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Diplomacy in Action

EXBS Quarterly Newsletter, Vol. 1, Issue 2, April 2010


Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
April 1, 2010

   

The EXBS quarterly newsletter is published by the Office of Export Control Cooperation in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the U.S. Department of State.

The newsletter provides an overview of activities implemented in the past quarter, discussion of upcoming events, introduction of new advisors, and highlights from EXBS posts in the field.


EXBS Training Leads to Contraband Seizure in Croatia

In February 2010, EXBS donated 26 CT-30 kits to Croatian Customs. On February 22, TDY EXBS Advisor Larry Adkins provided 15 Croatian Customs officers training on how to employ the equipment, including using the inspection mirror, to check the top of cargo trucks.

He described how a U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspector using this technique discovered footprints on top of a cargo truck entering the U.S. from Mexico. Inspection of the roof revealed different screws from those on the sides. Opening the roof, the inspector discovered a cache of 1,000 kilos of marijuana.

Within 24 hours of that training, four Croatian Customs officers who attended the training stopped a cargo truck heading into Slovenia and used the CT-30 kit mirror to check the roof of the trailer. They detected footprints, then used the Buster density meter and discovered a stash of 299 packages of 150 kilos of marijuana.

On March 12, EXBS Advisor Chris Milam and Program Assistant Olga Kandrac were pleased to conduct an award ceremony at the Croatian Customs Headquarters where they presented EXBS coins and certificates signed by the U.S. Ambassador to the four Customs officers who successfully interdicted this contraband -- Zeljko Milos, Magda Bakavic, Jurica Pilj, and Goran Kojic (pictured below).

EXBS and DEA Provide Detection Equipment to Vietnam

In March 2010, the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security Forensic Institute received forensic analysis equipment donated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in cooperation with the EXBS program.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy and Negotiations, Dr. Eliot Kang, and the DEA Country Attache, Scott Sutherland, spoke at the ceremony.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Kang commented, “This transfer of equipment highlights our mutual security concerns in countering the spread of illicit drugs and weapons of mass destruction. The equipment we provided includes sophisticated detection devices that will increase the Government’s ability to ensure Vietnam’s trade is safe and secure. Such advanced technology is critical to the effort to prevent the illegal trade in hazardous cargoes related to WMD proliferation.”

The equipment was sent from DEA’s Special Testing and Research Laboratory (STRL) in Virginia. DEA will be sending Forensic Chemists from STRL and DEA’s Western Regional Laboratory in California to assemble the equipment and provide training on its use related to drug analysis. EXBS will also be providing training related to the analysis of precursor chemicals and compounds used in the manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction.

U.S.-Singapore Prosecutorial Exchange to Generate Greater Law Enforcement Cooperation

In December 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training Program (OPDAT) conducted a three-day nonproliferation exchange, the “U.S.-Singapore Strategic Trade Control Investigations and Prosecutions Workshop” in Singapore.This EXBS-funded event was held for 60 prosecutors, investigators, and customs agents tasked with nonproliferation oversight, investigation, and prosecution.

The goal was to enhance the capacity of Singaporean officials to investigate and prosecute strategic trade control violations through an improved understanding of the prosecutorial and investigative aspects of a successful strategic trade control framework. U.S. presenters focused on how to build a case, the role of international cooperation. Participants discussed the sophistication of proliferation networks, and the increased U.S. focus on criminal investigations of export control cases. The Singaporean officials used the workshop leads to increase coordination among law enforcement investigations and prosecutions.

Barbara Berman, U.S. senior attorney for counterterrorism, presented on how Singapore can request information from the U.S. on cases with a U.S. nexus. She noted that Singapore continues to be a major transit/transshipment point of U.S. origin goods to Iran and North Korea. While Singapore has many good laws on the books for WMD exports and terrorism, especially for solely dual use shipments, there can be greater coordination and cooperation between the U.S. and Singapore.

EXBS Sponsors Regional UNSCR 1540 Workshop in Kenya

The United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs conducted a UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 implementation Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya on February 2-4, 2010, with funding from the EXBS program and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The well-attended workshop, focused on biosafety and biosecurity, and included representatives from 18 African countries, the U.S., the EU, and several NGOs. Key presentations included the risks of lax controls and methods to secure harmful biological agents; strategies to rapidly react to the spread of disease, whether naturally occurring or maliciously spread; and the broader scope of export controls and border security that UNSCR 1540 mandates. The workshop was highlighted by visits to the Kenyan Medical Research Institute, which operates in conjunction with the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Livestock Research Institute. Citing the indiscriminate spread of disease and long, often porous borders, the African States suggested that a regional approach to biosecurity, and export controls more generally, would most benefit implementation of UNSCR 1540 in Africa.

EXBS Program Central Asia Update

The EXBS program in Central Asia is currently working to consolidate the significant amount of assistance provided to its partners in the Central Asia region. For the past several years, EXBS has provided the five governments of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) with specialized training in the enforcement-related aspects of strategic trade control and border security, varying degrees of technical assistance in the area of border security infrastructure, as well as workshops and training focused on developing strategic trade control frameworks that meet international standards.

Working with other U.S. Government programs, international organizations such as the European Union’s Border Management Central Asia Program, International Organization for Migration, and the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, and the host governments, EXBS is striving to institutionalize the content of its enforcement-related training into the border security training academies of its Central Asia partners and to strengthen institutional capacities of their training academies.

EXBS Post in Focus: Tirane, Albania

Narrative and images provided by LT Cari Bower, USCG

The EXBS Program in Albania began in 2003 with a limited budget of $300,000 and has since grown to a budget of $650,000 per year with one full time advisor and one program assistant on staff at the U.S. Embassy in Tirane. To date, the EXBS advisor in Albania has been a U.S. Coast Guard officer, due to the fact that Albania’s blue border (maritime) is roughly equivalent to the length of its green border (open spaces between border crossings). The EXBS program in the green borders has been covered by the EXBS Advisor in Macedonia since 2005.

Securing its blue border has been an especially difficult task for Albania given the age of its maritime fleet, lack of funding for new resources and outdated training curricula. Small vessels trafficking in persons (TIP) and contraband easily evade law enforcement agencies. This landed Albania on the State Department’s Tier 2 Watchlist for TIP in 2008. Additionally, there has been no single agency responsible for maritime security, so multiple agencies must communicate and cooperate, which provides its own set of obstacles in a country where bureaucratic turf is highly guarded.

Over the past two years, however, Albania has made great strides in improving this situation through investment in a sea surveillance system and a project with the Dutch government to procure five 42-meter patrol boats. Also, the U.S. is providing the Albanian Navy/Coast Guard five small patrol boats for coastal operations over the next year. Additionally, Albania has recently shown an historic commitment to establish and make fully operational an Interagency Maritime Operations Center (IMOC). The IMOC will serve as the sole coordinating body for organizing, planning, and managing all maritime operations in Albania’s territorial waters. These operations will include maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, environmental pollution, fisheries enforcement, and recreational boating safety.

In coordination with these Albanian government initiatives to improve maritime security, EXBS has provided significant support by providing training on seaport security, navigation and seaport interdiction to the Navy/Coast Guard, Harbor Master, Border Police, Customs and Port Security Forces – the key agencies that staff the IMOC. EXBS has also sent four Navy/Coast Guard officers to the U.S. Coast Guard’s International Maritime Operations Course in Yorktown, Virginia and will be sending two Navy/Coast Guard officers to a U.S. Coast Guard Boarding Officer Course later this year.

Albanian agencies also will benefit from a two-week Advanced Boarding Officer Course that will be provided twice in succession to train a maximum number of personnel this summer. In preparation for providing these Boarding Officer Courses, EXBS procured seventy-five sets of specialized personal protective equipment for officers conducting at-sea boardings.

For the majority of the training courses provided, EXBS has made a point to include officers from the Navy/Coast Guard, Harbor Master, Border Police, Customs and Port Security Forces. These five agencies, all under different Ministries, have key roles in ensuring effective maritime security and it has been a learning process for them to work together, share information and clarify their roles and responsibilities. By including some or all of them together in training courses, EXBS promoted a dialogue among the field officers who will now work together under the formal structure created by the IMOC, where communication and information sharing will be crucial to the success of their mission.

Over the past two years, EXBS has also provided more than $850,000 in inspection/detection equipment and user training to Albanian Customs and Border Police for employment at ports of entry to interdict illicit trafficking in items of proliferation concern. Several land interdiction courses also have been provided around the country by DHS/CBP to enhance Albania’s border control capabilities.

New EXBS Advisors

Fred Ball joined the EXBS Program in January 2010 as an advisor to Afghanistan. Mr. Ball has over 38 years of law enforcement experience, having served with the South Tucson, Arizona Police Department and with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Special Agent in the U.S., the U.K. and the DEA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Following retirement from the DEA, he served as Director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Intelligence Unit at Brownsville, Texas. In 2007, Mr. Ball joined Xe Services and served as Executive Mentor to the Deputy Minister of Interior in Kabul, Afghanistan and then Program Manager for Xe Services in Afghanistan. Mr. Ball served for six years in the United States Navy and completed three tours of duty to Vietnam.

Vonda Kimble Delawie joined the EXBS program in February 2010 as the Berlin -based special advisor for re-engagement with Graduated Countries. Ms. Delawie is serving as the first EXBS Graduated Countries advisor. EXBS outreach to the Graduated Countries will be evaluated after a year to determine its effectiveness. Ms. Delawie is a Foreign Service Officer. While serving overseas in Zagreb, Croatia, she supervised the rapid expansion of the EXBS program. She has also served in Rome, Italy; Ankara, Turkey; and Dublin, Ireland; as well as in Washington, D.C. in the bureau of Human Resources, the office of Nordic and Baltic Affairs, the Executive Secretariat, and the office of Caribbean Affairs.

Julia Klaus joined the EXBS program in March 2010 as the advisor to Tajikistan. Ms. Klaus began her law enforcement career as a Special Agent for the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, conducting a full range of complex financial crime investigations. In 2000, she became a Senior Instructor for the Behavioral Science Division of the Federal Law Enforcement Training enter in Georgia, then served as Chief, Firearms Basic Branch (New Mexico); Chief, Program Management (New Mexico); and Chief, Maritime Training Branch (South Carolina). In 2008 she joined the Department of Justice, International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program as a Senior Port Security Advisor for the Republic of Albania.

About EXBS

The Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (or "EXBS") program is the United States Government's premier initiative to help ther countries develop and improve their strategic trade and related border control systems. The EXBS program takes a regional and multilateral approach, promoting harmonization of national export control systems with international standards. The program also organizes a number of regional and international fora to bring national policymakers and technical experts together to share information and best practices.

For more information about EXBS Activities, please contact Ms. Valerie Reed at reedvm@state.gov.

Office of Export Control Cooperation
Harry S Truman Building, Room 3317
2201 C. St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
Phone: 202-647-1669
Fax: 202-647-1810
www.state.gov/t/isn/ecc/index.htm



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