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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 2003
Report
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The Bahamas

I. Summary

The Bahamas is a major transit country for cocaine and cannabis bound to the U.S. from South America and the Caribbean. The Bahamas (GCOB) cooperates with the United States Government (USG) to target Bahamian drug trafficking organizations and interdict the flow of drugs through Bahamian territory and to reduce the domestic demand for drugs within the Bahamian population.

During 2002, Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) personnel increased cocaine and cannabis. In December, a joint Bahamas-U.S. investigation resulted in the arrest of 32 members of a major Bahamian drug trafficking ring, the Austin Knowles organization. In January 2003, the three top ringleaders of another major Bahamian drug trafficking ring, the Samuel "Ninety" Knowles organization, lost their court battle against extradition to the U.S.

In 2002, there was no discernible progress to implement the recommendations of an OAS/CICAD assessment of The Bahamas' precursor chemical control systems nor to complete the long- promised National Anti-Drug Plan (NADP). The Bahamas is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

The Bahamas is a country of an estimated 316,000 inhabitants and some 700 islands scattered over an area the size of California and located on the sea and air routes between Colombia and the U.S. Its extent and location make The Bahamas an attractive target for drug transshipments, principally Colombian cocaine and Jamaican cannabis. The GCOB assigns a high priority to cooperating with U.S. law enforcement agencies in interdicting this drug flow and conducting joint investigations targeting drug trafficking organizations. The Bahamas has worked for several years, with the assistance of OAS/CICAD, on a National Anti- Drug Plan, but it remains unfinished as there is no central authority for coordinating national drug control policy. Although small plots of cannabis plants have been increasingly 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 2002

Policy Initiatives. Completion of a National Anti-Drug Plan (NADP), begun in late 2001 with the assistance of OAS/CICAD was delayed throughout 2002. Publication of the NDAP is expected in 2003. In 2001 the GCOB indicated it would draft, with the assistance of the United Nations Drug Control Program, precursor chemical control legislation, but no such legislation was introduced into Parliament in 2002. Development of the much-delayed Bahamas Integrated Justice Information System (BIJIS), a court case management software system intended to make Bahamian courts virtually "paperless" was again pushed back due to a lack of administrative and technical personnel.

Accomplishments. The Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) cooperated closely with U.S. and foreign law enforcement agencies on drug investigations in 2002. For example, in December a year-long joint investigation culminated with the arrest of 32 members of the Austin Knowles ring, a major drug trafficking organization with operational bases in Jamaica and South Florida. This investigation was conducted by the DEU, the DEA, U.S. Customs, the U.S. Coast Guard, and several Florida County Sheriff Offices, and resulted in the seizure of 767 kilos of cocaine. Several Bahamian members of the ring are jailed in The Bahamas awaiting extradition to the United States.

The RBPF also cooperated with USG agencies in maritime interdiction operations that resulted in significant seizures of drugs and smuggling vessels. In 2002, The Bahamas Customs Department created a canine drug detector unit to prevent the exploitation of the Freeport Container Port by drug smugglers.

Law Enforcement. The RBPF participated actively in OPBAT, a multi- agency, international operation whose mission is to stop the flow of cocaine and cannabis transiting through The Bahamas to the United States. Alerted by U.S. Customs Service surveillance aircraft and sometimes aided by sightings passed on by the Cuban Border Guard (TGF), U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army helicopters based on the Bahamian islands of Andros, Great Exuma, and Great Inagua intercept maritime drug smugglers and seize airdrops of drugs into Bahamian territory. Officers of the 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. Seizures of drugs and traffickers captured by OPBAT in international waters are taken to the U.S., while those taken in Bahamian or TCI territory are turned over to those nations. Three RBPF fast response boats donated by the State Department and strategically deployed throughout the nation provide an "end game" to OPBAT's helicopter pursuits of drug smuggling "go-fast" boats.

The DEU, a special force within the RBPF composed of 78 officers, works closely with DEA on drug investigations and drug interdiction. The DEU has a staff of 78, including the 22-member Strike Force, which participates in OPBAT missions; the 7-member Marine Unit, which crews the three fast response boats; the 31-member General Investigations Unit; the 9-member Technical and Surveillance Unit; a 6-member unit in Freeport; and 3 commanders. Drug canine units in Nassau (6 officers) and Freeport (2 officers) are also attached to the DEU.

During 2002, the DEU seized 2.448 metric tons of cocaine (a 160 percent increase over 2001) and 11.491 metric tons of cannabis (a 183 percent increase over 2001). The DEU arrested 1899 persons on drug-related offenses. During 2002, the year the DEU also seized drug- related assets valued at $1.3 million.

GCOB plans to have the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) take a greater role in interdicting maritime drug smuggling bore little fruit in 2002. The RBDF's own fast response boats, forfeited "go-fast" drug smuggling vessels, were frequently out of service and were not able to respond to any of OPBAT requests for assistance in pursuits. 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 ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption in 2000. The USG has no knowledge that any senior official of the GCOB engages in, encourages, or facilitates the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

The Prime Minister of the ruling Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government has dismissed allegations by the opposition Free National Movement (FNM) leader that the PLP used donations from drug traffickers to fund its April 2002 election campaign; neither party has disclosed the sources of its campaign contributions. In 2002, the RBPF continued its "zero tolerance" campaign to weed out corrupt members of the force. The GCOB formed a new civilian Complaints and Corruption Unit to ensure that complaints against police are investigated properly, quickly, and credibly.

In contrast to the RBPF's reputation for not tolerating internal corruption, there is a widespread public perception that narcotics corruption is condoned within the RBDF. The GCOB took no action in 2002 on long-standing USG suggestions for establishing an administrative mechanism or internal affairs unit to deal with corrupt members of the RBDF; currently the only way to remove such officers is through conviction in a civilian court of law. In December, the GCOB announced it was satisfied with a 1992 police inquiry into the disappearance of a portion of a "controlled delivery" of cocaine while in custody of crewmen from the RBDF vessel "Inagua." That investigation failed to identify which crewmen were responsible for the theft. However, one independent opposition Member of Parliament, a former attorney general in the previous FNM government, called on the GCOB to complete the flawed investigation into the "Inagua" incident. A number of RBDF members remain permanently ineligible for U.S. visas and USG-sponsored training because of a reasonable suspicion of their involvement in the affair. Integration of RBDF personnel into OPBAT and sharing of sensitive law enforcement information with the RBDF remains problematic due to corruption concerns.

Agreements and Treaties. The Bahamas is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GCOB works with the USG to accomplish the objectives of a continuing U.S.-Bahamas counternarcotics and law enforcement project designed to enhance the capability of the GCOB to suppress criminal activity and promote local drug demand reduction.

The U.S.-Bahamas Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) facilitates the bilateral exchange of information and evidence for use in criminal proceedings. USG MLAT requests seek and secure financial information and evidence for use in USG criminal investigations and prosecutions. A separate unit within the Attorney General's Office created to process international requests for assistance, including MLAT requests, has substantially reduced the backlog of unexecuted MLAT requests from the USG and continues to improve its MLAT relationship with the USG. The Bahamas also has MLATs with the United Kingdom and Canada.

The 1994 U.S.-Bahamas Extradition Treaty permits the extradition of Bahamian nationals to the U.S. Requests are typically slowed by numerous defense appeals and by the procrastination of judges in issuing rulings. An October 2000 magistrate's ruling granting extradition of Samuel "Ninety" Knowles Jr. and two of his top henchmen, Lemuel Gibson and Frank Cartwright, was reversed by a Supreme Court justice in February 2002. In January 2003, the Court of Appeal reversed the Supreme Court and -affirmed the magistrate's ruling and ordered the extradition of the three traffickers. Knowles and his co-defendants will likely appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, the final avenue for appeal available in the Bahamian legal process. In December 2002, the same magistrate granted a U.S. extradition request against Samuel Knowles Jr. relating to a different drug indictment; that ruling will be appealed by Knowles in 2003. In 2002, the same Supreme Court Justice who had reversed the Samuel Knowles extradition order overturned a 2001 magistrate's order for the extradition to the U.S. of a Bahamian, Derek Taylor, who had jumped bail in 1985 prior to his sentencing in the U.S. for drug trafficking; the Supreme Court justice ruled that the conviction had occurred too long ago. The GCOB announced that it would not appeal the justice's ruling; it provided no explanation for its decision despite previous assurances that it would appeal, and repeated USG requests.

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

Drug Flow/Transit. The USG estimates indicate that some 10 to 15 percent of the cocaine detected heading to the United States from South America flows through the Jamaica-Cuba-Bahamas corridor. Most of that flow originates in Colombia and arrives in The Bahamas by "go-fast" boat from Jamaica. There was an increase in 2002 in the number of suspected airdrops by aircraft originating in Jamaica and Colombia to waiting Bahamian "go-fast" boats off the Cuban coast. This resurgence of airdrops may be due to the increased interdiction of "go-fast" boats; however the number of airdrops remained small compared to detected movements by sea.

DEA/OPBAT estimates that there are roughly a dozen major Bahamian drug trafficking organizations. These organizations offer their services, often with "money-back guarantees," to Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels to transport their drugs to the United States. The Bahamian "go-fast" boats usually head north from Colombia and 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. Detected shipments of drugs by "go-fast" boat through the Bahamas in 2002 increased by 32 percent from 2001 (139 detected movements of suspect vessels versus 105). This increase in detections may be due to better intelligence collection and more frequent surveillance flights over the OPBAT area of operations by U.S. Customs airplanes during 2002. OPBAT- related cocaine seizures amounted to 5.341 metric tons in 2002 (up by 120 percent from 2001). OPBAT cannabis seizures were 14.643 metric tons (up by 143 percent from 2001).

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 U.S. and foreigners on their way to the U.S. are detected with small amounts of drugs (cocaine, cannabis, 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 minor transit point for "Ecstasy" tablets destined for North America and brought into The Bahamas by Dutch nationals. Historically, The Bahamas has been used as a transit point for smuggling "club drugs" such as ecstasy into the U.S. by airliner from Europe. Although club drug seizures in The Bahamas have been minimal over the past two years, the Bahamian route remains a potential threat.

Demand Reduction Programs. 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. The RBPF's Community Relations Section, Police Canine Unit, and DEU effectively implement drug prevention programs and present demand reduction lectures with exhibitions at various schools, churches and civic organizations in New Providence and the Family Islands. The success of all these programs has yet be determined.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. The goals of USG assistance to The Bahamas are to dismantle trafficking organizations, stem the flow of drugs through The Bahamas to the U.S., promote drug demand reduction, 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. During 2002, INL's Bahamas Country Program, 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. The NAS also funds the DEU drug detector dog program that is active at NIA and GBIA and the newly established Bahamas Customs Department canine unit at the Freeport Container Port.

In 2002, the NAS donated to the RBPF two high- performance purpose-built fast response interceptor boats to be used in conjunction with OPBAT helicopters on drug interdiction missions. During 2002, these boats and another donated in 20001 (an aluminum-hulled "Avenger") were deployed around The Bahamas and participated in a number of significant seizures of drugs and "go-fast" drug-smuggling vessels.

In October 2001, 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. Formal negotiations are expected to begin in 2003.

The Road Ahead. The Bahamas' proximity to the U.S. and the sheer extent of its area guarantee that 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, will continue to depend on upon significant USG assistance to fight international narcotics trafficking and crime. In 2003, the USG will present a formal proposal for a Comprehensive Maritime Agreement to the GCOB. To strengthen the country's counternarcotics institutions, the USG plans to continue cooperation and support for the DEU in dismantling drug trafficking organizations; to continue its participation in OPBAT; and to assist an RBDF vetted unit in integrating its counternarcotics mission with OPBAT. The USG looks forward to the completion of a National Strategy in 2003. The USG 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

(1993-2002)

 

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

Seizures1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocaine (mt)

2.45

0.94

2.74

1.86

4.39

2.58

0.12

0.39

0.49

1.80

Marijuana (harvested) (mt)

11.49

4.06

3.80

3.60

2.30

3.76

2.61

3.53

1.42

0.65

Amphetamines (kg)

0.036

0.014

63.4

Arrests

1,899

1,629

1,811

1,969

1,650

1,894

1,576

1,565

1,025

1,023

1 Through November, 2001.


Cuba

I. Summary

Cuba's decaying infrastructure, declining operations budgets, and sporadic fuel shortages have hampered enforcement efforts. The island's 3500 nautical miles of coastline and more than 4000 sparsely populated islets and cays present an inviting environment for both air and maritime smuggling. In the past three years, the Government of Cuba (GOC) claims to have focused its attention on non-commercial boats and small aircraft, with a resulting increase in seizures and disrupted smuggling attempts.

Limited, case-by-case coordination between the GOC and the USG on international drug trafficking issues has continued despite impediments created by some elements in the Cuban regime. Since the September 2000 addition of a U.S. Coast Guard Drug Interdiction Specialist (DIS) to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuban authorities occasionally have provided that officer information and assistance on specific cases and he has been able to reciprocate on a limited number of cases. The GOC, however, has not exploited the DIS's presence to the fullest by developing more effective counternarcotics cooperation, nor has it been forthcoming on the extent of narcotics transiting Cuban soil and the level of rising domestic drug consumption. Moreover, the GOC has subjected him to repeated harassment by State Security agents, including invasion of his home and government vehicle, and continual, oppressive surveillance of his official activities. These acts of official harassment have limited effective liaison between the DIS and Cuban counternarcotics officials and call into question the Cuban regime's true intentions regarding more effective collaboration against narcotics trafficking.

Although GOC officials claim they deal transparently with other governments on counternarcotics efforts, the degree of transparency and cooperation with the U.S. is influenced by political factors. For example, for the most part, the GOC permits the DIS increased access to its facilities and information only during visits by members of Congress, their staff, and important non-government organizations, raising the question of whether the Cuban government's principal motivation is to seek authentic cooperation or win political advantage. Drug cases have been exploited by the GOC for political gain, including the publication of sensitive information in order to make a case for a bilateral agreement.

The challenge of stemming the flow of narcotics grows in the presence of increasing tourism from Europe and the United States. Cuba is a party to the 1988 UN Convention.

II. Status of Country

The island does not appear to be a significant producer of drugs or precursor chemicals, although government reports indicate that marijuana is being cultivated for a growing domestic market. Cuban officials have pointed to the growing quantity of drugs seized over the past few years as a sign that Cuba's attractiveness as a transit point is increasing and interdiction efforts are improving. The GOC claims its improved interdiction has come despite inadequate resources to patrol territorial waters and airspace. Cuban government sources report that some upgrades to patrol boats and equipment are being made, but not at a rate commensurate with the growing narcotics threat to Cuban territory.

According to the Cuban government, the Cuban Border Guard interdicts ninety percent of the drugs that Cuban law enforcement authorities seize. The lead investigative law enforcement agency on drugs in Cuba is the Ministry of the Interior's National Anti-Drug Directorate (DNA). The DNA is comprised of a variety of law enforcement, intelligence, and youth affairs and education organizations.

The non-enforcement governing body for prevention, rehabilitation, and policy issues is the National Drug Commission, formed in 1989 after the scandal in which the Cuban regime convicted and executed an Army major general, a Ministry of Interior colonel, and several other officials for involvement in narcotics trafficking. This interagency coordinating body headed by the Minister of Justice is comprised of the Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Relations, Public Health, Higher Education, Education, and Culture. Also represented on the commission are the Attorney General's Office, Customs and Border Guard Services and the National Sports Institute.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2002

Policy Initiatives. According to Cuban government sources, counternarcotics personnel continued to attend training symposiums hosted by third country representatives visiting Cuba. The Program Management Office of Barbados presented two such multi-national programs in Havana, while almost all other third country-sponsored sessions are conducted on a bilateral basis. Despite a new policy in 2001 to increase societal control by assigning a "social worker" to each Cuban family and a national plan to educate Cubans on the dangers of drugs, domestic drug use rose. The Attorney General made a public statement acknowledging the increase, but attributed it to consumption by growing numbers of tourists and did not acknowledge the greater usage by Cubans.

In August 2002, the DNA's leadership changed when Colonel Oliverio Montalvo Alvarez retired and was replaced by Brigadier General Jesus Becerra Morciego of the national police. This change marked a shift of responsibility from the military to the national police, as well as an upgrading of the post to a higher rank. To date, however, Becerra has not taken a visible role in the coordination of the DNA liaison with third country representatives.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The force structure increase established during the ACHE II counternarcotics offensive from July-October 2000 has led to an increase in the number of seizures and a better flow of information to the U.S. Coast Guard. In the first ten months of 2002, Cuban drug interdiction units seized 4.5 tons of narcotics. The U.S. Coast Guard and Cuba's Border Guard (TGF—Tropas Guardas Fronteras) have exchanged information on a case-by-case basis which, on certain occasions, has led to the apprehension of several boats and crews involved in drug trafficking. Additional counternarcotics units, some positioned at the airports and others used to raid nightclubs, have met with some success. In early 2002, a number of nightclubs in Havana were closed and others had their hours curtailed after rampant drug use was observed. By the spring, clubs were reopened with a higher police presence including the use of dogs to make random checks. At the end of 2002, only one of the most popular nightclubs remains closed and others have seen a resumption of drug availability.

Drug Seizures/Arrests. The GOC rarely publishes figures on the quantity of drug seizures and arrests. However, the GOC's selectively prepared data, including statistics derived from the actionable information provided to the U.S. Coast Guard on discrete occasions, indicate that there have been a number of arrests and seizures. In the months of June and October, Border Guard units recovered large amounts of narcotics washing up on Cuban shores from disrupted maritime drug smuggling ventures. At the airport, DNA officials have made 41 arrests in 25 cases involving the seizure of 45.89 kilograms of cocaine. In some cases that have had links to the U.S., Cuban officials have shared their findings with U.S. law enforcement officials for case development in the U.S.

At Havana's Marina Hemingway, Border Guard officials detected on at least three occasions the presence of narcotics involving U.S.-flagged vessels, two of which were ordered out of the country; the results were shared with U.S. law enforcement officials. Although comprehensive data on the GOC's drug seizures and arrests are not available, coordination between the U.S. Coast Guard and the TGF led to a number of foiled trafficking operations, and the dumping of several tons of marijuana and cocaine. In addition to Cuban arrests and seizures, Border Guard officials have on occasion provided actionable information to the U.S. Coast Guard, leading to coordinated seizures and arrests by U.S., Cuban, and third country counternarcotics officials in both international waters and territorial seas of The Bahamas and Cuba.

Corruption. The United States does not have direct evidence of narcotics-related corruption among senior GOC officials. However, observations and the existence of a thriving black market where drugs are available suggest that corruption does exist at lower organizational levels within the national police and security apparatus. No mention of GOC complicity in narcotics trafficking nor narcotics-related corruption was made in the media in 2002; the media in Cuba is completely controlled by the state.

Agreements and Treaties. Cuba is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Pyschotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. The GOC maintains bilateral narcotics agreements with 29 countries and less formal working arrangements with 16 others. Counternarcotics coordination between the U.S. and Cuba occurs only on a case-by-case basis in the absence of a bilateral treaty or agreement. The Cuban government has signaled its willingness to participate eventually in a regional Caribbean counternarcotics cooperation agreement. Cuba also has signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Cultivation/Production. There is no evidence that Cuba is a significant drug-producing country. Cuban narcotics officials say that small quantities of marijuana are grown around Havana and Eastern Cuba for domestic use. GOC official media recently publicly reported that marijuana is being grown in Cuba. The GOC offered no information regarding crop size estimates, crop yields, or eradication efforts, except to say that it amounts to less than a hectare.

Drug Flow/Transit. There are no authoritative reports on the nature and extent of trafficking from and through Cuba. Based on U.S. and third country seizure information and cases presented to U.S. law enforcement officials, it appears that the majority of detected trafficking took place through Cuba's territorial waters and airspace, with less 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 for pickup. These drugs appeared to be heading for The Bahamas, with the United States as the likely final destination. In the airport cases, drug couriers or "mules" were used to carry narcotics to Europe primarily; however, Cuban officials, for the first time, shared information from two cases in which the narcotic was allegedly being transported to the U.S.

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 2002.

Domestic Programs. The GOC continues to blame the growing drug consumption problem on increased foreign tourism and "wash-ups," drugs that have washed ashore, jettisoned by smugglers and not reported by their finders who subsequently consume them or sell them for hard currency. GOC officials report that drug use has contributed to a rise in crime, but have announced no new measures to deal with the problem. A multi-agency approach already exists to respond to "wash-ups" that includes a specialized mobile search team with members who have been trained in rummage techniques by the UK and Canada.

The National Commission on Drugs (CND), created in 1989, has taken the lead on drug prevention programs. British prevention and rehabilitation authorities have hosted seminars to assist the Cubans in establishing similar programs. The majority of municipalities on the island have counternarcotics organizations and those that do not are in the process of creating them. Prevention programs focus on education and outreach to groups most at risk of being introduced to illegal drug use.

There is a comprehensive counternarcotics action plan that encompasses the Ministries of Health, Justice, and Education, among others, to coordinate a long-term prevention strategy. As drug use rises, the GOC will have more difficulty in supporting its contention that the problem remains contained. Ultimately, the GOC may have to place greater emphasis on treatment for existing addicts, including wards to assist in dependency issues in enhanced treatment facilities.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Cooperation in narcotics control matters occurs only on a case-by-case basis. Since the DIS arrived in September 2000, the GOC, despite its harassment of the officer personally, has, on occasion, provided actionable information to the U.S. Government. Up until summer 2002, the DIS had initiated all but one of the cases being developed in Havana with his Cuban counterparts. Since the summer of 2002, the DNA has initiated 19 cases which included leads on fugitives from U.S. law enforcement authorities. Last year, the GOC returned one fugitive on an informal basis and is attempting to return two more fugitives, also on an informal basis. The DIS was invited to participate in two boarding operations in Marina Hemingway and assisted in the case development and evidence collection surrounding a known international drug trafficker operating in Cuba. After a delay of several months, Cuban authorities permitted the importation of drug interdiction equipment, known as a "Buster Kit," and the DIS has demonstrated its use. This increased initiative on the part of the GOC likely can be attributed to U.S. pressure and complaints about the lack of Cuban engagement with the DIS. It is unknown whether the DNA will continue to bring cases to the DIS or will revert instead to its past uncommunicative posture.

The Road Ahead. If the DNA continues to provide case information to the DIS, additional work on a case-by-case basis is possible.


Dominican Republic

I. Summary

The Dominican Republic (DR) is a major transit country for South American drugs, mostly cocaine and heroin, moving to the United States. The Government of the Dominican Republic (GODR) continued to cooperate closely with the U.S. in counternarcotics matters. Last year (2002) saw an increase in heroin seizures, a decrease in cocaine interceptions, and the appearance of MDMA (Ecstasy); limited cooperation between the GODR and the Haitian police; acceleration of the extradition process; and enactment of a strong anti-money laundering law. (For details on the GODR's anti-money laundering initiatives in 2002, see the Money Laundering section of this report.) Although the GODR increased its efforts to combat corruption in 2002, corruption and weak governmental institutions remained an impediment to controlling the flow of illegal narcotics through the DR. In 2002, an estimated eight percent of the cocaine directed toward the U.S. flowed through Hispaniola and nearly half of this amount reached the DR's shores directly from South American sources. 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 hub, but Dominican criminal organizations are increasingly involved in command and control of international drug trafficking operations.

Seizures in 2002 continued to indicate that cocaine, heroin, and cannabis destined for the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe, were being transshipped through the DR and its territorial waters. Ecstasy seized in the DR was most often being transported from Europe to the United States. 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, the language of the source country smugglers; move easily throughout the Caribbean; and are recruited for very small 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 2002

Policy Initiatives. After the success of a U.S.-sponsored regional counternarcotics operation in 2001, "Operation Hurricane," involving 19 Caribbean countries including the DR and Haiti, the DR initiated bilateral intelligence-sharing and interdiction efforts with Haiti. The National Directorate for Drug Control (DNCD), the law enforcement arm responsible for counternarcotics measures, and the National Drug Council (CND), the GODR's drug control policy and planning organ, have adopted a computerized system to track seizures of assets in connection with drug-related offenses, but the system is not yet fully functional.

The GODR passed new anti-money laundering legislation that U.S.-funded programs helped draft and promote. (See the Money Laundering section of this report.) The GODR also enacted, with U.S. support, a revised criminal procedures code that would change the Dominican criminal system from a Napoleonic inquisitorial system, with a dossier of evidence evaluated by a judge, to an accusatory system that includes presentation of oral arguments before a judge or a jury.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In June 2002, Dominican military and law enforcement agencies participated in a two-week counternarcotics exercise, "Sorpresa Nocturna II." The exercise focused on cooperation with military and law enforcement agencies of the United States and the Haitian police. "Sorpresa Nocturna II," which involved DOD, DEA, USCG, and USCS, was the largest operation of its kind in the Dominican Republic's law enforcement history. The exercise tested the DR's joint command and control abilities as well as its military's capacity to assist the DNCD in true joint fashion. The Dominican military took important steps to bolster its future counternarcotics capability through significant equipment procurement. Its acquisitions included renovation of six aging patrol craft, construction of two new 110-foot coastal patrol ships under commercial contract with a U.S. company, and fourteen helicopters, including six designed for operations over water, all scheduled to arrive in FY 2004.

The DNCD increased its canine program from 20 to 25 dogs and handlers.

Cultivation/Production. There is no known cultivation of coca or opium poppy in the DR. Cannabis is grown on a small scale for local consumption. The GODR launched investigations into the possible manufacture of MDMA (Ecstasy).

Drug Flow/Transit. The DNCD increased heroin seizures over those of 2001, logging almost daily interdictions of body-carried heroin through the DR's international airports. Through December 2002, with cooperation and assistance of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the DNCD seized 1.1 metric tons of cocaine, 115 kilograms of heroin, and nearly 1.7 metric tons of cannabis. The DNCD also continued to focus its investigations and interdiction operations on the drug-transit routes in the DR's territorial waters along the northern coast and at land border crossings with Haiti, attempting to prevent airdrops of illicit narcotics to vessels waiting offshore or to sites on land.

In 2002, drugs were readily available for local consumption in most metropolitan areas. The DR attracted a substantial number of tourists from Europe and North America 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 4156 drug-related arrests in 2002; of those arrested, 3857 were Dominican nationals and 299 were foreigners. There were 448 more drug-related arrests in 2002 than in 2001 and 87 more foreigners were among those arrested on drug charges than in 2001.

Most of the significant seizures were made on land, in the big cities. There were some seizures made at the Haitian border in 2002, but quantities seized were limited. While the number of seizures made in Dominican airports was high, the actual amount of drugs seized there was relatively small. Airport seizures of MDMA ("Ecstasy") pills, however, accounted for 47 percent of all "Ecstasy" seized in the country. Maritime seizures remained a challenge for the DR, especially detecting drugs hidden in commercial vessels.

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 (USMS) 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 United States to face justice. Despite withdrawal of the marshals in December 2001, the tempo of extraditions to the United States continued to increase in 2002, largely due to the extradition of fugitives captured prior to the marshals' departure.

President Mejia's administration continued its cooperation in 2002 and the GODR extradited 17 Dominicans to the United States during the year. The DNCD arrested 12 fugitives in 2002 in response to U.S. extradition requests. The National Police, working with the FBI, arrested and extradited two drug-related subjects and located 14 subjects for extradition. Six fugitives are now in custody pending extradition to the United States. In addition, Dominican authorities deported four U.S. citizens and third-country nationals wanted by U.S. justice authorities.

In 2002, the Justice Ministry constructed new cells to house up to 45 fugitives awaiting extradition. The new construction, at the Najayo prison, was partly funded by the U.S. Government.

Mutual Legal Assistance. The GODR cooperates with USG agencies, including the DEA, FBI, U.S. Customs Service, and USMS on counternarcotics and fugitive matters.

The DNCD housed the new DEA-sponsored Caribbean Center for Drug Information (CDI) at its facilities in Santo Domingo.

Corruption. The GODR does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, and other controlled substances; nor does it contribute to drug-related money laundering. The GODR did not convict any senior officials for involvement in the above-mentioned activities; however, a former Dominican vice consul in the Haitian capital was apprehended by DNCD's Special Investigations Unit while smuggling drugs across the border and remains under arrest.

The GODR's Immigration Directorate removed 126 inspectors and supervisors in 2002 for allowing people to travel to the United States and Europe without proper documentation. Nevertheless, Dominican institutions remain vulnerable to influence by interest groups or individuals with money to spend, including narcotics traffickers.

Legislation remains pending that would strengthen enforcement of a 1979 law that requires senior appointed civil service and elected officials to file financial disclosure statements. However, an effective system to verify these statements and impose sanctions for false statements has not yet been implemented.

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 DNCD conducted 44 youth events in various cities and neighborhoods, from basketball tournaments to chess matches, to encourage competitive and recreational activities as better choices than drug abuse.

Agreements and Treaties. The GODR began negotiations to grant permanent overflight authority to the USG for rapid response in counternarcotics and alien smuggling operations. The current four-year extension of overflight authority was in lieu of an agreement to expand a 1995 U.S.-DR bilateral maritime agreement to include overflight and order-to-land authority. The United States has proposed a Maritime Migration Law Enforcement Agreement and a Search and Rescue Agreement. In 1985, the United States and the DR entered into an agreement on international narcotics control cooperation. The DR has signed but not ratified 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. The DR also was an active participant in negotiations that recently concluded a Caribbean regional maritime counternarcotics agreement. 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.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Cocaine and heroin 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 2002, the United States provided essential equipment and training to expand the counternarcotics canine units, supported the DNCD's vetted special investigation unit and border intelligence units, provided radio equipment for the DNCD's border units to use on the DR's border with Haiti, and funded an assessment of the implementation of a previously funded automated tracking system to manage seized assets. The United States also assisted the Dominican Navy in planning for a complete maintenance and training program for its maritime assets. The cornerstone of this effort is the reopening of the DR Navy's training and maintenance school, closed in 1997.

The United States has funded training for the DNCD Fugitive Surveillance Unit, helping it locate, apprehend, and extradite individuals wanted on criminal charges in the United States. Enhanced computer training, database expansion, and systems maintenance support were provided to the DNCD. The Dominican Navy and Air Force have established a direct communications agreement with the United States 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.

Other significant USG military equipment acquisitions include the $250,000 purchase of a Zodiac Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat capable of intercepting go-fast narcotics craft.

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 continued to provide training to prosecutors in basic criminal justice and prosecutorial skills. Several high-profile investigations are ongoing.

The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT), provided three weeks of training to prosecutors and investigators in the Department for Prevention of Corruption (DEPRECO). This hands-on training improved DEPRECO's ability to investigate and prosecute government corruption cases.

The USG has taken the initiative in bringing together a group of high-profile Dominican business leaders. These leaders formed and capitalized an NGO, hired a full-time director, and began working with human resource departments of local businesses to implement programs to warn employees of the dangers of drug use. Two privately owned airports have shown leadership in improving airport security, including co-funding with the USG of DNCD canine units.

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.

With USCS leadership and DEA support, the Port Authority initiated a project to improve security at the chaotic Santo Domingo terminal of the ferry to Puerto Rico. An ongoing project has improved passenger processing and established controls to detect and prevent smuggling of drugs and other contraband. U.S. Customs also advised the owners of a new container terminal, now under construction.

DEA funded construction and equipment for a new Caribbean Center for Drug Intelligence at DNCD headquarters. When fully functional in 2003, this center will permit real-time sharing and analysis of narcotics-related information among all the nations of the Caribbean Basin. Similar centers are being established in Mexico, Colombia, and Bolivia. USG training programs have also targeted the DR military's intelligence units in order to improve their capacity to analyze, detect and interdict narcotics shipments.

USAID has supported analysis and public debate which led to the drafting of important legislation to reform the Criminal Procedures Code, establish an apolitical cadre of career prosecutors, reform the National Police, and strengthen anti-money laundering laws. The Criminal Procedures Code reform was adopted in 2002. An automated criminal case tracking system pilot project became operational in the Santo Domingo District in 2002.

With the incoming eight patrol vessels, high-speed launch, and 14 helicopters, the Dominican military will have a greatly augmented capacity to interdict narcotics smuggling. USG military assistance efforts will then turn to maintaining these assets and convincing the GODR and its military to acquire a sensor package for its fixed-wing air fleet, to be used in interdiction operations at sea and on land. Other training efforts will focus on both improving the military's counternarcotics intelligence apparatus and improving the DR military's ability to conduct operations through joint command and control training.

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

The U.S. Government and the GODR will continue strengthening drug control cooperation through sharing of information and developing closer working relations among principal agencies. The United States will work closely with the DR to ensure that the new asset seizure tracking system is fully utilized. The United States will continue providing training and equipment for the DNCD's border control units, focusing its attention on exchanging the intelligence necessary to disrupt cross-border narcotics smuggling. Support for the retraining and re-certification of the DNCD canine units will continue, as will establishment of new canine units in cooperation with DNCD. The DNCD's fugitive investigation teams will continue to receive hands-on U.S. support for their efforts pursuing Dominican fugitives from U.S. justice who seek refuge in the DR. The USG will continue to provide support to Dominican government and private sector counternarcotics efforts, including provision of specialized technical equipment and support of business and civil society demand reduction efforts.

USAID and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) will provide further training to prosecutors and investigators, increasing their professionalism and ensuring that they are prepared to implement the new Criminal Procedures Code when it becomes effective in 2004. 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 Prosecution Department.

The USG will work closely with the newly formed Anti-Money Laundering Commission to ensure full implementation of the newly enacted Anti-Money Laundering Law.


Dominican Republic Statistics

(1993-2002)

 

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

Seizures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocaine (mt)

1.1

1.8

1.27

1.01

2.34

1.35

2.14

3.60

2.80

1.07

Heroin (mt)

0.115

0.017

0.020

0.012

0.069

0.008

0.005

Marijuana (mt)

1.7

3.794

2.90

0.18

0.11

0.78

1.01

1.00

6.81

0.31

Arrests/Detentions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nationals

3,857

3,496

4,454

3,918

1,676

1,431

3,097

3,388

2,810

Foreigners

299

212

161

111

50

69

11

158

Total Arrests

4,156

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 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. Both Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles are active members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

II. Status

Netherlands Antilles

The islands of the Netherlands Antilles (NA) (Cura�ao and Bonaire off Venezuela and Saba, Saint Eustatius, and Sint 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 although use of fishing boats, freighters, and cruise ships is becoming more common. Direct transport to Europe, and at times to the U.S., is by "mules" (drug couriers) using commercial flights. Evidence in 2002 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 Sint Maarten en route to Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The year was marked by a crack-down at Curacao's Hato International Airport on "mules" who either ingest or conceal on their bodies illegal drugs, mostly destined for Europe. Since the inception of the "Hato Team" concept of interagency cooperation in April, at least 6,500 persons have been denied boarding based on suspicion of drug trafficking under the GONA's legal authority to prevent disruption on air carriers. Suspected traffickers may request an X-ray in order to clear themselves of suspicion and receive permission to board the plane, but only about 10 percent do so. Of those, about three percent are found to have ingested drugs. Smugglers who ingest the illegal drugs are switching from latex condoms to cat and goat intestines to hold drugs that are mixed with a waxy substance to better conceal them from x-ray imaging. In December, the x-ray program was suspended because of threats against the hospital and the two private radiologists who conduct the tests. There have been three assaults on the airport "Hato Team." Consistent with the increased smuggling, arrests were frequent in 2002, filling Cura�ao's prison, where management problems persist, to capacity. Additional guards are being trained and five new cells have been built at the police station nearest the airport.

As Hato airport tightened control, traffickers began to move to other Antillean airports, challenging law enforcement control at those locations. For example, from January to May Bonaire arrested seven "mules," but after the transfer of a major KLM route to Bonaire in June, 40 were arrested through September. Sint Maarten detected increasing numbers of "mules" and made plans to improve its drug detection technology with Dutch assistance. In addition to go-fast activity and smuggling via commercial airlines, large quantities of narcotics moved through in containers, as indicated by seizures from containers in 2002. In November, 1,200 kilograms of marijuana were seized from a container in Sint Maarten in a joint operation with the French side of the island, Saint Martin. Statistics on significant seizures in 2002 indicate that Dutch Sint 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 remained important concerns for the GONA. Curacao experienced a stunning increase in drug-related homicides in 2002; there were at least 29 in 2002 compared to 9 in 2001. Ten of the victims were Colombians. Beginning early in 2003, the GONA will require visas of Colombians wishing to enter its territory. The rise in drug abuse is attributed to payment for drug trafficking services in cocaine rather than in cash as well as to a weakened economy. The Government that took office in June made narcotics interdiction, crime control, and international cooperation priorities through a 'Zero Tolerance' enforcement campaign. The Minister of Justice developed a plan to add 350 new judicial services employees, including 215 new police and 100 new prison guards. His plan addresses the prison shortage, intelligence improvement, and migrant control, as well as increasing numbers of police. The Prime Minister announced the GONA's plan to acquire container scanning equipment, island-wide radar coverage, and two helicopters (for which a contract has already been signed).

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, have received some additional resources, including support from the National Guard. The rigorous legal standards that must be met to prosecute cases constrain the effectiveness of the police; nevertheless, local police made significant progress in 2002 in initiating complex, sensitive cases targeting upper-echelon traffickers. In September, law enforcement made one of the largest seizures ever with 393 kilograms of cocaine and 43 kilograms of heroin after a sophisticated, lengthy investigation. In November, police working with the Joint Coast Guard of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba seized 223 kilograms of cocaine. These efforts demonstrated the effectiveness of cooperation with other law enforcement entities in the region.

The local community supports the GONA's offensive against drugs. In November, the major bank donated 500,000 NAF ($280,000) to the "Zero Tolerance" program. In December, the owner of a local adult entertainment facility (Campo Alegre) and his lawyer were convicted on drug trafficking-related charges. The owner was sentenced to 12 years in prison and a one million NAF ($560,000) fine, his lawyer received 7 years and a 300,000 NAF ($168,000) fine

The far-reaching restructuring of the police, started in 2000, began to show results. The police chief made improvement of the Criminal Investigative Service (CID) his top priority. His second priority is improving the expertise of the financial investigation team. Thirty new police recruits began training in January 2003, an important step in addressing the shortage of officers. The police on Cura�ao received nine new vehicles in 2002 and another three went to Sint Maarten. As a result of a protocol signed in 2002 between the Justice Ministers of the Antilles and the Netherlands, the NA is now connected to the Police Information net to exchange information, particularly about international crime. The specialized Dutch police units (RSTs) that support law enforcement in the NA continued to be effective in 2002 and began, as originally intended, to include local officers in the development of 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 conduct counternarcotics detection and monitoring flights over both the source and transit zones from commercial ramp space provided free of charge. A major expansion project at the airport that began in January 2002 will add markedly to the FOL's capacity when it is completed in September 2003.

The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Coast Guard (CGNAA) scored a number of impressive successes in 2002. The CGNAA was responsible for several seizures of both cocaine and marijuana. The CGNAA's three cutters, outfitted with rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) designed especially for counternarcotics work in the Caribbean, demonstrated their utility against "go-fast" boats and other targets. The CGNAA has planned to acquire four 'super' RHIBs over the next two years.

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 the islands, and its local responsibility to stop narcotics distribution on the islands. In May, working with its partners, it seized a small Colombian freighter with 46 kilograms of cocaine concealed onboard. Under the leadership of its new Attorney General, the GONA continued to strengthen its cooperation with U.S. law enforcement authorities throughout 2002. This cooperation extended to Sint 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 secondarily to Europe. Drugs move north via cruise ships and the multiple daily flights to the U.S. and Europe. Evidence in 2002 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 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. The most visible evidence of a drug abuse problem may be the homeless addicts, called "chollars" who number about 220 and 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. The expanding use of MDMA in clubs by young people attracts increasing attention. 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 Government has been very clear that it intends to pursue a dynamic counternarcotics strategy in close cooperation with its regional and international partners.

In 2002, Aruban law enforcement officials continued to investigate and prosecute mid-level drug traffickers who supply drugs to the endless parade of "mules." The police cooperated closely with DEA in a complex investigation leading to the arrest of two cruise ship crewmembers transporting 1.3 kilograms of heroin to Puerto Rico. On September 15, four couriers were arrested at the airport with 3.2 kilograms of heroin. This case also led to the arrest of 20 other individuals and seizure of another eight kilograms of cocaine. Also in the fall, Aruban law enforcement broke up a smuggling ring resulting in five arrests and the seizure of 30 kilograms of cocaine.

The police were reorganized in 2002, establishing four instead of three districts, each autonomous with its own detectives' division and led by a District Commissioner. Officers rotate periodically through the police functions. The aim is to put more police on the streets to counter criticism that low-level street pushers enjoy virtually unimpeded freedom to sell cheap drugs to Aruban youth. Two new police stations will be established. A new police unit was created for the tourist areas to provide focused coverage, including counternarcotics. A new Attorney General committed to international cooperation, was appointed in February 2002.

The GOA took further steps in 2002 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 to make valuable commercial ramp space available to both U.S. military and U.S. Customs aircraft conducting aerial counternarcotics detection and monitoring missions.

The GOA hosts the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Customs Service (USCS), and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) pre-inspection and pre-clearance personnel at Reina Beatrix airport. These officers occupy facilities financed and built by the GOA. USCS seizures of cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy were frequent in 2002. Drug smugglers arrested are either prosecuted in Aruba or returned to the U.S. for prosecution, if appropriate. Aruban jails remain overcrowded. The GOA established special cells in which to detain those suspected of ingesting drugs. 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 2002

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. 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. 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. In April, the NA signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the U.S. Aruba has limited legislation dating from May 1996 regulating the import and export of certain precursor and essential chemicals, consistent with the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In the Antilles, it is not clear if the pending legislation 2381 at Parliament relating to precursors is final, but the NA does cooperate in efforts to identify and destroy chemicals.

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

Seizures. Available drug seizure statistics for calendar year 2002 are as follows:

Aruba seized 469.611 kilograms of cocaine, 25.221 kilograms of heroin, 1.308 kilograms of marijuana, 10 grams of hashish, and 19,445 tablets of MDMA ("Ecstasy").

The NA seized 28,939.992 kilograms of cocaine, 16,612.97 kilograms of heroin, 18,996.07 kilograms of marijuana, 3.77 kilograms of hashish, and 82 tablets of MDMA ("Ecstasy").

Seizures reported by the Joint Coast Guard of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are: 1,682 kilograms of cocaine, 2.56 kilograms of heroin, and 4,841 kilograms of marijuana.

Corruption. The effect of official corruption on the production and processing of illegal drugs is not an issue for either Aruba or the NA. There is no evidence to indicate that ranking 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. Aruba, having identified and acquired a site, plans to open a comprehensive drug rehabilitation and shelter facility as early as March of this year.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) departed in 2002 from its prior policy of not funding the component governments of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and offered limited counternarcotics assistance available to the GOA. Although a bilateral counternarcotics agreement was not concluded by year's end, the United States continues to encourage Aruban and NA law enforcement officials to participate in INL-funded regional training courses at the GOA and GONA's expense. An NGO expert from Cura�ao participated in the International Visitors Program project regarding demand reduction. Chiefly through the DEA, the United States is able to provide limited assistance to enhance technical capabilities as well as some targeted training. In May 2002, the U.S. Coast Guard provided a maritime law enforcement boarding team training course in Cura�ao tailored to local needs. The U.S. is also searching 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 and marijuana products, traveling from South America to the U.S. and other global markets. Approximately 35 metric tons of cocaine originated from, was destined for, or transited through the Eastern Caribbean in 2002. 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 for the British, French and Dutch jurisdictions in the Caribbean. There has been an increase in cocaine courier travel by commercial air to Europe.

The level of cocaine and marijuana trafficked through the individual Eastern Caribbean 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 are areas of concern to be kept under observation.

Drug trafficking and related crimes—such as money laundering, drug use, arms trafficking, official corruption, violent crime and intimidation—have the potential to threaten the stability of the small, democratic countries of the Eastern Caribbean, and to varying degrees, 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, corrupting officials and contracting the services of local criminal organizations, some of whom are now sufficiently trusted by major DTOs to be given narcotics on consignment. Some of the Eastern Caribbean DTOs also have established contacts amongst themselves to facilitate drug distribution in the region. Local traffickers often pay for services with drugs and/or weapons to limit costs and to increase demand and markets. U.S. law enforcement officials are alert to the possibility that terrorist organizations could tap into the infrastructure built by DTOs operating in the region.

The seven Eastern Caribbean states are parties to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Other than St. Lucia, all of the Eastern Caribbean countries are parties to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Two of the seven states have ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption; one has signed but not ratified. All seven governments have in force bilateral mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties with the U.S. The U.S. Government has maritime drug law enforcement agreements with all seven of the Eastern Caribbean states. A Protocol to amend and update all maritime agreements was submitted in September 2001, but no response has been received from any RSS country.

Marijuana crops are grown in the greatest amounts 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. Marijuana is grown to a lesser extent in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis. 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 appears to make it a significant element of the Vincentian economy. Most Eastern Caribbean officials regard marijuana production and trafficking as serious offenses, although the question of legalization or decriminalization is being discussed in some quarters. The U.S. supports and encourages eradication campaigns as a means to combat marijuana use in the Eastern Caribbean.

In general, Eastern Caribbean law enforcement agencies are committed to controlling drug trafficking and working with their U.S. counterparts. However, conspiracy cases against DTO ringleaders, prosecutions for complex finance crimes and money laundering cases and successful asset forfeitures remain almost non-existent. Some of the necessary criminal statutes to bring such cases exist in all Eastern Caribbean countries, such as conspiracy, criminal asset forfeiture and money laundering laws, but they are used infrequently. Other laws or practices that would allow law enforcement agencies to effectively penetrate organized criminal groups, such as wiretapping, undercover buys, paying informants, controlled deliveries, witness protection and plea agreements, have not been enacted or implemented. Moreover, sentences for drug possession or trafficking do not appear to act as a deterrent.

The 1996 Barbados Plan of Action for Drug Control Coordination and Cooperation in the Caribbean, the 1997 U.S.-Caribbean Summit Justice and Security Action Plan, and the CARICOM Regional Task Force on Crime and Security, as well as Caribbean police authorities on a regular basis, all call for modern laws covering these areas. In most cases an apparent lack of political will, and in others, resource shortages (e.g., of funds for informants or witness relocation, etc.) have effectively weakened such legal initiatives in most Eastern Caribbean jurisdictions. Without a serious, broad-based prosecution and law enforcement modernization effort, and a greater percentage of national resources given to drug law enforcement and prosecution, it is unlikely that the region will develop significant defenses against DTOs, as well as terrorist organizations, money launderers and other international and regional criminals and criminal groups.

Most of the seven countries devote resources and effort to maritime drug interdiction operations. Traditionally, in the absence of investigative leads, these efforts have been costly and of limited effectiveness, and there appears in some cases to be a less than aggressive maritime drug law enforcement posture. The effectiveness of these efforts is likely to improve as a result of U.S. and UK assistance in the development of Eastern Caribbean maritime and aviation combined operations capabilities, and by the Eastern Caribbean maritime units' acquisition of Rigid Hull Inflatable go-fast boats, now being supplied by the U.S. State Department. Eastern Caribbean countries participate in various maritime interdiction operations initiated by the U.S., UK, France and the Netherlands.

The seven Eastern Caribbean countries continued to support the Regional Security System (RSS), a treaty-based organization to which all seven countries belong. Barbados pays 40 per cent of the RSS's budget. The RSS includes marijuana eradication exercises in its basic training course for police special services units. The RSS continued to operate a maritime training facility in Antigua for member-nation forces. Local instructors, assisted by U.S. Coast Guard and British trainers, have provided various law enforcement and seamanship courses for several years. However, only the British instructors will remain in 2003. In 2002, the RSS C-26 program continued to provide valuable maritime detection and surveillance, particularly for intelligence-cued interdictions under U.S., UK, French or Dutch operational control. The U.S., which provided the two C-26 aircraft to the RSS, supplies ongoing support for the operation and maintenance of both C-26 aircraft. In one noteworthy operation in July 2002, the RSS C-26 program played a pivotal observation role for the UK ship HMS Newcastle in the seizure of 500 kilograms of cocaine from a yacht off the coast of St. Lucia.

Law enforcement authorities in the region acknowledge the need for increased information collection and sharing, and several of the countries, with donor assistance, have installed inter-agency drug intelligence centers, known as National Joint Headquarters (NJHQ's), which have UK-provided communications equipment. The NJHQ's also have access to the Regional Clearance System, administered by the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council in St. Lucia, which registers small craft and crew movements in the Caribbean. Lack of personnel, rivalries between law enforcement bodies and, in some jurisdictions, an apparent lack of political commitment to create or ensure the success of such centers have hindered progress on these initiatives.

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

Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis have economic citizenship programs that are susceptible to abuse through inadequate due diligence checks. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has eliminated its economic citizenship program and Grenada just passed legislation that will soon go into effect, to eliminate its economic citizenship program. Unscrupulous individuals, including suspected members of criminal organizations, can take advantage of such programs to ease travel and to modify and/or create multiple identities. Such individuals have also used these false identities to help create 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. Immigration and passport agencies in the Eastern Caribbean countries also are susceptible to corruption and that, combined with the lack of automated immigration records in the region, can facilitate ease of movement for criminals or terrorists.

In 2002, the Eastern Caribbean countries' focus on the 1996 Barbados Plan of Action and its follow-up 2001 high-level meeting on drugs and crime, and on the 1997 Caribbean-U.S. Summit Action Plan, transitioned into a focus on the work of the Caribbean Community's (CARICOM) Regional Task Force on Crime and Security. The 1997 U.S.-Caribbean Action Plan had set out a comprehensive set of measures to combat transnational crime, particularly drug trafficking and money laundering. It called for collaboration also 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. The CARICOM Task Force's September 2002 recommendations, similar in many respects to previous recommendations, take into account also the need for counterterrorism efforts as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. and would have the effect of improving drug law enforcement and prosecution efforts if implemented. The Eastern Caribbean countries are now considering the recommendations for implementation.

Status of Countries and Actions Against Drugs

Antigua and Barbuda

The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are drug transit sites for narcotics moving from South America via Jamaica and St. Vincent 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. Marijuana cultivation on the islands is not significant and is largely for local consumption.

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 Assistance in Criminal 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 ratified in 2002 the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, but has not signed any of its three protocols.

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 extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties with the U.S. The GOAB was responsive to USG-initiated mutual legal assistance requests in 2002. The GOAB has been uncooperative with the USG in executing U.S. initiated extradition requests. The U.S. has made two extradition requests to Antigua and Barbuda since the treaty entered into force. Both are pending. The USG is particularly concerned about the recent appellate court decision denying the extradition of William Cooper, an indicted money launderer, and reports that the GOAB does not intend to appeal the decision to the Privy Council. The USG hopes that the GOAB will appeal this appellate decision.

The GOAB inaugurated a new facility for its Office of National Drug Control and Money Laundering Policy (ONDCP) in August 2001. The modern facility houses the National Joint Headquarters, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Financial Investigations Unit, the Drugs Intelligence Unit, the Drug Control Policy Unit coordinator and two attorneys. In 2002, GOAB forces seized 51.4 kilograms of cocaine and 211.5 kilograms of marijuana, arrested 107 persons on drug-related charges and eradicated 35,757 marijuana plants. Recent use of modern profiling techniques and cooperation among UK law enforcement, the ONDCP, Antigua customs and the police drug squad, has led to a significant increase in arrests of UK-bound cocaine couriers. The GOAB has model asset seizure legislation, and has received substantial funds via asset seizure/sharing agreements with Canada, and other countries. With assistance from the OAS, the GOAB is drafting a master drug control plan. Early in 2002, GOAB officials noted a slight increase in heroin usage. In an OAS/CICAD survey, crack usage was more prevalent than were usage of other forms of cocaine or marijuana.

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. There are no public drug rehabilitation facilities in Antigua and Barbuda. Drug addicts are referred to the country's mental hospital. The ONDCP, in association with international donors, local organizations and the Ministry of Education, is initiating a "life skills" education program in primary schools. The D.A.R.E. program, also used in the schools, is conducted by the police.

Barbados

Barbados is a transit country and hub for cocaine and marijuana products, and less frequently, 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. 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 Assistance in Criminal Matters. Barbados has signed the UN 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. Barbados effected an extradition to the U.S. under the treaty in 2002. The Attorney General has publicly committed 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 narcotics traffickers and other criminal actors. In November 2002, two airport workers and a customs officer were arrested in connection with an alleged Jamaica-Barbados marijuana trafficking ring. GOB agencies reported seizing nearly 47 kilograms of cocaine and 690 kilograms of marijuana in 2002. The single largest marijuana seizure was 50 kilograms. The GOB arrested 128 persons on drug charges (January-November 2002). From January-October 2002, reported drug crimes accounted for 12 per cent of the total recorded crimes in Barbados. The GOB said in December 2002 that, with assistance from the University of the West Indies, it planned to research the effects of marijuana. According to a government minister, a significant portion of the youth population in Barbados and the Caribbean does not believe marijuana should be an illegal substance. However, the GOB indicated that it would have to carry out extensive studies before it could consider decriminalization of marijuana.

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 GOB plans to develop a drug court that will specialize in providing non-custodial sentences for drug offenders, if appropriate.

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 GOB has shared in assets forfeited in U.S. legal proceedings and has seized property belonging to convicted drug traffickers. 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 is 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. 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.)

Following up the recommendations of the CARICOM Regional Task Force on Crime and Security, the GOB announced the formation of a National Commission on Law and Order, which is to be an advisory body to the Attorney General's office. The Commission will consider a national plan of action against crime drafted by the Attorney General's office that will also form the basis for public hearings in 2003. The GOB also plans to introduce wiretapping legislation early in 2003.

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 to 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, marijuana is cultivated in Dominica. The Dominica police regularly conduct ground-based marijuana eradication missions in rugged, mountainous areas.

Through November 2002, Dominican law enforcement agencies reported seizing 4 kilograms of cocaine and 364 kilograms of marijuana. They eradicated 83,000 marijuana plants. Dominica police arrested 277 persons on drug-related charges. As part of its basic training course, the RSS destroyed 4,103 marijuana plants in Dominica in June 2002. A judicial process that emphasizes fines in lieu of jail sentences, especially for foreigners, undermines efforts by the Dominica police to arrest important drug traffickers. Dominican law permits the forfeiture of drug traffickers' assets. Police resource shortages and Dominica's difficult terrain make drug law enforcement investigations difficult.

The Ministry of Health oversees drug demand reduction efforts. The Ministry and its National Drug Prevention Unit have been 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. The GCOD is seeking funding to revive a youth cadet corps, one of whose objectives will be drug demand reduction.

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. Dominica is not a party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the Inter-American Firearms Convention or the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. 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.

An extradition treaty and an MLAT are currently in force between the U.S. and Dominica. Numerous MLAT requests and informal queries have been honored, particularly those submitted in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the U.S. Two extradition requests are outstanding. Dominica has taken no action to resolve these matters. In addition, the U.S. recently was forced to withdraw a request for one murder fugitives when, due to years of inaction by Dominica, an essential witness became unavailable. Since receiving an extradition request in 2000, Dominica has not extradited a Dominican national who was caught in New Mexico transporting over one ton of marijuana. The individual was released from jail in Dominica pending a decision on the extradition.

Grenada

The Government of Grenada (GOG) reports that the volume of narcotics it seized increased in 2002. Private vessels passing through and stopping in Grenada's coastal waters and unpoliced islands and beaches en route to U.S. and other markets are used to transport or drop off illegal narcotics for onward destinations, including by drug couriers on commercial aircraft. Relatively small amounts of marijuana are grown in Grenada. Marijuana is imported from St. Vincent for domestic use. Local drug kingpins have made significant connections with South American traffickers.

Grenada 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. Grenada has ratified the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the Inter-American Firearms Convention. Grenada acceded to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal 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 extremely responsive to MLAT requests, particularly in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the U.S.

The Drug Control Secretariat of the National Council on Drug Control is very active and effective. Under a 2002 statutory mandate, and with the participation of many government agencies, including the police service, the National Council on Drug Control, headed by the Attorney General, guides and integrates national interdiction and demand reduction policy. Grenada, with OAS assistance, is working on a new national master plan for drug control to cover the period 2003-2007. The Council effectively keeps drug prevention themes before the public. 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 sole 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. Grenadian authorities reported seizing approximately 77.1 kilograms of cocaine and 356.7 kilograms of marijuana in 2002. They arrested 469 persons (28 non-nationals) on drug-related charges and eradicated 4097 marijuana plants.

The GOG has been extremely helpful and cooperative with the USG in the targeting and investigation of local drug kingpins. The GOG has provided support for the arrest and prosecution of members of the kingpin organizations. The

GOG also has been innovative in its law enforcement techniques and training, especially in the area of airport interdiction.

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis is a transshipment site 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. Police officials noted in 2002 an increase in marijuana seen in the country.

The USG continues to seek the extradition of two members of the Charles Miller trafficking organization. Miller surrendered to U.S. authorities in February 2000, and was convicted on felony trafficking charges in Florida in December 2000 and sentenced to life in prison. The UK Privy Council dismissed in June 2002 the appeal of Miller's associates against the upholding of their extradition by the St. Kitts High Court. The case was remanded to the High Court for expeditious action, and a High Court procedural hearing on the case was held in January 2003. Another hearing on the case is scheduled for March 2003. In the meantime, the two individuals—Noel Heath and Glenroy Matthew—who have been named Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, remain free on bail.

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 is not a party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters or the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, or to the Inter- American Firearms Convention and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. 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. The GOSKN is extremely responsive to U.S. MLAT requests.

St. Kitts and Nevis developed a master plan for drug control in 1996, which was refined and submitted to parliament in December 2000. 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 police drug unit on St. Kitts has been largely ineffective. The GOSKN Defence Force augments police counternarcotics efforts, particularly in marijuana eradication operations. The government opened a National Joint Headquarters (NJHQ) in 2000. GOSKN officials reported seizing nearly one kilogram of cocaine and 30 kilograms of marijuana in 2002. They arrested 39 people on drug charges and eradicated 14,763 marijuana plants.

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 few 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 via 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 have been 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 GOSL police reported seizing 152 kilograms of cocaine and 230 kilograms of marijuana through October 2002. They arrested 634 persons on drug charges and eradicated 51,000 marijuana plants. The USG and the GOSL cooperate extensively on law enforcement matters. St. Lucia law permits asset forfeiture after conviction. The law directs the forfeited proceeds to be applied to treatment, rehabilitation, education and preventive measures related to drug abuse. Moreover, St. Lucia is in the process of extensive legislative reform of its criminal code. 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 the 1972 Protocol and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GOSL signed a maritime agreement with the USG in 1995 and an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement. An MLAT and an extradition treaty are in force between St. Lucia and the United States. 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 FAA 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 and the Grenadines as a major illicit drug producing or a major drug transit country under the FAA. Compressed marijuana is sent from St. Vincent and the Grenadines 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.

In 2002, Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (GOSVG) officials reported seizing 13.2 kilograms of cocaine and 7400 kilograms of marijuana. They arrested 475 persons on drug-related charges and eradicated 108,758 marijuana plants. 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.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In 2001, it became a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The GOSVG has acceded to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. The GOSVG has signed but not ratified the Inter-American Convention against Firearms. The GOSVG signed and ratified in 2002 the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and its protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.

The GOSVG signed a maritime agreement with the USG in 1995, but it has not yet signed an overflight amendment to the maritime agreement. An extradition treaty and an MLAT are currently in force between the U.S. and the GOSVG. USG law enforcement officials have received good cooperation from the GOSVG in 2002, particularly in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 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, and St. Barthelemy 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 to Europe and, to a lesser extent, to the U.S. Although evidence in 2002 did not support a finding that drugs entering the U.S. from the French Caribbean had a significant effect on the U.S., the U.S. considers the broad geographical area of the eastern and southern Caribbean, of which the French Caribbean is a part, as an area of concern to be kept under observation. A small amount of cannabis is cultivated in French Guiana.

In May, 2002 110 grams of cannabis were found concealed in stuffed yams shipped from Noumea. The farmer was arrested.

In July 2002, Marseille police made eight additional arrests in an ongoing investigation of the Saint-Roe cocaine network. This network was importing cocaine from Colombia via Martinique and distributing it in southeast France. A courier was intercepted in June carrying 17.6 kilos (kilograms) of cocaine and the final arrests made in June. A passenger coming from Cayenne was arrested at Charles de Gaulle airport carrying 23 kilograms of cocaine.

In July, a Dutch national flying into Paris also from Cayenne was stopped in possession of 500 grams of cocaine.

In August, French customs officials at Charles De Gaulle Airport seized 5.26 kilograms of cocaine from the bottom of a dog cage coming in from Guiana. The passenger had been to the local SPCA to get a dog just for the trip.

Finally in October, 1.2 kilograms of cocaine were intercepted by French authorities near Antigua on route from Venezuela to Europe.

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 an agreement was drafted in November 2001 on Cooperation in Suppressing Illicit Maritime and Aeronautical Trafficking in Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in the Caribbean Area. Pending a final agreement, U.S. and French authorities have maintained good operational relations in the Caribbean and have participated in joint interdiction operations in the area.

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

France supports European Union initiatives to increase counternarcotics assistance to the Caribbean. The EU and its member states, 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 destined for North America and Europe. There is insufficient evidence, however, that the cocaine entering the U.S. from Guyana is in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect on the U.S. The economic, political, and social conditions in Guyana make it a prime target for narcotics traffickers to expand their illicit activities. The transit of narcotics through Guyana has led to increasing domestic use. Although nominally committed to counternarcotics enforcement, the Government of Guyana (GOG) was largely preoccupied in 2002 by political instability and a dramatic rise in violent crime, some of which was reportedly linked to drug trafficking activities. Nevertheless, the GOG took steps to improve its counternarcotics capabilities, such as strengthening its Evidence Act and joining the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. The GOG cooperated with DEA investigations, and GOG law enforcement officers participated in U.S.-funded training provided by DEA and other U.S. agencies. Guyana is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but needs to take further action to meet its obligations under the Convention, such as updating its National Drug Plan and enacting additional legislation to enhance its counternarcotics capabilities.

II. Status of Country

Guyana's ineffective drug interdiction capability makes the country a relatively safe route for cocaine trafficking from South America to the U.S. and Europe. The country's geographic location and limited transportation infrastructure have thus far limited significant exploitation of Guyana's territory by drug traffickers. Guyana is not a producer of cocaine or precursor chemicals. The Government of Guyana's (GOG) counternarcotics efforts are undermined by the lack of adequate resources for law enforcement, poor coordination among law enforcement agencies, and a weak legal and judicial infrastructure. A surge in violent crime in 2002, resulting in the murders of twelve police officers (including the Deputy of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit), dominated public life and preoccupied Guyana's government and law enforcement agencies.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2002

Policy Initiatives. The GOG continues to express its commitment to counternarcotics efforts, domestically and internationally. Guyana supported the work of the CARICOM Regional Task Force on Crime and Security, which in September issued the report mandated at the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government in Nassau in July 2001. The GOG also welcomed a U.S. counternarcotics assessment team in May. The team's report identified GOG shortcomings and provided recommendations to the GOG for improving its counternarcotics capabilities. The team recommended that Guyana's outdated National Drug Strategy Master Plan be revised, as it lacked defined goals, objectives, and tasks and is poorly supported by relevant counternarcotics agencies. Although the GOG did not take action on any of the report's recommendations by year's end, in December, it requested assistance from the OAS's Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD) to draft a new National Drug Strategy. In response to the escalating violence in Guyana, the GOG enacted four anti-crime bills in the fall, one of which amended the Evidence Act to provide for the admissibility in court of evidence collected by electronic means or computers. Guyana became a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force in October.

Law Enforcement Efforts. GOG counternarcotics efforts are hindered by the lack of adequate resources for law enforcement. In addition, corruption, mutual distrust, and hesitation to share intelligence make coordination between Guyana's counternarcotics agencies difficult. Guyana's inefficient and antiquated legal system continues to hinder prosecution of drug offenses.

The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) made one large seizure in May, when 1800 kilograms of marijuana were discovered concealed in a commercial shipping container, but no arrests resulted. Law enforcement activity was otherwise limited to numerous arrests of individuals with small amounts of marijuana, crack or cocaine on charges of possession of drugs or possession with intent to distribute drugs. The Guyanese Police Force (GPF) Narcotics Branch and CANU continued to arrest drug mules at Guyana's international airport en route to the U.S. or Europe. It is noteworthy that all such arrests have been of foreigners, since the majority of travelers are Guyanese. The GPF Narcotics Branch and CANU also conducted several manual marijuana eradication operations, mostly in the early part of the year. In the fall, the GOG participated in a joint counternarcotics operation with the governments of Brazil and Suriname to combat the flow of narcotics in the tri-border area. The operation destroyed some airfields in Brazil. No airfields were destroyed in Guyana or Suriname, and suspected drug laboratories in the area were not found.

Guyana's Defence Force Coast Guard (GDFCG) demonstrated a marked improvement in its maritime law enforcement capability during 2002, although there have not yet been any narcotics interdictions at sea. The GDFCG conducted patrols with the 44-foot motor lifeboats (MLBs) acquired from the U.S. and seized several boats for engaging in illegal activities.

Corruption. Guyana is a party to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, but has yet to implement fully its provisions. Allegations of corruption are widespread, but continue to go uninvestigated. There were no arrests or prosecutions for corruption charges in 2002.

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. The bilateral maritime agreement signed by Guyana and the U.S. in 2001 is not yet in force pending the enactment by the GOG of implementing legislation. Guyana is a member of OAS/CICAD.

Cultivation/Production. A small amount of cannabis cultivation takes place in Guyana's interior. There are no reports of cocaine or precursor chemical production in Guyana.

Drug Flow/Transit. Cocaine flows into and out of Guyana through its porous borders and along its coast. Numerous airstrips in the mostly inaccessible interior are likely used to facilitate trafficking from Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil. Once inside the country, narcotics are carried to Georgetown by road, waterway, or air, and then on to the U.S. or Europe via commercial carriers, either directly or through intermediate Caribbean ports. Arrests, seizures, and reports of airdrops in Guyana's interior have decreased in relation to 2001, although the actual volume of trafficking may be unchanged. GOG officials believe that GOG counternarcotics agencies interdict only a small percentage of the cocaine and coca paste that transits Guyana.

Domestic Programs. Some marijuana is consumed domestically. The consumption of cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin is increasing, as drug traffickers reportedly provide narcotics as payments to their Guyanese associates. Guyana has a national demand reduction strategy, developed in cooperation with the Pan-American Health Organization, the World Health Organization, and the UNODC. Prevention programs operate in the prisons and a few urban areas, but lack of resources limited the scope of these efforts.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. In 2002, U.S. efforts continued to focus on strengthening the capacity of Guyana's law enforcement agencies through INL-funded training and procurement of equipment. U.S. officials continued to encourage Guyanese participation in bilateral and multilateral counternarcotics initiatives.

Bilateral Cooperation. Both CANU and the GPF continued to work closely with the DEA, and representatives from Guyana's counternarcotics agencies participated in numerous DEA training seminars during the year. Since the assassination of the CANU Deputy on August 24, and the lack of any arrests in the case, DEA efforts in Guyana have slowed significantly. In March, the U.S. funded an orientation visit of GDF, GPF and CANU representatives to Trinidad and Tobago's Joint Intelligence Coordination Center (JICC) and Joint Operations Command Center to observe their operations and improve the functioning of the JICC in Guyana. GDFCG personnel participated in a U.S. Coast Guard boarding officers course, and the GDFCG received from the U.S. three engines to provide maintenance support for its 44-foot MLBs. The GOG continued to support the Caribbean Support Tender (CST), a USCG vessel with a multinational crew that provides training and assistance in ship maintenance and repairs to Caribbean maritime forces. In November, four GDFCG crewmembers completed tours on the CST. A fifth crewmember is on board, and a sixth is expected to begin duty in January 2003. The U.S.-GOG Letter of Agreement on narcotics control and law enforcement was amended in September to provide an additional $50,000 in U.S. support.

The Road Ahead. Guyana's political stalemate and internal security crisis significantly hamper its ability to pursue an effective counternarcotics campaign; to a great extent, 2002 represents a lost year. U.S. democracy-building programs serve as a foundation for all aspects of effective governance in Guyana, including counternarcotics efforts. Assistance to strengthen the GPF's and CANU's counternarcotics capabilities through INL-funded training and equipment will continue to be important. So, too, will be U.S. efforts to strengthen Guyana's weak legal structure through law reform and training for prosecutors and judges. The U.S. will continue to encourage GOG participation in bilateral and multilateral initiatives, to include taking the necessary legislative and administrative actions to implement fully international conventions and agreements.


Haiti

I. Summary

Haiti's geographical position, weak institutions, and failed economy have made it a key conduit for drug traffickers transporting cocaine from South America to the United States and, to a lesser degree, Canada and Europe. The Haitian National Police (HNP) is a weakened institution, unable to field more than 3500 officers, lacking in discipline, and increasingly corrupt. The judicial system is equally weak, its prosecutors and judges susceptible to bribes and threats.

In May 2002, the Government of Haiti (GOH) signed a counternarcotics Letter of Agreement with the United States, but moved slowly to implement it. There has been progress, however, in building a Cap Haitien facility to be manned by the Haitian Coast Guard (HCG). In September, the DEA polygraphed members of the counternarcotics unit (BLTS) and identified a vetted group. Those who failed the polygraph were reassigned. The GOH also brought into force the bilateral U.S.-Haiti maritime counternarcotics interdiction agreement which the parliament had approved in December 2001. The Financial Investigations Unit was organized in 2002 and will begin operations when President Aristide names a director general.

Corruption, weak law enforcement capability, and lack of GOH commitment combine to limit cooperation in general, although Haitian officials have cooperated in specific cases upon request by the USG. Haiti's political and economic crises preoccupied the GOH in 2002, eclipsing the fight against drug trafficking. There are serious allegations that high level officials, both police and civilian, are involved in or profit from drug trafficking. Haitian participation in Operation Hurricane II, a two-week regional counternarcotics operation, was marred by political interference.

Although Haiti passed a money laundering law in 2001, it has not been fully implemented. Under pressure from the Prime Minister, the parent anti-money laundering commission met, but did not submit names to the President and Minister of Justice of candidates for Director General and Deputy DG of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Until those officers have been appointed, the unit cannot begin to function. The FIU does, however, have an office in the Central Bank and some staff members have been trained in Martinique and Trinidad. While the BLTS cooperated with DEA on some operations, it showed little initiative in developing cases of its own. Haiti is a party to the 1988 UN drug convention.

II. Status of Country

The political impasse that stems from the flawed legislative elections of May 2000 and which inhibits international assistance, continued in 2002. The economy continued to decline, increasing reliance on income from drug trafficking. The gourde-dollar gap widened dramatically, reaching 40-to-1 at one point. The Central Bank allowed dwindling reserves, while the government continued to subsidize fuel prices. Unrest grew in several of the major cities. In Haiti's second-most populous city of Cap Haitien, on November 17, anti-government sectors joined in a march of more than 30,000 people. Rival gangs openly fought in Gonaives, where law and order have disappeared, leaving the port open to uncontrolled traffic, among other problems there.

U.S. Customs Service interdiction activities in Miami in 2002 included the seizure of 8,916 pounds of cocaine hidden in ships arrived from Haiti.

The Haitian National Police has continued to lose members and, under Lavalas pressure, to assign unqualified Aristide loyalists to key positions, relegating U.S.-trained officers to secondary positions. The government does not provide adequate resources to the police. Lack of international assistance, including locally based advisors, has damaged both the HNP and judiciary and contributed to their erosion in numbers and effectiveness.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2002

In 2002 President Aristide brought into force the agreement concerning cooperation in the suppression of illicit maritime traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances that had been signed in 1997., A U.S.-Haiti Letter of Agreement on counternarcotics cooperation was signed May 15, after two years of Haitian government recalcitrance. Haiti has been slow to implement the LOA, but toward year's end both the HNP and Haitian Customs showed renewed interest to cooperate. In November, a U.S. Customs international training team provided airport interdiction training to 27 Haitian police and customs officials. In September, DEA polygraphed all 40 members of the BLTS; 27 officers passed the exam. The 13 who did not were reassigned. The director of Haiti's national drug commission, Rene Magloire, made an effort to bring diverse groups involved in the counternarcotics effort together. The Organization of American States' drug control organization, CICAD, presented a seminar on counternarcotics strategy, which the GOH is attempting to apply.

The HNP confirmed Commissaire Jeannot Fran�ois as the permanent director of the Judicial Police (DPCJ). Members of the DPCJ's nascent financial investigations unit continued to receive training from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). The resignation of Justice Minister Gary Lissade dealt a blow to progress, as his successor, Jean-Baptiste Brown showed little of Lissade's enthusiasm and dedication. Brown also resigned and was replaced in October by Calixte Delatour.

Corruption. There were no serious efforts to curb drug-related corruption nor prosecutions or convictions of major traffickers. Two Colombian pilots caught with cocaine in Artibonite were quietly released in January 2002.

Accusations continued to surface that members of the government and HNP, most notably the Presidential Security Unit (PSU) and Palace Guard, were actively involved in drug trafficking. These accusations included claims that palace personnel retrieved cocaine from the suspect small airplanes that land near Port-au-Prince and in other areas with impunity.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Haitian police reported seizures of 264.16 kilograms of cocaine and 53.45 kilograms of marijuana in 2002. They arrested 19 Haitians and 18 non-Haitians for drug-related offenses. There were no arrests of major traffickers, although the HNP, accompanied by the DEA, arrested Salim Jean Batrony, well known in Port-au-Prince as a drug trafficker, on May 31 with 58 kilograms of cocaine.

The Haitian Coast Guard (HCG), quite active from July 1996 to November 2000, interdicting 15 vessels and seizing over five tons of illegal drugs, was able to claim only two interdictions in 2002. The latest one, in July, netted only four kilograms of cocaine. The GOH does not provide the HCG with funds for vessel maintenance and repair and this, combined with the termination of U.S. support and assistance, has rendered the unit ineffective.

DEA's final evaluation of Operation Hurricane II in Haiti (September 16-28) was negative. The operation was flawed at its outset by delays attributed to lack of personnel and vehicles. The operation was further impeded by judges who refused to accompany teams on enforcement missions, threats against officers, and unresponsiveness of Haitian law enforcement units. Rumors surfaced that Haiti-based traffickers were forewarned, enabling them to evade arrest. Under these circumstances, DEA believes a sustained enforcement operation is impossible in Haiti.

Haitian drug trafficking organizations operate with relative impunity. The arrival of cocaine from South America is generally unimpeded, due to the HNP's lack of human and material resources as well as high level corruption. Haiti's roads are very poor and the HNP has no air assets. The HCG had no presence on either the north or south coast.

Agreements and Treaties. Haiti is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Haiti's law on the control and suppression of illicit drug trafficking reflects most of the convention's provisions; however, there has been no serious effort to implement it. The GOH has not developed an effective asset seizure and forfeiture mechanism. There were no prosecutions and convictions of traffickers and few if any full investigations to determine drug traffickers' affiliation with organized crime groups. Haiti's judicial system is dysfunctional and cooperation with the United States and other countries is sporadic. A 1905 U.S.-Haiti extradition treaty is in force. Haitian law prohibits the extradition of nationals. However, the GOH has, in the past, cooperated with specific requests for expulsion of non-Haitians. The GOH has not acted on the OAS mutual legal assistance treaty, still under review by the Haitian foreign ministry.

Cultivation/Production. Illicit cultivation in Haiti is limited to minor amounts of marijuana. There is no information concerning production or use of precursors.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). There are no viable demand reduction or rehabilitation programs. Polling data indicate that domestic marijuana and cocaine use are on the rise.

Drug Flow/Transit. Embassy Port-au-Prince estimates that the flow of cocaine through Haiti has increased, with some going to the United States through the Dominican Republic, whose 225-mile (360 km) border with Haiti is largely uncontrolled. Other cocaine shipments move directly north by ship and air. Airdrops have increased, some occurring outside of Port-au Prince during daytime hours. DEA regularly receives detailed information on fast boat deliveries to the south coast; however, the GOH lacks the means to interdict them.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The U.S. plan for combating illegal drugs in Haiti remained one of interdiction and police and judicial institution building; however, several factors worked against its successful implementation: forewarned smugglers eluded the HNP. Slow or no response by the HNP to DEA intelligence leads allowed suspect airdrops to go unchallenged. The GOH's slow acceptance and implementation of a U.S.-proposed bilateral counternarcotics assistance agreement (unsigned until mid-May) were also hindrances.

The Road Ahead. Stemming the flow of illegal narcotics through Haiti remains a cornerstone of U.S. counternarcotics policy. Key objectives to stemming the illegal flow remain improving the effectiveness of GOH law enforcement and judicial institutions and strengthening the GOH's ability to fund these institutions by encouraging development of an effective system of liquidating assets seized from arrested smugglers. A barracks and pier facility in Cap Haitien is scheduled for completion in early 2003. Both the HCG and the BLTS have pledged to staff the facility. If this facility proves to be effective in stemming the flow of illegal drugs and migrants, establishment of a similar facility on the south coast would be considered. The road ahead is clearly marked, but is obstructed by the politicization and corruption of the police and judiciary.


Jamaica

I. Summary

Jamaica is a major transit point for South American cocaine en route to the United States and also the largest Caribbean producer and exporter of cannabis. The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) has in place a National Drug Control Strategy that covers both supply and demand reduction.

During 2002, the GOJ maintained existing counternarcotics law enforcement and interdiction programs and took several steps to strengthen its counternarcotics law enforcement capability, with the support and direction of the political leadership. Jamaica Customs continued to implement its modernization program, which includes the expansion of the Contraband Enforcement Team (CET). In 2002, the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) took steps to strengthen security at Jamaica's seaports. The GOJ established a special vetted unit within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to work with DEA on narcotics investigations. GOJ cocaine seizures in 2002 increased over the previous two years, as a result of joint JCF-Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) operations. Parliament enacted legislation permitting court-ordered wiretaps and approved implementing regulations for the Corruption (Prevention) Act, the final step needed to bring that Act into force. In late 2002, the GOJ proposed to Cabinet and Parliament a package of legislation designed to enhance law enforcement powers. The GOJ continued its cannabis eradication program; however, the amount eradicated fell far short of the goal agreed to by the U.S. and GOJ. U.S. law enforcement agencies note that cooperation with the GOJ is generally good and has improved over the past year.

The GOJ has taken steps to protect itself against drug trafficking and other organized crime, but needs to intensify and focus its law enforcement efforts and enhance international cooperation in order to disrupt the trafficking of large amounts of cocaine in Jamaica and its territorial waters. Needed actions include arresting and prosecuting significant drug traffickers operating in Jamaica, dismantling drug-trafficking organizations, and increasing drug seizures and eradication. The U.S. will continue to provide equipment, technical assistance, and training to assist the GOJ to strengthen its counternarcotics capabilities. Jamaica is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and during 2002 made progress towards meeting the goals and objectives of the Convention.

II. Status of Country

Jamaica is a major transit country for cocaine destined for the U.S. and European (primarily UK) markets and the largest producer and exporter of cannabis in the Caribbean. 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 (see money laundering chapter of this report). Jamaica is not a source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics, nor a significant conduit for the transit of precursor chemicals. There is concern, however, over the vulnerability of Jamaican ports to illegal diversion of such chemicals.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2002

Severe resource constraints hamper the GOJ's ability to take more aggressive actions against narcotics trafficking networks. Jamaica's economy shows only limited signs of recovering from a 1996 banking/financial crisis followed by several years of negative economic growth. Without international assistance, the GOJ is unlikely to be able to disrupt and dismantle major cocaine trafficking organizations operating in Jamaica.

Policy Initiatives. GOJ officials publicly state the government's commitment to combating illegal drugs and drug-related crimes. Following national elections in October 2002, Prime Minister Patterson and Minister of National Security Phillips unveiled a broad-based anti-crime package designed to stem the rising tide of crime and violence in Jamaica, explicitly identifying drug trafficking as the primary revenue source and the basis of organized crime in Jamaica. In line with Minister Phillips' direction to shift from a containment to a preemption strategy, joint military and police operations were launched in early December to disarm and dismantle criminal gangs operating in inner city Kingston.

In December, Prime Minister Patterson presented to the Cabinet and Parliament a proposed package of legislative reforms to enhance law enforcement and judicial powers. The reforms, some of which have been drafted, address counterterrorism, port security, firearms, expanded fingerprinting powers for the police, forfeiture of proceeds of crime (including civil asset forfeiture), and plea bargaining. Prime Minister Patterson also publicly stated his intention to introduce emergency legislation that would require the declaration of cross-border movements of currency or monetary instruments.

The GOJ announced plans to establish a National Intelligence Bureau charged with analysis and dissemination of all-source actionable intelligence among the various law enforcement agencies. Planning was underway as of year's end. The GOJ is working with international partners to modernize its law enforcement agencies, in particular the JCF. The UK government is assisting the JCF in a five-year modernization program. The GOJ enacted a Precursor Chemicals Act in 2000 that conforms with the model regulations developed by the Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD), but, as implementing regulations have not yet been drafted, the GOJ lacks a control program that would enable it to detect the diversion of precursor chemicals.

Accomplishments. The GOJ operates under severe resource constraints, as well over 60 percent of the annual budget is expended for debt service. The GOJ, nevertheless, spent substantial amounts in 2002 to maintain an interdiction capability consisting of helicopters and patrol vessels. The PAJ is procuring video surveillance systems for the Kingston and Montego Bay ports and hiring an expert to provide technical assistance and oversight. The PAJ also plans to procure state-of-the-art x-ray machines for the ports and hire additional personnel to operate the security equipment. Customs continued to implement its modernization plan, which, among other things, calls for the vetting of Customs officers and expansion of the CET to a staff of 50 over the next three to five years. In 2002, additional personnel, including two managers, were hired for the CET. CET personnel continue to be stationed at the seaports on a 24-hour basis, as are JCF Narcotics Division personnel at the international airports. JCF personnel are stationed at two small domestic airports to deter the landing of drug-smuggling aircraft, although their ability to do so is limited by the lack of telephones and vehicles. The GOJ continued to fund the operating expenses for the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Center.

The GOJ did not arrest any significant drug traffickers in 2002, but took steps to strengthen its capability to identify, apprehend and prosecute drug traffickers and dismantle drug trafficking organizations. In February, Parliament enacted the Interception of Communications (wiretap) Act, which vests the authority to intercept telecommunications with the courts and provides for the admissibility in court of evidence collected by this means. Technical amendments to the law are needed, however, to make it more effective. In addition, the JCF assigned over 20 officers to a special vetted unit designed to work with DEA to target significant drug traffickers. In May, the GOJ signed an agreement with the Colombian government that facilitates bilateral cooperation to combat drug trafficking.

With the assistance of OAS/CICAD, Jamaica updated its National Anti-Drug Plan, which covers both supply and demand reduction, for the period 2002-2007.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Both the JCF and JDF assign a high priority to counternarcotics missions. However, limited funding for operational expenses and the purchase of new equipment severely constrains JDF and JCF counternarcotics efforts. The JDF Air Wing and Coast Guard are actively involved in maritime interdiction efforts. The JCF Narcotics Division is a competent and respected unit. The Narcotics Division is undergoing a multi-year restructuring and expansion program, which will increase its staffing to 250 officers over the medium term. Current staffing is 165 officers island-wide, up from 106 in 2001.

In 2002, the GOJ seized 3,688 kilograms of cocaine, 26,630 kilograms of cannabis and 497 kilograms of hashish oil. Cocaine seizures increased in 2002 compared to the previous two years. The largest single cocaine seizure occurred in August when a joint JCF-JDF operation captured a go-fast boat containing over 1,500 kilograms of cocaine. Three Jamaicans arrested in connection with the seizure were scheduled for trial in December; two Colombian nationals earlier pled guilty and were sentenced to ten years imprisonment. The JDF worked with USG's Joint Inter-agency Task Force/East throughout the year to successfully disrupt a number of planned go-fast deliveries. Intelligence-driven operations coordinated with DEA and the JCF vetted unit resulted in significant seizures of cocaine, including a 350-kilogram seizure in November. During 2002, the GOJ eradicated 79.28 hectares of cannabis, far short of the eradication goal of 1,200 hectares agreed to in the Letter of Agreement between Jamaica and the U.S. under which the U.S. is providing counternarcotics assistance to Jamaica. Eradication efforts were hampered by bad weather and lack of manpower and equipment. Nonetheless, the JCF Narcotics Division destroyed over 2.5 million cannabis seedlings at 97 nurseries. The GOJ has requested U.S. support for a major cannabis eradication operation that is scheduled for 2003. The JCF arrested 8,104 persons on drug charges, including 447 foreigners, in 2002. Over 300 of these arrests resulted from enhanced scrutiny, aided by the use of U.S.- and UK-provided drug detection equipment, of departing passengers at the two international airports. "Operation Swallow" targeted cocaine swallowers on direct Jamaica-UK flights, resulting in increased arrests in Jamaica and a decrease in arrests at UK airports. As a result of the operation's success, narcotics police are now scrutinizing passengers on flights to Miami and New York as well.

Corruption. Corruption continues to undermine law enforcement and judicial efforts against drug-related crime in Jamaica, and is a major barrier to more effective counternarcotics actions. In December, the Parliament approved implementing regulations for the 2001 Corruption (Prevention) Act. Jamaica is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and 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 narcotics 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 are linked by reliable evidence to drug-related activity. The GOJ has not prosecuted any senior GOJ officials for facilitating the illicit production or distribution of such substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. There are a number of on-going investigations into alleged drug-related corruption involving police personnel, and in 2002 a number of JCF and JDF personnel were arrested on drug-related charges, including a district constable and a member of the JCF narcotics branch.

The JCF conducts drug testing of recruits at their initial physical exam, but does not have a random drug testing policy. Police officers are often transferred if there is suspicion, but no proof, of involvement in drug-related activity. The JDF has a "zero tolerance" policy on involvement in drug-related activity 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 to combat 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 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. The U.S. and Jamaica have a reciprocal asset sharing agreement that provides for the sharing of forfeited assets where law enforcement cooperation has made possible the forfeiture of proceeds from criminal activity. Jamaica has signed, but not ratified, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling and firearms.

Cultivation/Production. Jamaica is the largest Caribbean producer and exporter of cannabis. There is no accurate estimate of the amount of cannabis under cultivation or the number of harvests per year. Lack of crop survey data and baseline figures makes it impossible to quantify the effect of GOJ eradication efforts on the total crop. Previous eradication successes have caused farmers to conceal fields in swamps or remote mountainous areas. This has made cannabis 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 primary eradication method.

Drug Flow/Transit. Jamaica continues to be the leading transshipment point in the Caribbean for South American cocaine en route to the U.S. The GOJ estimates that over 100 metric tons of cocaine are transshipped through Jamaica each year, with approximately 70 percent of this amount destined for the U.S. and the remainder for the UK. Cocaine arrives in Jamaica from Colombia's north coast primarily via go-fast boats, although some also arrives concealed in commercial shipments. Smugglers use a variety of means to transport cocaine from Jamaica to the U.S. and other markets, including light aircraft, go-fast boats, concealment in commercial shipments, and couriers who board airlines or cruise ships with ingested or concealed drugs.

Smugglers are increasingly using the area surrounding the Pedro Cays as a staging/re-supply point for go-fast vessels traveling from Colombia to Mexico. Colombian drug cartels are believed to have established command and control centers in Jamaica over the past several years to direct their illicit operations. The "Colombianization" of the Jamaican drug trade is of great concern to the GOJ.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Cannabis is the drug most frequently abused in Jamaica. The use of both powder cocaine and crack cocaine is increasing, in part due to the increasing availability of both forms of the drug on the island. Consumption of cocaine, heroin and cannabis is illegal, and the GOJ has consistently rejected calls for the legalization of cannabis. The possession and use of ecstasy (MDMA) is controlled under the Food and Drug Act, not the Dangerous Drug Act, and is subject to relatively light penalties. The Ministry of National Security has recommended bringing all psychotropic substances under international control under the purview of the Dangerous Drug Act. Jamaica has several active demand reduction programs. Two of the most visible projects are those of the Ministry of Health/National Council on Drug Abuse and the NGO Addiction Alert, both of which receive U.S. funding. The UNODC works directly with the GOJ and NGOs to improve demand reduction efforts. The JCF also engages in demand reduction efforts, including seminars, exhibitions and lectures for schools and civic organizations.

A report prepared by the National Commission on Ganja in 2001 recommended decriminalization of cannabis for adults who use small quantities for private, personal use and for religious purposes; an intensive demand reduction program aimed at youth; intensified interdiction of large-scale cannabis cultivation and all illegal drugs; and diplomatic efforts to urge a re-examination of the status of cannabis. In February 2002, the Jamaican Cabinet forwarded the report to Parliament, which has not, to date, taken any action.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. and Jamaica cooperate in a variety of areas, including maritime interdiction, the apprehension of fugitives, and law enforcement development, including community-police relations. U.S. law enforcement agencies note that cooperation with the GOJ is generally good and has improved over the past year.

The JDF Coast Guard (JDFCG) engages in cooperative operational planning with the U.S. Coast Guard on an intermittent basis associated with joint military operations in or near Jamaica's territorial waters. During 2002, Jamaica participated in three deployments of Operation Rip Tide, a continuing U.S./Jamaica/Cayman Islands (UK) effort to deny smugglers the use of maritime smuggling routes into Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. The bilateral maritime counternarcotics agreement was successfully exercised on several occasions during 2002, and the JDFCG for the first time requested and received U.S. operational support under the agreement. Following an incident in late 2001 in which the GOJ refused to permit pursuit and entry by a Dutch vessel with an embarked U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, the U.S. in mid-2002 proposed to the GOJ a protocol to the bilateral agreement that would improve it by adding provisions for operations from third party platforms, enhancement of safety for civil aircraft in flight, contiguous zone jurisdiction, and technical assistance. The GOJ has not, to date, responded to the proposed protocol.

The JDF currently lacks the force projection capabilities (fixed-wing aircraft and off-shore patrol boats) required to make continuous joint operational planning with the U.S. a practical activity. To augment JDFCG assets, the U.S. is donating to the JDFCG three 42-foot fast patrol boats capable of intercepting go-fast boats. In 2002, the GOJ assigned two JDFCG crew members to the Caribbean Support Tender, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel with a multi-national crew that provides training and assistance in ship maintenance and repairs to Caribbean countries' maritime forces. After some initial reluctance, the GOJ was very supportive during negotiations that led to the conclusion of the Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement.

In 2002, the U.S. funded participation by Jamaican police, immigration, customs, defense force and other personnel in several in-country and regional training courses. The U.S. is funding an advisor to the National Firearm/Drugs Intelligence Center and a Law Enforcement Development Advisor to assist the JCF's strategic planning efforts. The USG supports the highly effective Jamaica Fugitive Apprehension Team (JFAT) with guidance from U.S. Marshals, specialized training, equipment and operational support. The JFAT is actively working on almost 200 cases, the majority involving either drug or homicide charges. In 2002, the JFAT closed 30 cases and made 16 arrests. Nine fugitives were extradited to the U.S. during the year. 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. An overburdened court system combined with the appeals process available to criminal defendants means that contested extradition requests can take two to five years to litigate fully.

In 2002, the U.S. provided ion scan machines for use by police and Customs at the international airport in Kingston and training equipment for the police academy. In November, the U.S. and GOJ signed an agreement under which the U.S. agreed to provide $2.2 million for a Border Control Project to strengthen the GOJ's ability to monitor the flow of persons into and through Jamaica. The project will modernize the computer infrastructure at the ports of entry and provide training and technical assistance. USAID is undertaking a program of assistance to the JCF in community-police relations that will focus on strategies to reduce crime and violence.

The Road Ahead. The GOJ has taken steps to protect itself against drug trafficking and other types of organized crime. However, the GOJ needs to intensify and focus its law enforcement efforts and enhance international cooperation. The U.S. will continue to provide technical assistance and training to assist the GOJ to improve its drug interdiction, cannabis 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, and successfully prosecute significant drug traffickers. The USG will continue to provide assistance and training to the JDFCG to strengthen Jamaica's maritime interdiction efforts. The USG is committed to on-going support for the JCF special vetted unit, the JFAT and the CET through the provision of specialized training and equipment. Furthermore, the USG intends to provide helicopter airlift support to assist the GOJ with its cannabis eradication efforts in 2003.

Modern anti-crime legislation, including passage of all of the proposed legislation contained in the 2002 reform package and amendments to strengthen the Interception of Communications Act, is necessary in order to investigate, arrest and successfully prosecute drug traffickers and other criminals. The passage of a civil asset forfeiture law, in particular, would materially assist GOJ counternarcotics operations by providing an alternate source of vehicles, small boats and aircraft for Jamaican law enforcement agencies and the military. The GOJ should also revise its drug legislation to provide adequate penalties for the trafficking and use of internationally controlled psychotropic substances and substances whose molecules have similar chemical properties. Full implementation of the Corruption (Prevention) Act should strengthen the GOJ's ability to counter official corruption. The USG is willing to provide technical assistance to the GOJ as it works to strengthen existing laws and draft new legislation.


Jamaica Statistics

(1993-2002)

 

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

Cannabis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potential Harvest (ha)

Unk

unk

unk

unk

unk

317

527

305

308

744

Eradication (ha)

80

332

517

894

705

743

473

695

692

456

Cultivation (ha)

Unk

unk

unk

unk

unk

1,060

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,200

Potential Yield1 (mt)

Unk

unk

unk

unk

unk

214

356

206

208

502

Seizures2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocaine (mt)

3.39

2.947

1.625

4.601

1.160

0.414

0.236

0.571

0.179

0.160

Cannabis (mt)

26.63

68.46

55.87

56.22

35.91

24.00

52.99

37.20

46.00

75.00

Hashish Oil (kg)

497.00

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

7,657

6,023

8,238

6,385

7,093

3,143

2,996

3,325

788

899

Foreigners

447

420

421

 

 

221

267

380

98

517

Total Arrests

8,104

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 transit point for South American cocaine en route to Europe and the United States, and for MDMA (ecstasy) from Europe 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. Traffickers take advantage of Suriname's weak border controls and the lack of a law enforcement presence in the largely unmonitored interior to move drug shipments via sea, river and air. Domestic drug use continues to increase. In 2002, the Government of Suriname (GOS) enacted legislation criminalizing money laundering and strengthening Suriname's criminal code, and GOS law enforcement officials achieved some successes in drug interdiction. A high level of cooperation between U.S. and GOS law enforcement officials exists. In June, the GOS arrested and expelled to the U.S. a Colombian drug trafficker indicted in the U.S. for offenses related to cocaine trafficking. The principal obstacles to effective counternarcotics law enforcement efforts are inadequate legislation, with complicated and often time-consuming bureaucratic requirements, drug-related corruption, relative geographic isolation, and lack of resources for law enforcement. Suriname is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention but has not implemented legislation bringing it into full conformity with the Convention.

II. Status of Country

Suriname is a transshipment point for cocaine originating in South America and destined primarily for Europe and, to a lesser extent, the U.S. Suriname is also used to transship MDMA (ecstasy) from Europe to the U.S. However, evidence available in 2002 did not support a finding that drugs entering the U.S. from Suriname were in an amount to have a significant effect on the U.S. In the past, police have received information indicating that precursor chemicals are stored and used in clandestine laboratories in Suriname's vast interior. The GOS has not yet enacted legislation controlling precursor chemicals. The lack of resources and law enforcement capabilities, along with inadequate legislation, drug-related corruption, and a complicated and time-consuming bureaucracy, inhibit the GOS's ability to identify, apprehend and prosecute narcotics traffickers. In addition, Suriname's sparsely populated jungle interior together with weak border controls and infrastructure make narcotics detection and interdiction efforts difficult.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2002

Policy Initiatives. The Venetiaan administration has adopted a tough stance on drug trafficking, although it lacks the resources to take effective action to deter the transshipment of drugs through Suriname. GOS officials continue to express concern regarding the extent of drugs transiting Suriname as well as the increase in domestic drug use. In August 2002, the National Assembly passed a package of legislation that criminalizes money laundering (see money laundering chapter) and amended Suriname's criminal code, code of criminal proceedings, and law on economic crimes. The amendments address the confiscation of illegally obtained assets, filing of criminal offenses against corporate entities, conspiracy, witness intimidation, and international requests for legal assistance. During 2002, GOS officials participated in regional counternarcotics efforts, including one region-wide counternarcotics operation. GOS officials also participated in the negotiations for a Regional Agreement for Maritime Cooperation in the Caribbean. 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. The National Anti-Drug Council is the national coordinating authority.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The Narcotics Brigade of the Korps Politie Suriname (KPS), Suriname's police force, benefits from high visibility within the police department, primarily because drug interdiction is a high-profile issue within Suriname and internationally. The Customs Service, on the other hand, is not considered a law enforcement body and receives fewer resources and less formal training, despite its active and successful role in drug interdiction. The Military Police, which is responsible for border control, also plays a role in drug interdiction efforts, particularly at the international airport. As GOS Customs agents and Military Police have no investigative function, they tend to focus on individual smugglers and couriers, or "mules," rather than organized trafficking kingpins and their networks. They rely primarily on profiling and tips from informants to apprehend small-time smugglers or decoys at major ports of entry/exit. In 2002, the Military Police arrested approximately five to six drug couriers each week attempting to board flights, primarily to Amsterdam, from Paramaribo's international airport. During the year, the GOS seized 340 kilograms of cocaine and 205 kilograms of marijuana. The GOS arrested 302 people for drug-related offenses, the vast majority of which were of Surinamese or Dutch nationality. According to a GOS official, members of the Colombian terrorist group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), are present in Suriname to coordinate drugs-for-arms activities, and GOS counternarcotics units confiscated several planes that were used to transship cocaine from Colombia.

In 2002, the GOS engaged in an operation with the governments of Brazil and Guyana to combat the flow of narcotics in the border area of the three countries. According to GOS law enforcement officials, several clandestine airstrips in Suriname were identified by satellite imagery; however, no airstrips within Suriname's border were eliminated.

Corruption. Public corruption, while not universal, is considered a serious problem in Suriname. Reports of money laundering, drug trafficking and associated criminal activity involving current and former government and military officials continue to abound, although such reports and accusations remain unproved. Former military 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 transshipments and drugs-for-arms deals, and is currently wanted by the GOS for his suspected involvement in the theft of weapons from Suriname's Central Intelligence and Security Service. Suriname ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption in 2002, but does not yet have a comprehensive national anti-corruption plan.

Agreements and Treaties. Suriname is 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 has passed legislation that conforms to the drug interdiction portion of the Convention. The GOS ratified the OAS Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and entered into a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement with the Netherlands from 1976 that has been used to share information on narcotics issues. In August 1999, a comprehensive six-part bilateral maritime counternarcotics enforcement agreement with the U.S. entered into force. The U.S.-Netherlands Extradition Treaty of 1904 is applicable to Suriname, but Suriname prohibits the extradition of its nationals. Suriname is a member of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS/CICAD).

Cultivation and Production. Suriname is not a producer of cocaine or opium poppy. Cannabis is cultivated in some areas outside of the capital, Paramaribo, but there is no specific data on the number of hectares under cultivation or evidence that it is exported in significant quantities.

Drug Flow/Transit. Much of the cocaine entering Suriname is dropped by small aircraft on clandestine airstrips or "drop zones" located throughout the dense jungle interior where the lack of infrastructure, law enforcement personnel and equipment makes detection and interdiction difficult. According to DEA, traffickers also use interior roads as landing strips, along with unmanned airfields. Some of these airstrips are reportedly used for drugs-for-arms swaps. The drugs are moved from the interior via numerous river routes to the sea and overland for onward shipment to Caribbean islands, Europe and the U.S. Drugs exit Suriname via commercial air flights (by ingestion of drug-filled balloons or body carries, and secreted in planes) and by commercial sea cargo. European-produced MDMA (ecstasy) is transported via four weekly flights from the Netherlands to Suriname; drug couriers then transport the drugs to the U.S. on flights to Miami, via Curacao.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). According to Suriname's National Anti-Drug Council (NAR), domestic drug use continues to increase. Suriname has a Drug Demand Reduction Strategy, incorporated in the Strategic Master Plan, but has done little to implement it. The Bureau of Alcohol and Drugs, a department of the State Mental Health Institution, along with the NAR, police and NGOs, emphasize drug education and rehabilitation in response to growing domestic drug consumption. The National Drugs Information System, created in 2001 to collect and distribute data to positively influence policy formation, has been largely ineffective. In 2002, with the assistance of OAS/CICAD, the GOS undertook a survey to determine drug use among secondary school students. The Department of State/INL donated funding to the NAR to process and analyze the information collected from the survey, the results of which should be available in fall 2003. The European Commission in 2002 approved funding to assist the GOS in 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. In June 2002, in conjunction with DEA, the GOS arrested and expelled into the custody of U.S. authorities a Colombian narcotics trafficker under indictment in the U.S. for offenses related to cocaine trafficking in order to obtain money, weapons and equipment for the FARC.

In 2002, the USG provided both training and material support to several elements of the KPS and the military to strengthen their counternarcotics capabilities and promote greater bilateral cooperation. The Department of State, in cooperation with the DEA, continues to build on previous years' work by providing assistance to dedicated Surinamese law enforcement officials to increase their technical skills. Through successive long-term temporary duty assignments, the DEA provided continuous training and logistical support to the Narcotics Unit of the KPS. The DEA and the KPS have also been active in Caribbean-wide counternarcotics law enforcement operations. The U.S. and GOS continued to cooperate on counternarcotics matters, using USG funding provided under a Letter of Agreement (LOA) signed in 2000, which was amended in 2001 and 2002 to provide additional funding. One Surinamese crewman currently serves aboard the Caribbean Support Tender, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel with a multi-national crew that provides training and assistance in ship maintenance and repairs to Caribbean countries' Coast Guards.

The Road Ahead. The "spillover effect" from increased law enforcement efforts in Brazil and Colombia and reports of increased narcotics trafficking through Suriname by Colombian traffickers linked to terrorist groups illustrate narcotics traffickers' preference for Suriname as a transit point for drugs and arms. The U.S. will continue to encourage the GOS to enact laws that will bring about the full implementation of the 1988 UN Drug Convention and to apply forcefully the provisions already in effect. The U.S. will seek to enhance the already close relationship between U.S. agencies, including the DEA, and their counterparts in the Surinamese government, as well as continue to support GOS participation in regional counternarcotics efforts. U.S. Customs will deliver assistance with anti-corruption measures during 2003, to include integrity awareness training and assistance with setting up internal agency controls, making agency anti-corruption plans, and developing case studies. The U.S. will continue to provide equipment, training and technical support to the GOS to strengthen its counternarcotics efforts.


Trinidad and Tobago

I. Summary

Trinidad and Tobago is a transit country for narcotics transported 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 cannabis, but the amount of cannabis 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 and export of precursor chemicals that can be diverted for use in cocaine production. Precursor chemicals originating in Trinidad and Tobago have been found in illicit drug labs in Colombia. Trinidad and Tobago is an increasingly significant regional financial center. The country's growing economy, with well-developed communications and transportation systems, facilitates a significant number of sizeable financial transactions that can obscure money laundering. (For details, see the Money Laundering section of this report.)

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GOTT) continued to cooperate with the U.S. on counternarcotics issues. GOTT law enforcement agencies remained very cooperative with their U.S. counterparts. In 2002, the GOTT took steps to improve its counternarcotics operations, although progress was limited due to the political stalemate that resulted from the December 2001 election. The GOTT continued to provide significant resources in support of ongoing counternarcotics law enforcement efforts. The GOTT's Joint Operations Command Center (JOCC), an inter-ministerial agency, coordinated several interdiction operations, including joint operations with the U.S. In 2002, the GOTT took delivery of two sensor-modified C-26 aircraft that will greatly improve maritime/ground counternarcotics surveillance efforts when fully operational. Through the provision of technical assistance, training and equipment, the U.S. sought to help the GOTT strengthen all facets of its counternarcotics efforts. Trinidad and Tobago is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and continues to work diligently toward meeting the Convention's objectives.

II. Status of Country

Situated seven miles off the coast of 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. Cannabis is grown for domestic use and possible export to other countries in the region, but not on a scale to make Trinidad and Tobago a major drug-producing country. Eradication operations conducted by the GOTT during the year reduced the amount of cannabis available for domestic consumption, likely leading to the importation of marijuana from St. Vincent and Venezuela. Trinidad and Tobago has an advanced petrochemical sector, which requires the import/export of precursor chemicals that can be used to manufacture cocaine hydrochloride. According to U.S. law enforcement officials, precursor chemicals originating in Trinidad and Tobago have turned up in illicit drug labs in Colombia.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2002

Policy Initiatives. The political impasse that followed the December 2001 election, and the resultant inability to convene Parliament until new elections were held in October 2002, limited further progress in strengthening GOTT counternarcotics capabilities. Nevertheless, the GOTT supported counternarcotics efforts through public statements by senior GOTT officials and the provision of resources for ongoing programs. During the year, GOTT officials participated actively in regional counternarcotics fora and in the negotiations for a Caribbean regional maritime counternarcotics agreement. The GOTT continued to fund a three-person U.S. Customs advisory team, which worked closely with the GOTT's Customs and Excise Division to improve the effectiveness of its passenger and cargo processing and enforcement capabilities. The GOTT also continued to fund an Internal Revenue Service advisory team that worked with the Bureau of Inland Revenue (BIR) to strengthen penalties for financial crimes and to establish a criminal investigations division. In addition, during 2002, the GOTT took steps to strengthen its counternarcotics air and maritime surveillance/interdiction capability. The GOTT provided significant resources for the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) Coast Guard air wing service which has in its fleet two U.S.-donated C-26 aircraft, upgraded at GOTT expense in 2002 with maritime sensor packages. The GOTT also contracted for the upgrading of its coastal radar net to replace the radars donated in 1998 by the USG that, because of their age, have been increasingly difficult to maintain. Although the JOCC has not had a permanent commander since March 2002, it remains a model for inter-ministerial coordination in the area of drug interdiction operations, and it hosted orientation visits by personnel from other Caribbean countries. During the year, the JOCC coordinated several interdiction operations, including joint operations with the U.S. The GOTT has a counternarcotics master plan that covers both supply and demand reduction. The National Drug Council oversees the plan's implementation.

Law Enforcement Efforts. GOTT law enforcement officers markedly improved their interdiction efforts as a result of training, vessels and equipment provided by the U.S. This is especially apparent at the international airports where INL-funded training and equipment aided GOTT law enforcement officials in identifying and interdicting numerous drug couriers.

The TTDF, the police's Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit, and other police units carried out monthly counternarcotics operations coordinated through the JOCC. For the first nine months of 2002, GOTT law enforcement seized 227 kilograms of cocaine and 175 kilograms of cannabis. According to GOTT year-end figures, in 2001, the GOTT seized 772 kilograms of cocaine (which included one 560-kilogram seizure) and 634 kilograms of cannabis. Although there were no heroin seizures in the first ten months of 2002, GOTT law enforcement officers made three seizures totaling 14.5 kilograms of heroin in November and December. An additional 11 kilograms of heroin that had transited Trinidad and Tobago were seized by authorities in the U.S. during this time frame. The GOTT conducted cannabis eradication operations that resulted in the destruction of 9.2 million plants and seedlings in the first three quarters of 2002. During Operation Weedeater, a U.S.-supported cannabis eradication campaign, an additional 1.67 million plants and seedlings were destroyed.

Corruption. During 2002, there were no charges of drug-related corruption 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 1987 Prevention of Corruption Act and the 2000 Integrity in Public Life Act address the responsibilities and ethical rules for government personnel. The Integrity in Public Life Act requires public officials to declare and explain the source of their assets. An integrity commission is authorized to initiate investigations. In 2002, the GOTT increased the staff of the Police Special Investigations Unit from 13 to 22 officers and renamed it the Anti-Corruption Squad. Trinidad and Tobago is a party to the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Trinidad and Tobago is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties with the U.S. entered into force in November 1999. A bilateral U.S.-GOTT maritime agreement is in force. 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 in 2001. Trinidad and Tobago is a member of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS/CICAD).

Cultivation and Production. Trinidad and Tobago is not a producer of cocaine or opium poppy. Cannabis is cultivated year-round in the forest and jungle areas of northern, eastern, and southern Trinidad and, to a minor extent, in Tobago. The total amount of cultivated cannabis cannot accurately be determined because cultivation is done in small quarter-acre lots in remote areas. There have also been reports of cannabis being grown in plots with legal cash crops. Cannabis is eradicated by cutting and burning plants manually; crops are not sprayed with aerially applied herbicides. Aircraft and global positioning systems are used to detect crop areas and to facilitate ground troops in locating growing areas.

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. A network of narcotics-smuggling organizations operates in the country. Although seizures of cocaine were down in 2002, U.S. law enforcement officials believe there was a steady increase in the transit of cocaine through Trinidad and Tobago. According to U.S. law enforcement officials, there has also been an increase in the amount of heroin, thought to be from Colombia, transiting Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S.

Illicit drugs arrive from the South American mainland on small, fast fishing boats, pleasure craft, and airplanes. They are then smuggled out on yachts, in air cargo, and by couriers. Some shipments are bypassing Trinidad and Tobago, however, in favor of other islands, due in large part to the counternarcotics efforts of GOTT security forces. As previously noted, the importation of cannabis from St. Vincent and Venezuela may indicate that domestic demand is exceeding supply, which may be related to increased GOTT cannabis eradication efforts.

Cocaine has been found in both international airports, and on commercial airline flights that stopped in Trinidad and Tobago en route from Guyana to North America. Intelligence and actual seizures reveal that most of the narcotics smuggling is carried out by couriers and in air cargo. Increasingly, human couriers are being used to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. In most cases, GOTT law enforcement officers detained young naturalized American citizen couriers with newly obtained passports. As of December 2002, there were 15 American citizens in GOTT prisons, of whom 11 attempted to transport cocaine and 4 attempted to transport heroin to the U.S. DEA also reports an increase in drug swallowers transiting Crown Point Airport in Tobago to Europe.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The GOTT does not maintain statistics on domestic consumption or numbers of drug users. Programs to reduce the demand for illicit drugs are managed by the Ministry of Community Development and Gender Affairs, the National Drug Council in the Ministry of National Security, and the Ministry of Education, with assistance from NGOs. The GOTT funds the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program, which coordinates the activities of NGOs to promote demand reduction. In 2002, the GOTT initiated the Civilian Conservation Corps to teach job skills and foster self-esteem in high-risk youth. The GOTT police service has established several police youth clubs under its community policing branch, which the U.S. in the past supported with computers and equipment, to provide local children with positive role models and drug awareness programming. The GOTT has a D.A.R.E. program.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

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

Bilateral Cooperation. The USG has a cooperative relationship with the GOTT, and the GOTT has been responsive to mutually beneficial counternarcotics efforts. U.S. law enforcement enjoys excellent cooperation from GOTT law enforcement agencies.

During 2002, the GOTT and USG participated in joint counternarcotics exercises, although not as many as in the previous year since there is, as yet, no Status of Forces Agreement in place with the GOTT. The GOTT, however, rejected a U.S. request to have the H.M.S. Grafton patrol Trinidad and Tobago waters with U.S. Coast Guard and GOTT shipriders during a maritime counternarcotics operation, Caribe Venture, in July/August 2002. 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 U.S. provided funding for the maintenance of the two U.S.-donated C-26 aircraft that were upgraded in 2002, at GOTT expense, with maritime surveillance packages and for ongoing training for C-26 pilots and sensor operators.

A U.S. Customs advisory team, funded by the GOTT, is providing technical assistance to Customs and Excise in tracking/intercepting marine vessels, including cargo container ships, and improving narcotics detection. The team continued to work with the GOTT's marine interdiction unit and canine narcotics-detection program to strengthen their counternarcotics capabilities. At GOTT invitation, an Internal Revenue Service Tax Assistance and Advisory Service team was established to modernize the BIR. The team helped plan a comprehensive Criminal Investigation Division, which the U.S. is supporting with training and the procurement of computers. It is also providing technical assistance to the BIR to enforce criminal statutes relative to tax administration and related financial crimes.

In addition, the U.S. is assisting the Ministry of Health to develop further the GOTT's precursor chemical program by providing in-country training and computers/software to assist in the analysis of data obtained during inspections to determine if chemicals are being diverted into the illicit market. Large-scale analysis of data has not yet begun, however, because of a shortage of Ministry personnel to enter information into the database.

In 2002, the U.S. funded maritime counternarcotics training for GOTT law enforcement entities and provided helicopter lift support for GOTT cannabis eradication personnel during Operation Weedeater. The U.S. also funded U.S. Customs Service passenger enforcement rover training for GOTT law enforcement officers at Piarco Airport and air and sea interdiction training.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to provide support to enhance Trinidad and Tobago's air surveillance and maritime interdiction capabilities. The U.S. will support, through the provision of equipment and technical assistance, the GOTT's efforts to improve the rule of law by reducing judicial delays, improving evidentiary laws, and encouraging legal reforms. The U.S. will continue to work closely with the GOTT's counternarcotics law enforcement agencies, including the Counter-Drug/Crime Task Force, Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit and Customs, to strengthen their counternarcotics/crime capabilities. In addition, the U.S. will seek to engage GOTT judicial officials, the BIR, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, and Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering Program in the implementation of asset forfeiture and money laundering laws.



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