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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

The Caribbean


International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
March 2002
Report
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The Bahamas

I. Summary

The Bahamas is a major transit country for cocaine and marijuana bound to the United States from South America and the Caribbean. The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (GCOB) cooperates with the U.S. Government (USG) to interdict the flow of drugs through Bahamian territory, reduce the domestic demand for drugs within the Bahamian population, combat the exploitation of the Bahamian 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 2001, The Bahamas continued to participate actively in Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), a three-nation interdiction effort against drug-smuggling boats and aircraft that was formed in 1982. Detected drug shipments decreased by nearly a third in 2001. A Bahamian magistrate ordered the extradition to the United States of the three top ringleaders of a major drug organization; however, in February 2002, a Bahamian Supreme Court justice overturned the magistrate's order. Total GCOB cocaine seizures in 2001 were about two-and-a-half percent lower than in 2000. Marijuana seizures were down almost 16 percent.

In 2001, the GCOB acted to define a greater maritime drug interdiction role for the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), began to implement the recommendations of an OAS/CICAD assessment of The Bahamas' precursor chemical control systems, and made progress on completion of The Bahamas' National Anti-Drug Plan (NADP). 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 United States. Its location makes the Bahamas a continuing target for drug transshipments. The GCOB assigns a high priority to combating drug trafficking, and is working, with the assistance of OAS/CICAD, on the NADP. Although an increasing number of small plots of marijuana plants have been discovered on Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Andros, and Cat Island, this cultivation is mainly for local consumption. The Bahamas is not a significant drug producer, nor is it known to be a producer or transit point for precursor chemicals.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2001

Policy Initiatives. The GCOB organized inter-departmental task forces to work on developing the various sections of its national counternarcotics plan; in December, GCOB officials participated in an OAS/CICAD workshop for the design and preparation of a national counternarcotics plan. (The GCOB expects to complete the plan in early 2002.) In December, the GCOB also announced that it is drafting, with the assistance of the UNDCP, precursor chemical control legislation as required by the 1988 UN Drug Convention. That legislation is now under review before it is presented to Parliament. The GCOB named senior Ministry of National Security official Phillip Turner as National Coordinator for Drug Matters and as advisor on CICAD's Mutual Evaluation Mechanism (MEM). The GCOB also named Commander Godfrey Rolle of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as its new representative to CICAD, and Acting Police Commissioner Paul Farquharson as permanent Police Commissioner, the top position in the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF). The GCOB also assumed complete responsibility for funding and procurement of a GCOB/USG-planned court case management software system (the Bahamas Integrated Justice Information System or BIJIS) that will make the Bahamas' legal system virtually "paperless."

Accomplishments. The GCOB made significant progress on development of the NADP and expects to complete the document early in 2002. GCOB agencies cooperated closely with U.S. and foreign law enforcement agencies on drug investigations in 2001, dismantling the Samuel Knowles drug trafficking organization. The GCOB arrested and began prosecution of the head of the Dwight Major drug trafficking organization. GCOB agencies also cooperated with USG agencies in maritime interdiction operations that resulted in significant seizures of drugs and smuggling vessels.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The 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 Andros (formerly on New Providence), Great Exuma, and Great Inagua intercept maritime drug smugglers and seize airdrops of drugs into Bahamian territory. Officers of the RBPF's Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) 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 the DEA on drug investigations. During 2001, the GCOB arrested 1,529 persons on drug charges and seized 2.67 metric tons of cocaine and 3.2 metric tons of marijuana.

In February, a counternarcotics operation dismantled a major Bahamian drug trafficking organization, headed by Samuel Knowles, Jr., estimated to have moved at least one metric ton of cocaine per month into North America. Law enforcement agencies from The Bahamas, the United States, Canada, and Jamaica cooperated in this 18-month long investigation, which resulted in the indictment of ten members of the ring in U.S. federal court in south Florida as well as the seizure of over 3,000 pounds of cocaine, nearly 900 pounds of marijuana, and the seizure or freezing of approximately U.S. $10 million in cash and assets. Knowles, serving a minor sentence for possession of marijuana with intent to supply at the time, remained in prison pending the resolution of extradition proceedings. In February 2002, the Bahamian Supreme Court effectively overturned a lower court's order for the extradition to the United States of Knowles and his two top associates, and also ordered their release on bond. The GCOB expects to appeal this order. The two associates have been released, but Knowles is still in custody under a separate U.S. provisional arrest request.

In March, the DEU arrested another Bahamian drug lord, Dwight Major, on charges of conspiracy to sell some 1.2 metric tons of cocaine. His trial, begun in November, was adjourned until February 2002. Denied bail, Major remains in prison during the adjournment.

In 2001, the GCOB acted to enable the RBDF to take a greater role in interdicting maritime drug smuggling. The GCOB provided the RBDF with two forfeited "go-fast" drug smuggling vessels, which the RBDF equipped as fast response interceptor boats. In December, the RBDF deployed one of these boats to its base (built by U.S. Southern Command) on Great Inagua, a strategic location for intercepting go-fast boats arriving from the Windward Passage. To help integrate the RBDF into OPBAT's pursuits of drug smugglers, the RBDF also has furnished the Great Iguana base and its fast response boat with communications equipment compatible with that used by OPBAT. The RBDF has three marines assigned to the Caribbean Support Tender (the U.S. Coast Guard cutter "Gentian").

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. The GCOB is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and in 2001 signed the consensus agreement on establishing a mechanism to evaluate compliance with the Convention. The USG has no knowledge that any senior official of the GCOB engages in, encourages, or facilitates the illicit production or distribution of such illicit drugs or controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. In 2001, the RBPF stepped up its campaign to weed out corrupt members of the force. In February, six RBPF officers were suspended after their arrest on drug conspiracy charges. In addition, an RBPF constable was arrested and charged with smuggling 74 kilograms of marijuana within The Bahamas.

Asset Forfeiture. In November, the GCOB obtained an ex-parte restraining order against nearly $973,000 in bank accounts held by Samuel Knowles, Jr. The GCOB will seek to forfeit this money under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000.

Agreements and Treaties. The Bahamas is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention. The United States and Bahamas have a collection of arrangements and agreements regarding maritime law enforcement. In 2001, U.S. representatives held informal talks with the GCOB regarding the potential for a comprehensive maritime law enforcement agreement, which would consolidate the existing arrangements into a single, cohesive framework. The Bahamas also is a member of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD). The Bahamas signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants on April 9, 2001.

The GCOB works with the United States to accomplish the five objectives of a continuing U.S.-Bahamas counternarcotics and law enforcement project designed to enhance the capability of the GCOB to suppress criminal activity. These objectives are increased efficiency of the RBPF and RBDF; money laundering prevention and control; support for OPBAT counternarcotics operations; enhancement of the Bahamian judicial system; 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. United States requests under the MLAT seek and secure financial information and evidence for use in USG criminal investigations and prosecutions. A separate unit within the Attorney General's Office created to process international requests for assistance, including MLAT requests, has cleared the backlog of unexecuted MLAT requests from the United States and continues to facilitate the exchange of requests under the MLAT. The Bahamas also has MLATs with the UK and Canada.

Although extraditions are sometimes slowed by procedural delays in the Bahamian courts, the GCOB has been receptive to U.S. extradition requests based on the 1994 U.S.-Bahamas extradition treaty, an agreement that permits the extradition of Bahamian nationals to the United States. In October, a Bahamian magistrate granted a U.S. request for the extradition of Samuel Knowles, Jr. and two of his top associates; however, in February 2002, a Supreme Court justice overturned the magistrate's order and ordered the release of the three men on bail. In 2001, an appellate court confirmed a magistrate's order for the extradition to the United States of a Bahamian who had jumped bail in 1985 prior to his sentencing in the United States for drug trafficking.

In 1985, the USG and the GCOB informally established a shiprider and overflight program 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 some 12 percent of the cocaine detected heading to the United States from South America flows through the Jamaica-Cuba-Bahamas corridor. Most of that flow arrives in The Bahamas by go-fast boat from Jamaica. There was an increase in 2001 in the number of airdrops by aircraft originating in Jamaica and Colombia to waiting Bahamian go-fast boats off the Cuban coast, but the number of detected airdrops remained small compared to the number of detected drug smuggling operations involving go-fast vessels.

The DEA and OPBAT estimate 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. Later these go-fast boats wait for an opportune time to dash from Bimini and Grand Bahama across to the east coast of south Florida to deliver their illicit cargoes. The number of shipments of drugs by go-fast boat through the Bahamas detected in 2001 declined by 32 percent from 2000 (100 detected events versus 146). The decrease in detections could be attributed, in part, to the withdrawal of USG detection and monitoring aircraft from The Bahamas for homeland defense in response to the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States. OPBAT-related seizures by the RBPF (a subset of total GCOB cocaine seizures) amounted to 2,415 kilograms in 2001 (down by 47 percent from 2000).

Small amounts of drugs are smuggled into The Bahamas on Haitian sloops. Drugs are sometimes found concealed on inter-island Bahamian mail boats and on cruise ships returning from the Caribbean. Drug couriers arriving from Jamaica frequently attempt to smuggle small amounts of cocaine concealed on or inside their bodies or in their luggage through the Nassau International Airport (NIA). Occasionally American tourists returning to the United States and foreigners on their way to the United States are detected with small amounts of drugs (cocaine, marijuana, and amphetamines) at the NIA and the Grand Bahama International Airport (GBIA) in Freeport, either by Bahamian authorities or by U.S. Customs agents at the pre-clearance facilities at those two airports. The Bahamas is a transit point for MDMA (ecstasy) tablets destined for North America and brought into The Bahamas by Dutch nationals.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The GCOB makes modest monetary and in-kind contributions to demand reduction programs, especially in education and prevention. It sponsors the National Drug Council, which coordinates the demand reduction programs of the various governmental entities, such as the Health Ministry's Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, and of NGOs such as the Drug Action Service and the Bahamas Association for Social Health.

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 United States, 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 2001, the USG increased its support to the GCOB for the U.S.-Bahamas counternarcotics and law enforcement project by $957,600. That support has totaled $11,360,400 since the inception of the project in 1991.

During 2001, the Bahamas Country Program of the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), administered by the U.S. Embassy's Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS), funded training, equipment, and technical assistance for a number of Bahamian law enforcement units and drug demand reduction organizations, as well as utilities, repairs, and maintenance for the three OPBAT helicopter bases in The Bahamas. INL also funds the DEU drug detector dog program that is active at NIA and GBIA.

In February, the NAS turned over to the GCOB a high-performance purpose-built fast response interceptor boat to be used in conjunction with OPBAT helicopters on drug interdiction missions. This boat was immediately deployed by the RBPF and participated in a number of significant seizures of drugs and "go-fast" drug-smuggling vessels. In October, the NAS contracted for two more fast response interceptor boats for donation to the GCOB in February and May 2002. In September, OPBAT helicopter operations formerly based at Oakes Field in Nassau were temporarily transferred for security reasons to the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Underwater Testing and Evaluation Center on Andros Island (AUTEC). The U.S. is funding the meals and lodging for the two DEU Strike Force officers on temporary duty with OPBAT at AUTEC.

In October, USG officials began informal talks with the GCOB to explore the possibility of negotiating a Comprehensive Maritime Agreement to replace a series of separate bilateral agreements on the interdiction of drugs and illegal migrants.

In September, INL funded a one-week U.S. Department of Justice/OPDAT asset forfeiture seminar in Nassau for Bahamian prosecutors and police officers. The U.S. Southern Command sponsors yearly counternarcotics education programs in The Bahamas through the Embassy's Navy Liaison Office.

The Road Ahead. The Bahamas' proximity to the United States 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 is expected to continue its strong commitment to bilateral counternarcotics efforts, but because of its relatively small budgetary resources and growing drug transshipment problem, it will continue to depend on upon significant U.S. assistance to fight international narcotics trafficking and crime. In 2002, the United States will present a formal proposal for a Comprehensive Maritime Agreement to the GCOB. To strengthen the country's counternarcotics institutions, the United States plans to increase NAS funding for demand reduction; to donate additional go-fast interceptor boats to the GCOB; to continue cooperation and support for the DEU in dismantling drug trafficking organizations; to continue its participation in OPBAT; and to assist the RBDF in integrating its counternarcotics mission with OPBAT. The United States will have to increase the flexibility of its responses to the changing patterns and techniques of the drug traffickers and employ innovative and advanced technologies in order to ensure that OPBAT's goal of stemming the flow of drugs through The Bahamas into the United States is realized.

The Bahamas Statistics

(1993-2001)

 

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

Seizures1

                 

Cocaine (mt)

2.67

2.74

1.86

4.39

2.58

0.12

0.39

0.49

1.80

Marijuana (harvested) (mt)

3.2

3.80

3.60

2.30

3.76

2.61

3.53

1.42

0.65

Amphetamines (kg)

63.8

63.4

Arrests

1,529

1,811

1,969

1,650

1,894

1,576

1,565

1,025

1,023

1Through November, 2001.


Cuba

I. Summary

Coordination between the Government of Cuba (GOC) and the United States on international drug trafficking issues has increased since September 2000, with the addition of a Coast Guard Drug Interdiction Specialist (DIS) to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba. There remains, however, less transparency than desired on the extent of trafficking through the country and the level of domestic drug consumption. Although Cuba has not been designated as a major illicit drug producing or major drug-transit country, it remains a country of concern to the United States.

Cuba's location and geography present an inviting environment to both air and maritime smugglers. The island presents mariners with over 3,500 nautical miles of coastline and more than 4,000 islets and cays, many of which are sparsely populated and vulnerable to illicit activity. In the past two years, the GOC has increased its attention to non-commercial boats and small aircraft, with a resulting increase in seizures and foiled smuggling attempts. GOC officials claim that the government has adopted a policy of transparency with governments with which it cooperates on counternarcotics efforts. The challenge may be growing as increasing tourism, especially with Europe, presents the daunting prospect of increasing drug smuggling through Cuba to Europe. Cuba is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

The island does not appear to be a significant producer of drugs or precursor chemicals, although unofficial reports indicate that small amounts of marijuana may be cultivated in the eastern mountains. Either Cuba's attractiveness as a transit point is increasing, or interdiction efforts are improving, as Cuban officials have pointed to the growing quantity of drugs seized over the past few years. The GOC still claims it lacks the resources to patrol adequately its territorial waters, although upgrades to patrol boats and equipment have been made over the past few years.

The lead law enforcement agency on drugs in Cuba is the Ministry of the Interior's National Anti-Drug Directorate. The National Drug Commission (formed in 1989) is an interagency coordinating body headed by the Minister of Justice. The Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Relations, Public Health, Education, and Culture are also represented on the commission, along with the Customs and Border Guard Services and the National Sports Institute.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2001

Policy Initiatives. According to GOC officials, training of counternarcotics personnel is progressing. Over the past few years more than 22,000 individuals in the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) and in the Customs Service have received training in how to counter drug trafficking. In addition, more than 100 MININT specialists have been certified in six international counternarcotics courses held in Cuba and abroad, according to the GOC. In November, the GOC hosted a regional conference on counternarcotics issues, which focused on strategies to prevent drug abuse, drug trafficking, and money laundering. Some of the conference focused on a new policy to increase societal control by assigning a "social worker" to each Cuban family, thus helping to prevent drug abuse and its causes. The GOC has launched a national plan to educate Cubans on the dangers of drugs.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The success of the ACHE II counternarcotics offensive from July to October 2000 has led the GOC to convert it into a permanent operation. (This effort is aimed at deterring drug smugglers from using waters off Cuba's eastern coast en route to The Bahamas and the United States.) The U.S. Coast Guard and Cuba's border guard (TGF—Tropas Guardas Fronteras) have continued to exchange information leading to the apprehension of several boats and crews involved in drug trafficking.

Drug Seizures/Arrests. The GOC's sustained offensive against "go-fast" boats and private aircraft drops of narcotics continued to net results, with two interceptions in June and July of a total of 75 bales of marijuana. Coordination between the U.S. Coast Guard and the TGF led to the prevention of additional trafficking operations and the destruction of several tons of marijuana and cocaine seized from narcotics traffickers.

The GOC's National Anti-Drug Directorate reported 1.278 metric tons of cocaine and 6 metric tons of marijuana seized in 2001. The GOC reported that 3.144 metric tons of cocaine and 8.8 metric tons of marijuana were seized in 2000.

The GOC reported 29 drug arrests of foreign nationals in 2001 compared with 32 in 2000.

Corruption. The USG has neither evidence nor strong suspicion of current narcotics-related corruption among GOC officials. The state-controlled media did not mention GOC complicity in narcotrafficking or narcotics-related corruption in 2001.

Agreements and Treaties. Cuba is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention. The GOC maintains bilateral counternarcotics agreements with 29 countries and less formal working arrangements with 12 others. In addition, Cuba cooperates with 12 international counternarcotics organizations. The United States and Cuba cooperate on counternarcotics matters on a case-by-case basis. Cuba has signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The GOC also is an active participant in negotiations to reach a Caribbean regional maritime counternarcotics agreement.

Cultivation/Production. There is no evidence that Cuba is a significant drug-producing country. Officials of the GOC say that small quantities of marijuana are grown around Havana and eastern Cuba for local use only. The GOC offered no information regarding crop size estimates or crop yields and mentioned only that 3,058 marijuana plants and 17,809 seeds were seized in 2001. These figures are lower than those for calendar year 2000 in which 11,702 marijuana plants and 34,445 seeds were seized.

Drug Flow/Transit. The GOC publishes figures on the quantity of drug seizures, but there are no authoritative reports on the nature and extent of trafficking from and through Cuba. Based on seizure information, it appears that the majority of detected trafficking took place through Cuba's territorial waters and airspace, with smaller amounts transiting Cuba's international airports. In cases at sea, narcotics were transported through Cuban waters by ship, or dropped from an aircraft to a waiting "go-fast" boat. These drugs appeared to be heading for the Bahamas, with the United States as the likely final destination.

Chemical Control. Based on available information, Cuba is not a source of precursor chemicals, nor have there been any incidents involving precursor chemicals reported in 2001.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The GOC hints at a growing problem of drug consumption, but ties it to an increase in foreign tourism and increased amounts of narcotics washing up onto Cuban shores that are not reported and subsequently consumed or sold for hard currency. GOC officials report that they have developed a multi-agency approach to deal with the growing number of "wash-ups" including a specialized mobile search team with members that the UK and Canada have trained in rummage techniques. The National Commission on Drugs (CND), created in 1989, has taken the lead on drug prevention programs. The majority of municipalities on the island have counternarcotics organizations, and those that do not are in the process of creating them. The prevention programs focus on education and outreach to marginal groups that may be at risk.

A comprehensive counternarcotics action plan has been drawn up which will involve the Ministries of Health, Justice and Education, among others, in coordinating a long-term prevention strategy. The lack of emphasis on treatment for existing addicts may corroborate the GOC's contention that the problem remains contained.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Although there is no bilateral counternarcotics agreement between the United States and Cuba, cooperation continues to occur on a case-by-case basis. Coordination between the U.S. Coast Guard and Cuba's TGF moved forward when the GOC opened a direct line of communication between the TGF and the U.S. Coast Guard Drug Interdiction Specialist (DIS) at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. The DIS was invited to participate in two boarding operations, and toured several border guard units around the country as a guest of the TGF. The GOC recently authorized the DIS to demonstrate various types of drug interdiction equipment to appropriate TGF officials.

The Road Ahead. If coordination between the U.S. Coast Guard, both in Miami and at the U.S. Interests Section, continues its present course, it should lead to increasing results in interdiction operations in the Caribbean.

Dominican Republic

I. Summary

The Dominican Republic (DR) is a major transit country for South American drugs, mostly cocaine, moving to the United States. The government continued to cooperate closely with the U.S. in counternarcotics matters. Last year (2001) saw an increase in illegal drug seizures; new found cooperation between the Government of the Dominican Republic (GODR) and the Haitian police; a more responsive, if still case-by-case, extradition process; and progress toward enactment of a strong anti-money laundering law. (For details on the GODR's anti-money laundering initiatives in 2001, see the Money Laundering section of this report.) Although the GODR made efforts to combat corruption in 2001, corruption and weak governmental institutions remained an impediment to controlling the flow of illegal narcotics through the DR.

The DR is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

There is no significant cultivation, refining, or manufacturing of major illicit drugs in the DR. The country's primary role in regional drug trafficking is as a transshipment point.

Seizures in 2001 continued to indicate that cocaine, heroin, and marijuana destined for the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe were being transshipped through the DR and its territorial waters. Puerto Rican authorities also noted an increase in drug smuggling via the ferries operating between Puerto Rico and the DR.

Dominican nationals play a major role in the actual transshipment of drugs. Many "go-fast" crews in the Caribbean include Dominican nationals, mostly fishermen recruited from the local docks. The crews speak Spanish, move easily throughout the Caribbean, and are recruited for very low amounts of money.

The DR is not a producer of precursor chemicals, but there is continued concern about their importation.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2001

Policy Initiatives. After the success of "Operation Hurricane," the two-week U.S. Government-sponsored counternarcotics effort involving 19 Caribbean countries including the DR and Haiti, the DR initiated bilateral intelligence-sharing and interdiction efforts with Haiti. The DR has continued to participate in annual Caribbean-wide counternarcotics operations.

The National Directorate for Drug Control (DNCD) and the National Drug Council (CND) participated in an anticorruption initiative to computerize and track all seizures of assets in connection with drug-related offenses.

The Dominican Senate has passed new anti-money laundering legislation that U.S.-funded programs helped draft and promote. It now awaits action in the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House of Congress). (See the Money Laundering section of this report.) The GODR is also working, with U.S. support, to develop and enact a revised criminal procedures code.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The DNCD constructed a training academy and increased its canine program to 20 dogs and handlers.

Dominican military and law enforcement agencies participated in a two-week multilateral counternarcotics operation focused on Caribbean priority targets. The DR served as the northern command center during the operation.

Cultivation/Production. Marijuana was cultivated on a relatively small scale for local consumption only. Fields were discovered occasionally and destroyed in various areas throughout the country.

The GODR launched on-going investigations into possible in-country manufacture of MDMA (ecstasy).

Drug Flow/Transit. The DNCD increased drug seizures over those of 2000, logging almost daily interdictions of body-carried heroin and cocaine through the DR's international airport. Through December 2001, with USG cooperation and assistance, the DNCD seized 1800 kilograms of cocaine, 17 kilograms of heroin, and 3794 kilograms of marijuana. The DNCD continued to focus its ongoing investigations and interdiction operations on the drug-transit routes in the DR's territorial waters along the northern border and on its land border crossings with Haiti. The DNCD focused its investigations and interdiction efforts on preventing air drops of illicit narcotics to vessels waiting offshore or to sites on land.

In 2001, drugs became easily accessible for local consumption in most metropolitan areas. The DR attracted a substantial number of tourists from Europe, the United States, and Canada who provided a customer base for local drug sales, especially at the beachfront vacation resorts. Traffickers often used drugs to pay low-level couriers and distributors.

The DNCD made 3708 drug-related arrests in 2001; of these, 3496 were Dominican nationals and 212 were foreigners. There were 907 fewer drug-related arrests in 2001 than in 2000, but the number of foreigners arrested increased by 51 over 2000.

Extradition. The U.S.-Dominican Extradition Treaty dates from 1910. Extradition of nationals is not mandated 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 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.

President Mejia's administration continued this cooperation in 2001 and the GODR has extradited 15 Dominicans to the United States since President Mejia took office in August 2000. The DNCD has arrested 12 fugitives in response to U.S. extradition requests, including a major drug trafficker arrested in September 2001. The 12 fugitives are now in custody pending extradition to the United States. In addition, Dominican authorities deported 14 U.S. citizens and third-party nationals wanted by U.S. justice authorities.

Mutual Legal Assistance. The GODR cooperates with USG agencies, including the DEA, FBI, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S. Marshals Service, on counternarcotics and fugitive matters. The DNCD and Haitian police cooperated in a joint counternarcotics effort in September 2001, "Operation Hurricane." This led to weekly meetings along the border between Dominican and Haitian authorities to share information.

Corruption. The GODR's Migration Directorate removed over 100 inspectors and supervisors in 2001 for allowing people to travel to the U.S. and Europe without proper documentation. The Customs organization transferred 90 employees from Las Americas International Airport for extortion in 2001. 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-related money laundering.

Dominican institutions remain 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 illicit drugs or controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

The GODR continues efforts to strengthen enforcement of a 1979 law that requires senior appointed, civil service, and elected officials to file financial disclosure statements. In what may be a regional model for transparency and an indication of the seriousness of the Dominican judiciary to uphold the ethical quality of employees, the sworn financial disclosure statements for all Dominican judges can be found on the Internet at http//www.suprema.gov.do/jueces/dj.htm. Nonetheless, an effective system to verify these statements has not yet been implemented and there are no sanctions for false statements.

The GODR is a party to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and in 2001 signed the consensus agreement on establishing a mechanism to evaluate compliance with the Convention.

Precursor Chemical Control. The Secretariat of Health is responsible for the control of chemicals entering and departing the DR. The CND has prohibited the re-exportation of certain chemicals.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The leadership of the CND, which is responsible for demand reduction programs, changed in July 2001. The new leaders are in the process of reviewing various potential programs for demand reduction.

Agreements and Treaties. In 2001, the GODR again granted a four-year extension of overflight authority to the USG for rapid response in counternarcotics and alien smuggling operations. This temporary extension of overflight authority was in lieu of an agreement to expand a 1995 U.S.-GODR bilateral maritime agreement to include overflight and order-to-land authority. In 1984, the United States and the DR entered into an agreement on international narcotics control cooperation. The United States and the DR exchanged instruments of ratification of the Treaty for the Return of Stolen or Embezzled Vehicles in August. Attempts to implement the treaty have been hampered by organizational weaknesses within the Dominican bureaucracy. The DR has signed but not ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants, and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms. The DR also is an active participant in ongoing negotiations to reach a Caribbean regional maritime counternarcotics agreement.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Cocaine trafficking, money laundering, institutional corruption, and reform of the judicial system remain the United States' 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 arrests, prosecutions, and convictions. The USG will continue to urge the GODR to improve its asset forfeiture procedures and its capacity to regulate financial institutions, develop and maintain strict controls on precursor chemicals, and improve its demand reduction programs.

During 2001, the United States provided essential equipment and training to expand the counternarcotics canine units, helped the DNCD launch its vetted special investigation unit, supported the DNCD's border units, provided radio equipment for the DNCD's border units to use on the DR's border with Haiti, and funded development of an automated tracking system to manage seized assets. The United States also delivered two decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard vessels to the DR Navy; an 82-foot patrol boat and a 180-foot buoy tender. The United States directed its military assistance in the DR toward training and maintaining military assets critical for narcotics interdiction.

The United States has funded training to the DNCD Fugitive Surveillance Unit, helping it locate, apprehend, and extradite individuals wanted on criminal charges in the United States. The U.S.-funded machine-readable passport system was put into operation and immigration control computers were purchased for a second airport, Punta Cana. Enhanced computer training and database expansion were provided to the DNCD.

The Dominican Navy and Air Force have established a direct communications agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard's regional operations center (GANTSEC) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dominican Navy vessels have participated in numerous maritime drug seizures. The GODR has proposed establishment of a joint U.S.-DR Rapid Response Operations Center in Santo Domingo.

USAID's "Strengthened Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights" program continues to work with the Dominican court and prosecutorial system to improve the administration of justice, enhance access to justice, and support anticorruption programs. Improvements achieved to date include speedier, more transparent judicial processes managed by better-trained, technically competent, and ethical judges who insist upon stricter adherence to due process.

The USAID program continues to provide training to prosecutors in basic criminal justice and prosecutorial skills. Criminal policy development assistance provided to officials, in both the Attorney General's Office and anticorruption units, resulted in high-profile public sector corruption investigations and in the filing of charges against three Cabinet-level officials of the previous administration. Other high-profile investigations are ongoing.

The USG has taken the initiative in bringing together a group of high-profile Dominican business leaders. These leaders have indicated willingness to provide private funding for drug prevention programs in the DR.

The United States is developing programs to deploy U.S. mobile training teams for the DNCD's border units, provide computer links to enhance the DNCD's ability to track equipment, and provide increased support for Dominican naval patrols of the Mona Passage.

The Road Ahead. The immediate U.S. goal remains helping to institutionalize judicial reform and good governance. 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 USG and GODR will continue strengthening drug control cooperation through sharing of information and developing closer working relations among principal agencies. The U.S. will work closely with the DR to ensure that the new asset seizure tracking system is fully utilized. The U.S. will continue providing training for the DNCD's border control units, focusing its attention on providing the intelligence necessary to disrupt cross-border narcotics smuggling. Support for the retraining and re-certification of the DNCD canine units will continue. The DNCD's fugitive investigation teams will have hands-on U.S. support for their efforts pursuing Dominican fugitives from U.S. justice seeking refuge in the DR. USAID and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) will provide further training to prosecutors, increasing their professionalism and ensuring that they are prepared to implement the new Criminal Procedures Code, should it be enacted into law. U.S. support for the Mejia administration's efforts to curb corruption will continue through U.S.-funded programs to strengthen the Attorney General's Anticorruption Prosecutor Department.

USAID has supported analysis and public debate which led to the drafting of important legislation to reform the Criminal Procedures Code, create a Public Ministry (prosecutors) Career Statute, reform the National Police, and strengthen anti-money laundering laws. The Criminal Procedures Code is under consideration in the Dominican Senate. An automated criminal case tracking system pilot project is expected to be operational in the Santo Domingo District in 2002.

Dominican Republic Statistics

(1993-2001)

 

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

Seizures

                 

Cocaine (mt)

1.8

1.27

1.01

2.34

1.35

2.14

3.60

2.80

1.07

Heroin (mt)

0.017

0.020

0.012

0.069

0.008

0.005

Marijuana (mt)

3.794

2.90

0.18

0.11

0.78

1.01

1.00

6.81

0.31

Arrests/Detentions

                 

Nationals

3,496

4,454

3,918

1,676

1,431

3,097

3,388

2,810

Foreigners

212

161

111

50

69

11

158

Total Arrests

3,708

4,615

4,029

1,676

1,481

3,166

3,399

2,968

5,635


Dutch Caribbean

I. Summary

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.

II. Status

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) using commercial flights. Evidence in 2001 did not support a finding that drugs now entering the United States from the Netherlands Antilles are in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect on the United States, but the entire eastern and southern Caribbean is an area of U.S. concern. The DEA and local law enforcement saw an increase this year in go-fast boat traffic, much 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 were frequent in 2001, filling Cura�ao's old prison to capacity. Although a new prison opened in March, stubborn management problems continue. A spate of escapes led the Minister of Justice to suspend 175 guards in the fall. Dutch marines stationed in the NA are providing perimeter security temporarily. 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 in containers. Seizures from containers in 2001 tend to support this suspicion. In November, a total of 101 kilograms of cocaine and 50 kilograms of heroin were seized from a container in Saint Maarten. Statistics on significant seizures in 2001 indicate that Dutch Saint Maarten 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 GONA. The rise in drug abuse is attributed to payment for drug trafficking services in cocaine rather than in cash as well as to a difficult economic situation. There were at least ten drug-related homicides in 2001. The role of narcotics trafficking and distribution was an important issue in the campaign leading to the January 2002 national elections. Elected officials and all elements of the law enforcement and judicial community recognize that the NA, chiefly due to geography, faces a serious threat from drug trafficking. The police, who are understaffed and need additional training, 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. Nevertheless, local police made significant progress in 2001 in initiating complex, sensitive cases targeting upper-echelon traffickers. These efforts reflected the understanding that an effective strategy requires cooperation with other law enforcement entities in the region.

The far-reaching restructuring of the police, begun in 2000, is starting to show results. 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 only tenure in the department. Recognizing the key role played by the criminal investigation service (CID), the 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 (RSTs) that support law enforcement in the NA continued to be dynamic and effective in 2001. The RSTs showed an increasing ability to think globally when combating trafficking organizations. In addition, the RSTs have started to serve their intended purpose: the increased inclusion of local officers into investigative strategies to ensure exchange of expertise and information.

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 (FOL) at Cura�ao's Hato International Airport. Under a ten-year use agreement signed in March 2000 and ratified in October 2001 by the Dutch Parliament, U.S. military aircraft are conducting counternarcotics detection and monitoring flights over both the source and transit zones from commercial ramp space provided free of charge.

The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Coast Guard (CGNAA) is an increasingly mature organization and scored a number of impressive successes in 2001. The CGNAA was responsible for several seizures of both cocaine and marijuana. In August, the CGNAA seized 750 kilograms of marijuana from "go-fast" boats. The marijuana was destined for the Cura�ao local market. The CGNAA's three 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.

The CGNAA has developed a very effective counternarcotics intelligence service and is considered by the U.S. Coast Guard and DEA to be an invaluable international law enforcement partner. Authorities in both the NA and Aruba are intent on ensuring that there is a proper balance between the CGNAA's international obligation to stop narcotics trafficking through and to the islands, and its local responsibility to stop narcotics distribution on the islands. In 2002, the Coast Guard intends to increase its operating hours from 2800 to 4200 with additional resources provided by the Dutch government. Under the leadership of an outstanding, highly professional Attorney General, the GONA continued to strengthen its cooperation with U.S. law enforcement authorities throughout 2001. This cooperation extended to Saint Maarten, where the United States and the GONA continued joint efforts against international organized crime and drug trafficking.

Aruba

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 2001 did not support a finding that drugs entering the U.S. from Aruba were in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S., but the eastern and southern Caribbean is an area of concern to the U.S. The island attracts drug traffickers with its good infrastructure, excellent flight connections, and light sentences for drug-related crimes, which are served in prisons with relatively good living conditions. Of increasing concern is the involvement of Aruban students in transporting drugs, mostly MDMA (ecstasy), from the Netherlands to the islands or the U.S.

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 and the increase in crime.

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 counternarcotics official actively reaches out to U.S. sources for materials to use in his office's prevention programs. The police also work in demand reduction programs for the schools and visit them regularly. The government has established an interagency commission to develop plans and programs to discourage youth from trafficking between the Netherlands and the U.S. The new government, seated November 1, has been very clear that it intends to pursue a dynamic counternarcotics strategy in close cooperation with its regional and international partners.

In 2001, Aruban law enforcement officials saw benefits from their changed counternarcotics trafficking strategy. 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 the endless parade of "mules." The best example occurred in April 2001. Sixteen investigators worked full time on a multi-jurisdictional case that involved the use of cruise ships to smuggle heroin into the U.S. In total, 25 kilograms of heroin and about U.S. $510,000 were seized.

A plan is underway to reorganize the police. The plan includes establishing four (vice three) districts, each autonomous with its own detectives' division and led by a District Commissioner. Officers will rotate periodically through the police functions. The aim is to put more police on the streets to counter criticism 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. A new Attorney General was appointed in February 2002. The GOA took further positive steps in 2001 to demonstrate its commitment to the international effort to combat drug trafficking. After accommodating the placement of U.S. Customs aircraft at a Forward Operating Location (FOL) at Reina Beatrix International Airport in 1999, the GOA continued throughout 2001 to make valuable commercial ramp space available to both U.S. military and U.S. Customs aircraft conducting aerial counternarcotics detection and monitoring missions.

As part of its push to bring a still larger U.S. law enforcement presence to Aruba, the GOA welcomed U.S. Customs Service (USCS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) pre-clearance personnel in April 2000. They joined the pre-inspection unit that the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) had established previously. These officers occupy facilities financed and built by the GOA. USCS seizures of cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy were frequent in 2001 and traffickers turned over to the Aruban authorities contributed to the overcrowding of the facility. 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.

III. Actions Against Drugs in 2001

Agreements and Treaties. The Netherlands extended the 1988 UN Drug Convention to the NA and Aruba in March 1999, with the reservation that its obligations under certain provisions would only be applicable in so far as they were in accordance with NA and Aruban criminal legislation and policy on criminal matters. The NA and Aruba subsequently enacted revised, uniform legislation to resolve a lack of uniformity between the asset forfeiture laws of the NA and Aruba. In October 2001, the Kingdom of the Netherlands ratified a ten-year agreement with the United States that allows U.S. law enforcement and military aircraft to use commercial airports on Cura�ao and Aruba as Forward Operating Location (FOL) sites. These sites provide bases for aerial counternarcotics detection, monitoring, and, as appropriate, interdiction activities in the neighboring region.

The obligations of the Netherlands as a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, apply to the NA and Aruba. The obligations of the Netherlands under the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances have applied to the NA since March 10, 1999. The Netherlands's Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the United States applies to the NA and Aruba, although it is not applicable to requests for assistance relating to fiscal offenses addressed to the NA and Aruba. Both Aruba and the NA routinely honor requests made under the MLAT and cooperate extensively with the United States on law enforcement matters at less formal levels. While neither Aruba nor the NA has specific legislation controlling precursor chemicals, the DEA reports excellent informal cooperation from the relevant pharmaceutical authorities.

Cultivation/Production. Cultivation and production of illicit drugs are not issues.

Seizures. Available drug seizure statistics (rounded to the nearest kilogram where appropriate) for calendar year 2001 are as follows:

Netherlands Antilles: 1.043 metric tons of cocaine, 72 kilograms of heroin, 3.772 metric tons of marijuana, 179 grams of hashish, and 20,465 ecstasy tablets

Aruba: 266 kilograms of cocaine, 65 kilograms of heroin, 1.159 metric tons of marijuana, 40 grams of hashish, and 59,874 ecstasy tablets

Corruption. The effect of official corruption on the production and processing of illegal drugs is not an issue for either Aruba or the NA. Furthermore, there is no evidence to indicate that public officials are involved in the shipment of drugs, the laundering of illegal drug proceeds, 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.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Both the NA and Aruba have ongoing demand reduction programs, but need additional resources.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) does not provide counternarcotics assistance to the governments in the Dutch Caribbean, although the United States encourages Aruba and NA law enforcement officials to participate in INL-funded regional training courses at the GOA and GONA's expense. A demand reduction speaker program that was originally scheduled for 2001 is expected to be rescheduled in 2002. Chiefly through the DEA, the United States is able to provide limited assistance to enhance technical capabilities as well as some targeted training. The U.S. is also beginning to search for ways in which locally assigned U.S. law enforcement personnel can share their expertise with host country counterparts.

Appreciation of the importance of intelligence to effective law enforcement has grown in the Dutch Caribbean. The USG is expanding intelligence sharing with GOA and GONA officials as they realize the mutual benefits that result from such sharing. 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 British, French, and Dutch jurisdictions in the Caribbean. The Joint Interagency Task Force-East (JIATF-E) continued to report airdrops of cocaine in the eastern Caribbean in 2001.

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 (the "FAA"). Nonetheless, the President's November 2001 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.

Marijuana crops are grown in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, and Dominica, primarily for local use or for export to other islands in the region and Europe. The overall level of production is below the threshold for designating any of these countries as major drug producers under the FAA, 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, democratic countries of the eastern Caribbean. To varying degrees, the destructive nature of the drug trade and organized crime-related corruption have damaged civil society in all of these countries.

Regional and international drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and various organized crime groups have infiltrated many of the eastern Caribbean nations, establishing their own infrastructure, corrupting officials, and contracting the services of local criminal organizations. To move illegal 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. Terrorist organizations could easily tap into the infrastructure built by DTOs operating in the region, and may already have done so.

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. Two 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. The U.S. government has maritime drug law enforcement agreements with all of the independent eastern Caribbean nations.

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. "Operation Weedeater" U.S. airlift-assisted eradication exercises in St. Vincent and the Grenadines scheduled for autumn 2001 were postponed due to U.S. military airlift resource constraints arising from homeland defense requirements and the war in Afghanistan.

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 marijuana use in the eastern Caribbean and the corrupting and corrosive effect of the illegal trade in marijuana. In general, eastern Caribbean law enforcement agencies are committed to controlling drug trafficking and working with their U.S. counterparts. However, significant personnel and other resources are spent on arrests of relatively small-time traffickers and drug users as a means to control ever-increasing street crime. Meanwhile, conspiracy cases against DTO ringleaders, complex financial investigations, money laundering, and asset forfeiture cases are unusual in most jurisdictions.

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 modern legal infrastructure that would allow law enforcement agencies to effectively 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 modern laws covering wiretap, controlled deliveries, conspiracy, authorization of undercover investigations, the use of paid informants, and plea bargaining. However, an apparent lack of political will to tackle these issues has effectively thwarted such legal initiatives in most eastern Caribbean jurisdictions. Meanwhile, law enforcement and judicial authorities in some countries complain of having to develop cases against sophisticated, twenty-first century criminal groups with nineteenth century legislation and rules of conduct. Without a serious, broad-based modernization effort, it is unlikely the region's criminal justice systems will develop significant defenses against DTOs, terrorist organizations, money launderers, and other international and regional criminals and criminal groups.

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 installed inter-agency drug intelligence centers. Traditional rivalries between law enforcement bodies and, in some jurisdictions, an apparent lack of political commitment to create and ensure the success of such centers, have hindered progress on these initiatives. All Eastern Caribbean countries routinely participate in Operation CARIBE VENTURE, an international effort to deny smugglers the use of maritime routes in this region. During 2001, two CARIBE VENTURE operations were scheduled; the last one was cancelled due to the terrorist attacks and the resultant focus on maritime homeland security.

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

Dominica, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis have poorly regulated economic citizenship programs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has eliminated its program, while the Government of Grenada has suspended its program for the time being. Unscrupulous individuals, including suspected criminal organization members, have taken advantage of these programs to ease travel and to modify and/or create multiple identities. Such individuals have also used these false 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 2001, 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, particularly with respect to legislating and implementing police modernization, in order to meet certain basic commitments.

The eastern Caribbean states also continue to carry out the Barbados Plan of Action developed at the UN-Caribbean regional drug conference in 1996. The 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 multilateral cooperation concerning counternarcotics.

The seven eastern Caribbean countries 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, provide 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. delivered a second C-26 aircraft to Barbados, which the RSS has used to enhance its tactical maritime capability. During 2002, 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 the RSS member countries when USG support to the program concludes. In one noteworthy operation in November 2001, the RSS C-26 program played a pivotal detection and command/control role in a maritime interdiction that resulted in multiple arrests and the seizure of cocaine with an approximate street value of $206,000,000. The shipment was headed to the United States.

II. Status of Countries and Actions Against Drugs in 2001

Antigua and Barbuda. The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are 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 drug transfer operations. Cannabis cultivation on the islands is not significant and is largely for local consumption. Antigua has implemented a computerized Regional Clearance System, a regional initiative of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council which registers small craft and crew movements in the Caribbean. In addition, the Immigration Department has modernized its arrival/departure traveler tracking systems.

Antigua and Barbuda is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB) has not signed the Inter-American Convention against Corruption or the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance on Legal Matters. The GOAB has signed but not ratified the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (Inter-American Firearms Convention). The GOAB has signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

The USG and the GOAB signed a maritime drug law enforcement cooperation agreement in 1995, and an overflight agreement in 1996. In 1999, the GOAB was the first eastern Caribbean government to bring into force the new extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties with the U.S. The GOAB was responsive to USG-initiated mutual legal assistance requests in 2001. The U.S. has made one extradition request to Antigua and Barbuda since the treaty entered into force. This request, originally made in November 1999 and resubmitted in 2001, is currently awaiting the Magistrate's decision after a lengthy contested hearing.

The GOAB inaugurated its new Office of National Drug Control and Money Laundering Policy in 2001. The modern facility houses the National Joint Headquarters, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Financial Investigations Unit, the Drugs Intelligence Unit, and the government's Drug Control Policy Unit. As of November 2001, GOAB forces had seized six kilograms of cocaine and 356 kilograms of marijuana, arrested 128 persons on drug-related charges, and eradicated 14,616 cannabis plants. The GOAB has model asset seizure legislation, and has received substantial funds via its asset seizure/sharing agreements with other countries.

The rehabilitation center in Antigua and Barbuda is Crossroads, a 36-bed private drug treatment facility that offers treatment to international and a limited number of local clients who can take advantage of special payment and after-treatment work programs to cover the cost of treatment. In 2001, Crossroads and the GOAB established a halfway house for recovering substance abusers in the capital, St. John's.

Barbados. Barbados is a transit country and hub for cocaine products, heroin, and designer drugs entering by sea and by air from Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and elsewhere in the region. These drugs often enter Barbados in container vessels, while smaller vessels also bring in marijuana from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Relatively small amounts of marijuana are grown in Barbados. 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 has increased.

Barbados is party to the 1961 UN Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Barbados has signed, but not ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the Inter-American Firearms Convention. Barbados has not signed the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance. Barbados has signed the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. The GOB and the USG have brought into force three important agreements that will facilitate counternarcotics cooperation: a maritime agreement with overflight authority, an extradition treaty, and a mutual legal assistance treaty. In 2001, procedural and coordination difficulties interfered with Barbados's ability to cooperate with U.S. law enforcement officials to arrest and prosecute major traffickers and money launderers. Nevertheless, prosecutors, anti-money laundering unit members, and the police and immigration departments were particularly responsive to mutual assistance requests resulting from investigations into the September 11 attacks in the United States.

Barbados inaugurated its National Joint Headquarters for law enforcement, and the GOB renewed its participation in a USG counternarcotics and law enforcement foreign assistance program in 2001. The GOB also received a $12.5 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to modernize its criminal justice system in 2001. The government announced plans to upgrade its police communications systems in 2002.

The newly appointed Attorney General publicly lent support to the Police Commissioner's intention (announced in December 2000) to root-out "suspicious officers" in the uniformed services; individuals who had been corrupted by narcotraffickers and other criminal actors.

The GOB has in place a penal system that provides alternative sentencing options beyond prison and fines. The initiative allows community service orders, curfew orders, and other sentencing alternatives. The law was designed to reduce prison overcrowding and provide options for dealing with youthful offenders and drug-addicted criminals.

The Proceeds of Crime Act of 1990 provides for the confiscation of property shown to have been derived or obtained by a person, directly or indirectly, from the commission of certain offenses, including drug trafficking and money laundering, and enables law enforcement authorities to trace such proceeds, benefits, or property. The proceeds from one such case, a fraud and money laundering scheme that had operated in the U.S. and Barbados, netted the GOB $100,000 of the funds ordered forfeited by a U.S. court. In another case, Barbados seized a boat used in drug trafficking following the conviction of the principals. In November 2001, the GOB amended its law to shift the burden of proof to the accused to demonstrate that property in his/her possession or control is derived from a legitimate source. Absent such proof, the presumption will be that the property was derived from the proceeds of crime. Barbados law also provides for freezing bank accounts and prohibiting transactions from suspected accounts for up to 72 hours. These moves should enhance the GOB's ability to effectively prosecute financial crimes cases. Under Barbados law anyone convicted of money laundering by the High Court is subject to a fine of $1 million or 25 years in prison or both. (See Money Laundering section.)

Barbados is executing a national plan concerning supply and demand reduction for the period 2001-2005. The GOB's National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) and the Attorney General's office endeavored with some success to link law enforcement and demand reduction organizations in the framing and execution of the national plan. NCSA and various concerned NGOs, such as the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, 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. and PRIDE programs remained active in the school system. The mental health hospital provides drug detoxification, while the Coalition Against Substance Abuse (CASA) opened a no-cost drop-in center in 2001. Staffed by volunteer counselors, the CASA center serves addicts and their families. Barbados is also at the forefront of efforts to institute Community Policing programs in the Eastern Caribbean.

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

Dominica inaugurated its National Joint Headquarters for law enforcement in 2001. As is the case elsewhere in the region, 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 important drug traffickers. In December 2001, the Police Commissioner called on parents, service organizations, and the government to join forces with the police to combat an upsurge in drug trafficking and gang-related violence in Dominica.

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. Act 20 of 1988, titled "Drugs (Prevention of Misuse)," permits asset forfeiture. Dominica 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 public sector drug rehabilitation facilities in Dominica; the psychiatric hospital provides limited detoxification services.

Dominica is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. However, Dominica has not yet signed nor 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. However, Dominica has not yet agreed to expand the maritime agreement to include overflight or order-to-land authority.

Dominica and the U.S. have signed and brought into force a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and an extradition treaty. Numerous MLAT and informal queries have been honored, particularly those submitted in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the U.S. However, the first test of the extradition treaty proved to be a major disappointment. Apparent political interference led to the release of an individual who had been caught trafficking two tons of narcotics into the U.S. from Mexico. The individual escaped custody after his initial arrest in the U.S. and then fled to Dominica where he was arrested by Dominica authorities pursuant to a U.S. extradition request. He was later released by the Attorney General. The Prime Minister subsequently dismissed the Attorney General. However, the suspect has not yet been re-arrested by the GOCD. In a separate but equally disturbing case, a high-level official in the ruling Dominica Labor Party (not a parliamentarian), with close ties to government and opposition party officials, was arrested in the U.S. in November 2001 and charged with multiple counts of money laundering.

Grenada. The Government of Grenada (GOG) reports that the volume of narcotics trafficking continued to increase in 2001, particularly at the air and sea ports. 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 of illegal narcotics. Relatively small amounts of marijuana are grown in Grenada. 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 signed the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the Inter-American Firearms Convention. However, Grenada has neither signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Legal Matters.

The GOG and the USG signed a maritime law enforcement cooperation agreement in 1995 and an overflight and order to land 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's police and its financial intelligence unit have been particularly responsive to MLAT requests, particularly in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the U.S.

Grenada has an active offshore financial sector with offshore banks and international business corporations. An economic citizenship program, though suspended since September 2001, remains on the books. The Grenada Financial Services Authority, which was established in 2000 to oversee the offshore financial sector, has endeavored to enhance the effectiveness of its small regulatory staff since its inception. A financial intelligence unit has been legislated and trained, and is now in operation. However, critical staffing and resource constraints, particularly in bank regulation and examinations are evident. Further, serious questions remain concerning Grenada's ability to perform due diligence on applicants and otherwise properly regulate the offshore sector. (See Money Laundering section.) 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 very active and effective. With the participation of many government agencies, the National Council on Drug Control, headed by the Attorney General, guides national interdiction and demand reduction policy. The Council effectively 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. The D.A.R.E. Program continues to function well, and the Teen PRIDE peer intervention program was implemented in 2001. Grenada's one 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. The government opened its National Joint Headquarters for law enforcement in 2001.

St. Kitts and Nevis. 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. Local traffickers are often paid with drugs, which they then sell locally, thus increasing local drug use.

Since May 1996 the U.S. 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 U.K. Privy Council, the last court of appeal for the English-speaking Caribbean. Due to technical problems that arose with court records produced in St. Kitts, the Privy Council has not yet heard the case. The defendants remain free on bail.

In late February 2000, one of the three defendants appeared before a magistrate in St. Kitts, waived his rights, and stated his willingness to surrender to U.S. authorities. He was then transported to the U.S. to face trial. A Florida jury convicted him of two felony trafficking charges on December 5, 2000. .

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 was tried three times since the 1994 killing, and none of the juries has 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 (above), were arrested and charged with jury tampering. The cases against these individuals were ordered to be dropped for procedural reasons.

St. Kitts and Nevis is party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 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 by a newly energized committee. Under able leadership, the Committee made great progress in 2001. The police operate a very successful D.A.R.E. program in the federation, positively affecting the lives of thousands of students and their families.

The GOSKN Defence Force continued to augment the police's counternarcotics efforts, particularly in cannabis eradication operations. The government opened its National Joint Headquarters (NHQ) in 2000. The NHQ serves as communications and cooperation hub for various law enforcement entities in the twin island federation. The high degree of drug trafficking activity through and around St. Kitts and Nevis and the presence of known, active traffickers in St. Kitts place this small country at great risk for corruption and money laundering activity. (See Money Laundering section.)

St. Lucia. 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 and marijuana awaiting onward shipment. Much of the 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 with USG law enforcement.

The USG and the GOSL cooperate extensively on law enforcement matters. There were no significant asset forfeitures in 2001. Nor were any major drug traffickers arrested in 2001. Law Number 22 of 1988, the "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. Moreover, St. Lucia is in the process of extensive legislative reform. This legislative reform will enhance the ability of judicial officers to prosecute financial and other crimes by updating the existing legislation to deal with wire fraud and other modern finance-related offenses.

St. Lucia is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by its 1972 Protocol and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. St. Lucia is not a party 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 thereby bringing the MLAT and extradition treaties into force. In September 2001, St. Lucia signed the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

St. Lucia has instituted a centralized authority, the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat, to coordinate the government's national counternarcotics 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. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the largest producer of marijuana in the eastern Caribbean and the source for much of the marijuana used in the region. Extensive tracts are under intensive marijuana cultivation in the inaccessible northern half of St. Vincent. 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, the President has not designated St. Vincent as not designated a major illicit drug producing or major drug-transit country under the FAA. 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, trafficking, and money laundering. 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.

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. However, with insufficient resources, their reaction capability is limited. No major traffickers were successfully prosecuted in 2001. However, in November the Government moved swiftly to seize and forfeit the assets of a once-influential money launderer after he was indicted on money laundering charges in the U.S. Unfortunately, the suspect was able to flee St. Vincent and evade arrest due to a defect in Vincentian law concerning financial crimes—the defect was remedied within a week of its discovery, though after the suspect had fled St. Vincent. (See Money Laundering section.)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and in 2001 became a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1971 Protocol amending the 1961 Single Convention, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The GOSVG has signed and ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. The GOSVG has signed but not yet ratified the Inter-American Convention against Firearms. The GOSVG has neither signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. The GOSVG signed a maritime agreement with the U.S. 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. USG law enforcement officials have received good cooperation from the GOSVG in 2001, particularly in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the U.S.

An advisory council on drug abuse and prevention, mandated by statute, has been largely inactive for several years. The government mental hospital provides drug detoxification services. The family life curriculum in the schools includes drug prevention education, and selected schools continue to receive the excellent police-run D.A.R.E. Program. Marion House, an enthusiastic and effective NGO, offers drug counseling in St. Vincent. Marion House also has developed and implemented an ambulatory outreach program and initiatives in prison officer training and prisoner rehabilitation.

French Caribbean/French Guiana

French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, the French side of St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and are all part of France and subject to French law, including all international conventions signed by France. 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 primarily to Europe. Although available evidence in 2001 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 for local consumption.

In July 2001, nearly two metric tons of cocaine were seized off the coast of French Guiana. The drugs had been hidden on board a Venezuelan fishing boat, headed for Trinidad and Tobago, which was inspected by a French navy frigate. Customs officials, gendarmes, and the police cooperated in the operation with British special services. The U.S. provided air and sea support for the operation.

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. 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 officials in the Caribbean and central and South America, in areas such 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. In 2001, the Caribe Venture joint operation (involving the U.S. Coast Guard and French Navy) was successful and was followed by a visit from JIATF-E to the prefet in Martinique.

France supports initiatives to increase counternarcotics assistance to the Caribbean. The European Union 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 support nation (COSUN).


Guyana

I. Summary

Guyana is a transshipment point for South American cocaine on its way to North America and Europe, although there is insufficient evidence that the cocaine entering the U.S. from Guyana is in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S. Traffickers take advantage of the country's porous borders and weak law enforcement and legal infrastructure to move cocaine through Guyana. Increased arrests of drug couriers and reports of air drops suggest that Guyana's importance as a cocaine transshipment point is growing. The Government of Guyana (GOG) is committed to counternarcotics enforcement, but its efforts are constrained by limited resources. In April 2001, Guyana signed a Maritime Law Enforcement Agreement with the U.S. The GOG also procured a number of vessels for its Coast Guard. Guyanese law enforcement authorities had some success in interdicting drugs, but meager resources prevented the arrest and prosecution of major traffickers. During the year, Guyanese law enforcement officials benefited from U.S.-funded training and equipment. Guyana is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but needs to pass and implement a wide range of additional legislation to meet fully its obligations under the Convention.

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 en route to the U.S. and Europe. Guyana is not a producer of cocaine or precursor chemicals. Marijuana is cultivated on a small scale in Guyana's interior. The growing transit of narcotics through Guyana has resulted in increased domestic use of illegal narcotics. The Government of Guyana (GOG) is committed to its counternarcotics efforts, but the lack of adequate resources for GOG counternarcotics law enforcement agencies and weak legal and judicial infrastructure limit its ability to interdict drug shipments and to arrest and prosecute drug traffickers. Guyana's National Drug Strategy Master Plan (1997-2000) covered both supply and demand reduction, but inadequate resources and lack of leadership prevented the development of an updated national drug plan.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2001

Policy Initiatives. Senior GOG officials consistently expressed commitment to fighting narcotics trafficking and cooperating with the U.S. and other Caribbean countries in counternarcotics efforts. Guyana continued to participate in regional counternarcotics meetings, including an October meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states, which resulted in agreement to work together in establishing a task force on regional crime and security, and the December Caribbean High-Level Meeting on Drugs and Crime which discussed regional crime issues and reviewed Caribbean progress on the 1996 Barbados Plan of Action for Drug Control Coordination and Cooperation.

Accomplishments. Guyana signed a Maritime Law Enforcement Agreement with the U.S. in April 2001, which awaits Parliamentary approval before entering into force. Despite limited resources, the GOG procured a number of vessels during 2001 to deter illegal activities, including drug trafficking, in Guyana's waters.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) continued to intercept and arrest drug smugglers en route to the U.S. and Europe at Guyana's Cheddi Jagan International Airport. The media reported 12 such arrests in the first six months of 2001. In addition, the GPF and CANU made hundreds of arrests in local communities for simple possession and possession of drugs with intent to distribute. The biggest reported seizure at the airport was five kilograms of cocaine, while all local arrests involved relatively small amounts of marijuana and cocaine. While the GPF and CANU occasionally conducted joint counternarcotics operations, the special CANU/GPF counternarcotics task force that President Jagdeo created in 1999 was no longer operational. The failure to interdict larger amounts and arrest major traffickers was due largely to a lack of adequate resources. In addition, Guyana's antiquated laws governing evidence and criminal procedure made it very difficult to prosecute complex cases.

Corruption. Guyana is a party to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, but needs to take steps to implement its provisions. While there continued to be allegations that law enforcement officers were assisting in drug-trafficking activities, there were no arrests or prosecutions.

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.-U.K. extradition treaty is still in force between Guyana and the U.S. Guyana has an agreement to share narcotics intelligence with the U.K. Guyana is a member of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS/CICAD).

Cultivation/Production. A small amount of cannabis cultivation takes place in Guyana's interior. During 2001, the CANU and GPF Anti-Narcotics Unit conducted several manual marijuana eradication operations. There were no reports of cocaine production in Guyana.

Drug Flow/Transit. Cocaine flows into and out of Guyana at its borders with Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname, and along its coastline. The Guyana Defense Force (GDF) has identified numerous airstrips in the country's mostly inaccessible interior that most likely are used to facilitate trafficking from Venezuela and Colombia. Once inside the country, narcotics are transported to Georgetown by road, waterway, or air, and then to Europe or the U.S. via commercial ship or air, either directly or through intermediate Caribbean ports. More numerous arrests of drug couriers at the international airport and reports of airdrops of cocaine near Guyana's major rivers suggest an increase in the volume of drugs transiting Guyana. GOG officials believe that GOG counternarcotics agencies interdict only a small percentage of the cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base that transit Guyana.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Some marijuana is consumed domestically. Drug traffickers reportedly provide narcotics as payments to their Guyanese associates, resulting in an increase in domestic consumption of cocaine, crack cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), and heroin. The GPF and the Ministry of Health conduct youth educational programs, but limited resources prevent the kind of full-scale effort that might reduce demand significantly. In June, the Ministry of Health, in coordination with the UNDCP, sponsored the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking which included a counternarcotics march, television and radio programs, and the distribution of counternarcotics materials to schools in Georgetown.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. In 2001, the U.S. continued to expand its counternarcotics cooperation with Guyana through visits by DEA personnel and discussions between U.S. and GOG officials. The U.S. sought to strengthen the capacity of Guyana's law enforcement agencies by providing training and equipment funded by the Department of State/INL. U.S. officials continued to encourage Guyanese participation in bilateral and multilateral counternarcotics initiatives.

Bilateral Cooperation. In September 2001, the GOG signed an agreement with the U.S. accepting $80,000 in State Department/INL funds for the provision of counternarcotics training and equipment. During 2001, Guyanese law enforcement officials participated in training funded by INL, including a U.S. Customs Service course on integrity/anticorruption, an FBI seminar on public corruption, and a Department of Justice workshop on dismantling drug trafficking organizations. The U.S. provided narcotics test kits, communications gear, and other equipment to Guyanese counternarcotics agencies. In June, Guyana's Coast Guard took delivery of four 44' patrol boats provided by the U.S. under the "Excess Defense Articles" program. These boats are now conducting patrols along Guyana's coastline. The GOG continued to provide crew 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. With DEA assistance and funding from INL, the GPF's narcotics branch made substantial progress toward creation of a joint intelligence coordination center that will allow it to share drug-related information with the U.S. and other countries in the region. In October, Guyanese law enforcement officials participated in and made useful contributions to a law enforcement seminar hosted by the U.S. Embassy that was attended by representatives of GOG and U.S. law enforcement agencies.

The Road Ahead. Continuing to bolster the GPF's and CANU's counternarcotics capacities with INL-funded training and equipment will be part of a broader effort to enhance the GOG's ability to counter narcotics trafficking. Just as important will be U.S. efforts to assist the GOG to strengthen its weak legal institutions through criminal law reform and training for prosecutors. The U.S. will continue to encourage the GOG to participate in bilateral and multilateral counternarcotics fora and operations, and urge Guyana to fulfill its commitments under the 1996 Barbados Plan of Action for Drug Control Coordination and Cooperation in the Caribbean. On the bilateral side, the U.S. will encourage Guyana to take full advantage of shiprider provisions once the bilateral Maritime Law Enforcement Agreement is in force.

Haiti

I. Summary

Haiti is a major transshipment point for drugs, primarily cocaine, moving from South America to the United States. Haiti's weakened democratic institutions, fledgling police force, and eroded infrastructure provide South American-based narcotraffickers with a path of minimal resistance. The ongoing political impasse resulting from the flawed 2000 elections further weakened the government and economy. There are allegations that high-ranking officials in the government, judiciary, and police are involved in or tolerate trafficking. Haiti is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

The Government of Haiti (GOH) cooperated on a limited, tactical level with the United States on drug control in the past year. The DEA reported very good cooperation during a September regional counternarcotics operation, "Operation Hurricane," during which the Haitian National Police (HNP) worked closely with the DEA and Dominican Republic counternarcotics force. HNP Director General Lucien met his Dominican counterpart to conclude a working agreement between the two institutions. Haiti's Justice Minister Lissade acted quickly in a few cases to extradite non-Haitian traffickers when requested and also established a Financial Investigations Unit to combat money laundering. Although the GOH did not take the final steps to put the pending bilateral maritime counternarcotics agreement into force, the government permitted the U.S. Coast Guard to operate against traffickers in Haitian waters.

The HNP did not name a permanent director to either the special narcotics squad (BLTS) or its parent organization, the Judicial Police (DPCJ). There were no arrests of major traffickers in 2001. Despite a U.S. offer, the GOH did not sign a Letter of Agreement for Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (LOA) with the United States under which the U.S. would have provided needed training and support.

The GOH adopted and published a money laundering law and The Law for the Control and Repression of Illicit Drug Trafficking in 2001. However, trials and convictions were rare. The Parliament did not appoint a National Drug Coordinator, as required by the Drug Control Strategy Law. The GOH joined the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in October 2001.

II. Status of Country

A political impasse stemming from flawed parliamentary elections in May 2000 and a deteriorating economy tempered the triumphant electoral victory and return to office of President Aristide in 2001. The international community suspended direct aid to the GOH as a result of the government's failure to correct electoral deficiencies. The stalled negotiations and lack of resources were setbacks to institution building, economic reform, development, and law enforcement. Political instability, economic problems, and internal security remained the major concerns of the GOH; however, it continued to cite combating drug trafficking as one of its goals. Aristide reconfirmed with President Bush an eight-point commitment to President Clinton which included cooperation in combating drug trafficking as one of the major goals.

As 2001 ended, Haiti's economy stagnated. Electricity rates rose but supply remained uncertain; imports of goods were down; domestic production fell, further reducing the number of jobs available; and the gourde-dollar gap widened. Haitians expressed their discontent through graffiti, demonstrations, and calls for general strikes. School attendance remained low, especially among the poor who could not afford the fees, and professionals and others with job skills left Haiti for Canada and the United States. As a result, drug trafficking was one of the few lucrative businesses in Haiti and represented a source of income for many Haitians. In some areas of the country, Haiti's poor regard cocaine as "manna from heaven," and sometimes use violence to get to it.

The HNP suffered attrition and recruitment problems, but still employed between 2500 and 3500 officers. However, there was little money for training, equipment, vehicle maintenance, fuel, and other necessities. Neither the BLTS nor the Haitian Coast Guard received sufficient support from the government.

With no South Coast patrol and few coastal patrols at all, it was relatively easy to bring cocaine into Haiti from South America. Lack of law enforcement aircraft permitted small planes to fly unimpeded into Haitian air space and either land or drop drugs for recovery. Difficult roads made effective police reaction nearly impossible. Official corruption, lack of a strong, independent judiciary, and an increasingly desperate population created a nearly risk-free environment for illegal traffickers.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2001

The Parliament approved and President Aristide signed two counternarcotics related laws in 2001, an anti-money laundering law and a national drug control strategy law. President Aristide did not sign the bilateral maritime law enforcement agreement proposed by the U.S., although the Parliament ratified it in December 2000. Neither has he agreed to sign a Letter of Agreement with the United States. Justice Minister Lissade formed a Financial Investigations Unit and sought assistance and training from several sources. At Minister Lissade's urging, the GOH began working closely with CARICOM and joined the CFATF. The GOH also has demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with the Dominican Republic.

Corruption. Corruption remained a major problem and traffickers enjoyed the protection of some legislators, senior GOH officials, and police.

Corruption throughout the GOH remained a major impediment to effective law enforcement in Haiti. HNP Inspector General Jean-Baptiste announced a crackdown on corruption within the police force, but ordered few serious, independent investigations.

Justice Minister Lissade made determined efforts to curb corruption in the Judiciary, but was hampered by political interference to halt arrests, request arrests, and to release suspects. During "Operation Hurricane," the regional counternarcotics operation, arrests of boat owners in Cap Haitien were met with public demonstrations led by a representative to the House of Deputies.

There was credible evidence to suggest that members of the HNP, including the Palace Guard, were involved in the drug trade. Few were investigated or apprehended. There also were allegations that some GOH leaders had ties to and received money from known drug traffickers.

In the Justice, Customs and Port Authority sectors corruption remained a driving force. Judges' meager salaries predisposed them to bribery. Similarly, poorly paid Customs agents profited from unrestrained, widespread smuggling in Haiti's ports. In 2001, the DEA Country Office estimated that two thirds of Haiti's imports arrive illegally without the knowledge of or with the collusion of Haitian Customs.

Extradition/Expulsion. The Haitian Constitution of 1987 forbids extradition of Haitian nationals. At the request of the United States, the Justice Minister ordered the expulsion of two accused non-Haitian traffickers to the United States. The USG made no other requests.

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

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The GOH does not operate a demand reduction or public awareness program. The Association for Alcohol Prevention and Chemical Dependency (APAAC), a private NGO, remains the only establishment with treatment programs for substance abuse. All anecdotal reports indicate that local consumption continued to increase as traffickers increasingly paid off their personnel in product. The Minister of Justice worked with the UNDCP to develop drug education and prevention programs.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Haiti, as a principal transit zone for narcotics trafficked from South to North America, focuses on the prevention of transport and distribution. However, the GOH lacks the experience, expertise, resources, and interagency coordination to launch a major offensive against traffickers. Its counternarcotics laws are new and untested and, despite public statements to the contrary, the GOH has not given counternarcotics priority attention.

Concern over the destructive potential of trafficking through Haiti is on the rise within the GOH and is expressed, at times, by the private sector. Counternarcotics efforts, however, are less of a priority than the more pressing matters of maintaining public order and ensuring the personal safety of citizens. As a result, most related law enforcement accomplishments are those for which USG programs have provided direct guidance and support. The absence of this support has impeded the development of a professional BLTS despite assistance received from the Government of France and the EU.

Decreased assistance and resources presented serious problems for the HNP's counternarcotics effort. Despite promises to increase the BLTS, the number of officers declined from 49 to 40. The Haitian Coast Guard, at 61 people, lacked repair parts for its boats and funds for operational support.

Changes in the HNP leadership following the February 2001 inauguration of President Aristide led to changes at lower levels that also affected the HNP's ability to deal with the drug problem. Mario Andresol was removed as Chief of the Judicial Police (DPCJ), the HNP arm responsible for counternarcotics operations. No permanent Chief of the DPCJ was appointed by the close of 2001.

During 2001, the HNP seized 446 kilograms of cocaine, compared with 238 in 2000. Air drops, which had stopped during the first months of the year, began again; some occurred near Port-au-Prince. Numerous "go-fast" boats from Colombia and Venezuela carried cocaine to an undefended Southern coast. The HNP eradicated one marijuana field in Gonaives, one in Pont Sonde, and three in Belle Anse. The Haitian Customs Force made two airport seizures totaling 10 kilograms of cocaine.

The HNP made 48 cases and claimed 68 drug-related arrests. The DEA verified 36 arrests in 2001. Of these 36, the DEA has verified that 20 arrestees were Haitian, two French, five U.S., three Canadian, and six Colombian nationals. None were adjudicated. The Judicial Police reported seizures of U.S. $136,000, 55,000 Haitian gourdes, and 850 Colombian pesos.

In September 2001, the HNP participated in "Operation Hurricane," a two-week regional counternarcotics operation. Haitian police worked with Dominican counterparts and the DEA in the operation, described by DEA as "successful."

Agreements and Treaties. Haiti is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, its 1972 protocol, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The Parliament has not ratified the 1971 Vienna Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

In late 1999 in Paraguay, Haiti signed an affirmation of the 1998 Santiago Declaration in support of a CICAD-designed mechanism for multilateral evaluation (MEM) of participating countries' counternarcotics efforts.

Haiti and the United States signed a six-part comprehensive maritime counternarcotics interdiction agreement in October of 1997. The agreement was ratified by the Parliament, but President Aristide did not sign it. The GOH continued to honor the terms of the agreement as if it were enacted law.

A 1904 bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and Haiti remained in force, but the 1987 Haitian constitution prohibited the extradition of Haitian nationals. In its FY 1999 Letter of Agreement with the United States, the GOH, in return for counternarcotics assistance, committed to act with diligence on all U.S. requests for deportation or expulsion to the U.S. of non-Haitian nationals wanted by the U.S. justice system. In 2001, two traffickers were expelled.

The GOH has taken no action on an OAS Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), under review by the Haitian Foreign Ministry since 1997.

Drug Flow/Transit. During 2001, Colombian traffickers shifted back to their previous pattern of launching "go-fast" boats toward Haiti's unprotected south coast.

Air drops also resumed. At least five planes were confirmed, including some near Port-au-Prince. Haiti's deteriorated highway system and mountainous terrain provided nearly inaccessible, undetectable drop and landing sites. While USG detection and monitoring efforts were able to track suspicious aircraft bound for Haiti, GOH law enforcement teams were usually unable to respond.

Some of the cocaine entering Haiti was transferred overland via the porous 275-kilometer border to the Dominican Republic and transported either directly to the U.S. mainland or via small vessels to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico-bound cocaine was later shipped via container cargo vessels or commercial airliners to the U.S. or Europe.

IV U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The U.S. plan for combating illegal drugs in Haiti was to reduce the amount of narcotics transiting Haiti while strengthening the GOH institutions that oppose narcotics trafficking. This approach addressed both law enforcement entities and the justice sector. The U.S. strategy called for efforts to foster Haitian interagency cooperation, Haitian cooperation with other countries, and the willingness and ability to fight corruption in government. The United States had no bilateral counternarcotics program with Haiti in 2001. The United States offered to sign an LOA with the GOH, but by the end of 2001, the offer had not been accepted. Despite the lack of a formal counternarcotics agreement between the U.S. and Haiti, the DEA maintained a permanent staff of seven agents in Port-au-Prince.

The Road Ahead. Stemming the flow of illegal narcotics through Haiti remains a cornerstone of U.S. policy. Key objectives to stemming the illegal flow are improving the effectiveness of the GOH law enforcement and judicial institutions that address illegal drugs and pursuing narcotics traffickers operating in Haiti in order to arrest, try, and convict them in either Haiti or the United States. Accomplishing these objectives involves training and equipping the HNP to develop an effective narcotics interdiction capability while simultaneously working with it on interdiction operations and counternarcotics investigations. It also entails working to improve the skills of prosecutors and judges and the legal system in which they work. The United States must continue to urge interagency cooperation among Haitian Customs, Immigration, and Judiciary. The lack of a U.S.-Haiti bilateral program, however, has stalled achievement of these objectives. The United States will continue to offer terms for a bilateral counternarcotics agreement that would provide the assistance and training needed for an effective counternarcotics effort.

Jamaica

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 2001, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) continued to make progress toward meeting the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

During 2001, the GOJ took several steps to strengthen its counternarcotics law enforcement and interdiction capability. The GOJ undertook to establish a special investigative unit to target significant drug traffickers, increased the staff of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Narcotics Division, and provided resources to enhance security at its ports. The GOJ continued its marijuana eradication program, although the amount eradicated fell short of the goal the U.S. and GOJ had set for 2001. Law enforcement operations resulted in a number of large cocaine and marijuana seizures during the year. The GOJ brought into force an Anti-Corruption Act and ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. In addition, three drug courts were established in 2001. The U.S. and GOJ signed a reciprocal agreement that provides for the sharing of assets derived from crime, and the GOJ's Fugitive Apprehension Team, with the assistance of U.S. Marshals, worked vigorously to apprehend fugitives for eventual extradition to the U.S.

Nevertheless, the GOJ needs to undertake more intensive law enforcement action to disrupt the trafficking of large amounts of cocaine in Jamaican territory and territorial waters. Such actions include arresting and prosecuting significant drug traffickers operating in Jamaica, dismantling groups that conduct the drug trade, and increasing drug seizures and eradication. Although Jamaican forces participated in combined operations under the Jamaica-U.S. bilateral maritime agreement during the year, the GOJ could take better advantage of the agreement in order to reduce the drug flow. U.S. agencies note that counternarcotics cooperation with their GOJ counterparts is generally good but could be improved. The U.S. will continue to provide equipment, technical assistance, and training to assist the GOJ to strengthen its counternarcotics capabilities.

The GOJ has in place a National Drug Control Strategy that covers both supply and demand reduction, and is preparing its third National Master Drug Prevention and Control Plan (2002-2007). Jamaica is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Jamaica is a major transit country for cocaine destined for the U.S. and other markets, and the leading producer and exporter of marijuana in the Caribbean. Jamaica is not a source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics, but there is concern over the vulnerability of Jamaican ports to illegal diversion of such chemicals. Illicitly obtained isopropyl alcohol has been used to extract hashish oil. Jamaica is not a significant regional financial center, tax haven, or offshore banking center, but some money laundering does occur, most likely through the purchase of assets, such as houses or cars, rather than financial instruments.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2001

Jamaica's counternarcotics efforts have taken place against a backdrop of severe resource constraints. From 1996-1999, Jamaica experienced negative economic growth. In 2000 and 2001, Jamaica enjoyed only marginal GNP expansion.

Policy Initiatives. GOJ officials publicly state the government's commitment to combating illegal drugs. The newly appointed (November 2001) Minister of National Security cited narcotics trafficking by organized crime as the greatest challenge to Jamaica's security and, in mid-January 2002, outlined in a nation-wide address a new anticrime plan that includes initiatives to counter drug trafficking and money laundering.

The GOJ operates under severe resource constraints, however, with over 60 percent of its national budget going for debt servicing. Nevertheless, the GOJ spent substantial amounts in 2001 to maintain an interdiction capability consisting of helicopters and patrol vessels, which contributed to a number of successful drug interdictions throughout the year.

In April 2000, a Precursor Chemicals Act, based on the recommendations of the 1988 UN Convention and the OAS/CICAD model regulations, entered into force. Implementing regulations have been drafted and submitted to the legal staff of the Ministry of Health for study and approval. In the course of preparing the implementing regulations, certain weaknesses in the Act were identified, which the GOJ is seeking to rectify by drafting amendments to the Act. In early 2001, the draft Interception of Communications (wiretap) Act, which vests the authority to intercept telecommunications with the courts rather than the Prime Minister, was referred to a Joint Select Committee of Parliament. The bill was passed by the lower house of Parliament in January 2002, and currently awaits Senate action.

Jamaica has a National Anti-Drug Plan (1997-2002) covering supply and demand reduction. The plan, however, does not contain goals and objectives or measures of effectiveness. The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), with assistance from OAS/CICAD, is in the process of preparing a new master drug prevention and control plan (2002-2007).

Accomplishments. The GOJ took steps in 2001 to strengthen port security in an effort to deter the continued use of Jamaica's air and seaports for drug trafficking. The GOJ has 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 remains implementation of a single ID card for seaport access. In November, Prime Minister Patterson announced steps the GOJ is taking to improve port security, including the installation of x-ray and camera equipment. The GOJ is also entertaining bids for complete container inspection services.

The Contraband Enforcement Team (CET), presently staffed with 21 Customs officers and two Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) personnel, is being expanded to approximately 50 personnel in accordance with the GOJ's Customs Modernization Plan. The GOJ is currently recruiting for the positions of Director and Manager, following which it will begin to recruit additional front line personnel. CET personnel continue to be stationed at the ports on a 24-hour basis, as are JCF Narcotics Division personnel at the international airports—a move that has greatly increased arrests of drug couriers. The GOJ also continued to support the permanent presence of JCF personnel at two small domestic airports to deter the landing of drug-smuggling aircraft, although the police lack telephones and vehicles. Reports of suspected air trafficking through these airports declined markedly following the establishment of the JCF posts in 2000, but increased in the last half of 2001, presumably as traffickers became aware of the limited reaction capabilities of the JCF officers on site.

Following passage of legislation in 2000 calling for the establishment of drug courts, three such courts began sitting in 2001. In November, the Governor-General signed the Justice Protection Bill, which codifies the witness protection program and expands it to include jurors, lawyers, law enforcement, and judicial officials.

The GOJ continued to fund the operating expenses for the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Center (REDTRAC). REDTRAC, built with U.S. funds under a UNDCP project, has provided specialized training for thousands of regional law enforcement officers since its inception in 1996. In 2001, the U.S. provided funding and instructors for a number of courses at REDTRAC.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Both the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) Coast Guard and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) assign a high priority to counternarcotics missions. While the JCF in general suffers from institutional problems recognized by the JCF leadership, the JCF Narcotics Division is a competent and respected unit. The Narcotics Division is currently undergoing an extensive division-wide restructuring and expansion which, when completed, will double its staffing from 106 to 212. The JCF is also recruiting candidates for a special investigative unit to target significant drug traffickers.

Jamaican law enforcement authorities participated with U.S., Canadian, and Bahamian law enforcement authorities in an 18-month investigation that culminated in the February 2001 arrest in The Bahamas of major drug trafficker Samuel "Ninety" Knowles and the dismantling of his trafficking ring, which is estimated to have moved at least one metric ton of cocaine per month through the Caribbean.

In 2001, the GOJ seized 2,947 kilograms of cocaine, including 977 kilograms of cocaine, reportedly the largest drug seizure in Jamaica's history, in a joint JCF/JDF operation. During 2001, the GOJ eradicated 332 hectares of marijuana, short of the goal of 1,200 hectares contained in the FY 2000 Letter of Agreement between Jamaica and the U.S., under which the U.S. is providing counternarcotics assistance to Jamaica. The shortfall resulted from the continued diversion of JDF elements from marijuana eradication to emergency prison guard service following a strike by prison guards, leaving all eradication efforts under the JCF. In addition to the cannabis manually eradicated by JCF personnel, GOJ authorities in 2001 seized and destroyed 68.5 metric tons of marijuana (a considerable increase over 2000), 8 kilograms of hashish, and 211 kilograms of hashish oil. Several large marijuana seizures resulted from detections by the CET at Jamaica's seaports. In 2001, the GOJ arrested 6,443 drug offenders, including 420 foreigners.

Corruption. Corruption continues to undermine law enforcement and judicial efforts against drug-related crime in Jamaica. On May 1, 2001, the GOJ brought into force the Corruption Prevention Act and a bill strengthening the Parliament (Integrity of Members) Act. The Corruption Prevention Act defines acts of corruption by public servants, mandates asset declarations, and establishes a commission to investigate corruption charges. Implementing regulations, however, have not yet been drafted. In March 2001, the GOJ ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and, in 2001, signed the consensus agreement on establishing a mechanism to evaluate compliance with the Convention.

The GOJ does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. The GOJ has a policy of investigating credible reports of public corruption and 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 substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. During the year, a number of JCF and JDF personnel were arrested on drug-related charges, and there are currently a number of ongoing investigations into alleged drug-related corruption involving police personnel. Police officers are often transferred if there is suspicion but no proof of involvement in drug-related activity. In October, the entire staff of a police station was transferred following allegations concerning the under-reporting of the amount of cocaine seized in a drug operation. 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.

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 Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty among the Commonwealth States. A U.S.-Jamaica maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement came into force in February 1998. Jamaica is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Jamaica signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms on September 26, 2001.

During 2001, the GOJ extradited ten fugitives and deported five to the U.S. Ten more are awaiting extradition. The Jamaican Fugitive Apprehension Team is actively working on over 200 cases in close cooperation with the U.S. Marshals Service and, in 2001, closed 69 cases and made 23 arrests. Jamaican authorities are receptive to and cooperative with U.S. requests for extradition, and are working with U.S. authorities to accelerate the extradition process. Unfortunately, however, the appeals process available to criminal defendants, combined with an overburdened court system, means that contested extradition requests can take four to five years to litigate fully.

Cultivation/Production. Jamaica is the largest Caribbean producer and exporter of marijuana. There is no accurate estimate of the amount of marijuana under cultivation or on the number of harvests per year. Crops are usually concealed in swamps and other remote areas that have limited road access. Past successes in eradication now make marijuana fields more difficult to locate without aerial surveillance, for which the GOJ has requested USG assistance. As a matter of policy, Jamaica does not use herbicides to eradicate cannabis. Manual cutting is the method used.

Drug Flow/Transit. Jamaica continues to be the leading transshipment point in the Caribbean for South American cocaine en route to the U.S. A senior Jamaican official has stated the GOJ estimates that 70-100 tons of cocaine are transshipped through Jamaica each year. Cocaine arrives in Jamaica primarily from Colombia's north coast by "go-fast" boats, although it is also concealed in commercial shipments. Jamaica-based traffickers use several methods to transport cocaine and marijuana on to the U.S. and other markets: "go-fast" boats; concealment in commercial shipments; parasitic attachments to the hulls of merchant vessels; and couriers who board airlines or cruise ships with ingested or concealed drugs. The U.S. Customs Service reports that Jamaica is the source of the largest number of passengers arrested with drugs at U.S. airports. Small groups of Jamaicans affiliated with local organized crime organizations conducted most of the drug trade in Jamaica in the past. Current intelligence suggests that Colombian traffickers are building closer links with local traffickers. A senior GOJ official has stated that there is some evidence that drug cartels have begun to establish command and control centers in Jamaica.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Jamaica has several active demand reduction programs in place. Two of the most visible projects are those of the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) and the NGO Addiction Alert. The UNDCP conducts some activities in Jamaica and works directly with the GOJ and NGOs to improve demand reduction efforts. The UNDCP has funded an integrated demand reduction program managed by the NCDA. The EU is funding a three-year demand reduction project that began in December 1999. Addiction Alert receives U.S. funding for its adolescent drug prevention program and, in 2001, the U.S. funded an NCDA program for 5-14-year-old children.

Consumption of marijuana is illegal in Jamaica, and the GOJ has consistently rejected calls for its legalization. In August 2001, the National Commission on Ganja, an independent panel established by Prime Minister Patterson at the behest of Parliament, issued its report recommending decriminalization for adults who use small quantities of marijuana for private, personal use and as a sacrament for religious purposes. The report also recommended an intensive demand reduction program aimed at youth, intensified interdiction of large-scale ganja cultivation and trafficking of all illegal drugs, and diplomatic efforts to explain Jamaica's interpretation of its UN obligations and urge countries to re-examine the status of cannabis. In February 2002, the Jamaican Cabinet forwarded the report to the Parliament for consideration.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. law enforcement agencies note that cooperation with GOJ counterparts is generally good but could be significantly improved.

The JDF Coast Guard (JDFCG) continued to participate conservatively in U.S.-Jamaican maritime interdiction operations under the bilateral maritime counternarcotics agreement, but it could be more aggressive. Jamaican maritime assets, however, are old, slow, often under repair, and are unable to intercept "go-fast" boats transporting drugs. To augment the JDFCG's assets, the U.S. in the past provided two 82-foot cutters for coastal patrol and funded the refurbishing of six boats, including two "go-fast" vessels. In October 2001, the GOJ and the U.S. signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) that redirects available funds from previous LOAs to a new project plan under which the U.S. is procuring three "go-fast" interceptor boats, ion scan machines for use at the international airports, and training equipment for the police academy. The U.S. is also funding an advisor for the National Firearms/Drugs Intelligence Center.

The U.S. continues to support the highly effective Jamaican Fugitive Apprehension Team with guidance from U.S. Marshals, specialized training, equipment, and operational support, including a new four-wheel drive vehicle provided in 2001. In 2001, the U.S. funded participation by Jamaican police, immigration, customs, defense force, and prosecutor personnel in several in-country and regional training courses.

In March 2001, the GOJ signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the U.S. to develop a long-range plan for a safe, secure and efficient marine transportation system (MTS) which is corruption-free. Once in full effect, the MTS will deter drug trafficking through Jamaican ports.

In August 2001, the GOJ and U.S. signed a reciprocal agreement that facilitates the sharing of forfeited assets where law enforcement cooperation has made possible or substantially facilitated a forfeiture of proceeds from criminal activity.

The Road Ahead. While the GOJ has taken steps to protect itself against drug trafficking and other types of organized crime, the substantial increase in drug trafficking through Jamaica indicates the need for the GOJ to intensify and focus its law enforcement efforts and enhance its international cooperation. The GOJ needs to enact and implement modern anticrime legislation, such as court-ordered wiretaps, undercover operations, controlled deliveries, and use of ion scan technology in court proceedings, that will permit Jamaican law enforcement to investigate, arrest, and successfully prosecute drug traffickers and other criminals. The GOJ also needs to revise its drug legislation to include MDMA (ecstasy) and other new drugs. The GOJ should take steps to strengthen its immigration controls to inhibit the free movement of drug traffickers and other criminals.

For its part, the U.S. will continue to provide assistance and training to strengthen Jamaica's maritime interdiction efforts. The U.S. intends to provide the JDFCG with three new "go-fast" interceptor boats to aid in the interdiction program in 2002. These new boats, combined with increased JDFCG cooperation under the maritime agreement, should result in a greater number of seizures and arrests. The USG-provided ion scan machines will serve to strengthen airport security, while the actions the GOJ has committed to undertake will enhance security at Jamaica's sea ports. The U.S. will also provide training and equipment for the expanded CET as new staff are brought on board.

Implementation of the Anti-Corruption Act and the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption will strengthen the GOJ's ability to counter corruption. The U.S. is prepared to provide technical assistance toward this end if the GOJ desires help. The U.S. will continue to provide technical assistance and training to assist the GOJ to improve its drug interdiction, marijuana eradication and demand reduction efforts. The U.S. will also work closely with the police and public prosecutors to enhance the GOJ's ability to identify, investigate, successfully prosecute, and seize the assets of significant drug traffickers.

Jamaica Statistics

(1993-2001)

 

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

Cannabis

                 

Potential Harvest (ha)

unk

unk

unk

unk

317

527

305

308

744

Eradication (ha)

332

517

894

705

743

473

695

692

456

Cultivation (ha)

unk

unk

unk

unk

1,060

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,200

Potential Yield1 (mt)

unk

unk

unk

unk

214

356

206

208

502

Seizures2

                 

Cocaine (mt)

2.947

1.625

4.601

1.160

0.414

0.236

0.571

0.179

0.160

Cannabis (mt)

68.46

55.87

56.22

35.91

24.00

52.99

37.20

46.00

75.00

Hashish Oil (kg)

211.00

578.00

371.49

144.05

383.00

263.41

278.00

47.00

235.00

Heroin (mt)

.001

0.019

0.000

0.000

0.001

0.001

0.001

0.001

Arrests

                 

Nationals

6,023

8,238

6,385

7,093

3,143

2,996

3,325

788

899

Foreigners

420

421

   

221

267

380

98

517

Total Arrests

6,443

8,659

6,385

7,093

3,364

3,263

3,705

886

1,416

1Yield is based on an estimate of 675 kilograms per hectare.
2Data 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.

Suriname

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 is insufficient, however, to establish that the quantity of drugs transiting Suriname has 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 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 increase. The principal obstacles to effective counternarcotics law enforcement are Suriname's relative geographical isolation (which makes narcotics detection and interdiction efforts difficult), inadequate legislation, complicated and time-consuming bureaucratic requirements, 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 transit point for South American cocaine en route to Europe and the United States. Ecstasy originating in Europe is also transshipped through Suriname to the U.S. However, evidence available in 2001 did not support a finding that drugs entering the U.S. from Suriname were in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S. Much of the cocaine entering Suriname does so via small airstrips located throughout the dense jungle, many of which are also used for arms-for-drugs swaps. Police in the past have 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, complicated and time-consuming bureaucratic requirements, and drug-related corruption inhibit the Government of Suriname's (GOS) ability to interdict drugs, and to identify, apprehend, and prosecute drug traffickers. Moreover, Suriname's sparsely populated jungle terrain, coupled with the country's relative geographical isolation, makes narcotics detection and interdiction efforts difficult.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2001

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. The Customs Service, however, receives very few resources and almost no formal training, despite its active and successful role in drug interdiction. GOS officials continued to participate in regional counternarcotics efforts. In 2001, Surinamese law enforcement officials took part in a regional counternarcotics operation. 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 couriers ("mules"), as opposed to major traffickers and their organizations, and rely mainly on profiling and tips from informants to apprehend small-time smugglers at the major ports of entry/exit. In 2001, the KPS Narcotics Brigade, in conjunction with the DEA, seized 2,274 kilograms of cocaine, 5.4 kilograms of marijuana, and 211 grams of hashish; GOS Customs officials, working mainly at the international airport, intercepted 236 kilograms of cocaine, more than twice the amount seized in 2000, and small amounts of marijuana and hashish. In DEA-sponsored operations, approximately 12 hectares of cannabis plants were manually eradicated in 2001. Although no ecstasy was seized in Suriname in 2001, in June, U.S. officials in Miami broke up a Surinamese drug trafficking ring that was responsible for smuggling over one million ecstasy pills into the U.S. earlier in 2001.

Precise figures for the number of drugs-for-guns swaps that took place in 2001 are not available, but Surinamese police officers believe there was an increase from 2000. In three operations in 2001, GOS officials seized large quantities of cocaine (a combined total of approximately 1,900 kilograms) being transported through Suriname via small airplanes, and arrested several third-country nationals. On one occasion, the smugglers burned their airplane and attempted to escape; in another, large quantities of cocaine were dropped from a passing airplane; and in a third, authorities were able to seize both an airplane and cocaine.

Corruption. Public corruption, although 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. Bouterse's son, Dino, is repeatedly mentioned as being involved in narcotics transshipping and drugs-for-guns deals. 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, the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention, 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 bilateral maritime counternarcotics enforcement agreement with the U.S. entered into force in August 1999. The 1904 U.S.-Netherlands Extradition Treaty applies to Suriname, but Suriname prohibits the extradition of its nationals. Suriname and the Netherlands entered into a mutual legal assistance agreement in 1976 that has been used to share information on narcotics issues. Suriname is a member of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS/CICAD).

Cultivation/Production. Cannabis is grown and used in Suriname's tribal-influenced interior. 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 via small airstrips located throughout the dense jungle interior where a lack of infrastructure, personnel, and equipment make detection and interdiction nearly impossible. Many of these airstrips are also used for arms-for-drugs swaps. In the past year, several airstrips were identified, but there are no reports of any being eliminated. The reports of airdrops of cocaine to fields and waterways appeared to increase in 2001. According to a senior GOS law enforcement official, large quantities of cocaine are transshipped through Suriname to Brazil, among other South American countries. Cocaine destined for U.S. and European markets exits Suriname most often by couriers on commercial air flights and in commercial sea cargo through Paramaribo's harbor. In 2001, a shift in the amount and manner in which couriers transported cocaine to the U.S. and Europe became evident: rather than ingesting drug-filled balloons, couriers increasingly carried larger quantities of cocaine on their bodies. 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.

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 Anti-Drug Council (NADR), police and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emphasize drug education and rehabilitation in response to growing domestic drug consumption. However, the NADR is hindered by political rivalries and members who do not have enough time to focus properly on the issues. A National Drugs Information System, supported by the police and the Ministry of Health, was created in August for the collection and distribution of data with the objective of positively influencing policy formation, but it has yet to begin its work. Drug treatment clinics, of which there are few, have no detailed treatment plans for addicts and often rely on untrained volunteers for staffing. The NGO "Kick the Habit," founded in 2000 with funding from several international and local sources, has had some success in working to promote demand reduction.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. A high level of cooperation exists between U.S. and GOS law enforcement officials. The U.S. continued to provide training, technical assistance, and material support to elements of Suriname's police and military to promote greater bilateral cooperation. 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 January 2001, at the request of the GOS, a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment traveled to Suriname to search a vessel for narcotics. The U.S. and GOS signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) in 2000, under which the U.S. is providing counternarcotics assistance to the GOS. This LOA was amended in September 2001 to provide additional funds. During the year, GOS officials benefited from regional training funded by the Department of State/INL. The GOS cooperated throughout the year with a U.S. investigation of a Surinamese ecstasy trafficking organization that culminated in a number of arrests in the U.S. In 2001, the GOS provided two Surinamese seamen to serve aboard 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. In July 2001, Suriname became the coordinator of the International Drugs Enforcement Conference.

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, the country produces marijuana for domestic consumption and export to other countries in the region, but the amount of marijuana produced is below the threshold for designating the country as a major drug-producing country under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. Trinidad and Tobago's petrochemical-based economy requires the import/export of precursor chemicals that can be diverted for use in cocaine production. 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. (For details, see the Money Laundering section of this report.)

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GOTT) continued to be a strong ally of the U.S. on counternarcotics issues, and GOTT law enforcement agencies remained very cooperative with their U.S. counterparts. The GOTT's Joint Operations Coordination Center coordinated drug interdiction operations, including many joint operations with the U.S. GOTT officials participated actively in regional counternarcotics fora throughout 2001. The GOTT continued to provide resources in support of counternarcotics law enforcement efforts that resulted in increased cocaine seizures and marijuana eradication in 2001, and for domestic drug demand reduction and rehabilitation programs. Through the provision of technical assistance, training and equipment, the U.S. sought to help the GOTT strengthen all facets of its counternarcotics efforts. 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

Because of its proximity to Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago is a convenient transshipment point for illicit drugs, primarily cocaine but also heroin, from South America destined for U.S. and European markets. There is no evidence, however, that the drugs entering the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago are in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S.

Trinidad and Tobago does not produce 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 the manufacture of cocaine hydrochloride.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2001

Policy Initiatives. Senior GOTT officials continued to support GOTT counternarcotics efforts through public statements and provision of resources. GOTT officials participated actively in regional counternarcotics fora. In addition, Trinidad and Tobago is an active participant in ongoing negotiations to reach a Caribbean regional maritime counternarcotics agreement. Trinidad and Tobago was the first Caribbean country to become President of the OAS's Inter-American Drug Commission, and held this position from September 2000 to September 2001.

In 2001, the GOTT entered into an agreement with the U.S. to co-fund the installation of surveillance equipment on two C-26 aircraft that the U.S. donated to the GOTT to enhance the Coast Guard Air Wing's drug interdiction capabilities. The GOTT continued to fund a U.S. Customs Service Advisory Team that is working with the GOTT's Customs and Excise Division to improve its narcotics detection and interdiction capabilities. The GOTT, with U.S. assistance, is reorganizing its Bureau of Inland Revenue to strengthen detection of and penalties for financial crimes and to establish a criminal investigative division. In December 2001, the GOTT hosted a High-Level Meeting on Drugs and Crime that brought together Caribbean states and territories, donor nations, and regional organizations to review progress on the 1996 Barbados Plan of Action for Drug Control Coordination and Cooperation in the Caribbean and to discuss new threats to the region's security.

The GOTT has a counternarcotics master plan. The first half of the plan, 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 addresses demand reduction. In 2000, the GOTT revised the plan to incorporate legal reforms, human resource development, technical training and rehabilitation, and established a National Drug Council to oversee the plan's implementation. The amended plan was approved by the Cabinet in June 2001.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The GOTT's inter-ministerial Joint Operations Command Center (JOCC) coordinated maritime drug interdiction operations throughout the year and served as a command center for regional interdiction operations. Cocaine seizures for the first three quarters of 2001 totaled 730 kilograms. The seizures resulted in large part from investigations undertaken by the Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit and the Counter-Drug/Crime Task Force, and several regional operations coordinated through the JOCC. In January 2001, law enforcement officials arrested 19 people and seized 560 kilograms of cocaine, reportedly the largest seizure ever, being loaded into a cargo container of vegetables destined for the U.S. The operation followed leads from a December 2000 seizure in Miami of 261 kilograms of cocaine in a container originating in Trinidad and Tobago. In November, 26.1 kilograms of cocaine were seized in a multinational operation coordinated through the JOCC. GOTT law enforcement officers made one seizure of 4.905 kilograms of heroin during the first three quarters of 2001, and they believe that several more attempts to smuggle heroin occurred. In the first three quarters of 2001, the GOTT made over 3000 arrests for drug-related offenses. The GOTT conducted marijuana eradication operations that in the first three quarters of the year resulted in the destruction of 10.2 million marijuana plants and seedlings, almost one and a half times the amount eradicated in 2000. The increase was due in part to larger U.S.-supported "Weedeater" operations, during which the U.S. provided equipment and helicopter transport for marijuana cutters.

Corruption. During 2001, 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. The GOTT has an integrity commission and, in 2000, enacted legislation that permits greater monitoring of the financial activities of a larger group of public officials. The GOTT is a party to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and in 2001 signed the consensus agreement on establishing a mechanism to evaluate compliance with the Convention.

Agreements and Treaties. Trinidad and Tobago is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Trinidad and Tobago signed mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties with the U.S., which entered into force in November 1999. A bilateral U.S.-GOTT maritime agreement is in force. The GOTT signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants on September 26, 2001. Trinidad and Tobago is a member of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS/CICAD).

Cultivation/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 estimates there are approximately 142 hectares under cultivation, although the total amount of cultivated marijuana cannot be determined accurately due to the method of cultivation in small quarter-acre lots in remote areas. There have also been reports of marijuana grown along with legal cash crops. 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, but herbicides are not applied aerially.

Drug Flow/Transit. Only a few miles from the South American mainland, Trinidad and Tobago is a convenient transshipment point for illicit drugs, primarily cocaine but also heroin, bound for North America and Europe. Trinidad and Tobago has several airports and harbors, large volumes of cargo traffic, and a highly mobile population, making it an attractive transit point for illicit cargo via air and sea. A network of narcotics-smuggling organizations operates in Trinidad and Tobago. Although large vessels and pleasure craft are known to carry narcotics and contraband, small fishing boats are the main method of transport for drug deliveries. The drugs are smuggled out in yachts and commercial cargo containers, and by couriers. Increasingly, commercial courier services are being used to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. The courier services are now cooperating with law enforcement officials, and several seizures of cocaine have resulted. 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. In July 2001, the U.S. funded the procurement of an ionscan machine for use at the international airport, which has been instrumental in detecting cocaine and other drugs in carry-on luggage.

While the DEA noted a steady increase in the transshipment of cocaine and heroin through Trinidad and Tobago in 2001, some shipments are bypassing Trinidad and Tobago 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 supply, which is further exacerbated by increased GOTT marijuana eradication efforts.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Programs to reduce the demand for illicit drugs are managed by the Ministry of Social Development, the Secretariat to the National Drug Council in the Ministry of National Security, and the Ministry of Education, with assistance from non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The GOTT also funds the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program, which coordinates NGO demand reduction efforts. The GOTT continued to support the D.A.R.E. program, which is carried out by the Community Policing Branch of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), with support from the Department of State/INL. The U.S. also provided assistance to several police youth clubs established by the TTPS Community Policing Branch that provide local children with positive role models and drug awareness programming.

In October 2001, the GOTT formally opened the Piparo Empowerment Center, a drug rehabilitation facility located on the estate of drug trafficker Dole Chadee, who was executed by the GOTT. INL has provided training and commodities for the Center.

The GOTT passed legislation in 2000 that increases penalties for drug-related offenses and authorizes a court-supervised parole system in which drug addicts would be released from prison to undergo rehabilitation.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

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

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. continues to enjoy a very cooperative relationship with the GOTT, which plays a leading role in regional counternarcotics efforts. In 2001, the GOTT and USG participated in several maritime operations under the bilateral maritime counternarcotics cooperation agreement. During the operations, personnel from the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Navy participated as shipriders on each other's vessels.

In 2001, the USG transferred to the GOTT a fourth 82-foot patrol boat for maritime interdiction. The GOTT continues to operate two C-26 and two Piper Navajo aircraft that the U.S. made available to the GOTT for counternarcotics surveillance. The GOTT and USG are co-funding a project to upgrade the C-26 aircraft with radar and sensor packages to enhance their surveillance capabilities. The GOTT continued to provide crew 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 DEA added two agents to its staff in 2001, and helped the Ministry of Health develop the GOTT's precursor chemical control program. The U.S. provided Ministry personnel with in-country training and funded the procurement of computers and software to assist in the analysis of data obtained during inspections to determine if chemicals are being diverted into the illicit market.

A three-person U.S. Customs Service advisory team, which the GOTT funds, continued to work closely with the Customs and Excise Division to improve the effectiveness of its passenger and cargo processing, and strengthen its counternarcotics enforcement capabilities. The team also provided technical assistance and expertise in tracking small pleasure craft and cargo vessels. The U.S. Customs Service is helping the GOTT maintain its coastal radar surveillance system, established in 1998 with U.S.-donated radars, by providing three radars which will be used to replace two sites and create an additional one. Two high-speed patrol boats, funded by the Department of State/INL, were provided to the Customs Marine Interdiction Unit. To date, GOTT Customs has been involved in several interdiction efforts. The GOTT is also funding an Internal Revenue Service tax assistance and advisory service team to modernize the Bureau of Inland Revenue.

In 2001, INL funded GOTT participation in training courses, including a U.S. Customs Service course on integrity/anticorruption, an FBI regional seminar on public corruption, and a Department of Justice workshop on dismantling drug trafficking organizations.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to provide technical assistance and training to strengthen Trinidad and Tobago's maritime interdiction capabilities. The U.S. will also continue to support the GOTT's efforts to improve rule of law by providing assistance to help the GOTT reduce judicial delays and encouraging the GOTT to undertake the legal reforms necessary to fight drug trafficking and related crimes effectively. Representatives in Port of Spain will continue to participate actively in the Eastern Caribbean Working Group, which addresses subregional counternarcotics issues. The U.S. will work closely with the GOTT's Counter-Drug/Crime Task Force and the Bureau of Inland Revenue to strengthen the GOTT's ability to implement its asset forfeiture and anti-money laundering laws.



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