force without being prosecuted. The GOH did not resolve the "450 kilo affair," the alleged 1998 theft by policemen of a large cocaine shipment (in which high-level HNP involvement had been publicly rumored), and it failed to publish a promised public report on the case. Despite release orders by the investigating judge who cleared them of involvement in the affair, two low-level members of the BLTS arrested in 1998 remained in prison without due process. The GOH also failed to renew the appointment of the investigating judge.

In the Justice, Customs and Port Authority sectors, corruption remains a driving force. Although the rate of pay for judges was raised by 150% in 1999, bringing it to a level slightly higher than that of a policeman, judges' salaries remain sufficiently meager to make them vulnerable to bribes. Similarly, poorly paid Customs agents profit from widespread contraband activities in Haiti's ports. An estimated two-thirds of Haiti's imports arrive without the knowledge of or with the collusion of Haitian Customs.

Agreements and Treaties. Haiti is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, its 1972 protocol, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. During 1999, as a result of government deadlock, the parliament failed to ratify the 1971 UN Drug Convention. In late 1999 in Paraguay, Haiti signed an affirmation of the 1998 Santiago Declaration in support of a CICAD-designed mechanism for multilateral evaluation of participating countries' counternarcotics efforts.

The GOH and the USG signed a six-part comprehensive maritime counternarcotics interdiction agreement in October of 1997. Although Haiti has still not taken the necessary parliamentary action to put the agreement in force due to its political stalemate, the GOH is implementing the provisions of this proposed agreement.

A 1904 bilateral extradition treaty between the USG and the GOH remains in force, but is not being utilized at this point because of the chaotic situation in Haiti. The 1987 Haitian constitution prohibits the extradition of Haitian nationals. In its FY 1999 Letter of Agreement with the United States, the GOH committed to act with diligence on all U.S. requests for deportation or expulsion to the U.S. of non-Haitian nationals wanted by the U.S. justice system. Further, the HNP permitted DEA to fingerprint all Colombians in Haitian prisons in an effort to check for those possibly wanted in the U.S. The USG did not request the expulsion to the U.S. of any non-Haitian nationals in 1999.

In 1997 the Haitian Foreign Ministry began review of an OAS Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) which, if ratified by the USG and GOH, would facilitate greater bilateral law enforcement cooperation. However, the GOH took no action on the proposed MLAT in 1998 or 1999.

IV. U.S Policy Initiatives and Programs

The plan of the U.S. Mission in Haiti for combating illegal drugs continues to be to reduce the amount of narcotics transiting Haiti while strengthening the capacity and operational effectiveness of the GOH institutions that oppose narcotics trafficking. This approach addresses both law enforcement entities and the justice sector, providing not only training, equipment, and infrastructure, but also operational support and mentoring. In addition, the strategy calls for U.S. efforts to foster interagency and international cooperation among GOH officials and to fight official corruption wherever possible.

In September of 1999, the USG and the GOH signed a Letter of Agreement under which the USG will provide USD 620,000 in FY 1999 counternarcotics assistance funds. The agreement covers projects to be mutually undertaken in the areas of law enforcement training, a Haitian-Dominican border counternarcotics initiative, the formation of a special investigative team to target major international traffickers, and anti-money laundering efforts.

USD 250,000 was obligated through INL in 1999 to assist Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Georges. The funds will be used to conduct an anti-corruption seminar in CY 2000.

The staff of the DEA's Port Au Prince Country Office, whose 1998 complement consisted of varying numbers of both permanent and temporary duty members, solidified in 1999 at eight permanent members. DEA divided the HNP's BLTS team into three distinct groups to address street, maritime, and airport endeavors and took leadership roles in both Operations Frontier Lance II and Columbus.

In 1999 U.S. Southern Command earmarked approximately USD 300,000 for infrastructure and training support to the HCG and was key in the execution of Operations Frontier Lance II and Columbus.

A U.S. Customs training and assistance project valued at $182,000, (from USAID FY 1998 funds), carried out five training missions for Haitian Customs and HNP during 1999, focusing on search procedures for seagoing vessels and aircraft. They also provided inspection tools and additional training equipment to Haitian Customs agents.

The Road Ahead. One of the United States' key national interests is stanching the flow of illegal narcotics transiting Haiti. The overall objectives of the U.S. Mission in Haiti in support of that interest are (1) improving the operational effectiveness of the GOH institutions that address illegal drugs; and (2) pursuing narcotics traffickers operating in Haiti in order to arrest, try and convict them either here or in the US. These objectives involve assisting the HNP to develop an effective narcotics interdiction capability while simultaneously working with it operationally to interdict narcotics traffickers. They also entail working to forge an effective counternarcotics team that will include Haitian Customs, Immigration, and Judiciary. To this end the USG will provide substantial training both inside and outside Haiti to the BLTS, the HCG, the JICC, and allied elements in the Judiciary, Customs, and Immigration.

Conceptually, the U.S. Mission intends to employ the "total package approach" which has been so successful with the

development of the HCG. This approach will involve coordinated interagency participation across a broad spectrum of areas including the development of infrastructure, the provision of equipment and training, and operational mentoring.

The U.S. Mission envisions Haiti as a square with one land and three maritime frontiers. Its efforts at interdiction on the western face of the square include creation of counternarcotics task forces lead by the BLTS at both the airport and seaport in Port au Prince, and development of the ship-boarding/search capability of the HCG operating from their Killick base near Port-au-Prince. In FY-2000 the U.S. Mission plans to repair the pier facility at Killick to facilitate further growth of the HCG. It intends to utilize a surplus U.S.military trailer to create an office for the BLTS at the seaport. It intends to use ICITAP and DEA assistance to fully integrate the JICC, which became active in 1999, into counternarcotics operations.

During FY 2000, the U.S. Mission in Haiti will construct a new HCG base at Cap Haitian on Haiti's northern coast. This base will include an operations center for the BLTS to facilitate its operations. The Prime Minister has given priority to enhancing the Haitian presence on Haiti's land border with the Dominican Republic by increasing the number of HNP officers there and deploying customs, immigration, and tax collection officers to the principal border crossing point at Malpasse. The U.S. Mission will support this initiative by assisting with the construction of an inspection point and a small-boat launching facility. U.S. Southern Command engineers already have done a preliminary site survey.

On the critical south coast, construction of a much-needed HCG facility in Jacmel has been unavoidably delayed by a major, ongoing reconstruction of the civilian port. Construction of the HCG base in Jacmel will not begin until FY01. As a substitute for the postponed Jacmel base, the U.S. Mission is pressing forward with the rehabilitation of an old Haitian naval base in Les Cayes. While not sealing Haiti's land and sea borders, these bases will establish an HCG presence on the south coast for the first time.

There is reason for guarded optimism that the GOH and USG can make progress during 2000. In 1999, for the first time, Haiti's Prime Minister took personal interest in the provisions of the Letter of Agreement governing counternarcotics funding by INL. He has directed that the HNP and Customs work together to counter narcotics trafficking, hopefully ending Custom's withdrawal, beginning in April 1999, from DEA's counternarcotics task forces at both the port and airport. Even with the support of the Prime Minister, however, counternarcotics efforts in Haiti will remain precarious. With both parliamentary and local elections set for March and presidential elections scheduled for November, there is considerable concern that the HNP will become politicized or corrupted to the point that counternarcotics operations may be compromised. Under those circumstances it could become impossible for the USG to continue working with the HNP. At present, Haiti's counternarcotics capability is rudimentary at best, but it is improving in response to USG assistance. Unfortunately, at the same time narcotics-related corruption within the GOH and civil society is growing. There are indications that narcotics use is spreading within Haitian society as a consequence of increased trafficking activity. Haiti is therefore engaged in a race against time to see whether the ability of the GOH to combat narcotics trafficking can outstrip its corrosive effects on Haitian society.

Haiti Statistics








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Total Arrests






I. Summary

Jamaica is a major transit point for South American cocaine en route to the U.S. as well as the largest Caribbean producer and exporter of marijuana. During 1999, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) made progress towards meeting the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. At regional meetings, GOJ officials actively supported counternarcotics initiatives. Bilateral counternarcotics cooperation is good and improving. In the area of maritime law enforcement, Jamaican forces continued to participate in combined operations under the Jamaica-U.S. bilateral maritime agreement.

In March 1999, Jamaica took an important step in its effort to create an anti-money laundering regime which meets international standards by amending the 1996 Money Laundering Act to require the reporting of suspicious transactions. However, further amendment to the law is required to address the critical issue of money laundering in relation to the proceeds of other serious crime. The GOJ has stated that, as a first step, it has drafted amendments to the money laundering act that will add fraud and firearms offenses as predicate offenses. The GOJ is in the process of establishing a financial analysis unit to identify money-laundering activities, but has not yet provided staff for the unit. Jamaica's current asset forfeiture regime does not permit the GOJ to take full advantage of the forfeiture mechanism to augment the resources of its anti-drug agencies and deprive criminals of the proceeds of their crime. Current Jamaican law requires the conviction of a criminal drug defendant prior to commencing a forfeiture action. In 1999, Parliament passed legislation permitting the GOJ to enter into agreements with other governments to share assets confiscated from drug traffickers and other criminals. The GOJ enacted a Precursor Chemicals Act and has budgeted for implementation of chemical controls. The USG has already provided training to Jamaican precursor chemical control personnel. In late 1999, the GOJ introduced a bill in Parliament establishing drug courts, which passed both houses and now awaits the signature of the Governor General.

Transparency International and other organizations have reported that corruption is viewed as a grave problem in Jamaica; drug trafficking adds to the problem. The GOJ's anti-corruption legislation, introduced in Parliament in 1998, passed the House and Senate in different versions; a compromise bill is currently being crafted by a joint select committee of Parliament. The GOJ's position is that passage of the Anti-Corruption Act must occur before it can ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, which Jamaica signed in March 1996. The GOJ has a policy of investigating credible reports of police corruption, including those related to drugs, but more needs to be done to root out corruption in the public sector.

The GOJ extradited four people to the U.S. in 1999; there are sixteen active pending extradition requests. In 1999, the GOJ developed, with USG assistance, a special fugitive apprehension team to target and apprehend fugitives from justice. The team has thus far located three fugitives and provided information for several U.S.-based investigations. The GOJ arrested 6,718 drug offenders in 1999. Nevertheless, no major drug traffickers were arrested or convicted during 1999 and continue to operate with apparent impunity. The GOJ agreed in 1998 to develop a vetted special investigative unit to target drug kingpins, but the unit is not yet in existence. While the GOJ has stated its intention to enact wiretap legislation, the proposal for such legislation is still under discussion in the Cabinet.

The GOJ met the marijuana eradication goal of 800 hectares set out in the FY 98 Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the USG. In addition, the GOJ agreed in the LOA to pay a share of the marijuana eradication teams' salaries, currently funded by the USG, beginning in June 2000. While the GOJ made some progress in implementing the recommendations contained in a 1997 port security assessment, security at Jamaica's ports remains a concern. The GOJ needs to take steps to improve security at its ports, including implementation of the remaining recommendations from the 1997 assessment. Additionally, the GOJ should consider providing the means to admit evidence obtained by ionscan technology in Jamaican courts. The GOJ has in place a national drug control strategy that covers both supply and demand reduction; the GOJ should add to its strategy specific goals and objectives and measures of effectiveness. Jamaica is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Jamaica, the foremost producer and exporter of marijuana in the Caribbean, is also a major transit country for cocaine destined for the U.S. and other international markets. Jamaica-based traffickers use couriers who board commercial airlines attempting to smuggle cocaine that they have ingested or concealed in their clothing or luggage. U.S. Customs reports that more than 63% of all arrests at U.S. airports for cocaine possession involved flights originating in Jamaica. Multi-ton shipments of marijuana leave Jamaican ports for the U.S. in commercial cargo. Jamaica is not an offshore banking center, and local criminals distrust Jamaican financial institutions. Locally laundered money is used to acquire real assets, such as houses or cars, rather than financial instruments. The USG and OAS/CICAD share a growing concern over the vulnerability of Caribbean ports, including those in Jamaica, to illegal diversion of precursor and essential chemicals. In Jamaica, illicitly obtained isopropyl alcohol is used to distill hash oil.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Jamaica's counternarcotics efforts have taken place against a backdrop of severe resource constraints caused by a continuing recession; 1999 could be Jamaica's fourth straight year of negative economic growth.

Policy Initiatives. Parliament passed legislation in 1999 enabling the GOJ to enter into agreements with other governments to share assets confiscated from drug traffickers and other criminals, the proceeds from which can be shared by the Ministries of National Security and Justice, Health, and Education and Culture. In late 1999, the GOJ presented in Parliament legislation to create drug courts, which passed both houses in December and now awaits signature by the Governor General.

Accomplishments. In September 1999, Jamaica signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the U.S. that supports projects designed to preclude the exploitation of Jamaican territory by drug producers and traffickers and other international criminals. In March 1999, the Jamaican Parliament passed amendments to the 1996 Money Laundering Act which raised the threshold for mandatory transaction reporting from $10,000 (equiv.) to $50,000 (equiv.) and added mandatory reporting of suspicious transactions of any amount. Further GOJ action is required, however, to bring its anti-money laundering law in line with international standards, especially extending the law to cover laundering of the proceeds of all serious crime. The GOJ has stated that, as a first step, it has drafted amendments to its money laundering law to add fraud and firearms offenses as predicate offenses. Although the GOJ has taken steps to establish a financial analysis unit, it has not yet provided staff for the unit. Jamaica's air and seaports continue to be utilized by traffickers of illegal drugs. The Jamaica Customs Service took some measures to improve security at Kingston's seaport and international airport, including participating in USG-supported training and acquiring some x-ray machines, which unfortunately cannot scan the larger 500-pound barrels commonly used to import goods into the country. In addition, the GOJ took action on some of the recommendations contained in the 1997 port security assessment conducted by the USG at Jamaican request. The Jamaican Coast Guard continued to participate regularly in combined maritime interdiction operations with the U.S. and, to augment its maritime resources, the GOJ purchased a former U.S. Navy tugboat.

Asset Seizure. Jamaica's current asset forfeiture regime does not permit the GOJ to take full advantage of the forfeiture mechanism to augment the resources of its anti-drug agencies and deprive criminals of the proceeds of their crime. The 1994 Drug Offenses (Forfeiture of Proceeds) Act requires a criminal drug-trafficking conviction as a prerequisite to the forfeiture of assets associated with drug trafficking. Jamaica does not have a civil forfeiture statute. During 1999, Jamaican authorities detained 20 vessels suspected of involvement in drug smuggling, two of which were auctioned with the proceeds going to the Treasury.

Precursor Chemical Control. Jamaica is not a source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics. A Precursor Chemicals Act was enacted in December 1999. The GOJ has budgeted for implementation of chemical controls, and the USG has already provided training to Jamaican precursor chemical control personnel. (See also Chemical Chapter.)

Law Enforcement. DEA reports that counternarcotics cooperation with the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF) is very good and improving. During FY 99, joint DEA/JCF investigations resulted in 194 arrests compared with 73 in FY 98. Drug-related arrests in 1999 numbered 6,718; however, none of those was a major drug trafficker. DEA has been working closely with the JCF to improve targeting of Jamaican drug kingpins and their organizations. The GOJ agreed in 1998 to develop a vetted special investigative unit to target drug kingpins, but the unit is not yet in existence. While the GOJ has stated its intention to enact wiretap legislation, the proposal for such legislation is still under discussion in the Cabinet. Both the Jamaican Defense Force (JDF) and the JCF assign a high priority to counternarcotics missions. This has resulted, with U.S. funding support, in a continuous marijuana eradication effort and the elimination of a number of hash oil processing labs. In addition to the cannabis manually eradicated by JDF and JCF personnel, GOJ authorities in 1999 seized and destroyed 56.2 metric tons of marijuana compared with (revised) 35.9 metric tons in 1998. In 1999, hash oil seizures totaled 371.5 kilograms; hashish seizures totaled 61 kilograms; and cocaine seizures totaled 2,455.3 kilograms, 1,066 kilograms of which were seized as the result of an interdiction in international waters by the U.S. Coast Guard of a Jamaican-registered go-fast boat.

Corruption. The GOJ does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. The GOJ has not prosecuted any senior Jamaican government official for facilitating the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. As a matter of policy, the GOJ prosecutes individuals who by reliable evidence are linked to drug-related activity. The GOJ presented an anti-corruption bill in Parliament in 1998 that requires financial disclosures from senior civil servants and elected officials. In 1999, the House and Senate passed different versions of the legislation; a joint selected committee of Parliament is currently crafting a compromise bill. Upon enactment of its anti-corruption bill, the GOJ has said it will ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

The GOJ likewise has a policy of investigating credible reports of police corruption, including those related to drugs, but more needs to be done to root out corruption in the public sector. During 1999, 32 police officers were arrested for criminal violations, seven of whom were charged with drug-related offenses. In 1998, 63 police officers were arrested for criminal offenses. In September 1999, the police commissioner transferred the entire 91-member special anti-crime task force because of allegations that some members were involved in unprofessional and possibly criminal conduct. With respect to drug use policies, the JCF instituted a program of random drug testing for police officers in 1998, and the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) has a "zero tolerance" policy on drug involvement by its members.

Agreements and Treaties. Jamaica has a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) and an extradition treaty with the U.S. Both countries utilize the MLAT in combating illegal narcotics trafficking and other crimes. Jamaica is also a party to the MLAT among the Commonwealth states. During 1999, four persons were extradited to the U.S., compared to three by extradition and one under a waiver of extradition in 1998. The GOJ and USG consulted on the list of pending extradition requests and removed from it all non-active cases, leaving 16 active pending requests; three of these criminals are currently in custody. Jamaican authorities are generally receptive to and cooperative with U.S. requests for extradition. Extended delays result from the numerous appeals available to Jamaican criminal defendants. Combined with an overburdened court system, this means that contested extradition requests can take from four to five years (and possibly longer) to fully litigate. With the creation of the GOJ's fugitive apprehension team, the number of fugitive apprehensions should increase. The team has been successful in locating three fugitives in addition to providing information for several U.S.-based investigations. The USG is supporting the team with operational assistance and training. A U.S.-Jamaica maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement came into force in February 1998.

Illicit Cultivation/Production. Jamaica is the largest Caribbean producer and exporter of marijuana. The consumption of marijuana is illegal in Jamaica, and the GOJ has consistently rejected calls for its legalization. In 1999, however, the upper house of Parliament established a commission to review the "decriminalization" of personal usage of marijuana, and the ruling People's National Party, despite the plea of the Minister of National Security and Justice, adopted a resolution unanimously calling for a commission to investigate the legalization of personal usage of small amounts of marijuana.

There is no accurate estimate of the amount of marijuana under cultivation or on the number of harvests per year. Crops are usually concealed in swamps and other remote areas that have limited road access. At Jamaica's request, the USG continues to provide assistance in conducting an aerial survey to target more precisely areas under cannabis cultivation. To date, the USG has been unable to complete its analysis of the survey results. The JDF and JCF continued to cooperate on U.S.-funded marijuana eradication operations utilizing their limited resources. In November 1999, the marijuana eradication program was placed under JDF management and, in the FY 99 Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the USG, the GOJ agreed to begin paying half of the marijuana cutter teams' salaries, which the USG currently funds, beginning June 2000 and their full salaries beginning June 2001. The FY 98 LOA set a tentative cannabis eradication goal of 800 hectares (2000 acres), which the GOJ met in 1999. Eradication data are analyzed and compiled in each parish (district) by the JDF and JCF field officers into a monthly report. As a matter of policy, Jamaica does not use herbicide to eradicate cannabis. Manual cutting is the method utilized.

Demand Reduction. Jamaica has several active demand reduction projects in place. The UNDCP is active in Jamaica and works directly with the GOJ and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to improve demand reduction efforts. The European Union has agreed to fund a large three-year demand reduction project beginning in December 1999. Two of the most highly visible projects are those of the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) and the NGO Addiction Alert. The UNDCP has funded an integrated demand reduction program managed by the NCDA. In 1999, Addiction Alert received U.S. funding for its adolescent drug prevention program. The GOJ makes extensive use of the audiovisual, print media and other materials produced by U.S. Military Information Support Teams (MIST) deployed in country. The MIST teams have worked closely with national demand reduction agencies to develop and distribute materials reinforcing an anti-drug message.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The GOJ publicly states its commitment to combating illegal drugs. Jamaica, however, operates under severe resource constraints, with half of its national budget going for debt servicing alone. The USG has provided funding for GOJ counternarcotics efforts continuously since 1987 and has provided more counternarcotics assistance to Jamaica than to any other Caribbean country. Despite limited resources, 1999 saw some improvement in GOJ counternarcotics activity, including Jamaican Coast Guard participation in U.S./Jamaican maritime interdiction operations under the bilateral maritime counternarcotics agreement, and commitments made by the GOJ in the LOAs with the USG. In addition, the GOJ spends substantial amounts to maintain an interdiction capability consisting of helicopters and patrol vessels. In 1999, the USG refurbished several boats for the JDF Coast Guard and is providing in FY 2000 two 82' cutters to augment the GOJ's maritime resources. The USG also provided the JCF narcotics division with three mobile homes to be used as temporary office space at strategic points around the island. The JCF in 1999 formed a fugitive apprehension team that will, inter alia, locate fugitives wanted for extradition to the U.S. The GOJ continued to fund the operating expenses for the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Center following the expiration of UNDCP funding in 1998. The training center, built with U.S. funds under a UNDCP project, has provided specialized training for hundreds of regional law enforcement officers since its inception in 1996. At the police operational level, Jamaican cooperation with DEA and FBI remained positive. Nevertheless, the GOJ has experienced difficulties in making cases against major drug traffickers, and Jamaican borders continue to be vulnerable to traffickers moving contraband, especially drugs and firearms.

In June 1999, a U.S. Customs team conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of the Jamaica Customs Contraband Enforcement Team (CET) at the Port of Kingston, following which six Jamaican Customs CET officers traveled in July to Port Everglades, Florida, to observe U.S. Customs CET operations. In October, U.S. Customs conducted an INL-funded Airport Narcotics Interdiction Course and Train-the-Trainer Workshop in Jamaica for 45 customs, police, immigration, and port security officials, presented an INL-funded Air Carrier Initiative Seminar to 70 airline security officers, and conducted eight site surveys of airline facilities at the Kingston and Montego Bay airports.

Road Ahead. The general challenge for any Caribbean state is to avoid becoming a "weak link" in the fight against transnational organized crime. Jamaica has taken some steps to protect itself against drug trafficking and other types of organized crime, but the GOJ needs to act aggressively if it is to achieve the goal of a fully integrated and coordinated institutional structure capable of investigating and prosecuting cases against major drug and crime figures. While the GOJ has a national drug strategy covering both supply and demand reduction, the GOJ should add specific goals and measures of effectiveness to its plan. The GOJ also needs to strengthen its money laundering and asset forfeiture laws and enact legislation that will permit law enforcement to utilize modern crime control tools such as wiretaps in building cases against organized crime. The GOJ should take steps to produce a more secure passport and strengthen its emigration controls in an effort to inhibit the free movement of drug traffickers and other criminals. Upon passage and implementation of its Anti-Corruption Act, the GOJ should proceed to ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. Additionally, the GOJ should consider providing the means to admit evidence obtained by ionscan technology in Jamaican courts. The USG will seek ways to assist the GOJ to improve its drug interdiction and marijuana eradication capabilities in an effort to make further progress against drug trafficking. The USG will continue to provide training and to work closely with the police and public prosecutors to enhance their abilities to investigate, successfully prosecute, and forfeit the assets of major drug traffickers operating in Jamaica.

Jamaica Statistics














Potential Harvest (ha)










Eradication(1) (ha)










Cultivation (ha)










Potential Yield(2) (mt)












Cocaine(3) (mt)










Cannabis (mt)










Hashish Oil (kg)










Heroin (mt)










Hashish (mt)










Labs Destroyed


Hashish Oil

























Total Arrests










(1)Figures revised according to information received from Jamaican authorities.
(2)Yield is based on an estimate of 675 kilograms per hectare.
(3)A seizure of 1,066 kilograms of HCl in 1999 was a result of USCG interdiction of a Jamaican-registered vessel.



Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, and the Netherlands (Holland) comprise the three parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The two Caribbean parts of the Kingdom have autonomy over their internal affairs, with the right to exercise independent decision making in a number of counternarcotics areas. The Government of the Netherlands (GON) is responsible for the defense and foreign affairs of all three parts of the Kingdom and assists the Government of Aruba (GOA) and the Government of the Netherlands Antilles (GONA) in their efforts to combat narcotics trafficking. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and all three parts are subject to the Convention.

Netherlands Antilles

The islands of the Netherlands Antilles (Curacao and Bonaire off Venezuela, and Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten east of the U.S. Virgin Islands) continue to serve as transshipment points for cocaine and, in lesser quantities, heroin coming from South America, mainly Colombia, Venezuela, and Suriname, to international markets. Observers agree that most cocaine transiting the Netherlands Antilles is destined for the European market. The vast majority of arrests were of "mules" (drug couriers) boarding flights destined for the Netherlands. Some of those arrested were "swallowers," smugglers who ingest drug-filled balloons. A variety of sources report that, in addition to the small quantities intercepted by customs officers at the airport, large quantities move through in containers, but there is scant hard evidence in the form of seizures to back up these claims.

Drug abuse and associated crime is a key concern for the GONA. Local politicians lament the degradation of quality of life drug trafficking has brought and give high priority to restoring citizens' sense of security. The rise in drug abuse is widely attributed to payment for drug trafficking services being made in cocaine rather than in cash.

Elected officials and all elements of the law enforcement and judicial community know that the Netherlands Antilles, largely by reason of its geography, faces a very serious threat from drug trafficking. The police, who are understaffed and not adequately trained, feel they do not have the necessary resources to mount an adequate fight. The police are further, and perhaps most significantly, constrained in their effectiveness by the high legal standards they must meet to prosecute a case in court. Faced with the many legal obstacles needed to get approval from a prosecutor to aggressively investigate a case, most police prefer to focus on straightforward cases (such as mules intercepted at the airport) rather than attempting to pursue complex, long-term investigations that would be necessary to arrest a major drug trafficker. Local police receive support from specialized Dutch units (RST), but these units face the same hurdles. The attorney general and the minister of justice have undertaken a serious effort to address both the perception of public corruption and the structural problems that keep the police force from being as effective as it could be.

While the legal framework and police organizational issues continued to hamper effective counternarcotics law enforcement, the GONA took important steps in the right direction. In May, the GONA welcomed the establishment at Curacao's Hato international airport of a Forward Operating Location (FOL), from which U.S. military aircraft operate counternarcotics surveillance and detection flights over both the source and transit zones.

GONA cooperation with U.S. law enforcement officials increased dramatically over the past year. Particularly in Sint Maarten, joint efforts have been significantly stepped up to counter international organized crime, including drug trafficking and money laundering.


Aruba was removed from the Majors List in 1999. Like nearby Curacao and Bonaire, Aruba is a staging area for international narcotics trafficking organizations that transship cocaine and, to a lesser extent, heroin, from Colombia, Venezuela, and Suriname. Most of the drug trade appears directed toward Europe, with drugs moving via cruise ships, containers, and commercial flights. Public concern about drug abuse in Aruba has grown over the past year, with newspapers carrying photos of and stories about homeless drug addicts.

While Aruba's economy is much healthier than Curacao's, Aruba still shows the ill signs of a drug abuse problem. With the same legal standards as Curacao and essentially the same police personnel system, counternarcotics law enforcement in Aruba is also not up to the task of mounting a complex investigation against a major drug trafficker. Moreover, Aruba has a significant public corruption problem, which is a serious impediment to effective enforcement in fighting drug trafficking and related money laundering.

The GOA took the positive step of welcoming significant numbers of U.S. law enforcement personnel to Aruba to work jointly against narcotics trafficking and other crimes. In May, Aruba accepted an FOL at its busy Reina Beatrix airport, turning over some commercial ramp-space free of charge to U.S. Customs aircraft to fly CN operations over the source and transit zones. Aruba also pushed hard to bring a U.S. Customs pre-clearance program to Aruba, partly as a convenience to American tourists but also because, in the prime minister's vision, the more U.S. law enforcement personnel on Aruba, the better.

Kingdom Coast Guard. All three parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands participate in a Joint Kingdom Coast Guard.

In a key, positive development, the Joint Kingdom Coast Guard took delivery of three cutters custom made for counternarcotics work in the Caribbean. Now that the cutters, equipped with rigid-hull inflatable boats that deploy instantly, are in operation, the Joint Kingdom Coast Guard is enjoying increased effectiveness in its counternarcotics role.

1988 UN Drug Convention. Following passage in October 1998 of asset seizure legislation, the 1988 UN Drug Convention was extended to Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles on June 8, 1999. The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba passed all relevant implementing legislation before requesting that the treaty be extended to them.

Treaties and Extradition. Both Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles honor requests made under the U.S.-Netherlands Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, and considerable law enforcement cooperation takes place at less formal levels as well. However, in 1998 the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles declined the U.S. request to extradite an Aruban national, accused money launderer Alberto Arends, on the grounds that he was dangerously depressed at the prospect of prison sentence in the U.S.; during 1999 Arends was often seen moving freely about Aruba, displaying no obvious signs of depression. Moreover, in 1998 an Aruban judge, citing age-related ill health, overturned the decision of the Governor of Aruba to extradite accused money launderer David Cybulkiewicz; the elderly fugitive has also now apparently recovered.

U.S. Policy Initiatives

As a matter of policy, the Department of State has no INL counternarcotics assistance programs with the governments in the Dutch Caribbean. However, Aruban and Netherlands Antilles law enforcement officials are frequently allowed to participate in INL-funded regional training courses, with the GOA and GONA paying the travel and lodging expenses of their officials. USG law enforcement officers work with local police to encourage a serious investigation of upper echelon traffickers operating in the islands.

In March, 1999, U.S. Customs presented an INL-funded Air Carrier Initiative in Curacao to 71 airline security officers and conducted two site surveys of airline facilities at the Curacao and Aruba airports. One Aruba Customs official participated in the INL-funded U.S. Customs Integrity Reinforcement/Anti-Corruption Seminar for member states of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) conducted in San Juan, Puerto Rico, during May, 1999. In addition, a joint U.S. Customs Internal Revenue Service assessment focusing on management controls and integrity issues within the Aruba Ministry of Finance, Tax and Customs Directorate took place during September 1999.

As an appreciation grows in the Dutch Caribbean of the importance of intelligence to effective law enforcement, the USG will expand intelligence sharing with GOA and GONA officials. Because U.S.-provided intelligence must meet the strict requirements of local law, this effort will require continued extensive liaison work to bridge the differences between U.S. and Dutch-based law. The USG will also advocate the use of existing laws (e.g., tax laws) as an effective tool against money laundering. A U.S.-Kingdom of the Netherlands maritime counternarcotics agreement pertaining to the Caribbean has been under negotiation for several years.



I. Summary

ANGUILLA, THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS (BVI), THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, MONTSERRAT, and THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (TCI) comprise the United Kingdom's (UK) Caribbean Overseas Territories (COTs). These territories are not significant drug-producing locations but are drug-transshipment points. There is no evidence, however, that drugs are coming through the COTs to the U.S. in quantities sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S. BERMUDA is a self-governing overseas territory of the UK. It is not a drug-producing location. Among populated islands, Bermuda is one of the most remote in the world with its mid-ocean location 600 miles off the east coast of the U.S. Because all air links to the island are "out and back" from the U.S., Canada and the UK, Bermuda is not a transshipment point for drugs coming to the U.S. Some illegal substances consumed in Bermuda are transshipped to Bermuda by way of the U.S.

The 1988 UN Drug Convention is applicable to the COTs and Bermuda. The UK also has extended coverage of the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances to the COTs and Bermuda. The COTs and Bermuda take steps to fulfill the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Caribbean Overseas Territories

The UK COTs, with the Cayman Islands leading the way, have established numerous offshore financial institutions. Drug traffickers attempt to abuse some of these to launder their money. The COTs, with strong encouragement from the British government, have increased regulation over their financial services sectors. Guidelines for the issuance of new bank licenses have been introduced, restricting licenses to subsidiaries of established banks with effective parent-bank supervision.

Bermuda is one of the world's premier offshore international financial and business centers, with a large number of international business corporations (IBCs). The Government of Bermuda (GOB) has always been aware of the potential of money laundering and other financial crime and has scrutinized closely all applications for incorporation of new IBCs. In 1997, a Proceeds of Crime Act was passed, entering into force in 1998. The Act imposed strict requirements on financial institutions in the areas of customer identification, currency transaction record-keeping, and internal reporting procedures. Bermuda is a very active member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

The UK, the COTs and Bermuda recently commissioned an independent, in-depth review of financial regulation in the COTs and Bermuda. The review will examine existing anti-money-laundering systems and practices, and assess them against international standards.

Treaties and Agreements. The UK, a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, has extended coverage of those Conventions to the COTs and Bermuda. The 1972 U.S.-UK extradition treaty and its 1985 supplement are applicable to the COTs and Bermuda. The 1986 U.S.-UK mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) concerning the Cayman Islands has been extended to the COTs but not to Bermuda.

U.S.-UK maritime cooperation in the Caribbean is covered by several agreements. A 1981 exchange of diplomatic notes grants permission by the UK-specifically covering the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and part of the western Atlantic-for the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to board privately-owned vessels with UK registry that are suspected of drug trafficking. This agreement further allows such vessels to be searched and, if drugs are found, seized and taken to a U.S. port. Additionally, the U.S. Customs Service (USCS) and USCG have a reciprocal shiprider agreement with the BVI. The USCG, pursuant to this agreement, deploys shipriders on the Royal Navy's West Indies Guard ships. A more comprehensive U.S.-UK-COTs-Bermuda maritime cooperation agreement was signed in 1998, but it is not yet in force as implementing legislation has not yet been enacted in all the jurisdictions.

III. Actions Against Drugs in 1999

The COTs are benefiting from programs developed in 1998 under the European Union (EU) Caribbean Drugs Initiative (CDI), notably in the fields of maritime cooperation, law enforcement training, counter-money-laundering and judicial training. The CDI, the funding for which expires in 2001, will be reviewed by the EU to determine its effectiveness and to assist in planning any follow-on. The CDI contributes to implementation of the Barbados Plan of Action, which arose from a UNDCP-organized meeting of representatives of Caribbean countries and donors in May 1996. The UK is determined to be at the forefront of the fight against drugs as part of the ECU's CDI. In February 1998, the UK donated a training vessel for Caribbean coast guards engaged in drug interdiction. The vessel will be used for training students from other countries and territories, as well as training members of COT coast guard units. A conference of maritime law enforcement operational commanders is planned, under the auspices of a Project Management Office (PMO), established in January 1998, in Bridgetown.

Operational contact between the Governments of the COTs and their sister Caribbean islands is close and effective. Anguilla's geographical position makes it a prime drug transshipment route, particularly vulnerable to airdrops of cocaine in the surrounding seas and offshore islands. The drops generally are destined for the nearby islands of St. Martin/St. Maarten and Puerto Rico as well as the BVI and the U.S. Virgin islands. Cooperation among Anguillan and French and Dutch officials in St. Martin is good. Senior police officers routinely hold joint meetings to address issues and exchange drug-related information. The French in St. Martin have become more active in taking measures to reduce the transfer of small quantities of drugs to Anguilla via passenger ferry.

In 1999, close anti-drug cooperation continued between law enforcement authorities of the COTs and the U.S. The USCG is also permitted to use the Cayman Islands as a base for counternarcotics operations in the south and west Caribbean. Maritime forces of the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and the U.S. work closely together on maritime drug interdiction under Operation Riptide. This cooperation has resulted in numerous arrests and seizures of drugs and vessels, including one five and a half ton seizure of cocaine in January 1999.

Cooperation between the BVI and U.S. authorities has worked well under the shiprider agreement and the MLAT treaty. The BVI has also been actively involved, when its small forces have permitted, in the combined annual operations of Caribe Venture and Frontier Shield, two successful USG counternarcotics initiatives in the Caribbean.

The Royal Navy also participates in Caribe Venture and Frontier Shield. These operations have had increasing success in drug interdiction and, as such, are becoming part of the U.S.-UK maritime anti-drug portfolio in the Caribbean. The UK Overseas Territories Regional Criminal Intelligence System (OTRCIS), with its hub in Miami, increasing and facilitating liaison with the U.S., has been operational since April 1, 1997. This builds on the successful operation of the combined U.S.-UK White Collar Crime Investigation Team (WCCIT) established in 1993 in Miami with FBI and British law-enforcement officers.

In 1999, close anti-drug cooperation also continued between Bermuda and U.S. law enforcement authorities. The Bermuda Police Service has had an active liaison relationship with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) since 1968, and cooperated with the New Jersey office of DEA in a number of controlled deliveries that resulted in arrests, both in Bermuda and the U.S. Additionally, DEA conducted a two-week training course in Bermuda for 30 detectives. As an adjunct to current interdiction efforts, the GOB is moving forward with a number of demand reduction initiatives. One high priority project is the establishment of a "drug court" as a venue for adjudication of lesser offenses. This is modeled on a similar program in Pensacola, Florida, and will emphasize treatment and community service for first-time offenders in lieu of traditional incarceration.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The UK has projected allocating $1,168,000 (BPS 730,000) towards a Caribbean-wide, drug-law enforcement training program. The British Government has also recently appointed a COTs drugs law enforcement advisor who will be based in Miami for a two-year period starting in January 2000. The Bermuda government formed a Combined Enforcement Intelligence Team to foster improved intelligence sharing between customs and the police. A Crimestoppers Hotline was established to tap into the Bermudian outrage over drug trafficking on the island. The 800 number is answered in Miami, Florida, and the tips are then passed back to the Bermuda Police Service. This mechanism has overcome the reluctance of many to provide information to the police for fear of having their voices recognized. Using the information thus gathered, as well as information from DEA, and operating in concert with British Customs, the police seized over $14,000,000 in cocaine, marijuana and heroin in 1999.

Corruption. In the COTs there were no arrests or prosecutions of senior government or law enforcement officials for narcotics-related corruption in 1999. In Bermuda there was one arrest of a customs inspector attempting to smuggle drugs from New York in December 1999. The GOB cooperated with U.S. law enforcement authorities in the arrest. British authorities act expeditiously and effectively against any indication of corruption in the COTs and Bermuda, as they do in the UK itself.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The USG enjoys good maritime cooperation with the UK COTs and with the UK in the Caribbean region under the shiprider agreement and the MLAT, which has resulted in drug interdiction successes in the Caribbean region at large. The U.S.-UK-COT-Bermuda maritime cooperation agreement, which will further strengthen this cooperation, is currently before parliament. As resources and class size permit, the U.S. periodically includes COT and Bermuda personnel in regional training courses.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. looks forward to continued close cooperation with the British COTs and Bermuda on all counternarcotics fronts.



I. Summary

Suriname is a transshipment point for South American cocaine destined for Europe and, to a lesser extent, the United States. Cocaine enters Suriname via sea, river and air routes. Transshipping activity occurs at Paramaribo's harbor and airports. The lack of infrastructure in the largely unpatrolled interior, which comprises ninety percent of the country, and inadequate border controls are the major obstacles in the detection of drug shipments in and out of the country. The country's domestic drug problem also continues to grow.

A bilateral maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement with the U.S. went into effect in August 1999. The Government of Suriname (GOS) conducts limited maritime operations using recently purchased Spanish surveillance aircraft and patrol boats. Suriname experienced a minor decline in the number of detected arms-for-drugs exchanges in 1999. Suriname is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but has yet to implement legislation bringing the country into complete conformity with the Convention.

The United States provided training and material support to elements of the police, military and judicial branch to promote greater bilateral cooperation. DEA provided technical equipment and stationed long-term temporary duty personnel in the country with positive results.

II. Status of Country

Suriname is a conduit for cocaine transshipment from South America to Europe and the United States. Law enforcement authorities face difficulties combating drug transshipment via Suriname's dense jungles where a lack of infrastructure, personnel and equipment make detection and interdiction nearly impossible. Traffickers continue to exploit these vulnerabilities to enter the country via air and sea, and overland from neighboring countries. Drugs are transported out of Suriname by couriers on international flights, in commercial air and maritime shipments and in concealed storage areas on cargo ships. Police continue to receive reports that precursor chemicals are stored in Suriname and may have been used in clandestine laboratories in the past.

There are strong indications that money laundering occurs in Suriname, reportedly through over-valuation of purchase prices, the sale of gold purchased with illicit funds and sold in Suriname, and manipulation of accounts in commercial and state-controlled banks, which the present legal regime is not focused effectively to prevent. Drug abuse-including the use of marijuana, crack and powdered cocaine, and ecstasy-continues to rise.

Suriname ratified the 1988 UN Convention but has not yet implemented legislation bringing it into conformity with the Convention. Suriname currently has legislation that conforms to the drug interdiction portion of the Convention.

While precise figures for the amount of arms-for-drugs swaps that took place in 1999 are unavailable, Surinamese police officials believe there was a slight decrease from 1998's estimates. During 1999, Brazilian authorities seized several aircraft that originated in Suriname carrying automatic weapons. The pilots said the weapons were destined for the FARC in Colombia. Suriname sentenced three FARC representatives, arrested in 1998, to eight years on charges of exchanging arms for drugs.

The principal obstacles to effective counternarcotics law enforcement are inadequate legislation, the lack of law enforcement resources and drug-related corruption.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The Wijdenbosch administration and key officials in the GOS continue to denounce drug trafficking, identifying it as a threat to national security and public health. Suriname enacted new narcotics legislation in January 1999 that provides for greater police investigative powers, property seizure, and longer prison sentences. In 1999, the GOS implemented a joint maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement with the United States and participated in Operation Columbus, a national and regional anti-drug operation. Representatives of Suriname's police force and prosecutor's office continued to participate in regional anti-drug and money laundering conferences.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The Surinamese police, with DEA assistance, made a series of arrests following the seizure by Dutch authorities in May 1999 of 700 kilos of cocaine concealed in an air shipment of vegetables from Suriname. Four people are currently on trial for narcotics trafficking in connection with the case. The number of arrested drug carriers, predominantly Dutch passport holders of Surinamese descent, attempting to board Europe-bound flights almost doubled in late 1999 to an average of 5-6 per flight. In August, with DEA assistance, the GOS arrested on conspiracy charges four people allegedly involved in smuggling firearms to Colombia in exchange for cocaine. Suriname's police force seized 150 kilograms of cocaine and 10,000 ecstasy tablets, and destroyed 200,000 marijuana plants. Most of these seizures were made during the successful Operation Columbus, a regional anti-drugs operation supported by DEA. Based on this positive experience, the GOS hopes to conduct similar operations next year.

Cultivation and Production. Cannabis is cultivated and used in Suriname's tribal-influenced interior, but there is neither specific data on the number of hectares involved nor evidence that cannabis is exported in significant quantities.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. The National Anti-Drug Council, the police and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emphasize drug education and rehabilitation in response to growing domestic drug consumption. The GOS is working to expand both its addict treatment capabilities and its anti-drug education programs in response to steady increases in domestic consumption of marijuana, crack and powdered cocaine, and ecstasy. Police reported cheaper crack prices in 1999 and a simultaneous increase in the number of crack addicts seeking treatment. The police and NGOs initiated demand reduction and drug treatment programs that received considerable attention and praise from community leaders. Drug treatment clinics, however, have no detailed treatment plans for addicts and often rely on untrained volunteers for staffing.

Corruption. Suriname has not come to terms with the question of public corruption in an effective, legal manner. Reports of money laundering, drug trafficking and associated criminal activity involving current and former government and military officials continue unabated, if generally unproven through legal processes. Although President Wijdenbosch has condemned drug trafficking, a convicted drug trafficker serves as the chief of staff to the Defense Minister, and former First State Advisor Desi Bouterse was convicted by a Dutch court for narcotics trafficking. The case is currently under appeal. Bouterse's son, Dino, is routinely mentioned as being involved in narcotics transshipping and drugs-for-guns deals; he was recalled from his diplomatic posting in Brazil following media stories of his involvement in these activities. Suriname has signed but not ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

IV. U.S.Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Bilateral efforts between the United States and Suriname have focused on strengthening cooperation and especially on implementing the maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement that entered into force in August 1999. USG law enforcement agencies maintain a strong and positive working relationship with their local police force counterparts. DEA strengthened its cooperation with the cadre of dedicated police officers by placing several long-term temporary duty advisers in Suriname. A new narcotics investigative unit receives advice, logistical support and funding from DEA and the Department of State. Several members of the National Anti-Drug Council participated in USIA international exchange visitor programs and modeled many of Suriname's demand reduction programs on information gained during those exchanges. The Embassy and DEA continue to support the establishment of a permanent presence in Suriname.

The Road Ahead. The USG will continue to encourage the GOS to enact laws to implement fully all aspects of the 1988 UN Drug Convention, including asset forfeiture and money laundering laws, and to apply forcefully the provisions already in effect. The USG will work with the GOS to utilize effectively the recently implemented maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement. We also will continue to promote close cooperation between DEA, other USG agencies and their Surinamese counterparts.


I. Summary

Trinidad and Tobago is a transit country for cocaine from South America to the U.S. However, evidence is insufficient to establish that the quantity of drugs coming into the United States from Trinidad and Tobago has a significant effect on the U.S. The country produces and exports marijuana to other countries in the region. Higher quality marijuana is also imported into Trinidad and Tobago from St. Vincent and Venezuela for domestic consumption. Narcotics-related violence, money laundering, and drug abuse remain concerns. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GOTT) continued to improve its counternarcotics capabilities and cooperated fully with USG law enforcement agencies. The GOTT's Joint Operations Coordination Center coordinated maritime interdiction operations that resulted in increased cocaine seizures. In 1999, the two-island country received USG-donated planes and patrol boats to improve surveillance of its sea and air lanes. The GOTT has charged six people, including a lawyer, with money laundering, the first such prosecutions under the 1991 Dangerous Drugs Act. The GOTT extradited a suspected marijuana trafficker to the U.S. The GOTT became a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention in 1995 and continues to work vigorously toward meeting the Convention's objectives.

II. Status of Country

Trinidad and Tobago's location makes it an attractive transshipment point for South American cocaine destined for the United States and other international markets. Small, but relatively fast, fishing boats are the primary conveyance for cocaine brought to Trinidad and Tobago, but it also arrives in cargo vessels and pleasure craft. Illicit cargo can be easily shipped in and out by air and sea because of the country's numerous airports and harbors, high volume of cargo traffic, large number of tourists, and highly mobile population. In addition, cargo from Trinidad and Tobago is less vigorously scrutinized at North American and European ports than cargo originating from cocaine-producing countries. The country's maritime and air surveillance is limited, though improving with the arrival of USG-donated patrol boats and aircraft.

Although Trinidad and Tobago is not a major drug-producing country, marijuana is grown year-round and exported to other countries in the region. Discoveries of marijuana arriving by air and sea indicate that the drug is also being imported. Eradication efforts destroyed more than 3.1 million marijuana plants and seedlings in the first three quarters of 1999. Trinidad and Tobago is not a producer of coca or opium poppy.

Trinidad and Tobago is not an important regional financial center and has historically taken a strong regulatory approach to its banking sector, but opportunities for money laundering exist. The nation's oil-based and growing economy, with well-developed communications and transportation systems, produces a large number of sizeable transactions that could obscure laundering of illicitly obtained monies.

Intimidation of witnesses in narcotics cases is still a serious problem. Charges were dismissed in at least one case when a witness refused to testify, and at least 15 witnesses have been killed over the last five years.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. The GOTT in October 1997 approved and began implementing the first half of a counternarcotics master plan, which, among other goals, aims to cut the supply of illicit drugs by prosecuting traffickers, strengthening the criminal justice system, and reducing opportunities for money laundering. The plan's second half aims to cut narcotics demand by establishing anti-drug coalitions in every political constituency. A proposed addition to the master plan would set up job-training programs as alternatives to the cultivation of marijuana. The entire master plan was submitted to the Cabinet but as of the end of 1999 had not been approved.

The GOTT reintroduced legislation making drug trafficking an offense for which bail would not be allowed, increasing penalties for conviction, and extending the government's power to confiscate the proceeds of drug deals by shifting the burden of proof to the defendant. The GOTT is also preparing legislation to expand the list of predicate offenses beyond drug-related money laundering and to require suspicious activity reporting.

Accomplishments. Cocaine seizures for the first three quarters of 1999 have already surpassed the total for 1998, suggesting an improved law enforcement effort. Long-term marijuana eradication efforts may have forced an increase in imported marijuana. (See Law Enforcement section.) The GOTT in 1999 executed the head of one of the largest cocaine trafficking rings in the Caribbean, following his conviction for a drug-related murder. With USG assistance, the GOTT is converting the trafficker's estate into a drug rehabilitation center. Six people, including a lawyer, are being tried for money laundering as the result of an investigation by the inter-ministerial Counternarcotics and Money Laundering Task Force. In 1999, the GOTT extradited to the U.S. a suspected narcotics trafficker, bringing to five the number of narcotics-related extraditions since 1995.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In the first three quarters of 1999, the GOTT seized 93 kilograms of cocaine and arrested 829 people on cocaine-trafficking or possession charges. There were several notable seizures in Canada and the U.K. as a result of joint operations conducted with these countries. Security forces regularly conduct marijuana eradication efforts. The police reported the destruction of 3.1 million fully-grown marijuana plants and seedlings during the first three quarters of 1999. The GOTT estimates that 60 percent of the country's crime is related to narcotics.

Corruption. There were no cases of drug-related corruption filed against high-level or senior officials during 1999. As a matter of policy, the GOTT does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics or the laundering of drug money. Following the 1998 escape and recapture (with USG assistance) of a major drug trafficker, a high-ranking commission of inquiry was formed by the GOTT to examine the circumstances of the incident. As a result of the commission's findings, charges have been filed against three police officers. An anti-corruption bill is pending government approval. Trinidad and Tobago ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption in 1998.

Agreements and Treaties. Trinidad and Tobago is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Trinidad and Tobago signed mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties with the U.S., which entered into force in November 1999. Trinidad and Tobago also has mutual legal assistance treaties with the U.K. and Canada.

Cultivation and Production. Marijuana is cultivated year-round in the forest and jungle areas of northern, eastern, and southern Trinidad and, to a minor extent, in Tobago. Due to the way marijuana is cultivated in small quarter-acre lots situated in remote, difficult-to-access areas, the total amount cultivated cannot be accurately determined. Thus, we do not have evidence establishing that Trinidad and Tobago is a major drug-producing country. Marijuana is eradicated by manually cutting and burning plants. Aerially-applied herbicides are not used, although aircraft assist in crop detection.

Drug Flow/Transit. A short distance from the South American mainland, Trinidad and Tobago is a transshipment point for cocaine bound for North America and Europe. Cocaine arrives on airplanes, small fishing boats, and pleasure craft. It is then smuggled out in yachts, air cargo and by couriers. Cocaine has been found on commercial airline flights that stopped in Trinidad en route to North America from Guyana. Shipments of marijuana from St. Vincent and Venezuela indicate that demand may be exceeding supply, possibly as a result of the GOTT's eradication efforts.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. The Ministries of Social Development and Education and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) handle most programs to reduce the demand for illicit drugs. The GOTT funds the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program (NADAPP), which coordinates the activities of NGOs to reduce demand. The UNDCP also participates in this program. Several NGOs, one of which receives USG funding, run rehabilitation centers for addicts. The USG and a local NGO sponsor Project Excel (XL), which is designed to increase among teens and children the awareness of the negative effects of drug use while promoting healthy lifestyles. The USG provided funding for D.A.R.E. program materials and training for teachers, NGO representatives and police officers in 1999. In January 2000, the GOTT will launch the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) demand-reduction program for 12-13 year-olds.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. The USG's key policy objective is to help the government staunch the flow of narcotics through Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S. by enhancing the GOTT's capability to interdict cocaine shipments, strengthen its anti-drug trafficking laws, bring traffickers to trial, seize the proceeds of drug trafficking, attack money laundering, and protect witnesses from intimidation and murder.

Bilateral Cooperation. USG law enforcement agencies have a productive relationship with their GOTT counterparts. The success of the DEA office, which opened in 1998, has led to the designation of an additional officer to arrive early in 2000. The strong bilateral cooperation was recognized when Trinidad and Tobago was chosen as the southern command center for a sixteen-country anti-drug campaign in October 1999, which resulted in the seizure of more than 9,100 kg of cocaine. The GOTT and USG participated in six maritime exercises under the bilateral maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement. During the operations, personnel from the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy participated as observers on each other's vessels.

The USG formally transferred to the GOTT a six-installation radar system to detect aircraft and boats engaged in trafficking. The USG also delivered two C-26 aircraft and two Piper Navajo aircraft for counternarcotics surveillance and two 82-foot patrol boats for maritime interdiction. Trinidad and Tobago provided the first crewmembers for the newly commissioned Caribbean Support Tender (CST), a former U.S. Coast Guard vessel with a multinational crew that is providing training, ship maintenance and repairs, and logistics support to Caribbean maritime agencies. During its first stop in Trinidad and Tobago, the CST provided training in boarding procedures and vessel maintenance to GOTT coast guard and customs officers.

The GOTT funds a permanent three-person U.S. Customs advisory team, which works closely with the customs and excise division to improve its passenger and cargo processing effectiveness and enforcement posture. In addition, the USG provided training in port security, cargo selectivity, maritime interdiction and anti-corruption measures during 1999. U.S. Customs and the GOTT are in the process of setting up a computer system, with USG-funded equipment, to track small pleasure craft and cargo vessels. U.S. Customs also helped Trinidad and Tobago's customs department establish a narcotics-detection canine program in 1998; the dogs discovered more than 28 kg of cocaine and 24 kg of marijuana this year. A GOTT-funded permanent three-person U.S. Internal Revenue Service office was opened in November to assist the GOTT's Bureau of Inland Revenue to improve compliance with tax legislation. Stricter tax controls will make it more difficult for potential money-launderers to operate in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Road Ahead. The USG will continue to provide support to enhance Trinidad and Tobago's maritime interdiction capabilities. The USG will provide training and technical assistance for the GOTT to transform a confiscated drug lord's estate into a drug rehabilitation center. The USG continues to support the GOTT's efforts to implement a regional witness security program and is providing assistance to update the Trinidad and Tobago legal system. Relevant U.S. agency representatives stationed in Port of Spain will continue to participate actively in the Eastern Caribbean working group, which addresses counternarcotics issues from a subregional viewpoint. The USG will continue to work closely with the GOTT's counternarcotics task force on implementation of asset forfeiture and money laundering laws.


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