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2013 INCSR: Country Reports - Moldova through Singapore


Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report
March 5, 2013

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Moldova

Moldova is neither a major drug trafficking nor drug producing country, but serves as a transit point for drugs destined for Western Europe. Moldova‘s proximity to the European Union, limited law enforcement capacity, and lack of control of the separatist Transnistria region significantly complicate its drug control efforts. Counternarcotics activities are hampered by insufficient specialized police officers and inadequate funding and equipment. The government has taken some steps to address the situation in the context of ongoing police reform efforts, and plans exist to increase staffing and reorganize specialized anti-drug units.

Moldovan authorities registered 1,134 drug-related cases in the first nine months of 2012, with approximately 60 percent proceeding to prosecution. During that same period, authorities dismantled eight drug trafficking networks. Police, customs, and border officials cooperated in counternarcotics activities, but with limited effectiveness. As in previous years, combating domestic cultivation of marijuana was the biggest challenge facing Ministry of Internal Affairs (MoIA) anti-drug units. However, synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones emerged as a growing problem in 2012. These substances were imported into the country as plant feeders, “bath salts”, aromatherapy treatment incenses, air fresheners, and herbal smoking blends. In response to this trend, the MoIA has petitioned the government to add many of these synthetics to the official list of banned substances.

The recently established National Anti-Drug Commission coordinates interagency cooperation among governmental institutions, and liaises with non-governmental institutions and civil society on all matters relating to drug policy. The Moldovan government does not condone or promote drug trafficking as a matter of policy. However, corruption, including drug related corruption, is a major problem in Moldova.

There is no bilateral extradition or mutual legal assistance treaty between Moldova and the United States. Regardless, Moldovan and U.S. authorities cooperated on criminal cases connected with transnational organized crime. The Moldovan constitution does not permit extradition of its nationals. The Prosecutor General’s Office is responsible for handling requests for international legal assistance in the pre-trial phase, whereas the Ministry of Justice handles the in-trial and correctional phases.

Montenegro

Montenegro is a transit country for illegal drugs moving towards Central and Western Europe. A variety of marijuana known as “skunk” trafficked from Albania, heroin from Afghanistan, and cocaine from Latin America are the most prevalent drugs trafficked to Montenegro. Approximately 15 percent of skunk, cannabis, and heroin trafficked are consumed locally. Few cases of illicit drug production were reported in 2012.

While Montenegrin police participated in several international operations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) criticized the government for its perceived failure to disrupt the activities of major drug kingpins. Police estimate that 25 local gangs are involved in international drug smuggling. In the first ten months of 2012, criminal charges were brought against 155 persons, connected to the seizure of 492.6 kilograms (kg) of marijuana, 7.1 kg of heroin, 0.4 kg of cocaine, and nominal amounts of synthetic drugs and hashish.

Montenegro has stringent laws against illegal drugs, with sentences ranging from two to 15 years in prison for drug production and distribution. During the first ten months of 2012, 75 narcotics–related convictions were handed down by the courts, including one for Dusko Saric, a global drug trafficker. Naser Keljmendi, who the U.S. Department of Treasury designated as a major international drug trafficker in 2012, reached a settlement for illegal construction deals in Ulcinj. Bosnia and Herzegovina issued an arrest warrant for Keljmendi, but Montenegrin prosecutors claimed to lack evidence to prosecute him in Montenegro.

The government continues to prioritize the fight against drug trafficking. However, its counternarcotics efforts were hampered by a lack of resources and capacity. Montenegro’s institutional drug abuse and treatment capacity is limited, particularly for women. There are no statistics on the number of drug users in Montenegro. Authorities believe that Montenegro has between 2,500 to 3,000 addicts, but NGOs estimate that the actual number may range from 10,000 to 15,000. According to a 2011 survey, drug consumption rose by 6 percent over the previous year.

Montenegrin police work closely with counterparts from neighboring states to curb drug trafficking, and cooperate with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, various EU law enforcement coordination bodies including Europol and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Police continue to share information and cooperate in investigations with U.S. law enforcement agencies. The United States provides ongoing technical assistance to Montenegro’s police, and in 2012, trained a narcotics supervisor at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Unit Commanders Academy. The 1902 extradition treaty between the United States and Serbia also applies to Montenegro.

Morocco

Morocco remains a leading source country for cannabis, trailing only Afghanistan in hashish (cannabis resin) production. Although Morocco has traditionally been the largest supplier of hashish to Europe, its relative importance as a source country may be waning, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with Afghanistan and India gaining prominence as suppliers for the that market.

Most large shipments of hashish bound for Europe are transported via speedboats and other small vessels. The Moroccan Navy, the Gendarmerie, and Moroccan Customs maintain an aggressive maritime interdiction effort against smuggling activity, with the Moroccan media reporting multiple seizures during 2012.

Authorities have also seized cocaine in Morocco, and given its location and transportation infrastructure, the country serves as a transshipment zone for cocaine originating in Latin America that is smuggled via West Africa to Europe.

The Moroccan government has worked to reduce cannabis production in recent years, but it remains a significant cash crop. According to local press reports, cannabis production in the traditional growing areas of northern Morocco has significant economic impact on the local populace, especially given the generally impoverished conditions of areas where cannabis is cultivated. UNODC estimates that the cannabis crop provides incomes for 800,000 people, and accounts for 3.1 percent of Morocco’s agricultural GDP. Police corruption and tacit non-enforcement remains an issue in Morocco.

The Moroccan government implements demand reduction programs that focus on youth, and it also has developed some drug treatment programs.

Moroccan law enforcement agencies cooperate extensively with European counterparts on narcotics interdiction operations. For example, the Interior Ministers of Spain and Morocco recently agreed to establish new narcotics detection strategies targeting airborne narcotics trafficking across the Strait of Gibraltar. Morocco’s Air Force is also engaged in efforts to identify aircraft suspected of narcotics trafficking.

Morocco works closely with U.S. law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In addition, the Department of State’s Bureaus of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and Diplomatic Security maintain a very close and productive working relationship with Moroccan law enforcement agencies.

Mozambique

Mozambique is not a significant producer of illegal drugs or chemical precursors, but is a transit point for drugs moving from South America and Asia to consumer markets in South Africa and Europe. Domestic drug consumption and production is limited primarily to small-scale cannabis.

Weak security infrastructure, inadequately trained and equipped law enforcement personnel, 2,750 miles of porous borders, and 1,550 miles of coastline hamper the Mozambican government’s counternarcotics efforts.

The Office to Combat and Prevent Drug Use (GCPCD) reported that in 2011 total drug seizures included 48 kilograms (kg) of hashish, 31.6 metric tons of marijuana (up 900 percent from 2010 and mostly seized in a single province), 4.7 kg of cocaine, and 4.3 kg of heroin. In 2011, 455 Mozambicans and 47 foreign nationals were charged with drug-related offenses, of which 111 Mozambicans and an unknown number of foreign nationals were convicted. Customs officials reported that arrests at airports rose in 2011, although data was unavailable due to poor recordkeeping.

The Government of Mozambique has robust laws and a strong counternarcotics and anti-corruption stance; however, corruption remains widespread and government officials are widely suspected of facilitating or condoning drug trafficking. The GCPCD is responsible for reporting on and analyzing trends in the government and civil society’s drug enforcement and treatment efforts and works closely with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Mini-Dublin Group of counternarcotics donors. The GCPCD reported that during 2011 it gave 24,076 anti-drug lectures and reached an audience of 1,076,846 citizens. Mozambique lacks dedicated drug treatment facilities; most treatment for addicts is provided by their families. While under-resourced, some HIV clinics offer drug dependency programs.

The United States provides a wide range of drug-related training to the Government of Mozambique. In 2012, nine Mozambican National Police attended drug interdiction training at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Botswana. Additional trainings included maritime search and boarding. The United States has also provided equipment, including 17 rigid-hull inflatable boats to the Mozambican Navy, and plans to assist the Attorney General’s office in preventing and prosecuting drug trafficking and corruption.

Nepal

Nepal is not a significant source or transit state for illegal drugs. However, Nepal’s Narcotics Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit (NDCLEU) reports that more Nepalis are investing in and managing trafficking operations. Customs and border controls in Nepal remain weak, but international cooperation has resulted in increased narcotics-related seizures in Nepal and abroad. No new narcotics control legislation was passed or implemented in 2012.

Cultivation of cannabis is on the rise in some areas, most destined for India. Heroin from Southwest and Southeast Asia is smuggled into Nepal across the porous border with India and through Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). Pharmaceutical drugs also continue to be diverted and abused. Nepal is not a producer of chemical precursors, but serves as a transit route for precursor traffic between India and China.

Nepal’s basic drug law is the Narcotic Drugs Control Act, 2033 (1976, last amended in 1993), making the cultivation, production, preparation, manufacture, export, import, purchase, possession, sale, and consumption of most commonly abused drugs illegal. The NDCLEU has the lead in law enforcement efforts and is focused on supply control. It improved its capacity in recent years, and has made more quality arrests and seizures, particularly through stationing more personnel at TIA.

In 2012, the overall number of drug-related arrests increased, and overall drug seizures also rose. According to the Government of Nepal, between January and September 2012, police arrested 1,983 individuals for drug trafficking. Hashish seizures in 2012 increased 161 percent from 2011. Heroin seizures were up 127.1 percent, and diverted pharmaceutical drugs seizures were up 375.4 percent over 2011 figures.

Evidence suggests that narcotics come through Nepal from India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan en route to China, Iran, Europe, North America, Australia, and other countries in Asia. A small percentage of narcotics (especially hashish) is sent to the United States by individuals involved in trafficking through the use of the international express parcel services.

The United States continues to provide support to various parts of the justice sector to combat corruption and improve the rule of law. The United States also encourages the Government of Nepal to enact and implement updated drug legislation.

The Netherlands

A. Introduction

The Netherlands is a significant transit country for narcotics, and a sizeable percentage of the cocaine consumed in Europe enters through the Netherlands. It remains an important producer of synthetic drugs, such as MDMA (ecstasy), although a sizeable amount of production appears to have shifted to other countries. The Netherlands has a large legal chemical sector, making it an opportune location for criminals to illicitly obtain or produce precursor chemicals. Cultivation of cannabis is extensive. The government places a high priority on combating the illegal drug trade and has had considerable success. The government views domestic drug use as a public health issue first and a law enforcement issue second. The Dutch Opium Act prohibits the possession, commercial distribution, production, import and export of all illicit drugs. The act distinguishes between “hard” drugs that have “unacceptable” risks (e.g., heroin, cocaine, ecstasy), and “soft” drugs (cannabis products). Sales of small amounts of cannabis products (under five grams) are “tolerated” (i.e., not prosecuted, even though technically illegal) in bars called “coffee shops” which operate under regulated conditions.

Bilateral cooperation with the United States is excellent, and law enforcement agencies maintain excellent operational cooperation, with principal attention given to South American cocaine trafficking organizations, drug related money laundering activities, and countering ecstasy entering the United States.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (MOH) coordinates drug policy and the Ministry of Security and Justice (MOSJ) is responsible for law enforcement and criminal prosecution. On May 1, to reduce international drug tourism, the government introduced the “weed pass” in three southern provinces of the country. Coffee shops were designated as private clubs only accessible to adult Dutch nationals and residents upon presentation of IDs and official residency papers from the local city hall. This resulted in a decrease in foreign buyers, but local buyers also began utilizing street dealers. The policy was scheduled to go nationwide on January 1, 2013. On May 14, authorities placed the party drug gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) on Schedule I of the Dutch Opium Act, making it a “hard” drug similar to cocaine and heroin. The MOH announced that khat (Catha edulis), a stimulant narcotic for which the Netherlands serves as a major European distributing hub, would be added to Schedule I on January 1, 2013.

The United States and the Netherlands have fully operational extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements. The Netherlands also has a maritime shiprider agreement with the United States and is a member of the Maritime Analysis and Operation Centre-Narcotics. The Netherlands is also a member of the San Jose Agreement as well as a partner in the Joint Interagency Task Force South, both aimed at combating narcotics trade in the Caribbean. The Caribbean countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands are members of the Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement. The MOSJ plans for the Netherlands to become party to the Council of Europe’s Illicit Traffic by Sea Agreement.

2. Supply Reduction

The Netherlands is a significant producer of cannabis and ecstasy, much of which is destined for foreign markets. Ecstasy production had dropped substantially from 2008 to 2011 due to shortages of precursor chemicals from Russia and China. However, in 2012 production had almost recovered to pre-2008 levels due to new manufacturing methods using “pre-precursors.” In 2008 the government established the National Taskforce on Organized Hemp Cultivation to focus on fighting criminal organizations behind cannabis plantations. The fight against drugs focused on a chain approach, scrutinizing each step down the criminal chain (from cultivation to distribution). Participating government agencies included the public prosecutor, the financial investigative service, the police, the tax authorities, the MOSJ, local governments, and private housing companies.

In 2012, the government continued its policy of 100-percent security checks on inbound flights from the Netherlands Antilles, Suriname, and some Western African countries. There were also extensive customs checks in place for imports via the Port of Rotterdam.

According to the MOSJ, there were 16,000 fewer drug-related offenses registered by the police in 2011 (latest available data) than in than the previous five years. In 2011, drug-related cases constituted 6.8 percent of the total number of criminal cases handled by the courts. The average prison sentence for a drug offense in 2011 was 236 days (253 for hard drugs, 124 for soft drugs), slightly below the average for the prior five years.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

According to the most recent data (2009), despite a reputation for tolerance of soft drugs, the share of the population abusing drugs was on par with the rest of Europe. Only the use of ecstasy was higher than the European average. Heroin and amphetamine use was below average.

Local governments are responsible for prevention programs, with the national government offering best practices. The main national awareness program for children was “The Healthy School and Substances,” a school program offered for students aged 12 and above. The program was not mandatory but approximately 70 percent of Dutch schools participated. Online eHealth services (including chat sessions with experts) and warning systems grew in popularity. The MOH does a biannual research project with the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Treatment programs are the responsibility of insurance companies and the individual facilities. There is no differentiation between gender and age groups. A recent trend is that more cannabis addicts are seeking professional help (in facilities) to deal with their problem. Exact information on budgets is not available, but estimates were that the prevention budget ranges in the tens of millions of dollars, while the treatment budget was over $125 million.

4. Corruption

The government does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking. No senior official has been found to engage in, encourage or facilitate illegal drug trafficking. Press reports of low-level law enforcement corruption appear sporadically, but the problem is not widespread or systemic.

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

U.S. and Dutch law enforcement agencies maintained excellent operational cooperation, with principal attention given to South American cocaine trafficking organizations and the production of synthetic drugs. For example, the United States and the Netherlands have a memorandum of understanding allowing the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct counter drug operations from the platforms of Dutch Naval vessel in the Caribbean. Regulations continued to restrict the use of “criminal infiltrants,” i.e., undercover informants in investigations of drug traffickers. Asset forfeiture laws in conjunction with drug-related investigations are not used to the same extent as in the United States. In 2006, the Ministry of Justice decided that the Schiphol airport “black list” of couriers could no longer be shared with DEA, citing privacy concerns. To date the suspension continues.

D. Conclusion

Despite its toleration of soft drug use, the government addresses drug trafficking seriously. In particular, it made the fight against organized cannabis cultivation a priority issue. Although the Netherlands is hampered to some degree by domestic legal restrictions on the extent to which it can cooperate bilaterally, the United States has every reason to believe the Netherlands will remain a close bilateral partner on counternarcotics efforts.

Nicaragua

A. Introduction

Nicaragua is a major transit route for cocaine flowing from South America to the United States. The United States estimated that more than 80 percent of the primary flow of the cocaine trafficked to the United States in 2012 first transited through the Central American corridor. Nicaragua faces limited law enforcement capabilities and sparsely populated regions that are difficult to police. These factors provide an opportune environment for Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) to transit drugs, weapons, and currency, as well as to establish clandestine labs and warehouse facilities. The unemployment rate on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua is over 55 percent, creating a favorable climate for drug traffickers to receive logistical support from isolated communities with few sources of legitimate income. Judicial corruption and political interference remain impediments to meaningful prosecution of narcotics trafficking.

Despite these conditions, Nicaragua’s civilian and military law enforcement agencies conducted counternarcotics operations in 2012, mostly along the coasts, within the South and North Atlantic Autonomous Regions (RAAS and RAAN, respectively), which represent the most vulnerable geographical area of the country. Nicaragua remains primarily a transshipment point for illegal drugs, but the country is also at risk for increased domestic drug consumption.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In 2012, Nicaraguan authorities made efforts to publicize and enforce the country’s open-records law as a tool against official corruption tied to drugs and other crimes, known as Law 621 (Access to Public Information, approved in 2007). In January, the Association of Municipalities of Nicaragua (AMUNIC) organized a national meeting of more than 60 officials responsible for implementing the law in 30 municipalities to exchange experiences on the law’s application. The United States provided assistance to seven municipalities, which opened new public offices to provide citizens with a designated space to demand the access to official records granted by the law.

Nicaraguan authorities continued to enforce Law 735, which regulates the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of organized crime, as well as the administration of seized, forfeited and abandoned assets. In the first prosecution involving a politically appointed government official, 21 defendants, including the official, were found guilty under Law 735.

The Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) announced the creation of five new police divisions in 2012: Border Security Division; Farm Security Division; Tourism Division; Counter-intelligence Division; and Embassy Protection Division.

In 2012, 200 youth enrolled in the Nicaraguan National Police Youth Center. Inaugurated in 2011, the center will provide psychological counseling and vocational training to students for one year to help them recover from addictions, seek employment and participate in the development of their communities.

In October, the Nicaraguan National Police and the Government of the Russian Federation signed a cooperation agreement to create a Regional Training Center to fight drug trafficking in the region.

Nicaragua ratified the Central American Simplified Extradition Treaty to facilitate the prosecution of third-country nationals for organized crime and similar offenses. The United States and Nicaragua are parties to an extradition treaty dating back to 1907, but the Nicaraguan constitution bars the extradition of Nicaraguan citizens.

In 2004, the United States and Nicaragua signed agreements to access the Cooperating Nation Information Exchange System, which allows greater law enforcement intelligence sharing among nations. The United States and Nicaragua signed a maritime counterdrug bilateral agreement in November 2001 and ratified the Inter-American Mutual Legal Assistance Convention in 2002, an agreement that facilitates sharing of legal information between countries and improves cooperation with U.S. requests for evidence sharing or transfer. In 2002, Nicaragua also ratified the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, and signed, but did not ratify, the Caribbean Regional Maritime Counternarcotics Agreement in 2003.

2. Supply Reduction

The Nicaraguan Navy (NNP), U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shared operational information and worked together on a number of counterdrug efforts in 2012.

Border security continued to be concern in 2012, as DTOs used the remote areas of the border with Honduras and the RAAN as a primary transit route. The transshipment methods continue to be varied among land, sea and air routes, though most significant drug interdictions occurred at sea. To strengthen border security, the NNP created a Border Security division that will work in coordination with Nicaraguan Customs and Immigration.

Drug seizures in 2012 remained consistent with 2011 levels. Nicaraguan authorities seized 9.3 metric tons (MT) of cocaine (up from 8.8 MT in 2011), 986 kilograms (kg) of marijuana, 4 kg of crack, and 13 kg of heroin. Authorities also reported eradicating 43,252 marijuana plants and reportedly neutralized 14 drug trafficking cells. Seizures of bulk currency and other assets increased in 2012. Nicaraguan authorities seized $13 million in U.S. currency, up from $5 million in 2011, in addition to 528 vehicles; 46 boats; 195 illegal firearms; 192 real estate properties; and 1,444 items of communication equipment.

In a joint operation with the Nicaraguan Army, Ministry of Health and Customs officials in Managua and the NNP seized 4,400 gallons of chemical precursors. Seven suspects were arrested, including one Mexican national, who were believed to be building a laboratory to produce hallucinogenic synthetic drugs.

3. Drug Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Nicaragua remained at risk of increased drug consumption, particularly on the Atlantic coast where transshipment increased. Domestic use of crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana were on the rise in 2012, particularly among 16 to 35 year olds, according to Nicaraguan community leaders and law enforcement. The Nicaraguan government focused limited education and law enforcement resources on the Hispanic Pacific Coast regions of Nicaragua, neglecting the largely indigenous communities of the Atlantic Coast.

By the end of September 2012, Nicaragua’s NNP Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program reached 14,717 new students from 108 public schools. Since 2001, the DARE program reached more than 84,714 English, Spanish, and Miskito-speaking students in 800 public schools.

The NNP’s Second Step Program (Segundo Paso) for drug awareness and prevention at the preschool-level continued in Managua, the RAAS, and the RAAN. The drug prevention program reached 470 students in 16 schools in the Pacific and Atlantic Coast regions by the end of September.

In an effort to prevent drug addiction, the Nicaraguan National Police in conjunction with the Ministry of Education organized 80 anti-drug rallies with 30,000 students and 19,000 parents from across the country.

In 2012, the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program graduated 2,689 students from 30 public elementary and high schools in Nicaragua. Through the Community Policing Program sponsored by the U.S. government, the Nicaraguan National Police engaged 15 neighborhoods in critical areas of Managua to educate 404 at-risk youth on the risks of gangs.

The government-affiliated Institute Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse is the only public drug and alcohol treatment center in Nicaragua, working in alliance with seven rehabilitation centers administered by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Private treatment centers offer two models of attention, out-patient and residential. Various NGOs continue efforts to provide treatment to drug addicts and implement prevention programs.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Nicaraguan government does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production, processing, or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, and other controlled substances, or condone drug related money laundering activities. However, Nicaraguans perceive their government as highly corrupt, and low salaries for police, custom officials, and judges continue to hinder efforts to combat corruption in Nicaragua.

For the first time since the 2007 approval of Law 735, focused on organized crime, a politically appointed official (a former magistrate of the Supreme Electoral Council) was found guilty in 2012 on several corruption charges, including the fraudulent creation of Nicaraguan identification cards to foreigners linked to organized crime.

The management and disposition of seized criminal assets remains problematic. The Nicaraguan National Assembly passed legislation (Law 793) authorizing the creation of a new financial intelligence unit, which could contribute towards more transparent management of assets. However, there is still concern over potential government abuse of the proposed unit.

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

The United States supports a wide range of efforts designed to address crime and violence affecting the security of Nicaraguan citizens. In June 2012, due to ongoing concerns about fiscal transparency within the Government of Nicaragua, the U.S. Department of State ceased providing certain funds to Nicaraguan government agencies. This decision, mandated by U.S. law, led to phasing out of several bilateral programs during the second half of the year. In response, Embassy Managua developed plans to redirect counternarcotics efforts towards drug education and other similar non-government demand reduction programs in 2013.

To develop the maritime interdiction capacity of the Nicaraguan Navy, the United States provided a range of equipment, including night vision goggles for night operations, advanced communication equipment, spare parts for Nicaraguan Navy Patrol boats, marine binoculars, navigation lights, radar reflectors, vapor tracers and waterproof cameras. The Nicaraguan Navy attended the U.S.-sponsored Multilateral Maritime Counterdrug Summit in March 2012, which included participants from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Mexico and all other Central American countries to consider improved strategies and coordination against drug trafficking organizations.

To build the capacity of the NNP Drug Unit, the United States provided equipment including mobile canine kennels, protective vests, motorcycles and trailers to enable mobile inspection operations along the Pan American Highway, specifically targeting the Nicaragua-Honduras border.

The United States also worked with the NNP academy to create a distance learning program to provide police training to officers around the country, which earned praise from the police leadership. The United States donated 136 computers and related equipment to computer labs in police stations throughout the country allowing NNP officers to access the videos and course content remotely. The United States also provided 17 training sessions for 100 members of the NNP.

To support the NNP’s new center for at-risk youth, the United States provided two 65-passenger buses to the NNP Juvenile Affairs Division, along with cameras, compact-disc players, and educational material as part of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) and Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) prevention programs.

D. Conclusion

Nicaragua faces many challenges related to illegal drugs, including the need to combat corruption, address judiciary independence, reduce drug demand and combat drug trafficking. The Nicaraguan Navy confronts drug trafficking organizations, and achieved interdiction results working in conjunction with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. This level of commitment to upholding Nicaragua’s international drug control obligations must be extended across additional institutions within the Nicaraguan government. Demand reduction and treatment resources expanded, but remain inadequate to the country’s needs. Nascent efforts to root out official corruption and increase transparency must be reinforced, and the capacities and professionalism of the NNP and the Prosecutor General’s office must be further strengthened.

Nigeria

A. Introduction

Nigeria is a transit country for heroin and cocaine destined for Europe, and to a lesser degree, the United States. The Nigerian Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) frequently arrests drug couriers at Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos. Traffickers are increasingly exploiting the country’s seaports and land borders to avoid the risk of detection traveling through MMIA.

Nigerian organized criminal networks remain a major factor in moving cocaine and heroin worldwide, and have begun to produce and traffic methamphetamine to and around Southeast Asia. In addition to drug trafficking, some of these criminal organizations also engage in other forms of trafficking and fraud targeting U.S. citizens. Widespread corruption in Nigeria facilitates criminal activity, and, combined with Nigeria’s central location along major trafficking routes, enables criminal groups to flourish and make Nigeria an important trafficking hub.

The only drug cultivated in significant amounts domestically is marijuana. Nigerian-grown marijuana is the most commonly abused drug domestically. Traffickers also export marijuana throughout West Africa and to Europe through Nigeria’s porous borders.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The NDLEA enforces laws against drug trafficking and abuse and plays the lead role in demand reduction and drug control policy development. Weak inter-agency cooperation contributes to the dearth of apprehensions of major traffickers. Although all law enforcement elements have representatives at Nigeria’s ports of entry, joint operations between them are rare. No single law enforcement agency has adequate resources to combat sophisticated international criminal networks.

The NDLEA and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) signed a memorandum of understanding in 2012 to establish a vetted unit of 14 officers to exclusively work with DEA. The unit has begun operations.

Nigeria’s counternarcotics policy derives from a 1998 National Drug Control Master Plan. However, the NDLEA’s budget is inadequate to implement the plan. The Government of Nigeria held NDLEA’s budget at its 2011 level of approximately $61 million. Of this, 0.02 percent, or approximately $140,497 is allocated for NDLEA staff training. Personnel costs account for 92.4 percent of the NDLEA’s budget, while one percent supports capital expenditures.

The 1931 U.S.-United Kingdom Extradition Treaty, made applicable to Nigeria in 1935, remains the legal basis for U.S. extradition requests. Defendants often challenge the continued validity of the extradition treaty.

The NDLEA cooperated with international drug enforcement efforts in 2012, including joint operations with DEA. Most notable among these were the Tin Can Port seizure in May of 113.49 kilograms (kg) of heroin originating in Pakistan and the seizure of a methamphetamine laboratory in Lagos in February. The NDLEA and DEA continue to target clandestine methamphetamine production in Nigeria, which involves transnational criminal groups that legally import and then divert large quantities of precursor chemicals. Criminals have also resorted to new methods of drug trafficking. There were two seizures in 2012 of heroin woven into rugs originating from Pakistan and Iran, as well as heroin packed inside soccer balls originating from Pakistan.

2. Supply Reduction

The NDLEA has made good use of U.S.-provided technology and training. Most of the organization’s drug seizures occur at airports using U.S.-donated body scanners, with the vast majority occurring at MMIA. The NDLEA faces challenges with arresting the higher level drug traffickers and financiers who organize the regular traffic of low-level drug couriers.

Although there have been some reports of asset seizures since 2010, authorities do not systematically use asset seizure as an enforcement tool against traffickers and money launderers. The NDLEA reported no money laundering convictions in 2012. Asset forfeiture remains challenging in Nigeria, which lacks non-conviction based forfeiture or plea bargaining laws. Without an appropriate plea bargaining mechanism, the NDLEA encounters difficulty winning cooperation from low-level couriers to build cases against criminal gang bosses. Another problem lies with Nigeria’s courts, where intimidation and corruption are common.

Marijuana is the most common illicit drug produced in Nigeria, though in 2012, the NDLEA discovered four clandestine methamphetamine laboratories in Lagos. Traffickers sell marijuana in Nigeria and export it through West Africa and into Europe, but little reaches the United States. The NDLEA continues to pursue an aggressive eradication campaign, which destroyed 893.9 hectares of marijuana cultivation between January and September 2012.

The introduction of vigorous interdiction regimes at Nigeria’s five major seaports and its porous land borders would likely yield significant seizures. Drug seizures at the MMIA have increased by 54 percent from last year. Between January and October 2012, the NDLEA Command at MMIA seized 64.1 kg of cannabis, 64.8 kg of cocaine, 61.7 kg of heroin, 77.6 kg of methamphetamine, and 31.8 kg of ephedrine, a precursor chemical used to produce methamphetamine.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Cocaine and heroin use increased in 2012. As in many other drug transshipment countries, traffickers have encouraged greater domestic consumption in Nigeria by offering drug supplies to local distributors in lieu of cash payment. The NDLEA’s Demand Reduction Directorate has reinvigorated its school-oriented programs and other programs targeting youth, professional truck and bus drivers, sex workers, community leaders, and transport workers. In the past year, the NDLEA counseled and rehabilitated 2,493 drug addicts, most of whom were marijuana users.

4. Corruption

The Government of Nigeria does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. However, Corruption plays a major role in drug trafficking in Nigeria. Nigeria has anti-corruption laws, but has secured only a few notable convictions, including that of a former NDLEA chief. This high level of impunity encourages narcotic trafficking in Nigeria.

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

Despite NDLEA budget increases, Nigerian government funding for law enforcement agencies remains insufficient. Unless the Government of Nigeria remedies this situation, little progress will be made over the medium to long term. In 2012, the United States facilitated the training of 30 NDLEA officers assigned to Nigeria’s four international airports to enhance detection of drug couriers, and donated an additional body scanner for MMIA; the NDLEA now has one scanner dedicated for arrivals and another for departures.

The United States works closely with the NDLEA and other law enforcement agencies to strengthen capacity. The United States also promotes greater cooperation between the Nigeria Customs Service and the NDLEA to improve interdiction at the vulnerable seaports and porous land borders. In 2012, the United States funded a counternarcotics advisor and DEA established its elite vetted unit, both of which will help to improve the NDLEA’s ability to conduct complex cases. The United States facilitated the transfer of vessels and provided a wide range of maritime operational and small boat maintenance training to assist in building Nigeria’s maritime law enforcement capability.

D. Conclusion

The United States will continue to engage the Government of Nigeria to combat drug trafficking, corruption, money laundering, and other criminal issues. The institutional and societal factors that contribute to these criminal activities remain deeply rooted and will require a comprehensive and collaborative effort. Progress will require sustained Nigerian government efforts and political will.

Pakistan

A. Introduction

Pakistan remains a source and transit country for illicit opiates. Drug-trafficking occurs through the country’s seaports, train routes, and along the porous 1,500-mile border with Afghanistan. Pakistan’s borders with India and Iran are also exploited by traffickers. In 2012, Pakistani law enforcement units had moderate success at interdicting drug shipments but were underfunded and spread thin, particularly in the remote provinces of Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which adjoin Afghanistan’s major opium producing regions. Regional trade agreements signed in recent years have contributed to heavy traffic at official border crossings and customs points, making detection and seizure of contraband difficult. Authorities also face challenges of organized crime, political violence, and terrorist and militant activities.

Domestic drug addiction is a continuing problem. Although recent official statistics are unavailable, cannabis is widely grown and freely available. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated in 2010 that at least 20 metric tons (MT) of Afghan heroin was consumed annually within Pakistan. Demand for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) is believed to be increasing.

Pakistan remained the world’s foremost heroin transit country in 2012, and UNODC estimates that 40 percent of the world supply traversed the country en-route to China, the Gulf States, Africa, and Europe. Seizures in recent years suggest that traffickers are diverting precursor chemicals from Pakistan to clandestine refineries (mainly in Afghanistan) to synthesize heroin from opium.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

President Zardari pledged a renewed commitment to combat illicit narcotics at the 2012 session of the United Nations General Assembly and at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, hosted in Islamabad. In November, Pakistan hosted a minister-level, 12-nation meeting to develop a comprehensive regional counternarcotics strategy. Pakistan was a key participant in the Paris Pact and the Triangular Initiative, two UNODC-led mechanisms that promote regional counternarcotics coordination. Though few agreements were implemented at the working-level, Pakistan hosted 34 foreign Drug Liaison Officers as part of its Paris Pact obligations. Over the course of the year, both the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and Pakistan Customs intermittently collaborated with counterpart agencies in Asia, Europe, and Africa in an effort to interdict contraband.

The ANF remained Pakistan’s lead counternarcotics agency. But with only 2,500 personnel stretched across over 30 locations, it was both under-manned and under-funded. Although federal funding paid staff salaries, the ANF depended heavily on foreign assistance for the procurement and maintenance of workspaces, vehicles, and gear. In August 2012, a court ruled that cases stemming from ANF raids in FATA had to be tried in a politically independent court instead of the special counternarcotics courts established by the ANF.

Pakistan’s internal government collaboration improved in 2012, as the ANF chaired quarterly high-level meetings of the Inter-Agency Task Force on counternarcotics. The Task Force was established in 2010 to coordinate counternarcotics analysis and reporting, and 27 federal and provincial law enforcement agencies participated in these high-level coordination meetings. The ANF also partnered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the United Kingdom’s Serious Organized Crime Agency to operate elite Special Investigation Cells (SICs). Its recently inaugurated training academy provided internationally certified instruction to 1,200 trainees from across Pakistan’s law enforcement community. With UNODC support, Pakistan Customs continued to host an international training center for selective container inspection in Karachi.

Extradition was once a relatively common mechanism for pursuing drug traffickers based in Pakistan, but enforcement of the 1931 Extradition Treaty between the United States and United Kingdom (adopted by Pakistan upon independence) has become problematic in recent years. In 2011, Pakistani courts denied one U.S. extradition request that had been ongoing since 2004. No suspected narcotics traffickers have been directly extradited to the United States in recent years.

2. Supply Reduction

UNODC estimates that in 2011, Pakistan’s dry opium potential production was approximately 9 MT, down from an estimated 40 MT in 2010. In 2011, the most recent statistics available from UNODC, the ANF eradicated 1,053 hectares (ha) out of 1,415 ha of opium poppy in the country. Total cultivation figures in Pakistan are difficult to determine accurately, however, due to insecurity in the FATA that prevents access to survey teams. ANF leadership has underscored the need for alternative livelihood and development for farmers; Pakistan depends heavily on foreign assistance to carry out such endeavors.

According to UNODC, between 160 and 200 MT of Afghan heroin was trafficked into Pakistan in 2011, making Pakistan the world’s preeminent opiate transit country. The ANF reports that 7.3 MT of heroin were seized in 2011, an increase over the 5.3 MT confiscated in 2010. UNDOC has reported higher seizure totals, however, estimating that authorities seized 12 MT of heroin in 2011, a significant increase over the 1.9 to 4 MT confiscated annually between 2004 and 2010. According to the ANF, interdiction of raw opium and morphine increased by 16 and 586 percent, respectively, over 2010 levels. Cannabis and acetic anhydride seizures fell by about four and 92 percent, respectively. The ANF led Pakistan’s law enforcement community in seizure volume across all drug categories, with Frontier Corps Baluchistan, Customs, Punjab Police, and KPK Police also conducting major confiscations.

In 2011, Pakistani authorities arrested over 103,000 suspects on drug charges, a six percent increase over 2010. However, more than 96 percent of these cases involved low-level possession or trafficking in small quantities. Registered defendants were tried in special narcotics courts, and the ANF employed a sizeable number of prosecutors to move the caseload. Of the 600 cases that were decided, 84 percent resulted in conviction – less than the 91-percent conviction rate achieved in 2010. Pakistani authorities managed to either freeze or seize $2.2 million in assets linked to narcotics traffickers during 2011, a significant improvement over 2010’s $1.3 million figure.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

There are an estimated 500,000 addicts and over 5 million habitual drug users in Pakistan, though no comprehensive measurement has been completed since 2006. UNODC estimated that 20 to 40 MT of heroin remained in Pakistan’s domestic market in 2011, suggesting a per-capita consumption rate double to triple that of the United States. While cannabis use has always been high, UNODC believes ATS consumption is growing, particularly among urban women developing chemical dependencies to over-the-counter pills. Pakistan’s prescription medicine laws are commonly ignored by all but the most-reputable pharmacies. In 2012, the Drug Authority Regulatory Bill was signed into law, establishing the country’s first regulatory body that would oversee the manufacturing and trade of therapeutic goods.

Pakistan’s economic crisis precluded a vigorous response to rising drug demand. In 2011, the Government of Pakistan committed $75,000 towards the implementation of a UNODC-designed comprehensive drug user survey. When completed in 2013, this survey will measure the drug consumption rates and preferences of both household and street users across the country. Results should help the Government of Pakistan and international donors in effectively distributing limited resources to educate the public about the dangers of drug addiction, the ANF’s Drug Abuse Prevention and Resource Directorate organized 439 low-budget outreach campaigns in 2011, including university lectures, parade walks, and sporting tournaments. Several prominent non-governmental organizations (NGOs) coordinated similar programs.

In 2012, Pakistan’s capacity for drug treatment remained insufficient to meet demand, with only 73 treatment facilities operating nationwide – the majority run by NGOs. Few of these centers possessed formal training or certifications. In November 2012, Pakistan officially adopted UNODC-proposed national drug treatment certification standards, while the UNODC launched a “train-the-trainer” campaign to better educate treatment specialists employed at government hospitals. In September 2012, The Colombo Plan, a multi-national organization promoting development in the Asia-Pacific region, launched a similar “train-the-trainer” program targeting NGO treatment specialists; 140 will be certified by 2014. Despite these achievements, demand for treatment far outpaced supply. In 2011, fewer than 30,000 drug users received detoxification therapy in all of Pakistan, as over-worked clinics were forced to turn back thousands more seeking treatment. Because Pakistan lacks the institutional capacity to serve women addicts, virtually all who received treatment were men.

4. Corruption

Government officials, media, and international observers have acknowledged that corruption is a major challenge to law enforcement and the business climate. Although parliamentary oversight committees, an independent judicial system, and the country’s critical free press exposed corrupt practices in 2012, the consequences for perpetrators were rarely severe. Accordingly, corruption continued to facilitate the movement of contraband, principally in the form of bribes to Pakistani officials. Narcotics traffickers are not thought to have major influence on senior-level government policy or law enforcement, and the Government of Pakistan neither encouraged nor facilitated drug trafficking as a matter of policy. In 2012, two government officials were charged with influencing lower-level regulators to improperly modify distribution quotas. These officials were granted bail and await further legal proceedings.

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

Counternarcotics is an area in which Pakistan-U.S. cooperation has remained positive. However, visa delays and restrictions on the movement of U.S. personnel constrain bilateral counternarcotics programs. Multiple U.S. agencies work with the Government of Pakistan to address narcotics issues.

The United States provided funding for a variety of counternarcotics efforts. These efforts included construction of roads and alternative development projects to promote growth of licit crops, particularly in formerly inaccessible areas; support for ANF training, interdiction, and crop eradication activities; and demand reduction and rehabilitation programs. The United States also provided equipment to Pakistan’s ANF, Coast Guard, and Marine Security Agency. U.S. law enforcement agencies provided operational assistance to ANF's SIC, and advice and training for Pakistani Customs. U.S. agencies and Pakistani law enforcement units coordinated to provide this support, increasing Pakistan’s capacity for conducting narcotics seizures, arrests, and convictions, and drug treatment.

The United States is promoting initiatives to help Pakistan disrupt the narcotics trade. Among these is an effort to increase Pakistan’s ability to interdict contraband and dismantle crime rings. To this end, the United States will help Pakistani law enforcement further develop its capacity for conducting sophisticated investigative operations, such as controlled deliveries and intelligent container profiling. By primarily directing this assistance through elite vetted units such as the ANF’s SIC, the United States also aims to help Pakistan cultivate a model for corruption-free law enforcement.

The United States also intends to support Pakistan’s efforts to treat drug addiction – specifically, by training additional treatment specialists while concurrently enabling the nationwide expansion of treatment facilities for both men and women. The United States may work with Pakistan’s entertainment sector to design and distribute compelling anti-drug awareness messages via radio, TV, and film. Improving public perceptions of Pakistani law enforcement will be an additional objective.

D. Conclusion

The complexity of Pakistan’s narcotics trade hinders any quick or easy solutions. However, many of the same factors that propel the drug economy – such as border insecurity and illicit finance – also drive terrorism. During a 2012 regional conference in Islamabad, President Zardari acknowledged the connection between drug-trafficking and terrorist operations, along with other forms of crime. The United States has worked with Pakistan on common counternarcotics objectives for over 30 years. Through a multi-pronged approach targeting both supply and demand, U.S. assistance to Pakistan also serves to promote international security.

Pakistan has made improvements to its counternarcotics capacity and has taken initiative to promote inter-agency and regional cooperation. However, Pakistan continues to face enormous social, economic, and security challenges that often exceed counternarcotics in priority. Pakistan can improve its efforts against drug-trafficking if government agencies and law enforcement coordinate closely, share information, and channel limited resources to avoid duplicative or contradictory efforts. Pakistan should continue and increase cooperation with other governments and international organizations to further reduce drug supply, and increase support for private organizations that focus on demand reduction.

Panama

A. Introduction

Panama remains a transshipment crossroads for illicit trafficking due to its geographic location and the presence of the canal. The United States estimated that more than 80 percent of the primary flow of the cocaine trafficked to the United States first transited through the Central American corridor in 2012. Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs), including Mexican and Colombian groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), move illegal contraband through Panama’s remote Darién region, its coastline and littoral zones, and its transportation infrastructure, including the second largest free trade zone in the world, four major containerized seaports, the Pan-American Highway, and the fourth busiest airport in Latin America. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officially closed its Panama office in 2012 and transferred management to its regional office in El Salvador. The United States enjoys a strong partnership with all Panamanian security services.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Developments

In 2012, Panama built on past efforts to strengthen and improve its security institutions, enhance interdiction capacity and ensure citizen security. Despite cutbacks across government agencies in the fiscal year 2013 budget, the Ministry of Public Security’s budget increased by 16.2 percent over 2012 levels, the fourth straight year of increase. Most of the increase will cover the costs of new equipment purchased from Italy, including six helicopters, 19 radar stations, and a digital mapping system.

The Panamanian National Police (PNP), with U.S. assistance, continues to implement a modern, statistics-based police philosophy (known as “COMPSTAT”). This implementation includes training in new methods of community policing and technological upgrades to manage workflow, improve response, and generate statistical reports on crime. Connectivity issues and internal cabling deficiencies in police stations slowed the technological upgrades, delaying implementation.

Panama undertook a whole-of-government strategy to improve governance in the Darién province. Largely due to the absence of other Panamanian agencies, the Panamanian National Border Service (SENAFRONT) remains the mainstay of this strategy, performing humanitarian assistance and community policing missions alongside its normal duties. SENAFRONT gained territorial control of the region’s population centers and made efforts to recruit from the local Darién population and indigenous communities. In part due to “train-the-trainer” efforts with the United States and Colombia, SENAFRONT is able to meet most of its own training needs at its new Darién training center and offered training opportunities to neighbors such as Costa Rica.

Panama is transitioning to an accusatory system of criminal justice, intending to add two additional provinces into the system per year until it is fully implemented in 2014. Coclé and Veraguas transitioned to the new system in 2011, and showed favorable results in 2012 with case duration rates declining 70 percent. In September 2012, the system expanded to the Herrera and Los Santos provinces. Panamanian budget shortfalls may negatively affect this program going forward; limited resources will prove particularly problematic as Panama begins to implement in more populous and complex regions. In the meantime, justice sector institutions remain weak, susceptible to corruption and have difficulty prosecuting complex organized crime and money laundering cases, hampering efforts to disrupt sophisticated trafficking organizations.

A mutual legal assistance treaty and an extradition treaty are in force between the United States and Panama, although the Panamanian Constitution does not allow extradition of Panamanian nationals. Both countries signed the Salas-Becker Agreement in 2002, enabling cooperation on bilateral maritime interdiction. Panama has bilateral agreements on counternarcotics with the United Kingdom, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, and Peru. Panama is also a member of the Organization of American States and is a party to the Inter-American Conventions on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, Against Corruption, on Extradition, against Terrorism, and against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms. Panama is a member of the Central American Integration System. Panama participated in both sessions of the semi-annual Multilateral Maritime Counterdrug Summit, which includes Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and all other Central American countries.

2. Supply Reduction

Panama reported seizing 30.8 metric tons (MT) of cocaine in 2012, largely in cooperation with U.S. law enforcement. This includes cocaine captured by Panamanian authorities, but does not include 8.3 MT of cocaine seized by U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) assets in or near Panamanian waters, or cocaine jettisoned by traffickers during pursuit. Panama continued its downward trend in annual cocaine seizures with a 10-percent drop from the 34 MT seized in 2011. The United States attributes the drop in cocaine seizures to a combination of factors: disruption of established DTOs; a trafficking shift away from multi-ton shipments; reduced production in Colombia; and increased disruptions and seizures in some source countries. Panama continued to increase forward deployment of its interdiction assets in 2012, making it more difficult to traffic narcotics through Panama. Additionally, Panamanian authorities seized 1.5 MT of cannabis, 1.7 MT of coca base, 111 kilograms of heroin, and $4.36 million in drug-related cash, down from $8.4 million over the same period in 2011.

With U.S. assistance, Panama’s Air Naval Service (SENAN) is working to overcome a number of shortcomings, including poor logistics and maintenance systems, inadequate human resources, a deficit of maritime expertise among senior officers, limited intelligence collection capability, and insufficient operational intercept assets. SENAN accounted for approximately 40 percent of all narcotics seizures in Panama, the largest among Panama’s security institutions. In addition, it supported joint counternarcotics operations, including interdiction, patrolling, providing liaison officers aboard U.S. maritime vessels and patrol aircraft, photographing suspect areas, and identifying suspect aircraft. It also provided the transportation assistance for SENAFRONT officer rotations to remote areas such as the Darién.

In 2012, maritime trafficking along Panama’s north coast stabilized at 2011 levels, but movements increased on the southern coast in regions west of Panama City. Based on seizures from containerized-cargo, the United States assesses that the bulk of container-based drug trafficking continued to flow to Europe. The Panama Canal expansion will significantly increase shipping traffic by 2015, with an expected corresponding increase in illicit container traffic.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Panama lacks an official budget for drug demand reduction programs, although funding sources include donations from civil society groups and international cooperation. The Ministry of Education provides drug prevention programs in schools, and the Ministry of Health supports a drug-counseling program. The last drug demand study was conducted in 2008, making it difficult to assess current trends. The Mental Health Institute reported a slight increase of people seeking assistance for addiction-related issues. Panama has not updated its written strategy on drug demand reduction since 2007. In February, Panama published new procedures regulating the operation of drug treatment and rehabilitation centers. The University of Panama now offers the country’s first a technical degree in the treatment of drug dependents. The United States partnered with the PNP and other local actors to implement programs like Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.). The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) worked with local partners to offer instruction in prevention and addiction treatment research.

Panama, with assistance from the United States and the United Nations, improved its prison system by increasing the number of trained rehabilitation personnel and implemented programs aimed to create more humane conditions and lower recidivism rates. The United States and Panama launched a project with a local non-governmental organization to provide rehabilitation services and vocational training for youth in detention.

4. Corruption

The Government of Panama does not encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution, nor is it involved in laundering proceeds of illicit drug sales. Corruption nevertheless remains a concern throughout the security services and justice sector. Panama adjudicated few cases of corruption in 2012, in part due to poor investigative capacity and a weak judicial system. DTOs penetrated the security services and several security-service members involved in trafficking were detained. A major reform of the internal affairs process, supported by the Ministry of Public Security, met resistance from within PNP ranks and became the flashpoint for a disagreement between the then-PNP director and the Security Minister, leading to the temporary resignation of the Minister. As a result, the government postponed reforms. In 2012, the PNP Internal Affairs unit received and processed 367 citizen complaints, and 27 police officers of various ranks were removed from service for cause. In an effort to improve transparency in Panama, UNODC inaugurated a Regional Anti-Corruption Academy in November, offering courses to government officials, including members of Panamanian security services.

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

The United States supports citizen security, law enforcement, and rule of law programs in Panama, including through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). Efforts included improving Panama’s ability to secure its own borders and strengthen the capacity of its law enforcement and judicial system. More specifically, the United States works closely to expand Panamanian capabilities to interdict, investigate, and prosecute illegal drug trafficking and other transnational crimes, while strengthening Panama’s justice sector, including its prisons.

In 2012, the United States continued to provide assistance to modernize and maintain SENAN, SENAFRONT, and PNP vessels and facilities in support of interdiction efforts. The United States helped to improve the professionalism and effectiveness of Panama’s security services by providing technical training in areas such as small boat operations, small unit tactics, and maritime interdiction, equipment, and logistics support. The United States is advancing a training relationship between Panama and Colombia, through which Colombian police experts train members of Panama’s security services, and is exploring future cooperation opportunities in support of Panama’s accusatory justice system transition. The United States is assisting the PNP to optimize its management and operational processes by supporting the implementation of the latest policing methods, like the COMPSTAT law enforcement modernization project.

United States and Panamanian law enforcement units collaborated closely on counternarcotics efforts, which in 2012 included high-profile investigations involving a nexus to U.S. cases. Panamanian vetted units, working in partnership with U.S. law enforcement agencies conducted sensitive investigations and operations related to counternarcotics, money laundering, human smuggling, and other transnational crimes.

In advance of closing the USAID mission to Panama, the United States sought to ensure sustainability of USAID programs and minimize the impact of anticipated Panamanian 2013 budget shortfalls. The United States provided assistance in potentially vulnerable project areas, and worked with the Panamanian government on assurances related to turnover of U.S. assistance programs.

The United States and Panama finalized an asset-forfeiture sharing agreement that will provide proceeds from a past money laundering investigation to the Panamanian government. These proceeds will fund jointly-agreed upon projects aimed at furthering anti-money laundering efforts and protecting Panama’s robust financial sector.

D. Conclusion

The Government of Panama continued its support for joint counternarcotics operations and investigations in 2012, while continuing to invest in building its own capacity. Nevertheless, reductions in funding throughout Panama’s 2013 budget could weaken U.S.-supported initiatives. Despite the two-year downtrend in seizures, Panama remains one of the regional leaders in narcotics interdiction. To that end, the United States will continue to assist Panama in completing and implementing reforms to ensure that the PNP, SENAFRONT, and SENAN become strong, professional security services and Panama’s judicial system can capably overcome the corrosive effects of transnational crime. The United States will also encourage Panama to support efforts to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute financial crimes and money laundering. The United States urges the Government of Panama to devote more resources to the modernization of its security and justice institutions to bolster citizen security.

Paraguay

A. Introduction

Paraguay faces various challenges to reduce narcotics trafficking and production. Its location near major source countries for illegal narcotics, as well as institutional challenges within its law enforcement agencies and courts, continue to impede counternarcotics efforts.

Paraguay produces one of the largest marijuana crops in the western hemisphere, largely for export to Brazil and Argentina. It is also a transit country for Andean cocaine, most of which is destined for Paraguay’s neighbors or to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Significantly smaller quantities are transported to the United States. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2012, crack cocaine users accounted for two of every three admissions to drug treatment centers for consumption of controlled substances, compared to only one of every 12 when the survey was last conducted in 2005.

Drug traffickers exploit the landlocked country’s porous borders, extensive internal waterways, and law enforcement and judicial institutions. Arms trafficking, money laundering, counterfeiting, and other illegal activities linked to narcotics trafficking and other forms of transnational crime are prevalent, with the proceeds contributing to judicial corruption. These activities increasingly involve international criminal organizations operating along the Paraguay-Brazil border, challenging the capacities of Paraguay’s primary counternarcotics agency, the National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD), which has just over 380 members.

Despite these challenges, the Government of Paraguay expanded its efforts in 2012 to disrupt the activities of drug traffickers through interdiction, eradication, and demand reduction efforts, led by SENAD and aided by the Paraguayan National Police (PNP) and the Customs Administration. These agencies, along with the Attorney General’s Office, the Anti-Money Laundering Secretariat, and the Supreme Court all welcome cooperation with the United States in fighting drug trafficking.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In 2012, Paraguay’s Congress made progress in strengthening legislation against money laundering, terrorist financing, and illegal enrichment. The current administration also began creating an inter-agency Money Laundering and Terrorist Finance Task Force. SENAD has served since 2011 as the country coordinator for a UNODC-led multi-agency and multi-country program to address illicit trafficking and demand reduction and treatment initiatives. With U.S. assistance, in November the UNODC program completed a national baseline drug survey, the first such survey in Paraguay since 2005. SENAD’s budget more than doubled to $8.0 million in 2012, from $3.5 million in 2011.

Paraguay is a party to the Inter-American Conventions Against Corruption and Against Terrorism. Paraguay is also a signatory to the Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission Hemispheric Drug Strategy and to the 1992 Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

U.S. and Paraguayan law enforcement authorities cooperate in extradition matters pursuant to a 2001 extradition treaty. The United States and Paraguay extended the 1987 bilateral letter of agreement providing counternarcotics assistance in 2004 and have amended it annually through 2012.

2. Supply Reduction

Combined SENAD and PNP seizures in 2012 exceeded the totals for 2011. Precursor chemical seizures increased substantially. Seizures of 11.9 metric tons (MT) of marijuana seeds and wax exceeded 2011’s 9.5 MT, and 316 production camps were destroyed during this period compared to 238 in 2011. The seizure of nearly 4 MT of cocaine exceeded the 2.8 MT seized in 2011. Also, 749 drug-related arrests and 226 vehicle seizures during this period were comparable to 2011 year-end totals of 827 arrests and 238 vehicles.

Other seizure statistics lagged behind last year’s totals, including: 231 MT of marijuana (540 MT in 2011); six airplanes (eight in 2011); 73 firearms seized (98 in 2011); and 868 hectares of marijuana crops eradicated (2,489 in 2011). Overall, narcotics seizures increased significantly in the second half of 2012 under the new Franco Administration: by 272 and 119 percent when compared to the first half of 2012 for cocaine and marijuana-related substances respectively.

Included in the statistics above, on November 10, Paraguay’s Joint Special Forces Battalion raided a clandestine airstrip in Canindeyú department and arrested19 individuals, seized 1,759 kg of cocaine, five airplanes, five vehicles, various precursor chemicals, weapons, and ammunition valued at a total of $6.6 million. The raid resulted in the first discovery of a cocaine conversion lab in Paraguay.

According to UNODC, Paraguay is one of the largest marijuana producers in the hemisphere. Marijuana cultivation takes place primarily in northeastern departments near the Brazilian border.

Various methods are used to smuggle narcotics through Paraguay to regional and international markets, including containerized cargo, cargo trucks, passenger buses, small airplanes, and human mules. Towns along the Brazilian border such as Pedro Juan Caballero, Salto del Guaira, and Ciudad del Este are notorious transit centers for narcotics, arms, and other contraband. Vehicular and foot traffic routinely cross the border unchecked by authorities on either side. Additionally, due to a limited law enforcement presence and lack of radar coverage, traffickers use large farms in the northwestern Chaco region along the Bolivian border as bases of operation for aerial cocaine shipments originating in Bolivia.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

In 2012, SENAD sponsored 189 workshops that reached 14,791 students, parents, and teachers in 99 different educational institutions. It distributed 2,600 informational pamphlets and 45 DVDs to students, teachers and counselors, and conducted 57 drug abuse awareness radio broadcasts.

The Ministry of Health’s National Addiction Control Center is the only public drug treatment facility in Paraguay. It offers in-patient, out-patient, and walk-in assistance to all patients seeking treatment regardless of gender or age. There is only one private rehabilitation center in Paraguay.

4. Corruption

The Government of Paraguay neither encourages nor facilitates illegal activity associated with drug trafficking, and no senior government official was implicated in such activity in 2012. Nevertheless, widespread corruption and a lack of resources in the law enforcement and judicial systems often prevented the effective prosecution of narcotics producers and traffickers.

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

The Franco Administration has placed a high priority on counternarcotics efforts, as demonstrated by increased seizures and the appointment of qualified leadership in SENAD. Congress echoed this support through increased counternarcotics funding.

The United States worked closely with the Paraguayan government to disrupt drug trafficking organizations and to strengthen legal and regulatory frameworks in a joint effort to combat narcotics trafficking and associated crimes, such as money laundering and arms trafficking. U.S. operational support, including U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration support for joint investigations, resulted in increased numbers of drug seizures, arrests, and cases presented for prosecution.

D. Conclusion

The Government of Paraguay continued to advance its counternarcotics capacity as evidenced by increased drug seizures as well as SENAD’s collaboration with the Brazilian Federal Police on select narcotics cases. Still, Paraguayan interagency collaboration remains underdeveloped. Enhancing the judicial system’s ability to prosecute narcotics cases quickly and effectively, combined with strengthening law enforcement efforts underway, would help to deter narcotics producers and traffickers.

The United States encourages Paraguay to continue to institute measures to address corruption across all levels of government and to develop a comprehensive approach to combating the production and trafficking of precursor chemicals. The United States also encourages Paraguay’s congress to pass long-pending legislation to support counternarcotics objectives, including the asset forfeiture law.

Peru

A. Introduction

Peru remained the world’s top potential producer of cocaine for the second consecutive year. Peru was the second-largest cultivator of coca, with an estimated 49,500 hectares (ha) of coca under cultivation in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available. The majority of cocaine produced in Peru is transported to South American countries for domestic consumption, or for onward shipment to Europe, East Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean via land and maritime conveyances, and commercial and private aircraft. Peru is a major importer of precursor chemicals used for cocaine production.

Under President Ollanta Humala, Peru adopted a comprehensive five-year counternarcotics strategy (2012-2016) in March 2012 and dedicated substantial resources to implement it. The strategy calls for a 200-percent increase in the eradication of illicit coca by 2016. In 2012, some coca growers resorted to violence to resist eradication. Eradication operations were suspended for nearly four weeks in August when several hundred coca growers wielding explosives, grenades, and rocks confronted eradicators and security personnel. Sendero Luminoso (SL or Shining Path) operating in the Apurimac-Ene-Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM) relied on cocaine production and trafficking for funding, and killed or wounded scores of police and military personnel engaged in counternarcotics operations.

Domestic consumption of illicit drugs is growing, and the number of treatment and rehabilitation centers falls short of what is needed to treat the estimated 32,000 to 45,000 cocaine addicts and an even larger number of marijuana addicts nationwide. The general Peruvian population was increasingly concerned about the impact of drug trafficking and abuse on citizen security, political stability, and the nation’s youth; the environmental damage of illicit drug production; and the impact of corruption on democratic institutions, including the police and the judiciary.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In March, the Peruvian government adopted its counternarcotics strategy with ambitious goals for eradication, interdiction, and alternative development, as well as associated issues, including: control of precursor chemicals; organized crime; money laundering; and the rule of law. The Humala administration more than doubled its counternarcotics budget from the previous year (from an estimated $102 million in 2011 to $220 million in 2012), which has already resulted in increases in the seizure of precursor chemicals and drugs, as well as the capture or death of several high-profile narco-terrorists. Of this amount, the government approved $48 million to support three programs within its counternarcotics policy agency, DEVIDA (“National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs”), including alternative development ($27 million), drug supply control ($12.8 million), and drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation ($8.2 million). Peru also hosted the “International Conference against the World Drug Problem” in June; 61 countries and nine international organizations participated. Peru and Thailand also co-hosted an international conference on alternative development in November.

The government implemented extensive reforms of the Peruvian National Police (PNP), including changes in the PNP organizational structure, disciplinary regulations, personnel system classifications, enhanced PNP specializations, and citizen safety and security policies. The government also increased the total number of police officers and established additional police stations in the VRAEM and Huallaga Valley.

The Public Ministry continued to provide training on the New Criminal Procedure Code (NCPC), which transitions the Peruvian legal system from an inquisitorial to an accusatory system. By the end of 2012, the NCPC was implemented in 23 of the 31 judicial districts in Peru. Nationwide implementation will likely be delayed by a year, with Lima anticipated to be the final (and largest judicial) district to implement the code in 2014. The NCPC has been applied to corruption cases nationwide since September 2010.

The United States and Peru are parties to an extradition treaty that entered into force in 2003. Peruvian law requires individuals to serve sentences and probation in Peru before becoming eligible for extradition. There were three pending U.S. extradition and provisional arrests in 2012 related to narcotics trafficking, murder, and fraud. Two subjects of extradition requests remain at large. Four individuals were extradited to the United States in 2012, two for fraud, one for murder, and one for sexual assault charges. One extradition request – for attempted murder – was denied.

2. Supply Reduction

The U.S. government estimates that 49,500 ha of coca were under cultivation in Peru in 2011, a 6.6-percent decrease from the 2010 estimate of 53,000 ha. The United Nations, using a different methodology, estimated 62,500 ha of cultivation in 2011, a 2.1-percent increase from its 2010 estimate of 61,200 ha. The U.S. government 2011 estimate for potential pure cocaine production dropped to 305 metric tons (MT), a 6.1-percent decrease from 2010. The U.S. government 2011 estimate of potential export-quality cocaine also decreased three percent to 360 MT.

In 2012, the Peruvian Government eradication agency, CORAH, focused its efforts on central Peru’s Huánuco and Ucayali regions. Despite coca growers’ attempts to pressure the government to halt or limit eradication, Peru eradicated 14,171 ha of illicit coca, exceeding the 10,290 ha eradicated the previous year. By that same date, Peru officials also destroyed a total of 142 rustic maceration pits found at eradication sites. Due to the prohibitive security environment, CORAH does not yet eradicate in the VRAEM, a region that accounted for as much as 40 percent of all of Peru’s potential pure cocaine production in 2011.

DIRANDRO, the police anti-drug unit, received a $13 million budget in 2012, up from $7.7 million in 2011, and reported significant increases in the seizure of precursor chemicals and a moderate increase in the monthly average of drug seizures. DIRANDRO reported the seizure of approximately 35 MT of cocaine (19.6 MT of cocaine base and 12.5 MT of HCL cocaine) – surpassing the 24.5 MT of cocaine seized in 2011. In addition, DIRANDRO seized 3 MT of marijuana, and destroyed 1,172 cocaine laboratories and 15 MT of coca leaf in the UHV and the VRAEM.

Peru produces precursor chemicals, such as sulfuric acid, required for the processing of coca to cocaine base. Peru is also a major importer of other essential chemicals for cocaine production. DIRANDRO’s Precursor Chemical unit (DEPCIQ) seized 1,926 MT of precursor chemicals, 46 percent more than what was seized in 2011 (1,053 MT). Ongoing interdiction operations on major roads east of the Andes, assisted by two U.S.-donated backscatter x-ray scanners, are responsible for much of this increase.

As of October, authorities from SUNAT (the Peruvian customs and tax agency) and the PNP seized 1,345 kilograms (kg) of cocaine in maritime counterdrug operations within the Callao and Paita ports. Of an estimated 1.8 million containers handled at Peruvian ports, SUNAT officers inspected approximately 11,900 – up from 5,800 containers inspected in 2011. SUNAT and PNP officers conducted the majority of these inspections using dogs and non-intrusive inspection instruments donated by the United States. The PNP-SUNAT Maritime Task Force continued to conduct profile exams from analysis of export cargo, generating alerts that lead to several successful interdiction operations.

Maritime smuggling is the primary method for transporting large cocaine shipments. Peruvian, Colombian and, increasingly, Mexican traffickers maintain sophisticated networks in Peru to ship cocaine to Europe, East Asia, Mexico, the Caribbean, the United States, and other Latin American countries. Peru and the United States exercise maritime operational procedures that enable U.S. authorities to board Peruvian flagged vessels in international waters. In September, Peru hosted the Multilateral Maritime Counterdrug Summit, which offered an opportunity for coast guard and naval representatives from across the Western Hemisphere to improve strategies and cooperation against drug trafficking organizations. In joint investigations with U.S. law enforcement, DIRANDRO identified and disrupted major international cocaine trafficking organizations using maritime and air conveyances to ship cocaine for export. Police noted an increase in the use of small aircraft to transport cocaine from clandestine runways in the Peruvian jungle to unknown locations in Bolivia. In two separate operations in September, DIRANDRO seized more than 500 kg of cocaine and impounded two Bolivian-registered Cessna aircraft.

In February, Peruvian law enforcement and armed forces captured “Comrade Artemio,” wanted for drug trafficking and terrorism charges and the organizational head of Shining Path Upper Huallaga Valley (SL-UHV), effectively dismantling this faction of SL. Peruvian authorities deployed more than 300 police and 500 military personnel for this operation. This four-year investigation, dubbed Operation Eclipse, resulted in the arrest of over 90 SL-UHV members. In September, Peruvian forces killed the second-most-senior military commander of SL in the VRAEM, “Comrade William,” delivering a second blow to the narco-terrorist organization.

The PNP also conducted successful investigations resulting in the seizure of financial assets, including the January seizure of $40 million from a chemical trafficking organization. A second case involved the seizure of $100 million in assets related to SL-VRAEM leader Victor Quispe Palomino. Peruvian authorities, however, struggle to effectively manage and dispose of these assets once in custody.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction and Treatment

Drug abuse in Peru is increasing. DEVIDA completed a nationwide study indicating that 5.1 percent of Peruvians had used an illegal substance in their lifetime, and 1.6 percent of the population (roughly 265,000 people) had abused a drug in the past year. Marijuana accounts for the majority of drug use, with cocaine paste and cocaine hydrochloride a distant second and third.

DEVIDA launched a media campaign to advertise a hotline for drug counseling services and produced a movie for distribution in coca-cultivating areas promoting licit livelihoods. DEVIDA also provided funding to local governments for drug awareness and prevention campaigns nationwide.

Public treatment facilities in Peru provide 200 beds for drug addicts requiring services. There are private treatment centers in urban areas, but many suffer from a shortage of trained staff. Peru has approximately 300 “therapeutic community centers” (a participative, group-based approach to drug addiction treatment) nationwide, but the majority of these centers are unregulated, often run by former addicts with no formal training. In 2012, fires in two of these centers resulted in the deaths of more than 50 patients locked in their rooms. Only 13 of 80 prisons nationwide offer treatment programs for inmates. There are no rehabilitation centers or clinics specifically designed to treat adolescents, women, or their children.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Government of Peru does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Nonetheless, corruption remains a concern. According to a 2012 national survey, 47 percent of Peruvians believe corruption is one of the biggest problems in the country, and 55 percent perceive the judiciary and the police as corrupt.

A whistleblower statute, which falls under the 2011 legislation providing the Office of the Comptroller General with greater authorities to sanction public officials guilty of corruption, generated 4,681 complaints from April 2011 to December 2012. These complaints come from public servants who have denounced colleagues and private citizens they suspect are guilty of corruption.

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

The U.S. government funds projects to support key areas identified in the Peruvian counternarcotics strategy through training, technical assistance, intelligence, and the targeted provision of equipment through international organizations, local non-governmental implementers, and the government of Peru. A primary focus of U.S. government interagency support is to enhance the capacity of the Peruvian police and military to more effectively counter SL’s narco-terrorist activities in the VRAEM and to increase state presence in this remote area.

To reduce dependence on illicit coca cultivation, the U.S. government partners with the Peruvian government to implement alternative development projects in recently eradicated areas of coca cultivation. In 2012, the U.S. Agency for International Development coordinated the U.S. approach and successfully promoted farmer participation in the cacao, coffee, and palm oil industries, helping increase productivity and quality to boost sales in San Martin, Huánuco, and Ucayali. U.S. assistance supported over 19,000 families with the cultivation of over 37,000 ha of alternative crops in 2012. U.S. assistance also supported programs to improve farmers’ access to credit, thereby building producer associations’ capacity and linking producers to national and global buyers.

D. Conclusion

Although Peru is the world’s foremost producer of cocaine, the Peruvian government is demonstrating strong political will to address this problem, particularly through its comprehensive counternarcotics strategy. The U.S. partnership with and support to Peru in implementing its counternarcotics strategy is a critical element in combating the production and export of cocaine. The United States encourages Peru to continue its efforts to implement its comprehensive five-year counternarcotics strategy, including by dedicating sufficient resources to achieve its goals.

Philippines

The Philippines faced significant challenges in combating illegal drug trafficking in 2012, particularly the manufacture and importation of large quantities of methamphetamine by transnational criminal organizations. Domestic cultivation of marijuana for domestic consumption remains problematic, and methamphetamine and marijuana remain the two most-widely consumed illicit drugs domestically. Philippine law enforcement and justice sector agencies lack necessary resources, staff, and effective investigative tools, such as the ability to execute telephone intercepts and plea bargaining, to effectively identify, investigate, and prosecute transnational drug trafficking organizations (DTOs).

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the nation's counternarcotics and chemical-control agency, led successful illicit drug enforcement operations over the course of 2012 and seized considerable quantities of precursor chemicals, methamphetamine, and marijuana. An investigation into methamphetamine laboratories hidden in an affluent community led to the capture of members of transnational DTOs. The PDEA, in coordination with the Bureau of Customs and other Philippine law enforcement agencies, continued to develop a Manila Airport Drug Task Force that resulted in increased apprehensions of drug couriers at Manila’s international airport.

The government implemented several drug demand reduction initiatives and educational programs in 2012. Limited funding, however, hampered efforts to build a rehabilitation center in every province as planned. Prosecuting drug cases remained difficult and many cases were dismissed for failure to follow the strict evidence collection and chain of custody rules in the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Bills to amend the law remained pending at the end of the reporting period. The government conducted seminars on the law for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcers in an effort to increase prosecution of drug cases. The drug conviction rate increased by only one percent in 2012.

Philippine drug law enforcement units continued to effectively cooperate with U.S. law enforcement and other international and regional law enforcement agencies. In 2012, the United States provided maritime law enforcement training to the Philippine Coast Guard.

Corruption among law enforcement remained a concern. Several officers, including top leaders of the PDEA, were dismissed for alleged corrupt practices and irregularities. Several incarcerated Chinese drug traffickers escaped from prison with the aid of a prison official.

Although the Philippine government takes the problems of drug trafficking and drug abuse seriously, the lack of resources and effective investigative tools, combined with a high degree of law enforcement corruption, continued to make the Philippines vulnerable to exploitation by transnational criminal organizations.

Portugal

Portugal continues to be a gateway for drugs entering Europe, particularly from South America and Western Africa. Traffickers are increasingly using former Portuguese colonies Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde as transshipment, refueling, and storage points for cocaine-laden vessels from South America en route to Europe through the Iberian Peninsula. It is not a significant center of drug production nor a significant source of drugs destined for the United States. While cocaine is the most-significant drug threat in Portugal, MDMA (ecstasy), hashish, and heroin are also readily available. Portugal cooperates well with U.S. law enforcement to combat drug trafficking. In July 2012, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Portuguese Judicial Police conducted a joint investigation resulting in 340 kilograms of cocaine seized in Lisbon, multiple arrests, and the dismantling of an international drug trafficking organization.

Portugal and the United States have a customs mutual assistance agreement, which is enforced, as are protocols to the 2003 U.S.-EU extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements. Portugal is also a member country of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Center-Narcotics, headquartered in Lisbon.

Portugal focuses much of its counternarcotics efforts on treatment and prevention. Drug use remains stable and below the EU average, despite nationwide decriminalization of personal drug use in 2001. "Problem" drug use and HIV cases are referred to the Drug Addiction Dissuasion Commission, consisting of multi-disciplinary teams that assess users and decide the appropriate sanction and referral to educational or treatment programs. The Portuguese Ministry of Health’s Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction (IDT) operates 66 drug treatment centers nationwide. The IDT also has prevention programs that include training sessions, awareness-raising activities, and dissemination of informational pamphlets. Universal drug prevention is part of the Portuguese school curriculum. In addition, as part of the “Safe Schools” program, law enforcement patrols the areas surrounding schools to prevent and protect students from criminal activities such as drug trafficking in the surrounding area. Law enforcement also actively participates in awareness and training activities.

Republic of Korea (ROK or South Korea)

Narcotics production and abuse is a minor problem in Republic of 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 ROK 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.

Romania

Romania is not a significant source of illicit drugs but continues to be an important transit country due to its location along the well-established Northern Balkan Route. Opium, morphine base, and heroin typically move from Afghanistan to Europe along this route, while synthetic drugs and precursor chemicals transit from west to east. The effects of the global economic crisis, coupled with domestic political turmoil, continued to impact all Romanian government agencies, while resources for counternarcotic units were scarcer than in previous years.

Drug use has increased in recent years, with a noted rise in the use of synthetic drugs and heroin. Reports indicate there are between 28,000 and 30,000 drug abusers in Bucharest. Cannabis and hashish are more widely used than heroin; however, a new trend developing is the use of amphetamine-type stimulants and MDMA (ecstasy). These synthetic drugs are easier to use than heroin or cannabis, and more affordable than cocaine.

The Romanian National Police Narcotics Unit, under the Romanian Ministry of the Interior Organized Crime and Anti-Drug Unit, is responsible for investigating major drug trafficking offenses. Between January and June, the Unit seized: 44.73 kilograms (kg) of heroin; 54.55 kg of cocaine; 175.14 kg of cannabis; 5,553 tablets of MDMA; 3.27 kg of methamphetamine; and approximately 2.17 kg of designer synthetic drugs and other smaller quantities of chemical and pharmaceutical substances.

As a matter of government policy, Romania does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. There is no evidence that senior Romanian officials engage in, encourage, or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs or that they launder proceeds from illegal transactions. However, low-level corruption and judicial inefficiency remain serious problems for the Romanian government. Criminal convictions, including those that are drug-related, are difficult to obtain, and as many as 50 percent of those convicted do not serve their full sentences.

Romanian authorities continue to work closely with international partners, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center and regional counterparts, for successful and effective international seizure operations.

Russia

A. Introduction

Russia is a major destination country for heroin from Afghanistan and a significant market for opium, hashish, marijuana, and synthetic drugs. UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) data continue to identify Russia as the largest single market for Afghan-origin heroin, consuming approximately 70 metric tons (MT) per year, and as the largest per capita consumer of heroin in the world.

Approximately 25 percent of Afghanistan’s annual heroin production traverses neighboring Central Asian states along the so-called “northern route” to Russia. According to a May 2012 UNODC report, approximately 90 MT of heroin was trafficked along this route in 2010. Russia’s 4,107-mile border with Kazakhstan accounts for the overwhelming majority of smuggling activity. Opiate trafficking along this route may have increased due to the 2010 customs union between Russia and Kazakhstan, as Russia relies on customs inspections at the union’s external borders, and Kazahkstan’s seizure rate is very low.

Between 1992 and 2010, the number of drug addicts in Russia increased more than nine fold, and as of 2011 there were more than 670,000 officially registered drug users, with some estimates being five times higher. Up to 100,000 people are believed to die every year from drug overdoses and other causes associated with drug use. In Moscow alone, drug deaths for the year reached 202 through June 2012, twice the number for the same period in 2011. According to official statistics of the Federal AIDS Center, as of September 15, 682,000 HIV-positive people have been registered in Russia since 1987. A main driver of the epidemic is intravenous drug use.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In June 2012, the government launched the “State Counternarcotics Strategy until 2020” that calls all agencies and all levels of government to join in the fight against illicit drugs. The Strategy urges improvements in supply and demand reduction, and outlines new legislation aimed at deterring drug trafficking. An important development in implementing the Strategy in 2012 was the signing in March by then-President Medvedev of a law stipulating life sentences for trafficking large quantities of drugs. Previously, the maximum sentence was 20 years. The law also allows for the confiscation of property and money obtained by drug dealing.

Russia maintains bilateral counternarcotics cooperation agreements with over 35 nations, and the Federal Narcotics Service (FSKN) maintains drug liaison officers in many countries of the region. FSKN recently assigned liaison officers to the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center, after joining as a member last year. In the capacity of Chairperson of the Russian State Anti-Narcotics Committee, FSKN Director Viktor Ivanov participated in the third meeting of the “Central-Asian Quartet” composed of the heads of the anti-narcotics agencies of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, and Tajikistan, held September 2012 in Dushanbe. Participants adopted a “road map” for 2012-17 including joint countermeasures against drug threats from Afghanistan, prevention of drug abuse, treatment measures, and international cooperation.

As part of the NATO-Russia Council’s counternarcotics project, Russian trainers continued to conduct training courses for Afghan, Pakistani and Central Asian counterparts at the MVD training center outside Moscow and the Counternarcotics Training Center in St. Petersburg. Russia also continued to partner with the United States in implementing an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe project to improve drug interdiction capacity building for border guards in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, and with UNODC to support the State Drug Control Service in Kyrgyzstan.

A 1999 mutual legal assistance treaty is in force between the United States and Russia.

2. Supply Reduction

Seizure statistics for 2012 were not available at the end of the reporting period. Total seizures of illegal narcotics over the first nine months of 2011 by type of substance were as follows: 1.64 MT of heroin; 19.66 MT of cannabis; 1.92 MT of hashish; 188.1 kg of cocaine; and 533.6 kg of synthetic substances.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The Russian government addresses demand reduction and drug abuse prevention in the State Counternarcotics Strategy. The Strategy outlines ongoing deficiencies in the demand reduction system, including insufficient medical treatment and social rehabilitation services, a shortage of specialized workers (doctors and social workers) and a shortage of centers serving drug abusers. At present, there exist only four state-run and 70 non-governmental organization (NGO) centers for rehabilitation of drug addicts. The few government-supported drug addiction treatment programs that do exist are generally ineffective, with high rates of recidivism.

Most drug replacement therapies, such as methadone, are illegal in Russia, although treatment centers in St. Petersburg and Orenburg are implementing a few new models of cognitive therapy which expand the breadth of substance abuse programs and rehabilitation. A new medication-assisted therapy study on Naltrexone abuse, supported by the United States and Russian governments, is ready for publication. The Russian Orthodox Church continues to operate approximately 40 faith-based rehabilitation centers.

Local NGOs are also active in drug prevention activities. The Health and Development Foundation (formerly Healthy Russia Foundation), for example, has established a peer-to-peer outreach program. The program targets youth in high drug use target areas through vocational schools, youth clubs, activities, summer camps, and other special programs set up by regional governments to reach teenagers at greatest risk. From October 2011 to September 2012, program activities of the Health and Development Foundation reached over 100,000 young people, and trained over 2,500 volunteer peer educators.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Government of Russia does not encourage policies that facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking, nor were senior Russian officials known to engage in, encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of such drugs, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. However, corruption among law enforcement officials in Russia continues to present major challenges. In 2012, the FSKN internal security service continued to publicize corruption cases among low-level FSKN officers ranging from extortion to drug trafficking to bribery and fraud.

At a March 2012 meeting of the Anti-Corruption Council, then-President Medvedev introduced a new anti-corruption bill targeting government officials. According to this bill, public officials (including members of parliament, governors, and public and municipal civil servants) will be required to declare their own and immediate families’ expenditures for purchasing real estate, securities, and vehicles.

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

U.S.-Russian counternarcotics cooperation continued in 2012, particularly between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and FSKN. The Counternarcotics Working Group of the U.S.-Russian Bilateral Presidential Commission led by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Gil Kerlikowske and FSKN Director Viktor Ivanov conducted productive meetings during the year. Joint participation in DEA-FSKN training programs continued on tactical operations, intelligence analysis, investigative techniques, and financial investigations. DEA and FSKN continued joint investigative work on both heroin trafficking derived from Afghanistan and cocaine trafficking emanating from South and Central America. Meetings of the Northern Route Working Group also continued in 2012. In addition to operational law enforcement cooperation, the United States has, since 2002, conducted a range of programs to promote counternarcotics and law enforcement cooperation with the Russian government. The FSKN and DEA will co-host the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Moscow in 2013. The two agencies worked in close coordination throughout 2012 in developing themes and objectives for the conference.

D. Conclusion

Russia treats counternarcotics efforts as a top national priority, as reflected by its efforts to implement the 2010 National Counternarcotics Strategy. Russia’s active participation in international, regional, and bilateral counternarcotics activities and the productive work in the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Counternarcotics Working Group reflect this emphasis, as do the numerous recent operational successes involving both U.S. and Russian law enforcement. Russia and the United States have been especially successful in jointly addressing new trends in cocaine trafficking, and intend to achieve the same level of success with other types of narcotics. Russia and the United States share a commitment to continuing bilateral and multilateral cooperation in counternarcotics.

Senegal

Senegal’s location on Africa’s west coast and the country’s established transportation infrastructure make it an enticing transit point for drug traffickers moving narcotics from South America to Europe. Cocaine is trafficked into Senegal by land and sea from neighboring countries, namely Guinea-Bissau and Guinea, and then on to Europe by sea and air. Cannabis is cultivated in the southern Casamance region for local use and regional trafficking. The United States is not a destination point for drugs cultivated in or trafficked through Senegal.

Senegal’s Drug Law, first passed in 1997, was amended in 2006 to include tougher penalties for drug trafficking. Senegal's national counternarcotics plan, drafted in 1998, seeks to control the cultivation, production, and trafficking of drugs, inform the population of the dangers of drug use, and reintroduce former drug addicts into society. The Senegalese government lacks the financial resources to ensure the capacity of state agencies responsible for border control to identify and seize narcotics.

Senegal works with partners in the Economic Community of West African States to combat narcotics trafficking. Senegal has several bilateral agreements to combat narcotics trafficking and signed mutual legal assistance agreements with the United Kingdom and France to facilitate the exchange of enforcement information on narcotics trafficking and other transnational crimes. In April 2011, the United States and Senegal signed a bilateral agreement that strengthens Senegal’s capacity to counter maritime drug trafficking through joint U.S.-Senegalese maritime operations.

In July 2012, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard conducted an African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership mission involving joint training, surveillance, and law enforcement operations with the Senegalese Navy to suppress illicit transnational maritime activity in and around Senegalese waters. The operation showed a marked increase in communication, allowing the Senegalese Maritime Operation Center to coordinate national efforts and bilateral efforts with The Gambia. Also in July, the United States provided basic drug enforcement training in Dakar for officers from Senegal and neighboring countries.

Limited infrastructure and funding hamper Senegalese efforts to fight drug trafficking. Although the national plan to counter narcotics trafficking and cooperation with regional neighbors are positive steps to help Senegal in this fight, Senegal continues to struggle against well-financed traffickers.

Serbia

Serbia is a transit country for illicit narcotics, mainly heroin and marijuana originating from Afghanistan, smuggled along the traditional Balkan smuggling corridor to Europe. Serbian organized crime groups also smuggle cocaine directly from South America to Europe. Serbia is not a major producer or consumer of organic, synthetic drugs, or precursor chemicals.

There is no government-wide coordinating body responsible for counternarcotics law enforcement. Resource constraints hamper a more centralized and robust response. Serbia prioritizes international law enforcement cooperation, and Serbian law enforcement agencies routinely interact and exchange information with counterparts in the United States, Europe and South America. Serbian police worked closely with Spanish authorities to investigate and dismantle the transnational criminal organization led by Luka Bojovic, who was arrested in February 2012. Serbia participates in regional cooperation bodies, but does not recognize Kosovo and has not cooperated directly with Kosovo government representatives in the past. In 2012, Serbia modified its policy to allow participation in regional fora with Kosovo under certain conditions. Serbia legally succeeded the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro on June 3, 2006. All international treaties and agreements continue in force, including the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The Criminal Procedure Code adopted in September 2011 is now under revision.

The majority of drug seizures in Serbia result from intelligence sharing abroad and interagency cooperation at home, with trends remaining constant. Drug abuse prevention and treatment capacity is limited. A government-run drug rehabilitation clinic provides services, and public and prison hospitals run drug rehabilitation programs.

As a matter of policy, the Serbian government does not facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics or launder proceeds from illegal transactions. Senior government officials do not encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution, but corruption remains a serious concern, however.

Serbia works closely with the United States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and European Union countries to reform and improve law enforcement capacity. The United States has provided technical assistance to police, customs, border police, prosecutors, and the judiciary to professionalize the police and customs services, and improve domestic capacity to prosecute corruption and organized crime. Negotiations continue on a new extradition treaty that would supersede the 1902 Extradition Treaty between the United States and the Kingdom of Serbia, which is still in force.

More-effective cooperation with Kosovo is needed, as is improved communication and strategic coordination among domestic criminal justice entities. The United States will continue to support Serbian law enforcement and judicial institutions through training, capacity-building, and equipment donations.

Singapore

Singapore is not a producer of narcotics, but as a major regional financial and transportation center, it is an attractive target for money laundering and a transshipment point for narcotics. Traffickers use Singapore as a transit point for narcotics moving to other countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia via parcels, maritime containers and air cargo. Air and maritime ferry passengers have also frequently transited Singapore in possession of narcotics for delivery to neighboring countries such as Malaysia. The Government of Singapore enforces stringent counternarcotics policies through strict penalties (including the death penalty and corporal punishment), vigorous law enforcement, and active prevention programs. Domestic rates of illegal drug use are low by global standards.

According to the Government of Singapore, the total number of drug arrests during the first six months of 2012 dipped slightly by 2.5 percent from the same period in 2011, from 1,756 to 1,712. Heroin and methamphetamine remain the top two drugs consumed in Singapore, accounting for 93 percent of the drug offenders arrested in the first half of 2012. In the first half of 2012, the number of registered heroin abusers (1,090) increased by 6.1 percent compared to the same period in 2011 (1,027). While methamphetamine remained the second most commonly used illegal drug, arrests of methamphetamine offenders declined 10.6 percent, with 60 fewer methamphetamine abusers arrested in 2012.

Between January and June of 2012, Singapore seized 44.9 kilograms (kg) of heroin, a 13 percent increase from the same time period in 2011; 9 kg of cannabis, a 62 percent increase from 2011; 9.5 kg of methamphetamine, a 137 percent increase from 2011; 624 tablets of methamphetamine tablets, a 45.1 percent increase since 2011; and 130 tablets of buprenorphine, a 465-percent increase since 2011. According to the Singapore Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), Singapore seized approximately $7.75 million worth of drugs in the first half of 2012, which is $1.25 million more than during the same time period in 2011.

Singapore is ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. Corruption cases involving Singapore's counter narcotics and law enforcement agencies are rare, and their officers regularly attend U.S.-sponsored training programs as well as regional forums on drug control. In 2012, the United States hosted one Singaporean officer at a Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Officer course in the United States.



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