The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.
Suriname is a transit zone for South American cocaine en route to Europe, Africa and, to a lesser extent, the United States. Suriname’s sparsely populated coastal region and isolated jungle interior, along with weak border controls and infrastructure, make narcotics detection and interdiction efforts difficult. Traffickers are able to move drug shipments into and through Suriname by land, water, and air with little resistance. Due to a lack of host country political will, INL programming in Suriname is limited.
INL’s goal under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) in Suriname is to impede narcotics trafficking. Programs focus on strengthening Suriname’s counternarcotics efforts, which include support for ports-of-entry patrol and the United Nation Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Container Control Program (CCP). In cooperation with the Netherlands, INL programs assist Suriname’s anti-money laundering and financial crimes prosecution capacities
UNODC’s Container Control Program provided advanced training for the interagency Port Control Unit based at Paramaribo’s Nieuw Haven port and for Suriname Police Force (KPS) officers. On July 7, 2017, with the help of the CCP-trained Port Control Unit in Paramaribo (PCU), the Narcotics Brigade of the Suriname Police Force (KPS) interdicted 1,751 kg of cocaine at the Jules Sedney Port of Paramaribo.
In 2017, INL provided two boats to increase the KPS Maritime Unit’s interdiction capabilities in the Suriname and Corantijn rivers. To continue to develop the maritime unit’s capabilities, INL supported boat maintenance training and drafting standard operating procedures. In March 2018, Surinamese officers from the KPS and other law enforcement agencies seized a completed self-propelled semi-submersible vessel (SPSS) and a drug plane carrying over 400 kilos of cocaine, the first such seizure in Suriname.