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Diplomacy in Action

2012 INCSR: Country Reports - South Africa through Zambia


Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report
March 7, 2012

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South Africa

A. Introduction

South African enforcement success during the FIFA World Cup 2010 was widely noted. The South African Police Service’s (SAPS) Central Drug Authority (CDA) is planning to create a national narcotics database as part of the 2012-2017 National Master Plan on Drugs. South Africa continued to battle with significant challenges involving drug trafficking, substance abuse, and drug related crime.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The SAPS and the CDA coordinate on a comprehensive anti-drug strategy referred to as the Mini-Drug Master Plan (MDMP) and report jointly to the cabinet on its implementation every year. The CDA also operates under a 2006-2011National Master Plan, which features an inter-agency approach coordinating prevention, treatment and intervention at the provincial and national levels. The CDA draft of the new 2012-2017 National Master Plan has been completed and is under review. The plan will include a nationwide database to track drug crimes more thoroughly.

Border control was turned over to the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) this year and the SAPS will no longer take a lead role on border enforcement. South Africa has 4,862 km of borders (shared with six countries), 10 international airports and eight sea-ports in addition to a well developed financial and communications system. These factors contribute to South Africa’s unique status as an African nation with a developed-country physical infrastructure, but a developing country capacity in enforcement. Despite efforts to improve border control and security, South Africa is a transshipment point for heroin, cocaine, precursor chemicals, cannabis, and amphetamine-type substances (ATS).

South Africa is a party to all of the United Nations Drug Conventions and the 1972 Protocol. South Africa is a party to the UN Convention on Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. The U.S. and South Africa have bilateral extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties in force. The mutual legal assistance treaty has been actively utilized by both countries. Regarding extraditions, 2011 has seen noticeable movement on recent U.S. extradition requests, although several old pending requests, which were affirmed in the 2009 South African Constitutional Court decision upholding the extradition treaty, are still languishing in the courts. The U.S. and South Africa also have a Letter of Agreement on Law Enforcement and Counter-Narcotics Assistance and a Customs Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement.

2. Supply reduction

Cannabis is the only illicit drug cultivated in South Africa. Estimated annual production is over 4,500 metric tons. South Africa also manufactures significant quantities of ATS consisting of; methaqualone (Mandrax), methcathinone (Khat), and methamphetamine (tik). These substances are primarily produced for domestic consumption, but there are indications that exportation is on the rise.

Substance abuse is a major social problem in South Africa. It is a significant factor contributing to the overall crime rate, which is very high. The Western Cape Province seems particularly vulnerable because of increased gang violence that is directly linked to an illegal drug sub-culture. Methaqualone (Mandrax) and marijuana (dagga) are widely trafficked in Western Cape, but the drug of choice among dealers is crystal methamphetamine (tik). CDA also cites the abuse of prescription drugs as a growing problem in South Africa.

According to South Africa's crime statistics report released in September 2011, drug-related crime increased nationwide, rising from 134,840 to 150,673 cases for the period between April 2010 and March 2011. Arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs also increased from 62,939 to 66,697 for the same period. The Western Cape Province continues to be the province most affected by drugs, recording 70,588 drug-related arrests between April 2010 and March 2011. This represented a 10 percent increase in drug-related arrests over the previous year. Slightly less than half of the drug-related arrests in South Africa in the 2010-2011 period took place in Western Cape. Rural Mpumalanga Province, which borders Kruger National Park and Mozambique, saw a significant uptick in drug-related crime (an increase from 2,041 to 3,178 cases over the reporting period, a 33% jump), which may illustrate a link between proximity to border crossings and sea ports and an increase in drug trafficking. While the threat from narcotics-related crime continues to grow, the conviction rate for drug crimes remains very low.

South Africa increased its drug seizures and arrests at O.R. Tambo International Airport. New immigration controls put in place before the World Cup have become major tools in tracking persons both inside and outside of South Africa. The SAPS expanded its presence at airports, had success in effecting clandestine laboratory busts, and utilized the asset forfeiture legislation to combat drug trafficking, drug production and drug culture in South Africa.

“Crime Line” is an anonymous tip-off service sponsored by South African media. This past year, 533 drug-related arrests linked to Crime Line occurred . The largest drug bust in the history of policing in Gauteng occurred in July, with $5.3 million in assets being seized from a Nigerian tik-smuggling syndicate in Pretoria. A list of indicative cases during the year follows:

•  In February - SAPS arrested a South African woman smuggling (via swallowing) 40 pellets of crystal methamphetamine at O.R. Tambo International Airport. Two men with her, one of whom was Nigerian, were arrested.

•  In March - SAPS arrested two grandmothers in the Western Cape for drug trafficking. Their two homes contained 326,000 Mandrax tablets, 3 kg of tik and $448,717 in cash. The total value of cash and drugs seized for the bust was $2,243,589.

•  In April - a Mozambican woman on a flight originating from South America was arrested at O.R. Tambo International Airport with $1.5 million worth of cocaine on her person.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

There has been a lack of information on substance abuse in rural areas of South Africa, however the CDA recently completed a report based on a survey of 27,000 individuals. Startling data emerged, including that 65 percent of people had a drug user in their home. Poverty appears to be a key motivating factor in drug trafficking. The average monthly income in South Africa is less than R1000 (U.S. $127.00). A boy from Mamelodi reported that he could make R200 (US$25) for each drug “errand” to help earn income for his family.

UNODC and other organizations continue to focus on programming in rural South Africa, particularly programs on drug prevention, education, and guidance on where to receive treatment. Treatment availability continues to be a problem despite these efforts, with demand for treatment widely exceeding availability.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the government of South Africa actively combats narcotics-related corruption. However, newspaper reports on police corruption appeared regularly. In 2011, there were allegations that the police were involved in cash-in-transit heists, ATM bombings, and traffic patrol bribery. The frequency of corruption-related reports suggests that some degree of corruption may facilitate drug trafficking in South Africa. For example, Sheryl Cwele, wife of South Africa’s Intelligence Minister, was found guilty in May of drug trafficking in connection with a case concerning recruiting young woman to serve as drug mules. On October 24, National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele was suspended with pay due to his reported links to a case involving illegal tenders for the lease of new police headquarter buildings for the SAPS . Cele had vowed to fight police corruption when he took office in 2009.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) supports a substance abuse prevention program for women in partnership with the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA). State-INL is considering collaboration with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime on a drug prevention initiative aimed at the Western Cape Province. The Pretoria country office of the Drug Enforcement Administration provided a course in Basic Narcotics Investigations in July in the Western Cape. The course was well received by the attendees.

D. Conclusion

South Africa's National Master Plan aims "to implement holistic and cost-effective strategies to reduce the supply and consumption of drugs and to limit the harm associated with substance use, abuse, and dependency in South Africa." Implementation of the Plan has lagged, due in part to the absence of reliable national statistics, a lack of funding, and a dearth of competent staff. When the current Plan was launched in 2006, it spoke of "a pressing need …for the training of doctors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists on substance abuse and other additions." That need is more urgent in 2011 than when the plan was drafted. Similarly, South Africa's need for increased interdiction, an increase in conviction rates for drug crimes, more widely available treatment, and effective prevention is very evident. An emphasis on rooting out police corruption will enhance the professionalism and morale of the police. South Africa's Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA, 1988), particularly its robust asset forfeiture provisions, is proving a useful tool in the war against illicit drugs.

South Korea

Narcotics production and abuse is a minor problem in South Korea. South Korea has very strict laws regarding illicit drugs. Conviction for possessing, using, or trafficking illicit drugs can result in long jail sentences and large fines. Anomalously, because of its reputation for not having a drug abuse problem, South Korea is favored as a transshipment location for drug traffickers. With one of the region's largest ports, Busan, located on its Southeast tip, South Korea remains an attractive location for illegal drug transshipments coming from countries that are more likely to attract a contraband inspection upon arrival. Some narcotics smuggled through South Korea are en route to the United States. South Korea is a party to the 1988 U.N. Drug Convention.

As a matter of government policy, South Korea does not encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution, nor is it involved in laundering the proceeds of the sale of illicit drugs. According to the Korea Customs Service, there were 546 drug interdictions of persons, carriers, cargo, and mail into and out of the country in the first eight months of 2011, resulting in the seizure of approximately 25 kg of illicit drugs. The number of interdictions during the first eight months increased by approximately five times over the first six months of last year. The drugs seized included methamphetamine, marijuana, hashish, and previously rarely seen substances such as cocaine, MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), JWH-018-artificial marijuana, and other synthetic prescription drugs.

According to the Supreme Prosecutors' Office, Korean authorities arrested 4,228 individuals for drug violations in the first six months of 2011, an approximately 9.5 percent decrease from 4,673 arrests in the same period last year. Of the arrests, 63.1 percent were for use, 22.1 percent were for supply, and 5.6 percent were for possession of illicit drugs. Synthetic psychotropic drugs continued to be the most widely used illicit drugs, accounting for approximately 73.9 percent of drug arrests. Marijuana seizures were 72.8 kg, an approximate 97% increase from 36.9 kg in the same period last year. Each District Prosecutor's Office, in conjunction with local governments, conducts annual surveillance into suspected marijuana growing areas during planting or harvesting time periods to limit possible illicit diversion. According to the Supreme Prosecutors' Office, as of September this year, Korean authorities had seized 70,864 marijuana plants. Some traditional Korean garments are made from the hemp of marijuana plants. Hemp production is illegal, but the Korean Food and Drug Administration issues licenses to farms that produce traditional Korean garments. This year Korean authorities conducted a crackdown on unlicensed hemp farms and many owners have abandoned their farms, resulting in a spike of marijuana plant seizures. Opium poppy production is also illegal in South Korea, but poppy continues to be grown in Gyeonggi Province where farmers have traditionally used the harvested plants as a folk medicine to treat sick pigs and cows. Opium is not normally processed from these plants for human consumption. Korean authorities continue surveillance of these opium poppy-growing areas. According to the Supreme Prosecutors' Office, as of September this year, Korean authorities seized 37,270 opium poppy plants.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare Affairs conducts programs to treat drug addicts at 22 hospitals nationwide. The treatment is free and patients can remain in the program for up to one year. The South Korean government also funds the primary NGO involved with drug treatment, Korean Association Against Drug Abuse (KAADA), which has 12 branches throughout the country. KAADA provides education on the risks and dangers of drugs, as well as counseling, sports therapy, and Narcotics Anonymous programs. KAADA also runs a free rehabilitation center where drug addicts may live up to a year at the center for intensive treatment and receive follow-up services after their stay.

The South Korean authorities remain mindful of the challenges they face in combating transshipment of illicit drugs in and out of the country and actively engage with law enforcement authorities from other countries in drug control efforts through various regional and international organizations. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Seoul Country Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) officials continue to work closely with South Korean narcotics law enforcement authorities on international drug interdiction, seizures of funds and assets related to illicit narcotics trafficking, and the diversion of precursor chemicals in South Korea and in the Far East region.

South Sudan

On July 9, the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) became the world’s 193rd country. While the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) has come a long way since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with Khartoum-Sudan six years ago, much remains to be accomplished in this fledgling state. Illegal drugs have historically not been a major issue in the south of Sudan and, thus, are not in the top tier of issues which the new government has identified.

South Sudan is not an important illicit drug-producing or drug-transit country. However, because of vast arable land, areas of lawlessness, ineffective border controls, impoverished conditions, and a fragile rule of law, the potential exists for South Sudan to cultivate and traffic illegal drugs on a far greater scale. Drug control falls within the duties of the Minister of the Interior, but at present there is no separate office within that Ministry assigned to evaluate, monitor or commence projects relating to illegal drugs.

Prior to independence, the North had jurisdiction over customs and border control. The South has done little to prepare for assuming customs responsibilities although Southerners have been manning border posts with Uganda and will continue to do so. Moreover, it is not yet clear what RoSS institution will have oversight of customs. Customs currently is under the Ministry of Interior, but the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has stated its intent to assume oversight.

Although pre-partition, unified Sudan became a party to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and has signed cooperative agreements with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey for fighting drug trafficking, the commitment of Sudan does not appear to have transferred to South Sudan. It is likely that these issues will be addressed at a later date.

Cannabis is the most prevalent illegal drug in South Sudan. Other drugs abused include barbiturates, heroin, and cocaine. No data relating to prevalence or use is available. Cannabis is cultivated in Upper Nile State as well as the Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states. There are no reports of seizures of illicit drugs by the South Sudanese government since independence.

South Sudan has chosen to utilize the common law as the basis for its justice system; previously it operated under Sharia law, in accordance with the policies of the North. The change in systems requires new laws to be written and judicial systems developed to interpret and enforce those laws. There is no comprehensive law addressing illicit drugs in place at this time, although the possession and sale of illicit drugs is included as a criminal offense in the current draft of the comprehensive criminal code. A final version of the criminal code must be developed and then presented to the Legislative Assembly for adoption; it is not known when the final version might be ready for presentation to the Legislative Assembly.

As a matter of government policy, South Sudan does not encourage or sanction drug trafficking, and there is no evidence that senior officials are engaged in such activities.

South Sudan does not produce precursor chemicals. There are no reports of the importation of precursor chemicals into South Sudan.

Spain

A. Introduction

Spain remains an important European entry point, and an important market, for narcotics coming from Latin America, owing to its historical, linguistic, and cultural ties. However, through effective border control and coastal monitoring, domestic police action and international cooperation and an intense focus on organized crime, Spain has become a less attractive European entry point for drug cartels. There are numerous indications that criminal networks may be seeking easier targets within the EU for transit operations. Spain remains an important transit point to Europe for hashish from Morocco, especially via its North African exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Trafficking and abuse of heroin and synthetic drugs in Spain remain low.

The Spanish government ranks drug trafficking as one of its most important law enforcement issues, and it maintains effective institutions to combat production, supply and demand. Local, provincial, and national police forces deploy specialized narcotics units. In 2011 Spain extended its costal radar tracking system and created a new Civil Guard maritime unit to patrol the Strait of Gibraltar. The judicial system aggressively prosecutes drug offenders, and authorities regulate new drugs as they emerge. Spain’s inter-ministerial National Plan on Drugs (Spanish acronym PNsD) helps coordinate antidrug campaigns, supports rehabilitation programs, and provides subsidies to NGOs working to reduce narcotics demand. The central government also provides drug program funding to the regional governments.

Spain is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention as well as many other major international agreements on drugs and trafficking.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

As one of Europe’s largest consumers of cocaine, Spain’s National Strategy on Drugs (NSD) emphasizes citizen involvement to lower consumption and delay the age for initial consumption, and takes an aggressive stance on addict treatment. Based on the NSD, the PNsD also has a separate four-year Plan of Action on Drugs (2009-2012) focused on demand reduction, close program coordination, and research and education.

Both supply and demand reduction efforts receive funding from a seized asset redistribution program which provided $30.35 million in supplemental drug supply and demand reduction activities in 2010 and is expected to provide roughly $26.4 million in 2011. Funding is used to support security force initiatives, drug prevention programs, awareness campaigns, and drug-addict support, recovery, and reinsertion programs. The program is overseen by a governing board. Program rules dictate that at least 50 percent of the funds must be allocated to demand reduction programs. Currently, 70 percent goes to demand and 30 percent to supply reduction.

A 2010 penal code reform that stiffened sentences for drug offenses linked to organized crime and reduced sentences for lesser drug crimes has not been in effect long enough to demonstrate any statistically significant affect.

Spain is a UNODC Major Donor and a member of the Dublin Group, a group of countries that coordinates the provision of counternarcotics assistance. Spain is listed as a nontraditional country authorized to export licit narcotic raw materials (NRM) for medicinal use to the United States.

In April 2011, a new Civil Guard maritime unit called the Strait Maritime Group (Grupo Maritima del Estrecho) was inaugurated in southern Spain. Based in Cadiz, the group carries out rescue operations and missions to fight drug trafficking and organized human smuggling.

As a result of budget cuts, central government allocations for demand reduction programs declined by $4.6 million in 2011 to $33 million. In turn, PNsD subsidies to NGOs decreased from $2.5 million in 2010 to $1.7 million. However, CICO reported that funding for police and supply-reduction operations was not affected. Combined with monies from seized assets, there was a small increase in police funding in 2011, CICO reported.

In 2011 the GOS passed two new drug regulations. In June, the government ratified a royal decree modifying the definition and generally increasing penalties for transport or possession of contraband materials, including drugs and firearms. The modification also redefines certain terms including “drug precursors” broadening enforcement options.

The Ministry of Health acts in an appropriate time and manner to regulate new substances. In 2011 the Ministry added two substances to its controlled substances list: Mephedrone (4-Methylmethcathinone) and Tapentadol.

Spain’s degree of cooperation in both bilateral and regional antidrug agreements and policies continues to be very high. In addition to creating the Strait Maritime Group, Spain signed bilateral agreements with Cameroon and Serbia in January 2011 and with Croatia in October 2011. These agreements cover collaboration and sharing of materials and information on the trafficking of drugs and their precursor chemicals, piracy, terrorism and border control. Operationally, Spain cooperated closely on a number of cases. For example, in January the Civil Guard and Peruvian police arrested 25 members of a cocaine trafficking ring, seized 25 kilograms of cocaine and dismantled a cutting laboratory in Barcelona. In fall 2010 Spain was elected to chair the Cooperation Program between the European Union and Latin America on Anti-Drugs Policies (COPOLAD), and in February 2011 the group held its first working meeting.

Spain’s Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) operates very closely with the EU’s FRONTEX law enforcement organization, both in the Strait of Gibraltar and between the Canary Islands (which belong to Spain) and Senegal and Mauritania in West Africa. They are also a member of the Maritime Analysis and Operation Centre-Narcotics (MAOC-N), which is an intelligence exchange and coordination platform for maritime operations among European countries. Spain is also one of 18 members of the North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum, and it shares antidrug best-practices with subject matter experts from those member nations. The U.S., through the USCG, is a member of this organization.

Spain maintains a coastal radar monitoring array known by the Spanish acronym SIVE. The system covers a large portion of Spain’s Mediterranean and Cantabrian coasts. According to CICO, the SIVE’s fixed and mobile systems, combined with coastal patrols, are proving an effective deterrent against larger smuggling organizations.

2. Supply Reduction

In 2011, the number of seizures rose slightly although quantities of drugs seized continued to fall, reflecting a further change in both the tactics and composition of trafficking operations. Law enforcement agencies emphasized “smarter” targeting aimed at cartels and major arrests. On January 18, Spanish Police dismantled the largest cocaine laboratory found thus far in Europe, arresting 25 and seizing 300 kilograms of cocaine. On March 9, the Civil Guard reported the seizure of more than 5 tons of Moroccan hashish, breaking up an organization with links to Italy and Central Europe, and on March 11 seized 1,152 kilograms of cocaine from two shipping containers in the Port of Tarragona, arresting nine people.

In April, Barcelona police closed a designer drug network with strong international links (including to the US), arresting five Lithuanian citizens and seizing more than 10,000 pills. In May, Spanish Police dismantled one of the world’s largest medicine trafficking networks, arresting 27 and seizing over 700,000 doses of medicines including hormones and steroids. On September 30, Spanish Police busted another ring for online hormone and medicine trafficking, allegedly the largest such organization to be dismantled in the world to date. On the same date Spanish Police, working in concert with the Civil Guard and the Customs Service, took down a marijuana cartel and seized 2500 kilograms of hashish. During the week of October 24th, Madrid police raided three factories – two for processing cocaine and one for manufacturing synthetic drugs – and arrested ten individuals.

Spain remains only a minor producer of drugs, however, there was a large increase in domestic marijuana production in 2011. Authorities seized 17 metric tons of marijuana plants compared with only 2.5 tons in 2010. The majority of drug laboratory activity in Spain involves cutting, mixing, and reconstituting cocaine products. A small amount of poppy is grown for licit, medical opium production, but in negligible quantities and in strictly controlled conditions.

There were several shifts in ship-borne movements of drugs in 2011; the quantity of containerized shipments increased, but per-shipment volumes of cocaine declined significantly. Authorities stated that it is more difficult to find smaller drug quantities hidden in larger volumes of legitimate merchandise. The role of Dominicans, Brazilians and Bolivians involved in this lower-volume trade increased. Perhaps also a result of this shift (smaller less professional traffickers moving in to fill the vacuum created by the shift of larger cartels away from Spain), police at the Madrid-Barajas Airport arrested over 380 people for drug trafficking, seizing more than a ton of cocaine, 6.5 kilograms of hashish and 10 kilos of heroin.

Tables

Source: CICO

Numbers of Seizures

 

National Police

Civil Guard

Customs

Total
2011

% of total
2011

% diff 2010-2011

 

2010

2011

2010

2011

2010

2011

Seizure for criminal act

6094

5762

7245

7377

64

64

13203

3.24

-1.49

Seizures (complaints or possession)

185512

239941

150678

150779

   

390720

95.98

16.22

Seizures w/o Charges

111

104

2344

2888

93

159

3151

0.77

23.67

Total

191717

245807

160267

161044

157

223

407074

100.00

15.06

 

Seizure Quantities by Type of Narcotics

Seizures:

2001

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

2009

2010

2011

Heroin (kg)

631

275

242

271

174

454

227

548

300

233

413

Cocaine (MT)

34

18

49

33

48

47

38

28

25.3

25.2

16,608

Hashish (MT)

514

564

727

794

670

451

653

682

444.5

384

355

Ecstasy
(pills x 1000)

860

1,400

772

797

573

408

491

535

404

635

182

LSD (units)

               

9,062

6867

4923

Speed (kg)

               

148

282

278

CICO statistics indicate that, with the exception of heroin, the broad downward trend in the volume of drugs seized continued in 2011. The volume of cocaine seized fell 26%, hashish fell by 7% and the number of ecstasy pills seized fell an incredible 71%. Authorities reported that the spike in heroin seizures was due to a single large seizure of more than 200kg. This appears to confirm that large-scale traffickers are looking for alternative points of entry into Europe.

CICO stated that no new synthetic drugs appeared in 2011; however, PNsD identified with concern the emergence of “legal high” substances in the youth population, noting that Spanish usage rates were commensurate with other EU states.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Spain’s NDS identifies prevention as its principal priority. It is in the middle of implementing a four-year (2009-2012) Action Plan on Drugs through the PNsD, which closely coordinates its demand-reduction programs with Spain’s regional governments. In 2011, PNsD put on 14 seminars and talks and sponsored several others, many of them aimed at understanding the development and psychology of drug addiction in youth. Within the EU, its Strengthening Families Program has been heralded as a model for reducing predictors for subsequent drug abuse. The PNsD specifically concerns itself with the connection between underage alcohol abuse and first-time drug use. PNsD also works through a network of civil society organizations and NGOs, in 2011 directing $1.7 million into the prevention and rehabilitation programs of 44 private groups.

The Official Bulletin of the General Courts of Spain, issued May 31, called for more integration of addiction treatment under the administration of the Ministry of Health and highlighted a previous royal decree which listed “addiction” as a disease and public health issue.

In 2010 use of cannabis and cocaine among Spanish citizens had declined modestly (although they remain amongst the highest in Europe, especially among the 15-34 age group) and PNsD officials estimated that rates remained unchanged or declined slightly in 2011. During 2011, between 150,000 and 200,000 people sought treatment for drug addiction through Spain’s network of treatment and rehabilitation centers. There are approximately 2,700 methadone dispensaries, 500 walk-in clinics, 130 community therapy centers, and 50 faith-affiliated treatment units. In addition, Spain has over 50 detoxification wards and the communities of Cataluña y Andalucía have trial clinics for Diacetylmorphine, a heroin substitute. Spain has also invested significant resources in “risk reduction” programs, including social service emergency centers, “safe houses,” and pharmacies that provide needle exchange and other services.

While adult treatment programs are mixed (men and women), the government provides separate facilities for youth and “dual diagnosis” patients suffering from both a drug addiction and mental illness.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, Spain neither encourages nor facilitates illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Only two notable cases of drug-related corruption came to light in 2011: a police officer working in the port of Valencia was convicted in October for collaborating in the January 2011 smuggling of 6500 kilograms of marijuana into the country. On October 19 another Civil Guard officer was arrested for providing counter-surveillance support to cocaine smugglers, also in Valencia. There is no evidence or suspicion that large-scale government or institutional corruption occurs in Spain, be it at the national, community, or municipal level; with only minor and isolated examples to the contrary, both government and police officials make bona fide and effective efforts against drug trafficking in all its forms.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

In 2011, Spanish collaboration with U.S. agencies was very good. The DEA Madrid Country Office continued to work very closely with the Spanish National Police and the Guardia Civil, collaborating on 16 cases that resulted in the seizure of approximately 2,000 kilograms of cocaine, 22 kilograms of heroin, and approximately 1.6 million Euros. In October 2011, Spanish National Police provided DEA Madrid with information regarding a heroin shipment from Pakistan, enabling host country counterparts to seize over 100 kilograms of heroin. All of these investigations required additional collaboration with third country law enforcement.

D. Conclusion

Owing to its effective police action and improving coastal monitoring system, Spain made progress in reducing the volume of drugs transiting the country in 2011, but transit remains a problem as traffickers search for other modalities. Spain’s treatment programs are widely regarded as effective models for curbing drug abuse and coordination between CICO and PNsD, is excellent. However, both supply and demand figures indicate significant ongoing transit and abuse of drugs and it remains to be seen how counterdrug efforts may be affected by government spending cuts in the face of continued economic challenges. Bilateral cooperation with the U.S. is strong and wide-ranging. Spain maintains drug liaison officers in source countries and at U.S. Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka plays only a minor role in the international narcotics traffic as a transshipment route for heroin transiting from India and Pakistan. Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) officials work to raise awareness of and vigilance against drugs and illicit drug smuggling. The lead agency for counternarcotics efforts is the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB). The GSL does not, as a matter of policy, encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of any controlled substances or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

Sri Lanka is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. There is a bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and Sri Lanka, but no bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty.

The primary drugs available and abused in Sri Lanka are Southwest Asian (SWA) and Indian produced ‘brown sugar’ heroin, and cannabis in the form of marijuana and hashish. Brown sugar heroin is widely available throughout the country, particularly in the capital Colombo. The GSL considers heroin a growing threat and remains committed to targeting drug traffickers. The majority of locally consumed heroin originates from India. The remaining percentage is either produced in Pakistan/Afghanistan or of unknown origin.

Maritime drug smuggling from India is the greatest threat to Sri Lanka. According to police officials, drugs are transported across the Palk Strait from India and then overland to the south. Police officials report that the Bandaranaike International Airport is the second major entry point for drugs. According to the PNB, Pakistani drug couriers have changed their patterns of travel to avoid detection because direct flights from Pakistan are screened more thoroughly than other flights. Many Pakistani couriers are traveling to Dubai then onward to Sri Lanka in an attempt to avoid detection.

Cannabis is cultivated locally, primarily in smaller operations in the former conflict areas of the North and East. All indications are that locally grown cannabis is strictly for domestic consumption and there are no indications that it is being exported. The police regularly work to locate and eradicate cannabis crops. Police note that the “party drugs” found in Colombo social venues are believed to be imported from Thailand.

Efforts began in late 2010 to increase the size, reach and responsibility of the PNB as well as to foster better cooperation between the PNB and other GSL institutions including the Customs Service, the Department of Excise and the Navy. From January to October 2011, the GSL made 11,787 arrests for using, dealing or trafficking heroin, 7 for Hashish, 4 for Cocaine and 22,691 for Cannabis. Though arrests increased from last year, seizures of heroin decreased significantly. This drop has been attributed by senior officials within the PNB to better cooperation and information sharing between the agencies involved in the counter-narcotics effort thus reducing trafficking. The GSL seized 23kg of heroin (down from 137 kg in 2010), 18 kg of hashish (down from 23kg), 10 kg of cocaine and 50,000 kg of cannabis (up from 20,270 kg) thus far in 2011. The cocaine seizure was the single largest seizure of cocaine in Sri Lanka’s history.

The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) runs a total of 5 treatment and rehabilitation centers island wide capable of treating approximately 1000 patients a year. The most recently opened center, inaugurated on October 3, 2011 is the only one in the country specifically for women. Women comprise just 1 percent of heroin addicts.

The GSL welcomes U.S.-sponsored training for criminal investigative techniques and management practices. Sri Lanka also works with regional and international partners on narcotics issues, particularly the Colombo Plan, a regional organization with special expertise in drug prevention and treatment. The SAARC-the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Drug Offense Monitoring Desk (SDOMD), located within the PNB, serves as a clearing house for SAARC countries to input, share, and review regional narcotics statistics. GSL officials maintain steady contact with counterparts in India and Pakistan, origin countries for the majority of drugs in Sri Lanka.

The U.S. government will continue to aid the Sri Lankan police in its transition to community-focused policing techniques. The U.S. government provided no narcotics specific training to Sri Lanka in 2011. The U.S. also expects to continue its support of regional and country-specific training programs, particularly through the Colombo Plan. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration attaché based in New Delhi visits Colombo regularly and has plans to provide the PNB and other agencies with training opportunities in 2012.

Suriname

A. Introduction

Suriname is a transit zone for South American cocaine en route to Europe, Africa and, to a lesser extent, the United States. Suriname’s sparsely populated coastal region and isolated jungle interior, together with weak border controls and infrastructure, make narcotics detection and interdiction efforts difficult. Traffickers are able to move drug shipments into and through Suriname by land, water and air with little resistance. There is little evidence of drug production in Suriname. Limited quantities of cannabis are grown for personal use, and there is evidence of cocaine consumption among some sectors of the population.

Suriname is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but its lack of chemical precursor controls keeps it from full conformity with the Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

As a matter of policy, the Government of Suriname is committed to combating illegal narcotics trafficking, and there has been no observed reduction in this commitment during 2011. The Government of Suriname’s practical ability to identify, apprehend, and prosecute narcotics traffickers, however, remains inhibited by a lack of resources, inadequate legislation, drug-related corruption, and bureaucratic hurdles.

Under the coordination of the Office of the President, the National Anti-Drug Council (NAR) and the Ministries of Health, Justice/Police, and Education formulated the draft National Drug Master Plan for 2011-2015. The Plan, which addresses both supply and demand reduction, was submitted to Parliament for approval in October.

Legislation on terrorist financing, which is required for Suriname to join the Egmont Group (an informal group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) designed to facilitate international cooperation) was approved by the National Assembly in June.

Suriname is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Suriname is also a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and has, accordingly, passed legislation that conforms to a majority of the Convention’s articles but has not passed legislation complying with precursor chemical control provisions. Suriname is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling. It is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and Migrant Smuggling and the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

Since 1976, the Government of Suriname has been sharing narcotics information with The Netherlands pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement. In 1999, the United States and Suriname completed a comprehensive bilateral maritime counternarcotics enforcement agreement which remains in force. Extraditions between the United States and Suriname are conducted under the Convention between the United States and The Netherlands for the extradition of criminals, but current law in Suriname prohibits the extradition of its nationals and this is upheld in practice. Suriname has also signed bilateral agreements to combat drug trafficking with neighboring countries Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia.

2. Supply Reduction

In 2011, the Government of Suriname seized 415 kilograms of cocaine, 349 kilograms of cannabis, and 5 grams of hashish. Nationalities arrested in Suriname in 2011 for drug-related offenses included Surinamese, Dutch, Brazilians, Colombians, Venezuelans, Guyanese, and Nigerians. The Government of Suriname has yet to initiate a formal investigation into any of the cocaine seizures from 2010 found in containerized cargo originating from Suriname.

The Government of Suriname is working on legislation to control precursor chemicals but currently has no tracking system to monitor them and therefore is unable to detect the diversion of precursor chemicals for drug production. The government focuses significant narcotics interdiction resources on Suriname’s western border with Guyana, a key route for cocaine trafficking by land and water.

A new narco-brigade operations team is responsible for interdiction efforts at Suriname’s international airport, Johan Adolf Pengel International (JAP). Known as the Combating International Drug Trafficking team, it is comprised of approximately 32 national police members (more widely known as KPS members for “Korps Politie Suriname” in Dutch) and focuses almost exclusively on searching passengers and cargo on flights bound for The Netherlands, where the majority of narcotics are trafficked from Suriname. The team utilizes urine test kits at the airport to identify suspected drug mules, and “sniffer dogs” for additional narcotics detection. Drug mules who evade detection in Suriname may be arrested upon arrival in Amsterdam, where inspection of all bags and passengers from Suriname is routine.

Although the majority of narcotics trafficking by air occurs via Netherlands-bound flights, in 2011 drugs were also intercepted on flights from Suriname to Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. The use of foodstuffs to move narcotics out of Suriname continued in 2011. As of October, the Government of Suriname Customs Service had seized 250 packages containing cocaine.

The bulk of the cocaine movement out of Suriname to Europe and Africa is via container cargo. Smaller fishing vessels also carry drugs out to sea and transfer them to large freight vessels in international waters. In March and August 2011, Jamaica seized 112 and 65 kilograms of cocaine respectively from the ship “Vega Azurit,” which is suspected to have been shipped from Suriname to Jamaica.

Drug trafficking organizations based in Guyana are beginning to use Suriname as a major distribution hub. The cocaine is smuggled into Guyana and then transported to Suriname for safekeeping and distribution.

The Government of Suriname is working to establish a Coast Guard and at this time has limited maritime capability to interdict drug traffickers at sea. It does not operate a maritime radar system to track movements at sea.

There is local cultivation of cannabis in Suriname but little data exists on the amount under cultivation. There was one seizure in November 2011 of 18 kg of cannabis, however there is no additional evidence that Suriname exports cannabis in significant quantities.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

During the year, the NAR continued efforts to raise drug awareness, creating self-help groups and partnering with local stakeholders on youth and community outreach initiatives. There is one government detoxification center which is free. Other treatment centers are run by non-governmental organizations.

4. Corruption

During 2011, the Government of Suriname publicly maintained its commitment to combat narcotics trafficking and took measures to apprehend and prosecute government officials for drug-related corruption. Corruption, however, remained pervasive throughout all levels of government. As a matter of policy, the government does not encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution, nor is it involved in laundering the proceeds of the sale of illicit drugs, but there is evidence of drug-related corruption among government officials.

Two high-level officials within the Suriname government have previous convictions for drug trafficking: President Desire Bouterse and Member of Parliament Ronnie Brunswijk have both been convicted in absentia in The Netherlands. France also has an outstanding arrest warrant for Brunswijk on similar charges. Neither has served the sentence associated with the conviction, as Suriname does not extradite its citizens.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The United States provides training and material support to several elements of the KPS. DEA has provided technical assistance to the KPS in narcotics, money laundering and investigations. A DoD Tactical Analysis Team (TAT) has been operational in Suriname since November 2008, providing additional technical support. In 2011, bilateral operational effectiveness was hampered by government reorganization efforts within the law enforcement structures and unfilled vacancies within law enforcement. In 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted three resident courses in law enforcement, professional development and port security to Government of Suriname maritime forces. The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a security partnership between the USG and other nations of the Caribbean, will increase citizen safety throughout the Caribbean. The CBSI policy objectives are to substantially reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety and citizen security, and promote social justice.

D. Conclusion

The United States encourages the Government of Suriname to continue its efforts to pursue major narcotics traffickers, to dismantle their organizations, and to build and strengthen its regional and international cooperation. The Government of Suriname should continue to strengthen its focus on port security, specifically seaports, which are seen as the primary conduits for large shipments of narcotics exiting Suriname. A concerted effort by the Government of Suriname to increase the number of police and military boats and to create an operational Coast Guard, capable of patrolling the border rivers and coastal areas would also enhance counternarcotics efforts. Similarly, the USG encourages the Government of Suriname to continue capacity-building efforts for its counternarcotics-focused units as well as to monitor and protect its porous borders and interior with a radar detection system and adequate air support. To enhance its interdiction capabilities at the principal airport and border crossings, the Government of Suriname should invest in an automated exit and entry system to identify and record people traveling to and from Suriname.

Taiwan

A. Introduction

Taiwan is not a major transit/transshipment point for illegal drugs destined for the United States or other countries; however, illegal drugs continue to transit Taiwan. Taiwan's proximity to China, long coastline, large container port in Kaohsiung, and significant fishing fleet are important facilitating factors in Taiwan's use as a transit/transshipment point for illegal drugs destined for international markets.

Taiwan plays an important role in international drug trafficking activities. Ethnic Chinese trafficking organizations with connections throughout Southeast Asia meet in Taiwan to discuss, plan, and organize drug shipments. Taiwanese drug traffickers operate throughout Southeast Asia and continue to establish sophisticated drug trafficking operations throughout the world. Taiwanese traffickers and chemists are linked to clandestine laboratory operations in South Africa, methamphetamine manufacturing operations in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, ketamine smuggling between China and Taiwan, and significant cocaine seizures in Hong Kong and Nigeria.

Taiwan's law enforcement authorities continue to strengthen anti-illicit drug efforts. Airport interdiction has been improved; coast guard and customs inspections/interdictions are more thorough; physical and electronic surveillance, financial investigations, and other investigative methods more effective. Taiwan's law enforcement agencies also committed resources to investigating long-haul smuggling operations carried out by Taiwan-flagged fishing vessels.

Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations or party to the 1988 UN Convention; however, Taiwan authorities pass legislation consistent with the objectives of the Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) continues to lead Taiwan's counternarcotics effort with respect to manpower, budgetary, and legislative responsibilities. Anti-narcotics is one of MOJ's top four policy priorities. The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB), National Police Agency's Criminal Investigations Bureau (CIB) and Aviation Police, Customs, and Coast Guard contribute to counternarcotics efforts and cooperate on joint investigations, openly sharing information with DEA and other Asia Pacific law enforcement counterparts.

In June, MOJ enacted an assets forfeiture law targeting drug crimes. MOJ continues to convene meetings of experts to discuss upgrading ketamine from a Schedule III to Schedule II drug. So far, this effort has been unsuccessful for several reasons, including fear that reclassification of ketamine as a Schedule II drug, which carries mandatory sentencing, would result in a surge in the prison population. An additional eight precursor chemicals were added to the control list in July 2011.

A Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement (MLAA) exists between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) and is the primary basis for law enforcement cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan.

2. Supply Reduction

Taiwan law enforcement agencies work together and with Hong Kong-based U.S. law enforcement agencies to combat the importation of illicit drugs into Taiwan. Taiwan routinely shares intelligence with regional counterparts, including China, the primary source of drugs smuggled into Taiwan.

Statistics for the first eight months of the year indicate a significant decrease in seizures in all classes of drugs except MDMA. Taiwan seized 1721.8 kg of drugs, a decrease of 42.3% from the same period the previous year (January to August). Authorities seized 10.7 kg of heroin (-84.4%), 114.7 kg of amphetamine (-41.1%), 1.1 kg of marijuana (-94.8%), 23.6 kg of MDMA (+1851%), 1183.3 kg of ketamine (-47.1%), 3.6 kg of methyl-ephedrine (+606.3%), 87 kg of ephedrine (-6%), and 243 kg of pseudoephedrine (+12.7%). Authorities also seized 66 drug manufacturing plants.

The decline in seizures is attributed to an increase of smaller scale methamphetamine kitchen labs; a switch to the more efficient "one pot" amphetamine manufacturing technique; and a 2009 legal amendment that makes possession of over 20 grams of certain drugs, including ketamine, illegal.

From January to September, 27,539 people were convicted of drug-related crimes, an increase of 3.8% compared to the same period last year. 80% were convicted of using drugs (+1.1%) and 13% were convicted of manufacturing, selling, or transporting drugs (+31.2%). Ketamine use continues to increase, particularly among young adults who consider ketamine a party drug with low potential for addiction. Anecdotal information indicates that abuse of FM-2, a prescription sleep medication, may be increasing, primarily as a date rape drug.

The primary means of smuggling drugs into Taiwan are shipping containers, fishing vessels, air shipments, and human couriers. 90% of all ketamine in Taiwan originates from China's Guangdong Province and is moved to Taiwan by fishing boats and shipping containers utilizing traditional cigarette smuggling routes and methodologies. The majority of drugs smuggled into Taiwan are for local consumption and the remainder is intended for international distribution. In January 2011, law enforcement authorities in Hong Kong seized 290 kilograms of cocaine which had transited Taiwan.

Other significant law enforcement actions included the seizure by MJIB of 500 kg of ketamine powder imported from China, the largest seizure in Taiwan history. CIB arrested three suspects and seized two million tablets of Nimetazepam in New Taipei City. CIB also arrested nine suspects in a massive seven-country transnational ring smuggling marijuana, amphetamine, and ecstasy disguised as food products. Following an investigation into a significant ketamine trafficking ring, the Taiwan Coast Guard seized 54 kg of ketamine smuggled aboard a fishing vessel. The fishing vessel had obtained the drug from an unidentified source off the Thai coast..

While Taiwan is extremely vigilant in preventing the export of large quantities of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine to countries with importation bans, chemical companies routinely provide false documentation in an effort to evade law enforcement. Taiwan chemists are a valuable commodity around the world for supervising illicit synthetic drug manufacture. Taiwan chemists travel to Southeast Asian countries and China to oversee production. In September, two amphetamine labs were seized and several Taiwan citizens were arrested in Indonesia. The laboratory equipment and precursor chemicals were from China, but the lab and methamphetamine production was supervised by Taiwanese chemists.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Opiate addiction is viewed as a health, rather than legal issue. Under the law, most first-time offenders are sentenced to a treatment facility rather than to prison. Numerous methadone maintenance treatment programs have been established in an effort to reduce the number of heroin addicts. This year, Taiwan reached full compliance with a 2010 law requiring all counties to establish drug centers. Drug centers provide education, health, and employment assistance, as well as counseling and support to individuals and to rehabilitated drug abusers.

Taiwan also utilizes long-term rehabilitative centers in hospitals and prisons to treat drug addiction. Private religious and civic groups maintain various rehabilitative programs, including residential, counseling, and job placement assistance. Some psychiatric counseling is available in prisons, but many prison facilities lack the infrastructure and resources to treat drug addicts, and the recidivism rate is high.

Taiwan's Ministry of Education and the Taiwan National Health Administration continue to forge partnerships with civic and religious groups to raise awareness about the dangers of drug use and educate the public about the availability of treatment programs. Public schools provide anti-drug education, including random urine testing of students in junior high school, high school, and college. Radio, television, and film play a supportive role in drug abuse education, and the internet is also used to raise awareness. Numerous hotlines exist to report drug abuse or obtain assistance, and school teachers receive some training on how to identify potential student drug abusers.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, Taiwan does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking, including the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No cases of official involvement were reported in 2011.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The U.S. works closely with Taiwan authorities to prevent Taiwan from reverting to its earlier status as a major transit/transshipment point for U.S.-bound narcotics. Counternarcotics training and institution-building remain a cornerstone for this policy. Taiwan law enforcement and customs enjoys a close relationship with U.S. law enforcement organizations. MJIB, CIB, and the Coast Guard participate in joint investigations and share intelligence with their U.S. law enforcement counterparts, resulting in several drug seizures and arrests in Taiwan each year.

D. Conclusion

Taiwan law enforcement continues to vigorously enforce drug trafficking laws. Additionally, Taiwan law enforcement agencies are active partners with U.S. counterparts, particularly DEA. Taiwan law enforcement personnel are committed to developing new investigative techniques to improve and advance counter-narcotic operations. This year's enforcement activities yielded several significant seizures, not all of which were in Taiwan, but were a direct result of Taiwan's willingness to share information. Such cooperation enhances Taiwan's investigative abilities and U.S. knowledge of Taiwan-based drug trafficking trends.

The Legislative Yuan took no action on new counternarcotics legislation. Legislation to permit the use of confidential sources to enable undercover operations was not enacted in 2010. A change in electronic surveillance laws two years ago that transferred the approving authority for such operations from the Prosecutors Office to the Judiciary, thereby increasing the difficulty of obtaining electronic surveillance warrants, remains a continuing source of frustration for law enforcement.

In 2012, as in previous years, DEA will continue to urge Taiwan to provide Drug Signature program samples of drugs seized in Taiwan.

Tajikistan

A. Introduction

Tajikistan shares a long border with Afghanistan, where almost 90 percent of the world’s opium and heroin originates. As such, it is on the front lines of the fight to stop the trafficking of opiates from Afghanistan to Europe and beyond. Tajikistan is not a major narcotics producer, but it is a favorite transit route for drug traffickers due to its location between Afghanistan and Russia. The drug trade is a serious threat to stability and good governance in Tajikistan, and a terrorist financing concern. Drug trafficking has reinforced serious corruption throughout all levels of the Tajik government.

Tajikistan’s 1,344 kilometer border with Afghanistan is mostly demarcated by the Panj River, which can be easily crossed on foot in some areas. Russian border guards helped secure Tajikistan’s southern border until 2005, when Tajik authorities assumed control. Since then, the number of border guards stationed on the border has fallen, as have drug seizures.

UNODC estimates that about 15 percent of the opium and 20 percent of the heroin produced in Afghanistan are smuggled through Central Asia en route to consumers in Russia, Europe, and China. The majority of these drugs pass through Tajikistan. Up to 100 tons of Afghan heroin are smuggled through Tajikistan every year. Based on this figure, Tajik law enforcement annually seizes about 2 percent of heroin transiting Tajikistan.

Domestic consumption of drugs in Tajikistan is relatively low, with most transited narcotics consumed in Russia and Eastern Europe. While there are only about 8,000 registered addicts in Tajikistan, the UNODC and the International Red Cross Society estimate that about 70,000 persons regularly use opiates in the country. These estimates suggest that about 1 percent of the population is addicted to opium or heroin. Tajikistan is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and major multilateral conventions for legal assistance and law enforcement cooperation. The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Tajikistan.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In April 2010, the Government of Tajikistan adopted a National Border Management Strategy (NBMS), drafted with help from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The strategy outlines comprehensive border management reform plans through 2025. The first step of implementing the NBMS was taken in August 2011, when the Government of Tajikistan (GOTI) established an Inter-Agency Coordination Committee, and a Secretariat Under it charged with developing and coordinating specific action plans under the strategy. The USG has strongly urged the GOTI to fully support the Secretariat and use the framework of the strategy to make serious institutional reforms that will lead to improved border security.

In September, Tajikistan and Russia signed a new cooperation agreement on control of the Tajik-Afghan border. Under the agreement, Russian border troops will continue to support Tajik border guards by providing officer training, air transportation, and equipment. Tajikistan, however, had made it clear that Russian border guards would not be invited to return and co-locate on the border as had been the situation prior to 2005.

The GOTI has self-funded the construction of at least two new border outposts in the past year and plans to construct two more in the remote and mountainous Gorno-Badakhshon Autonomous Oblast (GBAO). However reports indicate that a few Tajik border posts in GBAO have been abandoned recently due to the logistical difficulties of staffing and supplying them. On balance, even with some new border installations, a large section of the far eastern Tajik-Afghan border is now effectively unguarded, and likely to remain so sometime into the future.

Tajikistan is a party to the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). In 2006, the GOTI became a member of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center (CARICC), which facilitates the investigation of cross-border crime in Central Asia.

2. Supply Reduction

According to Tajikistan’s Drug Control Agency (DCA) statistics, in the first nine months of 2011, law enforcement agencies seized 3,529 kg of narcotics, of which 437 kg were heroin, 251 kg opium, and 2,841 kg cannabis. During the same period of 2010, law enforcement agencies seized a total of 2,652 kg of narcotics, nominally a 33 percent increase in drug seizures over the past year. However, heroin seizures declined by 32 percent and opium seizures by 58 percent. The decline in opiate seizures was offset by a 103 percent increase in cannabis seizures. During the first nine months of 2011, cannabis accounted for 80 percent of total seizures.

The Customs Service experienced a 39 percent reduction in drug seizures over the past year, down from an already low total of 63 kg in the first nine months of 2010.

In 2011, Customs officials prevented two attempts to smuggle a total of 12 tons of sulfuric acid into Tajikistan. Sulfuric acid is a precursor chemical used in the illicit manufacture of narcotics, and the amount seized would have been enough to manufacture almost 7 tons of narcotics.

Drug traffickers employ the full range of smuggling techniques when transporting narcotics through Tajikistan. Transport by rail is a favored method, as existing trade agreements allow sealed cargo containers to pass uninspected from Tajikistan to Russia. Some smugglers use body concealment to transport drugs out of Tajikistan by air. When smuggling drugs from Afghanistan to Tajikistan the traffickers must pass the Panj River. Smugglers often cross the river on rafts made of truck tires or simply walk across in areas where the water level is low.

Once drugs enter Tajikistan there are three primary onward routes: north through Khujand and Uzbekistan, east to Osh and Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and west from Dushanbe through Uzbekistan. Creative concealment methods have included hiding drugs in fruits, nuts, candies, coat linings, buttons, shoes, concrete shipments, and hollowed parts of crates. The sheer volume of drugs passing through Tajikistan suggests that traffickers are using official crossing points such as the USG funded Nizhny-Panj bridge to move bulk shipments.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Tajikistan’s Ministry of Health funds five drug rehabilitation centers throughout the country, with 295 beds and 52 doctors. Over 80 percent of the 8,000 registered drug addicts in the country are addicted to heroin. Women make up less than 5 percent of registered drug users. Over 55% of Tajik citizens infected with HIV are intravenous drug users. USAID sponsors a "Dialogue on HIV and TB Project" which provides technical assistance, training, and direct outreach services to treatment centers and drug users in order to increase access to quality HIV prevention and TB treatment services among drug users and other vulnerable groups.

In October, State INL kicked off a comprehensive "Drug Demand Reduction Program" which uses a community based approach to educate youth about the dangers of drugs and provide them with healthy alternatives to drug use. The program covers all four regions of Tajikistan, and will incorporate sports, music, art, theater, and dance to spread an anti-drug message.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, the GOT 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. However, many Tajiks believe that significant amounts of narcotics are trafficked through Tajikistan with the support of a few corrupt government officials.

Many government workers supplement their income by charging for services that are meant to be free, or by demanding money to overlook real or supposed violations of law. Buying government positions in order to gain access to bribes is also believed to be a common practice. In the past year, several government officials, police officers, university teachers, and border guards were arrested for accepting bribes. In April, the chief of the Anti-Corruption Agency rated the Ministry of Interior as the most corrupt among power-wielding government agencies. But many in Tajikistan accuse the Anti-Corruption Agency itself of corruption. Corruption is observed daily on the streets of Tajikistan as traffic police openly extract bribes from law abiding motorists.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

State INL provides financial support to Tajikistan’s Drug Control Agency, and has paid for the construction of district offices in Murghob and Ishkoshim.

State INL has supported the Border Guards Service (BGS) through reconstruction of the Shurobod border guard detachment facility and the Yakhchi Pun border outpost located in the Shurobod district, which has become a popular crossing point for drug smugglers. INL has also constructed border crossing point facilities on the Chinese and Kyrgyz border at Kulma and Kizil-Art.

INL has continued to fund joint training of Tajik and Afghan border guards who serve at official border crossing points between the two countries.

INL, DEA, and the DCA continue to provide financial and operational support to a Drug Liaison Office (DLO) in Taloqan, Afghanistan. Officers stationed there work with local Afghan officials to detect and prevent drug smuggling from Afghanistan to Tajikistan.

D. Conclusion

While the overall increase in drug seizures this year is a sign of wanting to show progress, the drop in heroin and opium seizures suggests that state security agencies and departments are still reluctant or unable to arrest and prosecute high level drug smugglers-there is just too much drug flow through Tajikistan for any other view. The GOTI has shown a willingness to combat militants and extremists crossing into Tajikistan. INL plans to use this shared goal to engender more robust cooperation on border security and counternarcotics.

In addition to on-going U.S.-Tajik bilateral cooperation, enhanced cooperation between the Government of Tajikistan and other regional governments to combat transnational narcotics related crime is necessary.

Tanzania

Tanzania is primarily a transit country for narcotics, although there is also some local consumption of heroin and domestic production of marijuana. Tanzania borders eight countries to the north, west, and south, and its eastern border is comprised of a 1,424-kilometer coastline. Due to porous borders, Tanzanian authorities have historically struggled to combat the movement of narcotics into and out of the country. Police forces believe that the largest bulk shipments of narcotics enter the country through unofficial seaports in areas such as Dar es Salaam's Kinondoni District and the Tanga Region to the north. Large shipments of heroin originating from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, come ashore in these areas. Tanzanian "drug mules" bring smaller amounts of cocaine from Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, which enter Tanzania through commercial airports. The country serves as a link between drug markets in Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and, to some extent, the United States. Growth in drug addiction and the tourism sector have boosted domestic demand for narcotics.

Tanzania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Tanzania is also a party to the UN Convention against Corruption, and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. The 1931 U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty is applicable to Tanzania. Tanzania has ratified the EAC Protocol on combating drugs in the region.

Despite efforts dating to 2009, the Tanzanian Parliament has not yet voted on a national drug control policy, though police representatives are hopeful they will do so soon. President Jakaya Kikwete has expressed interest in strengthening drug controls and creating an entire government body tasked solely with combating the drug trade. Problems in the judicial system, including inadequate sentencing and relatively-modest bail amounts contribute to the narcotics problem. Magistrates often choose to fine narcotics offenders rather than sentence them to prison, despite the legal requirement that both a fine and a prison sentence are mandatory in such cases. Conviction rates are therefore very high, as many defendants see an advantage in pleading guilty and simply paying the fine. In some cases, the court system has released more serious offenders on bail of TZS 10 million ($5,900). This, too, is against the law, and is a paltry amount for many in the drug trade. Some offenders released on bail return to the drug trade and become fugitives failing to appear for trial.

The Drug Control Commission (DCC), the Tanzanian Intelligence and Security Service (TISS), the Tanzanian Police and its Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) continue to pool a portion of their resources to combat drug trafficking through the anti-narcotics task force. Task force representatives highlight cooperation and information sharing as major successes for the year.

As a result of such cooperation, law enforcement officials in the ANU have made a significant number of high-profile arrests. In June, ANU apprehended alleged Kenyan narcotics trafficker Mama Lela, designated by the United States as a significant foreign narcotics kingpin per the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. In February, ANU seized 179 kilograms of heroin in a single raid - the largest narcotics seizure in Tanzanian history and also the largest seizure in Africa in the last 18 years. Two Pakistani nationals were arrested in connection with this seizure. Of the 55 individuals charged with serious drug offenses this year, almost one third of them are foreign nationals. As of October, ANU had seized a total of some 357 kilograms of heroin, 95 kilograms of cocaine, 62 kilograms of khat, and more than 17,000 kilograms of marijuana. Tanzanian authorities also destroyed 18 acres of marijuana farmland, but the marijuana problem remains difficult to control as most drug farmers operate in remote mountain areas in Morogoro, Arusha, Mara, Shinyanga, Tabora, Iringa, and Tanga.

Police efforts to publicize the dangers of drug abuse have led to an increase in tip-offs and anonymous leads. DCC also contributes to anti-drug education for children and rehabilitation programs for drug addicts, drawing on funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Earlier this year, DCC established a series of drug abuse treatment trainings for hospital staff as part of the Recovery-Oriented System of Care. These trainings are supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Sober House, a Zanzibar-based NGO, manages a small network of resident rehabilitation programs directed by former addicts in Zanzibar. According to Sober House staff, 10 percent of the population of Zanzibar suffers from addiction. Public access to mental healthcare remains limited - there are only six public sector psychiatrists in the country.

Due to the large amount of money in the drug trade, corruption and bribery of public officials remains part of the problem. Local NGOs and government officials report that corruption is pervasive throughout the criminal justice system: involving police officers, judges, clerks, and others. Tanzanian authorities have made significant strides this year to curb the drug trade, but corrupt police and judicial practices and loose interpretation of drug laws remain significant problems.

Thailand

A. Introduction

Thailand’s borders are vulnerable to narcotics trafficking. Thailand remains a transshipment country and a target market for drugs produced in neighboring countries. Heroin and methamphetamine move from Burma directly across Thailand’s northern border and indirectly through Laos and Cambodia for consumers in Thailand and for export. Large quantities of marijuana enter from Laos, while smaller quantities may enter from Cambodia. Marijuana smuggled into southern Thailand is frequently transshipped to Malaysia and other regional markets.

The first half of 2010 has seen continued growth in the seizure of heroin, crystal methamphetamine (“ice”), and methamphetamine tablets (“ya-ba”). Cultivation of opium and cannabis, and production of synthetic drugs remain minimal. Poppy cultivation remains well under 1000 hectares, the definition of a “major” source country. Small quantities of opium produced in Thailand are primarily intended for local consumption by hill tribe growers.

Thailand is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Responding to the widespread problem of meth abuse in Thailand, the newly elected Thai government implemented a comprehensive anti-drug campaign with vague but seemingly ambitious targets in September 2011. The new national policy aims to reduce drug-related social problems, the number of drug addicts, and recidivism, and to increase awareness of the dangers of drug use.

Thailand’s counter-drug assets are insufficient to adequately patrol the long and mostly remote land borders with Laos, Burma, and Cambodia. Thailand has recently increased efforts to coordinate with neighboring law enforcement entities. Joint Thai-Lao river patrols, using U.S. government-purchased small boats and other equipment, have improved cross-border operational communications along the Mekong River. U.S. government support has permitted joint marine police training in counter-smuggling techniques among the four neighboring countries bordering the Gulf of Thailand.

In addition to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, Thailand is party to the 1961 Single Convention, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. On March 1, 2011, Thailand ratified the UN Convention against Corruption. Thailand has signed, but not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The U.S. and Thailand have extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties in force. Thailand is among the U.S. government’s most effective and cooperative partners in Southeast Asia.

2. Supply Reduction

Drug seizures by Thai law enforcement agencies continued to increase throughout 2010 and 2011. The DEA has worked closely with Thai law enforcement on joint investigations, resulting in the successful disruption of several international drug trafficking organizations. One investigation resulted in a Thai company ceasing production and destroying all stockpiles of anabolic and other steroids and precursor chemicals, effectively taking 26 million illegal steroid tablets off the black market.

Statistical Tables:

Drug Seizures (All figures in kilograms, except meth tablets and ecstasy)

YEAR

METH

CRYSTAL

KETAMINE

HEROIN

ECSTASY

COCAINE

2009

26.9 Million

210.6

20

143

59,173

9.2

2010

51.6 Million

692.6

165.4

141.7

15,883

30.8

2011 (Aug.)

33.6 Million (reported as 3,029,011 grams at 90mg per tablet)

724.8

72.05

354.3

19,262 (reported as 4,815.5 grams at 250mg per tablet)

19.5

Although the amount of heroin seized spiked in 2011, regional opiate production and heroin trafficking have declined significantly from the quantities reported prior to 2006. This decline, however, has been offset by higher production of methamphetamine tablets and crystal methamphetamine in Burma. Burma-based drug traffickers are believed to produce hundreds of millions of methamphetamine tablets each year for regional export. A substantial portion is trafficked into Thailand, where it remains the primary drug of abuse. Small quantities of opium and methamphetamine tablets transit Thailand to international destinations including the U.S., typically via parcel post or mail. During 2010-11, Thai authorities reported an increase in seizures of pill press machines. This may indicate a possible renewal of methamphetamine tablet production in Thailand. Crystal methamphetamine, for both domestic consumption and regional export, is smuggled into Thailand primarily from Burma, but also from Iran, and various West African countries.

Thailand has a small domestic consumer market for ecstasy and cocaine, largely among affluent residents in large cities as well as tourists and expats in Thailand's resort areas. Ecstasy typically is smuggled into Thailand via commercial air carriers from Europe. While the cocaine market in Thailand is still largely controlled by West African criminal organizations moving smaller quantities, South American and Chinese trafficking groups have now become involved in the regional import of the drug in bulk quantity, typically to China, Hong Kong and Australia.

Marijuana is used widely in Thailand where it is domestically cultivated in limited quantities, with bulk imports from Laos for domestic use and regional export. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), a local drug with modest psychotropic properties, is grown locally and consumed primarily in Thailand’s southern provinces.

Seizures of ketamine within Thailand have risen in recent years, with 165 kilograms seized in 2010 and 72 kilograms seized through August of 2011. Ketamine is sold primarily within entertainment venues to affluent Thais and the expatriate community. Ketamine is primarily transported into Thailand from India. Thailand-based enterprises continue to market steroids and HGH for worldwide sale.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Thailand carries out comprehensive demand reduction programs, combining drug abuse prevention programs with treatment for addicts. A highly visible and effective program, “To Be Number One,” and other drug awareness campaigns are conducted in cooperation with private organizations, NGOs, and public institutions, using radio, TV, and printed media. The Thai government invests substantially in building awareness of the perils of drug addiction. These programs directly assisted about 300,000 people during 2010, and their messages reached most school-aged youth in Thailand. The effectiveness of public education programs is difficult to gauge, but overall, the methamphetamine problem is growing rather than shrinking. Heroin and opium usage remain relatively low and stable.

4. Corruption

Corruption remains a problem in Thailand and bribery of officials is not uncommon. As a matter of policy, the Thai government does not permit, encourage, or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic/psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of drug proceeds, by individuals or government agencies. No current senior Thai government official is known to have engaged in those types of activities. Reports of official corruption are rarely drug-related, but drug-related corruption at working levels is likely, given the volume and value of drugs consumed in and moving through Thailand.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

For the last several years Thailand has experienced political instability and the performance of the criminal justice system is important in securing strong public support for the rule of law. The U.S. government is well-situated to help with this effort.

Thailand and the U.S. enjoy a strong, broad, and long-standing cooperative relationship, especially in combating drug trafficking and international crime. American law enforcement agencies receive willing cooperation from their Thai counterparts and are supported at the highest levels of the Thai government. The DEA and other U.S. law enforcement agencies participate in a broad range of joint investigations with Thai agencies. Thailand is one of several countries in which the DEA maintains Sensitive Investigative Units (SIU). Thai SIU participants receive specialized training and undergo a rigorous vetting process. SIU teams focus on the most important regional trafficking groups.

Additionally, the broad U.S. government presence in Bangkok produces a stream of training and assistance to Thai law enforcement and criminal justice entities on some of Thailand’s top priorities, including countering trafficking in persons and terrorism. These capacity-building activities aid an allied nation and sustain relationships that directly benefit U.S. priorities. Programs to enhance the criminal justice sector more broadly include strengthening the capacity of prosecutors and the judiciary, countering corruption, and promoting human rights.

The U.S. government-supported Bangkok International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) provides training to relevant government personnel from 11 regional countries. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Interagency Task Force West provides wide-ranging support, including with the construction of Maritime Enforcement Centers, Roadside Checkpoints, and a National Law Enforcement Tactical Training Center.

D. Conclusion

The U.S. government enjoys a particularly close and collaborative relationship with Thai law enforcement. The U.S. government has encouraged laws and regulations more closely aligned with international standards, and helped Thailand develop more consistent adherence to rule of law principles. All such activities contribute to the fight against illicit drug trafficking and other transnational crime.

Using existing resources, the U.S. government can continue to work with the Thai government to build on drug control successes in all phases of the effort, from demand-reduction to criminal convictions of drug traffickers. Continuing to promote greater cooperation between police and prosecutors, continuing to promote legal and institutional development related to narcotics control, helping Thailand combat corruption, and bolstering regional cooperation will be especially important in the coming years.

Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste appears to be a minor destination for narcotics consumption. According to the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), there are five types of narcotics available in the capital city of Dili: methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. In January 2011, police seized 72 grams of cocaine pursuant to the execution of five search warrants in Dili. Narcotics are smuggled over the land border at Batugade, through Dili Airport, and by small boats. Smuggled narcotics are concealed in cosmetics, grocery items, and automobile and motorcycle parts and are sold in bars, karaoke lounges, massage parlors, and hotels. The potential domestic market is limited by the low income level of the general population. However, in the medium term, moderate oil and gas revenues and steady economic growth have the potential to stimulate economic development and raise income levels, expanding the potential drug market if appropriate law enforcement measures are not taken to curb narcotics trafficking.

There is little reported narcotics production in Timor-Leste. Unconfirmed reports suggest there may be one or two small-scale methamphetamine production facilities in and around Dili. Methamphetamine precursor chemicals pseudo-ephedrine and ephedrine are readily available in numerous Dili pharmacies and there is no limit on quantity that may be purchased per customer per day, nor is customer information documented at the time of purchase. Insufficient law enforcement capacity, including limited vehicles and resources, would make it fairly easy for clandestine laboratories to operate without fear of detection. Police sources indicate that there is also a strong likelihood that marijuana cultivation exists in the hill country areas of Timor-Leste. Narcotics trafficking from neighboring Indonesia appears to be taking place on a small scale, but there are no indications to date that Timor-Leste is being used as a transit point for narcotics trafficking to other countries. Illegal domestic drug use appears to be low, but is probably rising modestly.

Timor-Leste is not a party to the 1988 U.N. Drug Convention. A United Nations police peacekeeping presence supports the PNTL, but will likely depart Timor-Leste by the end of 2012. Local law enforcement capacity is limited, due especially to low levels of education and training among the police force and insufficient investment in infrastructure, equipment, and logistical capacity. Nevertheless, with support from international peacekeepers, the PNTL has made modest efforts to identify and raid establishments associated with narcotics trafficking. Despite a limited number of arrests, however, a similar lack of capacity in the prosecutorial and judicial system has hampered efforts to prosecute and convict those arrested. Another obstacle is the inability to analyze seized narcotics samples. To date, the PNTL has relied upon Australian counterparts, who send narcotics to Australian government laboratories for analysis. PNTL officials have cited delays or lapses in getting lab test results as a hindrance to prosecuting suspects. In some cases, positive results from narcotics test kits have been sufficient for prosecution.

There are also no drug abuse education, drug rehabilitation, or treatment programs in Timor-Leste. Despite these shortcomings, Timorese government policy strongly condemns and seeks to restrict and impede narcotics trafficking. The Government of Timor-Leste does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution, nor is it involved in laundering the proceeds of the sale of illicit drugs. To the contrary, many senior officials have spoken publicly of the dangers that narcotics present to Timorese society and of the need to undertake additional, stronger measures to counter narcotics trafficking.

Togo

Togo is not a significant producer of drugs; however it plays an increasingly large role in the regional traffic in narcotics. The drug trade (particularly in hard drugs) continued to increase, and Togo is used more and more as a transit point for the inter-continental movement of drugs. Togo’s capacity to address the transnational flow of drugs is undercut, by its extreme poverty; a lack of resources and training; long, porous borders; and an inability to control corruption. Those challenges notwithstanding, Togo’s counternarcotics efforts are increasing and resulted in record seizures of illicit drugs during 2011. The only drug cultivated in any significant quantity in Togo is cannabis, but even cannabis cultivation is limited. Cultivation is primarily for local demand, although some cross border distribution by small- scale dealers is suspected. Domestic use of cannabis is increasing. Heroin and cocaine, while not produced in Togo, are also available. Drug abuse by Togo’s citizens is relatively rare, and there are few crimes resulting from drug use.

There are three agencies responsible for drug law enforcement—the police, the gendarmerie, and customs. The Central Office Against Drugs and Money Laundering (OCRTIDB), a nominal coordinating mechanism for these three enforcement agencies, is responsible for investigating and arresting all persons involved in drug-related crimes. The Director of the Central Office, in turn, reports to the Minister of Security. The reality, however, is that the police and gendarmerie conduct their own investigations and enforcement operations, lending to poor accountability for seized contraband and money. Togo is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Togo is a party to the UN Corruption Convention and is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

The number of drug-related arrests increased dramatically this year. In just a four-month period, there were 20 seizures of some 45MT of drugs, overwhelmingly marijuana, but with significant amounts of cocaine. The amount of cocaine seized, in particular, increased significantly over amounts ever seized in the past in Togo.

The National Anti-Drug Committee sponsored anti-drug films and counter- narcotics discussion groups to advance drug abuse education. For National Anti-Drug day, June 26, the committee worked with civic organizations to hold a week of anti-drug activities. As a matter of government policy, Togo does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking. There is no evidence linking senior government officials to such activity.

Although Togo’s ability to confront the issue of illicit drugs is hampered by severe corruption problems, U.S. relations with Togolese officials in both the Ministry of Security and the OCRTIDB are excellent. U.S. cooperation with Togolese counternarcotics officials will continue through the Regional Security Officer and the regional Drug Enforcement Adminsitration representatives based in Accra.

Trinidad and Tobago

A. Introduction

Trinidad and Tobago’s position off the coast of Venezuela, its porous borders, and its direct transportation routes to Europe, West Africa, the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean make it an ideal location for drug transshipment. Trafficking of cocaine and marijuana originating from South America and from the greater Caribbean is prevalent. Drug production and illegal use in Trinidad and Tobago center on marijuana.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has long struggled to effectively coordinate its drug-control efforts. Sustainability, corruption, and gaps in legislative implementation remain challenges. In August, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago declared a State of Emergency (SOE) in response to what it described as a significant threat to national security. The SOE resulted in thousands of arrests which temporarily diminished the incidence of drug trafficking and general crime.

The Government continues to cooperate with international partners in combating the illegal drug trade. Trinidad and Tobago is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Trinidad and Tobago passed several pieces of anti-crime legislation in 2011, including laws that address gangs and firearms. The Ministry of Justice, created in 2010, continued efforts to transform Trinidad and Tobago’s criminal justice system with plans to pilot a drug treatment court in 2012. According to the Financial Action Task Force, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has improved, although further progress is needed.

In April, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) launched reforms aimed at expanding police presence and improving efficiency and community involvement under the “21st Century Policing Initiative.” The TTPS received an infusion of staff and assets when the Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT), a quasi-military entity created under the former administration without a clear legal mandate, was officially dissolved in August. Reforms in recruitment and training yielded an increase in new officers, and the number of officers assigned to the TTPS’ Organized Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB) increased by 10 percent. The government ramped up the frequency and scale of counternarcotics operations, instituting frequent joint police/military operations. Law enforcement units benefited from national and international training opportunities.

The Air Guard received two of four new AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters in May as the government concurrently unveiled a “Naval Operational Plan.” In addition to the helicopters, this new security strategy involves the addition of one or two larger long-range patrol vessels (for which Trinidad and Tobago has requested bids) and the integration of radar feeds in a new national security operations center, which was launched during the SOE.

The SOE declared in August was based, in part, on a sudden spike in murders that may have been linked to international drug trafficking networks, although such linkages were never proved publicly. Although the increased authorities of the police and military and the restrictions on the movement of citizens under the SOE generated controversy, it succeeded in significantly reducing the rates of homicide and violent crimes across the country and in disrupting some organized criminal activity.

The government dedicates counternarcotics resources through the TTPS, the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF), the Customs and Excise Division (CED), the National Drug Council (NDC), and the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme (NADAPP). Trinidad and Tobago is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols. It is a member of the Organization of American States' Inter-American Drug Abuse Commission (OAS/CICAD). The United States and Trinidad and Tobago have enjoyed a comprehensive bilateral maritime counternarcotics enforcement agreement since 1996.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago cooperates with the United States on extradition, mutual legal assistance, chemical controls, and narcotics control and law enforcement. In addition to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintain a presence in Trinidad and Tobago, as do other international law enforcement entities. Although it is a party to many agreements on drug control collaboration, weaknesses in border security, breakdowns in information-sharing, and lack of efficient control systems challenge the government’s ability to effectively participate in these efforts.

2. Supply Reduction

Law enforcement entities seized 233.22 kg of cocaine and 3196 kg of marijuana mostly at the air and seaports. The DEA office in Trinidad and Tobago participated in these seizures and related arrests of 119 people. A major bust yielded 921 kg of compressed marijuana in a cargo container of frozen chicken that had transited Jamaica. European counterparts working in collaboration with the government seized 3,342 kg of cocaine on vessels that had transited Trinidad and Tobago. U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 52 kg of cocaine on flights and in air parcels arriving from the country, representing a 12 percent drop from 2010. Eleven drug couriers have been prosecuted and convicted in Trinidad and Tobago.

The government conducted successful eradication exercises, reducing domestic production of marijuana by an estimated 273,200 kg. These exercises historically destroy about 200,000 mature plants in a given year. In 2011, more than 1,366,000 mature plants and several hundred thousand seedlings were eradicated.

Jamaican marijuana arrives inside containerized cargo before being repackaged and reshipped. Air smugglers use swallowing, body carry, and false-lined suitcases. Maritime smugglers employ parasitic devices attached outside the hull and hidden compartments on yachts and other vessels.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Trinidad and Tobago lacks current research on national drug abuse, but a study is planned for 2012. The government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) provide approximately 29 drug treatment programs, offering bio-psycho-social interventions, medical interventions and acupuncture treatment options. Inpatient, outpatient and prison-based modalities are available, lasting from several weeks to a year. The government is working to strengthen its programs with the assistance of the OAS/CICAD.

Drug prevention efforts include school education at all levels, training for educators, anti-smuggling campaigns, and special event outreach. Approximately three outreach programs are conducted per week.

4. Corruption

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago neither encourages nor facilitates illicit production or distribution of drugs nor the laundering of proceeds from the sale of illicit drugs. No charges of drug-related corruption were filed against senior government officials in 2011. The 1987 Prevention of Corruption Act and the 2000 Integrity in Public Life Act outline the ethical rules and responsibilities of government personnel. The government has several entities that investigate corruption, and it is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Corruption.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is building its internal capacity to vet law enforcement officials. Historically, the U.S. government assisted in vetting officials selected for training and for some elite law enforcement units at the government’s request. Most of Trinidad and Tobago’s law enforcement and customs officials, however, are not routinely vetted. Media and anecdotal reports of corruption in the ranks of the TTPS, TTDF, CED and port employees are common.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The U.S. government’s regional security partnership, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), began in 2010 with goals of reducing illicit trafficking, increasing public safety and security, and promoting social justice. Trinidad and Tobago’s CBSI programming focuses on law enforcement, military strengthening, youth development, juvenile justice, and demand reduction. In 2011, the United States trained hundreds of military and law enforcement personnel in areas supporting counternarcotics. In 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted four mobile training teams and ten resident courses in engineering, law enforcement, small boat operations and instructor development.

Regional projects in maritime and aerial domain awareness, law enforcement information sharing, law enforcement capacity building, corrections reform, criminal justice, financial crimes, demand reduction, and firearms reduction are also underway.

The United States and Trinidad and Tobago are parties to an extradition treaty that came into force on November 3, 1999, and the government cooperates in returning fugitives to the United States pursuant to requests for extradition. The United States and Trinidad and Tobago are parties to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty that entered into force on November 29, 1999.

D. Conclusion

Trinidad and Tobago’s 2011 drug-control performance has improved in some areas, even before the SOE. Better surveillance coordination and increased maritime patrols could reduce drug transshipment. Improving passenger and cargo screening, including targeting and automating inspections, could increase seizure rates.

Continued legislative reform and implementation should improve detection and conviction rates. Implementation of this year’s anti-gang legislation could discourage gang activity if strategically implemented. Plea bargaining, dedicated drug courts, and better utilization of forensic evidence could streamline judicial processes and improve the credibility of the criminal justice system. Increased resources for investigating fraud and bribery could serve to enhance public confidence in law enforcement institutions.

Turkey

A. Introduction

Turkey remains a transit country for illicit drug trafficking, including heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamine, opium, and cocaine. Heroin, opium, and cocaine are generally destined for European markets, while methamphetamine is destined for the Far East and amphetamine for the Middle East. The past year has witnessed a significant increase in the production of methamphetamine in Iran and West Africa, with a resultant increase in seizures as Iranian methamphetamine transits Turkey. Trends by illicit drug type are as follows:

Heroin - Turkey falls along three significant heroin trafficking routes, namely: the Balkan route, the northern (Black Sea) route and an eastern Mediterranean route. Heroin is smuggled over land from Afghanistan, sometimes through Pakistan, to Iran and then to Turkey. Most of the heroin trafficked via Turkey ismarketed in Western Europe (where Turkish-based traffickers control much of the heroin market), although small quantities of heroin and opium are also smuggled from Turkey to the U.S. Large drug trafficking organizations based in Turkey are frequently involved in both heroin sales and transport, and several have also been involved in a limited way in production and/or smuggling of synthetic drugs. Some criminal elements in Turkey reportedly have interests in heroin laboratories operating in Iran near the Iranian-Turkish border. In recent years, however, there appears to be more heroin, and less raw opium, arriving in Turkey as a finished product from Afghanistan.

Methamphetamine and Amphetamine Tablets - There has been a dramatic increase in the production of methamphetamine in Iran and Western Africa (Nigeria & Benin). While the majority of this drug is ultimately destined for consumption in the Far East, many countries in the Middle East – such as Turkey and the UAE, are major transit countries and significant seizures have been made throughout the region. Turkey acts as a transit route for methamphetamine from Iran for markets in the Far East and for amphetamine tablets (“Captagon”) originating in Eastern Europe en route to countries in the Middle East. The high purity level of the Iranian-based methamphetamine seized is indicative of the sophistication of the methamphetamine labs operating in Iran and their access to bulk precursor chemicals. With the increased availability of methamphetamine, it is feared that drug addicts in Turkey will turn to this drug as it is less expensive than many other illicit drugs. In 2011 (January to October) the Turkish National Police reported 26 enforcement actions resulting in the seizure of approximately 70 kg of methamphetamine that is known to be / or reasonably suspected to be Iranian methamphetamine, and the arrest of 43 suspects of various nationalities (22 Iranian, 16 Turkish, 1 Azerbaijan, 1 Nigerian, 1 German, 1 Belgian, and 1 unknown).

Cannabis - Cannabis (primarily in the form of hashish) enters Turkey through Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Albania. There is no appreciable cultivation of illicit marijuana in Turkey where only a modest amount is grown primarily for local consumption.

Opium - Turkey acts as a transit route for opium originating from Afghanistan en route to Western Europe. Opium is smuggled to Turkey overland from Afghanistan via Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. While the Balkan Route on to Western Europe remains heavily used, intelligence and investigations suggest that traffickers also use a more northerly route through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine. The total amount of opium seized in Turkey remains relatively small when compared to heroin seizures.

Turkey and India are the only two traditional licit poppy-growing countries recognized by the USG and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). The Turkish Grain Board strictly and successfully controls Turkey’s licit opium poppy cultivation and pharmaceutical morphine production program, in accordance with international treaty obligations, with no apparent diversion into the illicit market.

Cocaine - An emerging trend in Turkey is the smuggling of cocaine either directly from South America or via transshipment locations in Western Africa. West African drug trafficking organizations control much of the distribution with the consumer markets of Europe being the final destination. Intelligence provided by the Turkish National Police indicates the preferred method for transporting cocaine to Turkey is couriers onboard commercial aircraft. Seizures also indicate cocaine is predominantly hidden inside passenger luggage and/or hidden on the courier’s person. Many West African drug trafficking organization representatives in Turkey have assimilated within the population, marrying Turkish nationals and obtaining citizenship.

Many major drug traffickers based in Turkey are ethnic Kurds or Iranians, and many of the same individuals and families have been involved in smuggling contraband, especially heroin, for years. Ethnic Kurds generally live in the areas where opiates and cannabis enter Turkey from the east. However, in recent years, large numbers of ethnic Kurds (including smugglers) have moved to larger cities in Turkey and even to other countries in Europe. Some have continued drug smuggling in their new locations. Drug abuse remains modest in scale in Turkey compared to other countries.

Turkey 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. Turkey is also a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Turkish law enforcement organizations focus their efforts on stemming the traffic of drugs and intercepting precursor chemicals. The Departments of Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime of the Turkish National Police (TNP), Jandarma, and Coast Guard are all part of the Ministry of Interior and have significant anti-narcotics responsibilities. The TNP has responsibility for law enforcement in Turkey’s cities and towns. The Jandarma, a paramilitary police organization, is responsible for all law enforcement in rural areas. TNP-developed intelligence frequently leads to rural areas where the Jandarma has jurisdiction and, in these cases, the two agencies work together to conduct investigations and effect seizures. The Under-secretariat of Customs falls under the authority of a State Minister. DEA’s counterpart within Customs is the Directorate General of Customs Guards. There are 18 regional directorates and 136 subunits. The Ministry of Health is the competent authority for issues relating to importation of chemicals for legitimate use. The Ministry of Finance oversees the financial intelligence unit, known by its Turkish acronym as MASAK, which has responsibility for investigation of potential money laundering activities.

Turkish law enforcement agencies are strongly committed to disrupting narcotics trafficking. The Turkish National Police (TNP) remains Turkey’s most proactive counter drug force, with the Jandarma and Customs continuing to play a significant role. Turkish authorities continue to seize large amounts of heroin and precursor chemicals. Given the scale of these seizures, it is likely that multi-ton amounts of heroin are smuggled through Turkey each year.

Although Turkey is a major donor to the UNODC, it is still eligible for bilateral assistance and assistance for projects that are regional in nature, and as such the UN funds a variety of projects in Turkey each year. UNODC continues to sponsor training sessions at the Turkish International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC) in Ankara. In 2011 (January to October), TADOC conducted 88 training programs for 2,379 local law enforcement officers. Foreign officers trained at TADOC were from over 30 countries. Training programs focused on drug law enforcement, intelligence analysis, illegal immigration and human smuggling, interview techniques, and surveillance techniques. TADOC also continues to provide computer based training to Turkish police officers, with the program expanding from nine sites in 2004 to 20 sites as of September 2011.

During 2010, Turkish counter drug officials began efforts to address the increase in the use of international airports to smuggle illegal drugs either from or through Turkey. During 2011 (January to September), Turkish law enforcement officials have conducted numerous airport interdiction operations resulting in the seizure of approximately 261 kg of illegal drugs and the arrest of over 65 couriers.

2. Supply Reduction

The Government of Turkey (GOT) devotes significant financial and human resources to counternarcotics activities. Many Border control initiatives and upgrades were completed in the last few years, including the deployment of x-ray machines and ion scanners to the Eastern borders of Turkey.

Turkish authorities reported an increase in synthetic drug seizures throughout Turkey beginning in 2005. Most of the amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) seized in Turkey are produced in Eastern Europe. Turkish law enforcement reports some synthetic drug production, primarily amphetamines such as Captagon (the brand name for fenethylline, an amphetamine-based substance). Amphetamine production is a relatively new phenomenon in Turkey. In 2011 (January to October) the Turkish National Police reported 26 enforcement actions resulting in the seizure of approximately 70 kg of methamphetamine that is known to be/or reasonably suspected to be Iranian methamphetamine and the arrest of 45 suspects of various nationalities. From November 2008 to the present, the DEA Middle and Far East regions have recorded over 70 seizures amounting to over 400 kg of what is known to be/or reasonably suspected to be Iranian methamphetamine in both solid and liquid form. The couriers, controllers, and smugglers, associated with these seizures were arrested in Turkey, the UAE, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Thailand. Of these, the vast majority were Iranian nationals.

The chart below summarizes the seizures made in Turkey in calendar year 2011 (January to September)

Heroin

5,130 kg

Hashish

36,103 kg

Opium

89 kg

Cocaine

495 kg

ATS

775,000 Tablets

Ecstasy

557,000 dosage units

Methamphetamine

70 kg

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The implementation of drug-related treatment in Turkey falls under the responsibility of the state, with the Science Committee for Methods of Drug Addiction Treatment responsible for the national coordination of drug-related treatment. The main tasks of this committee are to monitor, accredit and evaluate treatment services. Turkey’s national focal point for this effort is the Turkish Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, known as TUBIM. TUBIM is charged with collecting data on drug use and addiction in Turkey, reporting on new drugs found in Turkey, and for conducting demand reduction activities. Drug-related treatment is provided by public agencies, private entities and NGOs. Funding for drug treatment services is mainly provided by the state and through health insurance funds.

The majority of treatment services for problem drug users are aimed at dealing with substance abuse (e.g., alcohol) in general and not specifically for users of illicit drugs. Drug-free treatment aimed at achieving a future drug-free life is the main approach adopted by Turkish treatment programs. The interventions in drug-free programs consist of psychotherapeutic methods and supporting methods, with the majority of drug related treatment services taking place within inpatient settings. In Turkey substitution (e.g. methadone maintenance) treatment is not available.

The TNP/TUBIM 2010 Annual Drug Report indicates that drug treatment is carried out in a total number of 20 treatment centers under the MoH, universities and private sector with 509 beds and 259 personnel. The total number of patients entering outpatient treatment in alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers in 2009 was 107,178. The number of patients that have received inpatient treatment was 2,594. 92.68% of these were male and 6.13% were female. The average age of those receiving treatment was 28.6. The age of the youngest user was 11, whereas the oldest user was 65 years old. 65.2 percent of individuals receiving treatment were primary and secondary school graduates 56.67% were heroin users, followed by 25.64% cannabis and 10.1% solvents/inhalants. Cocaine use was at 2.27%.

While drug abuse remains modest in scale in Turkey compared to other countries, the number of addicts using treatment clinics is increasing. Although the Turkish Government is increasingly aware of the need to combat drug abuse, the agencies responsible for drug awareness and treatment remain under-funded. The MoH does not conduct regular, periodic drug abuse surveys. The most recent European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) survey was conducted in 2003. According to the result of this study, 5% of the sample reported the use of inhalants at least once in their life (lifetime prevalence), 4% cannabis, 2% ecstasy, 2% heroin, and 2% cocaine. The next ESPAD study is scheduled for spring 2011; however, Turkey is not planning to participate in the data collection efforts.

Turkey became a full member of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) after the European Parliament ratified Turkey’s participation in October 2006, following a successful EU twinning project.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, Turkey 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. Similarly, no senior level government official is alleged to have participated in such activities. As in most countries, it is likely that some corruption is present among enforcement personnel. Turkish Penal Code outlines specific probations and penalties for official corruption by Turkish Government employees.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The U.S. and Turkey cooperate in law enforcement matters under a 1981 treaty on extradition and mutual assistance in legal matters. The USG and the regional battle against drug abuse benefit from Turkey’s work as a regional leader in counternarcotics training and education. DEA and the US Embassy in Turkey work closely with Turkish officials to offer regional training opportunities to Turkish Law Enforcement officials throughout the country and at the TADOC center to provide additional investigative and prosecutorial tools to Turkish officials and their international counterparts. Turkey hosts several international counter drug forums with the goals to enhance the investigative abilities of both Turkish and other international partners, increase their willingness to cooperate internationally on joint cases, and build relationships between the countries’ law enforcement agencies. DEA reports excellent cooperation with Turkish officials. Turkish counter drug forces are both professional and technically sophisticated.

D. Conclusion

Turkish law enforcement agencies remain strongly committed to disrupting illicit drug trafficking, and we expect this commitment to continue into the future. During 2011, Turkey maintained forward momentum in the areas of institution building, supply reduction, demand reduction, and treatment. The U.S. will continue to work with Turkish law enforcement agencies to strengthen Turkey’s ability to combat drug trafficking, money-laundering, and financial crimes. U.S. Embassy Ankara will focus its efforts on utilizing Turkey’s work as a regional leader in counternarcotics training and education. Turkey continues to partner with the DEA to reduce the flow of Afghan heroin to Western Europe, as well as in other regional efforts. The USG plans to offer regional training opportunities at the Turkish International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC) center to provide additional investigative and prosecutorial tools to Turkish officials and their international counterparts. Likewise, UNODC will sponsor training sessions at the TADOC in Ankara.

Turkmenistan

A. Introduction

Turkmenistan is a transshipment route for Afghan opiates moving to Turkish, Russian and European markets, either directly or through Iran. Turkmenistan is not a major producer for illegal drugs or precursor chemicals. Most illegal drug seizures occur along Turkmenistan’s rugged and remote 744-kilometer border with Afghanistan and its 992-kilometer frontier with Iran.

Counternarcotics efforts continue to be a government policy priority. Domestic narcotics sales have reportedly dropped since the government stopped the practice of granting pardons to defendants convicted of drug-related crimes. Prices for heroin and opium have increased by roughly 50 percent, marijuana by 30 percent over the last year.

Major developments during 2011 include the election of Turkmenistan to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (for the period 2012-2015), the adoption of the National Program for Combating Illegal Drug Trafficking and Assistance to Drug and Psychotropic Substance Addicts for 2011-2015, and improved information sharing by the government with international partners. Turkmenistan became the first Central Asian state to offer formal support for the Central Asian Counternarcotics Initiative and the first to ratify its membership in the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center (CARICC). According to official statistics, the total amount of drugs seized in Turkmenistan in 2010 was 1,017 kilograms, which is 56 percent less than the total amount of drugs seized in 2009. 343 kilograms of drugs were seized during the first six months of 2011.

Turkmenistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and other major multilateral law enforcement conventions. The United States does not have a bilateral extradition treaty with Turkmenistan.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Turkmenistan makes a serious effort to stop the flow of drugs from Afghanistan. Common methods of transporting illegal narcotics include concealment in cargo and passenger vehicles, deliveries by pedestrian carriers, and in some cases, by concealment in the stomach or body cavities of humans and animals. Turkmenistan's law enforcement efforts at the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border are more focused on interdicting smuggled commercial goods than on narcotics, thus providing an opening for drug traffickers. Commercial truck traffic from Iran continues to be heavy, and Caspian Sea ferry traffic from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan and Russia continues to be another opportune smuggling route.

President Berdimuhamedov continued to stress that the war against drugs should be a consistent and uncompromising priority for his administration. The President formally named the struggle against drug trafficking one of the government’s ten priority tasks for 2011. Based on the statistics provided by the State Counter Narcotics Service (SCNS) for 2010 and 2011, the price of heroin, opium and marijuana have increased by roughly 50 percent over the last year. SCNS again held a "drug burn" ceremony destroying 343 kilograms of narcotics in June, an event that coincided with the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The National Program coordinates law enforcement efforts combating drug trafficking and provides for treatment to drug users. 

PROVINCE

HASHISH

HEROIN

MARIJUANA

OPIUM

POPPY STRAW

TOTAL

AHAL

84.8797

45.2145

14.00975

453.028

6.967

604.09895

BALKAN

 

1.9103

10.0563

122.524

 

134.49

DASHOGUZ

1.5

8.7093

7.458

38.8216

1.269

57.7579

LEBAP

 

16.205

9.0825

61.3305

 

86.618

MARY

15.859

31.9599

5.57

80.1731

 

133.562

TOTAL

102.2387

103.999

46.17655

755.876

8.236

1016.53

2. Supply Reduction

Turkmenistan’s drug seizure statistics for the year 2010 (in kilograms) are as follows:

The Government of Turkmenistan, for the first time, released information regarding drug routes and seizures at border control check points. According to the government, 46 percent of opiate seizures occurred along the Turkmen–Iran border and on the M-37 highway that runs alongside that border. 29 percent of opiate seizures occurred further inland; 20 percent occurred near to the Turkmen–Afghan border and 5 percent occurred near to the Turkmen–Uzbek border. 104 of the 278 drug seizures during 2010 occurred in personal residences, 48 involved narcotics hidden in bags, 34 incidents involved drugs found in criminals’ clothing and there were 14 cases where the criminals swallowed the drugs. 43 seizures involved drugs hidden in vehicles, and one case involved the concealment of drugs in a train carriage.

Wholesale drug prices in U.S. dollars per kilogram:

 

2010

2011

 

Minimum

Maximum

Minimum

Maximum

Opium

$9,250.00

$14,700.00

$14,035.00

$31,579.00

Heroin

$43,000.00

$84,500.00

$73,684.00

$159,649.00

Marijuana

$1,890.00

$5,600.00

$5,614.00

$9,649.00

The retail price in U.S. dollars per kilogram:

 

2010

2011

 

Minimum

Maximum

Minimum

Maximum

Opium

$16,100.00

$20,035.00

$17,543.00

$42,105.00

Heroin

$71,850.00

$101,750.00

$133,333.00

$249,122.00

Marijuana

$5,330.00

$10,175.00

$8,070.00

$12,982.00

2011 saw improvements in the Government of Turkmenistan’s willingness to release its drug-related crime data. Nearly 43 percent of all registered crime cases (1,354 out of a total of 3,168) in Turkmenistan in 2010 involved drugs. 330 Turkmen nationals constituted nearly 90 percent of those charged with drug related crimes. Other nationalities that were charged with drug-related crimes include Afghanistan (16), Uzbekistan (15), Iran (9), and Turkey (3).

There is no evidence of synthetic drug production in Turkmenistan, and SCNS reports that there were no seizures of synthetic drugs

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment:

The Ministry of Health operates seven drug treatment clinics, one in Ashgabat, one in Serdar City, and one in each of the five provincial administrative centers. Addicts can receive treatment at these clinics without revealing their identity. The total number of registered IV drug users nearly tripled during this period 199-2006, with growth fastest among males. 

YEAR MALE FEMALE TOTAL
1999 12,890 714 13,604
2000 20,362 994 21,356
2003 38,211 1,604 39,815
2004 33,461 1,354 34,815
2006 32,206 1,491 33,697

There were 31,683 registered drug users in 2008. Heroin users constituted nearly 94 percent of this population (29,580 persons) followed by 1,233 opium users and 856 hashish users. There were 12 registered barbiturates users and two patients who used inhalants. 1,245 of all registered patients were injecting drug users (IDUs). Seven government-run units provided specialized, inpatient treatment to 16,495 patients. The services offered nationwide by the Government included a referral system for specialized services, treatment planning, detoxification, counseling, HIV prevention and testing, and counseling. Intravenous drug users comprise less than .6 percent of Turkmenistan’s population, but it is likely that a significant number of drug users are not registered and thus not reflected in the reported statistics.

In December 2010, the Turkmenistan Red Crescent Society's (RCS) Drug Demand Reduction Project (DDRP) completed its three-year program aimed at increasing public awareness regarding the risks of drug abuse. The DDRP was funded by the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). The Turkmen government allowed the DDRP autonomy to raise the sensitive issue of drug addiction in its national awareness campaigns. In addition to distributing brochures, holding meeting with target groups, and conducting public events, the DDRP recruited an active group of outreach volunteers to address addiction among Turkmenistan’s youth. The project benefited from strong governmental support as the DDRP's objectives coincided with increasing governmental recognition regarding the need to eliminate narcotics trafficking and drug abuse. Though INL funding has ceased, RCS continues to support the outreach program while seeking additional donor assistance.

In honor of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in June 2011, INL Ashgabat announced the inauguration of a “Sport against Drugs” Small Grant Program to facilitate the ability of Turkmenistan’s registered sport unions, federations and organizations to implement projects and activities promoting a healthy lifestyle free of narcotics for the country’s citizenry. 2011 beneficiaries included: The Center of Aquatics of Turkmenistan, the “Soltan Dag” Educational Center, a wrestling school in the eastern city of Mary, and the NGO “Center for Support of the Handicapped.” Recipients used the funds to organize sporting events, competitions, shows, workshops and other public activities. The total value of the four awards was around $12,000.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Turkmenistan government does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics or other controlled substances. Nevertheless, law enforcement officials' low salaries and broad powers foster an environment in which corruption occurs. A general distrust of the police by the public, fueled by evidence of police officers soliciting bribes, indicates a problematic level of corruption in law enforcement Payments to lower-level officials occur frequently at border crossing points to facilitate passage of smuggled goods. Reports that law enforcement officials are directly linked to the drug trade persist. However, there have been no substantiated cases regarding government officials involved in drug related crimes.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

In April, INL launched the fifth round of English Language Training (ELT) classes for law enforcement officials, with 22 officials scheduled to complete the course in November. By expanding English language competency among Turkmen law enforcement officers, the course increases the potential for international cooperation, including training opportunities and information sharing.

On September 21, the U.S. and Turkmenistan Governments signed the Fifth Amendment to the existing bilateral Letter of Agreement (LOA) on Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement Assistance. Programs under this agreement aim to increase the investigative skills of counternarcotics officers and improve the State Counter Narcotics Center’s (SCNS) training facility.

D. Conclusion

The Turkmen government has begun to acknowledge openly the country’s narcotics trafficking and drug abuse problems. Law enforcement efforts targeting drug cultivation and drug trafficking received high profile coverage in state-controlled media. Public awareness efforts to discourage illegal drug use have been conducted successfully throughout the country. The Turkmen government’s efforts to provide drug seizure reports, and, for the first time, provide ‘sensitive’ statistics on drug prices seem to indicate a desire for enhanced cooperation with international donors.

The U.S. government plans to expand counternarcotics law enforcement agency training, with capacity building focusing on supply reduction through interdiction training, law enforcement institution building, the promotion of regional cooperation, and the exchange of drug-related intelligence. The U.S. government will also encourage the Government of Turkmenistan to intensify long-term demand reduction efforts and to continue its partnership with international organizations such as UNODC and regional bodies such as CARICC.

United Arab Emirates

Although not a narcotics-producing country, the UAE’s proximity to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran and its position as an international transportation hub with active air and sea ports have made the country a target for the transshipment of heroin and other narcotics smuggled to Europe, Asia, and Africa, and less significantly, to the United States. Factors that render the UAE vulnerable to exploitation by narcotics traffickers include high volumes of shipping through UAE ports, Dubai’s and, increasingly, Sharjah’s role as regional transportation hubs, and the UAE’s long (700 km) coastline and porous land border with Oman.

Drug seizures in the last two years indicate that trafficking groups may be increasing their use of the UAE as a staging point to warehouse, stockpile, and distribute narcotics such as Afghan heroin and hashish, precursor chemicals, and large quantities of illegal prescription pills for future sale and re-shipment, rather than simply as a quick transit point. The primary drug threats in the UAE for transshipment smuggling purposes are southwest Asian heroin, hashish, Iranian methamphetamine, and Colombian cocaine. Small amounts of heroin have been shown to be smuggled to the UAE through its major airports via internal body smuggling, while larger amounts are smuggled via shipping containers. Hashish is smuggled on small wooden vessels called dhows or via vehicles from Oman to the UAE. There are indications that Iranian methamphetamine smuggling, en route to Asia, has increased in the past year. Methamphetamine smugglers have used a variety of smuggling techniques to include body carrying and hidden compartments in luggage or electronic devices. The smuggling of cocaine appears to be bound primarily for Africa. Travel patterns indicate that cocaine smugglers make use of non-stop flights between Sao Paulo and Dubai, then connect to flights to Ghana, Ethiopia, or Zimbabwe. There is no evidence of any major drug cultivation and/or production in the UAE.

UAE authorities have stopped 828 attempts to smuggle drugs into the country from January through early October 2011. The authorities have seen an increase of body smuggling drug concealment methods in the past year. Drug seizures in recent months indicate a rise in the use of female drug smugglers. Drug trafficking is a serious crime in the UAE, and the nation has a zero tolerance policy towards illegal drug use. A typical sentence for drug possession is four years. Drug trafficking can carry the death penalty. In practice; however, sentences vary widely depending on the severity of the case as it relates to UAE security.

While the rate of illegal drug use in the UAE is low by international standards, the most common drugs of abuse in the UAE are hashish and illegal pharmaceutical drugs. Captagon is an amphetamine-related drug and may be the most widely available drug in the Persian Gulf countries. Anecdotal reporting suggests that there also is a substantial market in the UAE for counterfeit or illegally-obtained prescription drugs. Demand for heroin in the UAE is small.

The UAEG is aware of the threat to its citizens and residents from drugs and has made significant commitments of both human resources and funding towards building new drug control institutions and conducting counter-narcotics law enforcement operations. In 2011, the UAE continued to advance its national drug strategy focusing on intensifying security at the country's air and sea ports and patrols along the coastline. The UAE strives to reduce demand for illegal drugs through educational campaigns, enforcing harsh penalties for trafficking, and rehabilitating drug addicts. In mid-2011, the Dubai Police Department launched an interactive Internet portal for crime fighting. The portal aims to enhance communication with the public and allow private individuals to post information and potential security issues anonymously. The service generated 14,202 tips as of early October 2011.

The UAE is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The UAE also is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption. A United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) semi-regional office, funded by the UAE government, opened in summer of 2010 in the UAE. The United States and the UAE will continue to work together to discourage narcotics trafficking and related financial crimes and to protect citizens from the scourge of drug abuse.

Uganda

Drug production and trafficking within Uganda remain relatively low, but Uganda’s Anti-Narcotic Unit (ANU) reports that drug abuse and trafficking are increasing among Uganda’s youth due to poverty, unemployment, and Uganda’s high level of population growth. Domestic narcotic production is primarily limited to growing cannabis for local consumption and regional export to Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Cannabis cultivation occurs throughout the country and increased during 2011 due to expanding regional demand and the lack of more profitable crops. Reports of illegal trafficking of heroin and cocaine also increased as traffickers exploited Uganda’s porous borders, rising corruption, and Ugandan law enforcement’s inadequate equipment and training. There are no national studies on the prevalence and type of drug usage in Uganda, but health care professionals, social workers, and NGOs report that marijuana is the most widely used drug due to its accessibility and low cost.

The absence of national crime reporting statistics and corruption within the police and the justice system prevent an accurate accounting of law enforcement efforts. Between January and October 2011, the ANU seized 14 kilograms of heroin and three kilograms of cocaine. Reported seizures of cannabis dropped to 300 kilograms in 2011 from 894 in 2010. Uganda successfully prosecuted 4,260 people for drug-related offenses in 2011 and uprooted 14 acres of cannabis plants. Traffickers sometimes use Uganda and Entebbe International Airport as a transit route to South Africa, China, the United States, and Europe. Primary sources of drugs include India, Thailand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Uganda’s National Drug Policy and Authority Act addresses drug possession, production, use, and trafficking, but penalties are not severe, with maximum sentences ranging from a three-year prison sentence to a fine of approximately $700. Comprehensive national drug legislation was recently taken up again by the Ugandan parliament, but no action was taken. This legislation has been pending since 2007. If approved, this legislation would strengthen criminal penalties for drug traffickers, increase the government’s authority to confiscate assets, and establish a national coordination body to oversee treatment and rehabilitation of abusers and to manage regional international counternarcotics cooperation efforts. Uganda is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention Against Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol. Uganda is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption. As a matter of government policy, the Ugandan government does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances.

Resource constraints complicate Uganda’s ability to combat illicit drugs. The ANU employs fewer than 100 officers but estimates that it requires 500 officers to effectively combat Uganda’s illicit drug trade. The deaths of the ANU’s two sniffer dogs further reduced its effectiveness. Entebbe International Airport, Uganda’s only major airport, does not have a specialized x-ray machine for detecting ingested drugs, and the ANU has no reliable drug test kits to determine if suspected drugs are, in fact, prohibited substances.

The United States regularly engages with the Ugandan government and law enforcement agencies on a variety of law enforcement issues to improve Uganda’s capacity to enforce its laws and investigate crime. The United States has assisted Uganda’s counter-narcotics efforts with law enforcement training courses and general investigative skills training, focusing on major case management and evidence collection. The United States also established a community policing project at the National Police Training Academy.

Uganda does not have an organized campaign to sensitize the public to the dangers of drug abuse, but local government officials, religious leaders, and civil society raise awareness of the negative consequences of drug use. Ugandan law enforcement officials often link violent crimes to drug use, noting that many individuals arrested for other crimes have criminal histories of drug use or possession. The Ugandan government operates one rehabilitation center at Butabika Referral Mental Hospital, and NGOs provide additional treatment options.

The Uganda Police Force (UPF) is a willing partner in the fight against narcotics trafficking. However, UPF officers, along with border and airport enforcement officers, are in dire need of additional training, equipment, and resources to curb the illegal drug trade. Any improvement in Uganda’s capability to combat the production, trafficking, and consumption of narcotics will depend on increasing the resources and training for the ANU, reducing corruption, and passing comprehensive national drug legislation.

Ukraine

A. Introduction

Ukraine is not a major drug producing country; however, it is located astride several important drug trafficking routes into Western Europe, and thus is an important transit country. Ukraine's numerous ports on the Black and Azov seas, its extensive river transportation routes, its porous northern and eastern borders, and its inadequately financed and under-equipped border and customs agencies make Ukraine an attractive route for drug traffickers into the bordering European Union’s profitable illegal drug market. Narcotics, primarily heroin, move from Afghanistan through Russia, the Caucasus, and Turkey and then pass through Ukraine, destined for Western Europe. New routes for Latin American cocaine are also taking hold, as confirmed by three large seizures in the Odesa sea port in 2010 of 152 kilos of cocaine concealed in deck planks, 1,193 kilos hidden in blast furnaces, and over 582 kilos disguised in metal scrap. The shipments came from ports in Bolivia and Venezuela. But as frequently occurs in transit countries, drug addiction appears to be growing in Ukraine itself. Analysts are almost unanimous in the opinion that Ukraine is increasingly being viewed not only as a transit country, but also as a drug market in its own right.

That said, domestic drug abuse continues to be primarily focused on drugs made from narcotic plants (hemp and poppy) grown in the region, which account for approximately 85 percent of the total drug market in Ukraine. The use of synthetic drugs and psychotropic substances, especially amphetamines, has also been rapidly increasing in Ukraine over the past few years. Most of the major drugs consumed in Ukraine are either produced in Ukraine or supplied from Russia and Moldova (poppy straw, hemp, opium) as well as Poland, Hungary and the Netherlands (amphetamines, methamphetamines, MDMA also known as "Ecstasy").

According to official statistics, the drug addiction level in Ukraine is approximately 34 addicts per 10,000 inhabitants. An interesting sign, however, is a continued drop in the number of registered drug addicts from 178,043 in September 2008 to 165,045 in September 2009 and 156,300 in 2010. This drop in registered drug addicts could be ascribed to the positive interventions of the government, international organizations and local NGOs. However, many experts believe that the number of unregistered drug addicts may in fact be at least twice as large as the number reported as registered, given the social stigma attached to formal registration as an addict, and that the “drop” in registered drug addicts is therefore misleading.

Ukraine is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and complies with provisions of the Convention in its counter-narcotics legislation

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Ukraine has well-developed anti-drug legislation consistent with international standards. In 2010, the Government of Ukraine (GOU) continued to implement a comprehensive anti-drug policy. The policy frankly acknowledges the growing scale of drug abuse in Ukraine and the lack of adequate prevention, education and public awareness campaigns, community prevention efforts, and treatment and rehabilitation facilities.

Ukraine’s national drug control policy addresses a wide array of issues, including improvement of legislation; monitoring and prevention; interagency cooperation; development of a modern interagency data bank; increased law enforcement capacity; scientific research into the causes of drug addiction; setting up an interagency lab to research new synthetic drugs and trends; integration in the European information space and exchange of information on drug trafficking; strengthening of drug abuse prevention centers; introduction of new treatment practices; an increase in public awareness and education, especially in schools; further strengthening of law enforcement capacity, and full achievement of international standards. Some of these policy objectives have been adequately addressed, while others were accomplished with only limited success, especially those that required ample funding, but remained underfunded. The estimated funding needed for full implementation of the program is 300 million UAH ($37.5 million); however, this amount was not allocated in the budget.

The GOU has now approved a new government concept program and action plan to address drug abuse and trafficking for 2011-2015. The key goal is to pursue a balanced but persistent policy of wide-scale prevention, control, and enforcement. The program is based on both domestic and international experience. It incorporates certain aspects of the EU Drugs Action Plan for 2009-2012 and recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Pompidou Group.

The GOU has also drafted several amendments to the existing anti-drug laws to impose stricter punishment for drug abuse in public places, and lists some new psychoactive substances (biologically active additives and smoking mixes) as narcotic substances.

The Narcotics Control Committee established in 2003 in the Ministry of Health was converted into an independent agency in 2010. It will continue to monitor the licit production and use of controlled substances by licensed companies and organizations to avoid diversion to illicit uses. The monitoring is also facilitated by the National Drug Observatory. The Observatory was established at the Ministry of Health in 2006, with the assistance of an EU-funded Program, to help collect, analyze and disseminate data on drugs at the national level as well as share and improve comparability of this data at the regional level through the harmonization of key epidemiological and drug supply indicators.

Approximately three years ago, the GOU amended its laws to make illegal the non-prescribed use of strong opiate analogs, like Tramadol, because Ukraine experienced significant problems with uncontrolled production and use of Tramadol. The new legislation allowed a much more effective law enforcement response to this problem. As a result, Tramadol abuse has been reduced sharply. In 2010, the Government further reduced the quota for licensed production of Tramadol in Ukraine and fixed it at the level of 1,900 kilos (a 7.14% drop against 2009). However, there were continued attempts in 2010 to smuggle Tramadol into Ukraine from the bordering countries.

In 2010 the MOI (Ministry of Interior) reformed its drug enforcement branch as part of the wider ministerial reform following the accession of the new government. The central Drug Enforcement Department staff was cut by 35 percent, and 70 percent of management staff in the central and local units were replaced.

Both MOI and SBU (Security Service of the Ukraine) continued to build cooperative counter-narcotics relationships with international counterpart agencies in Western Europe, Eurasia and America. For example, in 2010 two major cocaine seizures were based on intelligence shared by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and one major cocaine seizure was based on intelligence shared by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Ukraine is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The U.S.-Ukraine Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty came into force in February 2001. Ukraine is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. The U.S. and Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Law Enforcement Assistance in December 2002. This memorandum provided for State Department-funded (INL) assistance to Ukraine to help the GOU bring its law enforcement institutions, including those involved in the effort against narcotic drugs, up to European and international standards. The goal of this assistance program is to facilitate Ukraine’s accession to Euro-Atlantic institutions such as the European Union. It has been amended regularly since 2002 to add funding and establish justice sector and law enforcement projects as agreed by Ukraine and the U.S.

2. Supply Reduction

Poppy straw and hemp are produced and consumed locally with the surplus exported to Russia, Belarus and Moldova. Conversely, these drugs are also trafficked into Ukraine from Russia and Moldova, an indication of the porous nature of the borders. Opium poppy is grown predominantly in western, southwestern, and northern Ukraine, while hemp cultivation is concentrated in the eastern and southern parts of the country. Poppy and cannabis are controlled plants and can be grown only by licensed farms. The Government approves cultivation quotas every year. Despite the prohibition of unauthorized cultivation, many cases of illegal cultivation in small quantities by private households are discovered. The MOI Drug Enforcement Department identified 5,700 illegal plantations of poppy and cannabis in 2010, and 3,042 criminal and 1,155 administrative cases (depending on the size of plantations) were brought against individuals. The police used small aircraft for the first time this year to expand the monitored areas.

Ukraine is predominantly a destination country for poppy straw, hemp, and methamphetamine, and a transit country for heroin. Heroin is trafficked from Central Asia (primarily Afghanistan) and comes into Ukraine mostly through Russia, the Caucasus, and Turkey. Shipments are usually destined for Western Europe, and arrive by road, rail, or sea, which is perceived as less risky than air or mail shipment and permits traffickers to move larger quantities of narcotics.

In several recent years, experts have noted an increase in heroin traffic from Turkey into Ukraine by sea, or into Russia and then into Ukraine across its south-eastern border, and further by land across Ukraine’s western border into Western Europe. Experts believe that traditional Balkan drug traffic routes have become saturated and criminals are looking for new trafficking channels. Drug traffic from Asia is controlled by well-organized international criminal groups of Afghan, Pakistani, and Tajik origin that use citizens of the former Soviet republics as drug couriers.

There are signs of increasing attempts by Latin American drug dealers to develop cocaine smuggling channels into Ukraine and use it as a destination and transit point on the way to Western Europe and former Soviet countries. Three large seizures at the Odesa sea port this year included 152 kilograms of cocaine concealed in deck planks, 1,193 kilograms (approximate value $180 million) hidden in blast furnaces, and over 582.3 kilograms hidden among metal scrap. The shipments came from ports in Bolivia and Venezuela.

Two Ukrainian sailors were sentenced in Venezuela for cocaine trafficking in 2010. They worked on a vessel that carried drugs although they maintained that they were unaware of what was in the shipment. However, this indication of involvement of Ukrainian ships’ crew in trafficking from Latin America could indicate a future problem, given that many Ukrainian sailors work on private contracts overseas that may involve risky or dubious activities.

The trafficking of synthetic drugs and psychotropic substances is also growing, especially from Poland. Criminal groups of mixed origin (Ukrainians, Polish, Belarusians and Russians) that formed in the 1990s and traditionally stayed away from drug trafficking are increasingly taking up this lucrative niche. The price of these drugs is lower than that of heroin and cocaine and therefore the drugs are attractive to young addicts. Domestic production of synthetic drugs in undercover labs is also a steady trend despite persistent eradication efforts by law enforcement agencies.

The responsibility for counter-narcotics enforcement in Ukraine is shared by the MOI, with its primarily domestic law enforcement function, and the SBU, which deals with trans-border aspects of drug trafficking. The State Border Guard Service (SBGS) and the State Customs Service (SCS) interdict drugs along the border and at ports of entry.

In 2010, the MOI’s police force seized approximately 11.6 tons of various drugs (2.3% increase over 2009), including 10.5 tons of drugs made of narcotic plants, 6.9 kilos of heroin, 2.2 kilos of cocaine and 52,3 kilos of amphetamines. It eliminated 230 clandestine labs and some 2,100 small-scale drug making labs. Police also seized 950,900 doses of diverted controlled medical drugs.

The SBU seized 7,471.2 kilos of drugs and raw narcotic material, including 2.3 kilos of heroin, 1,964 kilos of cocaine, 1.9 kilos of synthetic drugs and 64.3 kilos of various psychotropic substances and 405.6 kilos of precursors. It eliminated 6 drug labs. The largest volume of seizures by both the MOI and Security Service was opium straw.

The Ukrainian police force investigated 2,600 narcotic crimes in 2010. The Security Service investigated 762 drug crimes (through September).

Ukrainian border and customs authorities report an increasingly successful utilization of risk and criminal analysis in intercepting drugs, particularly those trafficked in shipments arriving to Ukrainian ports.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

This is the second year in a row that the number of registered drug addicts in Ukraine dropped. In 2010, there were 156,300 registered addicts as opposed to 165,045 in 2009. Although potentially a good sign, various experts estimate that the total number of actual drug addicts in Ukraine range from 300,000 to 500,000, making the decrease in registered drug addicts potentially misleading. Traditionally, the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine rate the highest in terms of drug addiction (on average 70 addicts per 10,000 individuals in contrast to 34 addicts per 10,000 individuals on average across the country). Drug-related deaths over the last few years have averaged 1,000 per year, according to Ukrainian health authorities.

Marijuana and hashish is growing in popularity with young people, but opium straw extract remains the drug of choice for Ukrainian addicts. The popularity of this drug is due to its low cost ($5–8 per 1 ml dose) and simple production methods. The use of synthetic drugs is also on the rise with young people, in particular. Examples of drugs abused are: ephedrine, ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, amphetamines and methamphetamines. The spread of synthetic drugs is exacerbated by the rapid growth in local production. Hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, are still too expensive for most Ukrainian drug users. In recent years, Ukraine has also seen the growing illegal use of the legal, but restricted, prescription opiate analog, Tramadol, but has responded by making Tramadol a prescription drug and subjecting sales of Tramadol pills to stricter supervision by the government.

Government law enforcement agencies are developing stronger partnership ties with NGOs and media in order to fully engage their capacities in drug prevention. Some local MOI departments host community supervisory boards which include both law enforcement officers and community, NGO and media representatives and act as local public forums to discuss pressing needs in drug prevention and enforcement. Police also participate in the “Drug Free Life” program aimed at raising public awareness of drug abuse problems, especially among young people.

Ukraine’s drug problem today is increasingly characterized by a rapidly growing HIV/AIDS-infected population in which intravenous drug use is the primary mode of transmission of HIV, through behaviors such as syringe sharing. The World Health Organization, UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UNAIDS have recommended that substitution maintenance treatment programs with methadone and buprenorphine be integrated into national HIV/AIDS programs in order to avoid needle sharing and to support access to and adherence to antiretroviral treatment and medical follow up. Since 2004, the GOU has implemented pilot substitution maintenance treatment programs using buprenorphine. The GOU has committed through its Global Fund Round 6 Grant to incorporate methadone, a significantly less expensive and comparably effective opiate substitute, into substitution maintenance treatment programs. Fully incorporating methadone into its national HIV/AIDS program is critical to curbing Ukraine’s burgeoning HIV/AIDS epidemic. Starting in June 2008, the Ministry of Health began a methadone substitution program available to approximately 2,000 individuals, half of whom are HIV positive. It is expected that the methadone maintenance therapy will treat up to 20,000 addicts in 111 clinics countrywide by 2013. However, many opponents criticize the substitution program as a legal bypass for yet another type of drug.

Many NGOs argue that legal drugs require more stringent controls by the government. Law enforcement agencies note a serious increase in the illegal use of diverted methadone. By mid 2010 they had uncovered 173 attempts of divert licit methadone. There were several reports of methadone seizures in relatively small quantities from individuals on the border.

4. Corruption

The GOU openly acknowledges that corruption remains a major problem in society, due to the existence of a bribe-tolerant mentality, and the lack of law enforcement capabilities to investigate and prosecute corruption. Both the previous and the new government have declared the commitment to strengthen the investigation and prosecution of corruption. However, the pace of anti-corruption reform remains slow and the number of successful prosecutions of corruption cases (including those related to narcotics) is meager.

As a matter of government policy 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. The Prosecutor General’s Office reported 40 cases brought against 52 law enforcement officers and other civil servants in 2010 in relation to drug-related corruption offences. According to judicial authorities, Ukrainian courts heard 14,844 narcotic related criminal cases and sentenced 12,635 individuals, of which only seven were civil servants (first half of 2010). Ukraine is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The U.S. narcotics policy objective is to help Ukraine bring its law enforcement and justice sector institutions up to European and internationally accepted norms and standards, facilitating Ukraine’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. This will in turn assist Ukrainian authorities to build law enforcement capacity and develop effective counter-narcotics programs in interdiction (particularly of hard drugs transiting the country), investigation, and demand reduction, as well as to assist Ukraine in countering money laundering. Officers from the DEA have conducted a number of training courses funded by the Department of State in the areas of drug interdiction at seaports and advanced drug investigation techniques. The DEA has established a good working relationship with both the MOI and SBU, and training programs have helped deepen these relationships. Similarly, the United States Coast Guard provided training in maritime boarding officer techniques, creating a basis for future cooperation.

The Department of State, through a variety of projects, also assists the MOI to build capacity while simultaneously strengthening the Ukrainian SBGS capability to control Ukraine’s borders. Department of State funded projects include helping the SBGS develop risk and criminal analysis capabilities that are compliant with European Union norms in order to more accurately target and suppress threats, including narcotics trafficking, along its approximately 7,000 km-long border. In addition, the USG has provided a wide range of equipment to the SBGS and SCS, including video and electronic border monitoring systems, which should enhance these services’ ability to detect narcotics smuggling. DoD, through the U.S. European Command, has also furnished equipment to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Finally the State Department is supporting the Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova (GUAM) international organization, particularly through a virtual law enforcement center which will facilitate counter-narcotics information sharing between member states law enforcement bodies.

D. Conclusion

Combating illegal narcotics remains a national priority for Ukraine. Ukraine’s anti-drug legislation is well developed and the GOU is committed to keeping it current with the evolving threats. The Ukrainian Government attaches great importance to the prevention of narcotic addiction, but efforts in this area oftentimes prove to be under-funded. Coordination between law enforcement agencies responsible for counter-narcotics occurs, but continues to be hampered due to regulatory and jurisdictional constraints

Official statistics show a slight decrease in the number of drug related crimes and registered addicts in 2010, but these may not be accurate nor significant decreases. Trafficking of narcotics from Asia and cocaine from Latin America to European destinations through Ukraine is on the upswing as drug traffickers look for new ways to circumvent Western European customs and border controls. The seizure in the Odessa sea port noted above confirms this trend. Synthetic drugs trafficked from countries of Eastern Europe or produced locally are also a growing concern. Demand reduction and treatment of drug abusers remains a challenge requiring close attention. However, the largest challenge remains the limited budget resources to fund law enforcement efforts to investigate and interdict sophisticated, international trafficking rings that see Ukraine as a transit point to lucrative Western European markets, especially for heroin and cocaine. The U.S. will continue to have a role to play in Ukraine beyond law enforcement coordination, helping the government build its counter-narcotics capacity.

United Kingdom

A. Introduction

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is a consumer country of illicit drugs. Like other developed nations, the UK faces a serious domestic drug problem. Crime syndicates from around the world exploit the illegal narcotics market and use the UK as a major transshipping route.

The Home Office reported 8.8 percent of 16 to 69 year olds in England and Wales, or about 2.9 million people, used illicit drugs in 2010/2011. This rate is the lowest since measurement began in 1996 and is mainly due to a long-term decline in the use of cannabis. The UK has a robust drug-control institutional capability and strictly enforces national precursor chemical legislation in compliance with EU regulations. The UK is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The UK Government’s Drug Strategy was launched in 2010. The Strategy seeks to: 1) prevent drug use; 2) strengthen enforcement, criminal justice, and the legal framework; 3) rebalance treatment to support drug-free outcomes; and 4) support recovery to break the cycle of drug addiction.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA) identifies those “controlled drugs” that are “dangerous or otherwise harmful” and proscribes their unlawful possession, supply and production. Controlled drugs are classified in one of three categories – Class A, B, or C – in descending order from “A”, according to how harmful they are considered to be to the individual or to society. Class A drugs include cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, magic mushrooms, heroin, methadone, and methamphetamine. Amphetamines can be either Class A or B, depending on whether they are injected or swallowed. Cannabis is a Class B drug. Class C drugs include tranquilizers, some painkillers, anabolic steroids, and ketamine. Currently the MDA classifies more than 250 substances within its three categories.

The MDA also established the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), an independent, expert body that advises the UK government on drugs-related issues. A review of the ACMD, commissioned by the UK Home Office, was released in December 2010 and concluded the ACMD “represents an essential authoritative cost-effective source of scientific advice on the classification of substances.”

The U.S. and UK have a judicial narcotics agreement and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) relating to some UK territories such as the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Britain is a charter member of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Center-Narcotics (MAOC-N) in Lisbon, which aims to bolster EU capacity to protect its southwestern flank by enhancing police and intelligence cooperation amongst its members.

Prior to September 2011, the government was required to table an Order in parliament to amend the MDA to prohibit a drug. Under this procedure, in 2010 the government banned two “legal high” substances: mephedrone, the former legal high known as “meow meow,” and naphyrone, otherwise known as “NRG1.” Following safety concerns, the government placed import bans on another two substances, desoxypipradrol, marketed as Ivory Wave, and phenazepam. These bans give the UK Border Agency (UKBA) authority to seize and destroy shipments of the two substances. In September 2011 the ACMD recommended desoxypipradrol be controlled as a Class B drug.

In September 2011, the UK passed the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act. The Act includes a measure that allows the Home Secretary to immediately ban a substance for a twelve-month period, without requiring parliamentary procedure. Under the new act, the ACMD then conducts a review of the drug in question and publishes a report. The UK Home Secretary, drawing on that report, has twelve months to make the ban permanent via the parliamentary process. Accelerated procedures to list a dangerous drug are important, as criminals constantly introduce modest changes to the formula for synthetic drugs creating nominally uncontrolled drugs with the same dangerous affects as near chemical analogues subject to control.

2. Supply Reduction

Cannabis is the most widely used drug in the UK, with much of it grown domestically for personal use and for sale on the black market. Traditionally, cannabis cultivated overseas was imported into the UK from Europe in bulk by serious organized criminals, sometimes in mixed loads alongside Class A drugs. Authorities destroyed crops and clandestine facilities as they were detected. In 2009/2010, UK authorities seized 30.5 tons of cannabis and 758,700 cannabis plants.

Synthetic drugs continued to originate from Western and Central Europe; amphetamines, Ecstasy, and LSD were mainly traced to sources in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Poland, with some supplies originating in the UK. The UK remains one of the largest consumer markets for Netherlands-sourced Ecstasy. The UK government made the “date rape” drug gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) illegal in 2003, and gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL), a close chemical equivalent of GHB, in December 2009. The MDA also classified Benzylpiperazine (BZP), a popular club scene drug, as illegal at that time.

Overall, there were 224,080 drug seizures by the police and the UK Border Agency in England and Wales in 2009/10, a decrease of seven per cent from the year before. Cocaine was the most commonly seized Class A drug, with 2.6 tons seized, followed by heroin (1.5 tons seized). Approximately 90 percent of heroin in the UK came from Afghanistan in 2010/20111. The primary heroin trafficking route to the UK is overland from Afghanistan to Europe, transiting Iran and Turkey.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The British Crime Survey, published in July 2011 by the Home Office, found in the past year approximately 8.8 percent of adults aged 16-59 (about three million people) had used illicit drugs and 3 percent (about one million people) had used a Class A drug at least once in their lives. There was no statistically significant change from the previous year’s survey.

The UK government’s demand-reduction efforts focus on schools and other community-based programs to educate young people and to prevent them from starting to use drugs. The UK has drug education programs in all schools, supported by a certificate program for teachers. The government also supports a telephone helpline and website under its drug awareness initiative, FRANK, begun in 2003. In October 2011, the Home Office launched a new advertising strategy to promote FRANK, with advertising aimed at teenagers on websites and youth radio stations.

The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) is a special branch of the National Health Service. In October 2011, the NTA reported 204,473 individuals aged 18 and over contacted drug treatment services in England in 2010/2011. Eighty four percent of all clients in treatment cited using opiates and/or crack cocaine.

As the UK prepares to host the Olympic Games in 2012 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, there will be increasing international focus on its anti-doping policies and programs. The government has a strategy to work with key agencies, including the National Anti-Doping Organization, to respond to doping allegations.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, the UK 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 government officials reportedly engaged in such activity.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The UK places a high priority on counternarcotics enforcement and enjoys excellent law enforcement cooperation with the United States. The UK honors U.S. asset seizure requests and was one of the first countries to enforce U.S. civil forfeiture judgments. The UK provides Royal Navy warships and auxiliary vessels under the tactical control of Joint Interagency Task Force South to support efforts to stop the flow of narcotics in the West Atlantic, the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific high seas. The Royal Navy and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2005 that authorizes Royal Navy vessels to embark USCG law enforcement detachments to enforce U.S. counternarcotics law. Additionally, the U.S.-UK (including Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands) maritime counterdrug bilateral agreement signed in 1998 is still in effect.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s London Country Office works closely with the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) to fight international drug trafficking, and SOCA has representatives working in the United States with U.S. officials. The DEA London Office also coordinates efforts on international investigations with the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the UKBA, and the Metropolitan Police.

D. Conclusion

Despite the government’s robust efforts to combat drug trafficking and associated drug-related crime, the UK continues to be a lucrative market for traffickers in Class A drugs, and is targeted by a wide range of large-scale serious organized criminals.

Trafficking in heroin and cocaine continues to pose a significant challenge to the UK. The Home Office estimates the social harm caused by Class A drugs is approximately GBP 15.4 billion ($24.2 billion) a year.

The Home Office and police force are expected to face budget cuts over the next few years. The U. S. will continue to cooperate closely with the UK on all counternarcotics fronts.

Uruguay

A. Introduction

Uruguay is not a major narcotics producing country. However, foreign drug traffickers, increasingly attracted to Uruguay’s strategic maritime location, take advantage of its porous borders with Argentina and Brazil to transit illegal substances through the country. Local consumption of the highly addictive and inexpensive cocaine base product known as pasta base, or Paco, remains a serious problem. Efforts to fight trafficking and domestic consumption are relatively effective despite the limited resources available to law enforcement agencies and drug programs.

Uruguay is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Uruguay continued to implement its 2009-2012 National Plan Against Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering, which focused on coordinating interagency efforts to combat these illicit activities. In 2009, Uruguay created special courts for organized crime which exercise jurisdiction over all cases related to drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption, banking fraud, as well as trafficking in persons. In September 2011, building on the success of the judicial reorganization, Uruguay created special anti-drug police units in each of the country’s 19 provinces. These units report to the chief of police for their respective province. The National Drug Police (DGRTID), headquartered in Montevideo continued to operate satellite offices in the border cities of Rivera and Salto, two cities acutely affected by illicit trafficking.

Uruguay is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention; the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances; the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol; the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption; the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism; the Inter-American Convention Against Trafficking in Illegal Firearms; the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols; and the UN Convention against Corruption. It is also a member of the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD). The United States and Uruguay are parties to a bilateral extradition treaty that entered into force in 1984, a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty that entered into force in 1994, and a Letter of Agreement through which the United States funds counternarcotics and law enforcement programs. Uruguay has also concluded drug-related bilateral agreements with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Venezuela and Romania. Uruguay is a member of Action Group (GAFISUD), the regional financial action task force South American Financial.

2. Supply Reduction

Drug trafficking to and through Uruguay has steadily increased over the past several years. Drug traffickers from Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, and recently, Serbia capitalize on Uruguay’s vulnerable borders and exploitable transportation infrastructure. These foreign traffickers use Uruguay primarily as a base for logistics and transit operations, sometimes utilizing sophisticated equipment to conceal illicit drug shipments. Pursuant to Uruguayan government policies, shipping containers are rarely inspected if they are in transiting to or from other the three other MERCOSUR common market countries – Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of cocaine shipments enter Uruguay overland or via small aircraft, and are taken to staging areas before departing the country in containerized maritime cargo. Colombian and Bolivian traffickers continue to smuggle cocaine into remote northern regions of Uruguay, flying directly from Bolivia using make-shift airstrips located on foreign-owned residential farms. Pasta base is predominantly smuggled into Uruguay overland from Argentina. Growth in narcotics trafficking through and within Uruguay is evidenced by several seizures of multi-hundred kilogram quantities of cocaine since 2006.

The DGRTID seized 237 kilograms (kg) of cocaine in 2011 through both national and multi-jurisdictional counternarcotics operations involving the governments of Argentina, Brazil and Spain. Additionally, the DGRTID seized 136 kg of cocaine base, similar to amounts seized in 2010, and 1,147 kg of marijuana, representing a significant increase from the 336kg seized in 2010. The DGRTID also seized 894 kg of lidocaine in 2011, the first of the chemical precursor since 2009. DGRTID reported a rise in lidocaine seizures over the last 12 months. This chemical is procured more cheaply in Uruguay and is later smuggled into Brazil where it is mixed with pure cocaine. Uruguay’s northern frontier region continues to experience incursions from small aircraft transporting cocaine from Bolivia, as shown by a significant seizure of 176 kg of cocaine in Cerro Largo province in March 2010.

In April 2011, the DGRTID seized 120 kg of cocaine in Montevideo and arrested a Colombian drug trafficker found to have ties to a paramilitary group in Colombia. The arrest raised concerns that Colombia’s powerful drug cartels are maneuvering to establishing themselves in Uruguay.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Demand reduction continues to be a priority for the Uruguayan government. Uruguay’s demand reduction strategy focuses on programs for the prevention, rehabilitation, and treatment of substance abuse with particular attention paid to reducing demand for the highly addictive pasta base. However, resources are limited and rehabilitation and treatment centers reach only a small portion of those in need of these programs. The National Drug Rehabilitation Center trains health care professionals and sponsors teacher training, public outreach, and other programs in community centers and clubs. The National Anti-Drug Secretariat trains educators to run an anti-drug program for adolescents in schools across the country. The interagency treatment and prevention program Portal Amarillo continues to serve as a primary outlet for addicts seeking help. Portal Amarillo, established in 2006, features drug rehabilitation clinics, a telephone hotline, as well in-patient and out-patient services for drug users in northern Montevideo and the neighboring province of Maldonado. Unfortunately, demand for the program’s services regularly exceeds its capacity. A government-run drug rehabilitation clinic, Casa Abierta, continues to operate in the northern region of the country and functions similarly to Portal Amarillo. Additionally, in a specialized program targeting prison populations, prison personnel and inmates were trained to develop, plan, and perform activities to reduce drug abuse.

Uruguay continues to develop methods to track trends in drug abuse. According to the United Nations World Drug Report 2010, 6 percent of the Uruguayan population between the ages of 12 - 65 consumes marijuana on a regular basis while 1.4 percent of the same demographic regularly consumes cocaine. In October, 2011 the National Anti-Drug Secretariat updated the results of a 2009 survey of drug and alcohol use in students. The results continued to highlight the high use of alcohol and tobacco among secondary students. The survey also indicated that one in 10 secondary students has tried pasta base. A survey of drug use in the general population began in June 2011 and results were not expected until the end of 2011. The findings of both studies will shape Uruguay’s future demand reduction programs.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy the Government of Uruguay does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking and there is no evidence to suggest senior government officials are engaged in such activity. Uruguay has taken legislative and law enforcement measures to prevent and punish public corruption related to narcotics trafficking. The special organized crime courts created in 2009 exercise exclusive jurisdiction over corruption cases. Uruguay’s Transparency Law of 1998 criminalizes various types of abuses of power by government authorities and requires high-ranking officials to comply with financial disclosure regulations. Public officials who do not act on knowledge of a drug-related crime may be charged with a “crime of omission” under the Citizen Security Law. There were no known corruption cases in 2011.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

Uruguay’s national goals, United States – Uruguay bilateral goals, and U.S. policy initiatives are harmonious in their objective of strengthening Uruguay’s technical and operational abilities to interdict narcotics shipments, conduct complex criminal investigations, arrest traffickers, and expand prevention and rehabilitation programs.

In 2011, U.S. assistance included support to demand reduction programs and operational assistance provided by DEA Buenos Aires. The National Anti-Drug Secretariat continued to receive U.S. support to conduct a National Drug Use Survey. The goal of this project is to expand Uruguay’s awareness of countrywide drug abuse in order to better shape demand reduction strategies. Additionally, the Uruguayan Navy received training from the U.S. military in the areas of maritime law enforcement, port security, leadership, and search and rescue.

D. Conclusion

Uruguay’s institutional mechanisms, including the National Plan Against Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering and its creation of special courts for organized crime, provide a solid foundation for combating narcotics trafficking. However, Uruguay needs to provide more support to law enforcement to strengthen its capacity to investigate and interdict narcotics shipments. This support should include increased training and improved technology for border police and the new provincial anti-drug police units created to help stem the inflow of drugs overland from Argentina and Brazil. Uruguay would also benefit greatly from increased radar coverage of its northern airspace. Uruguay should build upon the success of existing demand reduction programs by continuing to reach out to youth and at risk groups. Expanding capacity at rehabilitation centers is critical to ensuring that all who seek help receive it. Improved profiling and inspection of containerized cargo would significantly reduce traffickers’ ability to move shipments undetected through Uruguay and serve to make Uruguay a less attractive transit point for Europe-bound cocaine shipments in particular.

Uzbekistan

A. Introduction

Uzbekistan is not a major producer of drugs, but it sits astride a major trafficking route for illegal narcotics. An estimated 70 tons of Afghan opiates transits through Central Asia, including a significant portion either directly or indirectly through Uzbekistan, to end-use markets in Russia and Europe. Uzbekistan shares a 137 kilometer border with Afghanistan and borders every other Central Asian republic. In addition to 134 legal crossing points, Uzbekistan’s borders include thousands of miles of open desert, rugged mountains and the Amudarya River, which affords drug traffickers opportunities to enter Uzbekistan’s territory undetected.

Uzbekistan’s leadership has recently exhibited renewed political will to deal with drug trafficking. However, some of the proceeds of illegal narcotics are likely used to influence officials and corrupt key government institutions. While law enforcement officials in Uzbekistan are generally well-trained and professional, corruption and a lack of resources seriously hinder Uzbekistan’s institutional drug control capabilities. Official data on drug use is unreliable and experts believe the actual number of drug addicts is ten times the number officially reported. Drug abuse awareness, demand reduction and treatment programs generally do not operate effectively in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is a party to the three UN Drug Conventions as well as the Transnational Organized Crime Convention and the Convention against Corruption.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The GOU identifies combating drug trafficking as one of its top security priorities. The GOU prefers bilateral over multilateral engagement on many issues, including counternarcotics, It rarely cooperates with neighboring countries, even on a bilateral basis, creating obvious inefficiencies for control efforts of drugs transiting through Uzbekistan and the region.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reestablished a presence in Uzbekistan in November 2009. In similar fashion to the overall bilateral relationship, the DEA Tashkent Country Office (CO) has significantly strengthened its working relationship with GOU counterparts in the past year through information sharing, the continued provision of training, equipment and technical expertise to GOU ministries and agencies with counternarcotics responsibilities. DEA recently completed training at the Prosecutor General’s Office aimed at money laundering investigation techniques and has proposed further training in this area.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with its regional headquarters in Tashkent, worked closely with DEA and the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) to conduct training programs in Uzbekistan in 2011 including anti-corruption seminars, designed to address corruption in agencies with counternarcotics responsibilities. Other training in advanced investigative techniques, money laundering, and precursor chemicals was also completed. Uzbekistan also participates in NATO Russia Council counternarcotics training program for Afghanistan, Central Asia and Pakistan.

The European Union (EU) also supports counternarcotics projects in Uzbekistan, under the regional Border Management in Central Asia (BOMCA) and the Central Asia Drug Action Program (CADAP), the former of which is implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In September 2011, the GOU ratified the regional agreement which established its participation in the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center (CARICC) along with Azerbaijan, Russia and the other four Central Asian states. The CARICC was established to coordinate information sharing and joint counternarcotics efforts among the participating countries.

In October 2011, INL, partnering with DEA, introduced the Central Asia Counternarcotics Initiative (CACI) to the GOU. Utilizing existing counternarcotics structures, CACI envisions establishment of DEA-mentored vetted units in participating countries and regional sharing of counternarcotics related intelligence through CARICC. The GOU, despite its preference for bilateral engagement, agreed to seriously study the proposal.

2. Supply Reduction

Uzbekistan is not a significant producer of illegal narcotics. The “Black Poppy 2011” eradication campaign involved more than 18,000 police and civilians, but found and eliminated an insignificant amount of illicit crops.

The challenge for law enforcement in Uzbekistan is the transit of illegal drugs through the country. Uzbekistan’s superior road infrastructure relative to its neighbors, difficult to control borders, and corruption have all led to Uzbekistan becoming a prime transit route for Afghan drugs to end use markets. The modus operandi of drug traffickers in Uzbekistan has changed little in the last five years. A few sophisticated organizations use large vehicles to carry large quantities of narcotics across the border. Since they are capable of paying large bribes, they are thought to have a level of protection from corrupt government officials.

Trafficking routes also remain the same as in the past. Along the southern border drugs enter from Tajikistan through the Surkhandarya region and across the Amudarya river from Afghanistan. In the southeast drugs enter into Samarkand and Syrdarya regions from Tajikistan. In the northeast drugs enter into the Ferghana Valley and Tashkent region from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

According to statistics provided by the Uzbek National Center for Drug Control (NCDC), for the first half of 2011:

•  Law enforcement seized a total of 2,457 kg of illicit drugs, a 21 percent increase over the same period last year. 36 percent was opium poppy straw, followed by heroin (27 percent), marijuana (14 percent) and opium (13.5 percent).

•  Authorities opened 4,242 narcotics related criminal investigations, a 7.5 percent decrease from 2010, and courts reviewed 1,707 drug related cases with 2,437 criminal punishments resulting.

•  Uzbek law enforcement arrested 54 foreign nationals on drug trafficking charges, a decrease of 10 percent, and seized a total of 85.7 kg of illicit drugs from these individuals. Concealment methods continue to be hidden compartments in vehicles, inside fruits and vegetables and on and inside bodies.

Most border officials have no little or no training in the detection, identification and interdiction of precursor chemicals, which is not a priority for the GOU. The last officially recorded precursor chemical seizure in Uzbekistan occurred in 2008. Additionally, Customs officers do not have access to a database that maintains criminal history information, which would enable them to identify linkages to other cases.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Drug abuse awareness, demand reduction, and treatment in Uzbekistan have lagged far behind the country’s needs. At the beginning of 2011 there were 18,563 registered addicts in Uzbekistan, a slight decrease from the previous year. Opium and heroin are the drugs of choice for almost 80 percent of registered addicts. 95 percent of registered addicts are males. 68 percent of drug users are between 20 and 39 years old.

Treatment programs are insufficient, even for officially registered addicts. Programs have the capacity to treat only a few hundred addicts. Only a few treatment centers provide both addiction treatment and support services to patients. Otherwise most treatment has an old fashioned punishment mentality that can result in a disregard for patients’ rights.

The GOU continued to carry out limited drug abuse awareness campaigns among youth in schools, colleges and neighborhoods (mahallas). On June 6, 2011, the State Drug Control Commission adopted the Drug Demand Reduction Action Plan for 2011-2015. In 2011, with CENTCOM funding, DEA sponsored a group of Uzbek law enforcement officials to observe the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (DARE) in the U.S. Since returning the GOU has requested assistance to establish a DARE program in Uzbekistan.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the GOU does not encourage or facilitate the production or distribution of illegal narcotics. However, corruption continues to permeate all levels of government, with either tacit approval of or participation by high government officials. Based on local media reports there seemed to be a greater number of public officials arrested and prosecuted for corruption recently. However, most of those arrested and prosecuted were not law enforcement officials but district and city level administrative officials.

The GOU has taken steps to implement an anticorruption program. In 2011, three INL funded, UNODC implemented counter-corruption workshops were held in Uzbekistan. The Prosecutor General’s Office, law enforcement agencies, the Supreme Court, and staff members of the parliament all participated in these highly praised workshops. The Prosecutor General’s Office has requested a continuation of the program.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

In parallel with the overall U.S.-Uzbek bilateral relationship, counternarcotics cooperation with the GOU continues to grow. DEA’s relationship with GOU counterparts is strengthening. DEA and CENTCOM provided training, technical expertise and equipment to their Uzbek counterparts in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), National Security Service (NSS), Customs Service and Border Guard Service. As the Uzbek agencies enhance their capacity, DEA is able to offer more sophisticated training with the ultimate goal of institutionalizing these methods into the curriculum of the relevant agency training academies.

CENTCOM, through its Office of Military Cooperation, Office of Special Project (OSP) – an organization under Chief of Mission authority - continues to proactively support activities that enhance border security and development of the counternarcotics infrastructure in Uzbekistan.

D. Conclusion

Strengthening counternarcotics efforts in Uzbekistan is strategically important to the United States, including in the context of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. These efforts included institution building projects, law enforcement measures and demand reduction initiatives. Capitalizing on those efforts, CACI was proposed to the GOU with the expectation that it will lead to greater regional cooperation between Central Asian countries.

GOU officials understand that trafficking and illicit drug profits undermine the country’s overall security and corrupt key government institutions. GOU law enforcement agencies are eager to cooperate with the USG, but are reluctant to do so without clear political support. The absence of such support limits the pace and extent of cooperation. It is nevertheless clear that the bilateral counternarcotics relationship between the U.S. and Uzbekistan is developing at an ever quickening pace. Training that meets international standards, greater exposure to international best practices, and cooperation with international partners will contribute to continued improvement of Uzbekistan’s counternarcotics capacity.

 Venezuela

A. Introduction

Venezuela is a major drug-transit country. A porous western border with Colombia, a weak judicial system, inconsistent international counternarcotics cooperation, generally permissive law enforcement, and a corrupt political environment have made Venezuela one of the preferred trafficking routes for cocaine from South America to the Eastern Caribbean, Central America, the United States, western Africa and Europe. The President of the United States determined in 2011 that Venezuela had failed demonstrably to adhere to its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements.

The Government of Venezuela’s counternarcotics efforts are led by the National Anti-Drug Office (ONA). Enforcement is principally carried out by the National Guard and the Scientific, Penal, and Criminal Investigative Body, although state and municipal police forces also conduct some counternarcotics operations. The Venezuelan Coast Guard, which is under the authority of the Navy, has a counternarcotics mission both at sea and in the ports. Venezuelan law enforcement lacks the equipment, training, and reach to match the resources and scope of major drug trafficking organizations. Effective prosecution of drug traffickers is hindered by corruption and a lack of judicial independence.

During 2011, Venezuela and Colombia continued to develop their bilateral counternarcotics cooperation to address the transit of illicit drugs from Colombia to Venezuela and onward to third countries. On May 9, 2011, Colombia extradited to Venezuela Walid Makled, allegedly Venezuela's most prominent drug trafficker, who is reportedly connected to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and who is wanted in the United States on drug trafficking charges. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Treasury designated Makled a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker under the Kingpin Act. Makled was arraigned on May 10, 2011, and the court ordered his case to trial on July 26; however, the trial was pending at year's end.

Venezuelan authorities deported to Colombia three members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and two members of the FARC, including security chief Gildardo Garcia Carmona (aka “Alirio”) in 2011. On May 31, the Venezuelan government arrested another FARC member, Guillermo Enrique Torres Cueter (aka “Julian Conrado”), but had not deported him to Colombia by year's end. Despite these steps, the Venezuelan government appeared to continue to tolerate a FARC and ELN presence and did not take significant steps to limit their ability to operate in Venezuelan territory.

The media continued to report on the presence of Mexican drug trafficking organizations, including the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, trafficking drugs through Venezuela. In January, Venezuelan authorities arrested Colombian Gloria Rojas, who was allegedly working for Los Zetas in Venezuela, and deported her to the United States on March 21, 2011.

Some limited coca cultivation occurs along Venezuela’s border with Colombia, but the levels are insignificant. Low-grade marijuana is grown in various parts of Venezuela but is not exported because of its poor quality. Trafficking of precursor chemicals through the country is minimal. According to a 2009 drug consumption study by the ONA, illegal drug use remained a problem, with marijuana the most commonly consumed illicit drug, followed by “crack” cocaine and “basuco” (cocaine paste).

Bilateral counternarcotics cooperation between Venezuela and the United States is limited and continues only on a case-by-case basis. The lack of greater counternarcotics cooperation is consistent with the Venezuelan government’s decision to reduce bilateral contact with the United States. Venezuela has not signed the addendum to the 1978 Bilateral Counternarcotics Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States that was negotiated in 2005.

Venezuela is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Venezuela’s National Anti-Drug Plan for 2009-2013 included the creation of a national anti-drug system under the ONA to consolidate and coordinate anti-drug efforts. The plan calls for more research on the extent of drug abuse in Venezuela as well as the effectiveness of drug abuse prevention programs.

Based on a 2011 national drug use study pursuant to this plan, the ONA Director reported an estimated 270,096 regular drug users, representing 1.28 percent of the population between 12-16 years of age. An end-of-year report from ONA stated that the government undertook over 43,000 drug consumption prevention activities involving approximately three million persons during 2011, an increase of 200 percent in participants through these activities.

The plan promotes the creation of state and municipal anti-drug offices to implement national policies. It also proposes the creation of a counternarcotics judicial jurisdiction, composed of specially trained judges and personnel, to expedite prosecution of drug-related offenses. While an ambitious plan, none of the organizational or policy plans were evident in 2011. The government reported drug seizures, arrests, and destruction of drugs and airstrips on an ad hoc basis.

In January 2010, the government created a National Anti-Drug Fund to finance programs to prevent drug abuse, money laundering, and drug trafficking. There were reports of ONA taking over a year to approve and license organizations to receive assistance from this fund. ONA created a website in 2011 for organizations to register for a license to participate in this program; however, organizations continued to wait long periods for the license.

The 2010 Organic Law on Drugs replaced the previous Organic Law on Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances and, among other things, increased potential penalties for drug trafficking and gave the ONA the authority to seize and use assets of individuals connected with drug trafficking. Evidence of enforcement of this directive was not readily available in 2011.

Venezuela 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. Venezuela is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, and the UN Convention against Corruption. Venezuela is also a party to the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, and the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. Venezuela remains an active member of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

The Venezuelan government has signed a number of bilateral agreements with the United States, including a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty that entered into force in March 2004; a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement; and a 1991 Ship-Boarding Agreement (updated in 1997) that authorizes the United States to board suspect Venezuelan-flagged vessels on the high seas. The continued, unimpeded use of the ship-boarding agreement has been essential to the United States in its counternarcotics efforts. While the United States and the Venezuelan government signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning counternarcotics cooperation in 1978, Venezuela has not signed a 2005 addendum that would extend the agreement.

The United States and Venezuela are parties to an extradition treaty that entered into force in 1923; however, the treaty has limited application as the 1999 Venezuelan constitution bars the extradition of Venezuelan nationals. Venezuela does periodically deport non-Venezuelan nationals to the United States.

2. Supply Reduction

Venezuela remains a major transit country for cocaine shipments by air, land, and sea. According to U.S. government cocaine-movement estimates, by the end of 2011, an estimated 161-212 metric tons of cocaine likely departed from Venezuela to global destinations in 2011, the same amount estimated as in 2010. Suspected narcotics trafficking flights depart from Venezuelan states bordering Colombia. Almost all the illicit drug flights arriving in Honduras, the region’s largest center for airborne drug smuggling, originate from Venezuela. Cargo containers, fishing vessels, and “go-fast” boats are used to move narcotics out of Venezuela by sea.

The vast majority of illicit narcotics that transited Venezuela during 2011 were destined for the Eastern Caribbean, Central America, the United States, western Africa, and Europe. Mexican and Colombian illegal armed groups, including Los Zetas, the Sinaloa Cartel, the FARC and the ELN, were linked to the most aggressive and successful drug trafficking organizations moving narcotics through Venezuela. Media reports alleged that elements of Venezuela’s security forces directly assisted these organizations.

During 2011, the ONA established a website for individuals to provide anonymous information related to drug trafficking activities. The government also reportedly installed at least six of ten Chinese –made air traffic radar systems, purchased in 2007 that are capable of tracking potential illegal trafficking flights. The Venezuelan government also inaugurated a new drug incineration center, increasing the number of centers to 10, and opened up a new office for the seizure and administration of assets from individuals involved in drug trafficking activities.

While the Venezuelan government publicly reports seizures of illicit drugs, it is not part of the Cooperating Nations Information Exchange System partner nations and does not share the data or evidence needed to verify seizures or the destruction of illicit drugs. According to ONA, Venezuelan authorities seized 42 metric tons of illegal drugs by year end, compared to 63 metric tons in 2010, 62 percent of the seizures were cocaine (26 metric tons – compared to 38 metric tons in all 2010) and 37 percent were marijuana (16 metric tons – compared to 24 metric tons in all 2010). The remainder consisted of crack cocaine (82 kilograms), heroin (81 kilograms), and basuco (55 kilograms). The 2011 UN World Drug Report noted that cocaine seizures in Venezuela “peaked at 59 metric tons in 2005, and have fallen to approximately one half that level since then, amounting to 28 metric tons in 2009.”

The Venezuelan government reported that during 2011, operations “Centinela,” “Sierra,” “Urena Soberana,” and “Guarumito” led to the seizures of drugs, aircraft, and precursor chemicals, and the destruction of drug laboratories and clandestine airstrips. According to the ONA, as of October 17 2011, the Venezuelan government seized 21 aircraft involved in illicit drug trafficking, destroyed 45 clandestine drug trafficking airstrips, and dismantled 17 drug processing labs. ONA also reported that it captured 21 individuals for whom there were international warrants for narcotrafficking-related offenses and arrested 13,921 individuals in connection with the possession or trafficking of illegal drugs. No information was available on the nature or severity of the drug offenses. According to the Public Ministry, as of September, 4,515 assets, including real estate and personal property, had been seized from individuals purportedly involved in drug trafficking activities.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Illegal drug use remains a significant problem in Venezuela. Non-governmental organizations throughout the country offer drug abuse awareness, demand reduction, and treatment programs. As part of its National Plan for Integrated Prevention, the ONA continued its Planting Values for Life program. The government reported that as of October 14 2011, 835 workshops and seminars had been held in more than 200 schools across the country.

In September, the ONA director for demand reduction announced that the ONA began the program, "ONA Goes to School," in 26,000 schools. This program is designed to educate students on the dangers and prevent use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

4. Corruption

Public corruption continued to be a major issue in Venezuela and appears to have contributed to drug trafficking organizations’ use of Venezuela to transit drugs in 2011. As a matter of stated government policy, the Venezuelan government does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking. However, some senior government officials are believed to have engaged in drug trafficking activity. On September 8 2011 the U.S. Department of Treasury designated four senior government officials pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act for acting for or on behalf of the FARC, often in direct support of its narcotics and arms trafficking activities. The Venezuelan government did not take action against these or other government and military officials known to be linked to the FARC. In 2010, President Chavez promoted Henry Rangel Silva, Chief of the Armed Forces’ Strategic Operation Command to the four-star equivalent rank of General in Chief; Rangel Silva was designated under the Kingpin Act in 2008.

The 2010 Organic Law on Drugs imposed additional penalties, ranging from 8-18 years in prison, on military and security officials convicted of participating in or facilitating narcotics trafficking. However, there was no public information available on investigations of senior government officials allegedly involved in narcotics trafficking.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

Since ceasing formal cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2005, the Venezuelan government has maintained only limited, case-by-case counternarcotics cooperation with the United States. Since 2005, the United States has proposed that the Venezuelan government sign an addendum to the 1978 U.S.-Venezuelan bilateral counternarcotics MOU that would permit expanded cooperation. Venezuelan officials stated publicly that Venezuela would neither sign a bilateral agreement nor cooperate with the United States on counternarcotics. The Venezuelan government rarely shares information with the United States on money laundering or narcotics trafficking. Since 2009, when Interior and Justice Minister El Aissami prohibited police officers from receiving training abroad without the Ministry's prior approval, Venezuelan law enforcement authorities have not participated in U.S.-provided counternarcotics training programs.

Bilateral cooperation with the United States in 2011 consisted mainly of coordination of fugitive deportations from Venezuela to the United States and maritime interdiction activities carried out by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

The Venezuelan government deported three fugitives wanted on narcotics trafficking charges to the United States during 2011: Gloria Rojas Valencia, Lionel Harris, and Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, aka “Valenciano”, one of Colombia’s most-wanted drug traffickers captured in Venezuela in November and deported in December.

The Venezuelan government continued to permit USCG boarding of Venezuelan-flagged vessels on the high seas suspected of being engaged in narcotics trafficking. During 2011, the Venezuelan government cooperated with the USCG in three maritime drug interdiction cases, compared to nine cases in 2010. The United States is unaware of the Venezuelan Navy or Coast Guard making any at-sea drug seizures on its own.

D. Conclusion

During the year, Venezuela increased counternarcotics cooperation with Colombia and continued to deport fugitives to the United States, Colombia, and other countries. The United States remains prepared to deepen cooperation with Venezuela to help counter the increasing flow of cocaine and other illegal drugs transiting Venezuelan territory. Cooperation could be improved through a formal re-engagement between Venezuelan and U.S. law enforcement agencies on counternarcotics issues and the signing of the outstanding Bilateral Counternarcotics MOU addendum, which would provide funds for joint counternarcotics projects and demand reduction programs. Cooperation could include counternarcotics and anti-money laundering training programs for law enforcement and other officials to build institutional capacity to fight narcotics trafficking. Such training would require the Venezuelan government to permit law enforcement officials to participate in capacity-building programs hosted by other countries. Cooperation could also improve Venezuela’s port security and reduce Venezuela’s role as a major maritime drug transit country. Such cooperation could involve the activation of the Container Inspection Facility at Puerto Cabello, which was partially funded by the United States in 2004, and the Venezuelan government’s participation in the USCG's International Port Security Program. This program would help Venezuela assess its major seaports and develop best practices for enhanced maritime security. Since the last assessment in 2004, the Venezuelan government has denied requests by the United States to return to conduct an updated assessment. These cooperative activities would increase the exchange of information that could lead to arrests, help dismantle organized criminal networks, aid in the prosecution of criminals engaged in narcotrafficking, and stem the flow of illicit drugs transiting Venezuelan airspace, land, and sea.

Vietnam

A. Introduction

Vietnam remains a target for drug trafficking organizations seeking to establish and expand their international smuggling routes from production sites in the Golden Triangle (Thailand, Burma, and Laos). Vietnam’s geographic location and improving, but still limited drug-enforcement capacities make it an attractive target for drug-trafficking organizations transshipping illicit narcotics to the international market place. Vietnam works with neighboring countries and regional partners to combat drug trafficking. U.S. cooperation continues to develop with programs focusing on law enforcement training and health-related issues. In coming years, Vietnam’s role as a transit country for drugs trafficked to the U.S. could grow as expanding trade and other ties draw the two countries closer.

Cultivation and production of illegal drugs in Vietnam remains minimal, although in 2011 Vietnam identified a number of domestic synthetic drug labs for the first time. Illegal drug use remains dominated by intravenous abuse of heroin, with an accompanying threat of HIV transmission, although use of “recreational” drugs such as Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) is growing rapidly among urban youth populations. Vietnam is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Developments

The Government of Vietnam (GVN) has placed counter-narcotics issues high on its agenda and is committed to pursuing a comprehensive national drug control policy. Vietnam conducted a five-year review of the preceding Drug Control Master Plan (2005-2010) in which the GVN concluded that efforts to control transnational trafficking and to treat drug addiction had “critically failed,” while “significant achievements” had been made in raising public awareness, controlling cultivation, and improving criminal and judicial enforcement capacity. In June 2011, the Prime Minister issued a new “National Strategy” document on drug prevention and control with target objectives to be achieved by 2020 and a broader vision statement looking ahead to 2030. Reflecting “lessons learned” during the policy review, the 2011 National Strategy emphasizes law enforcement cooperation with bordering states and communicates two fundamental policy changes to drug treatment in Vietnam – the endorsement of methadone treatment; and a shift towards community-based treatment away from mandatory rehabilitation centers. The new strategy also recommends additional financial resources for enforcement and treatment. According to the Standing Office of Drugs and Crime of the Ministry of Public Security (SODC), the national budget for drug control and prevention was 600 billion Vietnamese Dong (VND) or $30 million in 2010, a significant increase from the 345 billion VND or $20.3 million reported in 2009.

The Government of Vietnam realizes the importance of regional and international cooperation against transnational drug trafficking. In addition to actively cooperating with its neighbors on drug issues through the ASEAN framework for counter-drug efforts, the GVN also has bilateral cooperation agreements with a number of countries, including neighboring China, Laos, and Cambodia. These agreements facilitate information sharing and cooperative operations, including joint raids by the Vietnam Border Guard Army and Laotian local police. Supported by UNODC through a counter-drug capacity-building MOU, Vietnam established Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) at major land border crossings to facilitate law enforcement cooperation with neighboring countries.

2. Supply Reduction

In 2010, SODC reported that Vietnam investigated 16,657 narcotics cases involving 23,497 offenders, and seized 317 kilograms of heroin, 28 kilograms of opium, 8,623 kilograms of fresh cannabis, and 221,685 tablets of synthetic drugs. During the first six months of 2011, Vietnam investigated 9,706 narcotics cases and carried out 13,657 narcotics-related arrests, (an increase of 2,139 cases and 2,933 people in comparison with the same period last year) and seized 165 kilograms of heroin, 22 kilograms of opium, 180 kilograms of fresh cannabis and 382 kilograms of processed cannabis, 138,131 tablets of synthetic drugs, and minor amounts of other illegal drugs. Opium cultivation in Vietnam remains insignificant, with 25.85 hectares detected and eradicated in 2010-2011 (a decrease of 10.4% compared to the 2009-2010 crop).

During 2011, counter-narcotics police for the first time detected and conducted raids on small-scale drug labs using cold medications to manufacture precursor chemicals for the production of methamphetamine. In addition, various types of ATS manufactured in Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma and Thailand were smuggled into Vietnam for local consumption and further transshipment to the international market.

Increasing numbers of Vietnamese are being recruited as “mules” to smuggle narcotics to destinations around the region. Colonel Le Thanh Liem, deputy chief of the Narcotics Police Department reported that African drug smuggling rings have begun using Vietnamese students as traffickers instead of middle-aged women.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

According to SODC, as of June 2011, there were 150,000 officially registered drug users nationwide, with 83% of the 30-45 year age group using heroin, representing 54% of the total number of drug users. Despite this apparent high share for heroin, its use has declined relative to other drugs, while ATS use is increasing in urban areas.

The Government of Vietnam believes in treatment of drug addiction at three levels – within the family, community-based treatment, and formal resident-rehabilitation. Vietnam’s use of involuntary, non-evidence based drug treatment centers (commonly known as “06 Centers” in Vietnam) stirred significant international controversy in September 2011 when an international human rights organization issued a report detailing human rights abuses. Unofficial data from the GVN states that in 2006 there were approximately 71,000 detainees undergoing compulsory treatment in 06 Centers. This figure is reported to have dropped to around 32,000 by 2011. The GVN has previously acknowledged the basic failure of the 06 Centers, which experts estimate face a 70-80% relapse rate. In the previously reported new strategy document issued in June, the GVN signaled a shift in focus to “more effective” community-based rehabilitation models and post-rehabilitation management.

In 2011, the Ministry of Health initiated plans to roll out methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) in every city and province with a goal of treating 80,000 heroin addicts at over 245 sites by 2015. This will represent a significant expansion of the current program, which consists of 41 primarily donor-supported sites located in 11 provinces and cities. The authorities hope for more effective treatment of drug addicts and believe methadone maintenance therapy will reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the GVN 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 information specifically links any senior GVN official with engaging in, encouraging or facilitating the illicit production or distribution of drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

Nevertheless, a certain level of corruption, both among lower-level enforcement personnel and higher-level officials, is consistent with the fairly large-scale movement of narcotics into and out of Vietnam. The GVN has demonstrated its willingness to prosecute some corrupt officials in the past, although most targets were relatively low level. There were no reported cases of drug related corruption within law enforcement or the government in 2010.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The United States counter-narcotics policy objectives in Vietnam aim at strengthening law enforcement cooperation and expanding the capacity of Vietnam’s counter-narcotics law enforcement agencies. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DEA and the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) promotes information sharing and coordinated operations. Renewed in February 2010, this basic MOU is currently the primary mechanism in place to facilitate cooperation. The MOU allows the MPS to work with U.S. officials where cooperation is permitted within Vietnam’s existing legal and procedural framework.

The U.S. sponsors and funds capacity-building efforts, including GVN participation at international events and conferences and training activities. In May 2011, DEA, with funding from Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF-W), trained 50 MPS officers on tactical operations and emergency medical care. Additionally, DEA, JIATF-W, and MPS are constructing a joint training facility in Vinh Vietnam. The International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok provides law enforcement training to Vietnamese officers each year on a range of counter-narcotics related subjects, training approximately 4 Vietnamese students in each of its regional courses, with a total of 60 - 100 Vietnamese officers trained per year.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) continued its training for the Vietnam Marine Police (VMP) in 2011. The DOS Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program is supporting the development of a comprehensive, self-sustaining, in-country training program addressing the full range of maritime threats (e.g., piracy, drug trafficking, WMD proliferation, and contraband smuggling). This program is based on a USCG training delivered to VMP officers and other GVN military and law enforcement professionals for several years.

The U.S. also works closely with Vietnam to support the GVN’s national strategy on HIV/AIDS and to establish evidence-based, effective and sustainable interventions for people who inject drugs and are at risk for HIV. Through PEPFAR Vietnam, the U.S. supports policy reform, technical assistance and direct service delivery for HIV prevention, care, and treatment activities.

Vietnam 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. Vietnam has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Vietnam ratified the UN Corruption Convention on June 20, 2009. Vietnam issued a statement saying it would not be held to item 2, Article 66 of this convention. This item stipulates that if disputes on the explanation and application of the convention cannot be solved by negotiation or arbitrators, members have the right to bring the case to the international private law court. Vietnam also stated to it would not adhere to some optional regulations, such as criminalizing illegal money-making acts, corruption in the private sector, the use of special investigative techniques, which Vietnamese laws do not cover. In addition, Vietnam does not consider this convention as a direct legal foundation for the extradition of corruption-related criminals; extradition must be based on Vietnamese laws.

D. Conclusion

The GVN is aware of the growing narcotics trafficking threat and its increasing domestic drug problem and continues to develop its cooperation with foreign law enforcement to assist in its counter-narcotics efforts. During 2011, as in previous years, the GVN made progress with ongoing and new initiatives aimed at the law enforcement and social problems, e.g., drug abuse, organized crime, HIV/AIDS, stemming from the illegal drug trade. The GVN continued to show a willingness to take unilateral action against drugs and drug trafficking, but also requested assistance from foreign law enforcement organizations, although on a case-by-case basis. The GVN signed the Convention on Transnational Organized Crime in 2000, but has not yet ratified it. Ratification of the document would serve to bolster its international credibility in seeking further external assistance. U.S.-GVN cooperation in counter-narcotics continues to grow steadily, but remains limited by the lack of a binding bilateral agreement necessary to facilitate joint investigation and development of drug cases.

Zambia

Zambia is not a major producer or exporter of illegal drugs, nor is Zambia a significant transit route for drug trafficking. Cannabis continues to be the primary drug abused in Zambia, as it is the only illicit drug that is locally cultivated in large quantities, mainly by small-holder farmers. It is consumed locally and exported regionally and to Europe. Small amounts of other illicit drugs and precursors to synthetic drugs are brought into Zambia for domestic consumption or for transshipment to other markets.

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) works closely with other Zambian law enforcement and health agencies on drug control and treatment programs and has a record of good cooperation with the U.S. Government. As is true of the Zambian government generally, the DEC is hampered by a lack of resources and capacity. Zambia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

The DEC reported a 42 percent decrease in the amount of cannabis seized in the first ten months of 2011. The sharp decline appears to be the result of a “base effect”: a particularly large seizure of cannabis plants in 2010 increased seizures by 260 percent for that year. Comparing this year with last year’s large spike in seizures exhibits a sharp decline that may not accurately reflect other trends. In the same ten month period, the DEC seized 21 kilograms of ephedrine and de minimus amounts of cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. The DEC reported an increase in Khat trafficking from Tanzania, but reported no seizure statistics.

There appear to have been some small crystal methamphetamine seizures even though none were reported. Failure to report the seizures appears to have resulted from oversight or inefficiency following recent leadership changes in enforcement agencies under the new government.

The Zambian Government (GRZ) works closely with its neighbors and countries in the region on drug and drug trafficking issues through Joint Permanent Commissions on Defense and Security and regional organizations such as the Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Co-operations (SARPCCO) and the South African Narcotics Bureau. The GRZ also collaborates with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, the International Narcotics Control Board, and the United Kingdom’s Customs & Excise Service.

The National Education Campaign Division (NECD) of the DEC carries out drug education in schools throughout the country and provides drug treatment and counseling. Zambia does not have dedicated drug treatment facilities. The DEC works with hospitals to provide treatment. NECD provides counseling and treatment at hospitals and clinics throughout the country.

No evidence has emerged to suggest that current government officials are involved in the production or trafficking of drugs. The Zambian Government does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage drug-trafficking or the laundering of the proceeds of drug-trafficking.

The U.S. Government provides training assistance to Zambian law enforcement agencies, including the DEC, through the International Law Enforcement Academies in Gaborone, Botswana, and Roswell, New Mexico. The 1931 extradition treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom governs extraditions between the United States and Zambia, although the treaty has not been used in several years.



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