Angola is not a country that suffers from significant drug production or drug abuse; however, some cannabis is cultivated and consumed locally. Previously significant transit drug traffic—particularly, cocaine from Brazil to South Africa—is believed to have been largely halted in 2004 because of effective cooperation between Angolan and South African authorities. Angola is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. It signed and ratified the Southern African Development Community (SADC) counternarcotics protocol in 2003.
Angola is not a major center of drug production, money laundering, or production of precursor chemicals, and is not likely to become one. Police continued to seize cocaine and cannabis in 2004, although the volume of seizures diminished as transit traffic was more effectively interdicted, and traffickers apparently altered their routes.
Although cases of public corruption connected to narcotics trafficking are rare, one of three counternarcotics officials suspected in the disappearance of cocaine seized in an earlier operation and under arrest in 2003 was convicted in 2004; two other officials arrested in the same case were acquitted.
In 2004, Angola enacted legislation mandating treatment for those convicted of narcotics abuse. Drug rehabilitation centers have been established in Luanda, Lubango, and Benguela. Angola cooperates with South Africa in fighting the flow of cocaine from Angola to South Africa, and South Africa has provided training and equipment to the Angolan police. Angola also cooperates on a regional basis via the South African Development Community (SADC).
Agreement and Treaties. Angola is not a party to any of the UN Drug Conventions. It has signed but has not yet ratified the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention Against Corruption.
Bilateral Cooperation. In 2004, 17 Angolan police officers participated in State Department-sponsored regional training course, which included segments on counternarcotics.
The Road Ahead. The U.S. will assist Angola through training of law enforcement at ILEA Gaborone to the degree Angola wishes.
Though the Government of Benin (GOB) continues to take steps to implement and improve a national drug strategy, it has made only limited progress against illegal drug trafficking. Benin remains a low volume narcotics-producing country. Essentially, only marijuana sold for local consumption is produced in Benin. Nevertheless, Benin remains a transit point for illegal narcotics. Illegal drug trafficking and GOB drug seizures increased only slightly throughout the year. The GOB has developed a national counternarcotics policy and is implementing its national action plan. All narcotics trafficking interdiction efforts are handled through the police narcotics branch, central office, which is relatively well organized, but severely under staffed. Real progress is further hindered by inadequate resources, corruption, lack of training and poor equipment. Benin is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
Benin produces no significant amounts of drugs, but plays a significant role as a transit point for regional traffickers. Small amounts of cannabis are grown for local consumption, but notable increases in production or consumption have not been reported. Benin’s porous borders and poorly monitored ports provide African drug traffickers, particularly Nigerians, easy access and transit.
Policy Initiatives. No significant new policies were introduced in 2004, however, the GOB continues to work to address lack of equipment, training and staffing needs. Instead of introducing new policies, the GOB appears to be focusing on refining existing ones. The GOB also appears to be fully supportive of the investigative efforts made by Police Narcotics Branch, Central Office during 2004.
Accomplishments. The GOB continues to address the ten counternarcotics strategies they identified in their Six Year Plan in 2001. The GOB remains focused on implementing and achieving the goals of the strategies.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The Central Office against Illegal Drug Trafficking (Police Narcotics Branch, Central Office) remains the lead law enforcement agency responsible for the fight against drugs. The Police Narcotics Branch, Central Office is subordinate to the Director General of the National Police, and works directly with Customs, Gendarmes and National Police drug units. Inadequate training, equipment, and human resources continue to hinder Police Narcotics Branch, Central Office’s progress in 2004. However, working from information provided by DEA Lagos, Police Narcotics Branch, Central Office Agents made two notable seizures of cocaine in early 2004.
Agreements and Treaties. Benin is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol. Benin also is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols.
Corruption. Rumors of corruption, bribery, tampering with evidence and poorly conducted criminal investigations continued to plague law enforcement agencies in 2004. This remains a difficult area to assess, however, due in part to the GOBS resistance to oversight reform.
Cultivation and Production. Cannabis is the only narcotics cultivated or produced in any significant quantity in Benin. No figures for the exact extent of production are available. Cannabis grown in Benin is used for local consumption.
The Road Ahead. Benin continues to address the drug transit problem in the region by implementing coordinated counternarcotics measures. Though this remains a very long and difficult process, the USG should continue to engage Benin on complex issues of counternarcotics enforcement, asset forfeiture, and money laundering. Inadequate border and port control measures, and staffing, equipment, and training needs of the Police Narcotics Branch remain the GOB’s most obvious impediment to progress in this area. Better training and increased law enforcement resources offer the best prospects for resolution of these problems.
The Arab Republic of Egypt is not a major producer, supplier, or consumer of narcotics or precursor chemicals. Heroin and cannabis are transported through Egypt, but presumed levels have not risen in four years. The Anti-Narcotics General Administration (ANGA) is the main counternarcotics organization in Egypt. It is competent and progressive, and cooperates fully with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in Cairo. In 2004, a joint DEA-ANGA investigation uncovered a significant MDMA (Ecstasy) laboratory in Alexandria, Egypt, resulting in the arrest of four individuals, and possible indictment of two U.S. citizens. This was the first known occurrence of an MDMA laboratory in the Middle East. Egypt is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
Egypt is not a significant producer or consumer of narcotics or precursor chemicals, despite the fact that opium and cannabis plants are grown here. The substances that are most commonly abused are cannabis, which is known here as "bango," and legitimate pharmaceuticals. Narcotics do pass through Egypt. Egypt’s long and mostly uninhabited borders, combined with the high level of shipping passing through the Suez Canal, have made Egypt prone to the transshipment of Asian heroin. Other types of narcotics periodically pass through Cairo International Airport. The narcotics are primarily destined for Western Europe, with only small amounts headed to the United States. Transshipment has diminished considerably in recent years due to the elevation of security in Egypt and the region as a whole.
The ANGA is the oldest counternarcotics unit in the Arab world. It has jurisdiction over all criminal matters pertaining to narcotics and maintains offices in all major Egyptian cities and ports of entry. The U.S. DEA office in Egypt has a superb relationship with ANGA, which is open, cooperative, and receptive to ideas and training. DEA assists ANGA in interdiction operations in the Suez Canal Zone and at Cairo International Airport, and crop eradication operations in the Sinai Peninsula and Upper Egypt. It also has funded and conducted training for ANGA officers at regional counternarcotics courses in Nairobi, Kenya and provided in-country training on airport interdiction and chemical controls. Despite limited resources, ANGA has demonstrated continual improvements in its capabilities.
The Government of Egypt (GOE) continues to aggressively pursue a comprehensive drug control strategy that was developed in 1998. ANGA, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, the Coast Guard, the Customs Service, and select military units all cooperate in task forces designed to interdict narcotics shipments. Government and private sector demand reduction efforts exist but are hampered by financial constraints and logistical challenges.
Accomplishments. Late in 2004, a joint DEA-ANGA investigation uncovered an MDMA laboratory located in a small apartment building in Alexandria, Egypt. ANGA raided the laboratory, arresting four individuals and seizing chemicals, paste, and equipment. Additionally, Egypt may indict two U.S. citizens for connections to this operation. The MDMA produced from this laboratory would likely have been exported to the European and U.S. market. This was the first known discovery of an MDMA laboratory in Egypt, and according to DEA, the first in the Middle East, and may represent a new trend toward shifting artificial drug labs to the region due to the region’s relatively lax regulation of commercial chemical products. With the passage of the first anti-money laundering law in 2002, which criminalized the laundering of proceeds derived from trafficking in narcotics and numerous other crimes, seizures of currency in drug related cases has amounted to over 3,000,000 Egyptian Pounds ($485,000). In 2004, ANGA opened a new office dedicated to financial investigations and combating money laundering.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Internal security and combating terrorism are the major foci of Egyptian law enforcement efforts. Despite these priorities, ANGA is able to operate an effective program against narcotics trafficking. It investigates and targets significant drug traffickers, intercepts narcotics shipments, and detects and eradicates illegal crops. Large-scale seizures and arrests are rare, primarily because Egypt does not have a significant narcotics market or narcotics abuse culture. ANGA does operate its own drug awareness campaign in addition to other government and private sector demand reduction programs. ANGA’s Eradication Unit conducts monthly operations against cannabis and opium crops in the Sinai. Continuing a trend over the past several years, the amount of narcotics seized during 2004 was again higher than that of the previous year. Drug seizures in 2004 included cannabis (80,249 kilograms), hashish (1,868 kilograms), and smaller amounts of heroin, opium, psychotropic drugs, and cocaine. Significant amounts of prescription and "designer" drugs such as Ecstasy (6,194 tablets), amphetamines, and codeine were also seized. During the course of 2004, Egyptian law enforcement officials eradicated 171 hectares of cannabis and 65 hectares opium poppy plants.
Corruption. As a matter of government policy, the Government of Egypt 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 transactions The GOE has strict laws and harsh penalties for government officials convicted of involvement in narcotics trafficking or related activities. However, low-level local police officials involved in narcotics-related activity or corruption have been identified and arrested.
Agreements and Treaties. Egypt and the United States have had an extradition treaty in place since the 1860’s. Egypt has been a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention since 1991. Egypt also is a party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the 1972 protocol amending the Single Convention. The U.S.-Egypt Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty entered into force on November 29, 2001. Egypt is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocol on trafficking in women and children.
Cultivation and Production. Cannabis is grown year round in the northern and southern Sinai and in Upper Egypt, while opium poppy is grown in the southern Sinai only from November through March. Rugged terrain means that plots of illegal crops are small and irregularly shaped. ANGA combats this production by using aerial observation and confidential informants to identify illegal plots. Once the crops are located, ANGA conducts daylight eradication operations that consist of cutting and burning the plants. ANGA has yet to implement a planned herbicide eradication program. No heroin processing laboratories have been discovered in Egypt in the last 14 years and no evidence is available indicating that opiates or cannabis grown in Egypt reach the United States in sufficient quantities to have a significant impact. In 2004, a joint DEA-ANGA operation uncovered the first ever MDMA laboratory in Egypt and eliminated it before it reached significant production.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). In 2004, the National Council for Combating and Treating Addiction continued to be the GOE’s focal point for domestic demand reduction programs. The Council is an inter-ministerial group chaired by the Prime Minister and has the participation of ten ministries. The group espouses a three-pronged strategy to counter the demand for narcotics: awareness, treatment (including detoxification and social/psychological treatment), and rehabilitation. The group’s efforts over the past year included a range of activities, for example, a media advertising campaign with participation from First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, seminars at Al-Azhar University on "Islam and Narcotics," and the establishment of a drug treatment hotline and website. Additionally, the Council sponsors four rehabilitation centers, mostly located in the Cairo metropolitan area. These centers annually receive thousands of requests from addicts for help.
The U.S. counternarcotics policy in Egypt is to engage the GOE in a bilateral program to reduce narcotics transshipments and decrease opium poppy and cannabis cultivation. The policy includes the following specific objectives: increase training to ANGA and other government offices responsible for narcotics enforcement; assist with the identification of illegal crop eradication targets; improve narcotics interdiction methodology; improve intelligence collection and analysis.
The Road Ahead. In fiscal year 2005, the U.S. Government plans to increase its joint operations with ANGA, moving beyond a previously predominant focus on monitoring the problem. This will involve the DEA country office continuing to work closely with ANGA on joint investigations, as well as improving interdiction and eradication techniques and developing additional sources of information on trafficking and production. The U.S. Government also plans to provide additional training in financial investigations, drug interdiction, anticorruption measures, border control operations, and chemical identification and control.
Ghana has taken steps to combat illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and has mounted major efforts against drug abuse. It has active enforcement, treatment, and rehabilitation programs; however, lack of resources remains a problem. Ghana-U.S. law enforcement coordination continued in 2004, and Ghana’s law enforcement agencies took steps to deepen interagency coordination. Ghana is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
Ghana is increasingly a transit point for illegal drugs, particularly cocaine from South America and heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia. Europe remains the major destination, but drugs also flow to South Africa and to North America. Accra’s Kotoka International Airport is increasingly a focus for traffickers. Ports at Tema and Sekondi are also used, and border posts at Aflao (Togo) and Elubo and Sampa (Cote d’Ivoire) see significant drug trafficking activity. Nigerian traffickers continue to strengthen their presence in Ghana, as Ghana becomes a major transportation hub for them. Trafficking has also fueled increasing domestic drug consumption. Cannabis use is increasing in Ghana, as is local cultivation. The government has mounted significant public education programs, as well as cannabis crop substitution programs. Production of precursor chemicals is not a major problem.
Policy Initiatives. The Narcotics Control Board (NCB) coordinates government efforts involving counternarcotics activities. These activities include enforcement and control, education, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and social reintegration. The NCB’s counternarcotics national strategy, the "National Plan of Action 1999/2008", was never implemented due to lack of funding. However, in 2004 the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) financed three demand reduction projects selected from the National Plan of Action: 1) training 110 Ghana Education Service counselors (one per district in the country) on drug abuse prevention; 2) working with the Department of Social Welfare to provide vocational training to those completing drug treatment programs; and 3) producing a drug education guide for teachers throughout the country. Each year since 1999, the NCB has proposed to amend the 1990 narcotics law to allow stricter application of bail bond system (i.e., no general granting of bail when flight is a real possibility; higher sureties to assure that defendants appear for trial) and to fund NCB operations using a portion of seized proceeds, but the Attorney General’s office has not acted on these proposals.
Accomplishments. Figures from January-September 2004 reveal that quantities of cocaine, heroin and cannabis seized in Ghana increased in 2004. The number of persons arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine has also increased in this period, while the number of people arrested with cannabis decreased. Overall, 2004 saw the highest number of drug trafficking arrests on record. The NCB and other law enforcement agencies continued their successful cooperation with U.S. law enforcement agencies in 2004, sharing information, as well as preparing to extradite an American citizen and a Ghanaian citizen to be tried in the United States for narcotics offenses. In January, the Narcotics Control Board and the Ghana Police Service Drug Enforcement Unit, aided by British intelligence, intercepted 588.33 kilograms of cocaine in Tema, Ghana’s major port city about 20k from the capital city. The bust was West Africa’s largest ever drug bust. All six suspects, five of whom were foreign nationals, were convicted in October and sentenced to significant jail time at hard labor.
The NCB’s national drug education efforts continued in schools and churches, heightening citizens’ awareness of the fight against narcotics and traffickers. On June 27, the NCB organized an event in Kumasi to highlight drug abuse in Ghana in conjunction with the UN’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking. At this launch, the UNODC announced that it would assist Ghana in establishing rehabilitation centers for drug addicts, and a pilot project in Accra has since been launched.
In October and November 2004, using Department of State funding, U.S. Department of Justice trainers (ICITAP) conducted a four-week counternarcotics training course in Ghana for thirty officers from the Ghana Narcotics Control Board, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, the Customs and Excise Protective Service, and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority. The train-the-trainer program, conducted in two 2-week sessions, focused mainly on drug interdiction at air and seaports and was declared highly successful and received widespread press coverage.
Law Enforcement Efforts. In 2004, Ghanaian law enforcement agencies continued to conduct joint police/NCB operations against narcotics cultivators, traffickers, and abusers. NCB agents, who are not armed, rely upon the police’s Criminal Investigative Division’s (CID) narcotics unit in situations requiring armed force. The successful drug operation in January (see above) was an example of such a joint cooperative effort. The NCB continued to work with DHL, UPS, and Federal Express to intercept packages containing narcotics.
The NCB reported a drop in the prices of, heroin and cannabis from 2003, while the price of cocaine rose. In 2004, a gram of cocaine sold for cedis 168,350 ($18.50 at the current exchange rate) compared to cedis 133,350 ($15.30) in 2003. A cocaine booster sold for cedis 12,000 ($1.32), while crack cocaine sold for cedis 5,000 ($.55). A gram of heroin sold for cedis 145,600 ($16) compared to 173,550 ($20) in 2003. A heroin booster sold for cedis 10,000 ($1.10). The price of a small parcel of cannabis in 2004 was approximately cedis 5,000 ($.55), while a wrapper or joint sold for cedis 1,000 ($.11). There was a sudden increase in the prices of all narcotics after the January operation (see above), but the prices dropped again soon afterward.
Corruption. Despite the regular arrests of suspected narcotics traffickers, Ghana has an extremely low rate of conviction, which law enforcement officials indicate is likely due to corruption within the judicial system. As an example, from one region of the country, Ashanti, between 2001 and June 2004, of the 667 cases of drug dealers and traffickers reported, only 244 persons had been convicted and sentenced. The backlog of cases pending trial and the limited resources facing the judiciary remain a problem in controlling drug trafficking in Ghana. The total number of arrests made countrywide between January and September 2004 was 705. The NCB estimates that the Ashanti Region prosecution statistics are better than the national average.
NCB officials complain that courts often release suspected smugglers, including foreign nationals, on bail that is often set at only a tiny fraction of the value of the drugs found in a suspect’s possession. The court requirement of a surety in addition to bail is often either dropped, or court registrars will fraudulently use the identical property as surety for multiple cases. In September, the NCB was held in contempt of court for withholding the passports of suspects charged with drug trafficking who had been released on bail. The NCB retained the passports while they waited for the Attorney General to file a request not to permit bail, which was ultimately never filed. The NCB eventually had to turn over the passports on a court order. At least one of the suspects in this case, a Dutch national, has since traveled in and out of Ghana while on bail. In contrast to 2003, in 2004 there were no cases of possible evidence tampering. In August 2004, four police officers were arraigned and charged with taking bribes from drug traffickers in October 2001. No further action was taken on these cases in 2004.
Agreements and Treaties. Ghana is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. U.S.-Ghana extradition relations are governed by the 1931 U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty. Additionally, Ghana is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol Agreement, which includes an extradition provision among member states. In 2003, Ghana signed a bilateral Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement with the United States.
Cultivation and Production. Cannabis (also known as Indian hemp) is widely cultivated in rural farmlands. The Volta, Brong/Ahafo, Western, and Ashanti regions are principal growing areas. Most is consumed locally; some is trafficked to neighboring and European countries. Cannabis is usually harvested in September and October, and law enforcement teams increase their surveillance and investigation efforts at these times. In 2004, combined NCB and police teams continued to investigate cannabis production and distribution, and to destroy cultivated cannabis farms and plants.
In February 2003, the NCB implemented a pilot program designed to reduce the area under cultivation, under which 140 marijuana cultivators volunteered to give up marijuana in exchange for government assistance with planting and processing new food crops and immunity from prosecution. The NCB plans to expand the program to an additional 120 farmers that have registered for assistance, although the resources were not available to do so in 2004.
Drug Flow/Transit. Cocaine and heroin are the main drugs that transit Ghana. Cocaine is sourced mainly from South America and destined for Europe, while heroin comes mainly from Southeast and Southwest Asia on its way to Europe and North America. Cannabis is shipped primarily to Europe, specifically to the United Kingdom. Narcotics are sometimes repackaged in Ghana for reshipment, and the most recent trend in concealment method is in carry-on, wheeled luggage.
Although there is no hard evidence that drugs transiting Ghana contribute significantly to the supply of drugs to the U.S. market, there are indications that direct shipments to the United States are on the rise. Accra is an increasingly important transshipment point from Africa. In November, two alleged leaders of a drug smuggling ring from Ghana were indicted in Columbus, Ohio for shipping heroin for distribution across central Ohio, indicating a direct flow of illicit narcotics from Ghana into the U.S. Midwest. Direct flights from Accra play an important role in the transshipment of heroin to the U.S. by West African trafficking organizations. Because of safety problems, the U.S. FAA imposed a ban in July 2004 on flights into the U.S. by Ghana’s flag carrier, the only provider of direct flights from Ghana to the United States. However, according to the NCB, this did not reduce the drug trafficking from Ghana to the U.S., but rerouted the flow through Europe. The NCB reports that narcotics air transit through Ghana has reduced somewhat in favor of land routes to Abidjan, largely due to the instability in Cote d’Ivoire, which creates more favorable conditions there for narcotics traffickers. The biggest challenge in Ghana, however, are the seaports, as most of the coastal border is unmonitored and entry points are more porous. According to the NCB, the seaports allow greater quantities of narcotics to come through at places where there are weak patrol systems in place.
Domestic Programs. The NCB works with schools, professional training institutions, churches, local governments, and the general public to reduce local drug consumption. The Ministries of Health and Education further coordinate their efforts through their representatives on the Board. Board Members and staff frequently host public lectures, participate in radio discussion programs, and encourage newspaper articles on the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking. Ghana’s National Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was celebrated on June 27, in Kumasi, Ashanti Region. Although treatment programs have lagged behind preventative education and enforcement due to lack of funding, there are three government psychiatric hospitals receiving drug patients, and three private facilities in Accra, run by local NGOs, also assisting drug abusers.
U.S. Goals and Objectives. The USG’s counternarcotics and anticrime goals in Ghana are to strengthen Ghanaian law enforcement capacity generally, to improve interdiction capacities, to enhance the NCB’s office and field operation functions, and to reduce Ghana’s role as a transit point for narcotics.
Bilateral Cooperation. In 2002, the United States provided the Government of Ghana counternarcotics assistance in the form of surveillance and detection equipment, worth $64,000, including two narcotics detection devices ("Itemizers") installed at Kotoka International Airport in December 2003. Similar equipment funded in FY 2000 and FY 2001 is effectively maintained and has facilitated a number of drug arrests and seizures. Funding provided in FY 2002 for training for the Police and CEPS to create Internal Affairs Units will continue to assist in suppressing corruption and strengthening the capacity of the police to interdict illegal drugs. A four-week, interagency counternarcotics training course, funded by the U.S. in FY 2002 and focused on drug interdiction at Ghana’s air and seaports, took place in November 2004.
The Road Ahead. Improved narcotics interdiction, investigative capabilities, and prosecutorial successes sum up the USG’s major policy goals. A focus on improved oversight of financial transactions is a particular concern, given the potential for any narcotics financial networks to be used by terrorist organizations.
Jordan is primarily a transit country for illicit drugs, due to its geographical location between drug producing countries to the north and drug consuming countries to the south and west. Historically, Jordanians themselves have neither consumed nor produced significant quantities of illicit drugs. There have been signs that this trend may be changing. The most notable narcotics-related statistic for 2004 is a nearly 400 percent increase in Captagon (fenethylline) tablet seizures, the bulk of which Jordanian authorities say were bound for the Gulf States. The drugs of choice among users arrested for drug possession in Jordan have been hashish (80 percent) and heroin (20 percent); The main target group is high school through college-aged students. Cooperation among neighboring countries is ongoing and growing. Jordan is a party to the 1998 UN Drug Convention.
Jordan’s vast desert borders make it vulnerable to illicit drug smuggling operations. From the perspective of drug use, Jordanian authorities believe that drug consumption among Jordan’s youth is not likely to increase sharply.
Policy Initiatives. Due to the threat from continuing usage of hashish and heroin among high school and university-aged individuals, Jordan continues its drug awareness campaign focused at educating young people of the dangers of drug use. In June 2004, a national conference on drugs took place in Amman, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), during which issues such as combating drugs, prevention of drug abuse among students, and law enforcement were discussed.
Law Enforcement. Jordan’s Police (PSD) maintains an active counternarcotics bureau, which has excellent relations with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration through the Nicosia Country Office based in Cyprus. In 2004 the PSD began utilizing x-ray equipment on larger vehicles at two of its border crossings, which has led to some drug seizures. The PSD stated that since 1997, it has worked cooperatively with the military on the Syrian and Iraqi borders to intercept traffickers entering through those areas. Jordan continues to be concerned about heroin use in the more affluent areas of country, as statistics reflect yet another annual increase in heroin seizures. Although seizures of the synthetic amphetamine-type stimulant Captagon are up by nearly 400 percent, the PSD has not noted a significant abuse problem in Jordan. Drugs of this nature are predominantly bound for the Gulf Region. According to the PSD, 85 percent of all illicit drugs entering Jordan are destined for other countries in the region. The majority of Jordan’s drug seizures take place at the Jabber-a border crossing point between Jordan and Syria.
Corruption. Jordanian Officials report no narcotics-related corruption or investigations into corruption for the reporting period. There is currently no evidence to suggest that senior level officials are involved in narcotics trafficking.
Agreements and Treaties. Jordan is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Jordan continues to remain committed to existing bilateral agreements providing for counternarcotics cooperation between Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, and Hungary. Jordan has signed but has not yet ratified the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.
Cultivation and Production. Existing laws prohibit the cultivation and production of narcotics in Jordan. These laws have been effectively enforced.
Drug Flow and Transit. Jordan remains primarily a narcotics transit country. Jordan’s primary challenge in stemming the flow of illicit drugs through the country remains its vast and open desert borders. While law enforcement efforts confirm cooperation with its neighbors, the desolate border regions and the various tribes, with a centuries old tradition of smuggling as a principle source of income, make interdiction difficult. None of the narcotics transiting Jordan is believed to be destined for the United States. Jordan has seen only four drug-related cases involving its border with Iraq in 2004.
Domestic Programs. Jordan maintains a robust program of awareness and education, interdiction, and rehabilitation. Education programs predominantly target high school and college-aged kids. Authorities continue to provide educational presentations in schools and universities throughout the country. Jordan also publishes a number of brochures and other materials aimed at educating Jordan’s youth. Cartoons aimed at younger children designed to dissuade youngsters from trying drugs are also in the developmental stages, with an expected release timeframe of 2005. Jordan has also improved its rehabilitation programs. With United Nations’ assistance, Jordan is modernizing its drug treatment centers and private hospitals. Cultural and religious norms help to control drug use. The PSD works in conjunction with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, which directs sermons, lessons, and lectures on drug awareness and their effects.
Policy Initiatives. In March 2004, DEA Nicosia and DEA’s International Training Section sponsored a regional International Drug Enforcement Seminar in Amman. The DEA also plans to sponsor a one-week Asset Forfeiture and Financial Investigations Seminar in Amman during the month of July 2005.
Bilateral Cooperation. DEA Country Attache in Cyprus and Embassy Amman officials maintain a close working relationship with Jordanian authorities on narcotics related matters.
The Road Ahead. U.S. Officials expect continued cooperation with Jordanian officials in counternarcotics related issues.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a major transit route for opiates smuggled from Afghanistan and through Pakistan to the Persian Gulf, Turkey, Russia, and Europe. There is no evidence that narcotics transiting Iran reach the United States in an amount sufficient to have a significant effect. Iran is no longer a major drug producing country. Trafficking routes for opiates from Afghanistan to Russia and beyond, by way of Central Asia, have grown in importance, but the largest single share of opiates leaving Afghanistan still passes through Iran to consumers in Russia and Europe. There are also an estimated 2 million opiate abusers in Iran, with 60 percent reported as addicted to various opiates and 40 percent reported as casual users.
There is overwhelming evidence of Iran’s strong commitment to keep drugs leaving Afghanistan from reaching its citizens. As Iran strives to achieve this goal, it also prevents drugs from reaching markets in the West. Three thousand two hundred Iranian law enforcement personnel have died in clashes with heavily armed drug traffickers over the last two decades, and Iran reports that another 25 died in the first half of 2004. Iran spends a significant amount on drug-related expenses, including interdiction efforts and treatment/prevention education. Estimates range from $250-$300 million to as much as $800 million each year, depending on whether treatment and other social costs are included. Traffickers from Afghanistan continue to cause major disruption along Iran’s eastern border, but Iranian security forces seem to be having increased success by concentrating their interdiction efforts in the eastern provinces.
Iran has ratified the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but its laws do not bring it completely into compliance with the Convention. The United Nations Office of Drug Control (UNODC) is working with Iran to modify its laws, train the judiciary, and improve the court system.
Iran is a transit country and a major consumer country of opiates and hashish. Entering from Afghanistan and Pakistan into eastern Iran, heroin, opium, and morphine are smuggled overland, usually to Turkey. Another route to Europe and Turkey passes by way of Turkmenistan, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Drugs are also smuggled by sea across the Persian Gulf. Iran is also a major opiate consuming country, with the highest share of population abusing opiates in the world. The UNODC estimates that 2.8 percent of the Iranian population over age 15 used opiates in 2001 (latest data available).
Policy Initiatives. Iran is spending at least 50 percent of its budgeted counter drug expenditures on demand reduction activities, a significant shift from recent expenditure patterns where most funds went for enforcement-related supply reduction. The shift seems to be a clear response to the growing social and health impact of more dangerous drug abuse (e.g., heroin vice opium) and the trend towards more intravenous heroin abuse, with certain addict populations sharing needles. Police forces engaged in narcotics suppression activities have begun to complain publicly that their budgets are inadequate for their interdiction responsibilities.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The Drug Control Headquarters coordinates the drug-related activities of the police, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the Ministries of Intelligence and Security, Health, and Islamic Guidance and Education.
Iran pursues an aggressive border interdiction effort. A senior Iranian official told the UNODC that Iran had invested as much as $800 million in a system of mud walls, moats, concrete dams, sentry points, and observation towers, as well as a road along its entire eastern border with Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to an official GOI Internet site, Iran has installed 212 border posts, 205 observation posts, 22 concrete barriers, 290 km of canals (depth-4m, width-5m), 659 km of soil embankments, a 78 km barbed wire fence, and 2645 km of asphalt and gravel roads. It also has relocated numerous border villages to newly constructed sites, so that their inhabitants are less subject to harassment by narcotics traffickers.
Thirty thousand law enforcement personnel are regularly deployed along Iran’s border with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Interdiction efforts by the police and the Revolutionary Guards have resulted in numerous drug seizures. Iranian officials seized 181 metric tons (MT) of opiates (opium equivalent) just during the first six months of 2004. Opiate seizures in 2004 (projected) were on track to exceed those in 2003 by 48 percent. These increases are likely to continue as Afghanistan’s largest opium harvest ever moves towards markets in Iran itself, and in the West. Iran is likely to remain the country with the highest volume of opiate seizures in the world.
Iranian opiate seizures in the first six months of 2004 display some interesting trends:
Hashish seizures in Iran in the first six months of 2004 were on track to exceed seizures registered last year by a wide margin. At slightly more than 49.5 metric tons, only raw, unrefined opium seizures at 85 metric tons exceed hashish seizures in volume.
Drug offenses are under the jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Courts. Punishment for narcotics offenses is severe, with death sentences possible for possession of more than 30 grams of heroin or five kilograms (kg) of opium. Those convicted of lesser offenses may be punished with imprisonment, fines, or lashings, although it is believed that lashings have been used less frequently in recent years. Offenders between the ages of 16 and 18 are afforded some leniency. More than 60 percent of the inmates in Iranian prisons are incarcerated for drug offenses, ranging from use to trafficking. Narcotics-related arrests in Iran during the first six months of 2004 continued a sharp upward trend, mounting to 196,555. Almost three times more drug abusers were detained than drug traffickers. Iran has executed more than 10,000 narcotics traffickers in the last decade.
Corruption. Although there is no indication that senior government officials aid or abet narcotics traffickers, there are reports of corruption among lower/mid-level law enforcement, which is consistent with the transit of multiple-ton drug shipments across Iran. Punishment of corruption is harsh, and the evidence of Iran’s commitment to keep drugs from its people is compelling. Iran points to its drug interdiction efforts as benefiting countries in Western Europe and beyond.
Agreements and Treaties. Iran is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention; however, its legislation does not bring it completely into compliance with the Convention, particularly in the areas of money laundering and controlled deliveries. The UNODC is working with Iran through the NOROUZ Program to modify its laws, train the judiciary, and improve the court system. Iran is also a party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substance, the 1961 UN Single Convention and the 1972 Protocol. Iran has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime, and is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption. Iran has shown an increasing desire to cooperate with the international community on counternarcotics matters. Iran is an active participant in the Paris Pact, a group of countries that actively seeks to coordinate efforts to counter opiate smuggling in Southwest Asia, and Iran is scheduled to host an expert round table of this group in 2005.
Cultivation/Production. A 1998 U.S. survey of opium poppy cultivation in Iran and a detailed U.S. multi-agency assessment concluded that the amount of poppy being grown in Iran was negligible. The survey studied more than 1.25 million acres in Iran’s traditional poppy-growing areas, and found no poppy crops growing there, although the survey could not rule out the possibility of some cultivation in remote areas. A follow-up survey in 1999 reached the same conclusion. Iran is now generally viewed as a transit country for drugs produced elsewhere, but there are some reports of opium refining near the Turkish/Iranian border. Most refining of the opiates moving through Iran is done elsewhere, either in Afghanistan or in Turkey.
Drug Flow/Transit. Shipments of opiates enter Iran overland from Pakistan and Afghanistan by camel, donkey, or truck caravans, often organized and protected by heavily armed ethnic Baloch tribesmen from either side of the frontier. Once inside Iran, large shipments are either concealed within ordinary commercial truck cargoes or broken down into smaller sub-shipments. The Iranian town of Zahedan is reportedly a center for the opiate trade as it first enters Iran, and then moves westward. Foreign embassy observers report that Iranian interdiction efforts have disrupted smuggling convoys sufficiently to force smugglers to change tactics and emphasize concealment more than they have in the past. The use of human "mules" is on the rise. Individuals and small groups also attempt to cross the border with two to ten kilograms of drugs, in many cases ingested for concealment. Trafficking through Iran’s airports also appears to be on the rise. Still, many traffickers move drugs in large armed convoys, and are ready for a fight if challenged.
Most of the opiates smuggled into Iran from Afghanistan are smuggled to neighboring countries for further processing and transportation to Europe. Turkey is the main processing destination for these opiates, most of which are bound for consumption in Russia and Europe. Essentially all of the morphine base, which represents almost 40 percent of all opiates seized in the first six months of 2004, in Iran, is likely moving towards Turkey, as is some share of the much diminished 14 percent, or so, of opiates moving as heroin. Significant quantities of raw opium are consumed in Iran itself, but some share also moves on to the west to be refined and consumed as heroin in Europe and elsewhere. There is a northern smuggling route through Iran’s Khorasan Province, to Turkmenistan, to Tehran, and then on to Turkey. The mountains, desert, sparse population along this route make it hard to police. Traffickers are frequently well armed and dangerous.
The southern route also passes through sparsely settled desert terrain on its way to Tehran en route to Turkey; some opiates moving along the southern route detour to Bandar Abbas and move by sea to the Persian Gulf states. Bandar Abbas also appears to be an entry point for precursor chemicals moving to refineries in Afghanistan. Iran does not specifically control precursor chemicals used for producing illicit drugs, but has made a number of important seizures, mostly at Bandar, of acetic anhydride, used in the refining of heroin. All precursor chemicals seized were consigned to Afghanistan. Trafficking through Iran is facilitated by wide spread smuggling to provide necessities, and to escape high taxation. There are reports that enforcement authorities accept bribes to pass shipments, and fail to enforce laws against street sales inside of Iran.
Azerbaijan and Armenia provide alternative routes to Russia and Europe that bypass Turkish interdiction efforts. Additionally, despite the risk of severe punishment, marine transport is used through the Persian Gulf to the nations of the Arabian Peninsula, taking advantage of modern transportation and communication facilities and a laissez-faire commercial attitude in that area. Hashish moves extensively along this route, as well. Oman and Dubai appear to be important destinations, but some Iranian hashish even finds its way to Iraq. Iranian enforcement officials have estimated that as much as 50 percent of the opium produced in Afghanistan in past years entered Iran, with as much as 700-800 metric tons of opium consumed in Iran itself by its ca. 2 million users.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Smoked opium is the traditional drug of abuse in Iran, but opium is also drunk, dissolved in tea. Opium and its residue are also injected, dissolved in water, by a small number of addicts. Iranians have clearly been using more heroin during the past several years. Heroin has not replaced opium, the traditional drug of choice in Iran, but lower street prices for heroin, and temporary shortages of opium, after the Taliban successfully prohibited opium production in Afghanistan for one year (2000/01), plus higher prices for opium, have encouraged some addicts to switch from opium to heroin. Some heroin is smoked or sniffed, but a growing share is injected.
Ninety-three percent of opiate addicts are male, with a mean age of 33.6 years (plus or minus 10.5 years), and 1.4 percent (about 21,000) are HIV positive. In the past, the Islamic Republic attacked illegal alcohol use with more fervor than drug abuse, and was reluctant to discuss drug problems openly. Since 1995, public awareness campaigns and attention by two successive Iranian presidents as well as cabinet ministers and the Parliament have given demand reduction a significant boost. Under the UNODC’s NOROUZ narcotics assistance project, the GOI spent more than $68 million dollars in the first year for demand reduction and community awareness. The Prevention Department of Iran’s Social Welfare Association runs 12 treatment and rehabilitation centers, as well as 39 out-patient treatment programs in all major cities. Eighty-eight out-patient treatment centers are now operational. Some 30,000 people are treated per year, and some programs have three-month waiting lists. Narcotics Anonymous and other self-help programs can be found in almost all districts, as well, and several NGOs focus on drug demand reduction. There are no methadone treatment or HIV prevention programs, although HIV infection in the prison population is a serious concern.
Policy Initiatives. In the absence of direct diplomatic relations with Iran, the United States has no narcotics initiatives in Iran. The U.S. government continues to encourage regional cooperation against narcotics trafficking. Iran and the United States have expressed similar viewpoints on illicit drugs and the regional impact of the Afghan drug trade. In the context of multilateral settings such as the UN’s Paris Pact group, the United States and Iran have worked together productively. Iran nominated the United States to be coordinator of an earlier UN-sponsored coordination effort on narcotics called the "Six Plus Two" counternarcotics initiative.
The Road Ahead. The GOI has demonstrated sustained national political will and taken strong measures against illicit narcotics, including cooperation with the international community. Iran’s actions support the global effort against international drug trafficking. Iran stands to be one of the major benefactors of any long-term reduction in drug production/trafficking from Afghanistan, as it is one of the biggest victims of the short term increase in opium/heroin production there now. The United States anticipates that Iran will continue to pursue policies and actions in support of efforts to combat drug production and trafficking.
Israel is not a significant producer or trafficking point for drugs. The Israeli National Police (INP), however, reports that during the year 2004, the Israeli drug market continued to be characterized by high demand in nearly all sectors of society and a high availability of drugs including cannabis, Ecstasy, cocaine, heroin and LSD. The INP also reports a continuing high demand for Ecstasy in 2004, and a high level of seizure, especially compared with 2003. There was a comparable amount of marijuana seized, and a slight decrease in the amount of hashish seized. The INP reports that the amount of heroin seized remained relatively low as in previous years, although the level of demand is unchanged. The quantity of LSD seized in 2004 far exceeds past years, with the seizure of 55,438 blotters compared to 28,331 blotters in 2003. Widespread use of Ecstasy by Israeli youths is a continuing source of concern to authorities. There was a slight decrease from last year in the number of cases for drug use, trafficking, and possession not for personal use. The number of drug arrests for 2004 is not available. (Note: All data is for the period January through October.) In June 2002, Israel became a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Israel’s domestic law is consistent with this convention.
Israel is not a major producer of narcotics or precursor chemicals. Israeli narcotics traffickers operating outside of Israel continue to be deeply involved in the international Ecstasy trade. The Israeli National Police (INP) reports that during the year 2004, the Israeli drug market was characterized by a high demand in nearly all sectors of society and a high availability of drugs including cannabis, Ecstasy, cocaine, heroin and LSD. The INP estimates the annual scope of the Israeli market to be 100 tons of marijuana, 20 tons of hashish, 20 million tablets of Ecstasy, 4 tons of heroin, 3 tons of cocaine, and hundreds of thousands of LSD blotters. Officials are also concerned with the widespread use of Ecstasy and cannabis among Israeli youth, and say that drug use among youth mirrors trends in the West.
Policy Initiatives. In 2004, the INP continued its general policy of interdiction at Israel’s borders and points of entry because the biggest quantities of drugs cross into Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon. Together with the Israeli Anti-Drug Authority (IADA), the INP concentrated specifically on the Jordanian and Egyptian borders, where the majority of heroin, cocaine, and cannabis enter Israel. The INP and the IADA have jointly developed programs to help Israeli youth, and have identified and begun investigating six or seven major families involved in drug trade in Israel.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Israel is not a significant seller, transporter or financier of the drug trade but Israeli citizens abroad in locations such as Denmark, Holland, and Belgium serve as brokers and transporters of Ecstasy to the U.S. and elsewhere. INP reports a high demand for cocaine in Israel and a total of 28.5 kilograms seized in 2004, a figure less than half of that in 2003, and showing a decline for the last two years in a row. In 2004, 14,167 kilograms of marijuana was seized, about the same as in 2003. In 2004, 773 kilograms of hashish were seized, a quantity down slightly from last year, and a decline for two years in a row. The number of Ecstasy tablets seized in 2004 was 214,076, up almost three times the amount seized in 2003. The level of heroin seized in 2004 was 50 kilograms, comparable to 2003, with one seizure of 21 kilograms in December 2004. In 2004, 55,438 LSD blotters were seized in total, almost double the amount of blotters seized in 2003. There was a slight change from last year in the number of cases reported by the INP. In 2004, the INP reported 12,335 open cases for drug use, 2,561 for drug trafficking, and 6,007 for drug possession not for personal use. Israel destroyed 528 illicit labs in 2004, compared with none in 2003. The figures for drug arrests in 2004 are not available. In 2004, authorities seized $6.6 million in illegal drug related assets and cash.
Corruption. In April 2004, Israel arrested and indicted Gonan Segev, a former Energy Minister under Yitzhak Rabin, when he left a bag with 25,000 Ecstasy pills in a locker at the Amsterdam airport on his way back to Israel. As a matter of government policy, the Government of Israel 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 transactions. Israel does not have specific legislation for public corruption related to narcotics.
Agreements and Treaties. Israel is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and its 1972 Protocol. A customs mutual assistance agreement and a mutual legal assistance treaty are also in force between Israel and the U.S. In December 2000, Israel signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and is in the process of passing the necessary changes to Israeli law. Israel is a party to the European Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. Israel is one of 36 parties to the COE European Treaty on Extradition and has separate extradition treaties with several other countries, including the U.S. Under the Israeli extradition law, nationality is no longer a basis for denying extradition. However, if the requested person was both a citizen and resident of Israel at the time the offense was committed, he may be extradited to stand trial abroad only if the state seeking extradition promises in advance to allow the person to return to Israel to serve any sentence imposed. Four individuals were extradited from Israel to the U.S. on drug-related charges in 2004. Israel also arrested Zeev Rosenstein, an Israeli underworld figure accused of smuggling large quantities of MDMA from Europe to the U.S., on November 8, 2004, and extradition proceedings are ongoing.
Cultivation/Production. There is negligible cultivation and production of illicit drugs in Israel.
Drug Flow/Transit. Israel is not a significant transit country, although Israeli citizens have been part of international drug trafficking networks in source, transit, and distribution countries. Israel also works with Germany and Holland to interdict the flow of Ecstasy, and with Turkey to interdict the flow of heroin, and with South American countries to interdict the flow of cocaine.
Demand Reduction. A number of both public and private entities are working to reduce the demand for drugs through awareness and prevention. The Israeli Anti-Drug Authority (IADA) is one of the main governmental actors in this effort. Its mission, among other things, is to spearhead prevention efforts, initiate and develop educational services and public awareness, and treat and rehabilitate drug users. It coordinates with and directs the activities of a number of government ministries with a role in reducing demand. The IADA also seeks to change the public atmosphere to counter increasing social acceptance of recreational drug use. Prevention programs target high-risk segments of the population like the Arab sector, as well as youths, students, backpackers, new immigrants, and others. The IADA offers workshops and lectures for immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia in their respective languages and tailored to their particular cultural needs. The IADA is working to reduce demand for narcotics among soldiers by providing officers with the skills to combat effectively the use of drugs within their units. There is an ongoing public awareness campaign aimed at parents and designed to focus their attention on knowing their children’s whereabouts and activities. The IADA also concentrates on human resources development, including the development of a professional infrastructure, and is establishing a unified standard for training purposes, including development of a curriculum for nurses, police, prison employees, physicians, and counselors, as well as other drug prevention, treatment, and enforcement professionals. The IADA also performs basic, epidemiological, and evaluative research in the narcotic drug field. The INP participates in demand reduction initiatives by lecturing at schools at all levels above 10 years of age and in the army about the impact of drugs on the body and mind.
Bilateral Cooperation. DEA officials characterize cooperation between the DEA and the INP as outstanding. All DEA investigations related to Israel are coordinated through the DEA Nicosia Country Office.
Road Ahead. The DEA regional office in Nicosia, Cyprus, looks forward to continued cooperation and coordination with its counterparts in the Israeli law enforcement community. The GOI is seeking to widen and build on relations with other countries and has created an office of International Relations within the IADA to pursue this objective. Israel began its four-year-term as a member of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in January 2004.
Kenya is a transit country for heroin and hashish, mostly bound from Southwest Asia for Europe and North America. Heroin transiting Kenya has markedly increased in quality in recent years and is destined increasingly for North America, even as the overall transit volume continued to decline. Although the exact impact of this heroin on the U.S. market is unclear, it is not believed to be significant. Cannabis/marijuana is grown domestically and imported from neighboring countries for the illegal domestic market. There is a small, and believed to be growing, domestic heroin market. Air passenger profiling, airport controls, and other techniques have helped reduce airborne heroin shipments. Interdiction of narcotics shipments by sea has been unsuccessful as Kenyan police lack the necessary infrastructure, funding, or staffing for such an endeavor. A program for profiling shipping containers is in effect, but has had little success due to rampant corruption among customs officials, police, and members of the judiciary. The three year-old "National Drug Control Master Plan" has not moved forward since the cabinet turned the project over to an inter-agency committee led by the Solicitor-General. The Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) of the Kenyan police continues to cooperate well with international and regional counternarcotics officials. In November, Kenya hosted the 16th Operational Meeting of Regional Anti-Narcotics Units and Directors of the Criminal Investigations Division. This working group—composed of ANU and CID representatives from Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya as well as observers from Interpol, DEA, the UK’s Drug Liaison Office—shares narcotics-related intelligence, arrest data, and information on emerging trends in order to enhance cross-border counternarcotics efforts. Although government officials profess strong support for counternarcotics efforts, the overall program suffers from a lack of resources, which also hinder its intelligence collection capabilities. Kenya is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and has enacted full implementing legislation.
Kenya is a significant transit country and a minor producer of narcotics. Heroin and hashish transiting Kenya, believed to have a relatively small impact on the United States, continued to register a decline from their 2001 peak. Cannabis or marijuana is produced in commercial quantities for the domestic market. There is no evidence of any significant impact on the United States. Kenya remains a transit country for small quantities of cocaine and other drugs destined for Southern African and Western European consumers. In general, these drugs originate from outside of Africa. Kenya’s sea and air transportation infrastructure, and a network of commercial and family ties among long-term ethnic South Asian merchants living in Kenya, help explain why Kenya is a significant transit country for Southwest Asian heroin. In 2000, officials noted a dramatic shift from low-purity brown heroin to higher-purity white heroin, and believe that the higher-purity product is destined principally for the United States. This trend continued in 2004. Although it is impossible to quantify exactly, officials now believe that the United States is at least as significant as Europe as a destination for heroin transiting Kenya. In recent years, Kenya has been an important transit point for Southwest Asian cannabis resin (hashish), and police made several multi-ton hashish seizures. Cocaine seizures are down sharply in the past three years. Kenya does not produce significant quantities of precursor chemicals.
Policy Initiatives. The 2001 National Drug Control Master Plan continues to languish within an inter-agency committee chaired by the nation’s solicitor-general.
Counternarcotics agencies, notably the Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) within the Kenyan Police Service, continue to depend on the 1994 Narcotics Act for enforcement measures and interdiction guidelines. Most believe that the ten year-old Act is sufficient to sustain current interdiction efforts, but note the Act’s major area of weakness remains its capacity to combat money laundering. The "National Drug Control Master Plan" should it be implemented, would provide for a senior civil servant donor liaison who would co-ordinate a broad counternarcotics effort, to include a much-expanded public campaign aimed at preventing drug use. Additionally, the plan summarizes policies, defines priorities and apportions responsibilities for drug control to various agencies.
The National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA), a quasi-governmental organization, was given parliamentary recognition and saw its mandates renewed, although its budget remains negligible. Kenyan authorities improved internal information sharing and operational coordination between various government agencies, airlines and other entities over the course of 2004 to complement regional cooperation efforts bolstered by the 2001 East African Community protocol on combating drug trafficking. ANU continued to publicize its counternarcotics message effectively through local media and increased public awareness through lectures aimed at a range of students from primary grade schools through universities and members of local civic groups.
Kenya has no crop substitution or alternative development initiatives for progressive elimination of the cultivation of narcotics crops. The ANU remains the focus of Kenyan counternarcotics efforts.
Accomplishments. The ANU has sustained a successful track record in securing convictions since beginning its program of judicial outreach in 2002. Many ANU officers have undergone training, much of it through the UNODC and bilateral programs sponsored by the U.S., German, British, Japanese and other governments. The ANU and the Kenyan Customs Service now have a cadre of officers proficient in profiling and searching suspected drug couriers and containers at airports and seaports. Profiling has yielded good results, albeit generally for couriers and not major traffickers, and the success rate over the past two years has forced traffickers to seek viable land routes through Kenya. Seaport profiling has proven difficult. Despite the official estimate that eighty percent of the narcotics trafficking through Kenya originates on international sea vessels, personnel turnover at the ports is high and corruption rampant. Resource and staffing inadequacies undercut the sustainability of most training programs, undermining their effectiveness and impact. A high degree of corruption continues to thwart the success of long-term port security training. The ANU has trained two officers in maritime narcotics interdiction; however, the ANU is unlikely to possess boats with which to conduct such operations until 2005. The ANU has built its surveillance capabilities and has capitalized on the information yielded from increasingly sophisticated operations. Inadequate resources, a problem throughout the Kenyan police force, significantly reduce the ANU’s operational effectiveness.
The ANU cooperates fully with the United States and other nations on counternarcotics investigations and other operations. The ANU continues to pass information to Interpol and the DEA on a regular basis. Following a 2002 joint investigation, 2003 saw the first-ever extradition to the United States from Kenya of accused members of a major U.S.-bound drug smuggling ring. The ANU and Attorney General’s Office assisted the U.S. government in this case.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Kenya seized 11.6 kilograms of heroin in 2004—nearly a two percent decrease from the quantities seized in 2003 (all statistics on drug seizures in this section reflect the period from January to November 2004) and arrested 72 people on heroin-related charges. Officials report a sharp shift to higher-quality white heroin from lower-quality brown heroin, and report that traffickers have re-oriented much of the white heroin transiting Kenya for the United States in hopes of a larger profit yield. Most couriers arrested in Kenya conceal heroin by swallowing, though some also hide it in their shoes, false-bottom briefcases, and car engine parts. The ANU concentrates its antiheroin operations at Kenya’s two main international airports. Kenyan authorities seized 188,988 kilograms of cannabis in 2004 and arrested 3,292 suspects. Officials believe Kenyan coastal waters and ports are major transit points for the shipment of hashish from Pakistan to Europe and North America.
The number of individuals arrested and seizures for cocaine trafficking continued to be low in 2004. However, ANU intercepted the largest cocaine shipment ever seized in Kenya on December 14. Police seized two cocaine shipments totaling 954 kilograms. A joint investigation involving the Criminal Investigations Division, Anti-Narcotics Unit, Special Crime Prevention Unit and the General Service Unit of the police raided a warehouse in Nairobi, seizing 253 kilograms of cocaine sealed in a refrigerated container. Another team off the coast of Malindi intercepted an outbound cargo vessel, in which 701 kilograms of cocaine were concealed in two 40-foot shipping containers carrying bananas purportedly from Colombia and Venezuela. ANU speculates the drugs were destined for the Netherlands, shipped under the guise of industrial roofing tiles.
Historically, cocaine seized in Kenya is believed to originate from Brazil and Colombia; its abuse and local availability is not widespread. ANU officials involved in the most recent investigation believe it highlights an emerging trend of traffickers using Kenya as a "re-packing point" for drugs destined to Europe and elsewhere. In this case, the drugs, upon arrival in Nairobi through smaller courier deliveries, were opened, re-packaged and wrapped in plastic wrapping papers before being shipped by road to the Port of Mombasa. Once the shipment arrived in Mombasa, the drugs were initially shipped out to sea in small boats and then transferred to larger cargo vessels.
Despite two successful, highly-publicized targeted raids of 14 farms along Mt. Kenya in 2001 and 2002 that collectively destroyed 460,991.179 kilograms of cannabis, ANU saw an increase in this crop during targeted raids (successful and unsuccessful) in 2004.
The ANU continued to operate roadblocks for domestic drug trafficking interdiction and is pursuing a variety of policy initiatives for more effective coordination with other government agencies. The ANU has launched an outreach effort to persuade judges and magistrates of the seriousness of counternarcotics offenses and identify ways cases can be handled more effectively. The ANU also disseminates its messages through local media.
Corruption. Corruption remains a significant barrier to effective narcotics enforcement at both the prosecutorial and law enforcement level. The British High Commission has been so frustrated by information leaks related to key narcotics seizures that it has ceased training Kenyan customs officials. In 2003, the ANU estimated that a majority of the 200 officers lost to attrition over the previous five years were dismissed as a result of being compromised. Police frequently complain that the courts are ineffective in handling counternarcotics cases, which is likely a combination of corruption, misunderstanding of the law, and simple judicial backlog. In the past, payments ranging from $255 to $6,360 were offered as bribes to judges presiding over narcotics cases. In 2003, 10 judges were dismissed on corruption-related charges, and a parliamentary committee focused on the judiciary found there to be substantial and credible evidence linking 152 of Kenya’s 300 judges and magistrates to corruption and unethical conduct. The Kenyan High Court had previously reassigned all narcotics cases destined for the docket of one of these judges after repeated official protests by ANU officials alleging bribery and flagrant disregard for penal procedures laid out under the 1994 Narcotics Act. Despite Kenya’s strict narcotics laws that encompass most forms of narcotics-related corruption, unconfirmed reports continue linking public officials with narcotics trafficking in the East African region. Employees working at the airport continue to be involved with narcotics traffickers. In April, two Kenya Airways pursers were arrested coming off planes carrying 2.29 kilograms and 3.6 kilograms of heroin in cosmetics cases believed to have originated in Lahore, Pakistan.
Agreements and Treaties. Kenya is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, which it implemented in 1994 with the enactment of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act. Kenya is also a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol and the1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Kenya also is a party to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention Against Corruption. The 1931 U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty remains in force between the United States and Kenya through a 1965 exchange of notes.
Cultivation and Production. A significant number of Kenyan farmers illegally grow cannabis on a commercial basis for the domestic market. Fairly large-scale cannabis cultivation occurs in the Lake Victoria basin, in the central highlands around Mt. Kenya and along the coast. Foreign tourists export small amounts of Kenyan marijuana. Officials continue to conduct aerial surveys to identify significant cannabis-producing areas in cooperation with the Kenya Wildlife Service. Aerial surveys this year found large cannabis crops in an area of Mount Kenya where crops were previously destroyed by the ANU in 2002. Dangerous weather conditions and poorly maintained helicopters prevented ANU from successfully seizing crops from this location. No aerial eradication efforts were undertaken during the year.
Drug Flow/Transit. Kenya is strategically located along a major transit route between Southwest Asian producers of heroin and markets in Europe and North America. Heroin normally transits Kenya by air, carried by individual couriers. As a result of profiling measures and enhanced counternarcotics efforts, ANU officials believe traffickers are finding Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) an increasingly difficult exit point for East African drugs. ANU officials continued to interrupt couriers transiting a newly-created route through the Kenyan-Ugandan border at Malaba. This first-ever use of this land route in November demonstrates, in the minds of ANU officials, that traffickers have noted the increase in security and narcotics checks at JKIA. South Asians and East Africans remain active couriers, the majority of whom are women. ANU continues to track an emerging trend of Western and Eastern European heroin couriers transiting Kenya to Europe and North America. Once in Kenya, heroin is typically delivered to agents of West African crime syndicates.
There is evidence that poor policing along the East African coast makes this region attractive to maritime smugglers. (Kenya’s neighbor, Somalia, has a long coastline and no functioning government.) Despite the fact local, regional, and international counternarcotics officials have increased attention paid to the maritime transport of narcotics, ANU interdiction capabilities remain nonexistent. Kenya has no functioning maritime interdiction resource. Six officers are assigned to the southern port of Mombasa for profiling purposes only, and the two officers who have been trained in maritime interdiction have no boats from which to operate. There was one maritime heroin seizure in 2004.
Postal and commercial courier services are also used for narcotics shipments through Kenya. In the past, Kenya has been a transit country for methaqualone (Mandrax) en route from India to South Africa. From 1997-2001, there were no methaqualone (Mandrax) seizures in Kenya. However, this changed in 2001 when 52,103 Mandrax tablets were intercepted and seven suspects arrested. In 2003, one person was arrested transporting 10,000 Mandrax tablets. ANU remains concerned that a new, clandestine Mandrax factory may have resumed operations in Kenya. In 2004 ANU arrested an individual in Nairobi carrying 5,000 tablets of the drug.
Officials have never identified any clandestine airstrips in Kenya used for drug deliveries and believe that no such airstrips exist.
Domestic Programs. Kenya has made some progress in efforts to institute programs for demand reduction. In addition to alcohol, illegal cannabis and legal khat are the domestic drugs of choice. Heroin abuse is limited generally to members of the economic elite and a slightly broader range of users on the coast. Academics and rehabilitation clinic staff argue that heroin use in Nairobi and along the coast has grown exponentially since 2003. UNODC is exploring funding for a baseline study of the current heroin use trend level. Solvent abuse is widespread (and highly visible) among street children in Nairobi and other urban centers. There are no reliable statistics on domestic consumption of illicit narcotics.
Demand reduction efforts have largely been limited to publicity campaigns sponsored by private donors and a UNODC project to bring counternarcotics education into the schools. In 2001, however, the Government of Kenya appointed a National Coordinator for its Campaign Against Drug Abuse to initiate national public education programs on drugs. There are no special government rehabilitation or drug abuse treatment facilities, but some churches and non-governmental organizations provide limited rehabilitation and treatment programs for solvent-addicted street children.
Policy Initiatives. The principal U.S. counternarcotics objective in Kenya is to interdict the flow of narcotics to the United States. The U.S. seeks to accomplish this objective through law enforcement cooperation, the encouragement of a strong Kenyan government commitment to narcotics interdiction and strengthening Kenyan counternarcotics and overall judicial capabilities.
Bilateral Cooperation. There was a modest expansion of USG bilateral cooperation with Kenya and surrounding countries on counternarcotics matters in 2004. The USG provided funding to facilitate the 16th Operational Regional Counter-Narcotics Conference and has pledged funding to support the Spring 2005 conference as well. Counternarcotics training opportunities, sniffer dogs, cars, and equipment offers have also been given to the counternarcotics unit in the 2003-2004 period. The U.S. also provided the ANU with computers and related equipment and has financed several DEA courses. The United States remains active in the Mini-Dublin Group, which has responsibility for coordinating counternarcotics assistance from several Western donors.
Road Ahead. The USG will continue to take advantage of its good relations with Kenyan law enforcement to build professionalism, operational capacity and information sharing. As a regional hub, Nairobi remains a key location for conducting regional training and other regional initiatives and the USG will actively seek ways to maximize counternarcotics efforts both in Kenya and throughout East Africa. Perhaps most significantly, the U.S. will work with local, regional and international partners to better understand and combat the flow of international narcotics, particularly heroin, through Kenya to the United States.
Lebanon is not a major illicit drug producing or drug-transit country. The Lebanese government reported success against illicit poppy and cannabis crops for 2004. While the government claimed extensive crop destruction, other observers said that the threat of destruction made crop destruction unnecessary, since farmers sharply curtailed plantings. In any case, no significant illicit drug production took place during 2004 in Lebanon. Nevertheless, illicit crop cultivation is likely to continue to remain an option to local farmers due to an increasingly difficult economic climate and a lack of investment in alternative crops.
If government crop destruction claims are to be believed, cultivation of illicit crops increased slightly from 2003 to 2004. There is practically no illicit drug refining in Lebanon, and no production, trading or transit of precursor chemicals. Drug trafficking across the Lebanese-Syrian border has diminished substantially as a result of Lebanese and Syrian efforts to deter smuggling activity. The government continued its ongoing drug reduction efforts through public service messages and awareness campaigns. Lebanon is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
The deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon and the lack of investment in alternative crops continues to make illicit crop cultivation appealing to local farmers in the Bekka’ Valley in eastern Lebanon. Government crop eradication operations have put some pressure on the amount of land farmers dedicated to illicit crops, based on the fear that investment in cultivation and labor would all be for naught if the crop is destroyed before harvest. The government tried to capitalize on this fear by continuing a counternarcotics campaign to discourage new planting.
According to the Internal Security Forces (ISF), approximately 68,000 square meters of poppy and 13,089,000 square meters of cannabis were eradicated in 2004. The Judiciary Police—the law enforcement agency tasked with counternarcotics responsibilities—claimed to have accomplished complete eradication in 2004.
At least five types of drugs are available in Lebanon: hashish, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other synthetics, such as MDMA (Ecstasy). Hashish and heroin are reported to be rare, due to the destruction of local crops; small quantities of cocaine arrive in Lebanon to meet very modest local demand; and the government reported increased interest in synthetic drugs.
Lebanon is not a major transit country for illicit drugs, and most trafficking is done by "amateurs," rather than major drug networks. Marijuana and opium derivatives are trafficked to a modest extent in the region, but there is no evidence that the illicit narcotics that transit Lebanon reach the U.S. in significant amounts. South American cocaine is smuggled into Lebanon primarily via air and sea routes either directly or from Europe, Jordan, and Syria. Lebanese nationals living in South America in concert with resident Lebanese traffickers often finance these operations. According to a report issued by the Judiciary Police in 2003, very small quantities of cocaine were smuggled into Lebanon in 2003, as compared to an average of approximately 500 kilograms in previous years. Synthetics are smuggled into Lebanon primarily for sale to high-income recreational users.
There is no significant illicit drug refining in Lebanon. Such activity has practically disappeared due to the vigilance of the Syrian and Lebanese governments. Small amounts of precursor chemicals, however, shipped from Lebanon to Turkey via Syria, were previously diverted for illicit use. Legislation passed in 1998 authorized seizure of assets if a drug trafficking nexus is established in court proceedings.
Policy Initiatives. The Ministry of Interior again made counternarcotics a top priority. Notably, the Judicial Police made arrests in 2004 for narcotics-related offenses for the first time in over 35 years. The government also continued its public awareness advertising campaigns to discourage drug use, and this year took their message to university campuses. The Ministry of Interior sent counternarcotics messages on mobile phones. Counternarcotics posters and slogans were displayed throughout the country. Counternarcotics ads and video clips were broadcast on television stations, and tee-shirts reading "Together Against Drugs" were distributed to NGOs participating in the drug awareness and drug abuse reduction campaigns.
Accomplishments. In 2004, the Government of Lebanon continued cannabis and poppy eradication. A reliable local expert and director of an agricultural research center reported that the government’s zero-tolerance policy has been a great success. Demand reduction campaigns were also on going and pervasive. The Government of Lebanon received from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) a $362,000 grant for "the development and implementation of a national action plan on drug demand reduction in Lebanon" from 2004-2006.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The ISF reported seizures of 900 kilograms of hashish, and significantly lesser quantities of other illicit drugs. In 2004, Police arrested 960 persons for drug abuse, 847 for dealing in narcotics, and 142 for distribution of narcotics. Smaller numbers of arrests were registered for planting, smuggling, and transporting illegal narcotics. The total number of persons arrested in 2004 for drug related crimes was 1,949, including the arrest in June of one of the major drug dealers in Lebanon. Abou Ali Sadek el-Masri was apprehended in his home in the Bekka’ Valley in a joint operation carried out by the ISF and the army.
Corruption. Corruption remains endemic in Lebanon up to the senior levels of government, but none of the corruption is reported to be connected with drug production or trafficking or the protection of persons who deal in illicit drugs. While low-level corruption in the counternarcotics forces is possible, there is no evidence of wide-scale corruption within the Judiciary Police or the ISF. ISF members appear to be genuinely dedicated to combating drugs.
Agreements and Treaties. Lebanon is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. Lebanon has signed, but has not yet ratified the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.
Cultivation and Production. There are conflicting reports on cultivation of illicit crops. Statistics from the Judicial Police this year show that 68,000 square meters of poppy and 13,089,000 square meters of cannabis were eradicated during 2004. However, a respected agricultural research center reported that, in fact, there were no eradications of illicit crops because farmers did not plant illicit crops. According to the director of the center, farmers have been thoroughly intimidated by police efforts to eradicate illicit crops. Knowing that the crops will be destroyed, and given the poor economic climate, farmers are loath to invest in that which they believe will be destroyed.
Drug Flow/Transit. Illicit drug trafficking via traditional smuggling routes has been somewhat curtailed by joint Syrian-Lebanese operations, but nonetheless continues. Drug trafficking along the Israel-Lebanon border has been negligible since the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000 and the subsequent virtual sealing of the border. The primary route for smuggling hashish from Lebanon during 2004 was overland to Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and via sea routes to Europe. According to the ISF, large exports of hashish from Lebanon to Europe are more and more difficult for smugglers due to increased seashore patrols and airport control. The ISF asserts that no hashish has been smuggled into the United States.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Lebanese leaders recognize the need to address the problem of illicit drug use. In 2002, the government launched a widespread public awareness campaign to discourage drug use, which remains on going. Textbooks approved for use in all public schools contain a chapter on narcotics to increase public awareness. The current law on drugs dictates that a National Council on Drugs (NCD) be established, whose services and activities will include substance abuse treatment, prevention, awareness, assistance to substance users and their families, in addition to setting up a national action plan. The government has been engaged in the establishment of this council since 2001; however, the NCD has not yet been formed.
There are several detoxification programs, but the only entity in Lebanon that offers a comprehensive drug rehabilitation program is Oum al-Nour (ON), a Beirut-based NGO. The Government of Lebanon, through the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Public Health, provided 36 percent of ON’s $1,000,000 budget in 2004 budget. ON estimates that the age of the average drug addict in Lebanon has been decreasing since the end of the country’s civil war in 1990, with pre-college and college-age youth now being the most vulnerable. In 2004, 60 percent of ON’s clients were under 24, compared to 5 percent for the same age group in 1990. ON statistics, based on their patient base, indicate that the most commonly abused illicit substance is heroin, but use of "designer" drugs such as methamphetamine and ecstasy is increasing.
ON operates three drug treatment centers in Lebanon, two for men and one for women. The centers, which have a maximum capacity of 70 patients, offer a yearlong residential program for hard-core addicts, and sometimes operate above nominal capacity. The centers provide detoxification, psychiatric, spiritual, and social programs without the use of substitution products. A new section, funded by USAID, was built in one of the men’s centers and became operational in September. The new section, which can accommodate 12 to 15 patients, has taken in 21 patients since September. ON does not offer outpatient care for individuals whose addictions do not warrant hospitalization.
ON also engages in drug prevention activities such as distributing educational materials on college campuses and promoting drug awareness among the population through advertisements and education programs. The organization also has a research office and a center for statistical studies.
Another drug rehabilitation center for men opened in Zahleh in the Bekka’ Valley in coordination with the Saint Charles Hospital and the Ministry of Health. The center can accommodate up to 16 patients. The center’s team of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and social workers also does clinical training for hospital staff.
A new walk-in outpatient therapeutic facility for addiction that offers prevention, awareness, and psychological treatment to drug users and their families called Skoun (which means "internal tranquility" or "silence" in Arabic) opened last year in downtown Beirut. The center is currently treating some 20 outpatients.
Other associations that fight drugs are: Jeunesse Anti-Drogue (JAD), which is primarily committed to drug awareness but also provides medical treatment and psychological rehabilitation on an outpatient basis; Jeunesse Contre la Drogue (JCD), which raises awareness of substance abuse and AIDS, and helps users get proper treatment and rehabilitation; and Association Justice et Misericorde (AJEM), which was established to assist prisoners. One recurrent problem is the lack of coordination between concerned ministries and sometimes between the various NGOs that work on substance abuse.
According to the report "Substance Use and Misuse in Lebanon", released by the UNODC in May 2003, ISF participants in the study reported that individuals arrested for substance-related offenses most commonly use heroin, hashish, marijuana, and cocaine. Furthermore, the participants noted that inappropriate use of licit medications is on the rise in prisons, and that the use of Ecstasy is uncommon. Data from treatment/rehabilitation centers, however, showed that Ecstasy and abuse of licit opiates are on the rise. Data gathered from street substance users showed that abuse of codeine and other licit medications is on the rise, and additionally, the young population is increasingly inhaling thinner.
U.S. Policy Initiatives. In meetings with Lebanese officials, U.S. officials continued to stress the need for diligence in preventing the production and transportation of narcotics, and the need for a comprehensive development program for the Bekka’ Valley that would provide the impoverished residents with alternate sources of income. The USG also stressed the importance of anticorruption efforts.
Bilateral Cooperation. USAID, in close cooperation with the Embassy, continued its four-component program to aid and empower key Lebanese stakeholders—local government, media, and civil society—in their efforts to fight corruption. On the supply side, USAID assisted U.S. and local NGOs working with villages to promote the substitution of illicit crops with legitimate, economically viable ones. USAID also helped increase the receiving capacity of one of Oum el Nour’s rehabilitation centers (see paragraph above on Domestic Programs). In 2003, State Department counternarcotics assistance funded a narcotics demand reduction program administered by a Beirut-based NGO, the Justice and Mercy Association (AJEM). The project was designed to create a drug treatment facility in Roumieh prison to provide treatment and social rehabilitation for drug addicted prisoners incarcerated there. The State Department also funded a second project aimed at expanding receiving and treatment capacity at Oum el Nour centers.
The Road Ahead. Given the close involvement of Lebanese and Syrian officials in the battle against illicit narcotics, success in combating narcotics cultivation and trafficking depends on the will of both the Syrian and Lebanese governments. The GOL, in cooperation with the Syrian government, appears to have either eradicated or prevented, through threat of eradication, all illicit cultivation during 2004. However, it has not successfully developed a socio-economic strategy to tackle the problem of crop substitution. The USG will continue to press the GOL to maintain its commitment to combating drug production and transit and implementing anticorruption policies.
Morocco continues to be a major producer and exporter of cannabis. It produced an estimated 47,400 metric tons of cannabis in 2003, providing for potential cannabis resin (hashish) production of 3,080 metric tons, according to a joint study released in late 2003 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Morocco’s Agency for the Promotion and the Economic and Social Development of the Northern Prefectures and Provinces of the Kingdom (APDN). A Moroccan government (GOM) study examining production levels for 2004 is still underway. Evidence continues to indicate the United States is not a major recipient of drugs from Morocco. According to the UNODC report, an estimated 134,000 hectares of land were used to cultivate cannabis in 2003, greatly surpassing the GOM’s earlier estimates of a growing area covering a total of 15,000-20,000 hectares. The UNODC study also states that approximately 800,000 Moroccans (2.7 percent of the country’s 2002 population) were involved in cannabis cultivation. Morocco’s efforts to combat cannabis cultivation are made more difficult by limited short-term economic alternatives for those involved in its production. Morocco is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
Morocco consistently ranks among the world’s largest producers and exporters of cannabis, and its cultivation and sale provide the economic base for much of northern Morocco. Only very small amounts of narcotics produced in or transiting through Morocco reach the United States. According to the UNODC report, the illicit trade in Moroccan cannabis resin generates approximately $12 billion a year. Independent estimates indicate that the returns from cannabis cultivation range from $16,400-$29,800 per hectare (little of which goes to the grower himself), compared with an average of $1,000 per hectare for one possible alternative, corn.
According to EU law enforcement officials, Moroccan cannabis is typically processed into cannabis resin or oil and exported to Europe, Algeria, and Tunisia. To date, Morocco has no enterprises that use dual-use precursor chemicals, and is thus neither a source nor transit point for them. While there has been a small but growing domestic market for harder drugs like heroin and cocaine, cannabis remains the most widely used illicit drug in Morocco. Although there is no substantial evidence of widespread trafficking in heroin or cocaine, press reports suggest Latin American cocaine traffickers may have started using well-established cannabis smuggling routes to move cocaine into Europe.
Policy Initiatives. In May, the Interior Ministry announced the government was drafting a "new integrated plan" to fight drug trafficking and was considering revitalizing the National Commission of the Struggle Against Drugs. The new plan will gradually reduce the areas in which cannabis is grown, intensify border controls, expand regional and international cooperation in training, and include an aggressive public awareness campaign. The GOM’s partnership with the UNODC in conducting the 2003 cannabis survey reflects the GOM’s most significant effort to compile accurate and comprehensive data about narcotics production.
Throughout the 1980’s, the GOM worked in conjunction with the UN to devise a response to the unique geographic, cultural and economic circumstances that confront the many people involved in the cultivation of cannabis in northern Morocco. Joint projects to encourage cultivation of alternative agricultural products included providing goats for dairy farming, apple trees, and small bee-keeping initiatives. This effort also included paved roads, modern irrigation networks, and health and veterinary clinics. In the 1990’s, the GOM has continued its focus on development alternatives in Morocco’s northern provinces through the work of APDN and the Tangier Mediterranean Special Agency (TMSA). In June 2003, TMSA oversaw the groundbreaking of the centerpiece of its northern development program, the Tanger-MED port, which is set to become Morocco’s primary maritime gateway to the world.
Accomplishments. In September, Morocco and France agreed to reinforce bilateral counternarcotics cooperation by deploying liaison officers to Tangiers and France. Morocco has legislation providing the maximum allowable prison sentence for drug offenses to 30 years, as well as fines for narcotics violations ranging from $20,000-$80,000. Ten years imprisonment remains the typical sentence for major drug traffickers arrested in Morocco. The Ministry of Justice has drawn up a draft law to further strengthen drug trafficking sentences.
Law Enforcement Efforts. In May, the Criminal Court of Tetouan sentenced convicted drug trafficker Mounir Erramach to 20 years in prison for drug trafficking and related charges and fined him $375 million for customs and criminal violations. The court also handed down sentences ranging from one month in jail to life imprisonment to 26 other defendants in the case, including a rival drug kingpin who is still at large. The Court of Appeals of Tetouan upheld in December the majority of these sentences, including those of the two lead defendants, but reduced the sentences of four defendants and acquitted three others. In February, the GOM dismantled a small-scale crack cocaine smuggling network in Marrakech, leading to the seizure of 70 grams of the drug and the sentencing of 22 individuals to prison terms varying from one month to six years.
As part of a 1992 counternarcotics initiative, an estimated 10,000 police were detailed to drug interdiction efforts in the North and Rif mountains in 1995. Since then, approximately every six months, the GOM has rotated personnel into this region and continued to maintain narcotics checkpoints. Moroccan forces also staff observation posts along the Mediterranean coast, and the Moroccan Navy carries out routine sea patrols and responds to information developed by the observation posts. None of these efforts, however, has changed the underlying reality of extensive cannabis cultivation and trafficking in northern Morocco.
Corruption. Investigations into charges of alleged "abuse of power, corruption, embezzlement of public funds, drug trafficking," and violations of professional confidentiality by senior police officers and customs officials, as well as magistrates, court clerks, and other local government officials linked to the Erramach case, were still underway in December. Despite enforcement efforts in this case, corruption, at some level, is likely to play a role in Morocco’s continuing trafficking of cannabis products.
Agreements and Treaties. The U.S. and Morocco cooperate in judicial matters through a convention on mutual legal assistance. Morocco is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention. Morocco is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Cultivation/Production. The center of cannabis production continues to be the province of Chefchaouen, although production has expanded in the last 20 years north to the outskirts of Tangiers, west to the coastal city of Larache, and east toward Al Hoceima. According to the UNODC report, small farmers in the northern Rif region grow most cannabis, where an estimated 27 percent of arable land is dedicated to its cultivation. Production also occurs on a smaller scale in the Souss valley of the South. The UNODC survey found that 75 percent of villages and 96,600 farms in the Rif region cultivate cannabis, representing 6.5 percent of all farms in Morocco.
The GOM has stated its commitment to the total eradication of cannabis production, but given the economic and historical dependence on cannabis in the northern region, eradication is only feasible if accompanied by a well-designed development strategy involving reform of local government and a highly subsidized crop substitution program. Moroccan officials have indicated that crop substitution programs thus far appear to have made little headway in providing economic alternatives to cannabis production. The amount of cannabis production measured in 2003 suggests that the crop’s cultivation has seen a steady increase over the past few years, to the detriment of other agricultural activities. The UNODC report warned that this agricultural monoculture represents an extreme danger to the ecosystem, as the extensive use of fertilizers and forest removal continue to be the methods of choice to make room for cannabis cultivation.
Drug Flow/Transit. The primary ports of export for Moroccan cannabis are Oued Lalou, Martil and Bou Ahmed on the Mediterranean coast. Most large shipments bound for Spain travel via fishing vessels and private yachts. Shipments of up to two tons increasingly are being confiscated on smaller "zodiac" speedboats that reportedly are capable of making roundtrips to Spain in one hour. Smugglers also continue to ship cannabis via truck and car through the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and the Moroccan port of Tangiers, crossing the Straits of Gibraltar by ferry. According to the UNODC, Spain still accounts for the world’s largest portion of cannabis resin seizures (57 percent of global seizures and 75 percent of European seizures in 2001). The Moroccan press reported that some 800 tons of Moroccan cannabis resin were seized in Spain in 2004. Given its proximity to Morocco, Spain is a key transfer point for Europe-bound Moroccan cannabis resin.
Domestic Programs. The GOM is concerned about signs of an increase in domestic heroin and cocaine use, but does not aggressively promote reduction in domestic demand for these drugs or for cannabis. It has established a program to train the staffs of psychiatric hospitals in the treatment of drug addiction. In partnership with UNODC, the Ministry of Health is exploring the relationship between drug use and HIV/AIDS infection in Morocco. Moroccan civil society and some schools are active in promoting counternarcotics use campaigns.
U.S. Policy Initiatives. U.S. policy goals in Morocco are designed to provide training in law enforcement techniques and to promote the GOM’s adherence to its obligations under relevant bilateral and international agreements. U.S.-supported efforts to strengthen money laundering laws and efforts against terrorist financing may also contribute to the GOM’s ability to monitor the flow of money from the cannabis trade.
Bilateral Cooperation. According to customs officials in northern Morocco, USG-funded border security training and equipment contributed directly to the dismantling of 37 smuggling and trafficking operations in the Nador region in 2003.
Road Ahead. The United States will continue to monitor the narcotics situation in Morocco, cooperate with the GOM in its counternarcotics efforts, and, together with the EU, provide law enforcement training, intelligence, and other support where possible.
Mozambique is a transit country for illegal drugs such as hashish, herbal cannabis, cocaine, mandrax (methaqualone), and heroin consumed in Europe and South Africa. Some hashish shipments passing through Mozambique may also find their way to the United States and Canada. The country’s porous borders, poorly policed seacoast, and inadequately trained and equipped law enforcement agencies facilitate transshipment of narcotics. Drug production is limited to herbal cannabis cultivation and a few mandrax laboratories. Available evidence suggests significant use of herbal cannabis and limited consumption of "club drugs" (Ecstasy/MDMA), prescription medicines, and heroin among the urban elite. The Mozambican government recognizes drug use and drug trafficking as serious problems, but has limited resources to address these issues. The U.S., the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and other donors have established cooperation programs to improve training of drug control officials and provide better interdiction and laboratory equipment. Despite these efforts, drug trafficking interdiction performance has not improved in the past year. Corruption in the police and judiciary continues to hamper counternarcotics efforts, but Mozambican public prosecutors did level formal charges against high-ranking police officers involved in drug trafficking in 2004. Mozambique is a party to the 1998 UN Drug Convention.
Mozambique is not a significant producer of illegal drugs. Herbal cannabis for local consumption is produced throughout the country, particularly in Tete, Nampula, and Cabo Delgado provinces. Limited amounts are exported to neighboring countries, particularly South Africa. Some factories producing mandrax for the South African market were raided and closed down in 1995, 2000, and 2002. Mozambique’s role as a drug-transit country has grown rapidly. Southwest Asian producers ship cannabis resin (hashish) and synthetic drugs through Mozambique to Europe and South Africa. Limited quantities of these shipments may also reach the United States and Canada. Reports from the Mozambican Office for the Prevention and Fight Against Drugs (GCPCD) indicate that heroin and other opiate derivatives shipped through Mozambique originate in Southeast Asia. Drugs cultivated in Southeast Asia then typically transit India/Pakistan and later Tanzania, before arriving by small ship or, occasionally, overland to Mozambique. Traffickers are most commonly of Tanzanian or Pakistani origin. Increasing amounts of cocaine from the Andean region are sent with couriers on international flights from Brazil to Mozambique, sometimes via Lisbon, before being transported overland to South Africa. Mozambique has become a favored point of disembarkation because of its lax airport security control. Drug traffickers have recruited many young women in Maputo to work as couriers to and from Brazil. Mozambique is not a producer of precursor chemicals.
Accomplishments. Mozambique’s accomplishments in meeting its goals under the 1988 UN Drug Convention remain limited. Government resources devoted to the counternarcotics effort are meager, and only limited donor funds are available. Police and border officials did make some drug seizures in the latter part of the year, particularly cocaine from Brazil and hashish from Southwest Asia. The Mozambican government carries out drug education programs in local schools in cooperation with bilateral and multilateral donors as part of its demand reduction efforts.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Mozambique’s drug unit operates in Maputo and reports to the Chief of the Criminal Investigation Police. With assistance from the UNODC, drug detection equipment was installed at border posts, ports, and airports in 2002 and 2003. In the past year, customs officers at Maputo airport and seaport have received drug interdiction training under a UNODC program. The UNODC is working with customs agents at land borders as part of a program with Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland. Publicized seizures in 2004 include:
Corruption. Corruption is pervasive in Mozambique. Mozambique is, however, for the first time in many years prosecuting high-ranking police officials charged with drug trafficking offenses. In December 2004, the Inhambane provincial prosecutor filed formal charges against four officers, including the director of the provincial criminal investigative police and the director of the provincial riot police. These officers are charged with selling the proceeds of a large Pakistani shipment of hashish that had shipwrecked in 2000, and had been held in storage by provincial police since then. The officers had been incarcerated in 2003, but formal charges were made one year later. Media sources reported in early 2004 that two Beira police officers were fired for alleged involvement in drug trafficking, but were not charged. As official policy, Mozambique seeks to enforce its laws against narcotics trafficking, but as noted above, confronts difficulties in doing so regularly.
Agreements and Treaties. Mozambique is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Mozambique has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention Against Corruption.
Cultivation/Production. Cannabis is cultivated in Nampula, Zambezia, Niassa, Cabo Delgado, Tete, Manica, and Sofala provinces. The Mozambican government has no estimates on crop size. Intercropping is the most common method of production.
Drug Flow/Transit. Assessments of drugs transiting Mozambique are based upon limited seizure data and observations of local and UNODC officials. Mozambique increasingly serves as a transit country for hashish, cannabis resin, heroin, and mandrax originating in Southwest Asia, owing to its long, unpatrolled coastline, lack of resources for interdiction and sea, air, and land borders, and growing transportation links with neighboring countries. Drugs destined for the South African and European markets arrive in Mozambique by small ship, mostly in the coastal areas in northern Cabo Delgado province, but also in Nampula, Sofala, and Inhambane provinces.
The Maputo corridor border crossing at Ressano Garcia/Lebombo is an important transit point. Hashish and heroin are also shipped on to Europe, and some hashish may reach Canada and the United States, but not in significant quantities. Arrests in Brazil, Mozambique and South Africa indicate cocaine is being trafficked by drug couriers from Colombia and Brazil to Mozambique, sometimes through Lisbon, for onward shipment to South Africa. In addition, Nigerian and Tanzanian cocaine traffickers have targeted Mozambique as a gateway to the South African and European markets.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The primary substances of abuse are alcohol and herbal cannabis. Heroin, cocaine, and "club drug" usage and prescription drug abuse are also reported among Mozambique’s urban elite. The GCPCD has developed a drug education program for use in schools; the program includes plays and lectures in schools, churches, and other places where youths gather. It has provided the material to a number of local NGOs for use in their drug education programs. The Sofala provincial GCPCD office has created a community volunteer educational program. Due to limited funding, program initiatives were limited to Maputo and Beira. The Mozambican Office for the Prevention and Fight Against Drugs (GCPCD) has received some support for community policing and demand reduction from bilateral donors, including the German government. Drug abuse and treatment options are scarce. The GCPCD is seeking donor assistance in creating three regional treatment centers in Maputo, Beira, and Nampula.
Bilateral Cooperation. The USG sponsors Mozambican law enforcement officials and prosecutors to attend regional training programs through the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) for Africa in Botswana. Law enforcement officials have also received training at ILEA New Mexico. The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) provides support to the attorney general’s anticorruption unit and the police sciences academy (ACIPOL) near Maputo. The funds have provided for training, specialized course instruction, instructor development, and curriculum development for ACIPOL. The anticorruption unit, which began operations in November 2002, has received specialized training and advisor visits through the Department of Justice OPDAT (Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training) program. With USAID assistance, the anticorruption unit was able to open fully equipped offices in Beira and Nampula in 2004, expanding operations that were formerly based only out of Maputo.
The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue working to upgrade facilities at ACIPOL, using INL funds in 2005 to develop a training laboratory that will include drug, fingerprint, document, and photo facilities. The criminal investigative police will also use the facility for its own drug investigation activities. U.S. assistance fund support of the anticorruption unit will continue in 2005. The U.S. is also devising a strategy with the GRM to develop a stronger border control program.
While occasionally used as a drug transit point, Namibia is not a major drug producer or exporter. The year 2004 saw an increase in drug seizures in Namibia, including record single seizures of marijuana (301 kilograms) and cocaine (21 kilograms). Drug abuse remains an issue of concern, especially among economically disadvantaged groups. Narcotics enforcement is the responsibility of the Namibian Police’s Drug Law Enforcement Unit (DLEU), which lacks the manpower, resources and equipment required to fully address the domestic drug trade and transshipment issues. Namibia is not a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
Namibia is not a significant producer of drugs or precursor chemicals. No drug production facilities were discovered in Namibia in 2004. Namibia’s excellent port facilities and road network combine with weak border enforcement to make it an ideal transshipment point for drugs en route to the larger and more lucrative South African market. DLEU personnel believe much of the transshipment takes place via shipping containers either offloaded at the port of Walvis Bay or entering overland from Angola and transported via truck to Botswana, Zambia and South Africa. Personnel constraints, inadequate screening equipment, a lack of training and varying levels of motivation among working-level customs and immigration officers at Namibia’s land border posts all prevent adequate container inspection and interception of contraband. Inconsistently applied immigration controls also make Namibia an attractive transit point for Africans en route to Latin America for illicit purposes, as evidenced by the September 2004 discovery of a smuggling ring that specialized in the movement of Tanzanians to Brazil via Namibia.
Policy Initiatives. Namibia has requested United Nations (UNDOC) assistance in completing a National Drug Master Plan, which is still being formulated. While Namibia has not announced plans to become a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, many Convention requirements are already reflected in Namibian law, which states that illicit cultivation, production, distribution, sale, transport and financing of narcotics are all criminal offenses.
Namibia’s Parliament passed two bills designed to combat organized crime, trafficking, and terrorism in 2004, but the required implementing regulations for this legislation have yet to be drafted. Three additional initiatives are still pending parliamentary action. Once fully implemented, the new legislation will allow for asset forfeiture and other narcotics-related prosecution tools.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Namibia fully participates in regional law enforcement cooperation efforts against narcotics trafficking, especially through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs’ Cooperative Organization (SARPCCO). The Minister of Home Affairs meets regularly with counterparts from neighboring countries, during which efforts to combat cross-border contraband shipment (including narcotics trafficking) are discussed.
Corruption. No incidents of narcotics-related public corruption were reported in 2004. To our knowledge, neither the Office of the Ombudsman nor any other anticorruption entity in Namibia is currently investigating narcotics-related public corruption.
Agreements and Treaties. Namibia is not a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. However, Namibia is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. While there is no U.S.-Namibia bilateral extradition treaty, narcotics offenses are extraditable under Namibian law. Namibian law also allows for the provision of mutual legal assistance as described in the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Namibia also is a party to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on migrant smuggling and trafficking in women and children, and to the UN Convention Against Corruption.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Drug treatment programs are available from private clinics, and to a lesser extent from public facilities. The vast majority of treatment cases in Namibia are for alcohol abuse, with the remainder divided evenly between cannabis and Mandrax (methaqualone).
Policy Initiatives. The USG continues to offer Namibia opportunities for fully funded law enforcement training programs at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana. Most of these training programs contain counternarcotics elements, and some narcotics-specific training is also offered. While representatives of several law enforcement agencies (Customs, Immigration, Prison Service) and prosecutors have participated in ILEA training, the Namibian Police have declined to do so. The Namibian Police have repeatedly stated their willingness to cooperate with the USG on any future narcotics-related investigations, and both the DLEU and the Namibian Police Special Branch were extremely cooperative in the September 2004 alien smuggling investigation (see part II above).
The Road Ahead. The USG will continue to encourage the Namibian Police to take advantage of training opportunities at ILEA Botswana, and will assist the Government of Namibia in any narcotics investigation with a U.S. nexus.
Nigeria remains a major transit route for illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs. There is evidence that narcotics transiting Nigerian ports and borders reaches the United States, but the quantities are modest in comparison to the impact of narcotics trafficked by ethnic Nigerian criminals operating trafficking rings based outside of Nigeria, and thereby beyond much of the enforcement reach of the Nigerian government. However, Nigeria does not produce any of the narcotic drugs its nationals traffic, except marijuana. Cannabis/marijuana is grown domestically in Nigeria and is trafficked to the neighboring West African countries from where it is further trafficked to Europe. There is a small, but increasing local narcotics market. Nigeria’s NDLEA (National Drug Law Enforcement Agency) is strongly committed to interdicting the movement of through Nigeria and reducing abuse by Nigerians. NDLEA has grown in experience and professional competence and their counternarcotics efforts have prevented a growing share of Nigerian-trafficked drugs from reaching markets in other countries. Nigeria is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
Nigeria is not a major producer of narcotic drugs, but it is a major drug-transit hub. Heroin and cocaine transit Nigeria on their way to neighboring countries, Southern Africa, Europe and increasingly to the United States. In addition, Nigerian organized criminals are a major factor in the worldwide drug trade, especially in the trafficking of cocaine. Most drugs trafficked to and through Nigeria originate outside Africa. Drug interdiction is the sole responsibility of the NDLEA. Heroin and cocaine seizures have dominated the NDLEA activities at the Murtala Mohamed International Airport in Lagos. There was a major seizure of 30 kilograms of cocaine at the Benin-Nigerian border in December. The quantities of marijuana seized and number of arrests relating to marijuana indicate that trade in, and local consumption of, marijuana has been on the increase in 2004. On the whole there has been an increase in narcotic drugs business despite government efforts to combat illegal trafficking.
Policy Initiatives. The assistance relationship between USG and Nigerian agencies is generally good. Training programs, technical assistance and equipment donations have continued, especially to the NDLEA Academy in Jos, Plateau State. Other counterpart agencies include the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the National Police Force (NPF), though in the case of the NPF, there have been some difficulties coordinating efforts to improve training at the Police Academy.
Accomplishments. In 2004, NDLEA commenced a systematic implementation of all anti-money laundering legislation. Five commercial banks have been investigated and prosecuted for aiding and abetting money laundering. NDLEA also intensified its bank inspection operations at other Nigerian financial institutions.
Law Enforcement Efforts. In 2004, by the end of October, NDLEA seized 51,022 kilograms of cannabis, 92.2 kilograms of cocaine, 53.3 kilograms of heroin and 198.1 kilograms of psychotropic substances. In the same period, the agency arrested 3,067 drug traffickers and over 98 percent of them were successfully prosecuted. The seizures were concentrated at airports, seaports and border posts. NDLEA continued to develop its capacity to conduct complex investigations and get arrests and convictions of narcotics kingpins.
Corruption. Corruption is fully entrenched in Nigerian society and still remains a significant barrier to effective narcotics enforcement. It is systemic and society tends to condone it. The socio-economic conditions in Nigeria seem to be the root cause. There is widespread unemployment and the salaries of civil servants are low. In addition, the government often fails to pay salaries on time. Law enforcement officers are most affected by this failure. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission is empowered to receive and investigate reports of corruption and where justifiable, prosecute the offenders. It is also empowered to educate the public against bribery, corruption and other related offences. In 2004 the commission endeavored to execute its duties despite the problems it faced. ICPC has investigated and is in the process of prosecuting high profile Nigerian government officials. These include judges, commissioners, permanent secretaries and ministers. A proposed constitutional amendment would remove the immunity of state governors from prosecution for corruption and other crimes. ICPC now has 12 qualified and motivated prosecutors and is recruiting more private-sector prosecutors to replace its current police prosecutors. The Commission is scheduled to receive assistance from a Resident U.S. Legal Advisor (RLA). This project is scheduled to commence in March 2005 for an initial six months.
Agreements and Treaties. Nigeria is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Nigeria is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on migrant smuggling and trafficking in women and children. Nigeria is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption. The U.S. and Nigeria cooperate in matters of extradition and judicial assistance through the 1931 U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty, which applies to Nigeria, and the U.S.-Nigeria MLAT, which entered into force in 2003.
Cultivation/Production. Marijuana/Cannabis is grown all over Nigeria, but cultivation is heaviest in the central and northern states of the country. It is also grown in large quantities in Ondo and Delta states. Its market is concentrated in West Africa and Europe. None is known to have found its way to the United States. NDLEA destroyed more than 200,000 hectares of marijuana in 2004.
Drug Flow/Transit. Nigeria remains a conduit for heroin and cocaine from Asia and South America destined for South Africa, Europe, and to a lesser degree, North America, including the U.S. Interdiction is mainly at the Murtala Mohamed International Airport in Lagos where NDLEA conducts 100 percent searches on both passengers and luggage. This has led to a change of routes by traffickers. Port Harcourt Airport, currently being used by British Airways, has been identified as a new narcotics smuggling route in Nigeria. Many observers suspect that seaports are important entry points because of the laxity of security at Nigeria’s ports.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Drug abuse is on the rise in Nigeria. This is a result of the availability of imported drugs on the local market in Nigeria’s large cities. Domestic cultivation and abuse of marijuana is also still a big problem. Treatment is not generally available.
Policy Initiatives. NDLEA is making continued strides, improving its interdiction efforts at Nigerian ports of entry, and working on its capacity to conduct sophisticated investigations successfully. The U.S., through State-Department narcotics assistance, is a significant facto in helping NDLEA to improve its interdiction performance.
The Road Ahead. The future of U.S. assistance to the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) is under review. The NPF has not been very cooperative in its dealings with the U.S Government. This has been manifested in its failure to follow a new recruit curriculum and a mid-level in-service training program that were designed by Department of Justice advisors to the Nigerian Police Force. The remaining agencies receiving U.S. assistance (NDLEA, ICPC & EFCC) have shown that they are committed to their work and there are indicators that they are now more effective on the ground. Continuing assistance to these agencies is planned and under discussion.
Saudi Arabia has no appreciable drug production and is not a significant transit country. Saudi Arabia’s conservative cultural and religious norms discourage drug abuse. The Saudi Government places a high priority on combating narcotics abuse and trafficking. Since 1988, the Government has imposed the death penalty for drug smuggling. Due to these factors, drug abuse and trafficking do not pose major social or law enforcement problems. However, Saudi officials acknowledge that illegal drug consumption and trafficking are on the rise. Saudi and U.S. counternarcotics officials maintain excellent relations. Saudi Arabia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
Saudi Arabia has no significant drug production and, in keeping with its conservative Islamic values and 1988 UN Drug Convention obligations, places a high priority on fighting narcotics abuse and trafficking. Narcotics-related crimes are punished harshly, and narcotics trafficking is a capital offense enforced against Saudis and foreigners alike. During 2004, the Saudi Government executed a number of people for narcotics-related offenses. Saudi Arabia maintains a network of overseas drug enforcement liaison offices and state-of-the-art detection and training programs to combat trafficking. While Saudi officials are determined in their counternarcotics efforts, drug trafficking and abuse is a growing problem. Since the Saudi government provides no statistics on drug consumption, interdiction, and trafficking, it is difficult to substantiate this assessment with hard data. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that Saudi Arabia’s relatively affluent population, large numbers of idle youth, and high profit margins on smuggled narcotics make the country an attractive target for drug traffickers and dealers.
The Saudi Government undertakes widespread counternarcotics educational campaigns in the media, health institutes, and schools. The Narcotics Police are currently collaborating with the Presidency of Youth Welfare to produce a film for schoolchildren to educate them about the dangers of illegal drugs. Government efforts to treat drug abuse are aimed solely at Saudi nationals, who are remanded to one of the nation’s four drug treatment centers in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Qassim. There are no separate facilities for Saudi women, and expatriate substance abusers are jailed and summarily deported. Health officials confirm anecdotal reports of an increase in drug abuse, but note that most addictions are not severe due to the scarcity of available narcotics and their diluted form. Heroin and hashish are the most heavily-consumed substances, but Saudi officials report that cocaine and amphetamines are also in demand. Paint/glue inhalation and abuse of prescription drugs is also reported.
Policy Initiatives. The lead agency in Saudi Arabia’s drug interdiction efforts is the Ministry of Interior, which has over 40 overseas offices in countries representing a trafficking threat. In addition, the Saudi Government continues to play a leading role in efforts to enhance intelligence sharing among the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Accomplishments/Law Enforcement Efforts. Saudi and U.S. drug enforcement officials regularly exchange information on narcotics cases. Drug seizures, arrests, prosecutions and consumption trends are not matters of public record, although reports of drug seizures by Saudi officials appear occasionally in local newspapers. Saudi interdiction efforts tend to focus more on individual carriers than on follow-on operations designed to identify drug distributors and regional networks.
Corruption. There is no evidence of involvement by Saudi Government officials in the production, processing or shipment of narcotic and psychotropic drugs and other controlled substances.
Agreements and Treaties. Saudi Arabia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol. Saudi Arabia has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime.
Cultivation/Production. Cultivation and production of narcotics in Saudi Arabia is negligible.
Drug Flow/Transit. Saudi Arabia is not a major transshipment point. Due in part to new detection techniques employed at major points of entry, seizures of narcotics (coming primarily from Pakistan, Nigeria and Turkey) have increased. Anecdotal evidence suggests that narcotics trafficking is a growing problem via the country’s land borders.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). In addition to widespread media campaigns against substance abuse, the Saudi Government sponsors drug eradication programs directed at school-age children, health care providers and mothers. Executions of convicted traffickers (public beheadings which are widely publicized) are believed by Saudi officials to serve as a deterrent to narcotics trafficking and abuse. The country’s influential religious establishment actively preaches against narcotics use and Government treatment facilities provide free counseling to male Saudi addicts.
Bilateral Cooperation. Saudi officials actively seek and participate in U.S.-Sponsored training programs and are receptive to enhanced official contacts with DEA.
Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to explore opportunities for additional bilateral training and cooperation.
Counternarcotics elements of the Senegalese Government remain concerned about the production and trafficking of cannabis, and to a lesser degree, hashish. Small quantities of cocaine and heroin are seized on an infrequent basis. Senegal’s attempts to implement a national plan of action against drug abuse and trafficking have yet to get off the ground due to lack of funding. Senegalese authorities have been active in pursuing bilateral cooperation against international traffickers, including signing mutual assistance agreements with France and the UK. Education and strict enforcement of drug laws remain cornerstones of Senegal’s counternarcotics goals, but are sometimes not achieved because of resource constraints, and other strident priorities, for example poverty alleviation. Senegal is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
While trafficking of all types of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and psychotropic depressants, exists in Senegal, it is cannabis production and trafficking that has continued to stymie most enforcement efforts. Southern Senegal’s Casamance region is at the center of the cannabis trade. In 2004 the peace process in the Casamance continued between the Government and the leaders of the failed independence movement, with more rebels deciding to lay down their arms to pursue legitimate economic activity. However, it is generally acknowledged that some of the rebels have turned to the cannabis trade as a source of income. Police are reluctant to undertake greater enforcement efforts against cannabis cultivation in the Casamance for fear of hampering further peace negotiations. Government troops have temporarily driven some traffickers out of the Casamance but have not followed through with eradication of cannabis crops because they claim there is inadequate manpower to do so. Drug enforcement efforts have been under-funded and undermanned, allowing the illegal cannabis trade to continue unabated. Cannabis produced in the Casamance finds its way to Dakar, the capital city, and has a regional market in Africa, but it is not exported significantly outside of Africa.
Policy Initiatives. Senegal developed a national plan of action against drug abuse and the trafficking of drugs in 1997. Multidisciplinary in its approach, Senegal’s national plan includes programs to control the cultivation, production and traffic of drugs; inform the population of the dangers of drug use; and reintroduce former drug addicts into society. Full implementation of this plan remains stalled due to funding constraints. Periodic efforts to improve coordination have been hampered because of insufficient funding.
Accomplishments. The amount of hard drugs seized by police in Senegal is small by international standards. Due to weak enforcement efforts and inadequate record keeping, it is impossible to assess accurately the country’s real drug problem. Police lack the training and equipment to detect drug smuggling, as evidenced by a nationwide absence of drug-sniffing canines. Senegal has in the past undertaken few cannabis eradication efforts. Meetings have been organized, though, with island populations (The Casamance region is swampy and low-lying and there are many islands) in the south in accordance with the UN Program for International Control of Drugs to promote substitution of cannabis cultivation with that of other crops.
Law Enforcement Efforts. During 2004, no significant changes were made on the law enforcement front. Traffickers and their organizations are subject to asset seizures, imprisonment, and permanent exclusion from Senegal if convicted. However, the relatively low priority the GOS places on counternarcotics enforcement is underscored by the Minister of the Interior’s statement that "the fight against drugs should be understood as a problem of development," while stressing the urgency of attacking the underlying cause: poverty.
Dakar’s position on the west coast of Africa and the presence of an international airport and seaport make it an enticing transit point for drug dealers. The seaport of Dakar and its international airport are the two principal points of entry/exit of drugs in Senegal. Senegalese authorities state that, because there is not a direct flight from South America, Cape Verde serves as a way station for cocaine bound for Senegal.
Given limitations on funding, training, and policy, there is only limited ability to guard Senegal’s points of entry from the transiting of drugs through Dakar. The international airport has drug enforcement agents present, but they lack the training and equipment to systematically detect illegal drugs. The airport authority’s efforts to attain FAA Category One certification have resulted in the tightening of security procedures and more thorough passenger luggage screening. Presumably, this has had the positive outcome of discouraging drug trafficking through the International Airport. Conversely, there is no consistent monitoring of containers at the port of Dakar.
Corruption. Corruption is a problem for narcotics law enforcement all over Africa, but the USG is unaware of any narcotics-related corruption at senior levels of the Senegalese government. In 2004, the National Commission against Non-Transparency, Corruption, and Misappropriation of Funds, an autonomous investigative panel, was created. The efficacy of the commission’s efforts remains to be seen. The GOS does not, as a matter of government policy, 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. No senior GOS officials engage in, encourage, or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.
Agreements and Treaties. Senegal has several bilateral agreements with neighboring countries to combat narcotics trafficking, and has signed mutual legal assistance agreements with the United Kingdom and France in efforts to combat narcotics trafficking. Senegal is also a party to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol agreement, which includes an extradition provision. Senegal is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. Senegal also is a party to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against migrant smuggling and trafficking in women and children, and is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption.
Cultivation/Production. Although cannabis cultivation in Senegal is not a large problem in relation to the global cultivation of the drug, it could become a serious internal drug problem for Senegal. Efforts to eradicate cannabis cultivation are hampered by the civil conflict in the Casamance region.
Drug Flow/Transit. According to the Chief of the Narcotics Police, the trend in the amount of illicit drugs transited through Senegal is increasing. The Narcotics Police are monitoring the transshipment of hashish and cocaine through Senegal. The U.S. is not a destination point for these drugs.
Domestic Programs. There is no comprehensive GOS policy for systematic destruction of domestic cannabis or prevention of transshipment of harder drugs. Enforcement efforts are sporadic and uncoordinated.
NGOs, such as the Observatoire Geostrategique des Drogues et de la Deviance (OGDD), have taken the lead in public education efforts. OGDD continued a program that began in 2001. The first phase involved a campaign of information targeted at cannabis cultivators, arguing that the land had greater potential if it were used for other purposes than drugs, that drugs were bad for the environment and health, and that drugs were degrading the economy. Village committees have been established to convey the above information to sensitize people to the problems associated with drug use. The focus of the second phase of the program is to encourage farmers to substitute alternative crops for drugs on their land. Funding constraints, however, have impeded implementation of this part of the program. Other associations for the prevention of drug abuse are in the process of elaborating a program of drug prevention under the auspices of the International Committee for the Fight Against Drugs, which is managed by the Ministry of the Interior.
Policy Initiatives. USG goals and objectives in Senegal are to strengthen law enforcement capabilities in counternarcotics efforts. In 2002 the USG started a program to train counternarcotics agents in drug investigation and interdiction methods under the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau of the State Department (INL). The program provided $220,000 for several law enforcement programs that will aid the police in all aspects of narcotics investigations and prosecutions. Additionally, the USG is in the fourth year of continued training to the technicians at the National Drug Laboratory that was founded with basic drug analysis equipment and training provided by INL.
The Road Ahead. The USG will continue to work closely with the Senegalese government to improve the capacity of its narcotics law enforcement officers to investigate and prosecute narcotics crimes.
South Africa is committed to fighting domestic and international drug trafficking, production, and abuse. The country is an important transit area for cocaine (from South America) and heroin (from the Far East) primarily destined for Southern African and European markets. South Africa is a large producer of cannabis (the world’s fourth largest according to Peter Gastrow of the South African Institute for Strategic Studies), most of which is consumed in the Southern African region. It also may be the world’s largest consumer of mandrax, a variant of methaqualone, an amphetamine-type stimulant. Mandrax is the preferred drug of abuse in South Africa; it is smuggled, primarily from India, but also from China and other sources. Mandrax is the single most important money-earner for indigenous South African organized crime. A study conducted by the South African Police Service (SAPS) found that in 2003/04 there were 341 organized criminal syndicates (gangs) active in all of South Africa. At least 98 are known to be involved in drug trafficking (and the police claim to have infiltrated most of them). Most of those syndicates are foreign: primarily Nigerian, followed by the Pakistani and Indian syndicates. Chinese Triads are also present. The Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA, 1988), particularly its asset forfeiture section, has become a useful tool for law enforcement. South Africa is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
South Africa’s transition to democracy and its integration into the world economy were accompanied by the increased use of its territory for the transshipment of contraband of all kinds, including narcotics. An overloaded criminal justice system, straining hard just to deal with "street crime," makes South Africa a tempting target for international organized crime groups of all types. South Africa has the most developed transportation, communications and banking systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. The country’s modern telecommunications systems (particularly cell telephones), its direct air links with South America, Asia and Europe and its permeable land borders provide opportunities for regional and international trafficking in all forms. The sanctions busting practices so prevalent in the apartheid era have continued under a different guise: instead of the embargoed items, drugs and other illicit items are now smuggled into and out of South Africa. Narcotics trade has become very profitable for organized crime syndicates and they have become heavily involved in stealing vehicles and trading them across South Africa’s land borders for narcotics. South Africa is both an importer and an exporter of drugs (produced on its own territory). The South African Government is making steady progress dealing with this situation.
Despite the progress made, South Africa has become the origin, the transit point or the terminus of many major drug smuggling routes. Cannabis, for instance is cultivated in South Africa, imported from neighboring countries (Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe), exported to some of the neighboring countries (e.g. Namibia) and Europe (mainly Holland, UK) and, of course, consumed in South Africa. LSD is imported from Holland. Methamphetamine is manufactured in South Africa for local consumption. Both heroin and cocaine are imported into South Africa (from Asia and Latin America respectively), and also exported to Europe, Australia and even the U.S. and Canada. Cocaine from Bolivia and Peru goes through Colombia to Brazil and Argentina, then to South Africa via Portugal or Angola or directly to Johannesburg. To stop some of this trafficking, South Africa needs, in addition to its own efforts, increased international cooperation and assistance.
South Africa is becoming a larger producer of synthetic drugs, mainly mandrax, with precursor chemicals smuggled in and labs established domestically. As in 2003, a number of large labs were dismantled in 2004, including in the Pretoria area. Police reported that because of this crackdown, labs were increasingly established on farms, making it more difficult for the police to find and destroy them.
Policy Initiatives. Combating the use of, the production of, and the trafficking in illicit narcotics is an important component of the anticrime agenda of the South African Government (SAG). As a practical matter, however, the SAG tends to target its limited anticrime resources on serious, violent and domestic crime. South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of murder and rape. The porous borders are crossed daily by criminals trafficking in all sorts of contraband, including illicit drugs, stolen cars, illegal firearms, diamonds, precious metals, and human beings. The Cabinet interagency "Justice Cluster" works to help coordinate the law enforcement and criminal justice system’s response to those challenges. The Narcotics Bureau (SANAB) was integrated into the police organized crime units in 2003. There is also a Central Drug Authority. Other SAG agencies involved in counternarcotics efforts include, to a lesser or a greater degree, the Home Affairs Department (DHA), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its Directorate of Special Operations (DSO, or more popularly known as "The Scorpions"), the Customs Service (SARS), and the Border Police (a part of SAPS). The U.S. helped in the training of the DSO. The Border Police have 53 land border posts, 10 air-border posts and 9 sea-border posts. Intelligence organizations and the port and airport authorities also have a role in identifying and suppressing drug trafficking.
Accomplishments. In 2004, the SAG and the law enforcement agencies met the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the National Anti-Drug Strategy through arrests, seizures of drugs, spraying cannabis, dismantling labs, controlling precursor chemicals, extraditing criminals and seizing assets. The courts used the Prevention of Criminal Activity Act successfully and the Financial Intelligence Center Act gave more credibility to the anti-money laundering efforts. The Financial Intelligence Center has grown into a viable center to identify and analyze most suspicious financial transactions, which will ultimately also help the fight against drug trafficking.
The number of detected drug-related crimes, according to the SAPS Report, grew in 2004 to 135.1 per 100,000 of population (from 118.4 in the previous year). There were 376 arrests. About 90 percent of those crimes are presented to courts. The conviction rate is about 70 percent (i.e. relatively high).
The SAPS reorganization appears to be having a positive effect in this area. The organized crime units around the country have expanded the base of counternarcotics police action. Some of those units have shown very good results, especially in major cities.
Education of the public at large about the dangers of drug addiction remains a high priority for the government. Two major campaigns took place in 2004: the SAPS organized visits and counternarcotics lectures in more than 25,000 schools; and the National Awareness Program, sponsored by the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime (UNODC), the Department of Safety and Security and the Central Drug Authority, and originally launched in Cape Town in 2003, brought facts on drugs and their dangers to young people, students and others, under the slogan "Ke Moja" ("No Thanks, I’m Fine!").
Certain successes have been achieved within the correctional system as well, mainly through efforts of NGOs. In South African prisons, up to 70 percent of inmates are drug users (with an even higher percentage among those awaiting trial), according to NGO contacts. Among the main rehabilitation programs organizers is KHULISA, an NGO partly funded by State Department narcotics assistance. "Peer" counselors, trained by KHULISA within the prison system, continue to organize counternarcotics lectures and seminars for inmates. Some of the government-employed prison officials have also received basic training in this area.
The South African government pursued two major anticrime initiatives in 2004. The first was the confiscation of illegal arms, actually begun on April 1, 2003, and continued until the end of September of 2004. About 26,000 unregistered weapons (and 1.6 million pieces of illegal ammunition) were seized during this effort. In addition, almost 6,000 people were arrested for possession of illegal weapons. In May 2004, President Mbeki announced his new government’s "War On Poverty and Crime" in which Joint Task Forces were formed and targeted on the most serious crimes in the country, with the stated objective of apprehending the 200 most important criminals in South Africa.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Some observers have called 2004 "the most successful year in South African drug enforcement history." SAG authorities, on occasion working closely with other nations to include the U.S., achieved tremendous success: the total street value of drugs seized by various law enforcement agencies during the previous 18 months was almost $1 billion. The South African Police Service (SAPS) Annual Report (covering the fiscal year from April 1, 2003, to March 31, 2004, and published in August) shows a high level of seizures of illicit drugs. The figures do not include seizures by the special "Scorpion" unit.
Mandrax seizures rose sharply this year in South Africa and in China because excellent police work and good international cooperation cracked a major mandrax smuggling operation.
Additional successes were reported in the press. On August 16, 2004, "Pretoria News" announced the world’s biggest mandrax seizure. The Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) Scorpions’ office, together with the Durban police (SAPS), at the Port of Durban seized an estimated six tons of pure methaqualone powder, used to manufacture mandrax tablets. About 18 million tablets could have been produced with this quantity of methaqualone, worth about $166 million. The consignment was hidden among barrels of paint powder shipped from China to Mozambique (via Durban). According to Bulelani Ngcuka, then the National Director of Public Prosecutions, this operation was one of three in about 18 months involving shipments from China. This seizure was not included in published SAPS seizures, as the special "Scorpion" Unit was involved.
In early July, the Scorpions were reported to have seized four tons of uncut cocaine in a Johannesburg suburb, after a shootout with suspected members of a Chinese syndicate. Cocaine powder was found in 200 boxes, mandrax in 20 boxes. The value of the seized drugs was estimated at $116.3 million.
A few cases of cocaine smuggling were discovered at the Johannesburg Airport. In early June, about 3 kilograms of cocaine worth about $216 Thousand were seized from a Gambian citizen arriving from Sao Paulo. Two Uruguayan women, arriving from Buenos Aires were also arrested in connection with this smuggling operation. The police service also detected, seized and dismantled some 44 clandestine laboratories (in Gauteng province only) that were producing methamphetamines and other man-made drugs.
The Border Control Police, having received training from UNODC (financially supported in part by the U.S.) on seaport security operations, has also contributed to seizures of mandrax, cocaine and other illicit drugs. SARS has successfully upgraded its technology at border points, thus contributing to the overall effort in suppressing the drug trade during the last two years. SARS and the DHA have also sent representatives to the USG sponsored training at ILEA-Botswana on land border interdiction.
Corruption. About 10.5 percent of all offenses reported against police officers are classified as corruption in diverse forms—according to the latest Internal Complaints Division (ICD) Report. Accusations of police corruption are frequent—although the experience of enforcement officers working from the U.S. Embassy is that many of the failures and lapses by the police can be attributed as much to a lack of training and poor morale. Credible evidence of narcotics-related corruption among South African law enforcement officials has not been brought to light, although many suspect such corruption exists. Some suspect that the reported quantities of seized drugs are lower than actual seizures, and that the difference finds its way back out on the street. Some amount of corruption among border control officials does appear to contribute to the permeability of South Africa’s borders.
Agreements and Treaties. South Africa is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol. South Africa is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. The U.S. and South Africa have bilateral extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements in force, as well as a Letter of Agreement on Anticrime and Counter-Narcotics Assistance. The Letter of Agreement provides for U.S. training and commodity assistance to several South African law enforcement agencies. In 2000 the U.S. and South Africa signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement, which is not yet in force.
Cultivation/Production. Cannabis or "dagga" grows wild in Southern Africa and is a traditional crop in many rural areas of South Africa, particularly the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces. It also grows wild and is cultivated in neighboring Swaziland and Lesotho. It is possible to have three cannabis crops a year in South Africa. Most South African cannabis is consumed domestically or in the region. Increasing amounts are, however, being seized in continental Europe and the UK. Some estimates are that 20,000 to 30,000 hectares of SA arable land are used to grow cannabis, although most observers estimate the area dedicated to illicit cannabis to be about 1500-2000 hectares. Although the police force, with some success, sprays cannabis in South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho, illicit street prices never seem to rise—an indication of uninterrupted supply.
Mandrax, amphetamine and methamphetamine are also produced in South Africa for domestic consumption. Among South Africans, "dagga" and mandrax are the traditional drugs of choice; in more recent years, there has been rising interest in domestically produced ATS and imported heroin.
Drug flow/Transit. Significant amounts of cocaine reach South Africa from South America. While there are no exact statistics available, cocaine is constantly available on the local illicit market. The amounts seized oscillate between 78.4 kilogram in 1993 and 635.9 kilogram in 1998. This year’s seizure of 30 kilogram is lower than the level of last year’s (210 kilogram), but higher than the levels of 4 other recent years. Cocaine is mainly imported by Nigerian syndicates—or the people who work for them—from South America. South Africa, once a country of transshipment, has become a country with its own market. The consumption of cocaine, both powder and crystalline ("crack"), is on the increase.
Heroin is smuggled into South Africa from Southeast and Southwest Asia, with some moving on to the U.S. and Europe. Thus South Africa is also a country of transshipment of heroin. According to a UN study, however, most heroin trafficked into South Africa is intended for domestic consumption. Consumption of heroin among South African youth has increased with the advent of smokable heroin. South Africans do not like injectable drugs of any kind, although there are cases of people injecting heroin. An additional risk in terms of intravenous drug abuse is, of course, HIV/AIDS, a major health issue in South Africa.
South Africans also import "dagga" from Swaziland and Lesotho, considering it to be of higher quality than the domestic version. Abuse of methaqualone (Mandrax) and other ATS tablets is on the rise too, especially among urban youth. Even Ecstasy finds its way into townships, according to a new study.
Diverted precursor chemicals, produced locally and imported into South Africa, are also growing problems. Many drug liaison officers, as well as South African Police Service officers, believe that South Africa is becoming a place for traffickers to warehouse their stocks of various drugs before sending them on to other countries. They believe that criminals view South Africa as a" weak enforcement" option for such warehousing operations. Nigerian, Pakistani, Indian, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Chinese syndicates are all taking advantage of South Africa, which, in addition to "weak enforcement," has excellent financial, transportation, and communications facilities.
Traffickers of Nigerian origin may be the most organized of organized crime groups operating in South Africa. Using South Africa as their base for world-wide operations, they are involved in virtually every aspect of drug trafficking.
Domestic Programs. South Africa has had a long history of mandrax and "dagga" (cannabis) abuse; drug counselors have noted in the past two to five years large increases in the number of patients seeking treatment for crack and heroin addiction. SAG treatment facilities and non-government drug rehabilitation agencies have seen their allotments for treatment cut the last four to five years. There are many people seeking treatment who are unable to register with any program, and those who manage to enter a rehabilitation program find that available services are constrained by lack of resources.
Policy Initiatives. U.S. law enforcement officers from the DEA, FBI, DHS (Customs/Immigration), the Secret Service and the State Department successfully cooperate with their South African counterparts. The U.S. also urges the SAG to strengthen its legislation and its law enforcement system and thus become able to prosecute more sophisticated organized criminal activities, including drug trafficking. The Scorpions, with U.S. training, have targeted organized crime and high-profile crime of all sorts. Some training has also been provided to the national police, the metropolitan police forces of Johannesburg and Tshwane, the Special Investigating Unit, the Department of Home Affairs, the Customs and Revenue Service, and others.
The Road Ahead. Bilateral links between the United States and South African law enforcement communities are in the interest of both countries and even closer cooperation is needed. Assistance from the U.S. and other donors is essential to help develop the law enforcement system in South Africa.
Swaziland is an important transit country for drug trafficking within Southern Africa, and also a significant marijuana producer. In 2004, authorities seized marijuana, heroin (brown sugar and Thai White), Ecstasy (MDMA), mandrax, and cocaine that were en route from Mozambique to South Africa. Marijuana is the main, if not only, drug cultivated in Swaziland. It is grown primarily in the Piggs Peak area, in the northwest of the country. Although cocaine and mandrax use appears to be growing among high school and university students, the vast majority of all drugs are destined for South Africa and elsewhere.
Swaziland produces high-quality marijuana (known locally as dagga), a certain amount of which is grown for export. In 2004, authorities seized Swazi marijuana destined for the U.S., UK, Europe, and Japan, but not in quantities sufficient to have a major effect. The Royal Swaziland Police Service (RSPS) does its best to eradicate marijuana crops and combat trafficking. Weak legislation and poor resources, however, have prevented them from making more progress in these areas. For example, under Swaziland’s outdated criminal code, Ecstasy is not an illegal substance, and police can seize the drug but cannot arrest for possession. Furthermore, because prosecution for listed narcotic drug offenses is limited to possession, organizers and conspirators cannot be prosecuted unless they also possess drugs. As a result, the RSPS remains a reactive rather than a proactive force. Swaziland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol. Swaziland has also signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Though there have been arrests of Anti-Drug Unit officers in the past, corruption in general appears to be minimal and not tolerated by commanding officers. As a matter of government policy and practice, Swaziland does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. As for the production of designer drugs, there is no indication that these are manufactured in Swaziland, and no labs have been identified or arrests made. South African Police Service officials are training RSPS so that they may better assess, identify, and seize such operations if necessary in the future.
In 2004, the Syrian government continued to give a high priority to, and devote significant resources to combating the drug trade. Although drug seizures increased measurably, domestic usage was negligible. Thus, Syria remains an important transit country. Jordan and the Gulf States remain the primary destinations for drugs transiting Syria from Lebanon and Turkey. Syrian authorities reported a reduction in the amount of opium transiting Syria from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Turkey. The Syrian government cooperated with Lebanese authorities on successful opium and cannabis eradication programs in the Syrian-controlled Lebanese Biqa’ Valley. The government continued its strong counternarcotics cooperation with neighboring Turkey and Jordan, and in 2003 initiated cooperation with Saudi Arabia. Syria’s domestic drug abuse problem remained small, due largely to the active enforcement of existing laws and the cultural and religious norms that stigmatize substance abuse. Syria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
Most narcotics transiting Syria go to other parts of the region and to Europe. Syria is a transit country for hashish, cocaine, and heroin, particularly from Turkey, but also from Lebanon. Syria is a transit country for Captagon (fenethylline), a synthetic amphetamine-type stimulant, entering Turkey destined for Gulf Countries.
After almost a decade of essentially no illicit drug production (Opium poppy or commercial quantities of marijuana), in 2001, the production of both hashish (cannabis) and opium poppy escalated. Lebanon and Syria are not considered as important source countries for hashish and opium. A very effective eradication program in the Biqa’ Valley by Lebanese and Syrian authorities from 2002 to 2004, sharply reduced the amounts of cannabis and opium cultivated in the valley. Both Syrian and Lebanese authorities expressed concerns that the international community has not fulfilled its promise to provide alternative crop substitutes for the farmers to cultivate in the Biqa’ Valley. The authorities fear that due to a lack of alternative crops and economic opportunities, farmers may go back to cultivating cannabis and opium in the Biqa’ on a larger scale. Syria occupies Lebanon, and thus Syria is an important factor in Lebanese affairs.
Policy Initiatives. In 2002 Syria upgraded the Counternarcotics Unit from a branch to a directorate of the Interior Ministry. The government also opened regional counternarcotics offices in Aleppo province, covering the Turkish border, and in Homs province, to monitor the Lebanese border, and eventually plans to open offices in every province, although no additional offices were opened in 2004.
In 2002 Syrian authorities prepared a draft decree, with an expected release date of early 2003, that was to provide financial incentives of up to several million Syrian pounds (1SP = $51.50) to anyone providing information about drug trafficking and/or cultivation in Syria. The draft decree was not enacted in 2004 because of a lack of funding and there is no expectation that there will be sufficient funding to do so in 2005.
Accomplishments. In 2004, hashish, opium, and heroin seizures decreased, and there was a slight increase in cocaine seizures. Arrests and convictions for drug related offenses also increased. Within Syria, the Syrian authorities confiscated 40 kilograms of cocaine, 2 kilograms of opium, 563 kilograms of hashish, and 2.0 million Captagon pills. Syrian authorities reported the arrest of 3,677 individuals on narcotics-related charges in 2,540 narcotics-related cases in 2004.
In 2004, Lebanese authorities reported that over 130,014 square meters of cannabis fields were eradicated in the Biqa’ as a result of cooperation between Syrian and Lebanese authorities. Key border stations were staffed with personnel and specialized dogs trained in detecting concealed drugs.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Syrian officials characterized cooperation on drug issues with neighboring Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Lebanon as "excellent." Syria has legislation, which provides for seizure of assets financed by profits from the drug trade. The government has used this legislation to seize assets.
Corruption. In the past there have been unconfirmed reports of corruption among some Syrian military officials in Lebanon involving the issuance of passes permitting the free movement of goods and persons in return for bribes. The Syrian government has an Investigations Administration (Internal Affairs Division) responsible for weeding out corrupt officers in the counternarcotics unit and the national police force. The Investigations Administration is independent of both the counternarcotics unit and the national police and reports directly to the Minister of the Interior. According to Syrian authorities, there were no arrests or prosecutions of officers in the counternarcotics unit for corruption in 2004; information was not provided on whether any investigations were conducted.
Agreements and Treaties. Syria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Syria has signed but has not yet ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Syria and the U.S. do not have an counternarcotics agreement, nor is there an extradition treaty between the two countries.
Cultivation/Production. The government of the Syrian Arab Republic (SARG) has an effective counternarcotics system in place that has reduced cultivation and production in Syria to negligible levels.
Drug Flow/Transit. Drug interdiction remains the focus of the Syrian counternarcotics effort. Syrian officials estimate that in 2004, the overall flow of narcotics transiting Syria and destined for other countries in the region was approximately the same as in 2003. Transshipment of narcotics from Turkey continues to represent the major challenge to Syria’s counternarcotics efforts. The SARG’s reported seizure statistics suggest that either the overall flow of narcotics has increased, or that SARG counternarcotics efforts have been more effective in capturing shipments of hashish and cocaine transiting through Syria to Europe and other countries in the region, of opium transiting from Pakistan and Afghanistan through Syria to Turkey, and of Captagon pills transiting from Turkey through Syria to Saudi Arabia.
Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Due to the social stigma attached to drug use and stiff penalties under Syria’s strict antitrafficking law, the incidence of drug abuse in Syria remains low. The Syrian government’s counternarcotics strategy, which is coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior, uses the media to educate the public on the dangers of drug use, and drug awareness is also part of the national curriculum for schoolchildren. The Ministry also conducts awareness campaigns through university student unions and trade unions.
Policy Initiatives. In meetings with Syrian officials, DEA officials continue to stress the need for diligence in preventing narcotics and precursor chemicals from transiting Syrian territory; the need to work with the Lebanese government on crop eradication programs and on dismantling drug laboratories in Syrian-controlled areas of Lebanon; and the necessity of terminating any involvement, active or passive, of individual Syrian officials in the drug trade.
Bilateral Cooperation. DEA officials based in Nicosia maintain an ongoing dialogue with Syrian authorities in the Counternarcotics Directorate. In February, DEA officials based in Nicosia and Syrian Anti-Narcotics Department coordinated efforts, which led to the seizure of 18.8 kilograms of cocaine at Damascus Airport. Syrian Ministry of Interior officials characterize cooperation with the Nicosia DEA office as excellent.
The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to encourage the Syrian government to maintain its commitment to combating drug transit and production in the region; to follow through on plans to enact anti-money laundering legislation; and to continue to encourage Syria to improve its counternarcotics cooperation with neighboring countries. The U.S. will also encourage Syrian officials to continue their work with their Lebanese counterparts to ensure that drug production in Lebanon remains at low levels; to find and destroy drug processing laboratories in those areas where Syrian forces are present; and to work to minimize the involvement of Syrian officials in drug trafficking.
Tanzania is located along trafficking routes linking Asia and the Middle East to South Africa, Europe and, to a lesser extent, the United States. Drugs like hashish, Mandrax, cocaine, heroin and opium have found their way into and through Tanzania’s porous borders. In addition, the domestic production of cannabis is a significant problem. As a result, drug abuse, particularly involving cannabis, cocaine and heroin, is gradually increasing, especially among younger, more affluent people and in tourist areas. Tanzanian institutions have minimal capacity to combat drug trafficking; corruption reduces that capacity still further. Tanzania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and in conjunction with UNODC, is seeking to address objectives of that convention.
Until 1989, Tanzania’s contact with drugs was largely limited to the traditional cultivation of cannabis in some parts of the mainland. Since then, economic liberalization has brought increased affluence to the expatriate community and some urban Tanzanians. This affluence has driven demand for new drugs like Mandrax, cocaine, heroin, and opium, which have found their way through Tanzania’s porous borders.
In addition, the domestic production of cannabis is growing. Drug abuse among younger people is increasing, particularly abuse of the more affordable substances like cannabis and Mandrax. Hard drugs like heroin and cocaine, including some crack cocaine, are used in small quantities within the affluent classes. The growth of the tourism industry, particularly in Zanzibar, has created a larger demand for narcotics there.
Tanzania is located along trafficking routes with numerous possible illegal points of entry. The drugs originate from Pakistan, India, Thailand, Burma, Iran, Syria and South America en route to Europe, South Africa and, to a lesser extent, the U.S. Drugs enter Tanzania by air, sea, roads and rail. Major points of entry include airports in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro, and seaports at Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, as well as smaller ports like Tanga and Mtwara.
It is widely believed that traffickers conduct a significant amount of narcotics smuggling off-shore in small "dhow" boats that never stop in ports. Anecdotal evidence suggests surveillance at the airports has improved, which may have the effect of driving trafficking to minor ports and unofficial entry points. During the year, there were reports of "mules" carrying hard drugs into and out of Tanzania. An increasing trend is the use of Tanzanian land borders to enter neighboring countries, especially Kenya and Malawi, to catch international and regional flights.
Policy Initiatives. In 2004, the Ministry of Home Affairs (on behalf of the counternarcotics unit of the police force) submitted suggestions for amending counternarcotics legislation to increase penalties and revise asset seizure laws. These suggestions have not yet been acted on. In 2003, the House of Representatives in Zanzibar passed their own Prevention of Illicit Traffic and Drugs Act, which puts Zanzibar narcotics law and sentencing in line with that of the mainland.
Accomplishments. Law enforcement officials have increased their efforts to combat narcotics trafficking but still made only sporadic seizures during the year. Police have escalated cannabis eradication efforts, seizing or destroying over 733,000 kilograms in 2003 (latest figures available) up from 110,000 kilograms in 2002.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Tanzania has increased its counternarcotics police force to nearly 75 officers in three branches located in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Moshi. Additionally, over 300 regional officers throughout the country have received counternarcotics training. However, because of the still limited training and operational capabilities of its counternarcotics officers, Tanzania’s efforts against narcotics are narrowly focused on street pushers and individual "mule-carriers" and are not effective at limiting narcotics trafficking. While increasing the number of smugglers apprehended, Tanzanian law enforcement has not been able to translate small seizures into the prosecution of top leaders of organized rings.
Senior Tanzanian counternarcotics officials acknowledge that their officers are under-trained and under-resourced. For example, the harbor unit lacks modern patrol boats and relies on modified traditional wooden dhows to interdict smugglers. As a result of the lack of training and resources, Tanzanian officers and police staff do not effectively implement profiling techniques and seize large amounts of narcotics. Narcotics interdiction seizures generally result from tip-offs from police informants. Moreover, low salaries for law enforcement personnel provide a good deal of impetus to engage in corrupt behavior.
On the positive side, formal cooperation between counternarcotics police in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania is well established, with bi-annual meetings to discuss regional narcotics issues. This cooperation has resulted in significant increases in effectiveness in each nation’s narcotics control efforts.
According to the Criminal Investigative Police, a total 1,727 grams of cocaine and 4,071 grams of heroin were seized in 2003. Also, in that year, 733,222 kilograms of locally grown cannabis sativa were seized in an effort to eradicate cannabis plantations throughout the country. From January through June 2004, police seized 10,650 grams of heroin (in 170 separate cases), 620 grams of cocaine (in three separate cases), and 500 grams of Mandrax (in one case). Over 230,000 kilograms of cannabis were destroyed in the same period.
Corruption. Neither the government nor senior officials encourage or facilitate the production or distribution of illicit drugs; however, pervasive corruption continued to be a serious problem in the Tanzanian Police Force. It is widely believed that corrupt officials at airports facilitate the transshipment of narcotics through Tanzania. There is no specific provision of the anticorruption laws regarding narcotics related cases, and few corruption cases are prosecuted. Many believe that corruption in the courts leads to light sentencing of convicted narcotics offenders. Prosecutors complain that many "swallowers" arrested at ports of entry will plead "not guilty" at first until there has been time to pay off the magistrate. Once confident of the magistrate’s help, the suspect changes his plea to guilty, and the magistrate sentences with fines only and no jail time.
Agreements and Treaties. Tanzania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Tanzania also has signed the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Drug Control, and the Protocol on Combating Drug Trafficking in the East African Region, which seeks to strengthen regional counternarcotics cooperation within the region, and also with Interpol, UNDCP and the International Narcotics Board. The Southern African Development Community, of which Tanzania is a member, has approved an counternarcotics action plan with the following objectives: 1) acquire information about drug use and trafficking in the region; 2) inform policy makers about the drug situation; and 3) develop legal frameworks to counteract drug use and trafficking. Tanzania also participates in the Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation (SARPCO), which has led to at least one joint counternarcotics operation in Tanzania. The 1931 U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty is applicable to Tanzania.
Cultivation and Production. Traditional cultivation of cannabis takes place in remote parts of the country, mainly for domestic use. No figures on production exist, but police and government officials report that production continues to increase. Given the availability of raw materials, and the simplicity of the process, it is possible that some hashish is also produced domestically. Police have seized equipment used to manufacture Mandrax from clandestine laboratories in Dar es Salaam, suggesting continued efforts to establish domestic production. Most other illegal drugs in Tanzania are probably produced elsewhere.
Drug Flow/Transit. Due to its location and porous borders, seaports and airports, Tanzania has become a significant transit country for narcotics moving in sub-Saharan Africa. Control at the ports is especially difficult as sophisticated methods of forging documents combine with poor controls and untrained and corrupt officials. Afghan heroin entering Tanzania from Pakistan is being smuggled to the U.S. by Nigerian traffickers in small quantities. Traffickers from landlocked countries of Southern Africa, including Zambia, use Tanzania for transit. The port of Dar es Salaam is a major entry point for Mandrax from India headed towards South Africa. An increasing number of Tanzanians are being recruited for trafficking. In a nine-month period in 2004, twenty-four Tanzanians were arrested abroad (most in East Africa, Europe, and Pakistan) for smuggling. Recently, Tanzanian smugglers have been arrested coming into Tanzania through the land borders with Kenya and Malawi, after having arrived at international airports from Brazil, Pakistan or the United Arab Emirates. They are thought to have planned to "unload" the drugs so another mule could smuggle them to Europe or the U.S. This trend suggests a growing local trafficking organization.
Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Tanzania traditionally was believed to be only a transit point for narcotics, but signs point to an increase in consumer use, particularly of the lower cost drugs. The spillover from trafficking and increased tourism both have contributed to an increase of domestic demand. The tourist industry has brought ecstasy (MDMA) to Zanzibar, and police reports confirm that crack cocaine is available locally. The Prime Minister’s Office manages a very small demand reduction program, and the police have a public sensitization program. Generally, addicts are either arrested or placed in psychiatry wards of public hospitals.
Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. policy initiatives and programs for addressing narcotics problems in Tanzania focus on training workshops and seminars for law enforcement officials. State Department law enforcement assistance includes funding the establishment of a forensics lab and training in its use. At the Tanzanian government’s request these facilities will include narcotics analysis capabilities. The State Department’s counterterrorism bureau is funding the "PISCES" program to improve interdiction capabilities at major border crossings. While the program targets terrorist activities, it has implications for narcotics and other smuggling as well.
The Road Ahead. U.S.-Tanzanian cooperation is expected to continue, with a focus on improving Tanzania’s capacity to enforce its counternarcotics laws.
Togo is not a significant producer of drugs and its role in the transport of drugs is primarily regional. During 2004, however, the drug trade, particularly of hard drugs, increased substantially. The Togolese drug trade is overshadowed, and to some degree dominated, by Nigerian traffickers. Lome remains a spoke in the Nigerian hub of narcotics trafficking and money laundering. Togo’s ability to address the transnational flow of drugs is undercut by its stalled democratic transition and its long, porous borders. In April 2004, Togo began formal consultations with the European Union and as a result of efforts made by Togo to address EU concerns, the EU has agreed to resume limited, conditional aid to Togo. Togo is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
Drug abuse by Togolese citizens and crimes resulting from drug abuse were not numerous in 2004. There are three agencies responsible for drug law enforcement: the police, the gendarmerie, and customs. The only locally produced drug is cannabis and approximately 1-2 metric tons are seized each year. Heroin and cocaine, while not produced in Togo, are available, coming through the Port of Lome from South America (cocaine) and Afghanistan (heroin).
In 2004 Togolese authorities seized 5 grams of heroin valued at $1,500 and 491 kilograms of cocaine valued at $5,892,000. The majority of the cocaine seized (412 kilos) occurred when French authorities intercepted a vessel at sea and escorted it to Lome. Lome serves as a transit point for drugs on their way to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, northern Ghana, and Niger. Togolese are not significant consumers. The great majority of smugglers are Lebanese or Nigerians. Togolese buy small amounts for sale to expatriates living in Lome. From January to December 2004, 68 people, of whom 47 were Togolese, were arrested for drug distribution (44 men and 3 women). During the same period, 58 people were tried for narcotics-related offenses. Traffickers find it easy to traverse Togo’s long and relatively porous borders. This relatively easy movement through Togo has made Togo a transit point for narcotics such as cocaine and heroin. Most narcotics trafficking arrests in Togo have involved Nigerian nationals traveling from Asia to other West African destinations. The prevalence of widespread official corruption facilitates the drug traffic.
Policy Initiatives. In 2003 a plan to counternarcotics trade was developed under the auspices of the Narcotics Control Coordinating Committee (CNAD). In March 2004 a new Central Office Against Drugs and Money Laundering was created. This Central Office is responsible for investigating and arresting all persons involved in drug related crimes. This office has approximately twenty gendarmes and ten police personnel to conduct investigations and enforcement operations. Security agencies report all drug-related matters to the Director of the Central Office. The Director of the Central Office, in turn, is directly responsible to the Minister of Interior. The National Anti-Drug Committee has been incorporated into the new Central Office. An Idea Bank has been created among Togo, Benin and Ghana to facilitate counternarcotics operations in the sub-region. While Ghana and Togo regularly contribute to the bank, Benin has yet to play an active role.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The number of arrests increased somewhat in 2004. Only occasional spot checks are made of passengers at the airport. The new cargo screening ability at the Port of Lome will, however, aid the interdiction of drugs arriving by sea. Arrests have been most numerous at the land border crossings and in Lome. Arrests are sometimes made after a tip but are more often made in the course of other routine law enforcement activities, such as traffic security or customs checks. The greatest obstacles that the Government of Togo (GOT) faces in apprehending drug distributors are the government’s lack of computer technology, lack of communications and coordination, and mutual distrust among the three agencies responsible for drug law enforcement. While all agencies are required to report narcotics related crimes to the Central Office Against Drugs and Money Laundering, in practice there is no effective reporting, record keeping or cross-agency communication process.
Corruption. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) made no drug-related arrests of government officials. Unsubstantiated rumors abound that unnamed officials in various GOT agencies can be bribed to allow illicit narcotics to transit to or through Togo.
Agreements and Treaties. Togo is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Narcotics Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol. Togo cooperates with other members of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) regarding law enforcement issues. Togo is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Cultivation/Production. The only drug cultivated in quantity is cannabis, which can be grown in all five of Togo’s regions. Cultivation is primarily for local demand although enforcement officials suspect some cross border distribution by small-scale dealers.
Drug Flow/Transit. There are sizeable expatriate Nigerian and Liberian populations involved in the drug trade in Togo, and they arrange for drug transshipments from many places in the world, through Africa, and onward to final markets. Many observers of drug trafficking in West Africa believe that hard drugs like cocaine and heroin are "warehoused" in the region, before being dispatched to final consumption markets.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The CNAD opened a youth counseling center that shows films and sponsors counternarcotics discussion groups. The programs have been well attended by NGO’s, religious groups, and school groups composed of parents, teachers, and students. Programs designed for high school students focused heavily on prevention/non-use. The CNAD also sponsored programs for security forces that stressed the link between drug use and HIV/AIDS.
Policy Initiatives. The primary goal of the USG is to help the GOT combat the international trafficking of drugs. The USG seeks to help the GOT in improving its ability to interdict illicit narcotics entering Togo and to prosecute those traffickers who are caught. The USG did not provide the GOT with material or training assistance in 2004. Togo’s emerging willingness to confront the issue of illicit drugs is hampered by the country’s ongoing democratic transition and the weak state of GOT finances.
The Road Ahead. U.S. cooperation with Togolese counternarcotics officials will continue. USG funded narcotics assistance will be used for Togolese counternarcotics infrastructure improvements. With the assistance of the regional Drug Enforcement Agency representative based in Lagos, the USG will continue to look for ways to provide counternarcotics trafficking training to Togolese law enforcement personnel.
Tunisia is not a significant drug producing country nor is it a drug transshipment country. Tunisia is not involved in the production, trading and transit of drug precursor chemicals. The government has an active youth demand reduction education program and encourages NGOs’ counternarcotics educational activities. During 2004, the government started enforcement of a new money laundering law, created a new department within the Ministry of Interior to root out corruption among police and customs officers, started building the region’s first drug rehabilitation center for addicts and continued to punish drug dealers and consumers with maximum sentences as provided under the law. Tunisia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and its domestic law contains provisions mandated by the Convention.
Tunisia is not a drug producing country and does not produce drug precursor chemicals. The government claims to have totally eradicated cannabis cultivation. However in previous years, there were unconfirmed reports of continued illicit cannabis cultivation in northern Tunisia. Before independence, cannabis cultivation for local use was legal. Tunisia is not a significant drug transshipment country; individual smugglers carry small amounts of hashish from Morocco and Algeria to Europe. Most drugs that enter the country from Algeria or Morocco are for local consumption. The government does not publish figures for narcotics consumption. However, Tunisian media reports on a daily basis on drug-related crimes for warning and prevention. NGOs active in the field report drug consumption is limited, but has increased in recent years, primarily in high schools, universities, and tourist resorts.
Policy Initiatives. On March 17, 2004, the GOT appointed a magistrate to head a newly created inspection department for police and customs officers. The department included in its mandate investigation of narcotics-related corruption. Tunisia has inter-ministerial committees to oversee drug control matters, but lacks a comprehensive counternarcotics master plan. Tunisia enacted a comprehensive penal code and other laws related to drug enforcement in 1992 and updated in 2003; these laws bring Tunisia into conformity with the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Tunisia has adequate legal and law enforcement measures in place to accomplish the 1988 UN Drug Convention objectives.
Accomplishments. The Government of Tunisia (GOT) gives a high priority to counternarcotics law enforcement. Tunisian law contains provisions mandated by the 1998 UN Drug Convention. Tunisia does not have an applicable bilateral narcotics agreement with the USG but is part of narcotics-related multilateral bodies. Tunisian media routinely report on drug seizures (mostly hashish), arrests of drug abusers, and convictions of traffickers. Hard drugs remain difficult to find or buy in Tunisia.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The agency with primary responsibility for counternarcotics law enforcement is the "Surete Nationale." Tunisian authorities did not make publicly available comprehensive information on counternarcotics law enforcement. Media increasingly report on law enforcement efforts. Based on publicly available sources, Tunisia averages 20 seizures annually totaling approximately 580 kilogram of narcotics. Sentences for narcotics cases are a combination of prison time and a fine, depending on the amount and type of drug. The most severe punishment is reserved for drug traffickers, who can receive 10 to 20 years plus a fine of 20,000 to 100,000 dinars ($16,300 to $81,300).
For example, the media reported on the following cases during the month of December 2004: Customs officials interdicted four foreigners with 30 kilogram of heroin; Police arrested 11 drug sellers and users and sized 110 grams of drugs (Tunisian courts sentenced them to six years in prison and a fine of 5,000 dinars, equivalent to $4,700; Tunisian courts sentenced two Tunisian traffickers from the Algerian border area to 28 years in prison; prison guards confiscated 130 psychotropic pills smuggled into prison; local police in a Tunis suburb arrested five for drug use.
Corruption. Tunisia has taken legal and law enforcement measures to prevent and punish public corruption, including corruption committed by senior government officials. In 2004, the Ministry of Interior established a special department to address corruption by police and customs officers. A special magistrate with investigative power heads the new department. To minimize corruption in the customs service, the government routinely transfers regional customs officials and reassigns senior national-level customs officers. As a matter of government policy, the Government of Tunisia and its senior officials do not engage in, 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. During 2004, Tunisia had no publicized cases of public narcotics-related corruption.
Agreements and Treaties. Tunisia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Tunisia is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Crime and its protocols against migrant smuggling and trafficking in women and children.
Cultivation/Production. There are no current, confirmed reports of cultivation of cannabis. In previous years, some cannabis was reportedly grown in insignificant amounts in northern Tunisia.
Drug Flow/Transit. Tunisia is not a major drug transshipment country. There are regular reports of individual hashish smugglers from Morocco and Algeria who transit Tunisia en route to Europe. An unsubstantiated report indicated increasing transit of heroin from Libya through Tunisia to Europe. There are no reports of synthetic drugs trafficked through Tunisia in 2004.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Tunisia has no official numbers on drug abuse; however, an informal estimate indicates that Tunisia has roughly two thousand drug abusers, primarily school dropouts and jailed drug users. Tunisian officials reported a rising trend of abuse of illicit drugs, including: cannabis, heroin, cocaine, and volatile substances. The majority of Tunisian drug users consume a form of cannabis.
The GOT conducts drug education programs in schools and encourages NGOs to conduct complementary educational programs. Tunisia’s Ministry of Health has yet to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation policy. Addicts are generally imprisoned and currently receive little rehabilitation assistance. In 2005, the government will start construction on the first specialized substance abuse rehabilitation center and halfway house for drug addicts in Tunisia.
Bilateral cooperation. DOD Headquarters European Command provided $322,600 in humanitarian aid for construction of the Sfax rehabilitation center.
The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to work closely with Tunisia to improve narcotics law enforcement. The U.S. supports Tunisian efforts to comply fully with the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and it seeks Tunisian support for U.S. international counternarcotics initiatives.
Uganda is not a major hub for narcotics trafficking. Nevertheless, there are some reports that certain prominent local businessmen may be involved in organized international money laundering schemes, possibly related to narcotics trafficking. Government of Uganda (GOU) authorities have detected and confiscated heroin, cocaine, and cannabis transiting the Entebbe Airport and along the border with Kenya. The only drug known to be produced in Uganda is cannabis. Uganda has signed the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but has not yet ratified it, and become a party.
Drug production and trading within Uganda is not significant. Uganda offers more potential as a transit route (Entebbe Airport and porous borders).
Policy Initiatives. In 1999 the GOU introduced new legislation for a national Uganda Narcotics-Drug Bill, which has yet to gain Parliamentary approval. If adopted, drug law in Uganda would address border areas, introduce seizure of property, increase fines, toughen sentencing guidelines, and increase penalties for repeat offenders.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The GOU has fewer than 100 law enforcement personnel devoted to counternarcotics activities throughout the country. Limited manpower and resources have forced the GOU to concentrate its focus on Entebbe Airport as a transit point. Although the focus is at Entebbe, the GOU also sends forces to participate in cannabis eradication campaigns in certain areas.
Asset Seizure is not a legal option presently. The police report that they seized 6.5 kilogram of heroin in four cases. Marijuana seizures were more than ten metric tons.
Corruption. Corruption is a huge problem that affects most aspects of the Government of Uganda. Although no example exists in the area of counternarcotics, it is reasonable to believe that corruption plays the same role there that it does in the other areas of Ugandan government administration.
The GOU 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. No senior GOU officials engage in, encourage, or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.
Agreements and Treaties. Uganda has signed the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but has not yet ratified it, and become a party.
The GOU is a party to multilateral agreement with Government of Tanzania (GOT) and Government of Kenya (GOK) known as "the Protocol on Combating Narcotic Drugs in East Africa" whereby these three countries share law enforcement intelligence amongst themselves so as to better interdict and arrest drug traffickers. The GOU also has a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Nigeria (GON) to share law-enforcement intelligence.
Drug Flow/Transit. The GOU is primarily concerned with heroin transit through Entebbe Airport, raw cannabis transport into Kenya and processed cannabis transit from Kenya. The United States is not the destination for narcotics transiting Uganda. Uganda Police Anti-Narcotics Unit statistics show a decrease in heroin seizures since 2001, which could suggest either police successes or that narcotics traffickers have become better at concealment. While detection of illicit goods is a possibility at Entebbe Airport, it is exceedingly difficult along Uganda’s porous borders.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Demand reduction is not addressed in a national or uniform manner. Although heroin addiction and cannabis use is of concern to the GOU and local law enforcement, concern for the impact of other social ills, leaves the concept of demand reduction unfunded and neglected by the GOU.
Road Ahead. The U.S. Government continues to engage with the Ugandan Government on a variety of law-enforcement issues. U.S narcotics assistance has been supporting a multi-year up-grade in Uganda’s police forensics lab, and a police outreach program designed o bring a police presence to isolated Ugandan villages.
United Arab Emirates
Although not a narcotics-producing country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is believed to be a transshipment point for traffickers moving illegal drugs from the major drug-producing countries, especially Afghanistan, westward. Frequent reports of seizures of illegal drugs in the UAE during the past year underscore this conclusion. Most seizures have been of hashish. There are several other factors that render the UAE a waystation, including its proximity to major drug cultivation regions in Southwest Asia and a long (700 kilometers) coastline. High volumes of shipping render UAE ports vulnerable to exploitation by narcotics traffickers.
Published statistics on narcotics seizures and domestic addiction reveal a growing drug problem among UAE and third-country nationals, which is notable given the country’s harsh drug laws. A Ministry of Health report in late 1998 asserted that there were approximately 12,500 drug addicts in the country of 3.1 million people. The UAE is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
A major regional financial center and hub for commercial shipping and trade, the UAE is believed to be a transshipment point for illegal narcotics from the drug-cultivating regions of southwest Asia, to Europe, to Africa and, and less significantly, to the United States. Western Europe is the principal market for these drugs, and Africa is becoming an increasingly prominent secondary market. Factors that contribute to the role of the UAE as a transshipment point are the emergence of Dubai and Sharjah as regional centers in the transportation of passengers and cargo, a porous land border with Oman, and the fact that a number of ports in the UAE are de facto "free ports", where transshipped cargo are not subject to inspection, as are other goods that enter the country.
In the first half of 2004, Abu Dhabi Police reported that drug crimes increased 5 percent over 2003, with more than 800 drug-related crimes, of which more than 100 involved drug smuggling.
Policy Initiatives. The UAE continued in 2004 to advance its national drug strategy based on intensifying security at the country’s air and sea ports and patrols along the coastline, reducing demand for illegal drugs through educational campaigns, enforcing harsh penalties, and rehabilitating drug addicts. The UAE’s Federal Supreme Court issued an important ruling in 2003 regarding proof that drug-offenders actually consume drugs in the UAE before they can be prosecuted. The Supreme Court decided that UAE law enforcement officials could not prosecute drug-users if the consumption took place in another country. A positive blood test for drugs is considered evidence of consumption, but does not, of course, determine whether the drug-taking occurred in the UAE or abroad.
In November, the UAE announced the establishment of a UN sub-office on Drugs and Crimes. The UAE government funded the estimated $3 million dollar cost of the office and contributed an additional $50,000 to the UN counternarcotics program. The sub-office will operate under the Cairo-based UN regional Office on Drugs and Crime, and will be responsible for coordinating national counternarcotics strategies and integrating the strategies into the UN’s comprehensive global program.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Counternarcotics agencies have been active in 4,774 cases from 1999 to September 2004 involving 7,611 suspected drug dealers. During this same time period, officials seized more than 18,700 kilogram of hashish, 400 kilogram of heroin, and 100 kilogram of opium, a street value of more than $25 million dollars.
In 2003, the UAE Ministry of Interior established a countrywide law enforcement database that is accessible to emirate-level police departments. This is a major step forward in coordinating narcotics-related information throughout the UAE.
Punishment for drug offenses is severe. A 1995 law stipulates capital punishment as the penalty for drug trafficking. No executions, however, have ever taken place, and sentences usually are commuted to life imprisonment. In June, an Omani policeman was sentence to life imprisonment for possessing and smuggling drugs over the land border. In December, an Asian woman was sentenced to death for drug dealing, although she is appealing the verdict.
Several other high-profile seizures in 2004 indicate that UAE authorities continue to take seriously their responsibility to interdict drug smuggling and distribution. In July, federal authorities seized 203 kilogram of hashish in a Pakistani ship destined for Saudi Arabia and docked at Khor Fakkan Port. In a separate operation, the federal authorities seized more than 50 kilogram of heroin en route to Kuwait. Local authorities are also working to further secure land borders, with Abu Dhabi Police seizing more than 600 kilogram of hashish transiting the UAE from Oman to Saudi Arabia.
The UAE is cooperating more with other countries to stop trafficking gangs. Cooperation has resulted in arrests in several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, Australia, Canada, and Holland. Cooperation has also resulted in the arrests of drug gangs in 12 cases with neighboring Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. The UAE signed a landmark counternarcotics agreement with Iran in 2003 providing for cooperation against production, distribution, and smuggling of illicit drugs across the UAE-Iran sea border.
Corruption. UAE officials aggressively pursue and arrest individuals involved in illegal narcotics trafficking and/or abuse. There is no evidence that corruption—including narcotics-related corruption—of public officials is a systemic problem.
Agreements and Treaties. The UAE is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1988 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The UAE has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Cultivation/Production. There is no evidence of drug cultivation and/or production in the UAE.
Drug Flow/Transit. Narcotics smuggling from south and southwest Asia continues to Europe and Africa and-to a significantly lesser degree-the United States via the UAE. Hashish, heroin, and opium shipments originate in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran and are smuggled in cargo containers, via small vessels and powerboats, and/or sent overland via Oman. The UAE, and Dubai in particular, is a major regional transportation and shipping hub. High volumes of shipping render the UAE vulnerable to exploitation by narcotics traffickers. UAE authorities recognize that the number of human carriers of illicit narcotics transiting local airports is also on the rise. The police also caught a number of traffickers trying to smuggle drugs over the UAE land border by truck and horseback.
Recognizing the need for increased monitoring at its commercial shipping ports, airports, and borders, the UAEG is making an effort to tighten inspections of cargo containers, as well as passengers transiting the UAE. In December 2004, the UAE signed the Container Security Initiative, which will result in the tightening and expansion of cargo-reporting requirements. Customs officials and inspectors received specialized training on ferreting out prohibited items from U.S. DHS and Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security in 2004. UAE authorities also received training on seaport interdiction and global transshipment this year. Customs officials randomly search containers and follow up leads of suspicious cargo. Dubai Ports Authority purchased state-of-the-art equipment for rapid, thorough searches of shipping containers and vehicles.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). A 2003 UAE report noted that the majority of UAE drug users take their first dose abroad, primarily because of peer pressure. Statistics reveal that 75 percent of drug users in the UAE prefer hashish, 13 percent use heroin, while 6 percent use morphine. The report illustrates a clear relationship between drug abuse and level of education-75 percent of arrested drug users in 2002 were high school graduates, but only 2 percent were university graduates. Local press reports the street value of one kilogram of Pakistani hashish to be an approximate 5,000 Dirhams ($1,362) in Abu Dhabi and about 4,500 Dirhams ($1,226) in Dubai. The price is said to be highest in Abu Dhabi and Dubai because the customer base in these two emirates tends to be more affluent. While the data is a few years old, trends reported are still likely to be reflective of current societal patterns.
The focus of the UAE’s domestic program is to reduce demand through public awareness campaigns directed at young people and the establishment of rehabilitation centers. UAE officials believe that adherence to Muslim religious mores and severe prison sentences imposed on individuals convicted of drug offenses effectively deter narcotics abuse. An affluent country, the UAE has established an extensive treatment and rehabilitation program for its citizens. There is a rehab center in Abu Dhabi, two in Dubai, and one each in Ajman and Sharjah for those identified as addicts. In accordance with federal law, UAE nationals who are addicted can present themselves to the police or a rehabilitation center and be exempted from criminal prosecution. Those nationals who do not turn themselves into local authorities are referred to the legal system for prosecution. Third-country nationals or "guest workers," who make up approximately 80 percent of the UAE’s population, generally receive prison sentences upon conviction of narcotics offenses and are deported upon completing their sentences.
Most UAE nationals arrested on drug charges are placed in one of the UAE’s drug treatment programs. They undergo a two-year drug rehabilitation program, which includes family counseling/therapy.
The Road Ahead. The USG will continue to support the UAE’s efforts to devise and employ bilateral/ multilateral strategies against illicit narcotics trafficking, border/export control and money laundering. The USG and UAE are starting discussions on MLAT and extradition treaties, which would facilitate the exchange of information related to drug and financial crimes. The USG will encourage the UAEG to focus enforcement efforts on dismantling major trafficking organizations and prosecuting their leaders, and to enact export control and border security legislation.