printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

The Caribbean


The Bahamas

I. Summary

The Bahamas is a major transit country for U.S.-bound cocaine and marijuana from South America and the Caribbean. The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (GCOB) cooperates with the United States Government (USG) to interdict drugs in Bahamian territory, reduce drug demand, combat exploitation of the offshore financial sector by money launderers and other financial criminals, and enhance the ability of the Bahamian judicial system to prosecute and convict drug traffickers and money launderers.

During 2000, The Bahamas continued its active participation in Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), a three-nation interdiction effort against air and maritime drug smuggling. Total GCOB cocaine seizures were 47 percent higher than in 1999; marijuana seizures were up five percent.

In June 2000, the Financial Action Task Force named The Bahamas a non-cooperative jurisdiction due to deficiencies in its anti-money laundering regime, and the U.S. Treasury Department advised U.S. banks to closely scrutinize all transactions with Bahamian banks. In response, the GCOB passed legislation to strengthen its anti-money laundering regime, create a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), reform its strict banking secrecy rules, and more effectively regulate International Business Companies (IBCs). It also created a separate unit within the Attorney General's Office to process Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) requests and cleared its backlog of outstanding USG requests. With full implementation of its new anti-money laundering legislation, establishment of the FIU, and continued improvement in international cooperation via full and rapid responses to MLAT requests, The Bahamas could become less attractive to financial criminals.

The GCOB has not begun to implement the recommendations of a May 2000 OAS/CICAD assessment of the Bahamas precursor chemical control system, which included legislative actions, awareness-raising, and institutional development.

During 2000, the GCOB ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and successfully prosecuted two corrupt police officers for drug trafficking. The Bahamas is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and works to meet its goals and objectives.

II. Status of Country

The Bahamas is a country of approximately 300,000 inhabitants and some 700 islands scattered over an area the size of California and located on the sea and air routes between Colombia and the U.S. Its extent and location make The Bahamas a continuing target for drug transshipments. An analysis by the U.S. Embassy of The Bahamas' balance of payments statistics suggests that cocaine and marijuana smuggling has resulted in foreign exchange inflows of 200 to 300 million dollars annually and may rival or even surpass in size the Bahamian banking industry. The GCOB assigns a high priority to combating drug trafficking. Senior Bahamian officials attribute the high rate of violent crimes committed in The Bahamas to a "gun culture" directly related to drug trafficking. The Bahamas does not yet have a national antidrug strategy and has no central authority for the coordination of national drug control policy.

The Bahamas is a major offshore financial center. Its strict banking secrecy laws, weak regulation of IBCs, and lack of an FIU made it an attractive target for money launderers and other financial criminals. Full implementation of tough new anti-money laundering legislation enacted in 2000 could reduce The Bahamas' vulnerability to such exploitation.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. In December, The Bahamas enacted the Dangerous Drugs Act 2000. This law replaced a 1939 act that had been amended several times, including earlier in 2000. The updated law repealed mandatory minimum sentences, which the GCOB contended clogged court calendars and delayed hearings. However, the new act also provided Supreme Court justices (the only judges who hear jury trials) with the option of imposing more severe sentences and stiffer fines for drug trafficking. For example, a person convicted of possession of illegal drugs "with intent to supply" may be sentenced to 30 years in prison. Repeat offenders face terms of 40 years. The Supreme Court may punish those who sell drugs to children under age 14 with 40-year terms. The law creates a new offense of "engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise" in order to punish drug lords who direct a ring of five or more others. The Supreme Court may impose a 40-year sentence for this offense. The maximum sentence for a person convicted of any of the foregoing offenses in Magistrates' Court (that is, in a "summary," non-jury trial) is five years.

In June, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) publicly identified deficiencies in the Bahamian anti-money laundering regime, and the U.S. Treasury Department issued a financial advisory to U.S. banks, warning them to closely scrutinize all their transactions with Bahamian banks. The GCOB expanded its initiative—begun earlier in 2000 to strengthen its anti-money laundering laws—to correct the deficiencies noted by FATF, including dismantling its banking secrecy laws and strengthening governmental supervision over its offshore financial sector. This initiative culminated in December 2000 with the enactment of a legislative package that included the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000 (a new anti-money laundering and asset forfeiture law); the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act 2000; the Financial Intelligence Unit Act 2000; the Central Bank of The Bahamas Act 2000; the Banks and Trust Companies Regulation Act 2000; the Financial Transactions Reporting Act 2000 (which contains extensive "Know Your Customer" provisions); the International Business Companies Act 2000 (which eliminates IBC bearer shares and requires disclosure of the beneficial ownership of IBCs); and the Financial and Corporate Services Providers Act 2000.

Accomplishments. In May, The Bahamas amended its 1994 bail statute to automatically deny bail to convicted drug traffickers during their appeals. Formerly, traffickers routinely received bail, used every available legal tactic to delay their appeal process for years, and raised money for their legal fees by continuing their drug trafficking activities. This amendment created a disincentive for dilatory tactics and should reduce drug case backlogs in the courts. In May, The Bahamas enacted a currency declaration law that requires anyone leaving or entering the country with 10,000 dollars or more to make a written declaration to Customs. The penalty for failure to do so is a fine or two years in prison and forfeiture of the undeclared sum. This measure should diminish the amount of drug money being brought in and out of the country, especially through the international airports in Nassau and Freeport.

In May and again in December, through the Proceeds of Crime Act, 2000, The Bahamas amended its 1996 anti-money laundering statute to reduce the standard of proof in money laundering prosecutions from actual knowledge to reasonable suspicion that the funds in question are criminal proceeds. The amendment also provided financial institutions with protection against civil liability for reporting suspicious transaction reports to supervisory authorities.

In May, the Bahamas Court of Appeal sustained the drug trafficking convictions of six prominent Bahamian businesspeople and overturned the acquittal of a seventh. Six of the seven had been convicted and sentenced in a Magistrates' Court in 1998 following an epic 18-month cocaine conspiracy trial. The Court of Appeals added one year to the sentence of one of the defendants. The Commissioner of Police appealed the acquittal of the seventh defendant as allowed under Bahamian law. Two of the defendants are sons of a former cabinet minister. The sentences ranged from 18 months to three years. Under the new bail statute, all seven will be held without bail while they appeal these verdicts to the British Privy Council, the final appeals court for Bahamian cases.

In November, a Magistrate's Court convicted well-known Nassau "businessman" Samuel Knowles, also known as "Ninety," of possession of five pounds of marijuana with intent to supply. Knowles, reputed to be the nation's leading cocaine trafficker, received an 18-month sentence and was imprisoned without bail pending the appeal of his conviction.

The GCOB, working closely with the USG, is in the final stages of a court automation project designed to reduce delays in criminal cases, especially drug prosecutions. The last step in the project, to be completed in 2001, will be to install a court case management software system, the Bahamas Integrated Justice Information System (BIJIS), that will make Bahamian courts virtually "paperless." Improved case flow management practices, increased control by judges over court calendars, and stricter enforcement of adjournment rules implemented in 2000 significantly reduced the length of court cases during the year. Furthermore, the backlog of appeal cases has nearly been eradicated, to the point where the Bahamian appellate court will be dealing in 2001 with cases which began in 2000—an unprecedented reduction in court delay.

During 2000, the GCOB continued work on developing its long-awaited National Drug Strategy, which may be completed sometime in 2001. In November, the GCOB named a retired senior police official to head the FIU created by the Financial Intelligence Act 2000.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) continued to participate actively in OPBAT, a multi-agency, international operation whose mission is to stop the flow of cocaine and marijuana transiting through The Bahamas to the United States. U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army helicopters based on the Bahamian islands of New Providence, Great Exuma, and Great Inagua intercept maritime drug smugglers and seize airdrops of drugs into Bahamian territory. Officers of the RBPF Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) Strike Force and the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force fly on all OPBAT missions and are responsible for making arrests and seizures. A DEA Special Agent is also on board each flight to provide advice and coordination.

The DEU, a special force within the RBPF composed of 81 officers, works closely with DEA on drug investigations. As of December 2000, the GCOB had arrested 1,811 persons on drug charges and seized 2.74 metric tons of cocaine and 3.80 metric tons of marijuana. During 2000, cocaine seizures were 47 percent higher than in 1999. Marijuana seizures were five percent higher than in 1999. In two seizures at the Nassau Airport, the GCOB seized a total of 63 kilograms of "ecstasy" tablets en route to the U.S. from the Netherlands. During 2000, the RBPF seized two aircraft, one vehicle, and eight boats involved in drug trafficking.

The GCOB has yet to clearly define a counternarcotics role for the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF)—a potentially important player in drug interdiction. The RBDF's response to requests by OPBAT for assistance in intercepting drug smuggling vessels has been inadequate. The RBDF says that it lacks adequate resources and suitable vessels with which to respond, and in December announced that it would modify two confiscated "go-fast" boats for intercepting drug-smuggling vessels. The RBDF also expressed interest in "multi-crewing" an interceptor boat with the DEU.

In May 2000, OAS/CICAD conducted an assessment of The Bahamas' precursor chemical control regime and made several recommendations for corrective actions, including improving the legislation and system for controlling chemical precursors, awareness-raising of the importance of chemical precursor control in effecting drug supply reduction, assessment of legitimate chemical needs, and training of officers who monitor chemical precursors. To date, the GCOB has not taken steps to carry out these recommendations.

During 2000, GCOB officials seized $1,429,847 in drug money, over 2.6 times the amount of currency seized in 1999. The DEU is presently conducting several money laundering and asset forfeiture investigations. The money laundering trial in the Supreme Court of a prominent attorney, set to begin in October 2000, had to be postponed until early 2001 to await the gathering of documentary evidence from the Cayman Islands.

Corruption. As a matter of government policy, The Bahamas does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. In 2000, the GCOB ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

In October 2000, an opposition Member of Parliament (MP) charged that cabinet ministers of the ruling party had facilitated drug money laundering by approving and granting concessions to a Long Island resort hotel construction project funded by a notorious Bahamian cocaine trafficker, Dwight Major. Major, reputedly the nation's number two drug lord, has been arrested several times since 1997 but has always been released because of lack of evidence. The MP also alleged that relatives of a senior cabinet minister were involved with Major. The GCOB ministers denied any wrongdoing and called for a vote of condemnation against the MP. The GCOB did not issue a promised public report on the source of the project's funding.

In 2000, the RBPF stepped up its campaign to weed out corrupt members of the force, promulgating and implementing its "Policy for the Prevention, Detection and Treatment of Corruption, Dishonesty and Unethical Behaviour." In September, a Bahamian Magistrates' Court convicted two RBPF officers of attempting to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. One officer was sentenced to two years in prison and the other, 18 months. A third officer accused of complicity was dismissed by the RBPF after his acquittal for insufficient evidence.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2000, enacted in December 2000, made public corruption a predicate offense for money laundering.

Asset Forfeiture. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2000 provides for forfeiture of real and personal property derived from or used in connection with a drug-related offense. Personal property can be forfeited regardless of whether the offender has been convicted. The act also creates a Confiscated Assets Fund to be used for law enforcement, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, and drug education.

Agreements and Treaties. The Bahamas is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GCOB works with the USG to accomplish the five objectives of a continuing U.S.-Bahamas counterdrug and law enforcement project designed to enhance the capability of the GCOB to suppress criminal activity. These objectives are enhancement of the Bahamian judicial system; increased efficiency and effectiveness of the RBPF and RBDF; money laundering prevention and control; support for OPBAT counterdrug operations; and local drug demand reduction.

The U.S.-Bahamas Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) facilitates the bilateral exchange of information and evidence for use in criminal proceedings. USG MLAT requests seek and secure financial information and evidence for use in USG criminal investigations and prosecutions that would otherwise be unavailable because of Bahamian banking confidentiality laws. During the latter part of 2000, the GCOB created a separate unit within the Office of the Attorney General to process international requests for assistance, including MLAT requests. Since its creation, this unit has focused its efforts primarily on clearing the backlog of unexecuted MLAT requests from the USG. To date, the unit has made substantial progress toward achieving that objective and has substantially improved its MLAT relationship with the USG. The Bahamas also has MLATs with the United Kingdom and Canada. The Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act 2000 allowed the GCOB to provide such information even for cases in the investigatory stage. In addition, to facilitate mutual legal assistance, The Bahamas enacted the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act, 2000, which among other things provides for the registration and enforcement of forfeiture and other orders of designated countries. Similar authority exists under the newly enacted Proceeds of Crime Act, 2000.

The GCOB has been receptive to U.S. extradition requests, based on the 1994 U.S.-Bahamas extradition treaty. Actual extraditions are typically slowed by procedural delays in the Bahamian courts. One of the two extraditions to the U.S. in 2000 was drug-related—a major Canadian trafficker whose extradition had been delayed for several years and was accomplished only after his appeal, which was contested at great expense by the GCOB, was denied by the Privy Council in London. In November, a Magistrates' Court granted a U.S. request for the provisional arrest of a Bahamian who had jumped bail in 1985 prior to his sentencing in the U.S. for drug trafficking. The suspect is now serving a prison sentence in The Bahamas on a marijuana charge, which must be completed before he can be extradited to the U.S.

In 1985, the USG and the GCOB informally established the "Joint United States Coast Guard/Royal Bahamas Defence Force Shiprider and Overflight Programme" for joint operations. This program was formalized as the "Cooperative Shiprider and Overflight Drug Interdiction Programme" by an exchange of diplomatic notes in 1986 and was extended by another such exchange in 1996. The agreement permits The Bahamas to embark RBDF or RBPF officers as shipriders on USG vessels operating in Bahamian waters. A Bahamian shiprider may grant a USG vessel authority to board and search any suspected drug-smuggling vessels in Bahamian waters (as well as Bahamian vessels on the high seas) and to assist the shiprider with arrests, drug seizures, and vessel seizures. The agreement also authorizes U.S. law enforcement aircraft to overfly Bahamian territory.

Drug Flow/Transit. USG estimates indicate that 12 percent of the cocaine detected heading to the U.S. from South America moves through the Jamaica-Cuba-Bahamas corridor. Most of that amount arrives in The Bahamas by "go-fast" boat from Jamaica, with relatively little coming directly from Colombia by "go-fast" boat or airdrop. DEA/OPBAT estimates that there are roughly a dozen major Bahamian drug trafficking organizations. They offer their services, often with "money-back guarantees," to Jamaican drug cartels to transport their drugs to the United States. The Bahamian "go-fast" boats usually head north from Jamaica and travel through the Windward Passage, between Haiti and Cuba, into Bahamian waters.

Demand Reduction Programs. The GCOB makes modest monetary and "in-kind" contributions to demand reduction programs, especially in education and prevention. In 2000 it doubled the "stipend" of the quasi-governmental National Drug Council, to which the USG also provides monetary assistance. The termination in December 2000 of the UNDCP-funded five-year demand reduction project left that effort temporarily without adequate financial resources to sustain its programs. In the future, a new Confiscated Assets Fund established by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000 will help fund demand reduction programs, as well as the drug rehabilitation programs of the government's Sandilands Rehabilitation Center.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

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

Bilateral Cooperation. Under a Letter of Agreement signed in September 2000, the USG increased its support to the GCOB for the U.S.-Bahamas counterdrug and law enforcement project by $706,400. That support totals $10,402,400 since the inception of the project in 1991.

During 2000, the Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs' (INL) Bahamas Country Program, administered by the U.S. Embassy's Narcotics Affairs Section, funded training, equipment, and technical assistance for a number of Bahamian law enforcement units and drug demand reduction organizations. This aid included electronic surveillance equipment and VHF radios for the DEU; uniforms, boots and other emergency equipment for the DEU Strike Force; computer equipment for the RBPF College Laboratory; construction materials for the RBPF Firing Range; office equipment for the Supreme Court; computer and office equipment as well as travel expenses for the National Drug Council; and training manuals for a Drug Action Service workshop. Currently, INL is in the process of procuring the software for the BIJIS court management project.

In 2000, the USG funded the construction in the U.S. of a high-performance purpose-built "go-fast" interceptor boat to be used in conjunction with OPBAT helicopters on drug interdiction missions. The boat was donated to the RBPF in January 2001.

In December 2000, the USG donated three drug detector dogs to the Canine Unit of the RBPF. Two of these dogs will be used at the Freeport airport and container port. The third drug detector dog, also trained to track and apprehend fugitives, will be based in Nassau and will participate in helicopter-borne OPBAT drug interdiction missions.

In December, the RBDF sought USG assistance in equipping one of its newly acquired "go-fast" interceptor boats with new engines and communications equipment for use in drug interdiction. Also in December, two members of the RBDF completed a one-year tour of duty on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter "Gentian," the multi-national-crewed Caribbean Support Tender (CST). They were replaced on the CST by three others from the RBDF.

The Road Ahead. The Bahamas' proximity to the U.S. and the sheer extent of its area guarantee it will be a target for drug transshipment and other criminal activity for the foreseeable future. The Bahamas must continue its strong commitment to bilateral counternarcotics efforts. It needs to designate the United States under the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act, 2000, and the Proceeds of Crime Act, 2000, so that the full range of assistance in freezing and forfeiting criminal proceeds will be available to the U.S. Its large offshore financial services sector makes The Bahamas an obvious target for exploitation by drug money launderers and other financial criminals. With rigorous implementation of its strengthened anti-money laundering laws and continued improvement of its international cooperation via full and rapid response to MLAT requests, The Bahamas could become less attractive to financial criminals. Because of its relatively small budgetary resources and growing drug transshipment problem, The Bahamas will continue to depend on significant U.S. assistance to fight international narcotics trafficking and crime. In order to strengthen the country's antidrug institutions, the USG plans to donate additional "go-fast" interceptor boats to the GCOB; to assist the GCOB in establishing its FIU; to continue its participation in OPBAT and its support for the DEU; and to assist the RBDF in assuming a greater counternarcotics role.

The Bahamas Statistics














Cocaine (mt)










Marijuana (harvested) (mt)










Amphetamines (mt)












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

Caribbean Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom and Bermuda

I. Summary

Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) comprise the United Kingdom's Caribbean Overseas Territories (COTs). These territories are not significant drug-producing locations but are drug-transshipment points. There is no evidence, however, that drugs are coming through the COTs to the U.S. in quantities sufficient to have a significant effect on the United States. Bermuda is a self-governing overseas territory of the UK. It is not a drug-producing location. With its mid-ocean location 600 miles off the east coast of the U.S., Bermuda is one of the more remote populated islands in the world. Because all air links to the island are "out and "back" from the U.S., Canada and the UK, Bermuda is not a transshipment point for drugs coming to the U.S. Some illegal substances consumed in Bermuda are transshipped to Bermuda by way of the U.S.

The UK, a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, extended coverage of those Conventions in 1995 to the COTs and Bermuda. All the COTs and Bermuda had brought their antidrug regimes into compliance with the 1995 initiative by the end of 2000.II. Status of Caribbean Overseas Territories

The UK COTs, with the Cayman Islands leading the way, have established numerous offshore financial institutions. These offshore institutions are vulnerable to abuse by drug traffickers and others seeking to launder the proceeds of crime. The COTs, with strong encouragement from the British Government, have increased regulation over their financial-services sectors and further reforms are anticipated.

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

All the COTs and Bermuda are active members of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). The UK, the COTs and Bermuda commissioned an independent, in-depth review of financial regulation in the COTs and Bermuda. The review examined existing anti-money-laundering systems and practices, and assessed them against international standards. In addition, the Financial Action Task Force reviewed the anti-money laundering regimes of Bermuda, BVI, and the Cayman Islands and, in June 2000, named the Cayman Islands as a non-cooperative jurisdiction based on deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and international cooperation laws and practices. Since then, the Cayman Islands has approved regulations and legislation that are intended to address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering regime. When fully implemented, these changes could make the Cayman Islands less vulnerable to money laundering and financial crime.

Treaties and Agreements. The UK, a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, has extended coverage of those Conventions to the COTs and Bermuda. The COTs are subject to the 1986 U.S.-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) concerning the Cayman Islands (which has been extended to the other COTs but not to Bermuda). The 1972 U.S.-UK extradition treaty and its 1985 supplement are applicable to the COTs and Bermuda. In 1996, the UK and COTs governments explored with the USG the possibility of concluding a supplemental treaty of extradition applicable to the COTs only. This matter is still under study.

U.S.-UK maritime cooperation in the Caribbean is covered by several agreements. A 1981 exchange of diplomatic notes grants permission by the UK—specifically covering the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and part of the western Atlantic—for the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to board privately-owned vessels with UK registry that are suspected of drug trafficking. This agreement further allows such vessels to be searched and, if drugs are found, seized and taken to a U.S. port. Additionally, the U.S. Customs Service and USCG have a reciprocal Shiprider Agreement with the BVI. The USCG, pursuant to this agreement, deploys shipriders on the Royal Navy's West Indian Guard ships. The U.S./UK/UK Overseas Territories Agreement Concerning Maritime and Aerial Cooperation to Suppress Illicit Trafficking by Sea in Waters of the Caribbean and Bermuda was signed in 1998 and entered into force on October 30, 2000, following passage of implementing legislation by the six territories. The Agreement enhances existing cooperation between the UK and U.S. against the trafficking of illicit drugs in the waters around these territories.

The USG has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement with the UK.

III. Actions Against Drugs in 2000

The COTs continue to benefit from programs developed in 1998 under the European Union (EU) Caribbean Drugs Initiative (CDI), notably in the fields of maritime cooperation, law enforcement training, anti-money laundering and judicial training. In 1998, the UK donated a training vessel for Caribbean coast guards engaged in drug interdiction.

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

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

The Royal Navy also participates in Caribe Venture and Frontier Shield. These operations have had increasing success in drug interdiction and, as such, are becoming a mainstay of the U.S.-UK maritime antidrug portfolio in the Caribbean. Royal Navy vessels assigned to West Indies guard duties participate in coordinated drug-interdiction missions in support of the U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force East (JIATF-East), based in Key West, Florida. The Royal Navy maintains a full-time liaison officer in Key West to support JIATF-East's mission.

The UK Overseas Territories Regional Criminal Intelligence System (OTRCIS), with its hub in Miami (thus increasing and facilitating liaison with the USG), has been operational since 1997. This builds on the successful operation of the combined U.S.-UK White Collar Crime Investigation Team (WCCIT) established in 1993 in Miami with FBI officers and British law-enforcement officers.

In 2000, close antidrug cooperation continued between the COTs, Bermuda and U.S. law enforcement authorities. The Cayman Islands permits the USCG to use its territory as a base for counternarcotics operations in the Caribbean. The Bermuda Police Service has had an active liaison relationship with the New Jersey office of DEA in a number of controlled deliveries that resulted in arrests, both in Bermuda and the U.S. As an adjunct to current interdiction efforts, the GOB is moving forward with a number of demand reduction initiatives. One high priority project is the establishment of a "drug court" as a venue for adjudication of lesser offenses. This is modeled on a similar program in Pensacola, Florida, and will emphasize treatment and community service for first-time offenders in lieu of traditional incarceration. In September, the Attorney General and the Minister for Public Safety visited a "mentor" drug court program in Philadelphia and observed treatment facilities in Washington, D.C.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The British Government appointed a COTs Law Enforcement Advisor in January 2000. Based in Miami, the Advisor works closely with police, customs, and immigration services in the COTs to enhance their counterdrugs capability. Enhanced cooperation with the U.S. is also being considered. The Advisor also works with the COTs' Drug Councils and other bodies in the areas of demand reduction and drug awareness/education.

The Bermuda government formed a Combined Enforcement Intelligence Team to foster improved intelligence sharing between customs and the police. A Crimestoppers Hotline was established to tap into the Bermudian outrage over drug trafficking on the island. The 800 number is answered in Miami, Florida, and the tips are then passed back to the Bermuda Police Service. This arrangement has overcome the reluctance of many to provide information to the police for fear of having their voices recognized. Bermuda police and customs officers continue to make seizures of cannabis, cocaine and other dangerous drugs, usually on the strength of intelligence provided by DEA.

Corruption. There were no arrests or prosecutions of senior government or law enforcement officials for narcotics-related corruption in 2000. British authorities act expeditiously and effectively against any indication of corruption in the COTs, as they do in the UK itself.

A Bermudian customs officer and her accomplice, arrested in 1999, were recently convicted in U.S. district court in New York. They were found guilty of conspiring to import a large quantity of cocaine into Bermuda on a U.S. airliner. The GOB cooperated with U.S. law enforcement authorities in the arrest, and they respond effectively and expeditiously against any hint of corruption.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

As noted above, the USG enjoys excellent maritime cooperation with the COTs and Bermuda and with the UK in the Caribbean region under the Maritime Law Enforcement Cooperation Agreement and support to JIATF-East. Collectively, these efforts have resulted in drug interdiction successes across the Caribbean region.

The U.S., along with the UK and other European states and Canada, provides support to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), of which all the COTs and Bermuda are members. CFATF assists its members in identifying weaknesses and encouraging reforms in their anti-money laundering and financial services regulatory regimes. In addition, the U.S., in conjunction with the EU and the UK, funds the Caribbean Anti-money Laundering Program (CALP), which provides training and technical assistance in the areas of financial investigation, the legal and judicial aspects of financial sector regulation, and to financial sector employees and their regulators.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. looks forward to continued close cooperation with the UK Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda on all counternarcotics fronts. The U.S. will continue to support the work of CFATF and CALP in further strengthening the financial sector regulatory and anti-money laundering regimes of the UK COTs and Bermuda. The DEA's New Jersey office is planning more training for the Bermuda narcotics squad in 2001.


I. Summary

The Government of Cuba (GOC) has improved the sharing of information with the USG and other governments on international drug trafficking, but there remains a lack of authoritative information from the GOC with regard to domestic drug use and drug trafficking through and from Cuba. This lack of information makes it difficult to assess the severity of the problem. Although Cuba is not a major transit country for drugs coming to the United States, it remains a country of concern to USG counternarcotics agencies.

Cuba's unique geography presents an inviting environment to both air and maritime smugglers. The island stretches over 600 nautical miles (nm) east to west and presents to mariners over 3500 nm of coastline and more than 4000 islets and cays. Cuba's location in the northern Caribbean provides direct and indirect paths for drug smugglers attempting to reach the United States. Compounding the challenge of geography is a small population (11 million) heavily concentrated in and around Havana and other urban centers, leaving the sparsely populated cays and eastern coasts vulnerable to illicit activity. Furthermore, increasing tourism, especially with Europe, presents the daunting prospect of increasing drug smuggling through Cuba to Europe.

Cuban interdiction efforts focus on customs searches of commercial aircraft and passengers as well as shipping traffic. The GOC is paying increasing attention to non-commercial boats and small aircraft that exploit its geography to avoid U.S. interdiction forces. The GOC has held numerous law enforcement training seminars and symposia, with international support, to increase the effectiveness of Cuban counterdrug forces. These events and interdiction successes are well publicized in Cuba's government-controlled media. Cuba has stiff penalties for producing, transporting, trafficking, introducing, or smuggling narcotics, but not for consuming them. Cuba's addition of anti-money laundering laws to prevent money laundering from taking root is a positive step against trafficking organizations. Cuba is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

There are no official GOC reports on internal drug problems or drug trafficking from or through Cuba to other countries, nor are there any reports of money laundering in 2000. Cuba does not appear to be a significant site for cultivation or production of drugs. Although there was a modest overall rise in drug use in Cuba in 2000, by Cubans as well as foreigners, the GOC continued to attribute drug use in Cuba to the growing number of tourists and to the drugs that wash ashore from disrupted smuggling ventures. Cuban officials blame their inability to patrol their territorial waters adequately on a lack of resources. However, they are in the process of upgrading their patrol boats and increasing their ability to interact with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Cuba's lead law enforcement agency on drug-related issues is the Ministry of the Interior's National Antidrug Department. The National Drug Commission (formed in 1989) is an interagency coordinating body headed by the Minister of Justice. The Ministries of Interior, Exterior Relations, Public Health, Education, and Culture are also represented on the commission, along with the customs and border guard services and national sports institute.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. In 2000, Cuba continued its policy of internal, bilateral, and multilateral efforts at controlling drug crime. Cuba has begun a program to train all law enforcement officers in basic drug awareness topics, including prevention, by 2001. Smaller, in-depth counterdrug training seminars and symposia have been presented in Cuba with the cooperation of several countries including Colombia, Germany, Spain, France, the UK, and Canada. Cuba also made a presentation on its maritime drug interdiction operations at the October 2000 meeting of the Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (Latin America and Caribbean).

Law Enforcement Efforts. Cuba and the United States continued to exchange drug related law enforcement information on a case-by-case basis and have expanded these efforts through a permanent U.S. Coast Guard drug interdiction specialist at the U.S. Interests Section (USINT) in Havana. The U.S. Coast Guard and Cuba's border guard (Spanish initials TGF for Tropas Guardas Fronteras) exchanged information several times in efforts to apprehend boats and crews involved in drug trafficking.

The Ministry of Interior (primarily TGF) conducted a major counterdrug operation from July through October of 2000, attempting to deter drug smugglers from skirting the eastern coast of Cuba while en route to the Bahamas and the United States. This operation resulted in several vessel seizures and arrests. Significantly, the operation was also used to produce a videotape that is being used to train TGF troops throughout Cuba on the drug trafficking threat and appropriate law enforcement tactics to combat the threat.

As a result of the 1999 report by the International Narcotics Control Board that advised that "technical assistance by donor countries and relevant international organizations would enhance the efforts of the Cuban border guard to intercept illicit drug consignments," the GOC received funds to upgrade TGF patrol boats. The Executive Director of the UNDCP documented the upgrades made possible by the international assistance when, on a visit to Cuba in February 2000, he noted "significant accomplishments of the Cubans in combating drugs, despite the paucity of available resources."

Drug Seizures/Arrests. Cuba's government-controlled press reported in November that 11,188 kilograms of illegal drugs were seized in the first ten months of 2000, a 2,500 kilograms increase over the amount seized in the same period of 1999. Of this amount, 5,884 kilograms were seized in the July-October operation, including 1,719 kilograms of cocaine and 4,165 kilograms of marijuana. The same article stated that, from 1995 through 2000, a total of 51 metric tons of drugs were seized and 262 foreign drug traffickers were arrested, of whom 176 remain imprisoned in Cuba.

The majority of Cuban drug seizures are from bales of drugs which drift ashore from disrupted maritime or air smuggling attempts. These "recalos" are a possible source of drugs for internal trafficking and consumption, but the GOC did not publish statistics for 2000 for arrests or prosecutions of Cubans on drug charges. The GOC continued to maintain that it had no serious domestic consumption problem and that domestic demand for drugs such as cocaine was low.

Corruption. Cuban authorities maintain that there is no evidence of narcotics-related corruption by government officials. No reports of narcotics-related corruption appeared in Cuba's state-controlled media in 2000. International counterdrug officials have not reported any evidence of corruption by GOC officials.

Asset Seizure. The GOC retains all property seized or suspected of being linked to narcotics trafficking. No GOC-published reports on asset forfeiture are available.

Agreements and Treaties. The GOC states that it maintains bilateral agreements on narcotics with 26 countries and less formal working arrangements with 26 others. In addition, Cuba cooperates with 12 international antidrug organizations. The U.S., Spain, and France have posted counternarcotics personnel to Havana to enhance counternarcotics efforts with the GOC. The UK and Canada have drug liaison officers who visit Cuba occasionally. Only recently have these officers begun to coordinate their bilateral efforts to maximize their effectiveness and minimize duplication. Through mid-2000, international partners had trained over 200 Cuban law enforcement officials in various subjects, including canine drug detection, vessel searches, and baggage searches. Cuba and the United States do not have a bilateral antinarcotics treaty or agreement, but continued to work together on a case-by-case basis. In March 2000, the U.S. Coast Guard and Cuban border guard began to use voice telephone communications to exchange time-critical tactical information. In September, a U.S. Coast Guard officer was permanently assigned to the U.S. Interests Section to further improve U.S. counterdrug efforts with Cuba. In December 2000, Cuba signed the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Cultivation/Production. There is no evidence that Cuba is a significant drug producing country. The GOC did not publish reports regarding crop size estimates, crop yields, or eradication efforts.

Drug Flow/Transit. As noted above, there is a lack of authoritative information about the nature and extent of drug trafficking from and through Cuba. Based on available information, trafficking of illegal narcotics in 2000 took place through Cuba's waters and airspace and through Cuban international airports. In the cases at sea, the narcotics were either transported by boat through Cuban waters or dropped by aircraft and picked up by "go-fast" boats waiting nearby. It appears that the immediate destination for many of these operations was the Bahamas, but the best estimate is that the final destination for most of the drugs was probably the United States. Smuggling by airline passengers appeared to be directed primarily toward European destinations.

Money Laundering. Cuba is not an international financial center. The GOC controls all financial institutions and its peso is not accepted outside of Cuba. According to the GOC, it has not prosecuted any money laundering cases since the National Assembly passed legislation criminalizing it in 1999. Cuba has solicited training assistance in combating money laundering from the UK, Canada, France, and Spain.

Chemical Control. Cuba is not, based on available information, a source of precursor chemicals. The GOC did not publicize any incidents involving precursor chemicals during 2000.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Little is known about Cuban drug prevention programs. The GOC officially claims that there is no drug consumption problem, but its officials are concerned about spillover of drugs from tourists to the local population. Antidrug policy and operations receive modest coverage in Cuba's government-controlled press. In 2000, international cooperation was the major theme of the press releases, but all included statements against internal drug consumption. Other public efforts include exhortations for people in the eastern provinces to turn in "recalos" (drug packages washed up on beaches) to local police, and an aircraft cleaner at Varadero international airport became a temporary national hero for discovering a package of heroin hidden on a jet destined for Europe.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. and Cuba do not share a bilateral narcotics agreement and the Department of State does not provide Cuba with funding for counternarcotics activities. The U.S. and Cuba enhanced communications in 2000 between the U.S Coast Guard and Cuban border guard by sharing information more frequently regarding aircraft and vessels suspected of trafficking. Cuban tactical responses to shared information forced several smuggling vessels to leave Cuban territorial waters toward pursuing U.S. Coast Guard vessels. As a result of the 1999 discussions aimed at expanding exchanges of information on counternarcotics matters, the U.S. Coast Guard assigned a permanent drug interdiction specialist to work with the GOC on a case-by-case basis. The U.S. and Cuba exchange information when necessary to prosecute drug traffickers.

The Road Ahead. The posting of a permanent drug interdiction specialist to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana presents an opportunity to learn more about Cuban counterdrug efforts. In addition, more frequent exchanges of information on suspected drug trafficking events may result in increased interdiction success for Cuban, U.S., and Bahamian law enforcement forces.

Dominican Republic

I. Summary

The Dominican Republic (DR) is a major transit country for South American drugs, mostly cocaine, moving to the United States. It serves drug smugglers as both a command-and-control center and transshipment point. Increasing amounts of designer drugs, especially "ecstasy," are being moved through the DR from Europe to the U.S. and Puerto Rico. While extradition of fugitives to the U.S. has become more routine as our bilateral extradition relationship continues to improve, there still is no regular process. A more regular and predictable extradition process remains a key U.S. objective in its bilateral relations with the DR.

The DR is designated a major money laundering country, but is not a regional financial center. Draft legislation to strengthen money laundering regulations is awaiting passage by the legislature.

The new government of Hipolito Mejia, installed in August 2000, has pledged full cooperation with the United States and other countries in counternarcotics activities. A National Drug Plan for the years 2000-2005, published in August, will guide its efforts. The DR is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and its counternarcotics efforts are consistent with the goals of the Convention.

II. Status of Country

Intelligence and seizures throughout the region indicate that Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Colombian traffickers have made the DR a major command and control center. Many major drug shipments coordinated from the DR do not actually transit the DR.

The DR's role in drug trafficking, as pointed out in the country's National Counternarcotics Plan, "results not only from its geographic position in the zone, but also from the existence of structured criminal organizations integrated by Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Colombians which operate in Santo Domingo as well as in New York, Boston, Providence and other cities. In general, the Colombians are in charge of control and supply in the Caribbean and begin the first phase of the transport. Later, Dominicans become the primary transporters." The Plan estimates that approximately 20 percent of the drugs arriving in the DR remain in the country as "payment in kind," and recognizes that this fact contributes to increasing drug abuse and crime in the country. The Government of the Dominican Republic (GODR) realizes that the transnational characteristics of the transport make transnational counternarcotics cooperation essential.

Commercial and non-commercial maritime vessels are the preferred mode of transport, but there are also significant seizures at Dominican airports. Small boats bring drugs in through the largely unprotected coastline or drop drugs near the shore for pickup and onward shipment. Some drugs brought into Haiti are moved to the DR to be loaded into containers for onward shipment. Smaller quantities of drugs are carried by cruise ship and commercial airline passengers.

Precursor chemicals are of increasing concern in the DR. The National Drug Council has prohibited the re-exportation of certain substances. Control for these substances is the responsibility of the Secretariat of Health.

The Department of Justice has put a hold on its ICITAP program to enhance criminal investigation techniques until the National Police implement adequate safeguards for protecting human rights and due process.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. In April, the GODR submitted legislation to strengthen money laundering regulations. In August, the GODR published a National Drug Plan. In November, the GODR signed a bilateral agreement with Spain for counternarcotics assistance. That same month the U.S. and the GODR concluded a new, four-year, overflight agreement that permits USG aircraft to fly through DR airspace in pursuit of smugglers' aircraft.

Accomplishments. The DR's Directorate for National Drug Control (DNCD) and the Dominican military cooperate in efforts to close the country's borders to the flow of drugs. They have established special units of military personnel under the supervision of the DNCD, supported by the USG, to protect the country's border with Haiti and coastline. This year three special land control units were added to the four units already on the Haiti border. Three units were also established on the coastline for the purpose of preventing go-fast boat landings. The DNCD's canine unit increased from five to 15 dogs and handlers.

Illicit Cultivation, Production, Distribution. Although the DR is not considered a drug cultivating or producing country, its DNCD and Armed Forces located and destroyed several small fields of cannabis containing between 20 and 4,000 plants.

Drug Flow/Transit. Through December 2000, with USG cooperation and assistance, the DNCD seized 1,270 kilograms of cocaine, 2,900 kilograms of marijuana, 20 kilograms of heroin, 5.62 kilograms of crack cocaine, and made 4,625 drug-related arrests.

Sale, Transport and Financing. The DNCD pursues and arrests individuals involved in the financing of illegal activities and the sale and transport of illegal substances. However, weaknesses in asset forfeiture and money laundering legislation, combined with corruption and inefficient administration of justice, result in failure to convict and punish a significant number of drug offenders.

Law Enforcement Efforts. President Mejia appointed trusted associates to key counternarcotics posts and they have launched programs to meet the drug trafficking threat. They also have pledged full cooperation with USG counternarcotics agencies.

The Dominican Republic served as one of two regional command centers for DEA operations Conquistador and Libertador. During Operation Libertador, which took place from October 27 through November 19, 2000, a major Dominican trafficker and 25 of his associates were apprehended. The GODR seized the organization's assets, including luxury homes, vehicles, real estate holdings, and several businesses. The organization's leader is being held pending extradition to the U.S.

The DNCD's electronic surveillance unit has advanced to the point where evidence gathered in the DR will likely be used in U.S. courts.

The DNCD Joint Information and Coordination Center (JICC) is considered a model for the Caribbean and often receives visitors and provides training to JICC personnel from other countries.

Money Laundering. The DR faces a growing and systemic problem of narcotics-related money laundering, but lacks adequate laws to confront the problem. The DR has had an anti-money laundering statute since 1988, but the law is weak, loosely enforced and covers only laundering from the proceeds of narcotics trafficking. The former administration submitted draft legislation to strengthen money-laundering regulations to the Senate in April, but the new legislature has not yet considered it. The DR has participated in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) since 1994 and underwent a mutual evaluation in 1997.

Asset Seizure. The Organization of American States' Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)-based asset forfeiture legislation, adopted in 1995, provides for the seizure of all "goods, products and instruments" of crime (only in cases of narcotics-related criminal activity). Under the legislation, the GODR seizes money, real and personal property, bank accounts, vehicles and aircraft. Although the GODR cannot legally forfeit seized assets until a court renders a definitive judgment, authorities are permitted provisional use of the seized assets pending forfeiture, which can create opportunities for abuse. In 2000, GODR authorities confiscated $82,749, 96 vehicles, and 20 residential and business properties linked to narcotics-related crimes. The National Drug Council (CND) now holds seized assets in excess of $40 million, but has no mechanism to manage the divestment of the assets.

Extradition. The bilateral U.S./Dominican Extradition Treaty dates from 1910. Extradition of nationals is not mandatory under the Treaty and for many years Dominican legislation barred the extradition of Dominican nationals. Former President Fernandez signed legislation in 1998 allowing the extradition of Dominican nationals. In March 2000, the U.S. Marshals Service assigned two marshals temporarily to the DR. They have received excellent cooperation from the DNCD's Special Section for Fugitive Surveillance and other relevant Dominican authorities in locating fugitives and returning them to the U.S. to face justice. During 2000, this cooperation resulted in the extradition of four Dominicans and the expulsion/deportation of 14 U.S. citizens and third-country nationals.

Concern over the GODR's failure to apprehend two Dominican fugitives wanted for high profile murders in the State of New York resulted in certain members of the U.S. Congress placing holds, since removed, on some USG assistance to the GODR. One of these fugitives, charged with the murder of his wife, was apprehended in March 2000 and deported to the U.S. The other, wanted for the murder of a NYC police officer, was apprehended in November 2000 and awaits extradition.

Mutual Legal Assistance. The GODR does not have a formal Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the U.S. or any other country, but cooperates with USG agencies, including the DEA, FBI, and U.S. Marshals Service, in counternarcotics and fugitive matters.

Corruption. The GODR does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, and other controlled substances, nor does it contribute to drug money laundering. Dominican institutions are essentially weak and vulnerable to influence by interest groups or individuals with money to spend, including narcotics traffickers. The GODR has not prosecuted any senior government official for engaging in, encouraging, or in any way facilitating the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

The GODR is strengthening enforcement of a 1979 Law, which requires senior appointed, civil service, and elected government officials to file financial disclosure statements. In a major step forward, it has published the summaries of the sworn financial disclosure statements for all Dominican judges on the internet at

Chemical Control. The Secretariat of Health has responsibility for the control of chemicals entering and departing the DR. The National Drug Control Council (CND) has prohibited the re-exportation of certain chemicals.

Demand Reduction. The GODR realizes it faces a growing problem of illegal drug abuse. Demand control programs are the responsibility of the CND, and its new leadership appears to be increasingly focussed on efforts to design a program to confront the problem. A 2000 survey among secondary students showed alcohol and tobacco continue to be the most prevalent drugs on the street, followed by inhalants and marijuana. Cocaine, crack, and ecstasy have become more available, with four percent of students reporting exposure.

Agreements and Treaties. In 2000, the GODR granted a four-year extension of overflight authority to the USG for rapid response in counternarcotics and alien smuggling operations. Also during 2000, the Narcotics Affairs Section signed Letters of Agreement with the GODR totaling slightly more than l.5 million dollars. Programs supported include the border units, anti-money laundering initiatives, the fugitive unit, and the canine program. Programs that are being developed include commercial freight tracking and port security systems and Offices of Professional Responsibility in the DNCD and the Superintendency of Banking.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Cocaine trafficking, money laundering, institutional corruption, and reform of the prosecutorial and judicial systems remain the U.S.' primary counternarcotics concerns in the DR. The USG and the GODR cooperate to develop Dominican institutions that can interdict and seize narcotics shipments and conduct effective investigations leading to arrest, prosecutions, and convictions. The USG will continue to urge the GODR to improve its asset forfeiture procedures and its capacity to regulate financial institutions, maintain strict controls on precursor chemicals and continue its demand reduction programs. During 2000, USG assistance provided essential equipment and training, supported expansion of the Border Control Units, expanded the Canine Units, and helped the DNCD with polygraphing approximately 30 personnel working in the antidrug investigation unit. The USG directed its military assistance in the DR toward training and maintaining military assets critical for narcotics interdiction activities.

The USG has funded DR efforts to locate, apprehend, and extradite individuals wanted on criminal charges in the United States. The USG has also provided funds to enable the GODR to upgrade computer systems at the international airports and purchase equipment to create machine-readable passports that is now being installed.

The GODR Armed Forces worked closely with the U.S. Coast Guard on counter drug operations and other maritime law enforcement issues. The Dominican Navy participated with its U.S. and EU partners in two region-wide counter drug exercises in 2000. The DNCD, DEA, and JIATF-East conducted helicopter training operations.

In March 2000, U.S. Customs provided, with Embassy funding, a short-term advisor who worked with Dominican officials to strengthen their drug interdiction program at seaports.

USAID's "Strengthened Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights" program is working in concert with the Dominican court and prosecutorial systems to improve administration of justice, enhance access to justice, and support anticorruption programs. Measurable improvements to date include speedier, more transparent judicial processes managed by better trained, technically competent, and ethical judges who insist on stricter adherence to due process.

The USAID program trained more than 90 new entry-level prosecutors in basic criminal justice and prosecutorial skills. Criminal policy development assistance provided to officials, in both the Attorney General and the anticorruption prosecutor units, resulted in an unprecedented high profile public sector corruption investigation and in the filing of charges implicating senior officials of the previous administration.

The Road Ahead. The immediate USG goal is to help institutionalize judicial reform and good governance initiatives. The DR and U.S. are working to build coherent counternarcotics programs that can resist the pressures of corruption and can address new challenges brought by innovative narcotics trafficking organizations.

The U.S. and GODR will continue to strengthen drug control cooperation through sharing of information and developing closer working relationships among principal agencies. The U.S. will work closely with the GODR to build an effective asset forfeiture regime. The U.S. will continue to provide training for the DNCD's Border Control Units and support for the Canine Units. The DNCD's fugitive investigation teams will have U.S. support for their efforts to pursue Dominican fugitives from U.S. justice seeking refuge in the Dominican Republic. The U.S. is committed to support the Mejia administration's efforts to curb corruption, especially as it affects the prosecution of narcotics traffickers. The U.S. also has pledged aid in support of border and port security projects.

USAID has supported analysis and public debate which led to drafting of important legislation to reform the Criminal Procedures Code, to create a Public Ministry (prosecutor) Career Statute, and reform the existing money laundering law. An automated criminal case tracking system should be fully implemented in 2001.

Dominican Republic Statistics














Cocaine (mt)










Heroin (mt)






Marijuana (mt)





























Total Arrests










 Dutch Caribbean

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

Netherlands Antilles

The islands of the Netherlands Antilles (NA) (Cura�ao and Bonaire off Venezuela and Saba, Saint Eustatius, and Saint Maarten east of the U.S. Virgin Islands) continue to serve as northbound transshipment points for cocaine and increasing amounts of heroin coming from South America; chiefly Colombia, Venezuela, and Suriname. These shipments typically are transported to U.S. territory in the Caribbean by go-fast boats and to Europe by "mules" (drug couriers) who use commercial flights. Evidence in 2000 did not support a finding that drugs now entering the U.S. from the Netherlands Antilles are in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect. Nevertheless, the President's November 2000 notification to the U.S. Congress of the list of major drug source and transit countries stated that the entire eastern and southern Caribbean is an area of concern to be kept under observation. The DEA and local law enforcement saw an increase this year in go-fast boat traffic, some of which moved to Saint Maarten en route to Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Consistent with the increased go-fast traffic, arrests of "mules" at Hato Airport by local law enforcement set new records in 2000, filling Cura�ao's jail to capacity. Various sources continue to report that, in addition to the go-fast activity and the small amounts intercepted by customs officers at the airport, large quantities of narcotics moved through the Netherlands Antilles in containers, but the lack of evidence obtained through seizures makes it difficult to verify these reports. Dutch Saint Maarten, with its free port and proximity to U.S. territory, also poses a serious threat as a staging ground for moving cocaine and heroin into the U.S. market.

The crime and homelessness stemming from drug abuse remain important concerns for the Government of the Netherlands Antilles (GONA). The rise in drug abuse is attributed to payment for drug trafficking services being made in cocaine rather than in cash.

Elected officials and all elements of the law enforcement and judicial community recognize that the NA, mainly by reason of geography, faces a serious threat from drug trafficking. The police, who are understaffed and inadequately trained, do not feel they have adequate resources to fight the threat effectively. The rigorous legal standards that must be met to prosecute cases significantly constrain the effectiveness of the police. As a result, the police prefer to pursue open-and-shut cases such as those against "mules" caught at the airport rather than tackling the complex, long term kind of case necessary to prosecute a major drug trafficker.

A far-reaching restructuring of the police is underway, however, and the first signs of improved performance are appearing. Increased police visibility is reassuring citizens that criminals do not control the streets. The police department also has instituted an assignments policy, "the right man for the right job," in order to address the long-standing problem that the personnel system rewards length-of-service rather than effectiveness. While pay is still linked to seniority, the new system is designed to reward initiative rather than years at a desk without a mistake. Recognizing the key role played by the criminal investigation service (CID), the new police chief has made improving the CID his top priority. Second on his list of priorities is improving the expertise of the financial investigation team.

The specialized Dutch police units (RST) that support law enforcement in the Netherlands Antilles emerged in 2000 as dynamic and effective. Particularly noteworthy was an RST investigation that led to the successful prosecution of numerous police officers for involvement in the killing of a Venezuelan drug trafficker.

In addition to these improvements in law enforcement, the GONA demonstrated its commitment to the counternarcotics effort by continued support for a U.S. Forward Operating Location at Curacao's Hato International Airport. Under a ten-year agreement signed in March and now awaiting Dutch ratification, U.S. military aircraft are conducting counternarcotics detection and monitoring flights over both the source and transit zones from ramp space provided free of charge.

The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Coast Guard (CGNAA), now an almost fully mature organization, scored a number of impressive successes in 2000. The CGNAA was responsible for several seizures (of both cocaine and marijuana). Its three new cutters, outfitted with rigid-hull inflatable boats designed especially for counternarcotics work in the Caribbean, demonstrated their utility against go-fast boats and other targets. In addition, the CGNAA has developed a premier counterdrug intelligence organization that has proven to be an invaluable international law enforcement partner.

Under the leadership of a highly professional attorney general, the GONA strengthened its cooperation with U.S. law enforcement further this past year. This cooperation extended to Saint Maarten, where the U.S. and GONA continued joint efforts against international organized crime, drug trafficking, and money laundering.


Aruba is a transshipment point for cocaine and increasing quantities of heroin moving north, mainly from Colombia, to the U.S. and Europe. Drugs move north via cruise ships and the multiple daily flights to the U.S. and Europe. Evidence in 2000 did not support a finding that drugs entering the U.S. from Aruba are in an amount sufficient enough to have a significant effect. Nevertheless, the President's November 2000 notification to the U.S. Congress of the list of major drug source and transit countries stated that the entire eastern and southern Caribbean is an area of concern to be kept under observation. The island attracts drug traffickers with its good infrastructure, excellent flight connections, and light sentences to be served in prisons with relatively good living conditions.

While Aruba is, by any standard, a relatively crime-free island, Arubans worry about the easy availability of inexpensive drugs. They have begun to talk about traffickers being paid in cocaine rather than cash. Traffickers then convert the cocaine into cash, it is said, by cultivating new users. The most visible evidence of a drug abuse problem may be the homeless addicts, called chollars, whose photographs appear in the press in connection with stories about drug abuse.

Counternarcotics Efforts in Aruba. Drug abuse in Aruba remains a cause for concern. Private foundations on the island work on drug education and prevention and the Aruban government's top antidrug official actively reaches out to U.S. sources for materials to use in his office's prevention programs.

Aruban law enforcement officials changed their antidrug trafficking strategy in 2000. Instead of using limited resources to arrest low-level "mules," mostly at the airport, law enforcement officials shifted their focus to investigating and prosecuting mid-level drug traffickers who supply drugs to an endless parade of "mules." This shift yielded notable successes. Critics remain, however, and they complain that so little attention is now given to low-level street pushers that they enjoy virtually unimpeded freedom to sell widely available and cheap drugs to Aruban youth, increasing the domestic drug abuse problem.

The Government of Aruba (GOA) took further positive steps in 2000 to demonstrate its commitment to the international effort to combat drug trafficking. After welcoming the placement of U.S. Customs aircraft at a Forward Operating Location (FOL) at Reina Beatrix International Airport in 1999, the GOA continued throughout 2000 to make valuable commercial ramp space available to U.S. aircraft conducting aerial counternarcotics detection and monitoring missions. Aruba affirmed the long-term nature of its commitment to the FOL when it hosted the signing ceremony for the ten-year FOL agreement in March.

As part of its push to bring a still larger U.S. law enforcement presence to Aruba, the GOA welcomed U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) pre-clearance personnel in April 2000. These officers occupy facilities financed and built by the GOA. Aruban officials actively and creatively explored ways to capitalize on the presence of the FOL and pre-clearance personnel, seeking to use resident U.S. law enforcement expertise to improve local law enforcement capabilities.

Aruba also continued to participate in the Coast Guard of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, which, as noted above, is enjoying increased effectiveness as the organization matures.

Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Agreements and Treaties. The 1988 UN Drug Convention was extended to the Netherlands Antilles in August 2000 and Aruba the following October. Although its extension was originally reported to have occurred in June 1999, an issue arose over the lack of uniformity between the asset forfeiture laws of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Revised, uniform, legislation had to be drafted and enacted before the UN Convention finally could be extended.

Cultivation and Production. Cultivation and production are not issues.

Money Laundering. To combat money laundering, both the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba have passed money laundering legislation and established centers for analyzing reports of unusual financial transactions. The Netherlands Antilles Anti-money Laundering Committee worked throughout 2000 to improve the legislative framework for countering money laundering.

The staffs of the reporting centers (known as MOT's, their Dutch acronym) in Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles are tiny but dedicated. They are hampered by a high volume of transactions to be reviewed and a money laundering law that makes it difficult to obtain convictions. The reporting centers, based on the Dutch model, must process reports of all "unusual" transactions, far more numerous than reports of "suspicious" transactions (the criterion that the U.S. uses to select transactions for review).

The small MOT's risk being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of reports of unusual transactions. In addition, when the MOT passes a case to the police, the money laundering law requires proof of an underlying crime. This is a standard that so far has proven almost impossible for police to meet. The police lack training in sophisticated methods needed to build a successful money laundering case and the tough legal requirements place them at an even greater disadvantage. The recent arrival of key judicial personnel from the Netherlands with ample experience in financial crime may herald an improvement in this area.

The director of Free Zone Aruba has worked tirelessly to keep money laundering from shifting from the recently regulated financial sector into the still largely unregulated trade sector. He also has developed standards for use in deterring Free Zone corruption throughout the region and helped lead the multilateral effort to combat the Black Market Peso Exchange.

Corruption. The effect of official corruption on the production and processing of illegal drugs is not an issue for either Aruba or the Netherlands Antilles. Furthermore, there is no evidence to indicate that public officials are involved in the shipment of drugs or in discouraging the investigation or prosecution of drug shipment. To prevent such public corruption, there is a judiciary that enjoys a well-deserved reputation for integrity. It has close ties with the Dutch legal system including extensive seconding of Dutch prosecutors and judges to fill positions for which there are no qualified candidates among the small Antillean and Aruban populations.

Agreements and Treaties. Both Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles routinely honor requests made under the U.S.-Netherlands Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and cooperate extensively with the U.S. on law enforcement matters at less formal levels.

While neither Aruba nor the Netherlands Antilles has specific legislation controlling precursor chemicals, DEA reports excellent informal cooperation from the relevant pharmaceutical authorities.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Both the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba have ongoing demand reduction programs, but need additional resources and would welcome any support that the U.S. could provide, including materials.

U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

As a matter of policy, the Department of State has no INL counternarcotics assistance programs with the governments in the Dutch Caribbean. The U.S. encourages Aruba and Netherlands Antilles law enforcement officials to participate in INL-funded regional training courses, but the GOA and GONA must pay their own travel costs. The U.S. Coast Guard, twice during 2000, provided law enforcement training funded by the national governments.

The U.S. has begun exploring non-INL training such as sponsoring visits by financial experts from the Florida International Volunteer Corps to strengthen the financial reporting centers. It is also beginning to search for ways in which locally assigned U.S. law enforcement personnel can share their expertise with host country counterparts. Chiefly through DEA, the U.S. is able to provide limited assistance to enhance technical capabilities as well as some targeted training.

As an appreciation has grown in the Dutch Caribbean of the importance of intelligence to effective law enforcement, the USG is expanding intelligence-sharing with GOA and GONA officials. Because U.S.-provided intelligence must meet the strict requirements of local law, sharing of intelligence and law enforcement information requires ongoing, extensive liaison work to bridge the difference between U.S. and Dutch-based law.

Eastern Caribbean

I. Summary

The seven eastern Caribbean countries - Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines - form the eastern edge of the Caribbean transit zone for drugs, mostly cocaine, cannabis products and heroin, traveling from South America to the U.S. and other global markets. Illicit narcotics transit the eastern Caribbean mostly by sea, as shipments are moved to continental North America or Europe. Maritime narcotics shipments within the region are destined for Puerto Rico and other U.S. island territories, as well as the French Caribbean departments and Dutch jurisdictions. The Joint Interagency Task Force-East (JIATF-E) continued to report airdrops of cocaine in the eastern Caribbean in 2000. The level of cocaine, marijuana, and heroin trafficked through individual countries to the U.S. does not reach the level needed to designate any one of them a major drug transit country under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. Nonetheless, the President's November 2000 notification to the U.S. Congress of the list of major drug source and transit countries stated that the entire eastern and southern Caribbean is an area of concern to be kept under observation. If conditions warrant, the President will add relevant countries to the majors list. Marijuana is grown in St. Vincent, St. Lucia, and Dominica, primarily for local use or for export to other islands in the region. The overall level of production is below the threshold for designating any of these countries as major drug producers under the Foreign Assistance Act, yet the extent of marijuana production within St. Vincent and the Grenadines is significant in relation to its gross domestic product.

Drug trafficking, and the crimes that derive from it—money laundering, drug use, political influence-buying, violent crime, and intimidation—threaten the stability of the small independent countries of the eastern Caribbean. To varying degrees, the destructive nature of the drug trade and drug-related corruption have damaged civil society in all of these countries.

Colombian drug traffickers and various organized crime groups have infiltrated many of the eastern Caribbean nations, establishing their own infrastructure and contracting the services of local criminal organizations. To move the drugs within the region, many traffickers use a barter system, paying for services with drugs and/or weapons to limit costs and to increase demand and markets in the region. As a result, increased amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine remain in the eastern Caribbean and contribute to violent crime.

The seven eastern Caribbean states are party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Other than St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, all countries are party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. None of the seven states have signed the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. All seven governments have signed and brought into force bilateral mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties with the U.S.

Eastern Caribbean officials regard marijuana production and trafficking as serious concerns. Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada have active ground-based eradication programs. No "Weedeater" U.S. airlift-assisted eradication exercises took place in the eastern Caribbean in 2000.

Most of the marijuana produced in the eastern Caribbean is consumed within the region or transported to Europe. Nevertheless, the U.S. supports and encourages eradication campaigns as a means to combat high levels of eastern Caribbean marijuana use and the corrupting and corrosive effect of this illegal trade. In general, eastern Caribbean law enforcement agencies are committed to controlling drug trafficking and working with their U.S. counterparts. Significant personnel resources are still spent on arrests of relatively small-time traffickers and drug users as a means to control ever-increasing street crime. Meanwhile, conspiracy cases against ringleaders, complex financial investigations, money laundering and asset forfeiture cases are almost non-existent.

Some of the necessary criminal statutes exist in all eastern Caribbean countries, such as asset forfeiture and money laundering laws, yet most jurisdictions lack the modernized laws that allow law enforcement agencies to penetrate organized criminal groups. The May 1996 Barbados Plan of Action and the U.S.-Caribbean Summit Justice and Security Action Plan, as well as Caribbean police authorities on a regular basis, call for laws covering wiretap, controlled deliveries, conspiracy, authorization of undercover investigations, the use of paid informants, and plea bargaining. However, alleged constitutional impediments combined with an apparent lack of political will to tackle the problem have effectively thwarted such legal initiatives in most eastern Caribbean jurisdictions. Meanwhile, law enforcement and judicial authorities in some countries face the daunting task of developing cases with nineteenth century legislation against sophisticated twenty-first century criminal groups. Without a serious, broad-based modernization effort, it is unlikely the region will develop significant defenses against drug traffickers, money launderers, and international criminals who commit fraud.

Most of the seven countries devote significant resources and effort to maritime drug interdiction operations. In the absence of investigative leads, however, these efforts are costly and of limited effectiveness. Law enforcement authorities in the region acknowledge the need for increased information collection and sharing, and several of the countries have made efforts to create inter-agency drug intelligence centers. Traditional rivalries between law enforcement bodies and, in some jurisdictions, an apparent lack of political commitment to create such centers, have hindered progress on these initiatives.

Countries that have tried to broaden their offshore financial sectors without implementing effective regulation and oversight have been especially vulnerable to money laundering and to other financial crimes. This phenomenon is addressed in detail in the money laundering section of this report.

Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have poorly regulated economic citizenship programs. Unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of these programs to modify or create multiple identities and have used these identities to help create the offshore entities used in money laundering, financial fraud, migrant smuggling, and other illicit activities, as well as to facilitate the travel of the perpetrators of these crimes.

In 2000, the eastern Caribbean countries continued to work to implement the 1997 Caribbean-U.S. Summit Justice and Security Action Plan. The plan sets out a comprehensive set of measures to combat transnational crime, particularly drug trafficking and money-laundering. It calls for collaboration in strengthening criminal justice systems and interdiction efforts, combating small-arms smuggling and corruption, developing a criminal justice protection program, and reducing drug demand through education, rehabilitation, and eradication. Eastern Caribbean governments still need to take significant internal steps to meet some basic commitments, although they have achieved some progress in implementing the plan. Unfortunately, CARICOM cancelled the annual meeting of the U.S.-Caribbean Joint Committees on Justice and Security and on Economic Development in 2000. It has not yet been possible to establish a mutually acceptable date for rescheduling. Moreover, CARICOM had put its Justice and Security Action Plans Coordinator on indeterminate administrative leave status; he has returned to his job.

The eastern Caribbean states also continued to carry out the Barbados Plan of Action developed in 1996 at a Caribbean regional drug conference. These states have achieved considerable progress on many elements of the plan, but the USG shares other donors' concerns about the need to integrate demand reduction and interdiction activities more effectively under national drug councils. Doing so would increase information sharing and improve bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation concerning counternarcotics.

In 2000, the seven eastern Caribbean countries also continued to support the Regional Security System (RSS), a treaty-based organization to which all seven countries belong. The RSS coordinates some counternarcotics operations among member states. The RSS continued to operate a maritime training facility in Antigua for member-nation forces. Local instructors, assisted by U.S. and British trainers, provided various law enforcement and seamanship courses. In 1999, the U.S. delivered to Barbados the first of two C-26 surveillance aircraft, which, with U.S. assistance, the RSS is using to conduct maritime surveillance. In 2001, the U.S. will deliver a second C-26 aircraft to Barbados, which the RSS will use to expand its tactical maritime capability. During 2001, the U.S. will provide ongoing support for the operation and maintenance of both C-26 aircraft. Support for these aircraft will require a greater financial commitment on the part of Barbados and the other RSS member countries when USG support to the program concludes.

During 2000, the U.S. Embassy in Barbados became aware of three possible occasions wherein the C-26 aircraft had transported high level government leaders to official but non-counterdrug functions in the region while the aircraft was otherwise engaged in normal missions. The Embassy discovered these few incidents during its review of RSS monthly reports and through its monitoring of the aircraft's missions. The Embassy has discussed these incidents with the RSS, both at the working level as well as directly with the Regional Security Coordinator. In addition, the 2001 Letter of Agreement between the USG and the RSS concerning the use of the C-26 aircraft is worded more restrictively to circumscribe such activities in the future.

II. Status of Countries and Actions Against Drugs

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

Antigua and Barbuda is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB) has signed neither the Inter-American Convention against Corruption nor the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance on Legal Matters. The GOAB has signed the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (Inter-American Firearms Convention).

The USG and the GOAB signed a maritime drug law enforcement cooperation agreement in April 1995, and an overflight agreement in June 1996. In 1999, the GOAB was the first eastern Caribbean government to bring into force the new extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties. The GOAB was largely responsive to USG-initiated mutual legal assistance requests in 2000. The U.S. has made only one extradition request to Antigua and Barbuda since the treaty entered into force. This request, made in November 1999, is still pending, and the subject is out on bail. The next hearing is scheduled for February 2001.

In 2000, GOAB forces seized 24.5 kilograms of cocaine, 125.5 kilograms of marijuana, arrested 185 persons and eradicated 9,317 cannabis plants. A USG-provided 82-foot patrol boat delivered in mid-1998, sustained significant damage when it ran aground off Dominica during a hurricane in November 1999. It has not yet been repaired. The GOAB received substantial funds in 2000 via its asset seizure/sharing agreement with other countries.

The only rehabilitation center in Antigua and Barbuda is Crossroads, a 36-bed private drug treatment facility which offers treatment to international and local clients. The center offers its services to a limited number of local clients who can take advantage of special payment and after-treatment work programs to pay for treatment. In 2000, Crossroads and the GOAB continued their efforts to establish a halfway house in the capital, St. John's.

Barbados is a transit country and hub for cocaine products, heroin, and designer drugs entering by sea and by air from Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and elsewhere in the region. These drugs often enter Barbados in container vessels, and smaller vessels also bring in marijuana from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Container freight-forwarders and cruise lines are also reported to transport cocaine via Barbados. Most cocaine shipments entering Barbados and its territorial waters are destined for North America and Europe. However, in recent years, domestic cocaine and crack consumption have increased.

Barbados is party to the 1961 UN Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Barbados is neither signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance, or the Inter-American Firearms Convention. The GOB and the USG have brought into force three important elements of counternarcotics cooperation: a maritime agreement with overflight authority, and extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties.

In 2000, manpower shortages and coordination difficulties continued to interfere with Barbados's cooperation with U.S. law enforcement officials to arrest and prosecute major traffickers. However, the government procured a fleet of new police vehicles and refurbished police facilities in 2000 in an effort to improve the force's responsiveness. In late 2000, the Police Commissioner also announced plans to root out "suspicious officers" who had been corrupted by narcotraffickers.

Government of Barbados (GOB) agencies reported seizing 59 kilograms of cocaine and 2,641 kilograms of marijuana in 2000. They arrested 933 persons on drug charges and eradicated 1,078 cannabis plants. The GOB terminated a longstanding USG counternarcotics assistance program in 1999 because of objections to human rights conditions connected to the program.

The GOB has implemented a penal system reform bill to provide alternative sentencing options beyond prison and fines. This includes community service orders, curfew orders, and other alternatives. The law is designed to reduce prison overcrowding and provide options for dealing with youthful offenders and drug-addicted criminals. Twenty-seven individuals were sentenced to community service during the first 15 days after the reforms were implemented. The government is also actively considering the establishment of a parole system and a specialized drug court.

The Proceeds of Crime Act of 1990 provides for the confiscation of property shown to have been derived or obtained by a person, directly or indirectly, from the commission of certain offenses, including drug trafficking and money laundering, and to enable law enforcement authorities to trace such proceeds, benefits, or property. Nevertheless, there were no significant asset seizures in 2000.

Barbados has drafted a national plan concerning supply and demand reduction for the period 2001-2005. However, as currently configured, the government's National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) focuses almost entirely on demand reduction. NCSA and various concerned NGOs, such as the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCPADD), are very active and effective. NCSA works closely with NGOs in prevention and education efforts and skills-training centers. Barbados's excellent D.A.R.E. Program remained active in the school system and continued to engage public and private sector sponsors to help continue the project following its USG-supported start-up. The mental health hospital provides drug detoxification.

Dominica serves as a transshipment and temporary storage area for drugs, mostly cocaine products, headed to the U.S. and to Europe via the French departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Go-fast boats bring shipments from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Cannabis also is cultivated in Dominica. The Dominica police regularly conduct ground-based cannabis eradication missions in rugged, mountainous areas.

In 2000, Dominican law enforcement agencies reported seizing 413 gms of crack cocaine and 468 kilograms of marijuana. They eradicated 210,000 cannabis plants. Dominica police arrested 257 persons on drug charges.

Like the rest of the region, often-antiquated laws and a judicial process that emphasizes fines in lieu of jail sentences, especially for foreigners, continued to undermine efforts by the Dominica police to arrest drug traffickers. Act 20 of 1988, titled "Drugs (Prevention of Misuse)," directs asset forfeiture. Dominica seized a high-performance go-fast boat and outfitted it as a police pursuit boat in 2000.

The economic citizenship program, offshore banking, international business corporations, and internet gaming are lucrative sources of income for the government. However, the government's regulatory and investigative capabilities are not adequate to prevent abuse of these industries. Dominican citizenship can be purchased easily, with little-to-no background investigation and no residency requirement.

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

Dominica is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. However, Dominica has not yet ratified the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, or the Inter-American Firearms Convention. Dominica and the U.S. have signed and brought into force a maritime agreement, a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), and an extradition treaty. Dominica has not yet agreed to expand the maritime agreement to include overflight authority.

The Government of Grenada (GOG) reports that there has been an increase in narcotics trafficking, particularly cocaine, through Grenada's international airport. Private vessels passing through and stopping in Grenada's coastal waters en route to U.S. and other markets are used to transport larger quantities. Grenada is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Grenada has neither signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Legal Matters or the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. Grenada has signed but not yet ratified the Inter-American Firearms Convention.

The GOG and the USG signed a maritime law enforcement cooperation agreement in 1995 and an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement in 1996. The GOG and the USG have also brought into force an extradition treaty and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).

Grenada has an active and growing offshore financial sector with offshore banks, international business corporations, and an economic citizenship program, but with only a minimal regulatory staff. The Grenada Financial Services Authority which was established in 2000 to oversee the offshore financial sector has been largely ineffective to date, but recently installed new leadership could increase the capacity and effectiveness of the agency. Serious questions remain, however, as to Grenada's will and ability to perform due diligence on applicants and otherwise properly regulate this sector. (See the money laundering section of this report.) The Proceeds of Crime Act requires a conviction before assets can be forfeited, though assets can be seized and held prior to conviction.

The Ministry of Education's Drug Prevention Unit is active. With the active involvement of many government agencies, the National Drug Avoidance Committee keeps drug prevention themes before the public. The police and the GOG at the highest levels actively support the committee. Drug use prevention education is incorporated into all levels of the educational curriculum of 32 primary schools. The D.A.R.E. Program continues to function well. Grenada's one 16-bed drug and alcohol treatment center continues to receive about 50 patients per year. Most patients are admitted for alcohol abuse; all treatment costs are borne by the government. The psychiatric hospital also provides drug detoxification.

Law enforcement agencies in Grenada cooperate well on drug control. They meet regularly to plan joint operations, thereby maximizing available assets. Grenadian authorities reported seizing approximately 96 kilograms of cocaine and 103 kilograms of marijuana in 2000. They arrested 225 persons on drug charges and eradicated 2,091 cannabis plants. No large-scale traffickers were arrested in 2000.

St. Kitts and Nevis is a regular transshipment center for cocaine from South America to the U.S. Drugs are transferred out of St. Kitts and Nevis primarily via small sailboats, fishing boats, and go-fast boats bound for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Trafficking organizations operating in St. Kitts are linked directly to South American traffickers and other organized crime groups, and appear highly organized. Because local traffickers are paid with drugs, which they then sell locally, local drug use, especially of crack cocaine, is increasing.

The USG since May 1996 has sought the extradition of three prominent drug traffickers wanted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. In October 1996, a magistrate initially ruled against the extradition. An appeals judge ordered the magistrate to reconsider his decision to deny the extraditions in April 1998, noting that sufficient evidence existed to try the defendants. Despite the appellate court's order, the magistrate refused to reverse his initial decision, arguing that the original order stood because the higher court judge had not quashed his original order. The USG again appealed the magistrate's decision, and in January 2000 a high court judge announced his decision to quash the lower court's October 1996 and January 1999 denials of the USG extradition requests. The defendants then filed notice of their intent to appeal the high court's decision to the Privy Council, the last court of appeal for the English-speaking Caribbean. Due to technical problems with court records, the Privy Council has not yet heard the case.

In late February 2000, one of the three defendants appeared before a magistrate, waived his rights, and stated his willingness to surrender to U.S. authorities. A Florida jury convicted him of two felony trafficking charges on December 5, 2000. The USG extradition request for the other two defendants is pending.

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis (GOSKN) has made no effort since 1997 to seek the conviction of the assassin of Superintendent of Police Jude Matthew. A suspect in this drug-related case has been tried three times since the 1994 killing, and none of the juries have voted for convictions. During the third trial, which ended in June 1997, six people, including one of the three men the U.S. sought to extradite, were arrested and charged with jury tampering. The cases against them were ordered to be dropped for procedural reasons.

St. Kitts and Nevis is party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GOSKN has neither signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Legal Matters or the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. The GOSKN has signed but not yet ratified the Inter-American Firearms Convention. The GOSKN signed a maritime law enforcement cooperation agreement with the U.S. in 1995, and an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement in 1996. In 2000, the USG and the GOSKN brought into force extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties.

St. Kitts and Nevis developed a master plan for drug control in 1996. Implementation of the plan was problematic, largely due to budgetary problems. The plan was refined and submitted to parliament in December 2000.

The GOSKN Defence Force, which was reestablished in 1997 after a 16-year hiatus, continued to augment the police's antinarcotics efforts, particularly in cannabis eradication operations. A new National Joint Headquarters (NHQ) was inaugurated in 2000. The NHQ serves as communications and cooperation hub for various law enforcement entities in the twin island federation. However, the reduction of the once-effective Kittitian drug squad from 20 members in 1998 to eight members by the end of 1999 undermined the GOSKN's antinarcotics efforts.

GOSKN officials reported seizing 53 kilograms of cocaine and 119 kilograms of marijuana in 2000. They arrested 64 people on drug charges and eradicated 34,057 cannabis plants.

The high degree of drug trafficking activity through and around St. Kitts and Nevis and the presence of known traffickers in St. Kitts place this small country at great risk for corruption and money laundering activity. (See Money Laundering section.)

St. Lucia has experienced a rapid increase in cocaine trafficking over the past five years. International narcotics traffickers are active in St. Lucia, working with local transshippers to stockpile cocaine awaiting onward shipment. Much of this cocaine comes from Colombia through Venezuela, either directly or via Trinidad and Tobago, or to a lesser extent St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The cocaine is then moved to Martinique or Dominica and on to Europe and the U.S. Much of the cocaine enters St. Lucia at or near its southern-most port of Vieux Fort. Drugs are commonly smuggled onto St. Lucia's rugged coastline through offshore airdrops followed by small boat transport to seaside caches. Some marijuana is cultivated, mostly for local consumption. The Government of St. Lucia (GOSL) has a good record on counternarcotics cooperation and is generally deemed one of the USG's most effective law enforcement partners in the Lesser Antilles.

The GOSL reported seizing 111 kilograms of cocaine and 1,804 kilograms of marijuana in 2000. They arrested 699 persons on drug charges and eradicated 134,250 cannabis plants. The USG and the GOSL cooperate extensively on law enforcement matters.

Law Number 22 of 1988, entitled "Drugs Prevention of Misuse Act," permits asset forfeiture after conviction. The law directs the forfeited proceeds to be applied to treatment, rehabilitation, education and preventative measures related to drug abuse. However, there were no significant asset forfeitures in 2000. Nor were any major drug traffickers arrested in 2000.

St. Lucia is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. St. Lucia has not acceded to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The GOSL has neither signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption or the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. The GOSL has signed but not yet ratified the Inter-American Convention against Firearms.

The GOSL signed a maritime agreement with the USG in 1995 and an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement. In February 2000, the U.S. and St. Lucia exchanged instruments of ratification which brought the MLAT and extradition treaties into force.

St. Lucia has instituted a centralized authority, the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat, to coordinate the government's national antidrug and substance abuse strategy. Various community groups, particularly the police public relations office, continue to be active in drug use prevention efforts, with a particular focus on youth. St. Lucia offers drug treatment and rehabilitation at an in-patient facility known as Turning Point, run by the Ministry of Health. The St. Lucian police report that the D.A.R.E. Program has been extremely successful.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the largest producer of marijuana in the eastern Caribbean and the source for much of the marijuana used in the region. In the inaccessible northern half of St. Vincent, extensive tracts are under intensive marijuana cultivation. Because of the country's small size, cultivation does not reach the level of 5,000 hectares that the Foreign Assistance Act requires for a country to be designated as a major drug-producer, nor does it significantly affect the U.S. As such, despite the pervasive influence of the drug trade, St. Vincent is not designated a major drug-transit country under the Foreign Assistance Act. Compressed marijuana is sent from St. Vincent to neighboring islands via private vessels. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has also become a storage and transshipment point for narcotics, mostly cocaine, transferred from Trinidad and Tobago and South America on go-fast and inter-island cargo boats.

The illegal drug trade has infiltrated the economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and made some segments of the population dependent on marijuana production and trafficking. Though they acknowledge the dependence, many Vincentians have been reluctant to acknowledge the negative effects of the drug trade: a decline in civil society, drug addiction, reduced worker productivity, violent behavior, murders related to drug trafficking, disappearances, and increased general criminal activity.

In 2000, Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (GOSVG) officials reported seizing 50.5 kilograms of cocaine and 1,708.6 kilograms of marijuana. They arrested 490 persons on drug-related charges and eradicated 28,375 cannabis plants. With insufficient resources, the police, customs, and coast guard try to control the rugged terrain and adjacent sea of St. Vincent and the chain of islands making up the Grenadines. Their reaction capability is limited. No major traffickers were arrested and no significant assets seized in 2000.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. It has not acceded to the UN Conventions of 1961 and 1971. The GOSVG has neither signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption or the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. The GOSVG has signed but not yet ratified the Inter-American Convention against Firearms. The GOSVG signed a maritime agreement with the USG in 1995, but it has not yet signed an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement. The GOSVG signed an extradition treaty in 1996, and an MLAT in January 1998, both of which were brought into force in September 1999.

An advisory council on drug abuse and prevention, mandated by statute, has been inactive for several years. The government mental hospital provides drug detoxification, but no in-patient drug rehabilitation services exist. The family life curriculum in the schools includes drug prevention education, and selected schools continue to receive warmly the police-run D.A.R.E. Program, helping to overcome a general lack of public trust in the police. Marion House, an NGO, offers drug counseling in St. Vincent and has developed worthwhile initiatives in prison officer training and prisoner rehabilitation.

French Caribbean/French Guiana

Martinique, Guadeloupe, the French side of St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and French Guiana are subject to French law, including all international conventions to which France is a party. With the resources of France behind them, the French Caribbean Departments and French Guiana are meeting the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The Police Judiciaire, Gendarmerie, and French Customs Service together play a major role in narcotics law enforcement in France's overseas departments, just as they do in the other parts of France. South American cocaine moves through the French Caribbean and from French Guiana to Europe and, to a lesser extent, to the U.S. Although evidence in 2000 did not support a finding that drugs entering the U.S. from the French Caribbean had a significant effect on the U.S., the U.S. considers the broad geographical area of the eastern and southern Caribbean, of which the French Caribbean is a part, as an area of concern to be kept under observation. A small amount of cannabis is cultivated in French Guiana.

In December 2000, French Customs seized more than 16,000 ecstasy pills (worth approximately 1.3 million Francs) at the Pointe a Pitre airport, Guadeloupe, and placed two traffickers in custody. Weighing nearly five kilograms, this seizure of ecstasy was the largest ever in Guadeloupe. The drugs originated in Amsterdam and were intended for the American market.

In addition to the agreements and treaties discussed in the report on France, USG and GOF counternarcotics cooperation in the Caribbean is enhanced by a multilateral Caribbean customs mutual assistance agreement which provides for information sharing to enforce customs laws, including those related to drug trafficking. The assignment of a French Gendarmerie liaison officer to the U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force-East (JIATF East) at Key West, Florida has also enhanced law enforcement cooperation in the Caribbean. The USG and the GOF have been exploring a possible counternarcotics maritime agreement for the Caribbean for several years, and the USG still awaits a response from the GOF on language proposed by the USG in 1998. Pending such an agreement, U.S. and French authorities have maintained good operational relations in the Caribbean and have participated in joint interdiction operations in the area.

In Martinique, the French Interministerial Drug Control Training Center (CIFAD) offers training in French, Spanish, and English to the Caribbean and Central and South America, covering such subjects as money laundering and precursor chemicals, mutual legal assistance and international legal cooperation, coast guard training, customs valuation, and drug control in airports. CIFAD coordinates its training activities with the UNDCP, OAS/CICAD, and individual donor nations. U.S. Customs officers periodically teach at CIFAD.

France supports European Union initiatives regarding counternarcotics assistance to the Caribbean. The EU and its member states, the U.S., and other individual and multinational donors are coordinating their assistance programs closely through established mini-Dublin groups in the region and through bilateral and multilateral discussions. The GOF provides the salary and support costs for the Deputy Director of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), who is French, and participates actively in CFATF as a cooperating and supporting nation (COSUN).


I. Summary

Guyana is a transshipment point for South American cocaine on its way to North America and Europe, although there is no evidence that the cocaine entering the U.S. from Guyana is in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S. Cocaine enters Guyana by sea, river, overland, and airdrop. Traffickers then take advantage of Guyana's dense jungles, sparsely populated areas, and weak law enforcement and legal infrastructure to move the drugs to sea and air ports for onward shipment. Guyana is one of the poorest countries in the Hemisphere. Despite its limited resources, the Government of Guyana (GOG) achieved some successes in interdicting drugs in 2000. Both the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Customs AntiNarcotics Unit (CANU) cooperated with DEA, which covers Guyana from its office in Caracas, Venezuela. Guyana enacted legislation to prevent money laundering early in 2000, but it is not yet in effect. In November 2000, the GOG ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. The GOG has a National Drug Strategy Master Plan (1997-2000) that covers both supply and demand reduction, which the GOG needs to implement and update. Guyana is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but needs to pass and implement a wide range of additional legislation before it will be in compliance with the Convention's goals and objectives.

II. Status of Country

As Guyana's neighbors strengthen their drug interdiction efforts, traffickers are increasingly turning to Guyana as a safer transshipment route for South American cocaine. Guyana's borders are porous and largely unpatrolled, permitting narcotics to enter the country by road or by river. Airdrops also occur at a number of remote and unmonitored airstrips. The cocaine is then transported primarily to Georgetown, where it is moved by commercial ship or air via intermediate stops in the Caribbean or, increasingly, directly to the United States and Europe. Marijuana is cultivated on a small scale in Guyana's interior. The growing transit of narcotics through Guyana has resulted in increased domestic usage of illegal narcotics. The lack of resources for counterdrug law enforcement efforts, inadequate laws, and weak judicial infrastructure severely limit the GOG's ability to interdict drug shipments and arrest and prosecute drug traffickers.

III. Country Actions against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. Senior government officials consistently expressed commitment to fighting narcotics trafficking and cooperating with the U.S. and other Caribbean countries in counternarcotics efforts. The GOG has stated that it views as a high priority entering into a maritime counternarcotics law enforcement agreement with the U.S., and in January 2001, the U.S. and GOG initialed the text of such an agreement and signed a minute of negotiations. It is unclear, however, when the GOG will be able to sign the maritime cooperation agreement. The GOG also continued to support regional and local counternarcotics initiatives. Guyana's National Drug Strategy Master Plan (1997-2000) covers both supply and demand reduction, but further GOG action is needed to implement it. The GOG also needs to update the Plan for continued implementation beyond 2000.

Accomplishments. In February 2000, the Guyanese National Assembly passed legislation that criminalizes drug-related money laundering, allows for the expansion to other predicate offenses, and requires suspicious financial transaction reporting. However, the legislation is not yet in effect. In November 2000, Guyana ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The GOG remains committed to combating narcotics trafficking through narcotics interdiction efforts, although the lack of resources severely inhibits its ability to carry out successful interdiction operations. Legislation enacted in 1999 granted CANU status as a bona fide law enforcement agency, with full arrest, seizure and prosecution powers. In April 2000, the GOG seized the Greek-owned vessel "New Charm" after CANU discovered 200 pounds of cocaine on board, but no criminal prosecution resulted from the seizure. The CANU and GPF continued to apprehend and arrest persons involved in the narcotics trade. The GPF reported that it arrested 12 drug smugglers in 2000 attempting to board flights to North America and Europe at Guyana's Cheddi Jagan International Airport. In December 2000, locally-trained GPF drug detection dogs located cocaine hidden in a New York-bound airliner's air vent.

The special CANU/GPF counternarcotics task force, created by President Jagdeo in late 1999, coordinated raids on drug dealers in several coastal villages in order to reduce the availability of drugs for local consumption. While active early in 2000, the task force did not carry out operations later in the year. Due to a lack of resources, GOG Coast Guard operations in 2000 were limited.

Corruption. Individual GPF and Customs officials reportedly were involved in assisting narcotics trafficking. However, few cases were fully investigated or prosecuted. To detect and deter corruption, the GOG needs to take steps to implement the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, which it ratified in late 2000.

Asset Seizure. The GOG has not enacted legislation specifically covering asset seizure, asset forfeiture or asset and intelligence sharing. However, the new money laundering law does contain limited clauses addressing asset forfeiture.

Agreements and Treaties. Guyana is a party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The 1931 U.S.-UK extradition treaty is still in force between Guyana and the U.S. Guyana has an agreement to share narcotics intelligence with the UK.

Cultivation/Production. A small amount of cannabis cultivation takes place in Guyana's interior. During 2000, CANU and the GPF AntiNarcotics Unit conducted marijuana eradication operations. Despite previous speculation, there are no confirmed reports of cocaine processing in Guyana.

Drug Flow/Transit. GOG officials believe that GOG counternarcotics agencies interdict only a small percentage of the substantial amounts of cocaine and coca paste that transits Guyana from Colombia or Peru.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Some marijuana is consumed domestically in Guyana, and domestic consumption of cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy and heroin is increasing. International drug traffickers reportedly have given narcotics as payments to their Guyanese associates, increasing the amount of narcotics available for local use. The GPF and the Ministry of Health carry out youth outreach through several local and international programs including D.A.R.E.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. In 2000, the U.S. continued to expand its counternarcotics cooperation with Guyana through visits by DEA personnel and discussions by senior Embassy and State Department officials with Guyanese officials. The U.S. also provided training and equipment to strengthen the GOG's counternarcotics agencies.

Bilateral Cooperation. In September 2000, the GOG signed a bilateral agreement with the USG accepting $80,000 in State Department/INL funds for use in counternarcotics training and equipment. Through military training programs, the U.S. continued to provide the Guyanese Defense Force (GDF) with counternarcotics training. During 2000, INL funds were used to fund travel of Guyanese counternarcotics officials to international drug enforcement meetings and procure needed equipment. In August 2000, U.S. Customs conducted an INL-funded Carrier Initiative Program in Georgetown attended by 30 representatives of commercial carriers. Since February 2000, the GOG has provided two crewmen for the Caribbean Support Tender (CST), a U.S. Coast Guard vessel with a multinational crew that provides training and assistance in ship maintenance and repairs to Caribbean Coast Guards. The CST visited Guyana twice in 2000. In December, senior GDF officers met with USG officials at the Headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command and the Joint Interagency Task Force (East) to discuss the GDF's counternarcotics role.

The Road Ahead. As narcotics trafficking through Guyana increases, U.S. counterdrug agencies need to ensure they do not lose sight of Guyana's problems given its unique geographic situation on the margins of both the Caribbean and South America. Guyanese leaders continue to be receptive to U.S. counternarcotics efforts and assistance as the narcotics problem grows in Guyana. As a result, the U.S. will seek to help the GOG combat narcotics trafficking by providing technical assistance, training, and equipment to improve the capacity of the GPF, CANU, and GDF. The U.S. is also prepared to provide technical assistance to assist the GOG in modernizing its anticrime legal framework and implementing the Inter-American AntiCorruption Convention. The U.S. will continue to encourage the GOG to take advantage of regional initiatives, such as the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, and fulfill its commitments under the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the Bridgetown Summit Action Plan.


I. Summary

Cocaine flow through Haiti decreased from 13 percent to 8 percent of the total detected flow in 2000, but little of this is attributable to the efforts of the Haitian Government. Despite this decrease, Haiti's location combined with extreme poverty, corruption, and limited law enforcement and justice capability continue to make Haiti a major transshipment point for South American narcotics, especially Colombian cocaine. The Organization of American States' (OAS) questioning of the legitimacy of the May 2000 National Assembly elections and the Government of Haiti's (GOH) lack of action to correct this situation resulted in the suspension of most international assistance to the Government of Haiti. In September, the GOH declined to sign a Letter of Agreement for U.S. Government (USG) counternarcotics assistance. In November, a U.S. law was enacted that stipulates that no U.S. assistance may be made available to the central Government of Haiti until two conditions (discussed in detail below) were met.

The Government of Haiti cooperated fully in a limited number of areas; specifically, on maritime interdiction operations with the U.S. Coast Guard and multilateral interdiction operations. However, attempts to curb corruption have been minimal. In September 2000, the United States and Haiti were unable to agree to terms for a Letter of Agreement for United States Government counternarcotics assistance.

From mid-1997 to the end of 2000, the passage of counternarcotics-related legislation related to counternarcotics measures was delayed by a prolonged political crisis. Elections in May 2000 resulted in a new Parliament that, by year's end, ratified a U.S.-Haitian bilateral maritime counterdrug agreement and an Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected as President and took office on February 7, 2001. In a December 27 letter to President Clinton, then President-Elect Aristide pledged to "enhance substantially cooperation to combat drug trafficking."

II. Status of Country

Haiti, was engulfed in a dangerously polarized political situation throughout 2000 that damaged further the country's meager economy. While elections in May restored a functioning Parliament after nearly a four-year lapse, irregularities in the election caused the opposition and much of the international community to question the legitimacy of the new Parliament. Former President Aristide was elected as president in November in an election boycotted by most opposition parties. He took office February 7, 2001.

The new Haitian Parliament's opening session was delayed over international concerns about irregularities in the May elections. Once in session, Parliament ratified the 1997 bilateral agreement with the United States on ending maritime trafficking and the Inter-American Convention against Corruption; and, in January 2001, it enacted the National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS) along with anti-money laundering legislation. The United States had lobbied for the passage of the NDCS and anti-money laundering bills and is working with the GOH on implementation plans. The GOH will need technical assistance to implement the legislation. The Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Act, 2001 (P.L. 106-429) stipulates that no funds appropriated by that Act or any previous Foreign Operations appropriations Act can be made available for assistance for the central Government of Haiti until the Secretary of State reports that Haiti has held free and fair elections to seat a new parliament and the Director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)reports that Government of Haiti is fully cooperating with United States efforts to interdict illicit drug traffic through Haiti to the United States. Neither of these conditions has been met.

In a December 27 letter to President Clinton, President- Elect Aristide pledged, among other things, to "enhance substantially cooperation to combat drug trafficking."

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. Haiti's counternarcotics initiatives suffered due to the political impasse and economic instability and apparent lack of political will. The new parliament, however, moved quickly after President Aristide's election to approve antidrug legislation and a National Drug Control Strategy. Only asset forfeiture and chemical control laws remain to be enacted.

Illicit Cultivation and Production. Haiti is not a major drug cultivating or drug producing country. Cultivation, production, distribution, sale and possession of narcotics are illegal in Haiti. Some small marijuana cultivation sites were found in the country, likely intended for local use.

Money Laundering. On January 17, 2001, the Haitian parliament approved a money laundering law originally written in 1997. The legislature also approved the National Drug Control Strategy. In August Haiti's central bank published a circular directing commercial banks, savings banks, foreign exchange brokers and transfer agencies to report to the GOH individual monetary transactions valued at or above the Haitian gourde equivalent of 10,000 U.S. dollars. This is the GOH's first known attempt to address money laundering through Haitian banking institutions. The United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) has provided a money-laundering expert to work with the GOH on implementing the new legislation.

Asset Seizure. The lack of asset forfeiture legislation and a functional seizure process has the Haitian government's ability to seize and utilize the property of criminals. Apart from abandoned Colombian go-fast boats recovered on the south coast, which were reconditioned by the USCG, the government has been unable to utilize the assets seized in drug raids. There were, however, reports in 2000 of property being returned to its owner after attempts to effect its seizure failed because of the lack of a clearly defined process.

Precursor Chemical Control. Haiti has no precursor chemical and essential chemicals control law. While suspect activity in precursor chemicals exists, no significant trade has been detected.

Demand Reduction. The GOH does not operate a demand reduction or public awareness program. Anecdotal reports indicate that local consumption is rising as traffickers increasingly pay their personnel in product. There have been many reports of local citizens seizing cocaine before it could be delivered to the individual in charge of transit through Haiti. Cocaine is widely known as "manna from heaven" throughout Haiti, as it has become a source of income for entire towns. Stolen drugs are re-sold to dealers who then either sell them locally or send them to the United States or Canada.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The GOH is aware of the nation's status as a principal transit zone for narcotics trafficked from South to North America. For the Government of Haiti, counternarcotics efforts are secondary to the far more pressing matters of political stability, public order, and economic development. While the GOH insists that it is willing to combat drug trafficking if provided with needed resources and intelligence information, the minimal law enforcement progress that was accomplished was a result of U.S. agents working side-by-side with fledgling Haitian narcotics officers.

The Haitian Coast Guard (HCG), a unit of the HNP that works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), has shown promise of developing into effective counternarcotics entity. A USCG team that trained and advised the HCG was withdrawn in December 2000 to comply with legislative restrictions on assistance to the central government of Haiti l. Expanded HCG patrols in 2000 targeted Haiti's ten most active ports. Working closely with the DEA, USCG, and HNP anti drug unit (French acronym is BLTS), the HCG boarded ships at sea and in port. It was the lead agency for the first-ever boarding and search of a large merchant vessel in Port-au-Prince harbor and seized sixteen vessels for suspicion of trafficking. While seizures were down in 2000, institutional and infrastructure development continued. A north coast base built with USG funds is almost complete, but a similar facility is needed on the southern coast of Haiti where most of the go-fast boats discharge their cocaine shipments.

During 2000, the HNP seized 238 kilograms of cocaine and just over 370 pounds of marijuana. Drug-related arrests matched the downward trend, with 58 recorded in 2000, compared to 72 in 1999.

With USG support, a trailer was refitted as an office and located at the Port-au-Prince seaport for use by the interagency maritime interdiction task force. It now serves as a coordination center for maritime interdiction activities off Haiti's coasts and in port . With DEA guidance, the task force has begun conducting port surveys throughout Haiti in an effort to develop sources of information and contacts with port authorities and other law enforcement entities. According to DEA, the Haitian airport and maritime drug units are evolving into disciplined professional units that are increasingly willing to work with U.S. counterparts. The fledgling organizations show willingness to work and to improve their professional capabilities.

In January, the HNP Director General agreed to increase total BLTS agents from 25 to 75. At year's end, 26 new agents had been added, bringing the total to 49. The United States intends to polygraph these agents. In March, the GOH participated in Operation Conquistador, an operation that resulted in an increased level of vehicle and vessel searches, airline passenger and baggage inspection, and search warrants in areas of high drug trafficking activity. No large seizures were reported.

A Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC) began operations at the Port-au-Prince international airport in October 1999. The JICC has been used primarily for sharing information between Haitian authorities. No significant drug seizures were attributed to its operations in 2000. Because of GOH failure to appoint a director for the JICC, the USG suspended in September its support for a technical advisor.

A Haitian customs agent and his dog trained for three months in France with French Customs instructors. The dog and handler now assist in searches for contraband at the Port-au-Prince airport.

Corruption. Haiti recently ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. Despite continuing official declarations that corruption will not be tolerated, it is endemic throughout the HNP, Customs, Justice and Port Authority sectors. Public officials at all levels are paid salaries that are sufficiently meager to predispose them to bribery. High level GOH officials of the Preval administration and members of the National Assembly are also suspected of ties with narcotraffickers. Agreements and Treaties. Haiti is party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, its 1972 Protocol and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Haiti has not ratified the 1971 Vienna Convention on Psychotropic Substances. In December 2000, Haiti was one of 125 countries to sign the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the supplementary protocols on Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons.

Extradition. Haiti and the U.S. have had a bilateral Extradition Treaty since 1904. It has not been used in recent years. The Haitian constitution of 1987 forbids extradition of Haitians.

In December 1998, the GOH signed a Letter of Agreement with the U.S. in which it agreed to act diligently on U.S. requests for deportation or expulsion to the U.S. of non-Haitian nationals suspected of drug trafficking and wanted by the U.S. justice system. In August, the Haitian National Police (HNP) arrested a Colombian national wanted for parole violation in the U.S. and subsequently expelled him to the U.S. This was the first non-Haitian national expelled from Haiti to the U.S. pursuant to the 1998 agreement. In January, the GOH expelled suspected trafficker Gary Levell, a French citizen, to Florida where he was under indictment for drug trafficking.

Drug flow and transit. Cocaine flow through Haiti decreased from 13 percent to 8 percent of the total detected flow in 2000. Law enforcement actions, particularly U.S. Customs seizures of cocaine aboard Haitian freighters moored in the Miami River, account for some of this decrease. The largest factor may be the difficulties traffickers experienced in moving drugs through Haiti because of poor infrastructure or the seizure of drugs by rival traffickers or other criminals. Air shipments dropped significantly in 2000, particularly after several aircraft crashed trying to land on makeshift runways.

Most Colombian cocaine transiting Haiti now arrives on the southern coast in coastal freighters, container ships and small non-commercial boats. Port areas are largely unsecured and coastal areas are porous. The HCG has no routine presence on the south coast and local police do not take any action.

After cocaine enters Haiti, there are several methods of onward shipment. Some cocaine transits to the north coast and continues its journey in Haitian freighters or in containers bound for the U.S. Cocaine is the principal business in some coastal towns, including those on the northern side of the southern claw. Some crosses the border to the Dominican Republic to be loaded into containers or small vessels bound for North America or Europe. Some is transshipped in small vessels to Puerto Rico and then shipped via container cargo vessels or commercial airlines to North America or Europe.

IV U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Some bilateral programs showed potential; however, the Government of Haiti (GOH) did not sign a Letter of Agreement for USG FY-2000 counternarcotics assistance funds, primarily because the GOH objected to the implications of the agreement's language prohibiting assistance to narcotraffickers. Assistance pending from previous years funding has been suspended until the new administration's intentions on counternarcotics cooperation are clarified.

Other U.S. programs, including those administered by the U.S. Department of Justice's ICITAP and OPDAT, were suspended during 2000 as a result of dissatisfaction with the results of the May elections and overall dissatisfaction with the programs as catalogued in a GAO report. The Bilateral Coast Guard Program, which showed measurable progress within 2000, was suspended as a result of restrictions in the FY-2001 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (discussed above in the Status of Country section).

The Road Ahead. Despite this year's decline, little of which can be attributed to the efforts of the GOH, the quantity of drugs transiting Haiti is still far too high. This trade threatens the stability and integrity of Haitian institutions and will ruin countless lives in Haiti and elsewhere. The new administration of President Aristide needs to halt this trade and make the rooting out of its corrupting and destabilizing influences one of its top priorities.

The new Aristide administration must move quickly to implement the recently passed counternarcotics and anti-money laundering legislation. At the regional level, it should join the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), strengthen significantly counternarcotics cooperation with the neighboring Dominican Republic, and participate in regional counternarcotics interdiction exercises. Haiti also needs to establish a financial investigations unit that is able to analyze and investigate suspected money laundering. These law enforcement activities should be combined with education initiatives designed to convince Haiti's youth of the risks and consequences of addiction and to change public perceptions that engaging in drug trafficking is an acceptable means to escape poverty.

International assistance can play a strong part in assisting Haiti in confronting the drug trade. Such assistance, however, is valueless and will not be forthcoming unless Haiti moves decisively to strengthen law enforcement and judicial institutions, particularly to root out and establish effective internal controls against corruption. Without taking basic measures such as reinvigorating the Inspector General function of the Haitian National Police and enacting and implementing fully tough anticorruption statutes, Haiti's and the international community's efforts to fight illegal drugs there will be destined to be ineffective.


I. Summary

Jamaica is a major transit point for South American cocaine en route to the U.S. as well as the largest Caribbean producer and exporter of marijuana. During 2000, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) made some progress toward meeting the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Increased trafficking through Jamaica indicates the need for the GOJ to intensify and focus its law enforcement efforts and to enhance its international cooperation.

In 2000, the GOJ amended its 1996 Money Laundering Act to add fraud, corruption, and firearms trafficking as predicate offenses. Further GOJ action is needed, however, to bring Jamaica in line with international standards, including an improved asset forfeiture regime and an operational financial analysis unit. In 1999, the GOJ enacted legislation enabling asset-sharing agreements with other governments; an agreement with the U.S. is pending.

The GOJ brought into force in April 2000 a Precursor Chemicals Act, budgeted for implementation of chemical controls, and is taking action, with U.S. assistance, to comply with recommendations provided by OAS/CICAD's Precursors Control Project. Although the GOJ made progress in implementing the recommendations contained in a 1997 port security assessment and increased security presence at its ports, drug traffickers continue to use Jamaica's air and seaports. U.S. Customs reports that Jamaica is the embarkation point of the largest number of passengers arrested with drugs at U.S. airports. While evidence from drug detection technology, such as ion scan, can be exploited under certain conditions, the GOJ should consider providing specific legislation to admit this type of evidence in Jamaican courts. In December 2000, the GOJ introduced a wiretap bill in Parliament.

The Fugitive Apprehension Team, a special police unit dedicated to the apprehension and eventual extradition of criminals wanted by the U.S., aided by officers of the U.S. Marshals Service, made over 20 arrests in 2000, more than double the number in 1999. The GOJ extradited 10 people to the U.S. in 2000 and is actively working on over 40 cases. Legislation creating drug courts came into force in 2000; the courts should begin sitting in 2001.

Corruption continues to undermine law enforcement and judicial efforts against drug-related crime in Jamaica. The GOJ reintroduced in Parliament its anticorruption bill, which passed in December, and amendments to strengthen the Parliament (Integrity of Members) Act. Implementation of these bills and ratification of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption could help the GOJ root out corruption in the public sector.

A significant increase in the flow of cocaine through Jamaica in the first half of 2000, coupled with reduced cocaine seizures and marijuana eradication by the GOJ, indicates that the GOJ needs to take more intensive law enforcement action with enhanced international cooperation to disrupt drug trafficking and production activities in Jamaican territory and waters. Such actions include the arrest and prosecution of significant drug traffickers operating in Jamaica, dismantling of small independent groups that conduct the drug trade, and increased drug seizures and eradication. As it agreed to do in 1998, the GOJ should develop a vetted special investigative unit to identify and target significant drug traffickers. Jamaican forces participated in combined operations under the Jamaica-U.S. bilateral maritime agreement, but should take full advantage of the agreement in order to reduce the drug flow through Jamaica. U.S. law enforcement agencies note that cooperation with their GOJ counterparts is generally good but could be significantly improved.

The GOJ has in place a national drug control strategy that covers both supply and demand reduction; the GOJ should add to it specific goals and objectives and measures of effectiveness. Jamaica is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Jamaica is a major transit country for cocaine from South America destined for the U.S. and other markets, and also the foremost producer and exporter of marijuana in the Caribbean. Jamaica is not a significant regional financial center, tax haven, or offshore banking center, and local criminals distrust Jamaican financial institutions. Nevertheless, some money laundering does occur, most likely through the purchase of assets, such as houses or cars, rather than financial instruments. It is difficult, however, to distinguish between assets acquired from laundering operations and those resulting from legitimate remittances. Jamaica is not a source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics. Nonetheless, the U.S. and OAS/CICAD are concerned over the vulnerability of Caribbean ports, including those in Jamaica, to illegal diversion of precursor and essential chemicals. Illicitly obtained isopropyl alcohol has been used to extract hashish oil.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Jamaica's counternarcotics efforts have taken place against a backdrop of severe resource constraints caused by a continuing recession: 2000 was Jamaica's fifth straight year of negative or flat economic growth.

Policy Initiatives. The GOJ publicly states its commitment to combating illegal drugs. Jamaica, however, operates under severe resource constraints, with over half of its national budget going for debt servicing.

A Precursor Chemicals Act, based on the recommendations of the 1988 UN Convention and the CICAD model regulations, entered into force in April 2000, although implementing regulations have not yet been finalized. In the course of drafting the implementing regulations, the GOJ identified weaknesses in the Act and is drafting amendments to strengthen it. GOJ officials are also working closely with DEA to identify training needs and establish a communication network between the concerned agencies, pursuant to the recommendations contained in the OAS/CICAD report. In December 2000, the GOJ introduced the Interception of Communications (wiretap) Act in Parliament that vests the authority to tap voice and electronic telecommunications with the courts rather than the Prime Minister. Legislation creating drug courts, passed by Parliament in late 1999, was enacted in 2000. Regulations for the courts have been drafted, and the courts should begin sitting in 2001.

Jamaica has a National AntiDrug Plan (1997-2002), that covers supply and demand reduction. The plan, however, does not contain goals and objectives and measures of effectiveness. The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), the lead organization for revision of the Drug Plan, is proposing to hold a workshop under CICAD auspices to promote plan revision.

Accomplishments. In 2000, Parliament passed amendments to the 1996 Money Laundering Act that expand the predicate offenses to fraud, corruption, and firearms trafficking. Although the GOJ has taken steps to establish a financial analysis unit, including identifying staff and office space, it is not yet operational. The UNDCP provided a mentor in 2000 to work with the unit.

Although the GOJ took steps in 2000 to strengthen port security, Jamaica's air and seaports continue to be utilized by traffickers of illegal drugs. The GOJ has now implemented most of the recommendations from the 1997 Port Security Assessment, including establishment of a challenge policy, repair of x-ray equipment, installation of closed circuit TV systems and implementation of a single ID policy at the airport. The only major outstanding recommendation is implementation of a single ID card for seaport access, which the GOJ states should be accomplished in 2001 with the return of the Port Security Force to the wharves. The GOJ is also entertaining bids for complete container inspection services. In 2000, the GOJ trained 29 new civilian immigration officers, permitting the release of security personnel back to security duties. The Contraband Enforcement Team (CET) is currently staffed with 21 Customs officers and two Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF) personnel; however, the Customs modernization plan calls for expansion of the Customs component to 50 officers. CET personnel are now stationed at the ports on a 24-hour basis, as are JCF Narcotics Division personnel at the international airports - a move that contributed to double the number of drug courier arrests at Kingston's Manley Airport.

To serve as a deterrent to landings of drug-smuggling private planes, the GOJ made operational USG-provided trailers at two small domestic airports. The trailers are manned by JCF narcotics officers on a permanent 24-hour basis, but reaction and communication capabilities of the officers are limited. Nonetheless, the permanent presence of JCF at these airports appears to provide a deterrent effect as reports of suspected air trafficking have declined markedly.

In September 2000, Jamaica signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the U.S. that supports projects designed to thwart the exploitation of Jamaican territory by drug producers and traffickers and other international criminals.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Both the Jamaican Defense Force (JDF) and the JCF assign a high priority to counternarcotics missions. While the JCF in general suffers from institutional problems recognized by the JCF leadership, the Narcotics Police of the JCF is a competent and respected unit.

Despite a significant increase in the estimated cocaine flow through Jamaica, in 2000, the GOJ seized 1,624.4 kilograms of cocaine, less than in 1999. Almost one-half of this amount (780 kilograms) was seized in a joint U.S. Coast Guard/DEA/JCF/JDF operation. The GOJ arrested 8,659 drug offenders, including 855 for cocaine-related offenses. The GOJ eradicated 517 hectares of marijuana in 2000, short of the goal of 1,200 hectares set out in the FY 99 Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the U.S. However, following a strike by prison guards, the JDF was assigned to provide emergency warder service and was unable to continue its eradication program, leaving the task totally to the JCF and reducing the manpower assigned to the program. In addition to the cannabis manually eradicated by JCF personnel, GOJ authorities in 2000 seized and destroyed 55.9 metric tons of marijuana, 20 kilograms of hashish, and 577.9 kilograms of hash oil.

The Fugitive Apprehension Team (FAT), a special unit established by the JCF, is dedicated to the capture and eventual extradition of criminals wanted by the U.S. Working closely with officers from the U.S. Marshals Service, the FAT made over 20 arrests in 2000. In July, the FAT arrested a drug trafficker who is the subject of a U.S. extradition request, but the trafficker subsequently escaped custody and has not been located. The Director of Public Prosecutions is investigating the events surrounding the escape. In 2000, the GOJ extradited Samuel Knowles, a major Bahamian drug trafficker, to the Bahamas. The Organized Crime Unit raided the home of James Pinnock of the Knowles organization, seizing computer equipment and currency of various nations, but has not yet arrested Pinnock. The GOJ did not establish a vetted special investigative unit to target major drug traffickers, which it agreed to do in 1998. Small independent groups, however, conduct most of the drug trade in Jamaica, and the Organized Crime Unit investigates these cases.

Corruption. Corruption continues to undermine law enforcement and judicial efforts against drug-related crime in Jamaica. The GOJ is seeking to address the issue of public corruption with passage in December 2000 of its anticorruption legislation, which defines acts of corruption by public servants, mandates asset declarations, and establishes a Corruption Commission to investigate corruption charges. The GOJ has indicated, however, that the Corruption (Prevention) Act will not come into force until it is amended to include recommendations from a government-sponsored report on corruption. In 2000, the GOJ also introduced in Parliament amendments to strengthen the Parliament (Integrity of Members) Act. The GOJ has stated that enactment of its anticorruption bill must occur before it can ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

The GOJ does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. As a matter of policy, the GOJ prosecutes individuals who by reliable evidence are linked to drug-related activity. The GOJ has not prosecuted any senior Jamaican government official for facilitating the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. The GOJ has a policy of investigating credible reports of police corruption. One major investigation into alleged police narcocorruption is under way. In addition, the JCF received 11 reports of drug-related corruption involving police personnel in 2000, which are currently under investigation. One police officer was arrested for possession and dealing in marijuana. The JCF conducts drug testing of recruits at their initial physical exam, but does not have a policy of random drug testing. The JDF has a "zero tolerance" policy on drug involvement by its members.

Asset Forfeiture. During 2000, Jamaican authorities seized 72 motor vehicles, 34 boats, and three shipping containers in drug-related incidents. Eighteen of the boats have been formally forfeited under court procedures; the rest of the seized items remain in government custody. Jamaica's current asset forfeiture regime, however, does not permit the GOJ to take full advantage of the forfeiture mechanism, as the 1994 Drug Offenses (Forfeiture of Proceeds) Act requires a criminal drug-trafficking conviction as a prerequisite to the forfeiture of assets associated with drug trafficking. Jamaica does not have a civil forfeiture statute.

Agreements and Treaties. Jamaica has a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and an extradition treaty with the U.S. Both countries utilize the MLAT in combating illegal narcotics trafficking and other crimes. Jamaica is also a party to the MLAT among the Commonwealth states. A U.S.-Jamaica maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement came into force in February 1998. Jamaica has ratified the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

The GOJ extradited ten people to the U.S. in 2000, more than double the four in 1999. There are 46 active pending extradition requests, 13 of which are proceeding through the courts following arrests. Jamaican authorities are generally receptive to and cooperative with U.S. requests for extradition. However, the numerous appeals available to criminal defendants, combined with an overburdened court system, mean that contested extradition requests can take four to five years (and possibly longer) to fully litigate.

Illicit Cultivation/Production. Jamaica is the largest Caribbean producer and exporter of marijuana. The consumption of marijuana is illegal in Jamaica, and the GOJ has consistently rejected calls for its legalization. In 1999, however, the upper house of Parliament called for establishment of a commission to review the "decriminalization" of personal usage of marijuana, and the ruling People's National Party unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the appointment of such a commission. While the commission held hearings during 2000, it has not yet produced any findings.

There is no accurate estimate of the amount of marijuana under cultivation or on the number of harvests per year, making eradication targets difficult. Crops are usually concealed in swamps and other remote areas that have limited road access. Past successes in eradication now make marijuana fields more difficult to locate without aerial surveillance, for which the GOJ has requested USG assistance due to its severely limited capacity. While in prior years, the JCF and JDF cooperated on a marijuana eradication program, as a result of the reassignment of JDF officers to prison duty, the JCF in 2000 had sole responsibility for the program, which is partially funded by the U.S. As a matter of policy, Jamaica does not use herbicide to eradicate cannabis. Manual cutting is the method utilized.

Drug Flow/Transit. Data for the first half of 2000 indicate that the amount of cocaine transiting Jamaica quadrupled compared to the same period in 1999, making it the leading transshipment point in the Caribbean. In the first two quarters of 2000, approximately 36 metric tons of cocaine are estimated to have transited Jamaica, compared to an estimated total of 31 metric tons for 1999. Cocaine arrives in Jamaica primarily by go-fast boats and concealed in commercial shipments. Jamaica-based traffickers use several methods to transport cocaine and marijuana on to the U.S. and other markets: shipments of one ton or more by go-fast boat; concealed in commercial shipments; hull attachments to merchant vessels; and couriers who board commercial airlines or cruise ship with drugs they have ingested or concealed in their clothing or luggage. U.S. Customs reports that Jamaica is the source of the largest number of passengers arrested with drugs at U.S. airports. Small independent groups conduct most of the drug trade in Jamaica.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Jamaica has several active demand reduction projects in place. The UNDCP is active in Jamaica and works directly with the GOJ and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to improve demand reduction efforts. The European Union agreed to fund a large three-year demand reduction project that began in December 1999. Two of the most highly visible projects are those of the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) and the NGO Addiction Alert. The UNDCP has funded an integrated demand reduction program managed by the NCDA. In 1999, Addiction Alert received U.S. funding for its adolescent drug prevention program and in 2000 was provided with a van. The GOJ makes extensive use of the audiovisual, print media and other materials produced by U.S. Military Information Support Teams (MIST) deployed in country. The MIST teams have worked closely with national demand reduction agencies to develop and distribute materials reinforcing an antidrug message.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. law enforcement agencies note that cooperation with their GOJ counterparts is generally good but could be significantly improved. The JDF Coast Guard continued to participate in U.S.-Jamaican maritime interdiction operations under the bilateral maritime counternarcotics agreement, but in order to reduce drug flow through Jamaica, the Jamaican forces need to take full advantage of the maritime agreement. Despite limited resources, the GOJ spends substantial amounts to maintain an interdiction capability consisting of helicopters and patrol vessels. The U.S. augmented the JDF Coast Guard's assets with the provision in 2000 of two 82-foot cutters for coastal patrol. The U.S. is also funding the refurbishing of six boats, including two go-fast vessels for the JDF Coast Guard, in an effort to provide the JDF with vessels capable of interdicting go-fast vessels. The JCF formed a Fugitive Apprehension Team (FAT) in 1999, with U.S. assistance, to locate fugitives wanted for extradition to the U.S. The U.S. has supported the FAT with the presence of U.S. Marshals to aid the team. The U.S. also provided the FAT with specialized training, equipment and operational support. In 2000, the U.S. funded Jamaican participation in several regional training courses.

The GOJ continues to fund the operating expenses for the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Center (REDTRAC) after the 1998 expiration of UNDCP funding. REDTRAC, built with U.S. funds under a UNDCP project, has provided specialized training for thousands of regional law enforcement officers since its 1996 inception. The U.S. provided funding and instructors for a number of courses at REDTRAC.

The Road Ahead. Jamaica has taken steps to protect itself against drug trafficking and other types of organized crime, but increased drug trafficking through Jamaica indicates the need for the GOJ to intensify and focus its law enforcement efforts and enhance its international cooperation. Further GOJ action is required to bring its anti-money laundering law in line with international standards, especially extending the law to cover laundering of the proceeds of all serious crime. The GOJ also should strengthen its asset forfeiture laws and, where necessary, enact legislation that will permit law enforcement to utilize modern crime control tools such as wiretaps and ion scan technology in building cases against organized crime. The GOJ also needs to revise its drug evidence exhibit legislation to include MDMA ("ecstasy") and other new drugs. The GOJ should take steps to strengthen its immigration controls so as to inhibit the free movement of drug traffickers and other criminals.

Now that Parliament has passed the anticorruption bill, ratification and implementation of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption will further strengthen the GOJ's ability to counter corruption. Following ratification, the U.S. is prepared to provide technical assistance through an anticorruption expert, if the GOJ desires help to implement the Convention. The USG will continue to seek ways to assist the GOJ to improve its drug interdiction and marijuana eradication capabilities and is prepared to provide technical assistance and training toward this end. The U.S. will also continue to provide training and work closely with the police and public prosecutors to enhance their abilities to identify, investigate, successfully prosecute, and forfeit the assets of significant drug traffickers operating in Jamaica.

Jamaica Statistics














Potential Harvest (ha)










Eradication (ha)










Cultivation (ha)










Potential Yield(1) (mt)












Cocaine (mt)










Cannabis (mt)










Hashish Oil (kg)










Heroin (mt)






























Total Arrests










(1) Yield is based on an estimate of 675 kilograms per hectare.

(2) Data derived from official information supplied by the Narcotics Division, Jamaica Constabulary Force, except for hectares of marijuana cultivation, which is based on joint estimates from the JCF, JDF, and DEA.


I. Summary

Suriname is a transshipment point for South American cocaine en route to Europe and the United States, and increasingly for European-produced MDMA (ecstasy) destined for the U.S. market. Evidence available in 2000 did not support a finding that the drugs entering the U.S. from Suriname were in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S. Drugs transit Suriname via sea, river, and air routes. The lack of infrastructure in the largely unmonitored interior, which comprises 90 percent of the country, and weak border controls are the major obstacles in the detection of drug shipments into and out of the country. Government of Suriname (GOS) law enforcement officials, however, have achieved some successes in interdicting drugs. A high level of cooperation exists between U.S. agencies and GOS law enforcement officials. Domestic drug use in Suriname continues to grow. The principal obstacles to effective counternarcotics law enforcement are inadequate legislation, the lack of law enforcement resources, and drug-related corruption. Suriname is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention but has yet to implement legislation bringing it into complete conformity with the Convention.

II. Status of Country

Suriname is a conduit for cocaine transshipment from South America to Europe and the United States. While in the past the cocaine was primarily destined for Europe, GOS officials report an increase in the amount of cocaine intercepted en route to the U.S. Suriname is also being used to transship ecstasy originating in Europe to the U.S. There is no evidence, however, that indicates that the drugs entering the U.S. from Suriname in 2000 had a significant effect on the U.S. Much of the cocaine entering Suriname does so via small airstrips located throughout the dense jungle, some of which are also used for arms-for-drug swaps. Police have in the past received reports that precursor chemicals are stored in Suriname and may have been used in clandestine laboratories. The lack of resources for counternarcotics efforts, inadequate legislation, and drug-related corruption inhibit Suriname's ability to interdict drugs, and to identify, apprehend, and prosecute drug traffickers.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. The Venetiaan administration, which took office in August 2000, strongly opposes drug trafficking. GOS officials have expressed concern about the extent of drug trafficking through Suriname and increasing domestic drug abuse. The narcotics brigade of the Korps Politie Suriname (KPS), Suriname's police force, benefits from a high-visibility level within the police department because drug interdiction is a high-profile issue within Suriname and internationally. Customs, however, receives very few resources and almost no formal training, despite its active role in drug interdiction. GOS officials continued to participate in regional counternarcotics efforts. In 2000, Surinamese law enforcement officers took part in two regional antidrug operations organized by DEA. In mid-2000, Suriname paid its dues and several years of arrears to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and resumed its participation in that organization. Suriname has a Strategic Drugs Master Plan (2000-2005) that covers both supply and demand reduction, but needs to take steps to fully implement the Plan.

Law Enforcement Efforts. GOS law enforcement and customs officials tend to focus on individual smugglers and mules as opposed to major traffickers and their organizations, and rely mainly on profiling at the major ports of entry/exit. GOS police arrested each week an average of five to six mules or cocaine swallowers attempting to board flights, primarily to Amsterdam, at Paramaribo's international airport, but estimated that as many as 20-30 more get through without detection. In 2000, law enforcement officials at the airport intercepted more than 110 kilograms of cocaine. In November, GOS police arrested two suspects in connection with a March 2000 incident in which nine kilograms of cocaine were found in Surinamese diplomatic bags at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. In late 2000, GOS customs officials, in two separate incidents, arrested individuals attempting to board flights to the U.S. with approximately $800,000 worth of ecstasy tablets. In DEA-sponsored operations, approximately 75,000 cannabis plants were eradicated. During 2000, the GOS seized nearly 207 kilograms of cocaine and small amounts of crack cocaine, 107 kilograms of marijuana, and 61,232 ecstasy tablets.

Precise figures for the number of drugs-for-guns swaps that took place in 2000 are not available, but Surinamese police officers believe there was an increase from previous years. In 2000, Surinamese officials arrested eight individuals in connection with the crash of a plane suspected of being used for a guns-for-cocaine swap. The plane contained weapons, ammunition and money. In late 2000, Surinamese police arrested three suspects, a Surinamese, a Brazilian, and a Dutch national, and confiscated two airplanes, automatic weapons, and ammunition, during a raid on an airstrip near the western border with Guyana. To date, there have been no prosecutions connected with either event.

Corruption. Public corruption, though by no means universal, is a serious problem in Suriname. Reports of money laundering, drug trafficking and associated criminal activity involving current and former government and military officials continue unabated, if generally unproved through legal processes. Former strongman Desi Bouterse won election to the National Assembly in 2000 despite his conviction in the Netherlands in 1999 for narcotics trafficking (a conviction subsequently partially overturned as the result of an appeal). Bouterse's son, Dino, is repeatedly mentioned as being involved in narcotics transshipping and drugs-for-guns deals. He was declared persona non grata by the Brazilian government and recalled from a diplomatic posting in Brasilia in 1999 following media stories of his involvement in such activities. The Venetiaan government has pledged to put anticorruption efforts high on its priority list and, early in its administration, established an anticorruption commission. Suriname signed, but has not ratified, the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Suriname is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. It is also a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention but has not yet implemented legislation bringing it into compliance with the Convention. Suriname currently has legislation that conforms to the drug interdiction portion of the Convention. The GOS signed and ratified the OAS Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. A comprehensive six-part bilateral maritime counternarcotics enforcement agreement with the U.S. entered into force in August 1999. The U.S.-Netherlands Extradition Treaty of 1904 is applicable to Suriname; but there have been no extraditions from the U.S. to Suriname or vice versa in Suriname's 25-year history. Suriname has, however, on at least one occasion deported a U.S. fugitive in lieu of extradition. Suriname and the Netherlands entered into a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement in 1976 that has been used to share information on narcotics issues.

Cultivation and Production. Cannabis is grown and used in Suriname's tribal-influenced interior. During two separate DEA-sponsored operations this year, approximately 75,000 cannabis plants were discovered on land plots ranging from one to several acres. However, there is neither specific data on the number of hectares under cultivation nor evidence that cannabis is exported in significant quantities.

Drug Flow/Transit. Much of the cocaine entering Suriname does so through small airstrips located throughout the dense jungle interior where a lack of infrastructure, personnel, and equipment make detection and interdiction nearly impossible. Some of these airstrips are also used for arms-for-drugs swaps. In the past year, several airstrips have been identified, but there are no reports of any being eliminated. Drugs exit Suriname most often by air (via shipments and individual "balloon swallowers") and sea, through Paramaribo's harbor. European-produced ecstasy is transported via the thrice-weekly flights from the Netherlands to Suriname; drug couriers then transport the drugs to the U.S. on flights to Miami. Large quantities of ecstasy were also seized in Curacao and Aruba from passengers on flights from Suriname.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Suriname's domestic drug problem continues to grow. Suriname has a National Demand Reduction Strategy, but needs to do more to implement it. The National AntiDrug Council, police and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emphasize drug education and rehabilitation in response to growing domestic drug consumption. Drug treatment clinics, however, have no detailed treatment plans for addicts and often rely on untrained volunteers for staffing. In June, the NGO "Kick the Habit" was founded to expand Suriname's demand reduction program. With funding from several international and local sources, the GOS hopes to promote demand reduction in the general population and especially among the younger generation.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. A high level of cooperation exists between U.S. and GOS law enforcement officials. Throughout 2000, the U.S. provided training and material support to elements of Suriname's police and military to promote greater bilateral cooperation. Building on work done in previous years, DEA and the Department of State assisted the cadre of dedicated law enforcement officials to increase their technical skills. Through several long-term temporary duty assignments, DEA provided training and logistical support to the narcotics unit of the police force. Other GOS drug enforcement agencies worked closely with U.S. agencies throughout the year. In September 2000, the U.S. and GOS signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) providing Department of State counternarcotics funding. The LOA contains a framework for U.S.-GOS counternarcotics cooperation. In November 2000, the GOS signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. to provide two Surinamese crewmen for the Caribbean Support Tender, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel with a multinational crew that provides training and assistance in ship maintenance and repairs to Caribbean Coast Guards.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to encourage the GOS to enact laws to implement all aspects of the 1988 UN Drug Convention, including asset forfeiture and money laundering laws, and to apply forcefully the provisions already in effect. The U.S. will seek to enhance, though a variety of avenues, the close cooperation between the DEA, other U.S. agencies, and their Surinamese counterparts, and support continued GOS participation in regional counternarcotics efforts. The U.S. will provide training, technical assistance and equipment to strengthen the GOS's counternarcotics and anticorruption efforts. The U.S. Embassy will continue to work toward establishing a permanent DEA presence in Suriname.

Trinidad and Tobago

I. Summary

Trinidad and Tobago is a transit country for narcotics from South America to the U.S. and Europe. Evidence is insufficient, however, to establish that the quantity of drugs transiting Trinidad and Tobago has a significant effect on the U.S. In addition, marijuana is cultivated in Trinidad and Tobago for domestic use and export to other countries in the region. However, the amount of marijuana produced is below the threshold for designating the country as a major drug producing country under the Foreign Assistance Act. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GOTT) is a strong ally of the U.S. on counternarcotics issues, and GOTT law enforcement agencies remain very cooperative with their USG counterparts. GOTT officials also continued to participate actively in regional counternarcotics fora and operations. In June, the GOTT hosted a Caribbean-wide Justice Ministerial, co-chaired by U.S. Attorney General Reno, during which the U.S. and GOTT signed a joint statement on law enforcement cooperation. The GOTT enacted legislation in 2000 to strengthen its counternarcotics, anti-money laundering, and anticorruption capabilities. During 2000, GOTT law enforcement authorities seized more cocaine and eradicated more marijuana than in 1999. While Trinidad and Tobago is not an important regional financial center, tax haven or offshore center, it is likely that some money laundering takes place. Trinidad and Tobago's counterdrug efforts have significantly improved as a result of USG-provided training and equipment, including radars, patrol boats, and aircraft. The GOTT is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and continues to work vigorously toward meeting the Convention's objectives.

II. Status of Country

Located just off the tip of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago is a convenient transshipment point for South American cocaine destined for the U.S. and other markets. Two seizures during 2000 indicate that Trinidad and Tobago is also beginning to be used for transit of heroin originating in South America. Trinidad and Tobago is not a producer of coca or opium poppy. Marijuana is grown in Trinidad and Tobago, primarily for domestic use and export to other countries in the region, but not on a scale to make it a major drug-producing country. Trinidad and Tobago's petrochemical-based economy requires the import/export of precursor chemicals that can be diverted for use in the manufacture of cocaine hydrochloride. The nation's growing economy with well-developed communications and transportation produces a large number of sizeable transactions that could obscure money laundering. The GOTT, however, has historically taken a strong regulatory approach to its banking sector.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. The GOTT has a counternarcotics master plan. The first half, approved in 1997, aims to reduce the supply of illicit drugs by prosecuting traffickers, strengthening the criminal justice system, and reducing opportunities for money laundering. The plan's second half seeks to reduce demand by establishing antidrug coalitions in each police district. Although the second half of the master plan has not yet been approved, the GOTT has been implementing the entire master plan. In 2000, the GOTT established a National Drug Council to oversee the plan's implementation and also revised the plan to incorporate legal reforms, human resource development, technical training, and rehabilitation. At the end of the year, GOTT ministries were reviewing the amended plan.

The GOTT continued to fund a U.S. Customs Advisory Team that is providing technical assistance in tracking and intercepting marine vessels and improving narcotics detections. The GOTT, with USG assistance, is reorganizing its Bureau of Inland Revenue to strengthen detection of and penalties for financial crimes and to establish a criminal investigation division.

In June 2000, the GOTT hosted a Caribbean-wide Justice Ministerial, co-chaired with the U.S., UK, and Canada, to showcase its Counter-Drug/Crime Task Force and to provide a forum to discuss best practices in counternarcotics efforts. The Ministerial, chaired on the U.S. side by Attorney General Reno, also provided the venue for signature of a joint statement reaffirming U.S.-GOTT law enforcement cooperation.

In May 1999, Trinidad and Tobago became the first Caribbean nation elected to the Vice Presidency, and in fall 2000 to the Presidency, of the OAS's Inter-American Drug Abuse Commission.

Accomplishments. In 2000, the GOTT passed legislation that imposes stiffer fines and imprisonment for both possession and trafficking in illegal drugs and provides for a court-supervised parole system in which drug addicts would be released from prison to undergo rehabilitation. The GOTT also passed an anti-money laundering bill in August that expands the list of predicate offenses to all serious crimes, requires reporting of large transactions and suspicious activities, and permits the confiscation of proceeds from crime. In 2000, legislation was passed to provide a mechanism for protection of witnesses, a serious problem in many narcotics cases.

In June, the court of appeal dismissed the appeals of four cocaine traffickers, and ordered them to serve life sentences for drug trafficking. The appellate court also ordered the confiscation of millions of dollars in assets, the first such order under the Dangerous Drugs Act. The GOTT made significant progress in converting the estate of hanged drug trafficker Dole Chadee into a drug rehabilitation center, which is scheduled to open in 2001.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The GOTT's inter-ministerial Joint Operations Command Center (JOCC) coordinated maritime drug interdiction operations throughout the year, including the eighth joint maritime operation with the U.S. In October, the JOCC, for the first time, carried out two concurrent counternarcotics operations that resulted in 52 arrests and the destruction of 15 kilograms of cocaine.

The GOTT seized 203 kilograms of cocaine in the first three quarters of 2000, exceeding the total seized in 1999. This success was due to efforts of the Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit (OCNU), several regional counternarcotics interdiction operations coordinated through the JOCC, and one operation conducted by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) during which 104 kilograms were seized from persons who retrieved cocaine that washed ashore in South Trinidad. In two separate incidents, the GOTT seized a total of 5.5 kilograms of heroin; the December seizure of approximately five kilograms was reported to be the largest seizure ever of heroin in Trinidad and Tobago. GOTT marijuana eradication operations in the first three quarters of 2000 resulted in the destruction of over 7.2 million marijuana plants and seedlings. The U.S. donated equipment for the GOTT's eradication effort and, in two operations, provided helicopters to transport the cutters to the marijuana cultivation.

In the first three quarters of 2000, the GOTT made over 3200 arrests for drug-related offenses. The GOTT estimates that 60 percent of the country's crime is related to narcotics.

Corruption. During 2000, no cases of drug-related corruption were filed against senior officials. The GOTT does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics or the laundering of drug money. In 2000, the GOTT passed legislation that permits greater monitoring of the financial activities of a greater scope of public officials. Individuals are required to declare and explain the sources of their assets; an already-established integrity commission is authorized to initiate investigations. Following the 1998 escape and recapture (with U.S. assistance) of a major drug trafficker, the GOTT formed a high-ranking commission of inquiry to examine the circumstances of the incident. As a result of the commission's findings, charges were filed against three police officers, but the cases have not yet come to trial. Trinidad and Tobago is a party to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Trinidad and Tobago is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties with the U.S. entered into force in November 1999. A bilateral U.S.-GOTT maritime agreement is in force.

Cultivation and Production. Trinidad and Tobago is not a producer of cocaine or opium poppy. Marijuana is cultivated year-round in the forest and jungle areas of northern, eastern, and southern Trinidad and, to a minor extent, in Tobago. The GOTT reports there are approximately 142 hectares under cultivation. Marijuana is eradicated by cutting and burning plants manually. Aircraft and global positioning systems are used to detect crop areas and to facilitate ground troops in locating growing areas; aerially-applied herbicides are not used.

Drug Flow/Transit. Trinidad and Tobago's several airports and harbors, large volumes of cargo traffic, and a highly mobile population make it an attractive transshipment point for illicit drugs, primarily cocaine but also heroin, via air and sea. Several recent cocaine seizures and supporting information indicate that drug trafficking organizations are increasing their use of Trinidad and Tobago to facilitate the transshipment of cocaine to the U.S., but there is insufficient evidence to establish that the quantity of drugs transiting Trinidad and Tobago has a significant effect on the U.S. A network of narcotics-smuggling organizations operates in Trinidad and Tobago. Small fishing boats are the main method of conveyance for cocaine brought to Trinidad and Tobago, although large vessels, pleasure craft and airplanes also carry narcotics. Multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine most often are smuggled out by couriers and in air cargo; cocaine has been found in both the Trinidad and Tobago airports and on commercial airline flights that stopped en route from Guyana to North America. However, some multi-hundred kilogram quantities of cocaine have been seized from outbound commercial maritime conveyances. Although trafficking through Trinidad and Tobago has increased, many shipments are bypassing the country in favor of other islands, due in large part to the counternarcotics efforts of GOTT security forces. An increase in marijuana from Venezuela may indicate that demand is exceeding domestic supply, which has been reduced by increased GOTT marijuana eradication efforts.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Programs to reduce the demand for illicit drugs are managed by the Ministries of Social Development and Education with assistance from non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The GOTT funds the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program, which coordinates the activities of NGOs to reduce demand.

In 2000, the GOTT launched the D.A.R.E. program for 12- to 13- year-olds, carried out by the Community Policing Branch of the TTPS. The USG provided funds for program materials and teacher training. The U.S. also provided assistance to several police youth clubs, established by the TTPS Community Policing Branch to provide local children with positive role models and drug awareness programming.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. The U.S.' key policy objective is to assist the GOTT in eliminating the flow of narcotics through Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S. The U.S. has focused on enhancing the GOTT's ability to interdict narcotics shipments, strengthen antidrug trafficking laws, bring traffickers to trial, attack money laundering, deter public corruption, and protect witnesses from intimidation and murder.

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. has a very cooperative relationship with the GOTT, which plays a leading role in regional counterdrug efforts. GOTT officials consistently speak out against drug trafficking and in support of GOTT/U.S. counternarcotics cooperation. During her June visit to Trinidad and Tobago to participate in the GOTT-hosted Caribbean Justice Ministerial, then Attorney General Reno and Prime Minister Panday signed a joint statement on law enforcement cooperation in which both countries pledged to continue and expand bilateral cooperation in drug interdiction, detection of precursor chemicals, anti-money laundering efforts, drug rehabilitation and judicial reform.

Our strong bilateral cooperation was recognized by Trinidad and Tobago's selection as the southern command center for a 36-country antidrug operation organized by the DEA. To further enhance U.S.-GOTT counternarcotics efforts, the DEA added a third officer to its country office in 2000. The GOTT and U.S. also participated in two maritime exercises under the bilateral maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement, during which personnel from the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy participated as observers on each other's vessels. In late 2000, the U.S. transferred to the GOTT an 82-foot patrol boat for maritime interdiction, bringing to three the total number of such boats transferred to the GOTT. The GOTT continued to operate two C-26 aircraft and two Piper Navajo aircraft, provided by the U.S. for counternarcotics surveillance. Since its commissioning in October 1999, the GOTT has provided 4 of the 16 international crewmen for the Caribbean Support Tender, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel with a multinational crew that provides training and assistance in ship maintenance and repairs to Caribbean Coast Guards.

DEA worked with the Ministry of Health to further strengthen the GOTT's precursor chemical control program, which is currently inadequate, through provision of in-country training. In addition, the U.S. is providing computers and software to assist in the GOTT's analysis of data obtained during inspections to determine if chemicals are being diverted into the illicit market.

A three-person U.S. Customs advisory team, funded by the GOTT, worked closely with the GOTT's Customs and Excise division to increase the effectiveness of its passenger and cargo processing and strengthen its counterdrug enforcement capabilities. The team also provided technical assistance and expertise in tracking small pleasure craft and cargo vessels and in support of the GOTT's canine narcotics-detection and marine interdictions programs. In 2000, an additional canine and handler were trained at the U.S. Customs Canine Enforcement Training Center. The U.S. is purchasing two new interceptor type vessels for the marine interdiction unit. U.S. Customs is donating three radars to improve the GOTT's coastal radar surveillance system that, with U.S.-donated radars and technical assistance, has been operating since 1998. To date, Customs has reported no significant seizures.

At GOTT invitation, an Internal Revenue Service tax assistance and advisory service team was established to modernize the Bureau of Inland Revenue. IRS is helping the GOTT plan a comprehensive criminal investigation division and providing technical assistance to enforce criminal statutes relative to tax administration and related financial crimes.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to work with the GOTT, through provision of technical assistance, training and equipment, to strengthen its counternarcotics and anti-money laundering capabilities. The U.S. will provide support to enhance the GOTT's maritime interdiction capabilities. The U.S. will also seek to improve the rule of law by encouraging legal reforms and providing assistance to reduce judicial delays and improve evidentiary laws. The U.S. will continue to work closely with the GOTT's counternarcotics task force on the implementation of money laundering and asset forfeiture laws. In addition, the U.S. will provide training, technical assistance and equipment for the drug rehabilitation center the GOTT is establishing at a drug lord's confiscated estate. Representatives in Port of Spain will continue to participate actively in the Eastern Caribbean working group, which addresses counternarcotics issues from a subregional viewpoint.


Back to Top

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.