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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Africa and the Middle East


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BENIN

I. Summary

During 1999, Benin continued to make modest and incremental progress in the fight against illegal narcotics trafficking for which it remains a transit route (next door to Nigeria). Benin itself is not a narcotics producing country. The Government of Benin (GOB) made one notable heroin seizure at its international airport. It also continued an investigation into a drug smuggling operation involving members of its UN Mission in New York and use of its Diplomatic Pouch. Benin officials have been very cooperative with USG on a variety of drug control law enforcement efforts. Unfortunately, a poor country like Benin is unable to allocate adequate resources to law enforcement generally and to drug control programs in particular. Benin is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Benin is not, and is not likely to become, a significant producer of drugs or a source of precursor chemicals. Marijuana is grown in Benin but quantities are not large, and that marijuana is consumed almost exclusively within Benin. Benin, due to its proximity to Nigeria and its relatively porous borders, is believed to be a transit point for drugs to and from Nigeria. Money laundering is known to take place in Benin. Traffickers use legal businesses such as the building trades to camouflage drug operations and buy assets, particularly real estate, to launder illicit profits. GOB authorities suspect that the flourishing market in used cars and second-hand clothing are used as a method of laundering drug money, but have not taken robust measures to interfere with these commercial activities.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The government in Benin has yet to put into place an apparatus to enforce the comprehensive anti-narcotics law that was enacted in 1997. This law provides for stronger sentences for traffickers, establishes a basis for asset forfeiture, criminalizes money laundering, and promotes increased inter-agency cooperation in combating trafficking. The law was based on a model law prepared by the UNDCP to bring countries into compliance with the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Accomplishments. The only major and tangible accomplishment recorded in Benin in 1999 was a follow-up by the government to its own arrest of several members of its UN mission staff. In 1998, Yacoubou Fassassi, Benin's Ambassador to the United Nations, was arrested by the Beninese authorities for allegedly using his government's diplomatic pouch to introduce narcotics into the United States. He was jailed in April and tried in August 1999. Charges against Fassassi were eventually dropped for lack of evidence and Fassassi was acquitted. Nevertheless, he was not restored to his position at the UN, being replaced by a new Beninese UN resident representative in New York. Fassassi soon thereafter departed for France, reportedly for medical treatment. Three co-defendants, however, either pleaded guilty or were tried in absentia. One of them, Charles Nobre, a prominent businessman, received a five-year sentence in the case. Many observers believe the trial and the convictions, which left Fassassi untouched, were rigged due to Fassassi's wealth and political ties.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Law enforcement efforts appear to be hampered by lack of cooperation among government agencies. In one case, after a major drug seizure, one agency (police customs) refused to cooperate with another agency (gendarmes) on the proper disposition of drug evidence.

On July 5, the Interior Ministry, with EU financial support, held a conference over several days in Abomey to complete drawing up a blueprint for a new comprehensive national anti-drug policy (POLUDRO). The opening of the conference, attended by the U.S. ambassador, focused on the prevention and suppression of drug trafficking and on the treatment/rehabilitation of addicts. Adoption of a new anti-narcotics code is expected to result from this conference, but there had been no announcement of such, as of the end of 1999.

In 1999, Benin made no changes with regard to law enforcement agencies responsible for drug enforcement. Resources devoted to drug enforcement remain far below adequate levels. It appears that little or no effort is made to pursue major traffickers despite widespread acknowledgment of their activities. The few law enforcement resources that do exist are mostly devoted to arresting and prosecuting small-scale couriers and users. Such efforts are woefully inadequate. One example of a well-known drug trafficking suspect allowed to travel freely for a considerable time is businessman, Kashamu Burushi, better known by his street name, Kasmal. Eventually, in 1998, Kasmal was detained at London's Heathrow Airport with a large amount of hard currency in his possession. Following a standard name check, British customs authorities found that there was an outstanding U.S. warrant for his arrest on narcotics trafficking charges.

Seizure and Forfeiture of Drug-Related Assets. Benin's narcotics laws permit the seizure and forfeiture of the assets of narcotics traffickers and provide for significant prison terms and fines. The laws permit the seizure of assets used for the manufacture, transport, sale or safekeeping of illegal drugs; this includes all assets derived directly or indirectly from drug trafficking. As in many developing countries, the law itself is well drafted in Benin and quite modern in its approach to narcotics crime, the issue is that the law isn't well enforced.

Corruption. There has been an increased level of public discussion of corruption and several press reports have alleged government officials, especially in the state run cotton industry and at the port of Cotonou, embezzle official funds and are "on the take." Overall, little real progress has been made in addressing the entrenched and institutionalized corruption existing among career government bureaucrats. The heart of the problem seems to lie in the main theme of a recent transparency international (TI) sponsored conference in Cotonou, namely - the impunity of corruption. This state of affairs continues despite the appointment of a presidential task force on corruption at Cotonou and a very candid USAID-sponsored publication describing and condemning corrupt practices in Benin. Resistance to reform efforts persists. This is most notable among government agencies responsible for law enforcement and includes schemes on government contracts, embezzlement, etc.

Agreements and Treaties. Benin is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, as well as to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. There is no bilateral extradition or mutual legal assistance treaty between the U.S. and Benin.

Cultivation/Production. To USG knowledge, the only significant drug cultivated in Benin is marijuana, and no figures are available regarding the amounts grown. As noted, Benin does not export marijuana, but rather it is illicitly grown for domestic use.

Drug Flow/Transit. Benin is said to be a transshipment point for cocaine, heroin and marijuana. It is believed that these drugs depart Benin primarily through the international airport in Cotonou.

Domestic Programs. There are no significant demand reduction programs in Benin.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Goals/Objectives in Benin. The primary U.S. goal is to build on successful bilateral anti-narcotics cooperation efforts, as well as efforts in other areas, so as to aid in the combat against the transit of drugs to the U.S. or Europe.

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. and Benin signed a Letter of Agreement in 1995 under which the U.S. agreed to provide material assistance to the narcotics squad in the form of radios and testing kits. In 1998, the U.S. embassy provided 15 Motorola radios and close to a 1000 drug testing kits for cocaine, heroin, and marijuana to the Beninese National Police.

Road Ahead. The U.S. is considering training for local prosecutors and police in the use of Benin's new asset forfeiture legislation. In a country where law enforcement resources are so inadequate, this law could provide law enforcement personnel with additional resources and stronger incentives to pursue drug traffickers.

BOTSWANA

I. Summary

Botswana does not produce any of the harder drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine or precursor chemicals, and it is not a significant drug transit country. Botswana does cultivate marijuana but a vigorous eradication campaign keeps realized production down. In 1999 drug control officials seized cannabis transiting from South Africa, as well as small amounts of cocaine and heroin. Due to an increase in the number of drug-related arrests, drug control officials fear an increase of drug abuse in Botswana, especially with respect to cannabis because of its cheap street price. Those caught with drugs in Botswana can expect to face punishment including prison sentences.

II. Status of Country.

Botswana 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. In 1998, the government established a national drug control coordination council, chaired by a senior official in the Office of the President. The Government of Botswana has tough legislation against drug production, trafficking, and money-laundering associated with the drug trade. Botswana's courts hand down stiff sentences for drug-related offences, such as mandatory sentences of 1-5 years for possession of under 60 grams of cannabis, and 5-10 years for more than 60 grams. The Botswana national police force participates enthusiastically in training opportunities provided by the U.S. and other donors. In 1999, two narcotics squad officers participated in a regional drug enforcement seminar in South Africa sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

There has been a slight reduction in drug seizures transiting and entering the country. Police seized 1200 kilograms of cannabis during 1999, mostly produced in neighboring Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 1999, police seized four shipments of cocaine sent by mail from Peru and Brazil, which police presume were meant for transit to South Africa. The police also made their first-ever interception of heroin, seizing a one-kilogram shipment from Pakistan sent by mail. The Botswana Police report generally good cooperation on drug control with their regional partners, with the exception of Zambian officials. Other countries, such as South Africa, Swaziland, and Namibia, have cooperated with and invited Botswana drug control officials to participate in destroying seized drugs. The United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) has provided drug detection dogs to Botswana for use in drug searches. There are no indications of senior government officials being involved in drug-related offences.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

A U.S. Inter-Agency Survey team has recommended Botswana as the site for a planned African International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). Discussions with the Government of Botswana on arrangements to establish an African ILEA in Botswana should begin shortly.

CAMEROON

I. Summary:

Cameroon is not a major producer of drugs. However, Cameroon remains a transit point for drug trafficking. There is no evidence that drugs trafficked through Cameroon have a significant impact on the U.S. Drug use among Cameroonians, especially youth, is on the rise. Most types of narcotics are available, but locally grown cannabis is the drug most widely consumed. Cameroon is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol. Except for a few drug seizures in 1998-99, including a 1998 seizure of 11 1/2 MT of cannabis, little has been done to combat drug trafficking or use in recent years.

II. Status of Country

Cameroon produces few illegal drugs, except marijuana, and is not known to be heavily involved in trafficking. The Government of Cameroon (GOC) reports that drug use among young adults is on the rise. Exact figures on the scale of drug abuse in Cameroon are not available. In 1999 there were no new government initiatives to address this problem. Cameroon is believed to be a relatively minor drug transit country, but it is difficult to assess if drug trafficking through Cameroon is increasing, because interdiction is sporadic and few records are kept. While select members of the customs service and police force are dedicated to combating drugs, the majority remains indifferent or enforces laws haphazardly. Even less clear are the types of drugs and quantities passing through Cameroon, but cannabis, heroin, and cocaine are suspected. Customs authorities insist that new efforts to establish a special customs/police taskforce and develop profiles of drug smugglers have made Cameroon much less attractive to smugglers. More likely the smugglers have simply changed their tactics.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

The government of Cameroon initiated no new actions in 1999 to meet the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The National Committee for the Fight Against Drugs (CNLD), created in 1992 under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, was inactive. There were no specific legal or law enforcement measures taken to prevent and punish narcotics-related public corruption. Cameroon gives a low priority to counternarcotics law enforcement. Only limited resources and training are available to Customs and police officials. Counternarcotics law enforcement activities in 1999 were limited to minor drug seizures.

Customs officers at Douala International Airport on February 17, 1999 found a Nigerian national with 28 balloons of heroin (500 grams) concealed on his person. On February 24, Customs officers apprehended another Nigerian with 84 balloons containing a total of 1,500 grams of heroin. Both individuals arrived in Douala on a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi. Both intended onward travel to Lagos, Nigeria. Customs officials also reported three additional drug seizures at Douala, two of unspecified amounts of cannabis and one of one kilogram of cocaine.

Cannabis is widely available in Cameroon; some of it grown domestically, more imported from Nigeria. According to the local press it is the drug most widely used among Cameroonians (next to alcohol). The average price of 2-3 grams of cannabis is 50 - 100 CFA (USD .08 - .16). The GOC has taken few national measures to combat this phenomenon. However, in 1999 the Gendarmerie in the Northwest Province conducted a limited campaign to destroy cannabis fields. They also seized 2600 kg of cannabis en route to other provinces.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives

The USG provides no counternarcotics assistance to Cameroon. A program initiated in 1991 under a U.S.-Cameroon Letter of Agreement was suspended in 1992 due to a lack of cooperation on the part of police and alleged human rights violations by security forces. The U.S. Embassy continues to receive requests from police and customs officials for training and material assistance.

CAPE VERDE

I. Summary

The Republic of Cape Verde is not a narcotics producer, but may be on its way toward a role in the international transit of narcotics to developed country markets. Government leaders are outspoken about their concern that a currently small-scale domestic use problem could worsen, and are anxious to cooperate with others in order to keep drugs away from their national territory. In 1999, the USG agreed to assist the Government of Cape Verde (GOCV) by providing information about possible drug trafficking in Cape Verdean waters, and by providing drug testing kits. The test kits will enable police to identify narcotics at a potential crime scene, and to produce credible evidence for criminal cases against accused drug traffickers. The intelligence information should assist Cape Verde to make better use of its limited enforcement resources. Cape Verde is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Cape Verde does not produce illicit drugs. However, its geographic location, off the West Coast of Africa, and astride routes between South America and Europe, Asia and Europe, and to a lesser degree, Africa and North America makes Cape Verde a potential transshipment point. The country's wholly inadequate defense against sea borne trafficking is its modest coast guard. This is a small, under-funded, but professional branch of the military which lacks sufficient resources to maintain credible vigilance over Cape Verde's territorial sea and air space. As a result, this potential transshipment point is open to nearly uncontrolled use by those shipping drugs. There are unconfirmed reports of unidentified ships from Brazil or aircraft from abroad dropping cargo in Cape Verdean waters, but authorities have been unable to apprehend any violators, if, indeed, such transactions have actually taken place.

The GOCV has ambitious plans to host offshore banking along the lines of arrangements in the Canary Islands. Decision makers believe that with the proper rules in place, offshore banking can be successfully regulated.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

The GOCV's limited sea borne forces patrol the islands' large territorial waters as best they can given their limited resources. The GOCV has held a round table with potential donors (including the USG) to solicit assistance in its national anti-narcotics program. While law enforcement and coast guard forces are already engaged in an effort to counter narcotics trafficking through, and sales of narcotics in Cape Verde, the government lacks adequate resources to mount an effort proportionate to the threat. Cape Verdean police units willingly cooperate with international law enforcement authorities, as opportunities arise for such cooperation.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The USG and the GOCV have signed a letter of agreement to provide the Ministry of Justice with $20,000 worth of narcotics identification test kits. The Ministry will use these kits to test suspect substances to determine whether they are controlled or banned by national narcotics laws. Such determinations will be important scientific evidence in criminal trials. This letter of agreement was signed in September 1999.

The Road Ahead. Cape Verde and the USG are considering methods for using Cape Verde's limited coast guard resources more efficiently to combat narcotics transshipment. Among the options under discussion are further training opportunities for Cape Verdean seamen and officers, and possible technical assistance to vector coast guard vessels directly to suspect ships.

COMOROS

Comoros is neither a major producer, nor a significant consumer of narcotics. Nevertheless, Comoros officials expressed concern in 1999 over a perceived increase in domestic consumption of cannabis and Mandrax. Comoros is a transshipment route to South Africa and Europe for cannabis and cocaine from Madagascar and heroin from Southwest Asia. There is no evidence of transshipment to the U.S. The amount of trafficking is unknown, but political instability, exacerbated by a military coup in April, the ongoing secession of Anjouan Island, and weak law enforcement make this three-island nation a vulnerable target for drug traffickers. The Comoran police have a small anti-narcotics unit, which has received assistance and training in the past from France. Comoros is not a party to any of the UN drug conventions. Money laundering is not criminalized, but given the small size of the financial sector (one bank), it is not thought to be a major problem.

COTE D'IVOIRE

I. Summary

Cote d'Ivoire continues to be a transit point for narcotics from Asia and Latin America bound for Europe and, to a lesser extent, North America, but there is no evidence of significant impact on the U.S. Domestic drug production remains minimal and limited to cannabis, but consumption of hard drugs is reportedly increasing. Counternarcotics activities rose during 1999 in government priority, and a national strategic counternarcotics plan was nearing completion. In 1999, European donors and the U.S. continued to coordinate efforts toward meeting law enforcement and public health drug treatment training needs. Cote d'Ivoire is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status Of Country

Abidjan is a major West African financial center and a regional hub for international airline travel and ocean freight. Following USG civil aviation visits under the "safe skies" program, security at Abidjan's airport has been tightened somewhat. Nevertheless, drugs and money continue to pass through Ivoirian ports and across porous borders, along with other smuggled goods, including light arms and stolen vehicles. Police seizures of narcotics during 1999 were usually small and often incidental to arrests of petty crime suspects. Limited educational and economic opportunities fuel a slowly growing domestic trade in heroin and cocaine.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Cote d'Ivoire continued to take steps toward meeting the objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. During 1999, a new Secretary General of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Narcotics Affairs improved coordination between government agencies. The government also sponsored a regional meeting of technical experts to move toward cooperation in fighting cross-border crime.

Accomplishments. Following closure of the Abidjan UNDCP project office in December 1998, Cote d'Ivoire cooperated with the U.S. Government and the European Union's (EU's) African anti-drug program to identify training needs for drug abuse prevention, law enforcement, and addict treatment and rehabilitation. Classes have been offered at the recently refurbished regional narcotics training center in Grand Bassam. U.S. assistance has been suspended in the wake of a military coup.

Law Enforcement Efforts. There were no significant drug-related seizures, arrests, or prosecutions during 1999. Law enforcement continued to rely on roadside document checks and tips to arrest small dealers and users. No significant action was taken against major traffickers. Counternarcotics law enforcement remained a low priority for government and police, and enforcement efforts continued to be hampered by official collusion and bribery.

Corruption. Following a corruption scandal unrelated to narcotics, three ministers were dismissed, but there were no significant arrests or prosecutions for drug related corruption in 1999.

Agreements and Treaties. The government of Cote d'Ivoire is party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, and its 1972 Protocol, the 1972 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In 1992, 1993, and 1994, the governments of the United States and of Cote d'Ivoire signed Letters of Agreement for the establishment of an Ivoirian capability to suppress the cultivation, processing, trafficking, consumption, and export of illegal narcotics, but apart from training, no assistance has been extended recently. The government is a party to several regional counternarcotics cooperation agreements.

Cultivation/Production. Cannabis is grown in the more remote parts of the southern half of the country, in limited quantities and primarily for local consumption. Crops are frequently hidden among cocoa plantings while maturing and then transported overland, concealed in shipments of coffee or cocoa to Abidjan and other distribution centers. The national police continued to destroy any illicit planting they found, but they did not keep records of crop size and yield. Herbicides are not in general use against drug-related crops.

Drug Flow/Transit. Despite some recent effort to tighten passenger-related security, Abidjan's Houphouet-Boigny Airport remains a transit point for flows of cocaine and heroin to destinations in Europe and beyond. In addition, seaports in Abidjan and San Pedro reportedly serve as transit points as well. Drugs and other goods cross borders by boat and vehicle, tolerated or abetted by easily bribed frontier authorities. There are no reliable statistics on movement of narcotics.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Public awareness of social effects of drug abuse remains low. Several government agencies participated in workshops sponsored by the EU's African anti-drug program to identify training priorities. The resulting broad training effort focused on drug awareness and demand reduction as well as on law enforcement, treatment, and reinsertion of former addicts into productive society.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. U.S. policy goals remained focused on reducing use of Cote d'Ivoire as a transit point for narcotics trafficking.

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. Government assistance in 1999 emphasized law enforcement training at all levels. Cote d'Ivoire had several law enforcement courses scheduled for the current year, but the current political situation raises questions as to whether they can go forward.

Road Ahead. The principal U.S. counternarcotics interest in Cote d'Ivoire remains preventing Nigerian drug cartels from using the West African "back door" to Europe and the U.S. U.S. training for police, Gendarmerie, Customs, and judicial authorities remains the principal avenue for broader U.S.-Ivoirian engagement in counternarcotics matters.

EGYPT

I. Summary

Egypt is not a major producer, supplier, or consumer of narcotics or precursor chemicals, nor does it have a serious problem with money laundering. It does remain a transit point for heroin and cannabis, though the level of traffic appears to have diminished in 1999. The Anti-Narcotics General Administration (ANGA) is the lead agency for fighting narcotics trafficking in Egypt. Egypt is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Egypt is not a significant producer or consumer of narcotics or precursor chemicals, though opium and cannabis are grown in parts of Egypt. Egypt is also not a center for money laundering. It continues to be a transshipment point for narcotics going to Western Europe and North America, though this role appears to have diminished somewhat in 1999, and there is no evidence that such drugs are reaching the U.S. in significant quantities. The country's long uninhabited borders and the large volume of traffic through the Suez Canal facilitate transshipment of Asian heroin and opium. Continued use of Cairo International Airport also remains of concern. Cannabis and stimulants are the most commonly abused drugs in Egypt.

ANGA has offices at Cairo Airport and along the Canal, and retains overall jurisdiction for investigating all drug related crimes. The U.S. DEA country office assists ANGA in some of its smuggling interdiction efforts at the Canal and airports through the provision of equipment and training.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. In 1994 the Government of Egypt (GOE) formally adopted a comprehensive drug control strategy which it continues to develop. Under this plan and using a "task force" system, the Egyptian coast guard, customs service, police forces, selected military units, and ANGA cooperate to interdict narcotics shipments. At the same time, the ministries of health and education and several religious organizations run drug awareness programs designed to curb demand. These efforts are hindered by a shortage of equipment and funding. A bill specifically criminalizing money laundering is under discussion in parliament.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Counter-terrorism continues to dominate Egyptian law enforcement, though ANGA is effective in its program of arresting low-level drug traffickers and users, interdicting shipments and eradicating illicit crops. As drug abuse is relatively rare in Egypt, the smaller scale of narcotics activities means that large seizures and arrests are infrequent. ANGA also runs a drug awareness campaign and is pursuing a program of crop substitution in the Sinai; this latter program has so far been largely unsuccessful.

ANGA's fulltime eradication unit in the Sinai continues to run almost daily successful eradication operations against cannabis and opium production. In a recent joint operation with ANGA and British officials, U.S. law enforcement was able to seize $2 million from a fugitive Egyptian drug trafficker. The U.S. then shared approximately 1/2 of this sum with the GOE pursuant to a case-specific sharing agreement, in recognition of the contribution to the operation made by Egyptian authorities. Working unilaterally, ANGA continues to seize assets from narcotics traffickers, and in 1999 confiscated 3.5 million Egyptian pounds. Another 15 million Egyptian pounds have been seized pending the outcome of court cases.

Corruption. Narcotics-related corruption seems limited, and restricted to low-level officials. Nonetheless, the Egyptian government has strict laws with stringent penalties for government officials convicted of involvement in narcotics trafficking or related corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Egypt and the U.S. have had an extradition treaty in place since the late 1800s. Egypt is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, as well as to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1972 Protocol thereto. A mutual legal assistance treaty between the U.S. and Egypt is awaiting ratification. [The U.S. And Egypt have also signed two case-specific memoranda of understanding regarding the sharing of assets seized in joint operations. These are one-time agreements.]

Cultivation and Production. Opium poppy is grown in the southern Sinai part of the year, and cannabis is grown year round in the northern and southern Sinai and in parts of Upper Egypt. The Egyptians estimate crop size, as the irregular shapes of most plots make precise measurement difficult. According to the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP), opium production in Egypt is declining while cannabis production is increasing. ANGA uses aerial surveillance and confidential informants to identify illicit crops, and then stages daylight eradication raids. ANGA is seeking to develop a herbicide eradication strategy, but currently relies on cutting and burning. Some methamphetamine has been reported in Egypt, and a handful of labs are supposed to operate clandestinely. Though opium is grown, no heroin processing labs have been discovered in Egypt in the last 10 years.

Drug Flow and Transit. The flow of drugs through Egypt has decreased recently. ANGA speculates that this is due both to increased Egyptian border surveillance and interdiction activity as well as to the opening of alternate smuggling routes from South Asia through the countries of the former Soviet Union. Nonetheless, ANGA continues to intercept shipments of hashish and heroin heading to Western Europe and North America from such producers as Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The Ministries of Health and the Interior sponsor a national drug campaign and various public awareness campaigns, which target school-aged children through the mass media. The GOE, with support from DEA Cairo, also runs a national drug awareness campaign. Drug treatment for the small population of drug abusers is largely carried out by private doctors.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. policy in Egypt is to continue to work with the GOE to further reduce transshipment through Egypt and to decrease cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis. Specifically, U.S. policy has the following objectives:

Increasing training;
Targeting eradication efforts;
Improving interdiction; and
Improving intelligence collection and analysis.

The Road Ahead. In FY2000, the U.S. Government will provide training to the GOE in police science, anticorruption and border control operations. The DEA country office will continue to work closely with ANGA to improve interdiction and eradication methods, as well as to develop additional sources of information on trafficking and cultivation.

ETHIOPIA

I. Summary

Ethiopia is not an important country with respect to money laundering, precursor chemical production or the production of narcotic drugs, although the traditional stimulant Khat continues to be widely produced and exported throughout the region. Ethiopia is strategically located along a major narcotics transit route between Southwest Asian drug producing regions and markets in Europe and West Africa. Ethiopia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol. The Ethiopian Counternarcotics Unit (ECNU) maintains an interdiction team at Bole International Airport, which is where its two drug-sniffer dogs are primarily employed. The interdiction unit routinely screens passengers, luggage, and cargo on flights arriving from "high risk" origins, i.e. Bangkok, New Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), and Islamabad.

II. Status of Country

Ethiopia is not, nor is it likely to become, significant in terms of the production of narcotic drugs, money laundering, or the production of precursor chemicals. Ethiopia continues to be, however, a major producer and exporter of Khat. Cannabis is being produced in small amounts for export primarily to neighboring countries.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Ethiopia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Ethiopia did not pass any new counternarcotics legislation in 1999. During 1999, the ECNU conducted a training course in basic narcotics detection and investigative techniques. for regional police officers. These officers, while still responsive to their respective regional police headquarters, will also be expected to coordinate their counternarcotics activities with the ECNU. The use of heroin and other hard drugs remains quite low, due primarily to the high street price and limited availability. The availability and consumption of these hard drugs is caused by the "spillover" effect from the transiting of drug couriers through the airport. Bole is a major air hub for flight connections between Asia and Africa, and much of the heroin entering and/or transiting Ethiopia comes from Asia. Many of the flights require up to a two-day layover in Addis Ababa which encourages the introduction of these drugs into the local populace.

Law Enforcement. The ECNU has been severely hampered due to a lack of leadership at the federal level, and a vacuum created by the transfer of the former commissioner and deputy commissioner to other duties. As of the end of 1999, these positions had not been filled. ECNU suffers from managerial/leadership ineptness. The ECNU commander lacks a commitment to attacking the international drug problem; the focus is almost solely on domestic issues. The interdiction team at Bole International Airport is largely ineffective, although the number of officers assigned has increased. Only two of the officers assigned to the interdiction team have had any real training. The other officers have severely limited enforcement experience, and do not speak any foreign languages and are, thus, limited in their ability to interdict foreign drug couriers or "mules". . The interdiction unit is, however, capable of identifying male Nigerian/Tanzanian drug couriers, who traditionally swallow drugs, encased in protective bags for concealment. Any other interdiction is dependent on luck.

Policy Initiatives. The Ministry of Justice is in the process of updating the penal code. Currently the maximum sentence for trafficking is two to three years, which does not serve as an effective deterrent to using Ethiopia as a transit country. Additionally, Ethiopia lacks a central coordinating body to systematically coordinate anti-drug activities of the ministries of education, health, and justice.

Senior Ethiopian government officials have admitted that attention to counternarcotics issues has waned, primarily due to the ongoing Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict. These senior officials have promised to re-focus attention on the drug problem and to re-commit Ethiopia to countering narcotics traffickers.

Money laundering is not considered a problem. There were no asset seizures or extraditions, and mutual legal assistance was of little significance in 1999. The United States has no extradition or mutual legal assistance treaty with Ethiopia.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives

There were no major policy initiatives undertaken in 1999.

The USG emphasis has remained on improving law enforcement, specifically the ECNU. Ethiopia has limited resources and must rely on assistance from external sources. Overall, the ECNU needs more training, better facilities, and improved access to resources if it is to prove effective in meeting the growing challenge.

GHANA

I. Summary

Ghana takes an active stance against drug abuse and illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Ghana has active enforcement, treatment and rehabilitation programs. Ghana is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Ghana is increasingly a transit point for illegal drugs, particularly cocaine and heroin from South America, and Southeast and Southwest Asia. Most are headed for Europe, but some go to South Africa and a small amount to North America. Trafficking occurs at Accra's Kotoka International Airport as well as the ports of Tema and Sekondi. Overland trafficking occurs at the land borders with Togo (Aflao) and Cote d'Ivoire (Elubo). As Nigeria improves its interdiction efforts, Nigerian traffickers are strengthening their presence in Ghana. The trafficking problem has fueled an increase in domestic consumption. Cannabis use is a problem in Ghana, although the extent of local cultivation is uncertain because of its clandestine nature. Individuals cultivate it in plots averaging about half an acre in size or by inter-cropping it in vegetable and staple food fields. Money laundering occurs, but this is not a major problem. Precursor chemicals are also not a major problem.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The Narcotics Control Board (NCB) coordinates the efforts and cooperates with all organizations involved in counternarcotics activities. The NCB's 1999 activities encompassed numerous areas of counternarcotics, including enforcement and control, education, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and social re-integration.

In 1999 the NCB completed its counternarcotics master plan, renamed "The National Plan of Action 1999-2003." Financial and technical support was provided by the European Commission through its African Anti-Drug Program (AADP) for West Africa. The policy initiatives of the Board are:

to motivate all organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, to assist in the suppression of illicit drug supplies being transported into the country, the reduction of drug demand and the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking;

to coordinate the efforts of all "stake-holding" organizations towards a common goal; and

to cooperate with the international community in the fight against the global drug scourge.

In 1999 the NCB submitted proposals to the Ghanaian government to amend the 1990 narcotics law. The following proposals were still under review in 1999:

A) amending penalties for drug offenses from a minimum of 10 years imprisonment to imprisonment of a term of not less than five years and, in addition, a fine of not less than 20,000,000 Cedis (approximately U.S. $ 6,400) or a further term of not less than 5 years.

B) raising the fine for certain narcotics-related violations from 20,000 Cedis in section 7 (2) to 1,000,000 Cedis (U.S. $ 320) because of depreciation of the Cedi.

C) amending section 4 of PNDC law 236 to vest in the Board any property forfeited under the law for the Board to manage and administer instead of the present situation where such fees, fines and other monies paid as fines go to the government's general fund.

D) defining the concept of possession/control to include the person who employed a carrier "mule", agent, or servant.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The police Criminal Investigative Division's (CID) narcotics unit based at CID headquarters in Accra undertakes interdiction exercises, raids, arrests, seizures, and prosecutions alone or in joint operations with officials of the NCB. NCB narcotics squads are locate at known drug-prone areas - Kumasi (Ashanti region), Koforidua (eastern region) Ho (Volta region) and Tema (greater Accra region)- which conduct similar operations. The Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) headquarters also has a counternarcotics unit, as well as anti-drug squads at some of Ghana's borders (at Aflao, on the border with Togo, and at Elubo, on the border with Cote d'Ivoire) and at Kotoka International Airport in Accra.

Arrest and seizure statistics show a decrease in arrests, but more seizures in cocaine-related offenses. The slight decrease in arrest is perhaps due to the deterrent effect of increased law enforcement vigilance at the borders. One of the arrests took place in Papua, New Guinea and involved a single trafficker trying to smuggle a large amount of cocaine (7 kg.) A gram of cocaine, depending on its purity, sells at Cedis 60,000 (approx. U.S. $ 18). Heavily diluted cocaine sells at Cedis 40,000 per gram (approx. U.S. $ 12).

Figures show a decrease in heroin-related arrests and seizures, again, perhaps due to the deterrent effect of increased law enforcement vigilance at the borders. A gram of heroin, depending on its purity, sells at Cedis 40,000 - 45,000 (approx. U.S. $ 12 - 14). Heavily diluted heroin sells at Cedis 25,000 - 30,000 per gram (approx. U.S. $ 8 - 9).

There was an increase in cannabis-related arrests and seizures in 1999 but a significant decrease in quantities seized. The increased arrests may be due to greater vigilance. The NCB attributes the decrease in quantity seized to the deterrent effect of improved enforcement and drug prevention education which reduces demand for cannabis. Traffickers may also be carrying smaller quantities.

Drug dealers, using matchsticks as measures, retail cocaine or heroin at prices between Cedis 1000 and 2000 (approx. U.S. $ .30 - .60), depending on purity. The matchstick is dipped in the cocaine or heroin powder and what collects on the head of the match is sold. A drug addict might need eight to twelve of these matchsticks per day.

The police narcotics unit has worked closely with the Accra INS sub-office. INS Accra continually receives information from sources in Ghana and the U.S. who have identified drug activities between the two countries. INS shares this information with the Ghanaian police, who corroborate the information and ultimately work the case. This free exchange of information has resulted in the arrest of several drug dealers who have ultimately been convicted in Ghanaian court.

In addition, several DHL packages containing narcotics, which were destined for Ghana, have been intercepted in the U.S. due to cooperation between Ghanaian officials and the DEA. DHL Ghana has also cooperated with NCB to intercept narcotics packages destined for London.

Corruption. In 1999, there were no narcotics-related public corruption cases reported. There were two such cases from 1998, involving the Bureau Of National Intelligence and the Customs Service; these are still under investigation.

Agreements and Treaties. U.S.-Ghana extradition relations are governed by the 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty, to which Ghana acceded. Ghana has extradited three narcotics offenders to the U.S. under this treaty (1 in 1992 and 2 in 1994). Additionally, Ghana is a party to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol Agreement, which includes an extradition provision. Ghana is also a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol.

Cultivation and Production. A combined team of the NCB's rapid deployment unit and the police narcotics unit continued to investigate the production and distribution of narcotics and to destroy cultivated cannabis farms and plants in 1999.

Marijuana or cannabis (also known as "wee" or Indian hemp) grows in Ghana, so it is easily available and widely abused. The cannabis comes from the rural areas, where it is cultivated illicitly, to the urban areas, where there is a ready market for it. Some cannabis is trafficked to neighboring and European countries. A kilo sells between Cedis 6000 and 7000 (approx. U.S. $ 2). A wrap or joint sells at Cedis 3000 (approx. U.S. $ 1).

Drug Flow/Transit. Cocaine and heroin are the main drugs that transit Ghana. According to DEA, there has been a notable increase in the number of intercepted packages of narcotics destined for Accra. Narcotics entering Ghana are sometimes repackaged for shipment to the United States and Europe through various concealment methods, such as: hidden in false compartments in briefcases, bags, cartons; deposited into unaccompanied baggage; hidden in exported foodstuffs (yams, pineapples, palm oil, etc.); or placed in condoms or cellophane material, which is then swallowed by individuals. There is no evidence that drugs transiting Ghana have a significant effect on the U.S.

Money Laundering. Proceeds from illegal trade in diamonds, gold and narcotics are suspected to be laundered through the non-bank financial systems, such as the foreign exchange bureaus. Additionally, there are allegations that some funds are laundered through donations to religious institutions.

Seizures. Approximately U.S. $880,000 in assets of a drug baron wanted in the UK were forfeited to the state. The NCB received 20 percent of the forfeited assets. There are three cases pending. One case was in forfeiture proceedings at the end of 1999, with assets of U.S. $ 1.19 million. In the other two cases, seizure notices were filed against the assets of an individual jailed in the U.S. for drug trafficking in 1996 and a fugitive drug dealer resident in Accra.

Precursor Chemical Control. The Ghana Food and Drugs Board and the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency control precursor chemicals by issuing licenses for chemicals and monitoring their distribution and use. The NCB monitors the licenses and is in liaison with international exporting agencies who require records on these chemicals.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The NCB's demand reduction efforts are at the grassroots levels in the rural areas. The NCB works with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to encourage members of Ghana's 110 district assemblies to include narcotics prevention education in their education programs. In addition, the NCB works with the ministries of health and education through the ministries' representatives on the Board. Drug prevention education programs, coordinated through the NCB, are provided for the general public as well as for the ministries themselves.

The NCB has also received cooperation from Ghanaian newspapers in publishing the mug shots of drug offenders in the papers. The NCB hopes that this will increase awareness of the repercussions of drug activities.

With school authorities, the NCB has helped establish drug-free clubs in all secondary schools to apply peer pressure in drug prevention education. The NCB prepared a booklet called "Guidelines for the Formation of Drug-Free Clubs in Schools" for use nationwide, and provides personnel to deliver talks or lectures at schools. In 1999, the Ministry of Education, in cooperation with the NCB, placed drug prevention education in the curriculum of all secondary schools and teacher training colleges.

In October 1999, the NCB and the AADP broadcast a quiz on drug prevention information over Ghana radio. Prizes were given to schools and individuals who participated. In 1998, with the Ministry of Education, the NCB designated the School Health Program (SHEP) of the Ghana education service as the drug unit to handle all drug prevention education in all Ghanaian schools. In 1999, the Ghana education service formed a committee, whose membership is drawn from SHEP, the guidance and counseling units of the schools, and the welfare unit. This committee will handle all matters relating to drug prevention education in Ghana. Treatment programs have lagged behind preventive education and enforcement due to lack of funding. Three non-governmental organizations form the nucleus of treatment and rehabilitation facilities in Ghana. These are: The Cheshire Home (Kumasi), the Abba Jenkins Home (East Legon), and the Remar Association (Accra).

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Goals and Objectives. To strengthen Ghanaian law enforcement capacity; to strengthen the Ghanaian Government's ability to identify and investigate narcotics-related crime; and to reduce Ghana's role as a transit point for narcotics.

Road Ahead. The USG wants to work with the government of Ghana to improve its narcotics interdiction and investigative capabilities.

ISRAEL

I. Summary

Demand for drugs in Israel is growing, use is becoming more accepted, and users begin at increasingly younger ages. Drug prices have remained stable or decreased, suggesting that significant supplies of illicit drugs are available to users. Drug users generally fall into one of two groups: one where use of amphetamines dominate, and a second where use of cannabis dominates. Among amphetamine abusers, LSD is also abused and, to a much lesser extent, cocaine. For those abusers where cannabis is the primary drug of abuse, it seems that heroin is frequently a secondary drug of abuse. This is particularly so for the hard core user.

Israel's Anti-drug Authority (ADA) has made the most of a tight anti-narcotics budget, but faces the prospect of future budget cuts. Cooperative efforts with Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians remain important for the interdiction of some drugs coming into Israel and cordial relations exist between counterparts. However, there is little to no operational assistance, and therefore no benefit yet from the improving relationship for improved narcotics interdiction. Money laundering legislation is pending in the Knesset. After it becomes law, Israel hopes to become a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status Of Country

Israel is neither a major transshipment point nor a major producer of drugs or precursor chemicals. Most law enforcement officials believe that a significant amount of money is laundered through Israel, because money laundering is not a crime. There is increased attention to the problem of organized criminal activity in Israel.

III: Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. While the government of Israel has a strong anti-drug policy, drug interdiction and prevention efforts are limited due to budgetary constraints. Although the 1999 budget for the ADA was roughly similar to the 1998 budget of $8 million, the FY2000 ADA budget may be cut by another five to ten percent, which is expected to reduce the ADA's capacity to fight drug abuse.

In April 1999, money laundering legislation passed the first of the three necessary readings in the Knesset. Israeli officials expect the bill to become law by June 2000. Stricter law enforcement will be possible immediately after promulgation of the law, although the collection database required by the law is not expected to be completed for another three years. The Justice Ministry has already begun workshops for banking and law enforcement authorities that explain the new legislation.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Israel works closely with the U.S. FBI, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and U.S. Customs officials, and has eight police officers and four customs attaches stationed around the world. Israeli officials enjoy good relations with their Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts, but offer little substantive operational assistance to any of them. Interdiction efforts focus on the transit of cannabis, and to a lesser extent, heroin, over Israel's physical borders with Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt and on the growing use of express mail to move amphetamines, LSD, and other drugs. Sniffer dogs have been an asset in drug interdiction, but are unable to detect new synthetic drugs, e.g., ecstasy (MDMA) and LSD.

The largest drug seizures in 1999 were: 1175 kg of cannabis; 163,760 ecstasy tablets; 200 LSD sheets; and 800 grams of cocaine. No labs were uncovered.

Corruption. Israel has had no documented cases of government narcotics corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. In 1991 the U.S. and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding calling for bilateral cooperation to combat illicit narcotics trafficking and abuse. Israel and the U.S. signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in 1998 which entered into force in 1999. Israel has acceded to the European Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters. Israel is a party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1961 Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol. Israel is one of 36 parties to the European Treaty on Extradition and has separate extradition treaties with five other countries, including the U.S. For many years, Israeli law precluded the extradition of Israeli nationals under any circumstances. A 1999 law allows Israel to extradite its citizens for trial abroad, so long as those who reside in Israel are permitted to return to serve their sentences. Israel is a party to a number of other bi- and multi-lateral agreements that allow for extradition and asset seizure. The USG concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the Government of Israel in 1997.

Cultivation/Production. Israel is not a cultivator or producer of significant quantities of illicit drugs. Indeed, drug cultivation in Israel doesn't even meet Israel's own illicit demand.

Drug Flow/Transit. Israel is not a significant transit country for narcotics and no narcotics have been seized exiting the country. Israeli authorities believe the majority of cannabis and heroin consumed in Israel originates in Turkey, Egypt, and elsewhere and enters Israel across her borders with Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. The relatively high price and quality of narcotics available in Israel suggest that Israel is a more profitable market for illicit drugs. Amphetamines and other narcotics which enter Israel by express parcel carriers or mail often originate in Europe. Other drugs come to Israel from the U.S. and South America.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). ADA initiatives are geared to 17 to 25 year-olds in universities, the Israeli Defense Forces, minority communities, and affluent youths who are the primary drug users. The ADA estimates one in five university students are drug users and five percent of this group use hard drugs. At one university, drug use is estimated to be as high as 33 percent. Among recent immigrants, Russian and Ethiopian youths have significantly higher drug use, while the ADA reports drug use in the Israeli-Arab community is three times that of the rest of the country.

Israel has been concerned about the increasingly young age at which drug use begins. A 1998 ADA study showed that a significant number of young people began experimenting with drugs at age 14-16. The next year, a similar study showed that a higher percentage of young people began experimenting with drugs at ages 12-14. Another ADA study indicates that the percentage of Israelis who find recreational drug use culturally acceptable rose from 10 percent to 20-25 percent in the last four years.

Future initiatives will be aimed at emphasizing the danger of amphetamines, particularly ecstasy, which the ADA says drug users perceive as a "harmless, fun drug." Use of ecstasy has increased more than ten fold over the past three years.

IV: U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. U.S.-Israel cooperation aims to assist Israel in building a self-sustaining, professional drug interdiction force, assist in the development of effective anti-drug legislation, and to help foster regional cooperation with Israel's neighbors on anti-drug issues.

Bilateral Cooperation. Israeli anti-drug officials characterize relations with U.S. counterparts as excellent. The Israeli National Police work cases with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency office in Cyprus, while the Israeli Customs National Drug Enforcement Section works closely with the U.S. Customs Service in Rome. Israel makes excellent use of U.S.-trained drug sniffer dogs at points of entry to detect narcotics. In addition, the United States offered several workshops over the past year dealing with drug abuse.

Road Ahead. Maintaining the gains of prior bilateral cooperation and building substantive regional relationships are key goals for Israel's Anti-Drug Authority. Given tight government budgets, maintenance of equipment and training for personnel and dogs remain difficult for Israel. Interdiction of drugs across Israel's border is a constant challenge. Money laundering legislation, when enacted, will open up new possibilities for U.S. agencies to engage in training and case sharing.

JORDAN

I. Summary

Jordan's domestic drug abuse problem remains small, due largely to the active enforcement of existing laws, and the cultural and religious norms which help limit the use of illegal drugs. Jordan remains, however, a transit country due to its pivotal location between drug producing countries to the north, and drug consuming countries to the south and west. Cooperation between neighboring countries, particularly Lebanon and Syria is ongoing and robust. Cooperation with Israel intensified with movement in the Middle East peace process, but law enforcement officials hope for a more comprehensive and cooperative relationship. Seizures of hashish, once the most prevalent drug seized, declined due largely to eradication efforts and tough enforcement from Lebanon, the purported country of origin. Jordanian officials recently announced a three-year national strategy to combat drugs of abuse. Jordan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and looks forward to increased support from the European Union and the United States for its anti-drug efforts.

II. Status of Country

There are no obvious indicators to suggest Jordan will move from a narcotics transit country to a narcotics producing country in the foreseeable future. Low seizure statistics and minimal reported drug use seem to support this assessment.

As in previous years, Jordan still remains a country without a money laundering law. Law enforcement sources fear the lack of such a law will ultimately open the borders to more aggressive trafficking with potential for money laundering. Legislative sources report no recognizable efforts to obtain such a law in the immediate future.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. In December of 1999, Jordanian officials announced a government-wide project entitled "The National Plan To Combat Drugs And Psychotropic Substances". The project is set to run from 1999 through 2001 with an estimated budget of $22.4 million. The project is being implemented by a number of ministries including the Ministries of Interior, Health, Education, Youth, Social Development, Information, Finance, and Justice, and the Public Security Directorate. The plan encompasses three main objectives: prevention, enforcement, and treatment.

Law Enforcement Efforts. As a member of Jordan's Ministry of Interior, Jordan's Public Security Directorate maintains an active anti-narcotics and counterfeiting bureau. In an effort to enhance enforcement, this bureau added an additional 15 officers in 1999. The bureau also sought and received training from France and Italy during the reporting period. Italian authorities hosted a training session on organized crime, narcotics smuggling, and money laundering. France trained Jordanian enforcement officers during an exercise where members of the bureau worked and trained alongside French narcotic officers. Jordan continues to seek training assistance from other countries.

Law enforcement and drug policy officials report a decrease in the amount of hashish seized in Jordan for 1999. Officials attribute this success to the tough enforcement by the public security directorate's anti-narcotics bureau. Members of this bureau cite specific steps taken by Lebanon, the purported source country, to eradicate hashish. Further, bureau members report a vigorous, cooperative, and ongoing drug enforcement effort with Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

While hashish seizures have decreased in 1999, statistics reveal seizures of opium have increased. Enforcement officials attribute this increase to the flow of drugs from Turkey, making their way to and through Jordan. These same Jordanian officials hope to further enhance the already existing anti-narcotics agreement with Turkish enforcement officials and improve efforts to combat this increase.

Corruption. Jordanian officials report no narcotic-related corruption or investigations during 1999. There is no evidence to suggest that senior level officials are involved in narcotics trafficking.

Agreements and Treaties. Jordan remains committed to existing bilateral agreements providing for some counternarcotics cooperation with Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, and Hungary. Although a 1995 bilateral extradition treaty is in force between Jordan and the U.S., Jordan has failed to honor any U.S. extradition requests since a 1997 Court of Cassation ruling that the treaty had not been approved properly by the Jordanian Parliament. The United States has repeatedly urged the GOJ to rectify any impediments to implementation of the treaty. Jordan 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 or Production. Existing laws prohibit the cultivation or production of narcotics in Jordan. These laws have been effectively enforced.

Drug Flow or Transit. Jordan has been in the past, and remains today, a transit country for illicit drugs. Jordan's most challenging burden in eliminating trafficking remains the long, open, and often desolate borders with neighboring countries to the north. While law enforcement sources substantiate robust and effective enforcement efforts with Syria and Lebanon, the vast array of nomadic tribes associated with trafficking often elude even the most sophisticated efforts of interdiction. None of the drugs that transit Jordan are believed to be destined for the United States.

Seizure statistics for 1999 suggest a reduction in the amount of hashish that transits Jordan. Heroin seizures indicate no significant increase, but opium seizures have increased as noted above. Transit problems to Israel were recently highlighted by an 8 kg seizure of heroin by the anti-narcotics bureau. According to enforcement officials, family members from Jordan attempted to smuggle the heroin through Jordan and over the western border to family members in the West Bank.

Domestic Programs And Demand Reduction. The Ministries of Interior and Health offer treatment and rehabilitation as an option to incarceration. Enforcement officials and prosecutors work side-by-side to identify potential candidates for treatment.

Officers of the Ministry of Education and Health make presentations to school age youths, conduct awareness briefings, and produce lecture materials on prevention, awareness, and addiction. In 1999, the Ministry of Health and Social Development officials opened a treatment facility in Jabal Weibdeh, a suburb of Amman, and expect the number of treatment beds to rise in the coming years. As always, the cultural and religious norms cannot be ruled out as a factor in the help to control drug use. The Ministry of Moslem affairs and Holy Places manages a program of religious speeches, lessons, and lectures on awareness of drugs and their effects.

IV. U.S. Government Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. In keeping with the past goals of creating an effective Jordanian interdiction force, the U.S. State Department offered a course on rural border operations and interdiction. In June and July of 1999, the Department's anti-terrorism assistance program hosted 24 public security directorate members in an effort to teach principles of conducting effective border patrol operations. All sides expect that lessons learned during this type of training will be applied in the border areas where narcotics smuggling takes place, and help deter and eradicate the flow of drugs through Jordan.

Bilateral cooperation. Jordan's anti-narcotics bureau has a close working relationship with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Country Attache in Cyprus. The U.S. does not have a bilateral narcotics agreement with Jordan.

The Road Ahead. Embassy officials expect continued cooperation with Jordanian enforcement and policy officials on anti-narcotics matters, and hope to assist Jordan as it carries out its three-year national

KENYA

I. Summary

Kenya is a transit country for hashish and heroin, mostly bound from Southwest Asia for markets in Europe and, to a lesser extent, North America. It is a major regional supplier of a mild narcotic known as Khat, which is legal in Kenya. Cannabis/marijuana is grown commercially for the illegal domestic market. There is a small local heroin market. Kenyan anti-narcotics police cooperate well with U.S. and other nations' law enforcement agencies. Extensive training in air passenger profiling has helped reduce airborne heroin shipments. Interdiction of sea shipments of heroin, cannabis, hashish and other drugs has been less successful, but a program for profiling shipping containers is in effect and has resulted in some seizures. To date, however, there have been relatively few prosecutions of major drug traffickers in Kenya. The Kenyan government still has not finalized a long-awaited national drug control master plan. Although government officials profess strong support for anti-narcotics efforts, the overall program suffers from a lack of resources. Kenya is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and has enacted full implementing legislation.

II. Status of Country

Kenya is a significant transit country and a minor producer of narcotics, but there is no evidence drugs reaching the U.S. from Kenya have a significant impact on the U.S. The country legally grows Khat for domestic and regional markets. Khat is a mild chewable narcotic, used traditionally in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. Cannabis or marijuana is produced in commercial quantities for the domestic market; there is no evidence of a major impact on the United States.

Kenya's sea and air transport infrastructure, and the network of commercial and family ties that link some Kenyans to South Asia, make Kenya a significant transit country for Southwest Asian heroin. Europe is the primary market for narcotics transiting Kenya, with North America serving as a secondary destination, but the amount of drugs moving to North America is not large enough to have a major impact on the U.S. In the past, Kenya has also been an important transit point for Southwest Asian cannabis resin (hashish), although there were no seizures in 1999. There were also no seizures of Southwest Asian-origin methaqualone (Mandrax), a drug which transits Kenya en route to consumers in Southern Africa. Although Nairobi serves as a regional financial center, there continues to be no direct evidence that Kenya is a major money laundering country. Kenya does not produce significant quantities of precursor chemicals.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Kenyan Government officials, donors and others held a workshop in May 1999 to review and modify a draft drug control master plan for Kenya. A government committee then reviewed the plan, revised some sections, and presented it to the relevant minister in November 1999. The minister recently gave assurances that the plan would be presented to the cabinet no later than early 2000. Although this progress is encouraging, officials still are not sure when the master plan will be enacted.

The Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) of the Kenyan police force remains the focus of government anti-narcotics efforts. A key element of the proposed master plan is the identification of a senior civil servant to liaise with donors and coordinate a broad anti-narcotics effort, including a much expanded preventive education campaign. The ANU would then be free to concentrate on its interdiction mandate.

Accomplishments. The ANU continues its professionalization efforts. Many ANU officers have undergone training, much of it through the UN Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and bilateral programs sponsored by the U.S., German, British, Japanese and other governments the ANU and the Kenyan Customs Service now have a cadre of officers proficient in profiling and searching suspected drug couriers and containers at airports and seaports. There have been some good results with profiling at airports, although only for couriers not major traffickers, and positive but even more modest results at seaports. The ANU deploys drug-sniffing dogs, thanks to a UNDCP training program, although this program has so far not resulted in any significant seizures. The ANU cooperates fully with the USG and other nations on investigations and other operations. The ANU is building its surveillance capabilities, but still lacks the capacity to conduct sophisticated undercover operations. Inadequate resources, a problem throughout the Kenyan police force, significantly reduce the ANU's operational effectiveness.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Kenya seized 17.5 kilograms of heroin in 1999 and arrested 18 people on heroin-related charges. The amount of heroin seized in Kenya has increased steadily over the last three years, but is still below the all-time high of 29.7 kilograms seized in 1995. Police report that traffickers are shipping heroin in smaller quantities, perhaps in response to increased interdiction efforts. Many individuals caught attempting to smuggle heroin into Kenya are of South Asian origin. An increasing number, however, are from East Africa. Heroin continues to be delivered principally to criminals of West African origin for onward delivery to Europe and North America. In 1999, the brother of a prominent Mombassa businessman was sentenced to jail for attempting to smuggle 6.5 kilograms of heroin into Kenya.

Cocaine seizures in Kenya have fluctuated widely in recent years. Police made only two arrests and seized 110 grams in 1999.

The killing of four high school prefects in May 1999 by students allegedly high on cannabis and other drugs prompted increased government efforts to limit the production, sale and consumption of cannabis. The ANU and other police units destroyed about 450 acres of cannabis in 1999, principally in the protected Mt. Kenya forest. In 1999, 7,762 kilograms of cannabis and its derivatives were seized, a significant increase over 1998. In addition, the ANU mounted its first-ever roadblock operations in cannabis-producing areas, which yielded significant quantities of cannabis and a better understanding of cannabis trafficking patterns. Officials report increased importation of cannabis from Uganda and Tanzania, where the quality is said to be better than Kenya's domestic product.

Kenyan authorities have made several multi-ton hashish seizures in Mombassa in recent years, but no such seizures occurred in 1999.

There were no significant changes in the organization or budget of anti-narcotics initiatives in Kenya in 1999. Several new officers were, however, assigned to the ANU, which has grown steadily from three officers in the early 1980's to over 100 today. ANU personnel report adequate policy support from central government, but inadequate financial and transportation resources. ANU appears to prioritize effectively, and targets major traffickers.

Officials have never identified any clandestine airstrips in Kenya used for drug deliveries, and believe that no such airstrips exist. On the seacoast, however, small boats meet with larger vessels anchored offshore and transport drugs to small landings away from major ports.

Corruption. Public corruption remains a significant barrier to effective narcotics enforcement. Despite Kenya's strict narcotics law, which encompasses most forms of narcotics-related corruption, there are continued, unconfirmed reports of public officials being involved in narcotics trafficking. There were no prosecutions of public officials for narcotics-related corruption in 1999. A member of a prominent and politically-connected Mombassa family, however, was successfully prosecuted for importation of heroin in 1999.

Agreements and Treaties. Kenya is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, which it implemented in 1994 with the enactment of the Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances Control Act. Kenya is also a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol. Kenya's national assembly, however, has not ratified the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, in spite of government promises to make ratification a priority

The 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty remains in force between the United States and Kenya through a 1965 exchange of notes.

Under a 1991 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), amended in 1996, the USG donated surveillance and computer equipment to the ANU in 1997. The MOU also provides for sharing of narcotics-related information. The three nations of the East African Cooperation (EAC) group (Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) continue to consider a draft protocol designed to enhance regional anti-narcotics cooperation.

Cultivation and Production. Increasing numbers of Kenyan farmers illegally grow cannabis or marijuana on a commercial basis, for the domestic market. Fairly large-scale cannabis cultivation occurs in the Lake Victoria basin, in the central highlands around Mt. Kenya, and along the coast. Foreign tourists export small amounts of Kenyan marijuana. Kenyan officials say about 450 acres of cannabis was destroyed in 1999, up from about 200 acres in 1998 and 80 acres in 1997 (the first year of large-scale efforts to eradicate cannabis). Cannabis eradication efforts were aided in 1999 by an extensive aerial survey of the Mt. Kenya region. The Kenyan government has no estimates of crop size or yield. Khat is widely grown as a cash crop.

Drug Flow and Transit. Kenya is strategically located along a major transit route between Southwest Asian producers of heroin and markets in Europe and North America. Heroin normally transits Kenya by air, carried by individual couriers. These couriers were once primarily West Africans. More recently, however, couriers are more commonly South Asian (Indian, Pakistani) or East African (Tanzanian, Ugandan). Once in Kenya, heroin is typically delivered to agents of West African crime syndicates. Some of the heroin goes from Kenya to West Africa for re-export to consumer markets. An increasing amount, however, enters Kenya for direct re-export to Europe or to a lesser extent the United States. The ANU focuses on airport heroin interdiction. Although the total amount of heroin seized has increased over the last three years, the average size of seizures has declined. Traffickers continue to dispatch couriers, officials say, but are unwilling to risk seizure of large quantities. We have no evidence that heroin from Kenya reaches the United States in quantities sufficient to significantly affect the United States.

Postal and commercial courier services are an increasing conduit for narcotics shipments through Kenya. Kenyan-grown Khat is legally exported by air from Kenya to Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen. In the past, Kenya has been a transit country for methaqualone en route from India to South Africa. There have been no methaqualone seizures in Kenya, however, for the last two years. In the past, Mombassa has been a major transit port for hashish. Containers with hashish were reportedly re-documented or repackaged in Mombassa for onward shipment. Most hashish transiting Kenya has been bound for Europe, although some shipments have reached the United States and Canada. There were no hashish seizures in Kenya in 1999.

Domestic Programs. Kenya has made little progress on demand reduction, although government officials express increasing concern. In addition to alcohol, illegal cannabis and legal Khat are the domestic drugs of choice. Heroin abuse is limited to members of the economic elite. Solvent abuse is widespread (and highly visible) among street children in Nairobi and other urban centers. There are no reliable statistics on domestic consumption of illicit narcotics.

Demand reduction efforts are largely limited to a poster campaign sponsored by private donors and a UNDCP project to bring anti-drug education into the schools. Kenyan officials have expressed interest in demand reduction and rehabilitation, but there are no government programs other than occasional speeches to schools and community groups by members of the ANU. There are no special government rehabilitation or drug abuse treatment facilities, but some churches and non-governmental organizations provide limited rehabilitation and treatment programs for solvent-addicted street children.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The principal U.S. anti-narcotics objective in Kenya is the encouragement of a strong Kenyan government commitment to narcotics interdiction, and the strengthening of Kenyan anti-narcotics capabilities.

Bilateral Cooperation And Accomplishments. The USG provided a grant in 1999 to permit a senior official of the ANU to visit the United States and observe U.S. drug control programs. The U.S. Coast Guard also provided training to the Kenyan Navy in May and October 1999 in techniques for boarding and inspecting suspicious vessels. The United States donated $40,000 of surveillance and computer equipment. In recent years, the Department of State has provided funding for ANU officers to attend several DEA and U.S. Customs training programs. Kenya routinely provides samples of seized narcotics to DEA for laboratory analysis.

Road Ahead. The USG will continue to take advantage of its good relations with Kenyan law enforcement to build professionalism, operational capacity, and information sharing. The USG will encourage progress on a planned national anti-narcotics strategy, and provide input where appropriate. The USG hopes to provide a basic drug interdiction course for new ANU officers (and colleagues from neighboring countries) in 2000. The adoption and implementation of a drug control master plan in 2000 will be a significant benchmark of Kenyan progress in anti-narcotics policy.

LEBANON

I. Summary

Lebanon is not a major illicit drug-producing or drug-transit country. Local cannabis production is insignificant and there is practically no lab processing. Drug trafficking across the Lebanese-Syrian border has substantially diminished as a result of Lebanese and Syrian efforts to deter illicit cultivation and smuggling activity. There is no significant money laundering, and banks comply with a self-regulating due diligence guidelines. Lebanon is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status Of Country

For the tenth consecutive year, the Government of Lebanon (GOL) continued to combat forcefully illegal crop cultivation. Strict control was imposed on areas that traditionally cultivated cannabis. In 1999, the Lebanese International Security Force (ISF) destroyed hashish cultivation in Deir al Ahmar, Yamouneh, Yunin, Irsal, and Btadi'. However, some plots escaped control in the remote areas of the eastern mountains (Yamouneh, Ainata, Ouyoun Urgush, Jabab al-Homr, Marjahin, Kalaat Aruba, Kanisset al-Kobeyat) and of the western mountains (Brital, Haam, Ma'rabun). Also, some very limited cannabis cultivation persisted among tobacco crops in the Biqa' valley, but on a small scale. (The areas planted were much less than in years preceding 1989, when Lebanon started the eradication of illicit crops.)

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Following his election in 1998, Lebanese president Emile Lahoud renewed a platform promise and vowed to extend his anti-corruption campaign to the war on drugs. In early 1999, the second-in-command of the Beirut narcotics unit, Colonel Michele Chakkour, was tried on charges that he directed the torture of a narcotics suspect who subsequently died. Chakkour was convicted and sentenced to three years incarceration.

Cultivation/Production. The GOL, in cooperation with Syrian authorities, continues to suppress the illicit cultivation of opium and cannabis in the Biqa' Valley. In May 1999, the Internal Security Forces announced they would increase patrols and crack down on illicit cultivation, warning violators they would face penalties of life imprisonment and heavy fines. Nevertheless, dissatisfaction continued among farmers who cited the UNDCP failure to provide adequate funds for crop substitution. GOL authorities maintain that as a result of destruction of hashish and poppy plantations, the production of hashish and heroin was nearly eliminated, although small quantities of morphine and heroin are smuggled overland from Turkey for local use.

Transit/Trafficking. Lebanon is no longer a major transit country; any transit is done by amateurs, outside the major drug trafficking networks. Established smuggling routes have been substantially weakened. The transport of hashish across the Syrian-Lebanese border was drastically reduced in quantity and value in 1999. This is attributable to the general attitude of both the Lebanese and the Syrian government's toward fighting drug trafficking. There were less significant quantities of drugs imported by sea or air in 1999 as a result of tighter control by the Lebanese security apparatus. Syrian authorities seized seven kilos of hashish from a large bus battery modified to conceal the drugs. When interdicted, the bus was transiting Syria as it journeyed from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia. More significant than the seizure was the fact that the bus had been transporting hashish in this manner every week for the past four years. Eight Syrians and four Saudis were arrested in connection with this case.

Three types of drugs are available in Lebanon: hashish, heroin, and cocaine. Hashish and heroin are no longer available in large quantities; sales of user quantities continue at the local level. South American cocaine is smuggled into Lebanon primarily via air and sea route connections with Europe, Jordan, and Syria. Lebanese nationals living in South America in concert with resident Lebanese traffickers often finance these operations.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In March 1999 a Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) soldier was killed in an exchange of gunfire between his patrol and several unidentified persons in the Hermel region of the Biqa'. Following the incident, the LAF raided several houses in the area, arrested several suspects, and confiscated weapons and one kilogram of opium.

In July 1999, five individuals were arrested for distributing large quantities of cocaine, opium, and hashish to a reported two hundred college students in the Massourieh/Metn area of the Biqa'. The group sold half a gram of heroin for $20, half a gram of cocaine for $25, and hashish cigarettes for $15. The deals were transacted using cell phones.

In August 1999, GOL officials at Beirut International Airport arrested a Kuwaiti woman after seizing from her person nineteen (19) grams of pure cocaine and five grams of heroin. In September 1999 the commander of the judiciary police announced that a joint ISF/LAF operation had resulted in the arrest of a notorious drug dealer, the object of more than sixty outstanding warrants of arrest. The GOL also arrested dozens of the fugitive's associates. GOL authorities reportedly seized massive quantities of hashish, cocaine, and cannabis seeds as a result of this joint operation. In October 1999 an Egyptian national was arrested for attempting to smuggle four hundred forty-five (445) grams of heroin in a washing machine through Beirut International Airport. The drugs were outbound to Egypt. In November 1999, an LAF tank was rocketed in the village of Hourtaala, Biqa' Valley, injuring three soldiers. The subsequent sweep by the LAF resulted in seizures of weapons and drugs from the homes of the alleged perpetrators. In December 1999 ISF anti-narcotics personnel seized a reported four tons of hashish plants from an isolated storage site between Deir al-Ahmar and al-Kneisseh.

In 1999, the GOL orchestrated several controlled delivery operations in concert with their European counterparts, resulting in significant drug seizures. The GOL, through its Ministry of Health, the Anti-Narcotics Bureau, and the Customs Directorate General, monitors the legal importation of all precursor chemicals into Lebanon.

Corruption. President Lahoud successfully campaigned in 1998 on a platform of attacking corruption at all levels of government. Efforts continue in support of that position, including anti-corruption legislation passed in late 1999, popularly known as the "Illicit Wealth Bill". In 1999, several key government administrators, including a former minister of petroleum, were arrested on embezzlement and fraud charges. Some were subsequently released, others remain incarcerated pending trial.

Agreements and Treaties. Lebanon and the United States have no formal bilateral agreements addressing the issues of narcotics trafficking or extradition. There continue to be renditions to other countries of Lebanese citizens suspected of drug-related offenses. Legislation passed the Lebanese Parliament in 1998 authorizing seizure of assets if a drug trafficking nexus is established in court proceedings. Lebanon is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, as well as the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

Cultivation/Production. It is roughly estimated that only 240-260 hectares of cannabis cultivation remain in Lebanon, a very similar accounting to that identified in 1998. The total value of the season's crop ranged between $2.88 and $3.75 million. It is worth noting that one metric ton of green cannabis yields the following according to crop quality: 5 kgs of first category hashish, 5 kgs of second category hashish, 5 kgs of third category hashish, and 2 kgs of hashish seeds.

Domestic Programs. Personal drug abuse is not perceived as a significant problem in Lebanon. As a result, there are few programs designed to raise drug abuse awareness. There are, however, several private drug treatment clinics in Lebanon.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. USAID, in close cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, is planning to implement a four-component program to aid and empower key Lebanese stakeholders, local government, media, and civil society in their efforts to fight corruption. The program aims to increase public awareness of the costs of corruption, strengthen investigative journalism, foster transparency and accountability at the municipal government level, and provide small grants to support anti-corruption efforts by local groups.

Bilateral Cooperation. As noted, there are no bilateral narcotics-related agreements. Cooperation takes the form of counternarcotics training courses and operational cooperation with regional DEA Agents.

Road Ahead. Given the level of Syrian involvement in Lebanese domestic affairs, success in combating narcotics cultivation and trafficking depends on Syrian as well as Lebanese government will. Syria has demonstrated, however, a continued commitment to anti-narcotics actions in Lebanon. We expect Syria and Lebanon will both continue to pursue this policy. The GOL has not done enough to develop a socio-economic strategy to tackle the problem of crop substitution. The government was successful in destroying the illegal crops but has yet to find a suitable crop to replace the lost revenues and sustain the livelihoods of the local farmers.

LESOTHO

I. Summary

Lesotho is a small, landlocked, mountainous country completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. It is becoming attractive to narcotics traffickers seeking to enter South Africa, and from there move on to Europe and North America, including the U.S., but there is no evidence drugs transiting Lesotho have a significant impact on the U.S. Lesotho is a source country, but not a major source country, for marijuana. It is not a major producer of other narcotics or precursor chemicals, nor does it have drug processing labs or high levels of money laundering. Lesotho is a transit country for illicit narcotics from South Asia and the Andean region of South America to South Africa and onwards to Europe. Recent indications suggest an influx of Asian heroin and Andean cocaine transiting Lesotho with involvement of Nigerian and other crime syndicates. This trafficking pattern is associated with the trade in small arms that contributes to political instability, violent crime, and incidents of cross-border livestock theft.

Lesotho lacks adequate financial and institutional resources to mount a comprehensive, sustained and effective counternarcotics campaign. The USG does not have a counternarcotics agreement with Lesotho. Lesotho has no bilateral counternarcotics or mutual legal assistance agreements with other countries either, but cooperates closely with South Africa in joint operations. Lesotho is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol. The 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty, applicable to Lesotho since 1935, continues to be in force, though there have been no extradition requests made by either country. Lesotho also approved the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Combating Illicit Drugs in 1997.

II. Status of Country

Lesotho does not currently have a modern "offshore" business and financial services sector, and is not believed to have extensive money laundering. The banking sector is small, risk averse and provides limited financial service options that could facilitate significant money laundering. Supervision of the banking sector by the central bank is guided by legislation and regulations that require banks to be aware of clients who routinely make large cash deposits and to share information on suspicious transactions with central bank regulators. Policy discussions to promote the business and financial services sector actively include recognition of the risks associated with money laundering.

Landlocked Lesotho is emerging as a transit country for illicit narcotics from South America and South Asia to South Africa. This traffic is made possible by Lesotho's relatively open frontier, inadequate control of the movement of people and goods, and proximity to major transport hubs in South Africa. Andean cocaine and South Asian Mandrax are the most commonly observed substances transiting Lesotho. There is limited evidence of the availability in recent years of crack cocaine, hashish, opium, and amphetamine-type stimulants. However, authorities are concerned about recent indications of an influx of Asian heroin and Andean cocaine, with Nigerian and other crime syndicates in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent working with traffickers in other distant regions. This traffic is linked with the significant amounts of counterfeit U.S. and South African currency being passed in Lesotho and regionally.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Serious political, institutional and statutory limitations have constrained the ability of the GOL to mount an effective counternarcotics campaign. The lack of funds, training, materials and helicopter transport seriously hampers local law enforcement efforts. There is no comprehensive counternarcotics master plan to coordinate the roles of the police, army, intelligence, customs, and immigration services. There is no joint intelligence gathering system or data base, though less than dependable procedures exist for the timely sharing of relevant information among law enforcement and the political directorate. No training facilities, programs or training aids exist to support officials responsible for counternarcotics activities, but efforts are underway to establish a U.S.-supported International Law Enforcement Academy in the region. There are no drug sniffing dogs or crop substitution development initiatives. Physical cutting and burning of marijuana fields occurs only when police receive tips and can get to the location, but there is no program for manual or aerial spraying of herbicides or defoliants to eradicate marijuana fields. Local authorities suspect that traffickers use airstrips in Lesotho, but law enforcement lacks the capacity to monitor them. Containerized export shipments are also being used to surreptitiously transport drugs across international borders.

The GOL successfully concluded an extradition treaty with South Africa in 1994, and strengthened sentencing guidelines and criminal codes to allow for the seizure of vehicles involved in a drug trafficking offense. New procedures coordinated by the Ministry of Justice allow for counter narcotics cooperation among airport and border control officials. A division within the police and the national intelligence service was established to coordinate law enforcement against drug syndicates. New legislation to counter official corruption of government elected officials and civil servants-the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act No. 5 Of 1999-was under consideration in early 1999. No other new legislation or policy directives have been implemented. However, the cabinet is actively considering new laws, to implement the 1988 UN Drug Convention's provisions on money laundering and the seizure and forfeiture of assets gained via narcotics trafficking. Additionally, discussions are underway about negotiating a series of mutual legal assistance treaties that might support a broader, more coordinated counternarcotics effort.

There were no arrests or prosecutions of major drug traffickers in recent years, but a large number of small operators and individuals have been successfully prosecuted. Periodic police road blocks result in the arrest of individuals transporting illicit narcotics and small arms.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Two Lesotho police officers participated in a U.S.-funded SADC regional counternarcotics training program in 1998. The U.S. is also making administrative arrangements to establish a law enforcement academy in the region. Since law enforcement training is desperately needed all over Africa, this new Academy should have a very positive effect on regional counternarcotics and law enforcement efforts. USG officials are concerned with growing evidence that drug trafficking organizations use Lesotho as a transit country into South Africa, and continue on trafficking routes leading to Europe and North America, but there is no clear indication yet of significant impact on the U.S. Lesotho officials participated with U.S. Customs and DEA agents in controlled deliveries of narcotics from Colombia, via Lesotho, to South Africa; and from Pakistan to Nicaragua (via Lesotho and Miami).

MAURITIUS

Mauritius is a minor consumer and transshipment route for heroin from South Asia, primarily to South Africa. A small amount of cannabis estimated at 75,000 plants maximum is produced and consumed locally. The absence of an anti-money laundering law could facilitate narcotics-related money laundering in the rapidly expanding offshore financial and re-export sectors, although there is no concrete evidence of such activity to date. Despite repeated assurances from the government over the past two years, no anti-money laundering legislation has yet been presented to parliament. Although the current anti-drug law provides for forfeiture of assets used in or derived from narcotics trafficking, no forfeitures have ever been finalized. Mauritius signed the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but has never ratified it. It is, however, a party to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs and its Protocol, as well as the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

A 268-person Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit (ADSU) within the national police force has primary responsibility for narcotics law enforcement. It has implemented a cooperation agreement with its counterpart agency in India, and is developing formal links with Southern African Development Community (SADC) partners pursuant to the SADC protocol on illicit drug trafficking. Relations with the U.S. DEA are good.

The government provides drug education and demand reduction training and programs to its affected citizens. It supports similar projects undertaken by NGO's. The ADSU is preparing a counternarcotics master plan for submission to the government in early 2000. Corruption is moderate by regional standards, and does not appear to affect counternarcotics efforts.

There is no bilateral narcotics assistance agreement between the United States and Mauritius. The 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty continues to be in force between the U.S. and Mauritius.

The United States periodically provides training for Mauritian law enforcement authorities, and two ADSU officers attended a regional training course in 1999. The U.S. embassy provided $ 4230 in assistance to two NGO's involved in drug education and rehabilitation.

MOROCCO

I. Summary

Despite the Government of Morocco's (GOM's) law enforcement efforts, Morocco remains a major producer and exporter of cannabis. While there continues to be no evidence that Moroccan cannabis reaches the United States in significant amounts, an estimated 2000 tons is believed to reach Europe annually. Estimates vary, however, regarding the extent of cannabis cultivation in Morocco. The Ministry of Interior estimates that an average of 50,000 hectares of cannabis are cultivated illicitly in the Kingdom of Morocco annually. Since 1995, the GOM's Royal Center for remote sensing, a scientific research facility, independent of UCLAD and the Interior Ministry, estimates primary cannabis growing areas in Morocco in the range of 15,000 to 40,000 hectares. In contrast to these lower Moroccan figures, the European Union (EU) estimates the area of illicit cannabis cultivation at between 80-85,000 hectares. There are reports that Morocco is used as a transshipment point for hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine entering Europe. Clearly, the threat from Moroccan enforcement efforts, as they are, has not been enough to deter drug traffickers. This reality coupled with GOM counternarcotics budgetary constraints does not bode well for near-term or even long-term progress against hashish cultivation, production, and trafficking in Morocco. Morocco is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Morocco consistently ranks among the world's largest producers of cannabis and its cultivation and sale provide the economic base for much of northern Morocco. According to EU law enforcement officials, Moroccan cannabis is typically processed into hashish, resin, or oil and exported to Algeria, Tunisia, and Europe. To date, money laundering and precursor chemicals have virtually been non-factors within the Moroccan drug market.

While cannabis is the traditional drug of choice for Moroccans, there is also a small but growing domestic market for harder drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. Newspaper reports on Morocco's role as a major producer and exporter of drugs allege a connection between local drug traffickers and international cartels such as Latin American cocaine rings. However, these allegations have never been substantiated.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. In 1996, the GOM established a coordination unit for the fight against narcotics (Unite de Coordination de Lutte Anti-Drogue or UCLAD) in an effort to improve coordination between the various law enforcement services involved in the counter narcotics effort. UCLAD is subordinate to the Ministry of Interior. UCLAD officials report that they have been instrumental in reworking legislation to increase the maximum allowable prison sentence to 30 years and also increase fines for narcotics violations to a range of $20-$80,000. Ten years imprisonment remains the typical sentence for major drug traffickers arrested in Morocco. Coordination among law enforcement agencies remains weak. In short, UCLAD's centralized control of all drug-related matters is not yet completely realized. However, European diplomats believe UNCLAD's problems result partly from a lack of resources to fulfill its mandate.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Approximately every six months, as part of an anti-drug initiative launched by the late King Hassan in 1992, 10,000 police are rotated into the Rif Mountain region to maintain drug control checkpoints. Moroccan forces also man observation posts along the Mediterranean coast, and the navy carries out routine sea patrols and responds to sightings by the observation posts.

Corruption. The GOM does not promote drug production or trafficking as a matter of policy, and it disputes allegations that government officials in the northern territories are involved in the drug trade. However, most international observers believe that some drug-related corruption exists in that region.

Agreements and Treaties. Morocco is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. With respect to agreements between the U.S. and Morocco, a bilateral narcotics cooperation agreement has been in force since 1989, and a convention on mutual assistance in criminal matters has been in force since 1993. Morocco also has anti-narcotics and or/mutual legal assistance treaties with the EU, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the UK. Morocco 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. Small scale farmers cultivate most Moroccan cannabis in the northern or Rif region, although some is also grown in the Souss Valley of the south. The average hectare of cannabis produces 2 to 8 metric tons (MT) of raw plant, and although the GOM has stated that it is committed to the total eradication of cannabis production, given the economic dependence of the northern part of the country on cannabis-cannabis crops are estimated to yield two billion U.S. Dollars in revenues annually-eradication is only feasible if accompanied by a highly subsidized crop substitution program.

Drug Flow/Transit. There are reports that Morocco is used as a transshipment point for hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine entering Europe. However, with the exception of the six tons of cocaine which inadvertently washed up on the Moroccan Coast in July 1997, there have been no substantial seizures of hard drugs in Morocco.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The GOM does not acknowledge a significant hard drug addiction problem and does not actively promote reduction in domestic demand for cannabis, or other narcotic drugs. It has established a program to train the staffs of psychiatric hospitals in the treatment of drug addiction.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiativesa Programs

Policy Initiatives. U.S. policy goals in Morocco are to: encourage GOM anti-narcotics efforts; cooperate with Moroccan law enforcement officials in curtailing production and transshipment of drugs; provide training in law enforcement techniques; promote GOM adherence to bilateral and international agreement requirements; provide support, as appropriate, for existing Moroccan-European cooperation; and encourage greater international cooperation to control Moroccan production and export of drugs.

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. has trained some Moroccan law enforcement officers in basic narcotics enforcement techniques, and provided anti-narcotics intelligence. The GOM is expected to participate in additional training in FY2000.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to monitor the narcotics situation in Morocco, cooperate with the GOM in its anti-narcotics efforts, and, together with the more directly affected EU, provide law enforcement training, intelligence, and other support where possible.

MOZAMBIQUE

I. Summary

Although there is a small but growing awareness in Mozambique that it is time for the government to focus on the problem of drug trafficking and drug abuse, narcotics control issues do not top the government's list of priorities. Mozambique's unpatrolled coastline and porous borders make it a potentially convenient transit point for narcotics intended mainly for South Africa and Europe. Information on domestic abuse is sparse. Mozambique is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Information on Mozambique's domestic consumption of illicit drugs and role as a transit country is sparse. It is known that marijuana and hashish are the drugs most commonly abused, while cocaine and heroin usage is confined to the country's small wealthy elites. United Nations, South African and Mozambican officials fear Mozambique is becoming part of a "Portuguese-Speaking Connection" bringing cocaine into South Africa from Brazil. Mozambique also serves as a channel for Mandrax (Amphetamine Type Stimulant) imports to South Africa from South Asia.

Mozambique's ability to detect, interdict, and deter narcotics trafficking within its borders is nearly nonexistent. Law enforcement and security entities are poorly trained and equipped, and susceptible to corruption due to their extremely low salaries. Mozambique's "narcotics police" is not a specially trained force, but merely a small group of police officers who are currently incapable of meaningful drug investigations or interdiction operations.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Mozambique's national assembly passed anti-narcotics legislation in March 1997, which made trafficking illegal and specified penalties for the trafficking and use of narcotics. The assembly will resume consideration of anti-money laundering legislation when it reconvenes in January 2000.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Over the past several years there have been some large seizures of illegal substances. However, no major seizures have been reported for 1999. Efforts at prosecution have been less than successful. A total of 130 traffickers were arrested in 1998 (the latest year for which figures are available), of which 39 were found guilty and sentenced to prison. In November 1999, police in Manica Province announced that they had destroyed 13 metric tons of marijuana in plantations over the past twelve months.

Mozambique lacks basic coastal and border control capabilities. Police units are under-equipped and most are without radios, telephones or transportation. Mozambique continues to express an interest in assistance in counternarcotics techniques, and international donors have responded to these requests in some cases:

The Italian government is funding two programs of $600,000 each under the auspices of the UNDCP (United Nations Drug Control Program)regional office in South Africa. The first is a joint Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa project designed to improve interdiction capabilities at the borders. The second is designed to build Mozambican capacities to craft anti-drug legislation, improve enforcement of laws, and create better forensic capabilities.

The Spanish government, supported by the Netherlands and Germany, continues to fund in-country training (conducted by a thirty-two member Guardia Civil unit) for six hundred Mozambican policemen.

In December 1998, donors and potential donors formed a 'Mini-Dublin Group' to coordinate assistance and share information.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

In fiscal years 1999 and 2000 the U.S. is offering training in the following areas from a variety of U.S. law enforcement agencies: law enforcement safety and survival; police science; assessment of the justice system (legislation and enabling regulations), and investigating and prosecuting public corruption. Total assistance will amount to approximately $260,000 over these two years.

The Mozambican government has requested USG assistance in formulating a coastal protection policy, which would include counternarcotics interdiction efforts. A USG coast guard assessment team visited Mozambique in early May 1999 to assist the Mozambican government with this plan.

In June 1998, the Minister of the Interior, leading a delegation that included officials from the Ministries of Justice and Health and the Prime Minister's office, attended the UNGA Special Session on Drugs, at which time the government of Mozambique deposited the instruments of ratification for the 1988 UN Drug Convention. During that visit the Minister met with officials from the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Justice, and State to discuss USG assistance to Mozambican counter narcotics efforts. The outcome was a program featuring training of the police and key members of the judicial system. The U.S. will continue to work with Mozambique to improve narcotics law enforcement in the years ahead.

NAMIBIA

I. Summary

Namibia does not produce any drugs or precursor chemicals. The transshipment of narcotics through Namibia to South Africa, however, remains a concern. Cannabis and Mandrax (Amphetamine Type Stimulant) tablets constitute the majority of police seizures with cocaine running a distant third. Although Namibia is not a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, it is a party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

II. Status of Country

The Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) acknowledges a growing problem with the transshipment of drugs destined for markets in South Africa. Financial and manpower restraints have limited interdiction efforts throughout the country. Despite this problem, domestic consumption levels remain low.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999:

Namibia is not a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Anti-drug legislation has taken a back seat to other issues. Nonetheless, a Money Laundering Act, Drug Trafficking Bill, International Cooperation In Criminal Matters Bill, and the Proceeds of Crime Bill continue to be under consideration.

IV. U.S .Policy Objectives and Programs The U.S. Government encourages Namibia to enforce its anti-narcotics trafficking and abuse legislation within budget constraints, and looks forward to a time in the not-too-distant future when it will be able to provide training for law enforcement forces at a regional international law enforcement academy in southern Africa.

NIGERIA

I. Summary

Nigeria remains the hub of African narcotics trafficking. Nigerian poly-crime organizations operate extensive global trafficking networks, dominate the Sub- Saharan drug markets, and account for a large part of the heroin imported into the United States. They also transport South American cocaine to Europe, Asia and Africa, especially to South Africa, and export marijuana to Europe and West Africa.

As was the case last year, Nigeria's counternarcotics effort remains unfocused and lacking in material support. The strong public denunciation of narcotics trafficking and financial crimes by the new democratic government of President Obasanjo is a welcome departure from the high-level indifference that characterized most of Nigerian military rule. However, there have been no major new actions or policies to bring about change. The year 1999 saw the continuation of efforts limited largely to interdiction of low-level couriers and destruction of cannabis crops. Nigeria did not bring to successful closure any of the outstanding extradition requests by the U.S.. Well-drafted counternarcotics legislation is already on the books, but remains largely un-enforced.

Nigerian law enforcement agencies did not significantly improve their counternarcotics performance in 1999. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) makes regular arrests of individual couriers, but few major traffickers were arrested or prosecuted. Total heroin seizures increased, due primarily to a large seizure at Kano Airport. The NDLEA has signaled a willingness to increase its professional expertise, but institutional limitations make it difficult for Nigerian law enforcement to make progress against increasingly sophisticated criminals. Awareness of the local drug abuse problem continues to grow, but demand reduction efforts have been limited in scope and success.

Nigerian money launderers operate sophisticated global networks to repatriate illicit proceeds from narcotics trafficking, financial fraud, and other crimes. In 1995, the Nigerian Government enacted a decree to combat narcotics-trafficking-derived money laundering, but enforcement has been uneven, producing few seizures and no convictions. To date, asset seizures have not proven a useful counternarcotics tool. Nigeria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Nigeria produces no precursor chemicals or drugs that have a significant effect on the United States. However, Nigeria is a major narcotics trafficking hub and the base for trafficking organizations, responsible for a significant amount of the heroin used in the United States. Nigerian traffickers maintain establishments in all of the opium-producing centers of Asia and the markets of many heroin-consuming nations around the world. They have links to South American cocaine producers and permanent distribution networks in Europe, the NIS, and East Asia. Nigerians dominate the African drug trade. Cannabis is cultivated in Nigeria, and is consumed locally and exported to other West African countries and Europe.

Interdiction efforts at Nigeria's airports continue to have an impact on traffickers' use of individual couriers. In 1999, the NDLEA seized 67.5 kilograms of heroin and made two arrests in connection with the seizure at Kano Airport. The NDLEA's performance at the airport has increased traffickers' use of Nigeria's porous borders and bases in neighboring countries. Nigerian traffickers now rely less on individual couriers and more on increasingly sophisticated concealment methods and difficult-to-detect air, sea and land bulk shipments and express mail services. Traffickers' methods are moving beyond the capability of Nigerian law enforcement to detect or interdict.

As specialists in moving narcotics and other contraband, Nigerian criminal organizations are heavily involved in corollary criminal activities such as document, immigration, and financial fraud. Their ties to criminals in the United States, Europe, South America, and South Africa are well documented. Nigerian poly- crime organizations exact significant financial and societal costs, especially in West African nations with limited resources for countering these organizations.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Since its inauguration on May 29, 1999, the Nigerian government has taken no new major legislative or financial initiatives to fight narcotics trafficking. However, both chambers of the new National Assembly established narcotics affairs committees to monitor, among other things, the performance of the NDLEA. Wage increases that would give law enforcement personnel a living wage for the first time in more than a decade were again announced, but were not yet implemented. In October 1999, President Obasanjo appointed Ibrahim Lame as his special adviser on counternarcotics and financial crimes. The new Ministry of Police Affairs has promised comprehensive reform and re-organization of the Nigerian police and other law enforcement bodies. In its proposed year 2000 budget, the Obasanjo Administration requested the Naira equivalent of about U.S. $210 million for law enforcement, the third largest ministerial appropriation in the budget.

Accomplishments. According to the NDLEA, 226 persons have been convicted by Nigerian courts of narcotics offenses since the Obasanjo Administration took office on May 29, 1999. The NDLEA's aggressive presence at airports produced regular seizures of heroin from couriers. The NDLEA also conducted raids at seaports and border checkpoints. In addition, the NDLEA maintained cannabis eradication efforts in virtually every Nigerian State, with a focus on plantings in isolated areas. More progress against corruption within the NDLEA once again contributed to its reputation as Nigeria's most professional law enforcement body.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Numerous small-time couriers were arrested, but major traffickers and their controlling organizations remained largely unaffected. NDLEA attempts to prosecute narcotics and money laundering kingpins were again stymied by a weak judicial system and government corruption. Law enforcement agencies faced systemic shortcomings. The NDLEA, like virtually all Nigerian agencies, lacks proper funding, equipment and training. Widespread government corruption, especially in law enforcement, exists at least in part because salaries remain low.

Like last year, there has been little inter-agency cooperation among Nigerian law enforcement units with respect to systematic follow-up on investigations or targeting of major narcotics traffickers or their organizations.

Asset seizures from narcotics traffickers and money launderers are permitted under Nigerian law, but were not used as an effective law enforcement tool in 1999. Despite some seizures, there were no prosecutions. Asset forfeitures must be preceded by convictions.

Corruption. Corruption remains widespread in Nigerian Government and society. After resource constraints, lack of targeting of major traffickers, and inadequate inter-agency coordination, corruption is the most serious obstacle to effective counternarcotics performance. The Obasanjo Administration, however, has made anti-corruption a major political and legislative priority, recording some success in establishing a higher standard for government service and injecting new transparency into contracting and general economic decision-making.

Agreements and Treaties. Nigeria 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. The 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty, which was made applicable to Nigeria in 1935, is the legal basis for pending U.S. extradition requests, including nine on narcotics or narcotics- related money laundering charges. Nigeria is a party to the World Customs Organization, Nairobi Convention, Annex on Assistance in Narcotics Cases.

Cultivation and Production. The only illicit drug produced in Nigeria in any volume is cannabis, which is cultivated in virtually all 36 states. Nigerian marijuana and marijuana resins are consumed in Nigeria and exported to neighboring countries and Europe. There is no evidence of significant Nigerian marijuana exports to the United States. The Nigerian government's eradication efforts focus on individual fields. There are no significant crop substitution programs.

Sizable quantities of ephedrine, both an amphetamine precursor and common ingredient in pharmaceuticals, are imported by Nigeria, but an illicit manufacturing link between the imports and some large amphetamine seizures has not been proved. Diversion of licit narcotics from the pharmaceutical industry appears to be common, and may explain the wide illicit distribution of sedatives in Nigeria and West Africa.

Drug Flow/Transit. Nigeria is still Africa's narcotics trafficking hub and a major transshipment point between the eastern and western hemispheres. Nigerian traffickers account for a significant amount of the heroin transported to the United States. Nigerian criminal organizations have expanded and shifted some activities to neighboring countries and other strategic locations. Large quantities of drugs go though Nigerian ports and land borders, which are poorly managed and patrolled. The NDLEA has made the airport transit of couriers more risky to the trafficking organizations, but traffickers use cargo and express mail services, as well as bulk land and sea shipments.

Demand Reduction. The abuse of psychotropic drugs (mostly cannabis) and, more recently, of hard drugs like heroin continues to rise in Nigeria, according to the NDLEA and Nigerian NGO's. Notwithstanding the change in government, many officials continue to deny that Nigeria has a serious problem, and some still say narcotics is a foreign issue and responsibility. The NDLEA has opened well-publicized anti- drug clubs at Nigerian universities, presenting them with anti-drug literature and videos. University officials state drug usage on campus is limited, but that student couriers were a serious problem until the NDLEA began arresting them in large numbers several years ago. There are indications, however, that university "cults," essentially criminal gangs involving, but not necessarily run by students, have become more active in transporting and distributing cannabis and hard drugs. Efforts by UNDCP and Nigerian NGO's in the area of demand reduction remain rudimentary.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. U.S.-Nigerian counternarcotics cooperation focuses on stopping individual couriers, combating local cannabis production and consumption, and attacking corruption within the NDLEA. Following a USG inter-agency team visit in 1998 to explore law enforcement engagement with the Nigerian government, a new law enforcement cooperation program was developed that included comprehensive training and some material assistance. In 1999, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the Secret Service conducted basic training courses in Lagos. USG working-level officials enjoyed good access to their Nigerian counterparts, who generally are willing to interact frankly and constructively. In July 1999, a joint U.S.-EU narcotics assessment mission to Nigeria produced a detailed action plan for engagement.

Bilateral Accomplishments. The expanding law enforcement cooperation program with the new Nigerian Government represents an important starting point in the United States-Nigeria law enforcement relationship. There were, however, few concrete changes in bilateral law enforcement efforts or results in 1999. The U.S. DEA office in Lagos continued to maintain close contact with NDLEA officials and operations.

The Road Ahead. The USG is working actively to take advantage of new opportunities for bilateral law enforcement cooperation presented by the Obasanjo Administration. However, the underlying institutional and societal constraints are deep seated and require comprehensive, long-term solutions. Major counter- narcotics policy initiatives with the new government will suffer from drift or inaction unless pursued with consistent attention and vigor. Implementation and adequate funding of Nigeria's own 1999 National Drug Control Master Plan will be a crucial test for the new Administration. It will be important to maintain a proactive approach to cooperation that allows us to demonstrate the concrete benefits to counternarcotics efforts to Nigerian law-enforcement agencies and Nigerian society.

SAUDI ARABIA

I. Summary

Saudi Arabia continues to make compliance with the provisions of the 1988 UN Drug Convention -to which it is a party- a national priority, and the SAG continued in its determination to eliminate drug trafficking and abuse during 1999. Penalties for drug crimes in Saudi Arabia severe; under the Saudi Islamic (Sharia) legal code, drug trafficking is a capital crime, enforced against Saudis and non-Saudis alike. After a hiatus in 1998, public executions for drug trafficking resumed with 43 executions during the year, including three Nigerian women executed for smuggling cocaine. Pakistan continues to be the single largest source of narcotics and Pakistani nationals continue to be the largest conduit of illegal substances. Saudi Arabia relies upon a network of overseas drug enforcement liaison offices and on state of the art detection and training programs to apprehend and deter drug traffickers.

Government determination notwithstanding, however, embassy believes that drug trafficking and abuse is a growing problem, albeit a minor one when compared to other countries. We are unable to substantiate this assessment with hard data, however, because the government provides no statistics on drug consumption, interdiction, and trafficking. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Saudi Arabia's relatively affluent population, large numbers of unemployed youth, and strict privacy laws make it an attractive target for drug dealers.

II. Status of Country.

Saudi Arabia has no significant drug production and, in keeping with its conservative Islamic values, places a high priority on fighting narcotics abuse and trafficking. The government undertakes widespread anti-narcotics educational campaigns in the media, health institutes, and schools, and since 1988 has applied the death penalty for drug smuggling. As a result, drug abuse and trafficking are not major social or law enforcement problems. However, Saudi officials acknowledge that illegal drug use is on the rise.

Saudi government efforts to treat drug abuse are aimed solely at male Saudi nationals, who are remanded to one of the country's four drug treatment centers. There are no treatment facilities for Saudi women, and expatriate substance abusers are jailed and deported. Health officials confirm anecdotal reports of a general increase in substance abuse, but note that most addictions are not severe, reflecting the scarcity of narcotics available and their diluted form. Heroin is more prevalent in urban areas, with hashish, cocaine, and amphetamines are also in demand.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999. Policy Initiatives. The lead agency in Saudi Arabia's drug interdiction effort is the Ministry of Interior, which has more than 20 overseas offices in countries identified as representing a trafficking threat. In addition, the Saudi government continues to play a lead role in efforts to enhance intelligence-sharing among the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Saudi Arabia is a member of the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and its drug enforcement personnel regularly participate in international fora and training programs, including the UN General Assembly's Special Session on the world drug problem in June 1998.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Illegal narcotics, with the exception of marginal cultivation of the mild-stimulant qat in the south-western tribal areas bordering Yemen, are not cultivated or produced in Saudi Arabia. Drug seizures, arrests, prosecutions, and consumption trends are not a matter of public record, although reports of drug seizures by Saudi law enforcement officers appear regularly in local Arabic-language newspapers. Saudi interdiction efforts tend to focus more on individual carriers than on follow-on operations designed to identify drug distributors and regional networks. Working with U.S. Customs advisors, Saudi Customs agents have begun using new techniques which have resulted in an increase in drug seizures (predominantly heroin, cocaine and hashish) at some points of entry.

Corruption. The USG has no indication of involvement by Saudi government officials in the production, processing, or shipment of narcotic and psychotropic drugs and other controlled substances.

Agreements and Treaties. There is neither an extradition nor a mutual legal assistance treaty between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Through the Saudi-U.S. Joint Economic Commission, U.S. Customs officials are seconded to Saudi Arabia to provide advice and training for Saudi Customs. Saudi Arabia 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. Cultivation and production of narcotics in Saudi Arabia is negligible.

Drug Flow/Transit. Saudi Arabia is not a major transshipment point. In part due to new techniques being employed at major points of entry, drug seizures, primarily of heroin, cocaine, hashish and amphetamines coming primarily from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Turkey, have increased.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). In addition to widespread media campaigns against substance abuse, the Saudi government sponsors drug education programs directed at school-age children, health care officials, and mothers. Executions of drug traffickers, conducted in public and extensively publicized, are believed by Saudi narcotics officials to serve as a deterrent to narcotics trafficking and perhaps to abuse. The country's influential religious establishment preaches actively against narcotics use and several government treatment facilities provide counseling for Saudi male addicts free of charge.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs -

Policy Initiatives. The U.S. seeks to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the Saudi government. A non-binding Memorandum of Understanding proposed by the Department of State in May 1996, and still under review by the Saudi Ministry of Interior, calls for increased bilateral cooperation in information sharing, legal assistance, training, and demand reduction.

Bilateral Cooperation. Saudi officials actively seek and participate in U.S.-sponsored training programs and are receptive to enhanced official contacts with DEA.

Road Ahead. The U.S. will arrange for officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration to visit Saudi Arabia regularly for liaison visits, professional exchanges, and training.

SENEGAL

I. Summary

The Senegalese drug agency , the Office of Control and Repression of Traffickers of Illicit Stupefacients (OCRTIS), has the lead law enforcement role in combating drugs in Senegal. OCRTIS is an independent agency acting on behalf of all drug suppression services (Police, Gendarmerie, and Customs) and the key coordinating agency on the drug issue.

The Senegalese believe that their country is primarily a transit country for drugs, with some consumption. There is no evidence that drugs transiting Senegal have a significant impact on the U.S. Cannabis is still a profitable cash crop in the Casamance region of Senegal, and cannabis is the illicit drug of choice in Senegal. OCRTIS has fully cooperated with the U.S. DEA on two cases since January 1999. OCRTIS also works closely with other drug enforcement agencies. Senegal is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Senegal is a major transportation hub in West Africa. Dakar's Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport is the point of departure for flights abroad, including a direct flight to New York. The busy international port of Dakar as well as Senegal's loosely controlled land borders, makes it relatively easy to transport drugs through the country. Cannabis is still grown as a highly profitable cash crop in the southwestern Casamance region, but it is either consumed locally or exported to regional countries. It is very difficult for law enforcement personnel to reach some Senegalese marijuana fields because of swampy terrain and lack of equipment. It is believed that the MFDC, a Senegalese separatist group active in this region, has used the profits from the sale of drugs to fund their movement, but there is no evidence that Senegalese marijuana comes to the U.S. in any significant quantity.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Senegal is a party to the three UN drug conventions of 1961, 1971, and 1988 . Senegal has amended its laws in an effort to provide a stronger basis to combat illicit drug trafficking. Senegal, however, needs to enforce these laws against narcotics trafficking and possession with more vigor.

In late December 1997, the Senegalese government adopted a national plan of action to fight illicit drug abuse and trafficking which was to be implemented over a period of three years. The plan was developed with the assistance of the UN Drug Control Program. The goals of the Senegal National Plan are: improving Senegal's institutional and operational framework for drug control, better coordination of enforcement actions, and emphasis on prevention and treatment of drug addicts. It is estimated that this national plan will cost approximately 4.4 million dollars to implement. The plan is to be financed by the national budget and by international cooperation, both bilateral and multilateral. As of December 1999, the Government of Senegal had not moved any closer to financing the plan.

Law Enforcement. The drug code permits controlled deliveries; allows seizure of benefits earned from drug trafficking; legalizes modern methods of investigation, such as telephone taps and use of computer data; and increases drug offense penalties to a maximum of 10 years in prison.

In 1999, an operation called "Cannabis V" was launched. It led to the destruction of cannabis fields with the following results: 500 kg of treated cannabis destroyed; 120 kg of seeds burned Officer, OCRTIS seized thirty (30) kg of cocaine at the Dakar International Airport in December 1999. The total amount of drugs reportedly seized by various law enforcement entities in Senegal was: cocaine, 31.4 kg; "crack" crystal cocaine, 110 pieces; heroin, 382 small balls; hashish, 14 gr.; cannabis, 7 tons; other psychotropic substances, 4,737 pills.

The total number of narcotics-related arrests was 2665. OCRTIS states it is currently investigating one case of money laundering involving two persons.

Corruption. The full extent of corruption in Senegal is unknown. Bribery and other forms of corruption have not been aggressively investigated or prosecuted, but it is generally believed that corruption negatively affects government activities in Senegal.

Agreements and Treaties. Senegal is a member of INTERPOL and of the World Customs Organization (WCA). Senegal 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 . Senegal is also a party to both ECOWAS conventions, including the 1992 convention on mutual judicial cooperation with regards to penal matters and the 1994 extradition convention. Senegal also has extradition treaties with Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Morocco, Tunisia, and France. There are no extradition or mutual legal assistance treaties in force between the U.S. and Senegal.

Cultivation and Production. Cannabis is a lucrative cash crop, leading many farmers to abandon traditional agriculture. The cannabis grown in Senegal does not have a significant impact on the U.S.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Only a few NGOs, with minimal help from the government, have been active in the fields of prevention and awareness for potential users. A French government financed center for awareness and information about illegal substances was created in Thiaroye, a suburb of Dakar. Another is planned for the regional capitol of St. Louis. In the near future, drug awareness and prevention educational modules will be included in public school academic programs. The ministry of education has planned several training sessions to train instructors on how to teach/moderate these drug awareness modules to local children. Senegalese authorities are also planning the creation of local shelters for drug addicts.

Road Ahead Senegal needs to implement its counter narcotics legislation more energetically, and continue its efforts to suppress marijuana cultivation.; and 3 seeded fields destroyed.

Working with the U.S. DEA, OCRTIS seized five hundred (500) grams of cocaine in February 1999 during a controlled delivery. Working with British customs, the Belgian police, and the British Drugs Liaison

SEYCHELLES

The two major sectors of the Seychelles economy are tourism and fishing. However, these sectors have not generated sufficient foreign exchange earnings to meet Seychelles investment and import needs. As part of its strategy to diversify the economy and increase foreign exchange earnings, the government is marketing Seychelles as an offshore financial and business center, creating a Seychelles International Trade Zone (SITZ) managed by the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA). The most glaring weakness of this program is that it permits bearer shares, which facilitate money laundering by making it extremely difficult to identify the beneficial owners and directors of an International Business Corporation (IBC). There is, however, little concrete evidence of money laundering at present.

The 1995 Economic Development Act, which was drafted in such a way as to invite major investors to launder money, as well as to offer them protection from extradition and asset seizures, remains on the books, but has not been brought into force. The government has provided assurances that this law will remain inactive. A 1996 law criminalized money laundering, but it is uncertain how energetically this legislation is being implemented. The Seychelles has been a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention since 1992. In the latter part of 1999, the U.S. and the Seychelles Governments engaged in discussions regarding the applicability of the 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty to the Seychelles under its succession agreement with the UK.

A small amount of cannabis is produced in the Seychelles, primarily for domestic use. The Seychelles also is a destination for marijuana smuggled from Madagascar. There are unconfirmed reports that the islands are being used increasingly as a transshipment point for heroin from Southwest Asia to South Africa and Europe.

SOUTH AFRICA

I. Summary

South Africa is committed to fighting domestic and international trafficking in illicit narcotic drugs. Nevertheless, it is a significant transit area for cocaine from South America and heroin from the Far East, with South African or European markets as the primary final destinations. In addition to being a large producer of cannabis, most of which is consumed in the southern African region, South Africa is perhaps the world's largest consumer of Mandrax (methaqualone, an amphetamine-type stimulant).

In 1999, the U.S. and South Africa concluded negotiations on a bilateral extradition treaty and a mutual legal assistance treaty. In addition, the South African Parliament was occupied considering amendments to the Prevention of Organized Crime Act through much of 1999. South Africa's cabinet also began consideration of a bill to establish a financial intelligence reporting center in November. South Africa became a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention in late 1998.

II. Status of Country

South Africa's emergence from international isolation and its transition to democracy and toward a free-market economy have been accompanied by the increased use of its territory for the transshipment of contraband of all types, including narcotics.

An interesting revelation from the depths of the apartheid past recently has come to light as a result of the hearings held by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and of the trial of the apartheid government's chemical and biological warfare guru, Wouter Basson. Apparently, the apartheid government not only acquiesced in the trafficking in narcotics among some ethnic groups, but it went so far as to produce illegal drugs, primarily mandrax, that were to be utilized as an instrument of social and political control.

South Africa has for sometime been the hub of many major smuggling routes. Additionally, South Africa has the most developed transportation, communications, and banking infrastructure in Africa. The country's modern international telecommunications systems, its direct air links with South America and Europe and its permeable land borders provide opportunities for regional and international trafficking in all forms of contraband, including narcotics.

South Africa continues to rank among the world's largest producers of cannabis. Most of the South African-produced cannabis is still primarily marketed and consumed domestically or within the southern African region. Exports to the UK and Europe, however, continue to increase. There also have been seizures in the U.S. of cannabis originating from southern Africa; although the impact of such shipments on the U.S. market is believed to be minimal.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Combating narcotics trafficking and use is important for the South African government (SAG) anti-crime agenda, but as a practical matter SAG tends to target its limited anti-crime resources on serious, violent domestic crime. (N.B. South Africa still has one of the world's highest murder rates and may lead the world in number of rapes per capita). South Africa's porous borders are crossed daily by criminals trafficking in many forms of contraband, including, but certainly not limited to, stolen cars, illicit firearms, diamonds, and precious metals. Over the last two years, the inter-ministerial National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) office has become more effective in bringing a modicum of coordination to the law enforcement and criminal justice systems. Owing to SAG's limited resources, however, the narcotics bureau (SANAB) continues to suffer from a lack of training, resources, and qualified personnel.

Accomplishments. In November 1998, South Africa's parliament passed a Prevention of Organized Crime Act, designed to outlaw certain criminal conspiracies and put teeth into previous legislation outlawing money laundering. Unfortunately, the act has not fared well under judicial and constitutional scrutiny. It has been amended several times and several challenges to arrests and seizures under the new version are pending. As of November 1999, the cabinet was considering a draft anti-money laundering bill, the "Financial Intelligence Center Bill." While neither of the above bills is solely targeted at drug traffickers (the problems with organized crime and money laundering are more broad in scope), both can provide SANAB with legal tools for more thorough investigations of drug trafficking organizations and for pursuing drug-related money laundering operations.

Law Enforcement Efforts. SANAB and South African Customs Service continue to make seizures of cocaine arriving in the country at international airports. The aerial wing of the police carries out an airborne cannabis eradication regime domestically and with neighboring states. The effectiveness of these operations often is hampered by lack of funds. However, increased training and police presence have meant that more seizures of drugs destined for export are taking place. The Revenue Service has reorganized the Customs Service to make it more effective in interdicting and investigating smuggling of all types, including narcotics.

South African Customs has been active in investigating the use of the mails for international criminal activities. Over a dozen seizures of cannabis bound for Europe via the postal system have been made in the last year. Moreover, suspicious checks from the U.S. addressed to individuals or locations with known ties to international crime gangs have been intercepted.

Corruption. Officials accused of corruption are prosecuted under the 1992 Corruption Act. Accusations of widespread police corruption are frequent, but many failures and lapses by the police also can be attributed to a lack of training and resources as much as to corruption. We have seen no credible evidence of narcotics-related corruption among senior South African law enforcement officials. Nevertheless, low level corruption among border control officials, does appear to be a contributing factor to the permeability of the borders. Efforts to improve esprit de corps and improve salaries and training may address this problem.

Agreements and Treaties. South Africa is a signatory to the 1996 Southern African Development Community (SADC) "Protocol On Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking." In September 1999, the South African Minister of Justice and the U.S. Attorney General signed an extradition treaty, to replace the 1947 extradition treaty, and a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT). The U.S. and South Africa also negotiated and initialed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement. South Africa is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, as well as to the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its 1972 Protocol.

Cultivation/Production. Cannabis, which grows wild in southern Africa, also is a traditional crop grown in many rural areas, particularly the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces as well as in neighboring Swaziland. It is possible to have three cannabis crops a year in some areas. Most of South African-produced cannabis is consumed domestically or in the southern African region. However, increasing amounts are being seized in Europe and the UK.

Drug Flow/Transit. Cocaine, in significant amounts, reaches South Africa from South America. Previously, Brazil was thought to be the most popular departure country. Recent seizure patterns indicate that Miami may have replaced Rio as the transfer point of choice for cocaine entering South Africa from South America. The bulk of the cocaine entering South Africa probably is destined for re-export to Europe. Nevertheless, domestic consumption of cocaine, both powder and crystal (crack), apparently is increasing. Heroin is smuggled into South Africa from Southwest and Southeast Asia; much of this is destined for onward shipment to Europe. The amount of drugs transiting South Africa to the U.S. is believed to be minimal.

Domestic Programs. South Africa has had a long history of Mandrax and cannabis use/abuse; opium smoking is widespread among some groups. Drug counselors have noted a sharp increase in the number of patients seeking treatment for crack addiction in the past two-five years. (N.B. In South Africa the pipe often is the instrument of choice for drug use; thus, crack fits more easily into the tradition of smoking, be it opium or cannabis, than does injectable heroin.) General budgetary constraints have meant that SAG subsidies for non-government drug rehabilitation agencies have been cut the last few years.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

There is a profusion of international criminal activities, including drug trafficking, in and through South Africa and the southern African region. These activities have a direct and indirect impact on U.S. interests, although their actual impact in the U.S. is still minimal. U.S. law enforcement officers from the DEA, FBI, U.S. Customs, and Secret Service work diligently with their South African counterparts. Moreover, the USG has been active in urging SAG to propose legislation that will strengthen South Africa's legal system and provide a framework for prosecuting sophisticated organized criminal activities, including drug trafficking.

In February 1999, The U.S.-South African Binational Commission (BNC) created a new committee dedicated to anti-crime issues. The New Justice and Anti-Crime Cooperation Committee has been the focal point since then of U.S.-South Africa anti-crime and counter narcotics cooperation efforts.

Road Ahead. Notwithstanding the lack of a bilateral counter narcotics agreement, there has been excellent cooperation between SANAB and DEA. Likewise, the relationship between U.S. Customs and its South African counterpart has been quite productive. The USG's fiscal year 2000 anti-crime and counter narcotics strategy includes a program of continued assistance to and cooperation with South African law enforcement and criminal justice authorities. The USG is especially looking forward to the establishment of another of its International Law

SWAZILAND

I. Summary

International drug trafficking continues to grow in Swaziland. Currently, local production consists of a marijuana cash crop consumed locally, as well as exported, primarily to South Africa, but also to Europe and, to a lesser extent, the U.S. Trafficking has become the major threat as multiple factors make Swaziland attractive as a regional base or transshipment point for international trafficking organizations: its proximity to South Africa, which is Africa's richest market for illicit narcotics; lack of effective anti-drug legislation; limited enforcement resources; a relatively open society; and a developed economic infrastructure. There is a 20-person anti-narcotics unit within the Royal Swaziland Police which has benefited from training opportunities and proven increasingly successful at interdicting shipments. The unit's effectiveness is dramatically limited by a lack of key resources and legislation to convict those arrested, as well as rumored corruption among related entities. Swaziland's strength is high-level awareness of the potential problem, which has led to regional cooperation. This includes the arrest of a reputed drug kingpin, Ron Smith, and the spraying of cannabis crops with herbicides, as a result of South African and USG assistance. Swaziland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Local official concern is growing, as anecdotal evidence and newspaper accounts point toward rapidly increasing narcotics trafficking in Swaziland. South African Narcotics Bureau (SANAB) personnel believe that bulk shipments of narcotics are being sent to Swaziland, where the narcotics are cut for onward shipment to South Africa, Europe, and to a lesser extent, the U.S. One local customs officer accepts a ballpark estimate of a 300-400 percent increase in narcotics transiting Swaziland over the past three years, with increasing amounts apparently destined for Swaziland rather than onward recipients. There are also reports of harder drugs, including crack cocaine, in Swaziland.

Local narcotic drug cultivation is still largely limited to marijuana, with the crop considered by police to be "extensive." In addition to being consumed locally, marijuana production is shipped to South Africa with some onward shipment, mostly to Europe, but also to a lesser extent the United States. Local consumption consists of the local marijuana crop, plus small amounts of Mandrax, an amphetamine type stimulant, cocaine, and heroin. The largest metropolitan city, Manzini, is the center of illegal drug activity in Swaziland.

Swaziland's narcotics law dates from the 1920s. It does not address conspiracy, asset seizure, or money laundering. Draft legislation has been languishing in the Attorney General's (AG) office since 1997. However, the new AG, appointed in November 1999, has publicly stated that he will dust off the legislation for consideration by the parliament in early 2000. The 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition treaty remains applicable to the U.S. and Swaziland through an exchange of notes dated July 28, 1970. Swaziland also has an extradition treaty with South Africa, as well as a protocol and mutual understanding on narcotics with Commonwealth Countries.

The police have a 20-person narcotics unit. It lacks vehicles, detection equipment, narcotics dogs, and office automation equipment, which significantly dampens its effectiveness. The unit's level of training, while increasing, remains limited. Additionally, it is sometimes called upon to perform routine, non-narcotics related police work, which detracts from its focus. There are rumors of corruption amongst police, customs, and other government officials. Although the corruption has been characterized as "mild" by expatriate police officials, it is thought to affect interdiction, arrests and convictions.

Swaziland is not considered a regional financial center, however, it is a short distance from major South African cities, and is a different jurisdiction so there is a potential for money laundering. Swaziland has included a section on money laundering in its draft narcotics legislation.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Law Enforcement Efforts. In 1999, Swaziland took a major step in combating the drug trade by assisting South African authorities in arresting a reputed drug kingpin in Swaziland. The accused remains under house arrest in South Africa until his trial begins early next year.

About twice a year, Swazi officials publicly incinerate narcotics seized through sting operations, routine vehicular checks, and during other criminal investigations. This was last done in June when over U.S. $217,000 street value worth of cannabis, cocaine and mandrax was destroyed.

With assistance from the DEA and the regional narcotics officer assigned at the Embassy in South Africa, Pretoria, the Swazis arranged for the South African Police to spray herbicides on its illicit cannabis crops throughout the inaccessible regions of Swaziland. The South African Police used their helicopters to carry out this operation and eradicated a third of the country's cannabis crop. The Swazis have also worked closely with DEA Pretoria to carry out controlled deliveries of narcotics.

Regional cooperation continues with South African anti-drug officials, including the sharing of information. Swaziland has strengthened this cooperation throughout its tenure as chair of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCO). Swaziland officials welcome regional initiatives and cooperation. Both Swaziland and South Africa support UK provided training and U.S. assistance programs.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The USG supports Swazi efforts in drug interdiction and demand reduction in an effort to promote regional stability. Coordination is close with the regional DEA and NLEA offices in Pretoria. The USG will also continue to support Swazi interdiction and demand reduction efforts and has the following near-term objectives in Swaziland:

Urging rapid enactment of the updated drug legislation;
Continued assistance to eradicate cannabis crops;
Assistance to Swazi initiatives in the counter drug arena, as budget ceilings permit.

SYRIA

I. Summary

In 1999, the Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) continued to make progress in combating the drug trade, but Syria remains an important transit country. Jordan has become the primary destination for drugs transiting Syria, while Lebanon and Turkey remain significant transshipment points to/from Syria. Syria has used its influence in Lebanon to assist Lebanese officials to significantly suppress drug production and trafficking. Syria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but does not have a bilateral narcotics agreement with the U.S. In recognition of SARG drug control efforts, President Clinton removed Syria from the drug Majors List in 1997 and placed it on a "watch list" for continued monitoring for the suppression of cultivation.

II. Status of Country

Syria is a transit country for hashish and heroin moving through the region, especially from Lebanon and Turkey, and for opium and morphine entering Lebanon and Jordan from Iran, Afghanistan, and Turkey. 1999 saw some increase in movement of cocaine from Brazil, via Europe, through Syria, en route to Lebanon. Increased shipment of drugs through Syria to Saudi Arabia and Israel via Jordan was also observed. The available evidence indicates that the bulk of narcotics transiting Syria goes to other parts of the region and to Europe, but not in significant quantities to the United States.

No members of the Syrian military stationed in Lebanon were prosecuted for drug trafficking in 1999. While there have been previous allegations of such trafficking, Syrian counternarcotics officials maintain that these accusations are seldom substantiated by hard evidence and that, meanwhile, drug production in the Biqa' valley has decreased significantly, even in remote mountainous areas without roads. At the same time, these officials acknowledge that some low-ranking individuals in the Syrian military have been arrested in the past with small amounts of drugs.

Syria was added to the Majors List in the late 1980's because opium in the Syrian-controlled Lebanese Biqa' Valley exceeded the threshold limits set by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. Estimates in 1991 determined that 3400 hectares were being used for opium production in the Biqa' valley. In 1992, Syria and Lebanon launched a successful eradication campaign which has been sustained to the present, reducing the cultivated area to approximately 150 hectares in recent estimates. The cultivation of cannabis, processed into hashish for primarily non-U.S. markets, was also reduced drastically during the same period. In recognition of these efforts, Syria was removed from the Majors List in 1997.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Syria's anti-trafficking law of 1993 calls for the death penalty for certain offenses. In practice, the maximum sentence is 30 years, however. Many cases are pending under this law, and there are on-going prosecutions of drug offenders. There are provisions for the seizure of assets financed by profits from the drug trade which are invoked on a case-by-case basis.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Movement of precursor chemicals through Syria is currently believed to occur on a small scale, and Syrian authorities have seized very small amounts of precursor chemicals in transit. In 1999 the Syrian government codified a 1996 plan to control these chemicals.

Syria cooperates closely with Lebanese authorities in the areas of interdiction, cultivation and production. In 1999, Syria also continued its cooperation with Jordan on narcotics matters. Syrian and Turkish officials have continued to cooperate on a limited basis.

Corruption. In the past there have been unconfirmed reports of corruption among some Syrian military officials in Lebanon involving the issuance of passes permitting the free movement of goods and persons in return for bribes. The SARG has an Investigations Administration (Internal Affairs Division) responsible for weeding out corrupt officers in the counternarcotics unit and the national police force. The Investigations Administration is independent of both the counternarcotics unit and the national police and reports directly to the Minister of the Interior. According to Syrian authorities, there were no arrests or prosecutions of officers in the counternarcotics unit for corruption in 1999.

Agreements and Treaties. Syria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its 1972 Protocol, as well as the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Syria maintains anti-drug agreements with Cyprus, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey. In 1999 Syria renewed its anti-drug agreement with Saudi Arabia. In 1996, Syria signed a new agreement with Pakistan which called for increased information-sharing in the counternarcotics field. Syria and the U.S. do not have a narcotics agreement, nor is there an extradition treaty between the two countries. Syria is a member of INTERPOL.

Cultivation/Production. Authorities do not permit the cultivation and/or production of narcotics within Syria. They are generally successful in preventing narcotics cultivation/production.

Drug Flow/Transit. Syrian officials estimated that in 1999 the flow of narcotics transiting Syria and destined for other countries in the region was approximately 20 percent higher than in 1998. They said shipment of narcotics from Turkey continues to be a major challenge, and shipment of drugs to Jordan has surpassed that to Lebanon. Drug interdiction remains the focus of the Syrian counternarcotics effort.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Due to the social stigma attached to drug use and Syria's strict anti-trafficking law, the incidence of drug abuse in Syria is low. The SARG uses the media to educate the public on the dangers of drug use. Drug awareness remains part of the national curriculum for school children.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. In meetings with Syrian officials, the USG continues to stress the need for diligence in preventing narcotics and precursor chemicals from transiting Syrian territory; the need to work with the Lebanese government in dismantling drug laboratories in Syrian-controlled areas of Lebanon; and the necessity of terminating any involvement, active or passive, of individual Syrian officials in the drug trade.

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. embassy officials in Damascus and DEA officials based in Nicosia maintain an ongoing dialogue with Syrian authorities in the counternarcotics unit. In addition, high-ranking U.S. Officials periodically share their views and recommendations with the Syrian ministries of foreign affairs and interior.

The Road Ahead. The USG will continue to press the Syrian government to maintain its commitment to combating drug transit and production in the region; to follow through on plans to enact anti-money laundering legislation; to encourage Syria to improve its counternarcotics cooperation with neighboring countries. The USG will also encourage Syrian officials to continue their work with their Lebanese counterparts to ensure that drug production in Lebanon is eliminated; to find and destroy drug processing laboratories in those areas where Syrian forces are present; and to work to minimize the involvement of Syrian officials in drug trafficking.

TANZANIA

I. Summary

Tanzania is located along trafficking routes from Asia and the Middle East to South Africa, Europe and the United States. Drugs like hashish, mandrax, cocaine, heroin, and opium have found their way into Tanzania, and through Tanzania's porous borders onwards. In addition, the domestic production of khat (a chewable, traditional stimulant used in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula) and cannabis is growing. As a result, drug abuse (mainly cannabis and khat) is increasing, especially among younger generations. Some money laundering happens in Tanzania, but a very weak financial sector and under-trained and under-funded law enforcement make it difficult to track and prosecute.

Tanzania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and, in conjunction with UNDCP, is seeking to address objectives of that Convention. Recent accomplishments include a high profile and successful master plan policy workshop and the establishment of an inter-ministerial anti-drug commission. However, Tanzania's government is unable to allocate the necessary resources to make these institutions effective and, despite public promises to combat graft, apparently unwilling/unable to put a stop to rampant corruption.

II. Status of Country

Until 1989, Tanzania's contact with drugs was largely limited to the traditional cultivation of Bhang (cannabis sativa) and khat in some parts of the mainland. Since then, the situation has changed dramatically and new drugs like hashish, mandrax, cocaine, heroin, and opium, have found their way into Tanzania, and through Tanzania's porous borders onwards.

In addition, the domestic production of khat and cannabis is growing. As a result, drug abuse (mainly cannabis and khat) is increasing, especially among younger generations. Harder drugs (mostly heroin) are used in small quantities within the wealthier classes. Recent reports indicate that crack cocaine has also been introduced to Tanzania. The growing tourism industry has created a larger demand for narcotics, and Tanzania has also become a victim of the familiar phenomenon that drugs transiting for elsewhere create a growing domestic market.

For criminals, Tanzania has a favorable geographic location along trafficking routes with numerous possible illegal points of entry. The drugs originate from Pakistan, India, Thailand, Burma, Iran, Syria, and South America en route to Europe, the United States and South Africa. They enter Tanzania by air, sea, roads and trains. Major ports of entry include airports in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro and sea ports at Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, as well as smaller ports like Tanga and Mtwara.

There are also strong indications of a drugs-arms connection in Tanzania linked with the arms demand in the Great Lakes region (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, etc.) There are few confirmed incidents of drugs which have transited Tanzania arriving in the U.S.

Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Tanzania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Tanzania has also signed the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Drug Control. The 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty was continued in force between Tanzania and the U.S. through a 1965 exchange of notes.

In 1995 Tanzania passed the Drugs and Prevention of Illicit Traffic and Drugs Act, which establishes severe punishments for the production and trafficking of narcotics. It stipulates long sentences, including life imprisonment, and forfeiture of property derived from or used in the illicit traffic. Offenses under this act are not bailable. A 1995 act of parliament also created the Inter-Ministerial Anti-Drug Commission (established in January 1997) to define, coordinate and promote Tanzania's national and sub-regional narcotics policies.

The GOT has recently put narcotics issues higher on the political agenda. President Mkapa has declared the government's "fight against drugs" involving the nine ministries that are party to the IADC, as well as five other ministries that work in close cooperation with the Commission. UNDCP assisted the Commission's national master plan policy workshop on drug control. The workshop was opened by the Prime Minister, who expressed a high degree of concern and commitment to narcotics issues. The results of the workshop are now being prepared for presentation to the parliament for approval.

Tanzania has two anti-drug police units of more than fifty officers (with twenty more currently enrolled in narcotics training courses), one on the mainland and one on Zanzibar. A structured cooperation between the drug police in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania has been established.

Through UNDCP, Tanzania receives technical cooperation that amounts to U.S. $700,000 for a multi-sectoral project that includes capacity building for law enforcement, institution building and demand reduction. Tanzania also receives UNDCP support to encourage regional cooperation on drug enforcement. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) has established its own drug control unit. The Southern African Development Community, of which Tanzania is also a member, has approved an anti-drug action plan and will appoint a drug advisor.

Traditional cultivation of bhang (cannabis sativa) and khat take place in remote parts of the country, mainly for domestic use. No figures exist, but police and government officials report that production is increasing. In March 1998, a device believed to be used in the production of mandrax was seized at Dar es Salaam port, originating from India. Mandrax trafficking along the East African coast to South Africa has diminished somewhat. It is unclear if this is because other drugs are being substituted, or if Mandrax is now being produced locally.

There has been no study of narcotics consumption, but UNDCP is in the progress of conducting a rapid-assessment study which should be ready in early 2000. In addition, the IADC is preparing to set-up a central databank to compile narcotics statistics. It is well-known that domestic demand is increasing due to both "spill-over" from trafficking and increased tourism. The tourist industry has brought Ecstasy to Zanzibar and police reports indicate that crack cocaine (crystalline form of cocaine for smoking) is now consumed locally.

Due to its geographical location and porous borders, ports and airports, Tanzania has become an important transit country for narcotics in Sub-Saharan Africa. Control at the ports is especially difficult as sophisticated forged documents are combined with poor controls and corrupt officials. Trafficking through private mail-courier companies is becoming more common. In addition, a growing number of Tanzanians are arrested abroad for serving as drug couriers.

Due to lack of resources and corruption among local officials, only small amounts of narcotics are seized. For example, the Tanzanian Coast Guard which is responsible for a large portion of Tanzania's borders including the Indian Ocean, Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Malawi, and others, has only one functional boat, which was donated by the British High Commission in 1998.

Police and government officials report that money laundering occurs in Tanzania, but to date, there have been no prosecutions for drug-related money laundering. However, officials assert that real estate investments and used/stolen cars are areas where money laundering is no doubt present. Money laundering is an illegal act under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Pursuits of Crime Act.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The USG has supported the training of a number of Tanzanian enforcement officers, and hopes to do more training in the region, after a regional International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) is established for Africa. In 1999, Tanzanian police officials attended a South African regional drug enforcement seminar with U.S. DEA trainers funded by the State Department. The U.S. FBI also conducted two one-week training seminars on major case management for one hundred Tanzanian police officers. In June, fifteen Criminal Investigations Department and Tanzanian Intelligence and Security Service officers attended a counter-surveillance course in Richmond, Virginia. In November, an inspector from the anti-narcotics unit attended a three-week course in the United States on narcotics and contraband interdiction. The U.S. will continue to cooperate with Tanzania to improve law enforcement skills , and the administration of justice.

TOGO

I. Summary

In 1999, Togo took several aggressive steps in the direction of confronting a growing drug trafficking problem. Togo began enforcing punitive measures outlined in its tough anti-drug law, passed in 1998. If Togo continues in this direction, and all indications suggest that it will, then improvement in the trafficking/abuse situation will surely follow. Togo is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Togo is not a drug producing country. Togo is a significant narcotic transit point for other African states and for Europe. There are no clear indications that Togo is a significant transit point to the U.S.

There are some indications of an art export/narcotics connection. Togo has no antiquity laws or restrictions on the export of African art. As a result, African art is one of Togo's few flourishing industries. A large number of major European and American African art dealers visit Togo for the specific purpose of buying African art. There have been some reports that traffickers have used "art-dealer cover" to facilitate trafficking.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999:

Togo is working slowly, but diligently, to meet the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In 1998 Togo passed a very strict anti-drug law, which provided for stiff financial penalties, long sentences, and asset seizures and forfeitures for anyone knowingly involved in the facilitation of illegal drug activities. This new law contained two major procedural changes. The first procedural change delegated primary authority for the criminal investigation and interdiction aspect of drug trafficking to the national police. The second change allowed GOT officials to remove representative samples of contraband for evidence either in the presence of the offender or in his absence. Seized drugs must be destroyed as quickly as possible. Togo does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, but there have been indications the GOT is amenable in cooperating with the U.S. on law enforcement issues.

There is no seizure data as yet for 1999, but seizures were down sharply during 1998 in comparison to 1997. The GOT simply does not have the resources to stop the exporting of drugs. Corruption, poor training and government disorganization only add to the problem.

Official arrest statistics for narcotics-related crimes during 1999, broken down by type of drug, are as follows:

  • Marijuana - 27
  • Heroin - 2
  • Cocaine - 0
  • Total - 29

Several of those arrested were put on national television to inform the general public that dealing in drugs was not appropriate employment. In another case, three individuals arrested at the Tokian International Airport for drugs offenses had their pictures published in the local press.

The National Drug Committee developed a proactive program similar to DARE in the United States, which is now beginning to gain momentum. Through the creative use of football (soccer) clubs around the country, the National Drug Committee has been spreading the word to the youth in- country about the hazards of using illicit drugs. T-shirts sporting anti-drug slogans, brochures and other prizes are awarded to the winners of athletic events. Anti-drug posters are also appearing more frequently at Togo's international airport.

The GOT sponsored a conference on drug-free prisons. It seems that Togo suffers from similar problems to those one finds in U.S. prisons: Visitors bring in illicit drugs, and prisoners with the financial means to corrupt minor prison officials. The Rotary Club of Lome also organized a conference for local dock workers during which the commander of the national anti-drug committee spoke on the dangers of drug abuse.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The U.S. is working to establish a regional International Law Enforcement Academy(ILEA) for Africa, which would go a long way to improving the competence and esprit of narcotics law enforcement officers throughout the African Continent.

TUNISIA

I. Summary

Tunisia's role as a drug transshipment point is limited, and its government works closely with neighboring states and with international bodies to interdict shipments. Tunisia has only a minor domestic demand problem, which may be growing, especially among high school and university students, and the mostly European tourist market. The use of drugs such as heroin and cocaine, historically virtually unknown, has increased in recent years but remains limited. The government took action against users and traffickers in 1999. In two separate trials in January 1998, the Government of Tunisia (GOT) convicted 35 users and traffickers to sentences ranging from five to 46 years in prison. In July, Tunisian officials arrested 87 Tunisians and foreign citizens accused of being part of a drug ring centered in the southern port city of Sfax; they await trial. The GOT has an active anti-drug education program with a special focus on youth. There is no counternarcotics agreement between the U.S. and Tunisia. Tunisia is a Party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and participates in international counternarcotics efforts. Cooperation with DEA and French narcotics law enforcement liaison officers is excellent.

II. Status Of The Country

Tunisia is not a significant drug transshipment or consumption point, and does not play a significant role in money laundering or precursor chemical production. While consumption of hard drugs was previously virtually unknown, in recent years there has been some increase in drug use, including use of cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and cannabis, primarily at high schools and universities and at tourist resorts. There is no reliable information about whether scattered production of cannabis in northern Tunisia, which had been legally cultivated for local use in pre-independence Tunisia, continues.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

While Tunisia does not have a significant drug problem, the GOT was active in counternarcotics efforts. On January 7, 1999, the appeals court of Tunis announced sentences ranging from five to 46 years in prison for ten persons convicted of using and trafficking in cocaine. On January 12, the appeals court of Tunis sentenced 23 persons in what the press called the "Vap Bon Gang" (referring to the peninsula southeast of Tunis where they were active) for the use and distribution of marijuana and hashish. In this case, prison terms range from one to seven years. An additional three people were found innocent, and three of the 23 persons found guilty were tried in absentia and remain in hiding. In July, the Government arrested 87 people and seized hashish valued at 700,000 dinars ($593,000) in an alleged drug ring centered in the southern port city of Sfax. These people, who await trial, are accused of selling hashish-filled cigarettes to high school students. In December, the court of Tunis will begin appeal hearings on a case involving 139 persons accused of drug-related offences which was tried in December 1998.

Regarding international counternarcotics efforts, there is no UN drug control program presence in Tunisia. There is no U.S.-Tunisia bilateral narcotics agreement.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The USG supports Tunisian counternarcotics efforts and seeks Tunisian support for US international anti-narcotics initiatives, such as at the annual meeting of the Committee on Narcotics Drugs (CND) in Vienna. There has been no recent USG assistance to the GOT on counternarcotics matters. In the past, the USG provided narcotics-related training assistance in maritime security for Tunisian customs officials.

UGANDA

I. Summary

Uganda operates primarily as a transit country for drugs destined for the European, South African, and to a lesser extent, the United States and Canadian markets. There has been an increase in local consumption of illicit drugs. Heroin, cocaine and cannabis are the drugs of choice for international trafficking. With the exception of cannabis, most drugs enter the country through a variety of portals, including the international airport at Entebbe and, increasingly, overland from Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. A secondary route is by boat via Lake Victoria. Due to the huge area involved, Uganda cannot effectively police the shoreline. Foreign nationals are largely involved in this trade, although increasingly Ugandan nationals are being recruited.

Uganda is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol. Law enforcement agencies, however, have little capability to deal with drug-related crime and trafficking due to extremely limited resources and an inefficient judicial system hampered by ineffective laws. Uganda's narcotic drug and psychotropic drug bill is scheduled to be debated in the next secession of parliament. Enacting this bill will create a basis in law for the law enforcement and judicial system to combat drug distribution and drug related crimes, but they both will remain hampered by the resource problems mentioned above.

Uganda is not a major hard-drug consuming country. Local cannabis cultivation and consumption is a problem. Money laundering is thought to occur, but there are no good estimates of the amounts involved.

II. Status of Country

Uganda is unlikely to become a significant drug producer or precursor chemical producing center in the short-to-medium term. It remains a low-level transit country, with drug seizures increasing. There is little doubt some money laundering takes place. Police authorities believe money laundering may have contributed to the collapse of one local bank.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

In December 1998, Uganda signed an MOU with Nigeria for cooperation in combating illicit drug trade. Uganda supports and intends to sign the protocol for East African regional cooperation in combating illicit drugs, which is scheduled to be signed in Arusha in July 2000. Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda hold rotational bi-annual operational meetings focusing on regional cooperation.

Illicit Cultivation. Cannabis for local consumption is grown in southern, western, and eastern Uganda. Some is sold in neighboring countries and there is now evidence that Ugandan grown cannabis is appearing in European markets.

Production. There is no manufacture of other drugs, but there is a possibility that chemicals used in the manufacture of Mandrax are being imported. This danger becomes more real to Uganda as Uganda's domestic pharmaceutical industry increases production . Many precursor chemicals for the licit industry can be misused to produce illicit drugs. The Ugandan authorities are taking steps to monitor the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

Traffic/Transit. Most drugs transiting Uganda come in by plane, boat and overland through the Kenyan and Tanzanian borders. In the past, Nigerians were most prominently involved, but more recent arrests have included Kenyans and Ugandans. Twelve foreigners were arrested this year for drug smuggling.

Agreements/Treaties. Uganda is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol. There is no bilateral extradition treaty between the U.S. and Uganda. However, Uganada has extradition agreements with commonwealth countries, and presently an extradition is being arranged from Tanzania to Uganda. The case involves a Nigerian living in Kenya to be brought back to Uganda for distributing cocaine.

Law Enforcement. Ugandan law enforcement agencies are eager to cooperate with international interdiction efforts, but are poorly funded and trained. The anti- narcotics unit has increased from 70 to 100 active officers dedicated to the entire country. The situation is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future as Uganda concentrates it's extremely limited security and police resources on combating domestic insurgencies. The police force suffers from inadequate funding, resources, training, pay, and benefits. The average police officer is paid $40 U.S. per month. Top ranking police officials average $500 U.S. per month. INTERPOL, UNDCP, and the German and British governments have provided legal assistance and limited training to the Ugandan authorities. The Germans have presented courses on intelligence gathering and sharing, the legal system, strengthening mutual assistance, and money laundering.

A national drug control plan is under review and is scheduled to be part of the narcotics crime bill implementation planning.

Seizures:

  • Heroin-9.59 kg. Cocaine - 412 gr.
  • Hashish-9.09 kg.
  • Cannabis-5000 kg and 25,000 plants destroyed
  • Arrests-12 foreigners and 396 Ugandans

Demand Reduction. Illicit drug consumers appear to be "casual labor" and centered around urban areas. Drug abuse in Uganda is viewed as a problem of the poorer class. Local authorities attribute some of the rising trend in crime as being related to illicit drug activity.

Uganda has a small hard drug consumer problem, but the drug of choice in Uganda is cannabis. The narcotics unit of the government is continuing it's public awareness campaign with a focus on schools.

Road Ahead. Uganda needs assistance with police training and judicial reform, but the will of the current government is excellent and many of the basics for continuing improvement are in place.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

I. Summary

Although not a narcotics producing nation, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has all the characteristics of a potential major transshipment point for illegal narcotics emanating from south and southwest Asia. It is located at the crossroads of southwest Asian trade routes, in close proximity to the drug-producing countries of India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, and is in a region with porous borders and coastlines. The UAE is also situated in a region full of affluent consumers and utilizes a domestic banking system in which money laundering is not illegal. These factors, combined with the country's role as a "free-trade" zone and regional hub for international air travel, lead many to speculate that narcotics transshipment is endemic. However, neither the USG nor the UAEG has hard evidence to support these suspicions at this time.

In 1999, the UAE Government (UAEG) released previously unpublished statistics on narcotics seizures and domestic addiction problems. These statistics reveal a domestic drug problem among UAE and third-country nationals which, while not significant by world standards, is remarkable given the country's harsh drug laws. The overwhelming majority of drug seizures have netted hashish, not heroin and opium. The UAE Ministry of Interior's Federal Drug Administration (DEA) is tasked with coordinating drug enforcement efforts for the seven emirates which comprise the UAE as well as executing the country's anti-drug strategy. The UAE government is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and is committed to the fight against international narcotics trafficking and narcotics abuse.

II. Status of Country

A major regional financial center and hub for commercial shipping and trade, the UAE is a transshipment country for illegal narcotics from south and southwest Asia to international markets and serves as a transshipment point for precursor chemicals destined for production areas in southwest Asia. Illicit narcotics, originating from southwest Asia, has reached the United States through the UAE, but not in significant quantities.

The majority of this illegal trafficking is presumed to occur in the northern emirates, i.e., Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah). This is due to the sustained commercial and financial growth of the Emirate of Dubai; the location of the country's "free zones" in the north; and the emergence of Dubai and Sharjah as regional centers in transportation of passengers and cargo, respectively.

The absence of money laundering legislation, which is reportedly drafted but not yet approved, leaves the UAE in an increasingly vulnerable position as a target for money laundering by narcotics traffickers and criminal organizations.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The UAEG co-hosted a drug conference with the UNDCP, where it presented its national drug control strategy. Of special significance was the two-pronged approach targeting reductions in both the supply of and demand for illegal drugs. Major supply reduction initiatives are as follows: the formation of a counternarcotics force within the UAE coast guard; the establishment of special drug task forces throughout the emirates; the registration of convicted drug offenders in a central database to deny entry at border points; assignment of specially trained counternarcotics officers to all border points to profile potential traffickers; increased cooperation with neighboring countries regarding information exchange and drug seizures; the monitoring of precursor chemicals to ensure their legitimate use; and the signing of anti-narcotics agreements with Pakistan and India. A national drug demand reduction plan is also being formulated. This plan is expected to seek to assure that all UAE citizens are gainfully employed, are provided with incentives to lead stable family-oriented lives, and are provided with financial incentives to cooperate with police in detecting drug crimes. In conjunction with reducing demand the UAEG has established drug treatment centers for addicts.

UAE drug enforcement representatives attended the 1999 United Nations Special Session on Narcotics. The UAEG has been extremely receptive to USG training on money laundering and asset forfeiture and welcomes training programs with U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency personnel.

Law enforcement Efforts. In 1998, the UAE government established its first regional narcotics liaison office in Islamabad, Pakistan, and is currently evaluating an initiative to establish a network of liaison offices. UAE officials have identified a need for a data center to coordinate narcotics-related information throughout the UAE and have taken preliminary measures to establish a countrywide database. Approximately eighty percent of the UAE population is comprised of third-country nationals or "guest workers" who, when convicted of narcotics offenses, generally receive prison sentences. Upon completion of their sentences, they are deported from the UAE.

Strict adherence to enforcement of drug offenses continues. The average sentence for individuals convicted of drug usage in the UAE is four years. In 1999, the death sentence was imposed on a Canadian citizen for possession with intent to distribute narcotics. A UAE court commuted this sentence to life in prison. The Canadian citizen was arrested for possessing 5.54 grams of heroin, 1.2 grams of hashish, and 25 drug tablets (not further identified). This illustrates the severity of drug sentences in the UAE. However, to date, no executions for drug crimes have been carried out. Local media report the street value of one kilogram of Pakistani hashish (Cost in Pakistan $9) to be $4658 in Abu Dhabi and $3288 in Dubai, so the incentive for trafficking remains strong, even in the face of stiff penalties.

The UAE has a dedicated precursor chemical unit that pursues investigative leads and is active in stopping illicit chemical shipments.

Corruption. UAE officials aggressively pursue and arrest individuals involved in illegal narcotics trafficking and/or abuse. There is no evidence that corruption of public officials is a problem in the UAE.

Agreements and Treaties. There is currently no extradition or mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) between the United States and the UAE. The UAE is a party to the 1998 UN Drug Convention. The UAE is also a party to other multilateral or bilateral counternarcotics agreements. Recently announced were two agreements with Pakistan and India as well as a number of memoranda of understanding with other governments, including the UK and the U.S. involving information exchange. The UAEG cooperates with the U.S. on law enforcement issues.

Cultivation/Production. There is no evidence of drug cultivation and/or production in the UAE.

Drug Flow/Transit. Although no official countrywide statistics are available in the public domain, unofficial source information indicates that narcotics smuggling from south and southwest Asia to Europe and the United States via the UAE is increasing. Most drug transit is from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain. Hashish, heroin, and opium shipments originate in south and southwest Asia and are smuggled in cargo containers, via small vessels and powerboats, and/or trucked overland via Oman. UAE officials made further progress in eliminating the flow of narcotics by small watercraft in 1999. A ban on powerboats in UAE ports has effectively shut down speedboat smugglers from Iran. Successful shallow-water interdictions have forced narcotics traffickers to seek alternate smuggling routes, specifically Oman's long 1,500 km coastline, for overland transport across the UAE/Oman border. Recognizing these developments, the UAEG has increased border patrols, utilizing enhanced monitoring equipment. As legitimate commercial trade via the UAE intensifies, the likelihood of additional illegal smuggling increases.

Recognizing the need for increased monitoring at their commercial shipping ports and borders, the UAEG is making efforts to tighten inspections of cargo containers transiting the UAE. (Over two million containers entered the emirate of Dubai in 1998.) Customs officials are randomly searching containers and following up leads of suspicious cargo. The UAEG is in the process of procuring state-of-the-art equipment which allows for rapid, thorough searches of shipping containers and vehicles.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The focus of the UAEG's domestic program is demand reduction via public awareness campaigns directed at young people and the establishment of rehabilitation centers. UAE officials believe that adherence to Islamic mores as well as imposing severe prison sentences for individuals convicted of drug offenses serve as a deterrent to narcotics abuse. Although UAE authorities state that domestic narcotics consumption is not a major problem, they acknowledge an increase in narcotics usage among the local population. The UAE government has established an extensive drug treatment and rehabilitation program for its citizens. In accordance with federal law no. 1511995, which stipulates that addicts who present themselves to the police or a rehabilitation center are exempt from the punishment usually imposed for narcotics offenses, UAE nationals who suffer from narcotics addiction undergo a two-year drug rehabilitation program which includes family counseling/therapy.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs.

U.S. Policy Initiatives. U.S. Government policy seeks continued and enhanced cooperation with the government of the UAE on programs against narcotics trafficking, precursor chemical diversion, and money laundering. The USG is considering additional USG training and exchange programs for law enforcement and banking personnel in the UAE.

Road Ahead. The USG will continue to support the UAE government's efforts to devise and employ bilateral/ multilateral strategies against illicit narcotics trafficking and money laundering. The USG will encourage the UAEG to focus enforcement efforts on dismantling major trafficking organizations and prosecuting their leaders, and to enact money laundering and asset forfeiture and seizure legislation.

[End.]



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