Country Reports - Moldova through Singapore

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
March 3, 2011


A. Introduction

Moldova is not a major drug-producing country, but has a climate favorable for cultivating marijuana and poppy plants. Annual domestic production of marijuana and opium poppy is estimated at several thousand kilograms each. Moldova is a regular transit point for drugs destined for Western Europe, with several known and suspected transshipment points existing within Moldova's borders. Moldova’s proximity to the European Union, the resource deficiencies of its law enforcement agencies, and its limited control of the territory situated on the left bank of the Dniester River, where Moldovan law and by extension, national drug policy are not applicable, has resulted in both the continued transshipment of drugs through Moldova into Europe and in the increased import of synthetic drugs and psychotropic substances into Moldova, both for local use and external distribution outside the country. Moldova is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Government of Moldova's (GOM) Interdepartmental Commission for Drug Addiction and Drug Trafficking Control and the Permanent Committee on Drug Control manage the GOM’s policies on drug addiction and trafficking. Drug abuse and trafficking remain issues of concern to the government. An intensification of inter-agency cooperation is needed on both a regional and national basis to accelerate progress in these areas.

Although the development of a National Drug Strategy was explicitly stipulated in the 2005-2007 EU-Moldova Individual Action Plan to harmonize Moldova’s laws and policies towards eventual EU membership, the lack of an adopted Strategy remained a primary shortcoming of national drug control policy in 2010. This, however, will not be the same for 2011 as the Moldovan government adopted a national anti-drug strategy on December 14, 2010 for 2011-2018. According to the terms of the EU-Moldova Action Plan, the Strategy was conceived of as a declaration which would lay out general principles, wide-ranging policies, and guidelines for future activities. The National Anti-Drug Strategy will have two principal objectives: to decrease drug trafficking to and through Moldova and to restrict the supply and availability of all types of dangerous drugs.

Even before the very recent adoption of its National Strategy, Moldovan authorities, with the assistance of European Union (EU) experts, were successful in 2010 in elaborating a three-year Anti-Drug Action Plan. The Action Plan contains specific information on concrete activities planned by GOM institutions (in some instances, in cooperation with non-governmental institutions) for the years 2010 through 2013., The Action Plan focuses on items such as: improving the country's drug-related legal framework; establishing educational activities to discourage drug abuse; organizing activities to help reduce drug consumption; and informational activities and training for specialized staff.

In September 2010, the GOM added 36 new substances to its list of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and plants that contain these substances, thus criminalizing any commerce or transport involving these items.

As in previous years, Moldovan police, customs and border officials cooperated in counter-narcotics activities. The Moldovan MIA has a specialized sixteen-person police unit responsible for the prevention and combating of drug-related crime nationwide. In addition to these full-time specialized counter-narcotics officers, there are 65 other police officers nationwide assigned responsibility for combating drug-related crimes. Anti-drug activities overall are hampered by the lack of a sufficient number of specialized police officers, along with a lack of funding and adequate technical equipment including vehicles and analytical resources. Additional cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities is an absolute necessity to stem the flow of heroin and cocaine into Moldova from the Ports of Odessa and Illichivsk in Ukraine.

The GOM is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the UN Convention against Corruption. There is no bilateral extradition or mutual legal assistance treaty between the GOM and the United States Government. The Moldovan constitution precludes extradition of its nationals. The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) of Moldova is responsible for handling requests for international legal assistance in the pre-trial phase, whereas the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) handles the in-trial and correctional phases.

The Republic of Moldova (“GOM”) has concluded many bilateral and multilateral treaties in the field of combating crime, largely deriving from its participation or membership in such organizations and initiatives as the United Nations Council of Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) and others. In September and October of 2010, Moldova's law enforcement agencies, in cooperation with their counterparts from GUAM, participated in joint operation "NARCOSTOP-2010," which focused on combating drug trafficking between GUAM member states.

On September 25, 2010, the GOM and the Government of the Federal Republic of Austria signed a cooperative agreement on combating crime. The agreement will enhance bilateral cooperation between the governments in combating the illicit trafficking of narcotics, psychotropic substances, and chemical precursors.

2. Supply Reduction

Moldovan authorities registered 1555 drug related cases in the first ten months of 2010. Three criminal networks and eleven criminal groups were dismantled by Moldovan police in 2010. The MIA has been very active in 2010 in its fight against narcotics trafficking.

Drug seizures carried out during 2010 continued to indicate that Moldova remained primarily a transshipment country. Information provided by the Anti-Drug Division of the MIA in 2010 indicated one predominant heroin route: from Ukraine through Moldova into Western Europe. Cocaine movement has been detected from South America to the Ukrainian ports of Odessa and Illichivsk and on through Moldova into Western Europe. Synthetic drugs are imported primarily from Western Europe (ecstasy, amphetamines) and from the Russian Federation (amphetamines), but the scale of west to east movement for these synthetics is minute in comparison to the east to west movement of cocaine and heroin. Seizure data for 2010 revealed increases in amounts confiscated of the most commonly used and trafficked drugs: heroin - 4079 grams compared to 1611 grams in 2009; liquid heroin - 192 ml compared to 40 ml in 2009; hashish - 35,367 grams (35.4 kg), compared to 24,338 grams(24.3kg ) in 2009; amphetamine - 1711 grams compared to only 17 grams in 2009.

Cannabis and poppy cultivation are a source of income for the local population in some rural areas. According to the MIA, both cannabis and poppy are primarily cultivated for local usage, however, they are also smuggled to nearby countries such as Ukraine and Russia. Lack of control over Moldova's eastern border creates favorable conditions for the cultivation of drugs in that vicinity and for drug trafficking via that border. Moldovan authorities regularly seize and destroy a significant amount of illicitly cultivated marijuana and poppy plants. As of November 2010, authorities had seized and destroyed 44,383 kilograms of cannabis plant biomass (44.3 MT) along with 6499 kilograms of poppy plant biomass (6.5 MT).

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, And Treatment

No major changes pertaining to drug abuse awareness education or treatment have been made in Moldova in 2010. As of November 2010, authorities had registered 8604 drug addicts in Moldova. Some officials, however, speculate that the real number of drug addicts in Moldova is almost three times higher.

The national system for collecting data on persons using illegal drugs in Moldova is based almost exclusively on the count of cases of persons who either voluntarily or involuntarily contacted relevant public institutions. Registration following contact with these public institutions requires disclosure of the individual’s identity in the great majority of cases; this discourages registration. Data on the number of drug users depends on the methods and activities of referring services rather than on a survey of the drug abuse situation itself, and thus almost certainly underestimates drug abuse.

In its prevention education efforts, the GOM tries to focus on the reduction and eradication of drug abuse, the education of the population in a spirit of abstinence and of a healthy lifestyle, and the elimination of the consequences of physical and/or psychological addiction.

The development of a course for the curricula of pre-university institutions on the harmfulness of drug use began with the plan "Measures of Fighting Drug Addiction and Drug Trafficking" which was approved by the government in 2007.

The optional curriculum "Life Skills Education" starts in the sixth grade and continues until the pupil graduates from high school. Prevention of drug use is part of this curriculum.

At the regional level, the Education and Youth Departments have developed their own yearly activity plans to prevent drug use among school-aged children. “Anti-drug” lessons are taught in schools. The existing reporting system does not allow for a detailed analysis of the effectiveness of the activities implemented. Some observers in the non-governmental sector consider these classes to be inefficient and obsolete in many cases.

There is no formally structured, integrated approach to treatment for drug addiction in Moldova. The after-care and reintegration system is underdeveloped. In 2007, the first governmental Center for the Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts was created in Chisinau. The Center treats drug addicts on an outpatient basis. For participants in the national health insurance system, all services are free of charge.

Once discharged from the hospital after detoxification, patients not referred to the rehabilitation center may be invited to continue treatment in rehabilitation and reintegration programs offered by local NGOs, or in some cases, to travel outside the country for treatment. NGOs offer the advantage of free-of-charge service on an anonymous basis.

Implementation of an intravenous drug abuse/AIDS-HIV strategy began in Moldova in 1997. An agreement between the Moldovan Ministry of Health and the Soros Foundation-Moldova was signed on May 8, 2003. Under the terms of this agreement, the Soros Foundation-Moldova helped establish a network of NGOs and public institutions which implement activities to prevent the spread of HIV among high risk groups, including intravenous drug users. The GOM has to date not funded these programs by itself. Basic components of Moldovan programs include: informational and educational outreach about HIV and the prevention of high-risk practices through the distribution of informational materials and condoms at workshops; referral to medical and social services where medical counselling on sexually transmitted infections is available; psychological counselling; pre- and post-HIV test counselling; a needle/syringe exchange; and a methadone substitution treatment program.

4. Corruption

Moldovan national legislation does not distinguish between drug corruption and corruption related to other types of crime. As a matter of governmental policy, Moldova does not encourage or facilitate the production, shipment, or distribution of illicit drugs or the laundering of illegal drug proceeds. There is no credible evidence available indicating that any current senior Moldovan government official is engaged in illegal activity associated with drug trafficking. However, corruption is seen as a serious problem within both the Moldovan government and society and legal cases have been prosecuted where heads of ministries have been seemingly complicit with drug trafficking.

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

The GOM and the USG cooperate on law enforcement and counter-narcotics development issues under the terms of the Letter of Agreement on Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement signed on August 28, 2001. Amendments to this agreement provide funding to support activities designed to create sustainable improvement in the rule of law and in the operational capability of Moldova's law enforcement agencies.

USG-provided training and equipment help improve the ability of the Moldovan police to investigate and dismantle organized crime and narcotics enterprises. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s office in Vienna is responsible for case-work cooperation with members of Moldova's specialized anti-drug unit within the MIA and enjoys support from Moldovan counterparts in several ongoing investigations. DoD, through the U.S. European Command, has cooperated with the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe on forged document training for border personnel.

D. Conclusion

The USG and the GOM have worked together successfully to bring about improvements in the ability of Moldovan law enforcement to operate effectively while respecting the rule of law. The GOM has also had a positive and cooperative relationship with the EU, which has placed senior level advisors at the MIA and the MOJ to assist in the reform efforts of these organizations and to help coordinate the contributions of international donors. The GOM should increase its own efforts to better train and equip its justice sector entities, including those engaged in combating illicit narcotics trafficking. The GOM should also work with the international community to assess the compliance of its legislation with the obligations existing under international counternarcotics treaties. Additionally, the GOM should look to develop and nurture a more comprehensive and active relationship with Ukrainian authorities to address border control concerns, especially in the southern and eastern portions of the country. Finally, the GOM should reconsider its ban on extradition of nationals.


A. Introduction

Montenegro continues to be an important transit route for heroin, cannabis, and cocaine into Western Europe due to its position along the Balkan Route. The country, which neighbors Kosovo, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is located among central Europe's most sensitive areas. A small portion of the smuggled narcotics (between 10%-15%) remains in the country and is sold in the small, but growing, domestic market. There is negligible illicit production of precursor chemicals or synthetic drugs in Montenegro itself. The Government of Montenegro (GoM) has placed the battle against organized criminal groups, including illicit drug traffickers, at the top of its list of priorities, linked in large part to its efforts to fight organized crime and corruption nationwide.

Montenegrin law enforcement officials are becoming more proactive in addressing the operations of illegal drug distribution networks; however, the country remains vulnerable to penetration by drug traffickers who use sophisticated methods and are closely connected to organized crime groups in neighboring countries and the wider region. Drug-related crime and drug abuse, particularly among young people, is on the rise. The GoM created a National Council for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and continues to implement its national anti-drug strategy, but these efforts remain hampered by endemic corruption.

There are no significant changes in narcotics use, market or price compared to last year. Suppression of street sale, particularly of heroin, remains a key challenge for authorities. There is an increasing conviction rate for drug trafficking in the context of overall crime, and reports indicate the increased involvement of Montenegrin citizens in illicit narcotics smuggling abroad.

Montenegro is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In May 2008, the GoM issued the country’s first National Strategic Response to Drugs (2008-2012), a comprehensive drug strategy, along with an Action Plan (2008-2009), to implement the strategy and carry forward plans and initiatives to meet the objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The Government also created a National Office for Drugs, within the Ministry of Health, to ensure effective coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the country’s counternarcotics efforts.

The Action Plan defines a timetable of activities and duties for each ministry or particular office during each budgetary period. It emphasizes the importance of coordination of all actors involved in combating drugs, making clear the importance of information exchange. The National Office for Drugs has established a system of contact persons within each organization or entity responsible for carrying out these polices; the Ministries of Interior and Justice, the Police Directorate, other relevant ministries, local governments and the healthcare system, plus several NGOs are all involved. However, in its 2010 annual Progress Report for the Western Balkans, the European Commission noted that there has been limited progress in this area.

The National Council for the Prevention of Drug Abuse, with the President of Montenegro at its helm, was established in March 2010 to institute measures and activities aiming to prevent, treat and re-socialize drug addicts. During the year, 21 municipal drug prevention offices – one in each municipality across the country – were established to carry out various drug control activities.

Because of its position on the Balkan Route, police believe that most drugs in Montenegro come from its southern and eastern neighbors – Albania and Kosovo. Marijuana and heroin are the most prevalent drugs on the local market, while synthetic drugs such as amphetamines and ecstasy are less frequently used. There were no known cases of synthetic drug production or operation of secret labs. After several police seizures, it is believed that “skunk”or synthetic marijuana has increasingly supplanted ordinary marijuana in the local market and in smuggling through Montenegro headed for Western Europe. Authorities have noted an increase in the use of drugs among the youth population and have placed a high priority on fighting drug abuse and trafficking. The GoM has also begun to take steps to address public health issues associated with drug use.

The National Office for Drugs maintained communication with the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and regularly sent quarterly and annual reports on controlled substances. In December 2009, Montenegro adopted the Law on Precursors for Narcotics which stipulates surveillance and controlled sales of substances that could be used in the production of narcotics. The list of precursors is in line with international standards. The Law is also harmonized with the EU Directives and UN Conventions that Montenegro is a party to:

  • The Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs (1961), as amended by the 1972 Protocol;
  • The Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971); and
  • The UN Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988).

Montenegro is also a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. The 1901 extradition treaty between the United States and the Kingdom of Serbia remains in force between the U.S. and Montenegro, though it has never been tested.

In October 2010, Montenegro signed a bilateral extradition agreement with Serbia, which followed a similar agreement with Croatia signed earlier the same month. In July 2010, Montenegro signed two agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina: the Agreement on Mutual Execution of Criminal Judgments and the Agreement on Legal Assistance in Criminal and Civil Matters.

The Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and Criminal Code (CC) call for mandatory treatment of drug addicts. They also permit temporary and permanent seizure of assets derived from illicit drug trafficking, as well as authorize the use of secret surveillance measures in the pre-trial and investigation process. Extended confiscation of assets can also be applied (under the most recent CC amendments) if the offender was sentenced by a final and enforceable decision for a crime involving the unauthorized manufacture, possession or distribution of narcotic drugs. The penalty for producing and selling drugs ranges from two to 15 years in prison.

2. Supply Reduction

During 2010, police noted no major changes related to the general narcotic drugs trade and trafficking in comparison to the previous year. Authorities estimate there are seven or eight organized criminal groups operating in Montenegro, some of which are believed to be a part of a larger international narcotics smuggling network working in the region, Western Europe, South America and the Near East. The groups are believed to be organized on a horizontal level and do not have a significant hierarchy or firm organizational structure.

Heroin from Afghanistan transits Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania, and is smuggled into Montenegro in private vehicles before being transported to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and further into Western Europe. In recent years police have identified major heroin smuggling routes from Kosovo through Montenegro which operate under the control of criminal groups from the northern municipalities of Rozaje and Berane. According to police, the price of heroin on the local market has increased, which might possibly be attributed to reduced production in Afghanistan.

Cocaine is smuggled by sea and air from South America and then on to other countries in the region and to Western Europe. The Montenegrin police noted the increased involvement of Montenegrin citizens, either as organizers or couriers, in the smuggling of cocaine into the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Scandinavia.

According to Montenegrin police, there were no reported cases of synthetic drug production, but the usual summer influx of tourists along Montenegro’s Adriatic coast has led to seasonal increases in the use of synthetic drugs.

Drugs seized by police from January through November 2010 are as follows: 8.4 kg of heroin (compared to 18.3 kg in 2009); 581.4 kg of marijuana (compared to 851.5 kg in 2009); 4 kg of cocaine (compared to 1.4 kg in 2009); 10.7 gr. of hashish; 120.9 gr. of amphetamines. The majority of drugs were confiscated on land by the Drug Smuggling Suppression Department and the National Border Police.

Several important counternarcotics police operations were launched during the year:

  • In the police operation “Orah” (Walnut), which lasted for seven months, police arrested three persons for smuggling 1.2 kg of cocaine and 0.5 kg of blended benzocaine and lidocaine from Argentina to Montenegro. Police stated that three arrestees are a part of a larger international criminal group that used sophisticated methods to smuggle 4 kg of cocaine from South America to Montenegro by air.
  • In February 2010, the three month-long police operation “Chivas” resulted in the arrest of 10 persons who are believed to have smuggled 100 kg of “skunk” cannabis from Albania through Montenegro to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • In August 2010, police confiscated 2 kg of heroin and arrested two persons suspected of being part of an organized group that smuggled heroin through Turkey, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.
  • In cooperation with Bosnian police, Montenegrin police intercepted smuggling networks trafficking drugs through Montenegro to Bosnia and Herzegovia, and confiscated 300 kg of “skunk” and 1 kg of heroin. Police actions were carried out both in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

There was no known cultivation or production of narcotics in Montenegro in 2010, short of two cases of “house” cultivation of cannabis in the municipality of Niksic, where police in two separate actions confiscated 581 and 80 cannabis plants.

During the first ten months of 2010, police filed charges against 241 persons in 166 cases involving the production and distribution of narcotics.

In 2010, the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime, Corruption, War Crimes and Terrorism, along with the High Prosecutors in Podgorica and Bijelo Polje, requested criminal investigations of 213 persons. 217 persons (including some charged in previous years) were convicted for drug-related offenses during the year. The investigation of 65 persons is ongoing.

The Drug Smuggling Suppression Department (DSSD) within the Police Directorate’s Crime Division is responsible for law enforcement efforts and for the exchange of information among eight counternarcotics police units located throughout Montenegro, the Customs Administration, the Ministries of Justice and Finance, and Interpol.

During the year there was no technical improvement of equipment used by the anti-narcotic police units. Police use tracking dogs at the land border crossings and patrol boats to curb illicit trafficking at sea and on Skadar Lake, which straddles the Montenegrin-Albanian border.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Drug use began to spread more widely in Montenegro in the mid-1990s and became a significant public health issue in 2000. Reliable statistics on drug use in Montenegro are still lacking. Authorities estimate that Montenegro has between 2,000-3,000 addicts. According to a 2008 EU survey of high school-age respondents on the use of alcohol and other drugs, the most frequently-used illicit drugs were marijuana and inhalants, followed by tranquilizers and sedatives. Local surveys showed the rate of lifetime use of drugs by secondary school students to be 7.8 percent in 1999-2000 compared to 6.9 percent in 2006-2007, while the age of first use fell from 16 years in 1999-2000 to 14 years in 2006-2007.

Following on the “National Response to Drugs 2008-2012” initiative, the GoM is implementing activities in four key areas: prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, reduction of harm, and police and customs interventions. In March 2010, the National Council for the Prevention of Drug Abuse, with the President at the helm, was established to treat, rehabilitate, re-socialize and reduce the number of drug addicts.

During the year, the Ministry of Health established a network of 21 municipal drug prevention offices across the country. They are the major tool for implementing preventive and education activities covering all primary and secondary schools nationwide. Schools, health centers, police stations, social centers and NGOs all supplement the activities of the municipal drug prevention offices.

Preventative medical treatment is free of charge within the public health system. The number of patients treated for addiction in inpatient and outpatient healthcare in 2007 was around 600. The number of drug-related deaths per year is low – four in 2005, four in 2006, seven in 2007 and five in 2008.

There is equal treatment available to all drug addicts irrespective of gender, age or type of drug consumed. There is no formal mechanism for coordinating drug addiction treatment, however. Treatment is available on an outpatient basis in 18 health centers across the country and on an inpatient basis in general hospitals, as well as the special psychiatric hospital in Kotor. Hospital treatment for drug overdoses is provided by the Clinical Center of Montenegro and seven general hospitals across the country. Three outpatient centers provide methadone substitution therapy, though their capacity is limited. Drug counseling is confidential, and services offered by the local counseling centers are promoted in schools. Eight advisory centers throughout the country also provide services for voluntary and confidential testing on HIV.

Qualified doctors and methadone substitution therapy is available to convicted drug addicts in the Spuz prison facility, the country’s main penal institution. There are also educational programs for inmates about drug use, as well as voluntary and confidential counseling and testing on the HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B viruses.

The GoM provides funds from the national lottery to various NGOs for drug education programs. Funded programs include a drop-in center for psycho-social support, a medical referral service, outreach activities for hard to reach populations, informative workshops on the prevention of drug abuse among the Roma population, self-help projects conducted by former inmates, and healthy lifestyle promotion activities.

Rehabilitation and re-socialization programs are provided by the Public Institution for the Accommodation, Rehabilitation and Re-Socialization of Drug Users in Podgorica. Admittance to the institution is voluntary. The treatment program is divided in two phases: the first phase is a 12-month stay in the Institution followed by a second, nonresidential phase that includes group therapy, withdrawal symptoms testing, and family engagement. Patients pay one-third of the treatment costs while the state pays for the rest.

In cooperation with the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Montenegro produced its first “Country Overview” and “Info Map” for 2009, and adopted standards for drafting its first National Report based on EMCDDA standards. The goal of the project is to establish a national focal point, national data base, and early warning system – priority areas cited by the European Commission in its 2010 annual Progress Report.

4. Corruption

The Government of Montenegro does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Corruption remains widespread in Montenegro at all levels, however, and poses a considerable hurdle for the country in reforming state institutions. Low salaries foster graft among law enforcement officials and public servants. There is a widespread perception of public sector corruption, particularly in the executive and judicial branches, which undermines public confidence in government institutions. There are no specific laws covering narcotics-related public corruption. In two cases during 2010, police officers were arrested and had criminal charges brought against them for involvement in drug smuggling.

The Government has made efforts aimed at reducing corruption, identifying the problem as a key strategic priority. During its July 29 session, the Government adopted its 2010-2014 Strategy for the Fight against Corruption and Organized Crime, together with an Action Plan for its implementation over the next two years. In February 2010, Montenegro formed an inter-agency joint investigate team to work exclusively on fighting organized crime and corruption.

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

The U.S. bilateral relationship with Montenegro is strong. The country views the U.S. as a strategic partner and generally supports U.S. goals in the Balkans, including drug control initiatives.

The Montenegro Special Prosecutor’s Office communicates directly with the DEA regional office in Rome on matters of mutual concern. DEA maintains an active liaison with the National Police Directorate’s Narcotics Division and has invited Montenegrin narcotics investigators to attend the 2011DEA International Drug Enforcement Conference.

During 2010, the Embassy’s Department of Justice/ICITAP and Department of State/INL programs began a re-invigorated rule of law assistance program. Key activities include extensive training initiatives, mentoring of police and prosecutors, and study visits to relevant international police agencies. In the maritime realm, the United States Coast Guard provided training in law enforcement and general maritime competencies. The emphasis of USG assistance programs is on organized crime and corruption, with a major sub-focus on combating narcotics trafficking.

Listed below is a summary of activities to date:

  • The INL policing program has planned with local Police officials a comprehensive training program to be provided to the National Police Directorate. Training activities also include subject matter experts from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service. Additionally, a resident policing advisor will provide mentoring to police commanders at the National Police Headquarters.
  • The INL police advisor has also developed an incremental assistance program with the Attorney General of Montenegro to support the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Joint Investigative Team for Organized Crime and Corruption. With the new Criminal Procedure Code requiring prosecutor-led investigations, INL is also providing intensive training in major case management to all Special Prosecutors. This training teaches leadership skills, effective police-prosecutor relations, case preparation, and the effective use of electronic intercepts and informants. The training places strong emphasis on net-worth analysis of suspects and aggressive asset forfeiture.
  • Along with the DEA and the Government of Croatia, INL completed joint training on money laundering investigations for the Special Prosecutor’s Office and police.
  • In cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, INL completed training for the Special Prosecutor’s Office on asset forfeiture courtroom presentation. Training focused on effective methods for presenting understandable cases and proving a clear nexus between criminal activity and illegal proceeds. The training also introduced Montenegro special prosecutors to cross-examination techniques, which will be used immediately with the enactment of the new Criminal Procedure Code.

INL assistance programs have implemented a very aggressive training schedule for the police and prosecutors during 2010. This training also involved over 200 prosecutors, police, and financial investigators in major case management, informant management and undercover operations. DoD, through the US European Command, has also provided training equipment to the National Police Working Dog base of operations.

D. Conclusion

Montenegro remains an important trafficking route for narcotics smuggling, but the county’s top officials have demonstrated a commitment to cooperating with the U.S. and its partners in the global anti-narcotic efforts. The country has made limited progress in its counter narcotics efforts so far, however, and significant challenges remain.

Most observers believe that police investigations to date have focused on low-level organizers of criminal groups, street dealers and drug users while major narcotics traffickers are rarely arrested. The country needs to develop greater capacity for dealing with growing rates of addiction to narcotics, particularly among the young. Existing programs to educate youth on the dangers of drugs use must be reinforced, and drug abuse treatment availability must be significantly enhanced. To better track and intercept narcotics smuggled into and through Montenegro, the GoM should work with its neighbors to further improve its controls at coastal and land border crossings. Montenegro should continue to strengthen relationships between law enforcement agencies of other countries in the region. In the coming years, increased GoM efforts will be required to strengthen institutions, tackle drug control performance, corruption, money laundering, smuggling, trafficking, and other forms of organized crime to achieve its strategic goal: integration into the EU and NATO.

Montenegro's strategic importance to the U.S. is significantly disproportionate to its small size. The GoM’s failure to establish effective rule of law could provide greater inroads to organized criminal activity and further erode confidence in public institutions. Helping Montenegro transform its law enforcement and judicial institutions into efficient tools for combating narcotics will be critical to its overall success in strengthening its rule of law capacity. Montenegro can be an asset to regional anti-narcotics cooperation, and its sustained efforts to do so will deepen the country’s security cooperation with its neighbors, increasing confidence and stability.


A. Introduction

Morocco continues to pursue an aggressive counternarcotics strategy focused primarily on interdiction and eradication, and has maintained previous years' progress in these areas. Yet despite persistent eradication efforts, Morocco still has more arable land devoted to cultivating cannabis than any other country in the world, although it produces less cannabis resin than Afghanistan, whose crops yield four times as much resin per acre, according to the 2010 UNODC World Drug Report.

Cannabis cultivation which has historically centered in the northern tip of the country, between the Rif Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, provides an income for large segments of the population of that area. Cannabis remains primarily an illicit export crop for Moroccan growers, with most of the product typically processed into resin or oil and exported predominately to Europe. The vast majority of cannabis produced in Morocco is consumed in Europe and has little, if any, impact on the U.S. market for illegal drugs.

Morocco's location at the crossroads of Africa and Europe make it a key transit and transfer point for drug traffic. Spain serves as the primary transfer point for Europe-bound Moroccan cannabis resin, and from there it can normally be transshipped to most other Western European destinations. France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy are also major European destinations for cannabis trafficked from Morocco. The GOM is concerned that Morocco's importance as a transit country is increasing, particularly for cocaine originating in South America and moving through West African states to Europe.

Heroin and synthetic drugs (methamphetamine, ecstasy, etc.) are also making inroads into the country, but to a lesser extent than cocaine. Morocco has only a relatively modest licit requirement for dual-use meth or ecstasy precursor chemicals (1025 kilograms of pseudoephedrine), and the country neither serves as a known source, nor transit point for diverted meth precursors.

Illicit drug use in the country has not been a primary area of concern for the GOM, which has generally viewed consumption as a European problem. To date, the GOM has not made an effort to quantify nationwide rates of drug use and lacks an effective system in place to measure and evaluate the situation. Though the scope of the problem is unknown, officials are becoming more aware of the need to invest resources in drug treatment and prevention programs. Morocco is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Morocco’s national strategy to combat drugs rests on the three pillars of: (1) interdiction, (2) eradication, and (3) demand reduction. In recent years, Morocco has made significant efforts to combat the production and trafficking of narcotics. The GOM has pursued a counternarcotics strategy which emphasizes combining conventional law enforcement, crop eradication, and demand reduction efforts with economic development to erode the “cannabis growing culture” that has historically existed in northern Morocco.

According to the GOM, most current cannabis cultivation occurs in al-Hoceima, with the adjoining province of Chefchaouen largely making up the rest of production. Although production in the cannabis growing provinces of Larache, Taounate, and Tetouan, has reportedly declined in recent years, some production remains. Most large shipments of illicit cannabis bound for Spain travel via speedboats, which can make the roundtrip to Spain in one hour or less, although fishing boats, yachts, and other vessels are also used. Smugglers also continue to transport cannabis through the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and the Moroccan port of Tangier, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar by ferry. According to the GOM, heroin continues to enter Morocco from the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

In 2010, Morocco dedicated greater resources to combating the growth in trafficking and consumption of harder drugs, particularly cocaine, and has had some success in disrupting international cocaine trafficking networks. However, transnational drug trafficking networks with European, West African and Latin American ties remain in operation. The press has reported that Moroccan cocaine trafficking rings based in Agadir purchase cocaine from Colombians and Venezuelans operating from Botswana and Senegal, for shipment through Morocco into Europe. According to the United Nations, networks involving Moroccan nationals participated in the trafficking of cocaine to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and France in 2010. GOM officials believe that cocaine smugglers are increasingly seeking access to Europe through much harder to detect land routes and other methods, and may seek to cooperate with other criminal organizations including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Morocco’s national drug strategy is augmented by an emphasis on a broader economic development approach and crop substitution. Although the GOM has had some success encouraging the cultivation of alternative crops, farmers who traditionally rely on cannabis as a source of income have, at times, resisted this policy. Moroccan officials have reported the successful substitution of olives, figs and carob (Used as a sweetener, as a substitute for chocolate, and in drinks in Mediterranean countries) for cannabis since the launch of their 2004 drug-eradication campaign. Saffron may offer another crop substitution possibility. Since 2004, Morocco has conducted an awareness campaign for cannabis growers, alerting them to the environmental dangers of cannabis mono-culture, including soil exhaustion, excessive fertilizer concentrations, and deforestation, and informing them of alternatives to use the land more productively. The GOM selected the northern province of Taounate in 2006 as the site for the construction of the National Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants to study the viability of various crop substitutes.

Morocco is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol. Morocco is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime Morocco and the United States cooperate in law enforcement matters under a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). Morocco is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption. The GOM has several cooperative agreements to fight against drugs with European countries such as Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy, and it seeks to work closely with other Arab and African countries.

2. Supply Reduction

Due in part to an aggressive eradication campaign, carried out mainly by gendarmes and local authorities, police, and customs officials, the GOM reports that they have successfully decreased the land dedicated to cannabis cultivation from 134,000 ha in 2003 to 56,000 ha in 2009. Notwithstanding the decrease reported by the GOM in cultivation and production, there is no indication of a significant diminution of cannabis products reaching major European markets, according to the 2009 UNODC World Drug Report. However, increased cannabis resin production in Afghanistan may account for some of the discrepancy. During the year, Morocco used the following methods to eradicate illicit crops: (1) defoliants sprayed via airplane, (2) mechanical and manual destruction of crops and (3) burning.

The GOM has continued to pursue an aggressive eradication strategy despite opposition from segments of the population in traditional cannabis growing areas. The press reported that in 2010 Morocco cleared an additional 9,400 hectares dedicated to cannabis cultivation. In March in Taounate, authorities arrested 44 people suspected of growing cannabis and seized 700 kg of cannabis seeds as well as farming equipment. According to press reports, farmers in the Chefchaouen region attacked and vandalized a police station and repeatedly clashed with police in order to pressure authorities to allow the unhindered production of cannabis. Press reports noted that local cannabis farmers also criticized the GOM for the aerial spraying of defoliants in cannabis cultivating areas, noting that the effort had destroyed the farmers' food crops.

The GOM has deployed enforcement personnel throughout the northern and south western coastal areas to interdict drug shipments, maintain counternarcotics checkpoints, and staff observation posts along the coast. The Moroccan Navy carries out routine sea patrols to suppress sea-borne narcotics trafficking. In August, the Moroccan navy seized two speedboats carrying nearly three tons of cannabis resin in the waters around Nador, a site of frequent maritime drug interdictions. GOM forces also use helicopters, planes, speed boats, mobile x-ray scanners, ultrasound equipment, and satellites in their drug fight.

Although the GOM provided no statistics on the total amount of drugs seized during 2010, large scale drug seizures were frequently in the news and the press reported that Morocco seized 102 tons of cannabis resin and 43 kilograms of cocaine during the first ten months of the year. During one individual seizure in Nador, Moroccan authorities confiscated 20 tons of cannabis resin. In February and March, customs officials seized 18 tons of cannabis resin in Casablanca. In a separate incident, authorities seized another six tons of cannabis in Errachidia in the south of the country. In April, authorities also seized 700 kg of cannabis resin in Larache, along the Northern Atlantic coast. In October, authorities disrupted the largest trafficking operation at the Casablanca port in a decade when they seized 12 tons of cannabis hidden in a shipping container bound for Belgium. The shipping container belonged to a front company claiming to export plastic plates to Europe.

Arrests of traffickers at the seaports and of Sub-Saharan African cocaine “mules” are also frequently in the news. In March, authorities in Senegal arrested two Moroccans carrying eight kg of cocaine en route from Brazil to Morocco. In a separate incident, authorities seized 1200 doses of heroin and 70 doses of cocaine from a Moroccan national in Tetouan. Surveillance, detection training, and the use of ultrasound equipment were critical to the success of these and other seizures.

Morocco's efforts to disrupt drug trafficking networks also resulted in several large scale arrests. In April, the press reported that authorities dismantled a cocaine trafficking ring led by a member of the Royale Gendarmerie, which also involved Nigerian and Congolese operatives. In August, officials arrested 50 people in Agadir implicated in another drug trafficking network. In October, Moroccan authorities arrested 34 people charged with trafficking 600 kg of cocaine from Colombia through Mali and into Morocco, Algeria, and Europe. According to the GOM, this international network laundered large sums of money through fictitious companies and was lead by Colombian and Spanish nationals, with assistance from Moroccan traffickers. In November, the GOM publicly called for expanded cooperation with Spanish authorities to combat international cocaine trafficking networks.

While calling for enhanced cooperation with Spain, Morocco continued to collaborate with French and Spanish authorities to combat drug trafficking. Since 2008, Morocco and Spain have participated in a joint commission to fight drug trafficking and illegal migration. Spain’s deployment of a network of fixed and modular radar, infrared, and video sensors around the Strait of Gibraltar, starting in 1999 and known as the Integrated System of External Vigilance (SIVE), has forced smugglers to take longer and more vulnerable routes.

Moroccan law provides a maximum allowable prison sentence for drug offenses of 30 years, as well as fines for illegal drug violations ranging from $20,000-$80,000. Eight to ten years’ imprisonment remains the typical sentence for major drug traffickers convicted in Morocco.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

To date, Morocco’s strongest actions to combat drugs have been in the areas of interdiction and eradication. The GOM has not made an effort to quantify nationwide rates of drug abuse and lacks an effective system in place to measure and evaluate the situation. However, authorities are concerned about anecdotal evidence suggesting an increase in domestic cocaine and heroin use. According to the GOM, a significant percentage of offenses committed by juveniles are drug-related, and approximately 29 percent of the prison population has been convicted on drug-related offenses ranging from trafficking to personal consumption.

Officials are becoming increasingly aware of the need to address consumption and develop options for treatment. In 2009, the GOM established a drug treatment facility in Casablanca to provide specialized care to patients suffering from addiction, the only such facility in the country. Morocco has also established a program to train the staffs of psychiatric hospitals in the treatment of drug addiction. In order to discourage drug abuse among school children, the Ministry of Health launched a counternarcotics awareness campaign targeting school children and created drug-free school zones, patrolled by police and the Auxiliary Forces. Moroccan civil society and some schools are active in promoting counternarcotics campaigns.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, the GOM does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. These actions are illegal in Morocco. However, despite GOM actions to suppress corruption, narcotics-related corruption among governmental, judicial, military and law enforcement officials continues. In May, in Nador, authorities seized seven tons of illegal drugs destined for Europe, implicating more than 180 people, including 40 Moroccan administrative staff, police officers, and customs officials, according to press reports.

The GOM has taken steps to hold officials complicit in drug trafficking accountable for their actions. In March, the GOM sentenced 92 people - 55 of whom were members of the security services - to a maximum of ten years in prison for participating in a drug trafficking ring based in Nador that reportedly shipped 30 tons of cannabis resin to Europe over several years. In May, a guard in the Kenitra prison and three prisoners were sentenced to ten years imprisonment for selling drugs. Moroccan courts also sentenced 14 people, including a former parliamentarian, to between ten months and eight years in prison for trafficking cocaine.

In late 2008, the government formed the Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC), charged with anti-corruption advocacy and prevention. The Authority and the MOJ have jointly developed a guide on procedures for processing corruption complaints. In addition to the ICPC, the MOJ and the Court of Accounts (Cour de Comptes), the Government’s supreme audit institution, also had jurisdiction over corruption issues. In October 2010, the Government of Morocco adopted a two-year anti-corruption program which aims to reinforce public administration integrity and transparency, strengthen internal administrative control, and reform anti-corruption legislation.

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

GOM officials seek to build upon their already strong existing relationships with international organizations such as the UNODC, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and INTERPOL. This cooperation has been strong on the law enforcement side but less robust in terms of demand reduction efforts, as GOM officials still consider demand to be mainly a European problem.

The USG is working to enhance Morocco’s counternarcotics capability through training in law enforcement and border control techniques, and to promote the GOM’s adherence to its obligations under relevant bilateral and international narcotics control agreements. U.S.-supported efforts to strengthen anti-money laundering laws and efforts against terrorist financing may also contribute to the GOM’s ability to track the flow of money from the drug trade as an enforcement technique.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which covers Morocco from its Paris office, continued its bilateral exchange of information with the Moroccans in support of several ongoing drug investigations in 2010.

During FY 2010, the Department of State's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau (INL) funded training for Moroccan police, gendarmes, customs, and justice officials in the areas of: (1) border interdiction training (2) cargo control (3) fraudulent document detection and (4) anti-corruption. DHS/CBP provided some of the training mentioned above and also three additional tool trucks to Moroccan Customs officials in Tangier, Nador and Oujda through INL funding. These trucks are being utilized in the disassembling of vehicles and or containers used for concealing and transporting narcotics. The USCG conducted maritime law enforcement training, and engaged in a combined maritime counterdrug operation with the Moroccan Navy. The U.S. will continue to engage Moroccan authorities in these areas in FY 2011.

D. Conclusion

Since 2004, Morocco has devoted considerable effort to cannabis eradication, and has successfully reduced the area of arable land dedicated to illicit cultivation of cannabis, although significant room for improvement remains. The GOM has also effectively sought out and cultivated counternarcotics partnerships with countries in Europe and Africa in order to improve interdiction and coordination against international drug trafficking networks, and has established mechanisms to better intercept the transfer of drugs across its borders. However, the lack of reliable data about drug use in the country coupled with the lack of demand reduction and drug treatment programs for youth, inmates, and the general population remain gaps in Morocco's overall counternarcotics approach. Many countries in the world teach the lesson that drug production and transit countries invariably become consumption countries for drugs. The U.S. will continue to monitor the illegal drug situation in Morocco, support the GOM in its counternarcotics efforts, and, provide law enforcement training, intelligence, and other support.


A. Introduction

Mozambique is not a significant producer of illegal drugs or chemical precursors. The long borders and endemic corruption in Mozambique mean the country is primarily used to transit drugs to consumer markets in South Africa and Europe. Domestic drug consumption is thought to be limited primarily to cannabis and some “mandrax”/quaaludes. The Ministry of Interior reports that cannabis cultivation is for local consumption and is difficult to control because it is deeply engrained in rural, cultural practices. The porous borders, an extensive seacoast, weak security infrastructure, and inadequately trained and equipped law enforcement personnel hamper Mozambique’s enforcement and interdiction efforts. The Government of Mozambique (GRM) is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The GRM has made some strides in developing an institutional infrastructure to combat drug use and trafficking, but the capacity of these institutions in terms of human and financial resources is weak. The Mozambique Office to Combat and Prevent Drug Use (GCPCD) focuses largely on treatment, prevention, education, and collecting statistics. The GCPCD Director reports that his office lacks resources and cooperation from other parts of government. The Attorney General’s office dedicates staff to the counternarcotics mission and details staff to the GCPCD. In 2001, with the help of the United Nations, The Ministry of the Interior created, an Anti- Narcotics Brigade (BCN) within the Investigative Police (PIC), which at one point reached 75 agents. The staffing currently stands at 45, spread throughout the country. The PIC Director and BCN Director both report a lack of resources and training necessary to interdict illegal drugs and successfully combat major drug traffickers. The GRM has no unified counternarcotics plan, though the GCPCD does annually report and analyze trends and activities of the GRM and civil society.

2. Supply Reduction

The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and Ministry of Interior reported that in 2009 (the latest year for which statistics are available) 700 individuals were arrested for drug use or trafficking resulting in 410 court cases, a slight decrease from 2008. Twenty-three of the 700 individuals arrested were foreigners. Of the 700 arrested, 531 were convicted of a drug-related offense, usually possession for personal use, and 169 were awaiting trial at the time of this report.

The GCPCD also reports the seizure of 2,955 kilos of hashish, 2,619 kilos of marijuana (slightly less than 2008), 6 kilos of cocaine, 4.4 kilos of heroin, 20 kilos of mandrax, and 113 marijuana plants. Only the seizures of hashish represent a significant increase over 2008. The GCPCD noted that methods of smuggling drugs have become more sophisticated. The PIC Director said most of the arrests and seizures were the result of fortuitous tips by fishermen along seaports or lucky catches at airports.

Mozambique is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols and the UN Convention Against Corruption.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The GCPCD leans heavily on civil society support to convey its anti-drug message. The GCPCD reported that the number of community leaders trained to communicate an anti-drug message reached 31,960, representing an increase of 4,324 from 2008. The GCPCD also reported 3,567 anti-drug lectures were given, an increase of more than 900 from the previous year, reaching an audience of 566,184. These lectures targeted mainly school-age youth. The GCPCD was active in working with a number of ministries – ranging from Health to Women and Social Action – to provide comprehensive drug abuse education in local languages. The GRM raised the public profile of drug abuse through public events, fairs, and media appearances.

Mozambique lacks dedicated drug treatment facilities. The GRM provides drug treatment only at general service government health units which happen to have associated mental health or psychiatric units. As a result, most drug addicts are treated at home by the family. The GCPCD analyzed 2006-2009 data from the Ministry of Health and concluded that a doubling of psychiatric patients treated for problems related to substance abuse (2,125 in 2009, half for alcohol abuse) resulted from steadily improving conditions and treatment at government health units.

4. Corruption

While Mozambican law provides for criminal penalties for official corruption, corruption remains widespread and endemic. The World Bank's Worldwide Governance Indicators reflected that corruption is a serious problem. Few high-level government officials face prosecution for corruption so officials engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Despite the government’s strong anti-corruption rhetoric, anti-corruption law enforcement is weak.

In May, the Customs Director of Investigation at the Ministry of Finance, Orlando Jose, widely regarded as active in combating corruption, was murdered by unknown assailants suspected to be linked to organized crime and corrupt officials. The investigation into his murder has stalled with no significant arrests.

Inadequately trained and equipped law enforcement agencies and corruption in the police and judiciary hamper Mozambique’s interdiction efforts and facilitate the country’s use as a transit point for illegal narcotics. The government does not as a matter of policy encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. However, some Customs officials are suspected of assisting drug traffickers move contraband through Mozambique.

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

The U.S. and the GRM have worked together on U.S.-sponsored training and assistance programs that seek to reduce drug trafficking. The Department of Defense (DoD) supplied 12 rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) in November 2010 to the Mozambican Navy (for a total of 17 since 2006) to patrol the lengthy Mozambican coast. The donations and subsequent training aim to improve primarily the GRM’s counter-terrorism capacity, though it will have ancillary benefits of countering piracy and interdicting drug shipments. Additional counternarcotics assistance coordinated jointly by DoD and State-INL is planned for 2011.

USAID’s Democracy and Governance Program seeks to develop a Security Sector Reform Program that may include program elements working on community policing and institutional reform. The U,S, Embassy’s RSO and Political/Economic Sections are also currently coordinating with State-INL to put together an array of short-term training programs, in order to provide training for Mozambican police and border security forces for improved detection and interdiction of traffickers of both people and contraband, especially illegal drugs.

D. Conclusion

Because of weak border controls, Mozambique remains a transit point for drugs passing to more lucrative consumer markets, especially South Africa. With the June designation in the U.S. of prominent local businessman, Mohamed Bachir Suleman, (“MBS”) under the Kingpin Act, the GRM was faced with public calls to combat drug trafficking and money laundering. Progress on the GRM’s investigation into MBS’s activities remains inconclusive, and the lack of progress or any demonstrable action means the GRM has lost an opportunity to demonstrate commitment in fighting illegal narcotics. Some observers allege this is because MBS gave support and had ties to the highest levels of the ruling party, Frelimo. Mozambique has yet to convict any major drug traffickers in the courts and does not use asset forfeiture laws to increase enforcement pressure on traffickers. The GRM’s counternarcotics fight is hampered by weak political will, high levels of corruption and few resources. The USG will continue to work with those elements of the GRM committed to combating illegal narcotics.


A. Introduction

Although Nepal is neither a significant producer of nor a major transit route for narcotic drugs, some hashish, heroin and domestically-produced cannabis and opium are trafficked from and to Nepal every year. The Narcotics Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit (NDCLEU) of the Nepal Police reports that more Nepalese citizens are investing in, and taking a larger role in managing, trafficking operations. They are making contact with Indian criminal drug trafficking organizations. Customs and border controls in Nepal remain weak, but international cooperation has resulted in increased narcotics-related interdictions at the borders and Nepal’s international airport. Limited resources hinder the development of a robust counternarcotics program. Narcotics-related legislation has been pending for several years. Nepal is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Nepal’s basic drug law is the Narcotic Drugs Control Act, 2033 (1976). Under this law, the cultivation, production, preparation, manufacture, export, import, purchase, possession, sale, and consumption of most commonly-abused drugs is illegal. The Narcotics Control Act, amended last in 1993, conforms in part to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its 1972 Protocol by addressing narcotics production, manufacture, sales, import, and export. The government plans to amend the Act to incorporate provisions for psychotropic substances, demand reduction, treatment and rehabilitation.

In 2006, the Home Ministry updated its Narcotics Control National Policy. Noting the growing incidence of HIV infection among narcotics-using sex workers, abuse of narcotics and psychotropic medicines among youth, and illicit trafficking by organized crime groups, the revised policy attempts to address these concerns in a more “transparent and enforceable” manner. It consists of five strategies to control drug production, abuse and trafficking: (1) supply control, (2) demand reduction (treatment and rehabilitation and drug abuse prevention), (3) risk reduction, (4) research and development, and (5) collaboration and resource mobilization. To ensure institutional support, the 2006 policy called for the creation of a Narcotics Control Bureau in the Ministry of Home Affairs that would include the NDCLEU and a special Nepal Police Task Force trained in counternarcotics. The NDCLEU contains 76 personnel, 21 of whom are stationed outside of the Kathmandu Valley. Operational proficiency has improved since 2009 and the chain of command has been clarified. The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) of the NDCLEU now reports to the Inspector General of Police Secretariat who reports to the Home Ministry.

In response to reports from the NDCLEU of increased trafficking and criminal behavior among tourists, the government has restricted the travel of several countries’ nationals to Nepal. Citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, and residents of the Palestinian territories are unable to obtain visas on arrival. Implementation of Machine Readable Passports (MRP), scheduled for December 2010, will greatly reduce the ability to travel on false passports. The Home Ministry and the NDCLEU reported that Nigerians in particular have traveled on false passports to Nepal, via South Africa and India, to widen their organized crime networks.

Nepal is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Nepal has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption. Nepal does not have any extradition or mutual legal assistance treaties with the United States.

2. Supply Reduction

Police do not believe illicit production of marijuana has increased during 2010, although illicit cultivation of opium appears to be on the rise. The increase may represent a shift in crop choice from marijuana to opium. The volatile security situation in the Terai region, the unstable political situation, and corruption contribute to the rise in opium cultivation. The growing Indian market via the open border with Nepal has increased demand for opium. The NDCLEU reported that Indian poppy producers have begun to provide Nepalese farmers with hybrid opium seeds and instructions on cultivation techniques. Nepal does not produce precursor chemicals, although it is used as a transit route to move precursor chemicals between India and China. After the ratification of the SAARC Convention on Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which holds countries liable for policing precursor chemicals, the Home Ministry asserted control over precursor chemicals. The NDCLEU worked with the Home Ministry to develop a voluntary code of conduct for importers, cargo shippers, couriers, manufacturers, and the pharmaceutical industry. Official implementation of the code is pending as of November 2010. Additionally, a proposed amendment to the Narcotics Drugs Control Act regarding the control and regulation of precursor chemicals remains under review.

Limited human resources and inadequate equipment constrain the effectiveness of the NDCLEU’s intelligence and law enforcement operations. The NDCLEU and Nepal’s customs and immigration services are improving coordination and cooperation. Nepal’s International Airport has been manned with more personnel from NDCLEU. However, manual efforts at drug seizure are not sufficient to meet the present challenges to drugs trafficking. NDCLEU regularly conducts training programs on drugs investigation for Nepal Police. Narcotics officials admit the destruction of areas of illicit drug cultivation is not as effective as it could be; statistical data indicate a sizeable drop in area destroyed over each year in 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007. This year the Nepal Police destroyed 50 hectares of land of cannabis cultivation compared to 62 hectares destroyed in 2009 and 105 hectares in 2008. As of November 2010, 126 Nepalese citizens and 31 foreigners from 15 countries had been arrested on drug related charges. As of November 2010, Nepalese officials confiscated 764 kilograms of hashish, eight kilograms of heroin, 4000 tablets of amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS), i.e., Ya-ba (ATS) tablets, and 25,000 vials of pharmaceutical drugs, primarily Buprenorphine and diazepam.

The Ministry of Science and Technology regulates the estimated 3000 pharmacies in Kathmandu, although some observers wonder whether the Ministry’s oversight is effective. The NDCLEU notes that the pharmacies have the capacity to manufacture prescription-based drugs, and some pharmacies provide those drugs to anyone willing to pay for bogus prescription drugs, but practices like this are common enough in many developing countries, where pharmacists are frequently the only health professionals accessible to poor populations.

According to NDCLEU, evidence from narcotics seizures suggests that narcotics transit Nepal from India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to other countries in the region and to China, Iran, Europe, the U.S. and Canada. In 2008, police for the first time seized 50 kilograms of phenobarbitone in transit to Pakistan and 800 grams of methamphetamine in transit to Iran. There was one arrest in 2009 and one in 2010 involving Iranian-produced crystal methamphetamine. An investigation by international law enforcement agencies concluded that the substances matched Iranian-produced crystal methamphetamine seized in India. The NDCLEU has noted an increase in arrests of Nepalese couriers in other countries in recent years as an indication that Nepalese were becoming more involved in the drug trade both as couriers and as traffickers. This also suggests that Nepal may be increasingly used as a transit point for destinations in South and East Asia, as well as in Europe. The NDCLEU has also identified the United States as a final destination for some drugs transiting Nepal, typically routed through Thailand, China and Indonesia. The most recent arrests involved the attempted delivery of narcotics destined for the United States via Kathmandu - Doha – Amsterdam – New York.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The Nepalese government continues to implement its national drug demand reduction strategy with assistance from the United States, UNODC, donor agencies, and NGOs. Budgetary constraints and limited political interest have limited progress beyond donor and NGO-funded education and awareness programs. Training program for the courier and cargo services on drug awareness is another important program conducted by NDCLEU.

4. Corruption

Nepal has no laws specifically targeting narcotics-related corruption by government officials, although provisions in both the Narcotics Control Drug Act of 1976 and Nepal’s anticorruption legislation can be employed to prosecute any narcotics-related corruption. As a matter of government policy, Nepal neither encourages nor facilitates illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, or other controlled substances, nor the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

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

U.S. policy is to strengthen Nepal’s law enforcement capacity to combat narcotics trafficking and related crimes, to maintain positive bilateral cooperation, and to encourage Nepal to enact and implement appropriate laws and regulations to meet all objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The United States is committed to working with Government of Nepal agencies to provide expertise and training in law enforcement. Nepal cooperates and facilitates international investigations with regional partners to include the U. S, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). In 2010, the United States provided and trained 18 NDCLEU agents on the use of drug test and drug analysis kits.

D. Conclusion

The United States will continue information exchanges, training, and enforcement cooperation. The United States will provide support to various parts of the legal establishment to combat corruption and improve rule of law, as well as support improvements in the Nepalese border and customs services. The United States also will encourage the Government of Nepal to enact stalled drug legislation.

The Netherlands

A. Introduction

The Netherlands is a significant production and transit country for narcotics. Although drug use is not a criminal offense, the Dutch Opium Act prohibits the possession, commercial distribution, production, import, and export of all illicit drugs. The Dutch government places a high priority on combating the illegal drug trade and it has seen considerable success. The Netherlands is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Cultivation of Dutch-grown cannabis (“Nederwiet”) is extensive. In July 2008, the Justice and Interior Ministers established the National Taskforce on Organized Hemp Cultivation to focus on fighting criminal organizations behind cannabis plantations. The special focus resulted from the 2008 National Threat Assessment (NDB), which labeled organized hemp cultivation as a main threat to Dutch society.

The country remains an important producer of ecstasy (MDMA) although a sizeable amount of production appears to have shifted to other countries. According to the 2009 report by the Expertise Center for Synthetic Drugs and Precursors (ESDP), no reports of ecstasy tablet seizures in the United States linked to the Netherlands were received in 2009. There is also production of amphetamines and other synthetic drugs in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a large (legal) chemical sector, making it an opportune location for criminals to obtain or produce precursor chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs.

With its extensive transportation infrastructure and the busiest maritime port in Europe, the Netherlands continues to be a major distribution point for illicit drugs to and from Europe. A sizeable percentage of the cocaine consumed in Europe enters through the Netherlands. Cocaine trafficking is combated through the successful 100 percent checks on inbound flights from the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname and West African countries. Trafficking in “hard” drugs is prosecuted vigorously and dealers are subject to a prison sentence of up to 12 years. When trafficking takes place on a systematic, organized scale, the sentence is increased by one-third (up to 16 years). It should be noted, however, that under Dutch law, prisoners typically are released after serving 2/3 of their sentence.

The Government of the Netherlands and the Dutch public view domestic drug use as a public health issue first and a law enforcement issue second. The Dutch Opium 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). Sales of this sort take place in “coffee shops” operating under regulated conditions (no minors on premises, no alcohol sales, no hard drug sales, no advertising, and not creating a public nuisance).

The Health Ministry coordinates drug policy, while the newly created Ministry of Public Security and Justice is responsible for law enforcement, including the police. Matters relating to local government are the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior. At the municipal level, dangerous drug policy is coordinated in tripartite consultations among the mayor, the chief public prosecutor and the police.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In September 2009, the former Dutch Cabinet submitted a letter to Parliament that was to form the basis for a new policy document on drugs. The letter expressed the Cabinet’s desire to maintain the policy of tolerating cannabis sales in coffee shops, but to further restrict their operations in order to address related criminal activity and public nuisances more effectively. However, due to the fall of the Cabinet in February 2010, the drafting of the new drug policy paper was left to the next Cabinet.

In anticipation of this new policy paper, the former Cabinet earmarked 3.3 million Euros to fund pilot projects in several Dutch cities to combat public nuisances caused by coffee shops. The pilot projects include scaling down the size of coffee shops, intensifying controls and enforcement by local governments, restricting access to local residents, and reaching out to foreign drug tourists to discourage travel to the Netherlands for marijuana. The pilot projects will begin at the end of 2010 and will be assessed after two years. The most successful projects will then be duplicated in other cities. The former Cabinet also decided to set up an expert committee to review the classification system in the Dutch Opium Act, which distinguishes between “hard” drugs (Schedule I drugs, such as cocaine, ecstasy and heroin), and “soft” drugs (Schedule II drugs, such as cannabis). The committee will study various new classification scenarios, including the option of merging the two lists into one.

The recently-formed Cabinet of conservative Liberals and center-right Christians, with the support of the anti-Islam Freedom Party, was sworn in on October 14, 2010. The “coalition accord,” which forms the basis of the coalition partners’ cooperation for the government’s policies over the next four years, included a paragraph on drug policy. The parties highlighted the need to intensify the fight against public nuisances and drug-related crime. They proposed that:

  • Coffee shops become private clubs only accessible to adult Dutch nationals and residents upon presentation of their IDs;
  • Heavier penalties be imposed on (conspiring to) the import, export, cultivation and (organized) trade in drugs, including a revision of the distinction in hard and soft drugs (lists I and II); and
  • The minimum distance between schools and coffee shops will be increased to at least 350 meters.

Current expectations are that the new Cabinet will take an even sharper stand toward coffee shops and cannabis cultivation than the former government. Experiments with regulated cannabis cultivation, therefore, are not likely to take place during this term of office. In this respect, new Security and Justice Minister Opstelten noted that the fight against organized cannabis cultivation would particularly focus on seizing criminal assets.

In April 2010, caretaker Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin submitted a bill calling for a major clampdown on all aspects of organized cannabis cultivation. The bill makes all preparations that facilitate illegal cannabis cultivation a criminal offense. Under the plan, all parties involved in the supply chain, from equipment suppliers (“grow shops”), dealers, and even electricians who help build illegal cannabis plantations, will face up to three years’ imprisonment. Due to the fall of the former Cabinet, action on that bill has been suspended.

In July 2010, Hirsch Ballin signed a covenant with the police, the Dutch Energy Association and the Association of Dutch Insurers to step up the fight against organized cannabis cultivation. Under the pilot project, police, public prosecutors and the private sector will exchange personal data of suspects. The objective of the covenant is not only to dismantle cannabis plantations, but also to combat the criminal organizations behind the plantations

In July 2010, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Dutch municipalities in border regions may refuse to allow foreign customers in local coffee shops as part of their efforts to fight drug tourism. The ECJ stated that such a measure appeared not to be contrary to the European rules on either the free movement of persons and services or non-discrimination, because the sale of cannabis is considered an illegal activity in all member-states. The Dutch Council of State, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands, had sought the ECJ’s advice after receiving an appeal from a coffee shop owner in a case against the city council of Maastricht. The coffee shop owner was forced by the city to close in 2006 after two non-Dutch nationals were found on his premises. The Council of State’s ruling on the appeal is still pending.

The 100 percent security checks on inbound flights from the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname continued in 2010, despite the dramatic decline in the number of cocaine couriers arrested at Schiphol airport. The stricter controls also have been expanded to inbound flights from West Africa, in light of the emergence of that route for trafficking from Latin American cocaine-producing regions to Europe.

The Netherlands is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol. The Netherlands is a member of the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs and the major donors group of the UNODC. The Netherlands is a leading member of the Dublin Group of countries coordinating drug-related assistance. The Netherlands is party to the UN Convention against Corruption, and to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling. The U.S. and the Netherlands have fully operational extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements, which were supplemented by the 2004 U.S.-Netherlands Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition Agreements, which entered into force on February 1, 2010.

Operational cooperation between U.S. and Dutch law enforcement agencies is excellent, despite some differences in approach and tactics. One serious problem, however, is the classification of certain drugs or precursors as either legal or only “list II” drugs under the Dutch Opium Act. For example, GBL, an odorless liquid originally developed as an industrial solvent and engine degreaser, is also used as the primary ingredient (precursor) to clandestinely manufacture gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), a powerful central nervous system depressant that is used illicitly, often for its euphoric and sedative effects, but also for the commission of drug-facilitated sexual assault-“date rape”. As such, the possession, use, transportation, and importation of GBL are a strictly regulated controlled substance in the United States. There are few legitimate household uses for GBL, and thus, any amount possessed by an unlicensed person or corporation is subject to prosecution. GBL itself may be ingested as a substitute for GHB; once ingested, the body will convert it to GHB. Because of the lack of criminalization of GBL in the Netherlands, the United States has been unable to obtain assistance in a least one law enforcement investigation in which GBL was being sent to the United States specifically to make GHB; the Dutch cited lack of “dual criminality,” Similarly, Cathinone, found in the plant Khat, is proscribed in the United States, and is listed as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance in the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which formed the basis for the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. The Netherlands is a party to both Conventions, but Khat and its derivatives are not controlled, thus making cooperation in investigations involving Cathinone a problem. The Netherlands actively participates in DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) and the DEA sponsored yearly International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC).

In August 2010, the Netherlands acceded to the Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement, a treaty which will pave the way to intensified cooperation in combating sea-borne drug trafficking in the region.

2. Supply Reduction

Cannabis-related seizures, including plants, marijuana, and resin, decreased significantly from 2008 to 2009. Total MDMA seizures, including tablets seized in foreign countries that can be linked to the Netherlands, also dropped considerably in 2009. According to the ESDP, no reports of MDMA tablet seizures in the United States linked to the Netherlands were received in 2009. Most Dutch MDMA tablets were seized in Germany.

The amount of Dutch-produced amphetamine (powder and paste) seized in the Netherlands and abroad increased between 2008 and 2009, as reported by the ESDP. Most Dutch amphetamine is exported to the UK, Germany and Scandinavian countries. Other synthetic drug seizures in 2009 included 2C-B tablets and MCPP tablets, seizures of both of which increased significantly from 2008. The number of dismantled hemp plantations in the Netherlands remained constant from the previous year. The number of dismantled synthetic drug production sites rose to 24 from 21 in 2008. Of these 24 sites, 10 related to amphetamine production, compared to 3 in 2009.

Drug Seizures in the Netherlands:



Heroin (kg)



Cocaine (kg)



Ecstasy (tablets)



Ecstasy (powder and paste) (kg)



Synthetic drug labs



Amphetamine powder (kg)



Amphetamine paste (kg)



Methamphetamine (kg)



LSD (trips)



Methadone (tablets)



Cannabis resin (kg)



Marijuana/”Nederwiet” (kg)



Hemp plants



Dismantled hemp plantations



BMK (liter)



PMK (liter)



mCPP (tablets)



2C-B tablets



Chemical waste dumps



(Source: KLPD National Police Force)

The number of drug crime suspects registered by the Dutch police in 2007 (the latest available year) was 21,000. In 2008, more than 18,000 drug-related offenses were registered with the public prosecutor’s office. Drug-related offenses constituted about eight percent of the total number of criminal cases handled by Dutch courts in 2008. The average unconditional prison sentence (unsuspended and unreduced by probation) for a drug offense in 2007 was 340 days.

The Netherlands is a major producer of cannabis and synthetic drugs. The NDB estimates there are between 30,000 and 40,000 hemp plantations in the Netherlands. More than 80 percent of Dutch-grown cannabis is exported (with illegal revenues of approximately 2.5 billion to 5 billion Euros). According to the 2009 report by the Expertise Center for Synthetic Drugs and Precursors (ESDP) of the National Crime Squad (NR), MDMA production has dropped dramatically since 2008. The National Crime Squad (NR) reported in July 2010 that synthetic drug production in the Netherlands is in the hands of a few dozen organizations, most of which come from trailer park circles and the Moroccan community. The NR explained that MDMA production is temporarily on the decline because its basic precursor material, PMK, has become more difficult to obtain due to new legislation and tightened controls in China, the largest producer.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness Demand Reduction and Treatment

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport continues to be the agency responsible for coordinating Dutch drug policy and implementation. Demand reduction and treatment policies aim to reduce the risks to drug users, their immediate surroundings and society. In meeting these goals, the Netherlands has been reasonably successful. Despite their reputation for tolerance, the number of drug users and addicts in the country is on par with the rest of Europe. The rate of drug-related deaths is the lowest in Europe: 2.4 per million inhabitants.

Drug prevention programs are organized through a network of local, regional and national institutions. Programs target schools in order to discourage drug use among students, and use national mass media campaigns to reach the broader public. The Netherlands requires school instruction on the dangers of alcohol and drugs as part of the health education curriculum. The “healthy living” project developed by the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (the Trimbos Institute) continues to run in about 60 percent of Dutch secondary schools and a third of primary schools. At the request of the Health Ministry, the Trimbos Institute carries out drug information campaigns each year. The 24-hour national Drug Info Hot Line of the Trimbos Institute has become very popular.

According to a 2009 survey of drug use in Amsterdam carried out by the Jellinek institute for addiction care among 266 coffee shop visitors, 94 percent of respondents admitted having used cannabis during the previous month. Almost 75 percent of them reported daily cannabis use, averaging just fewer than four joints per day. According to the researchers, the number of heavy users in Amsterdam has risen substantially.

Below are the latest available comprehensive statistics on drug use among the general population ages covered: 15-64, years compared: 2001 and 2005 of percent reporting life-time (ever) use and last-month/current use.

         Life-time use Last-month use































(Source: National Drug Monitor 2009, Trimbos Institute)

The party drug GHB is becoming increasingly popular. According to the Foundation for Consumer Safety, the number of people who had to be treated by Dutch hospitals for GHB-poisoning quadrupled between 2004 and 2009 from 300 to 1,200. According to the Trimbos Institute for addiction research, the number of GHB users seeking treatment for their addiction is also rising dramatically. GHB seems to be the fastest growing addiction problem in the Netherlands. Trimbos has also noted a slight increase in mephedrone, or “Miaow Miaow” use in the Netherlands.

The Health Ministry administers a wide variety of demand and harm-reduction programs, reaching about 75 percent of the country's addicts. According to the 2009 National Drug Monitor (NDM), in 2008, out-patient treatment centers registered 8,418 clients seeking treatment for their (primary) cannabis addiction, 9,686 clients for their cocaine addiction, 12,711 clients for addiction to opiates, 191 for ecstasy, and 1,446 for amphetamines. The number of opiate addicts is low compared to other EU countries (about 1.6 per 1,000 inhabitants); the number has declined dramatically over the past ten years; the average age has risen to 44; and the number of overdose deaths related to opiates has stabilized at between 30 and 50 per year.

Needle supply and exchange programs have kept the incidence of HIV infection among intravenous drug users relatively low. Of the addicts known to the addiction care organizations, 75 percent regularly use methadone. There are 17 clinics in 15 Dutch cities at which heroin is distributed to approximately 700 hard-core addicts, for whom all other forms of assistance have failed. As apparent results of this program, both the crime rate has dropped and the health of addicts has improved.

4. Corruption

The Dutch Government does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior official of the Dutch Government has been found to engage in, encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Press reports of low-level law enforcement corruption appear from time to time but the problem is not believed to be 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, drug related money laundering activities, and countering MDMA/ecstasy entering the United States.

Dutch regulations continue to restrict the use of “criminal infiltrates”, i.e., undercover informants in investigations of drug traffickers. In addition, the Dutch do not use their asset forfeiture laws in conjunction with drug related investigations to the same extent as in the United States. Bilateral law enforcement cooperation continues to expand under the U.S.-Dutch bilateral “Agreed Steps” commitments to jointly fight drug trafficking. DEA The Hague has also noted improved and expedited handling of drug-related extradition requests.

The United States is also working with the Netherlands to assist Aruba and the former Netherlands Antilles in countering narcotics trafficking. (On October 10, 2010, Sint Maarten and Curacao became independent countries, like Aruba, with foreign affairs and military operations still within the purview of the Dutch government.) The 10-year Forward Operating Location (FOL) agreement between the U.S. and the Netherlands for the establishment of a FOL (for U.S. enforcement personnel) on Aruba and Curacao became effective in October 2001. Since 1999, the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) has been working with the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on joint addiction research projects.

During the bilateral “Agreed Steps” law enforcement consultations in March 2010, the United States and the Netherlands discussed continued operational cooperation in international drug trafficking investigations. The discussions focused on the subject of enhanced police-to-police information sharing. In support of further cooperation, two officers from the Netherlands attended resident training with the U.S. Coast Guard in maritime law enforcement.

The Netherlands continued its maritime support to the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S) operations against illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean. The Royal Netherlands Navy with attached U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDET) removed over 7,525 lbs of cocaine and 2,000 lbs of marijuana, detained 11 suspected drug smugglers, and seized 3 vessels while operating in the Caribbean in 2010. The U.S. Coast Guard embarks LEDETS on RNLN surface assets to expand interdiction opportunities and enhance law enforcement presence.

Additionally, both DEA and the Dutch National Crime Squad (NR) recognize the importance of money laundering investigations and joint initiatives concerning drug related "bulk" cash smuggling operations. This includes operational programs and bilateral discussions at DEA Headquarters. Many of these initiatives were discussed and planned during the June 2009 "Expert Meeting" between DEA and NR in The Hague.

In December 2006, the Royal military police (KMar) was instructed by the Justice Ministry to stop sharing the Schiphol “black list” of couriers intercepted at the airport with DEA The Hague for privacy reasons. The Ministry indicated that, since Dutch policy requires the names to be removed from the list after three years, entering the names into a U.S. government database without a sunset provision would be contrary to Dutch law. To date, this issue has not been resolved and the suspension continues. DEA The Hague continues to supply the KMar at Schiphol with international trend information on routes being utilized by drug couriers.

In May 2007, the Netherlands became a full member of DEA’s International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) and they are expected to participate in all IDEC conferences. Most recently they participated in the 2010 IDEC held in Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, in June 2009, NR and DEA held an “Expert Meeting” regarding money laundering, synthetic drugs/precursors, drug trafficking trends in Africa and heroin trafficking out of Afghanistan.

All foreign law enforcement assistance requests continue to be sent to the International Liaison Division (IPOL), a division of the National Police Force (KLPD). The IPOL has assigned two liaison officers to assist DEA and other U.S. law enforcement agencies; DEA and other law enforcement liaison officers contact the Regional Police Forces and NR offices directly for requests and intelligence sharing. This policy has continued to permit coordination during ongoing enforcement actions.

Under Dutch law enforcement policy, prosecutors control most aspects of an investigation. Dutch police officers often must obtain prosecutor concurrence to share information directly with foreign law enforcement liaison officers even on a police-to-police basis. Dutch regulations regarding police-to-police information sharing can be ambiguous and often subject to interpretation, which can hamper the quick sharing of information. However, expeditious sharing of police-to-police information is improving as a result of the increased access for DEA agents with NR units. Additionally, DEA has continued to work with KLPD and the National Prosecutor’s Office to shorten the amount of time it takes to obtain approval of MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty) requests. Based on these discussions and close working relationship, Dutch officials have dramatically shortened the amount of time needed to obtain these approvals.

Additionally, the use of confidential sources is heavily restricted under Dutch law. Since many DEA investigations outside of the Netherlands utilize cooperating source information, this can pose unique challenges when attempting to initiate or coordinate cases with Dutch counterparts.

D. Conclusion

Despite the reality of toleration for soft drug use, the Dutch government takes the fight against drug trafficking very seriously. The expectation is that the new Cabinet will take an even stricter stand than its predecessor, particularly on cannabis production and use. The Netherlands has had much success with their drug policy to date, especially with prevention and treatment programs (as statistics cited in this report bear out). Although the Netherlands is hampered to some degree by domestic legal restrictions on the extent to which it can cooperate bilaterally, we have every reason to believe the Netherlands will maintain close bilateral cooperation with the United States on counter-narcotics efforts.


A. Introduction

In 2010, Nicaragua was added to the List of Major Drug Producing and Transshipment Countries because it is a major transshipment route for cocaine flowing from South America to the United States. Nicaragua’s poor economy, limited law enforcement capabilities, and sparsely populated regions provide an opportune environment for drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) to transit drugs, weapons, cash, and to establish clandestine labs and warehouse facilities. Despite these conditions, Nicaragua’s civilian and military law enforcement units have successfully disrupted some DTO operations throughout the country in the past year, notably in the important autonomous regions of the Caribbean coast. This included dismantling DTO logistic structures; seizing drugs, currency, and small arms; destroying clandestine airstrips; and confiscating vehicles and aircraft.

Nicaragua also is a producer of methamphetamine and marijuana. No reliable data exists to indicate the destination of this growing sector of the drug trade in Nicaragua, though open source and official sources suggest a dramatic increase in the production of the two drugs in 2010. Nicaragua also is experiencing increased domestic consumption of methamphetamine, crack, and marijuana.

U.S. anti-narcotic efforts in Nicaragua face a number of competing challenges. While anti-U.S. rhetoric and controversial decisions by President Ortega often run counter to U.S interests, Nicaraguan military and civilian law enforcement capabilities are almost wholly dependent upon foreign assistance, much of it contributed by the U.S. to provide necessities including food, fuel, equipment, and training. U.S. cooperation and support for the Nicaraguan Navy helped it overcome many challenges and become one of Central America’s most effective agencies in narcotics interdictions.

Nicaragua is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

A particularly troubling development occurred on March 25, 2010, when the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) Vetted Unit was disbanded, ostensibly due to the cost of maintaining that unit. The United States Government (USG) was not notified of the decision until it was publicly announced. The disbanding of the unit was a blow to U.S.-supported counternarcotics efforts, as the Vetted Unit officers, who had all been polygraph tested, were dispersed among various non-vetted drug units. The decision to dissolve the Vetted Unit, combined with President Ortega’s frequent public criticism of U.S. bilateral counternarcotics assistance, placed considerable strain on USG efforts to support counternarcotics programs with the NNP.

Nicaragua’s strict penal code, implemented in 2008, sharpened the Government of Nicaragua’s (GON) efforts against money laundering and terrorism financing in the past year, though greater government attention to this issue is necessary. That law made money laundering a crime with significantly harsher penalties separate from drug trafficking. In 2010 there were eight money laundering cases investigated, resulting in seven criminal convictions. However, for the sixth consecutive year, Nicaragua failed to approve an independent Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU); the only Central American country without one. Nicaragua is a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), though compliance has been minimal. In 2009 Nicaragua completed the CFATF Mutual Evaluation Report, which outlines the country’s progress in its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) efforts.

In 2010 the Nicaraguan National Assembly approved an anti-organized crime law, which included seized asset guidelines, a witness protection program, and telecommunications intercept guidelines.

Despite an extradition treaty with the United States dating from 1907, there have been no extraditions from Nicaragua to the United States in the recent past. Nicaragua does domestically prosecute its nationals for crimes committed outside Nicaragua, but the outcomes are inconsistent. The GON routinely remands foreign nationals to U.S. custody during high-seas interdiction cases, but has been less cooperative in the extradition of Nicaraguan citizens in similar cases.

The United States and Nicaragua signed a Maritime Counterdrug Bilateral agreement in November 2001. Nicaragua is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols and is a member of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS). Nicaragua is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, and the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. Nicaragua also ratified the Inter-American Mutual Legal Assistance Convention in 2002, an agreement that facilitates sharing of legal information between countries, and improved cooperation with U.S. requests for evidence sharing or evidence transfer in 2010. Nicaragua ratified the 2002 Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, and signed, but not ratified, the Caribbean Regional Maritime Counternarcotics Agreement in 2003. In 2004, the United States and Nicaragua signed the Cooperating Nation Information Exchange System (CNIES), which allows greater law enforcement intelligence sharing among nations. Nicaragua is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

2. Supply Reduction

In 2010, DTO transshipment methods varied between countless land, sea, and air routes. Maritime smuggling via go-fast boats on the littorals of both coasts, the San Juan River, and Lake Nicaragua remained prevalent, though exact routes routinely change. The predominant maritime routes included the littoral waters of the Caribbean and Pacific, as well as inland waterways in and around Lake Nicaragua. Both fixed and rotary wing aircraft were used to smuggle contraband.

Traffickers increased the construction and use of clandestine airstrips in the Caribbean coastal areas--Regional Autonomous Area North (RAAN) and South (RAAS) -- though seizures of helicopters on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts indicate the continued use of rotary wing aircraft throughout the country. Highlighting an uptick in illicit air traffic, three aircraft crashed near the Río Coco, in the RAAN and Walpasiksa, in the RAAS. In the area bordering Honduras, near Rio Coco, a helicopter was found abandoned in close proximity to a clandestine airstrip. Heavy moving equipment and fuel also were recovered on-site.

Border security is a concern in Nicaragua. DTOs use the Pan-American Highway as a primary route for northbound cocaine, heroin, and marijuana and a southbound route for weapons and currency. DTOs increased the use of couriers, as well as hidden compartments in cars and trucks to smuggle drugs and currency across the five Nicaraguan border crossings at Guasaule, El Espino, Las Manos, Penas Blancas, and Los Chiles in 2010. The port of entry in Penas Blancas, Department of Rivas, on the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border, is the most successful and aggressive of the Nicaraguan border checkpoints. It is also the last overland chokepoint for northbound contraband and southbound currency, entering or leaving the Central America customs area.

In 2010, Nicaraguan law enforcement authorities nearly doubled the previous year’s cocaine seizures to 17.5 metric tons (MT) from 9.8 MT and dismantled a large clandestine methamphetamine laboratory. In the first half of 2010 alone, Nicaraguan security forces confiscated 199 vehicles, nine airplanes, one helicopter, 48 boats, and 209 weapons.

Despite reductions in the Navy’s budget during 2010 as part of across-the-board cuts, the lion’s share of counternarcotics success in Nicaragua is due to the excellent cooperation and interoperability of the Nicaraguan Navy, its regional partners, and the United States. Successful joint operations included an operation that netted 2.5 MT of cocaine in a shipping container at the Nicaraguan port of Corinto. Maritime cocaine seizures during 2010 accounted for 13.6 MT of the 17.5 MTs confiscated. The Nicaraguan Navy and the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) also seized $2 million in cash, and assets worth over $8.4 million during 2010. The NNP eradicated 8,500 marijuana plants in five growing regions in the Northern provinces of the country, with an approximate local value of $1.4 million.

3. Drug Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Drug consumption in Nicaragua is a growing problem, particularly on the Atlantic coast where transshipment has increased. Domestic use of crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana are on the rise, particularly among 16 to 35 year olds, according to Nicaraguan community leaders and law enforcement. What little education and law enforcement resources are dedicated to this issue are largely focused on the Hispanic Pacific coast regions of Nicaragua, rather than the Creole and Indigenous Atlantic coast.

Using United States Government (USG) resources, the NNP’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program is the premier youth demand reduction program in Nicaragua. In July 2010, six NNP Juvenile Affairs officials attended advanced DARE training in the United States. In 2010, DARE reached 12,000 students in Nicaragua, a slight reduction from 2009. In August, 20 NNP officers received DARE “Train the Trainer” training from 12 Costa Rican National Police officer/trainers in Managua. The NNP’s Second Step program (Segundo Paso) which prepares teachers and police officers for drug awareness and prevention at the preschool level, continued in Managua, the RAAS, and the RAAN. The NNP Juvenile Affairs division’s anti-drug message reached 530 students in 2010. Also in 2010, 38 police officers and preschool teachers were trained for the Second Step program, “Monitoring and Project Evaluation.”

The Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) pilot program initiated in 2010 met with enthusiastic support from the Juvenile Affairs Division of the NNP and shows great promise as a demand reduction program going forward. To date the program has graduated 500 students in Nicaragua. More than 300 of these students are from Bluefields, the strategically important capital of the RAAS.

Using GON funds, the Ministry of Education (MINED), the Ministry of Health (MINSA), and the Nicaraguan Fund for Children and the Family (FONIF) have all undertaken limited drug abuse awareness and demand reduction campaigns in schools. The Nicaraguan Narcotic and Psychotropic Drugs and Other Controlled Substances, “Law 285,” sets aside one fifth of all seized assets for GON demand reduction campaigns, though, to date, no survey, estimates of treated/rehabilitated patients, or budget figures for these GON demand reduction programs is available. No private sector initiative exists to promote national drug abuse awareness, prevention, and drug use treatment programs. Nicaragua does not have a dedicated drug treatment center.

4. Corruption

Despite attempts to address it, corruption is a pervasive and continuing problem in Nicaragua. As a matter of policy, the GON neither encourages nor facilitates illicit production and distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior government officials are reported to be engaged in such activity. However, many factors make it difficult to combat corruption, including low salaries for police and judges and a poor law enforcement infrastructure. Cash rich criminals have acquired a cloak of impunity through bribery and extortion of judicial and law enforcement officials. Detained drug suspects are regularly freed after a short detention, a practice that undercuts law enforcement effectiveness. The continued politicization of the Nicaraguan judiciary and the Nicaraguan Supreme Court in particular, is a worrisome impediment to serious law enforcement efforts in the country. For instance, money and other assets seized from drug trafficking activities are to be distributed at the discretion of the Supreme Court. These funds are largely unaccounted for and reports of justices keeping expensive vehicles and luxury items for themselves are common. Because of these irregularities and other reports of judicial corruption, the United States no longer provides foreign assistance to the Nicaraguan Supreme Court.

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

The USG goals in Nicaragua are to enhance the abilities of GON law enforcement agencies to detect and intercept shipments, detain traffickers, and stop the laundering of illegal profits from the drug industry, as well as support preventative programs to protect youth from drugs and recruitment into gangs.

The law enforcement bureaus of the GON are heavily dependent on USG assistance. The Nicaraguan Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enjoy an excellent operational relationship to include information sharing. USG funds support the NNP Mobile Inspection Unit, border security units, and military border patrol units. The USG also buttressed NNP border security efforts by improving office and living quarters at the Penas Blancas border crossing. The USG supported the NNP’s Mobile Inspection Unit (MIU), which establishes random checkpoints at strategic points on the national highway system and accounts for the bulk of all police seizures. The existing Maritime Counterdrug Bilateral agreement was used by the GON and the USG six times in FY 2010, which resulted in the removal of over 7 MT of cocaine from the transit zone.

In 2010, the USG provided the Nicaraguan Navy with training in maritime law enforcement, small boat operations, maintenance and logistics, engineering, and leadership. The Nicaraguan Navy, with assistance from the USG, is developing a long-range patrol capability centered on three 65-foot Dabur patrol boats, which will extend its blue water operations, and has plans to refit and return to service 40 confiscated go-fast type vessels, to work predominantly along the littorals and rivers.

Also in 2010, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) conducted assessments at all but one of the Nicaraguan border crossings. A Central American Fingerprint Exchange System (CAFÉ) team also conducted a project needs assessment for Nicaragua and reported pervasive lack of resources and low levels of infrastructural and operational capacity.

D. Conclusion

Nicaragua did not sign bilateral counternarcotics assistance agreements with the United States in either FY 2009 or FY 2010, thus losing related foreign assistance funding. The United States continues to support Nicaragua’s interdiction efforts, but U.S.- Nicaraguan anti-corruption and money laundering cooperation has deteriorated severely since the GON disbanded the NNP Vetted Unit. We encourage the GON to re-establish this important law enforcement asset. Nicaragua also needs stronger statutes to combat corruption and money laundering and needs to professionalize and remove political influences on the judiciary and the Prosecutor General's office.

Although many sectors of the GON remain uncooperative, the interdiction successes of the Nicaraguan Navy are a bright spot and demonstrate the willingness of some branches of the GON to confront DTOs and live up to their international commitments. The Nicaraguan Navy regularly confronted DTOs using information provided by the USG. We encourage the GON to continue effective targeting and patrolling that has served as a deterrent for DTO shipments moving northbound. By selectively rewarding and supporting cooperative elements of the GON, real progress is clearly attainable.


Though drug production and use are not Niger’s top-priority problems, the Sahara’s role as a transit route for drugs flowing to Europe presents a very real challenge. Low prices for narcotics, especially cannabis and diversion of licit prescription medications, are leading to a gradual increase in consumption and in narcotics-related health problems. The vast uncontrolled spaces in northern Niger have been used as smuggling routes for centuries and continue to be exploited for the transit of illicit drugs. Only a very small amount of cannabis is grown in Niger, and to date there is no evidence of synthetic drug production facilities. Niger is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Cannabis and prescription medications are readily and cheaply available. Enough marijuana to make a cigarette or two is available for as little as 100 to 200 CFA (20-40 cents) and can be purchased on the periphery of many markets throughout Niger, but especially in Niamey and other urban areas. Diazepam, a depressant commonly marketed as Valium, is the prescription medication of choice for abuse and can be purchased on the street for as little as 25 to 50 CFA (5-10 cents) per pill. Cannabis and prescription medications are generally trafficked into Niger from Nigeria and Ghana on heavy transport trucks, in the baggage of people traveling north into Niger, and on the backs of camels using traditional trade routes.

Embassy sources report large quantities of cocaine originating in South America and cannabis originating in Morocco transit Niger en route to Europe. The clandestine west-east traffic in cocaine and marijuana through northern Niger is believed to dwarf the south-north traffic in marijuana and prescription medication. Drug trafficking has been destabilizing to Niger and is believed to have contributed to the 2007–2009 Tuareg rebellion and the ongoing banditry that keeps much of northern Niger inaccessible to most travelers. The lack of investment or development projects and the magnitude of revenue generated by trafficking and other smuggling make it difficult for local and regional leaders to provide attractive alternatives for young people. The Nigerien government professes the will to curb the threat, but does not sanction drug trafficking, and does not have the capacity to effectively combat drug use and transportation.

The Nigerien Center for Coordination of the Fight against Drugs, led by a Nigerien National Police Officer, is the focal point for government and private organizations that combat drugs, and is tasked with compiling statistics, developing intelligence, and pursuing drug users and distributers. The Center receives support from the French government and uses the French national public health laboratory to analyze recovered drugs. Within the Ministry of Justice, the Director of Criminal Affairs and Pardons heads the National Coordinating Commission for the Fight against Drugs, which organizes outreach and educational programs.

In 2009, illicit drug use was a factor in 1709 of the cases seen at the Nigerien National Hospital, which included 791 hospitalizations and 12 deaths. Drug demand reduction professionals identify an increasing trend in drug use. There were 479 arrests for drug related offenses in 2009, down from 498 in 2008. Seizures resulted in 823 kilograms of cannabis plants and 1076 kilograms of hashish being removed in 2009, down from 1449 kilograms of plants but an increase from the 54 grams of hashish that was seized in 2008. In 2009, 2 doses of amphetamines, 331,487 doses of diazepam and 6876 doses of ephedrine were seized. In 2008, it was 17,818 doses of amphetamines, 328,615 doses of diazepam, and 4866 doses of ephedrine. In 2009, authorities seized 209 grams of cocaine, up from 105 grams of cocaine and 2 grams of heroin in 2008. The Nigerien security services (Police, Gendarmerie, Customs and Intervention and Security Service) arrested 479 people on drug-related offenses in 2009, of whom 460 were Nigeriens. Of the remainder, 8 were Nigerian, 5 Ghanaians, 2 Burkinabes, and one each from Benin, Mali, Togo and Sudan. In 2008, 498 people were arrested, of whom 458 were Nigerien, 21 were from Nigeria, 6 from Mali, 5 from Ghana, 3 from Burkina Faso, 2 from Benin, and one each from Guinea, Togo and Chad.

As a matter of government policy, Niger does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, nor does it encourage or facilitate the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

Niger is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption.


A. Introduction

Heroin and cocaine transit Nigeria on their way to markets in Europe, and to a lesser degree, the United States. While steady arrests of drug couriers have occurred at Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, Nigerian Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials suspect that drug traffickers have begun using other ports of entry such as seaports and land borders to transport drugs to neighboring countries for outward shipment to European and American markets. NDLEA officials have also increasingly intercepted drug couriers from Latin America, particularly on flights from Brazil at MMIA. NDLEA continues to apprehend drug couriers as a result of the use of modern scanning equipment donated to Nigeria by the Embassy's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Office in 2008. State INL and AFRICOM also donated drug detecting kits to the NDLEA for use at all Nigerian points of entry, including land borders, to enhance the drug agency’s capacity to conduct interdiction activities at these locations.

Still, Nigerian organized criminal networks remain a major factor in moving cocaine and heroin worldwide. While many of these organizations are not based in Nigeria, large quantities of both cocaine and heroin transit Nigeria on their way to markets in the West. In addition to drug trafficking, some of these organizations are also engaged in advance-fee fraud, and other forms of fraud against U.S. citizens and businesses. Widespread corruption in Nigeria makes the criminals’ task easier. These factors, combined with Nigeria’s central location along the major trafficking routes and access to global narcotics markets have provided both an incentive and mechanism for criminal groups to flourish, and for Nigeria to emerge as an important drug trafficking hub.

In Nigeria, the only drug cultivated in significant amounts domestically is cannabis sativa (marijuana). Nigerian-grown marijuana is the most common drug abused in the country. It is also exported to neighboring West African countries through Nigeria’s vast porous borders and then shipped to Europe. However, it is not shipped in significant quantities to the United States. Nigeria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The NDLEA is responsible for enforcing laws against illicit drug trafficking and abuse. It also plays the lead role in demand reduction, drug control policy formulation, and implementation in the country. Cooperation among Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies is weak. For instance, although all law enforcement elements are represented at Nigeria’s international ports of entry, joint operations between them are virtually non-existent. Inter-agency cooperation is a key missing ingredient that partially explains the dearth of apprehensions of major traffickers or the absence of consistent interdiction of major shipments of contraband. No single law enforcement agency in Nigeria has adequate resources to combat the increasingly-sophisticated, international criminal networks that operate in and through the country itself.

Nigeria’s counter-narcotics policy derives from an ambitious National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP), in place since 1998, which assigns responsibilities to various government ministries and agencies as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other interest groups. In addition, the Master Plan outlines basic resource requirements and timeframes for the completion of objectives. Many of the plan's goals, however, remain unfulfilled. In the past, the Nigerian Government has not adequately budgeted for necessary drug law enforcement by NDLEA. The GON increased the NDLEA budget to 7.25 billion Naira (about $48 million) from its N4.62 billion in 2009. Of this, the GON has allocated 26.16 million naira (or about $175,000) for training of NDLEA staff. By far the greatest portion, 80 percent, of the NDLEA budget goes to personnel costs, while 8.6 percent supports capital expenditures.

Nigeria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Nigeria is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and its three protocols. The 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty, made applicable to Nigeria in 1935, remains the legal basis for U.S. extradition requests. The United States and Nigeria also have a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), which entered into force on January 14, 2003. Nevertheless, processing extraditions has become a tedious, slow process yielding few results. The U.S. has two drug-related extradition requests pending with Nigeria. The first request has been pending since June 2004. That request has gone through a lengthy appeal process, as the defendant has challenged the original judge’s objectivity. Despite the appeals court finding that the defendant's appeal lacked merit, the court reassigned the case to a second judge, who then retired in August 2010. A third judge has taken over the case and scheduled a hearing for December 2010. The second extradition request was filed in April 2009. The federal court judge found for the defendant, because the defendant said that he had never traveled to the United States. Arguing that this is not grounds for denying an extradition, the NDLEA has appealed that decision; no hearing date has yet been scheduled. Despite the dedicated efforts of NDLEA prosecutors to pursue these extraditions, Nigerian law still affords the defendant many options to delay or confuse proceedings, especially through interlocutory appeals, which allow defendants to raise objections, which are then litigated to conclusion first before the main case can proceed.

In the past year, NDLEA cooperated with international drug enforcement efforts, including an operation with U.S. DEA. This joint operation resulted in five arrests and the seizure of 450 kilograms of cocaine originating in Bolivia. NDLEA and the U.S. DEA also cooperated on a controlled delivery which resulted in one arrest and the seizure of 5.25 kg of heroin from Pakistan, and a third in which a large seizure of heroin (130 kg) was made from Iran.

2. Supply Reduction

In the past year, NDLEA’s most consistent interdictions have taken place at Nigeria’s four international airports, with the majority of hard drug seizures (e.g., cocaine and heroin) at MMIA. The U.S. Embassy supported a number of commanders at these strategic locations for training at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana. Courses included basic airport interdiction and drug unit commander training, and as mentioned elsewhere, the U.S. provided sophisticated drug detection devices for use at all of Nigeria’s international airports.. The agency continues to apprehend individual drug couriers transiting through these airports and Nigeria’s land borders. In some cases, NDLEA officials dismantled drug trafficking rings formed by airport employees, but have not arrested major drug traffickers and financiers, who organize the regular traffic of low level drug “mules” on their way to Europe.

Until this past year, authorities have not systematically used asset seizures from narcotics traffickers and money launderers as enforcement tools, although Nigerian law permits such seizures. According to the NDLEA, of eight narcotics-related money laundering cases, three have remained at trial and five resulted in conviction. However, of the five convictions, only one occurred in a Nigerian court – the other four came from NDLEA cooperation that led to convictions in U.S. and United Kingdom courts. Asset forfeiture remains particularly challenging in Nigeria, where no law supports non-conviction-based forfeiture or plea bargaining. Therefore, NDLEA can only recover assets after obtaining a conviction and proving a connection between the assets and the drug trafficking. Also, without plea bargaining and mandatory sentences, NDLEA encounters difficulty working with low level couriers to assemble successful cases against the higher echelons of sophisticated organized criminal gangs. At other times, the problem lies with Nigeria’s courts, which remain subject to intimidation and corruption.

Cannabis is the only illicit drug produced in any significant quantity in Nigeria; it is cultivated in all of Nigeria’s 36 states. Major cultivation takes place in Central and Northern Nigeria and in Delta and Ondo States in the South. Marijuana, or “Indian Hemp” as it is known locally, is sold in Nigeria and exported throughout West Africa and into Europe. To date, there is no evidence of significant marijuana exports from Nigeria to the United States. The NDLEA has continued to pursue an aggressive and successful eradication campaign. Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is the main drug abused by Nigerians. In the past year, NDLEA continued to emphasize a high-profile campaign to destroy the annual cannabis sativa crop before it can reach domestic drug abusers. Cannabis sativa remains the largest volume drug seized by the NDLEA, which destroyed a total of 395.3 hectares of cannabis sativa cultivation between January and September 2010.

Nigeria is a major staging point for Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin smuggled to Europe and the United States and for South American cocaine trafficked to Europe. While Nigeria remains Africa’s drug transit hub, the preferred methods of transshipment appear to have changed. The NDLEA unit at MMIA conducts selective searches of passengers and carry-on baggage, but they do not conduct 100 percent searches, preferring to focus on travelers who fit a profile as a possible drug courier. In the past year, NDLEA officers received training from both the U.S. and the UK Governments to improve their skills in intelligence-gathering and profiling of potential drug couriers. This training of NDLEA officers has resulted in immediate dividends, as demonstrated by large drug seizures in the past year.

A key factor in the increased arrests of couriers has involved the continued use of the Digital Body scanners donated under the U.S. State Department’s anti-drug assistance project. NDLEA officials have operated these scanners at Lagos and Abuja International Airports, and to a lesser extent at Kano and Port Harcourt, since early 2008, ensuring that drug couriers face a significant likelihood of detection at these international airports. Many observers believe that, if Nigeria introduced vigorous, anti-drug enforcement regimes at its five major seaports and some drug detection measures at its porous land borders; such efforts would also yield significant drug seizures. A recent large seizure of cocaine shipped from Iran at Lagos’ container port suggests this suspicion is accurate. As traffickers have now become more aware of the presence of scanners at the airport, they have begun to avoid the airports and seek other routes and means to smuggle drugs. The U.S. also purchased four new drug or explosives-detecting “Itemizers” for use at Nigeria’s international airports in Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt. The procured equipment allows Nigerian law enforcement personnel to improve identification and detection capabilities, especially of drug couriers transiting Nigeria’s airports.

Between January and October 2010, the NDLEA command at MMIA seized 25.05 kilograms of cannabis, 183.61 kilograms of cocaine, 41.56 kilograms of heroin, and 71.45 kilograms of psychotropic substances (44.90 kilograms of methamphetamine and 26.55 kilograms of amphetamine). In addition to such seizures, authorities confiscated 450 kilograms of cocaine from Bolivia and 4 kilograms of heroin from Pakistan through international controlled-delivery operations in cooperation with DEA.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

While local production and use of cannabis has remained a problem in Nigeria for some time, according to the NDLEA and NGOs, the abuse of harder drugs (e.g., cocaine and heroin) has begun to rise. Following a well-known pattern, that narcotics transiting a country eventually are abused by its citizens, heroin and cocaine have become readily available in many of Nigeria’s larger cities. The NDLEA’s Directorate Demand Reduction reinvigorated its school-oriented programs within the past year, focusing on creating awareness of the consequences of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking. Other demand reduction programs have targeted various groups, including youths, professional truck/bus drivers, and commercial sex workers, community leaders, and transport workers, staff of various organizations among others. In the past year, NDLEA counseled and rehabilitated a total of 2,369 drug dependent persons, more than 95 percent of whom were dependent on cannabis. NDLEA has also launched awareness campaigns on the health effects of drug use and the consequences of narcotics trafficking, focusing on youths, commercial sex workers, and transport workers.

4. Corruption

Corruption plays a major role in drug trafficking around the world, and this is certainly true in Nigeria. The large illicit proceeds from drug trafficking empower traffickers to use widely prevalent small and large scale corruption to protect their operations. Nigeria has laws against corruption, and authorities can point to several indictments, including one lodged against a former NDLEA Chief. His trial began in September 2009 and was resolved in 10 months, due mostly to the firm courtroom management of a no-nonsense judge. This case, however, serves as the exception to the rule. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the lead agency on high-level corruption and financial crime cases, features a listing on its website of 55 high profile cases, most of which began between 2005 and 2007. The slow progress of these cases illustrates the level of impunity that results from the inefficiency and corruption in the Nigerian justice system. While the GON does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or trafficking, nor is it involved in laundering the proceeds of the sale of illicit drugs, frequent reports in domestic and foreign media of high-level corruption in Nigeria that goes unpunished send the message that, by deft use of corruption, narcotics criminals can also operate with impunity in Nigeria.

To address some weaknesses in Nigeria’s criminal code, NDLEA has worked with the National Assembly to amend Nigeria’s basic narcotics law to provide stricter mandatory sentences for major traffickers. The National Assembly has considered such amendments since 2007, but few expect that any action will happen before national elections in April 2011. NDLEA officials will also seek a new provision to allow NDLEA and the Nigerian Immigration Service to seize an offender’s passport during pre-trial and post-conviction periods to prevent drug traffickers from travelling abroad to escape justice.

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

Despite recent budget increases for NDLEA, GON funding for Nigerian law enforcement agencies remains woefully insufficient and erratic in disbursement, which affects the planning of actions on the part of these agencies and undercuts the stated GON commitment to effective law enforcement. Unless the GON remedies this situation, little progress will occur over the medium to long term. Only strong and sustained political will and continued international assistance will allow authorities to confront these difficult issues and bring about meaningful change.

U.S. government counter-narcotics assistance to Nigeria since February 2001 now totals over $3 million, primarily through the Department of State’s INL Bureau. An important target for U.S, assistance was the Nigerian National Police. Despite some assistance successes, many citizens distrust the Nigerian National Police and organized crime groups continue to exploit that mistrust by preying on citizens throughout the country. The Embassy INL office continues to promote greater interaction between the Nigeria Customs and the NDLEA to improve interdiction at the vulnerable seaports and porous land borders. Even with support from international donors, NDLEA officers still received little training due to insufficient budgets.

U.S.-Nigerian counter-narcotics cooperation focuses on drug interdiction at major international entry points and initiatives to enhance the professionalism of the NDLEA and other law enforcement agencies. The INL and DEA country offices in Nigeria work closely with the NDLEA and other law enforcement agencies to strengthen capacity, sending several NDLEA officers for training through the ILEA. In FY2011, INL will fund a counter-narcotics advisor, who will work with NDLEA to develop strategies for strengthening the Agency’s operations. At all levels, U.S. representatives enjoy excellent access to their counterparts and both sides desire to strengthen these relationships.

D. Conclusion

The U.S. government will continue to engage the GON on the issues of counter-narcotics, corruption, money laundering, and other international crimes. The underlying institutional and societal factors that contribute to narcotics-trafficking, money-laundering, and other criminal activities in Nigeria remain deep-seated and require a comprehensive and collaborative effort at all levels of law enforcement and government. Progress can only occur through the GON’s sustained efforts and political will with continued support from the international community.

North Korea

There still is insufficient evidence to say with certainty that state-sponsored trafficking by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) has stopped entirely in 2010. The continued lack of public reports of drug trafficking with a direct DPRK connection suggests that such high-profile drug trafficking has either ceased or been sharply reduced. Trafficking of methamphetamine along the DPRK-China border continues and press reports about cross-border trafficking have increased in comparison to last year. These reports, which appear in Chinese and South Korean media, point to transactions between DPRK traffickers and large-scale, organized Chinese criminal groups in locations along the DPRK-PRC border such as Dandong and Yangi and as far away as Changchun. There are also an increasing number of reports in media published by North Korean defectors on the rise of drug use in North Korea. Other criminality involving the DPRK territory, such as counterfeiting of cigarettes and foreign currency, continues.

China National Radio reported that in the first six months of 2009, the province of Jilin, which covers much of the eastern part of the China-DPRK border, led all of China in the volume of drugs seized. Crystal Meth (“Ice”) seizures doubled in comparison to the first six months of 2008. Most of the recorded cases involved cross-border drug smuggling, and the total weight of all drugs seized during this six-month period was 6.1 MT. Another Chinese press report indicated that in response to increased cross-border drug trafficking, Chinese police initiated a boat patrol along the Tumen River which forms part of the DPRK-China border.

No confirmed instances of large-scale drug trafficking involving the DPRK state or its nationals were reported in 2010. This is the eighth consecutive year that there were no known instances of large-scale methamphetamine or heroin trafficking to either Japan or Taiwan with direct DPRK state institution involvement. From the mid- 1990s through to 2002/2003, numerous instances of narcotics trafficking involving DPRK persons and important state assets, such as sea-going vessels and military patrol boats, were recorded in Taiwan and Japan.

The Department of State has no evidence to support a clear finding that DPRK state narco-trafficking has either stopped or is continuing. The absence of any seizures linked directly to DPRK state institutions, especially after a period in which seizures of very large quantities of drugs regularly occurred, does suggest considerably less state trafficking, and perhaps a complete end to it.

On the other hand, press reports of continuing seizures of methamphetamine trafficked to organized Chinese criminals from DPRK territory suggest continuing manufacture and sale of DPRK methamphetamine. This and continued trafficking in counterfeit cigarettes and currency suggests that enforcement against organized criminality in the DPRK is lax. It is likely that the North Korean government has sponsored narcotics trafficking and other criminal activities in the past. The Department of State has insufficient information to confirm that the DPRK-state is no longer involved in manufacture and trafficking of illicit drugs, but if such activity persists, it is certainly on a smaller scale. The DPRK is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.


A. Introduction

In 2010, Pakistan continued to be a major transit country for opiates and hashish originating in Afghanistan. It was also a producer of opiates from approximately 1700 hectares of illicit poppy. Drug trafficking and addiction were strongly associated with instability and lawlessness on Pakistan’s 1500-mile (2430km) border with Afghanistan. The rugged, remote, lawless border separating Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Baluchistan Province from Afghanistan is ideally suited for drug traffickers, who smuggle approximately 150 tons of heroin and 80 tons of opium across the border annually. Heavy traffic at the three official border crossings contributes to the difficulty of surveillance and detection efforts. The frontier is dotted by dozens of unsupervised crossing points and crisscrossed by unmapped and uncontrolled trails. The sheer volume of drugs transiting this country of about 180 million people, along with its deep-seated economic and social problems, fuels a significant domestic drug addiction problem. The country’s enforcement and judicial structures are weak, under-financed, and fail to cooperate among themselves. Corruption in Pakistan is widespread.

Throughout 2010, the Pakistani Taliban and allied militant groups remained an active and determined insurgent force in the tribal areas in the northwestern area of the country that borders Afghanistan. The Pakistan Army and Frontier Scouts committed thousands of troops to the fight and achieved some success in clearing militants from the settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province and the Swat Valley. Militants and government forces hotly contested the tribal agencies of Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber and South Waziristan. The ongoing violence and military necessities relegated counternarcotics to a secondary effort in these regions. Pakistan’s federal Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), the government’s lead anti-drug agency, only rarely extended its reach into the tribal areas. The ANF, along with the Frontier Corps, was present in Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan’s major drug producing provinces, Helmand and Kandahar. Given the enormous distances and the nature of the terrain, law enforcement and other barriers to trafficking were spread thin.

In July and August 2010, the worst seasonal flooding in decades also damaged the Government of Pakistan’s (GOP) limited capability to combat the narcotics trade. Over 2000 people died and millions were forced from their homes. The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank estimated the damage at $10 billion. As a result, the government was forced to divert its limited resources to disaster recovery.

Despite these obstacles, Pakistani authorities still actively tried to intercept the flow of narcotics and continued to make seizures, sometimes large ones. The GOP understood that the flow of drugs through the country was not just the problem of destination countries, but also fueled an expanding addiction problem within Pakistan itself. Indicating its increased focus, in June, the GOP issued its long-awaited “National Anti-Narcotics Policy 2010” and “Drug Control Master Plan 2010-14.”

In 2010, Pakistan continued to cooperate with the USG and other governments on bilateral counternarcotics programs. The GOP also cooperated with multilateral organizations on narcotics abatement. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has a large presence in Islamabad which worked closely with the GOP during the past year. With Afghanistan and Iran, Pakistan participated in the UNODC-sponsored “Triangular Initiative,” an effort begun in 2007 under UNODC auspices to increase cooperation among the three governments on anti-narcotics and border management. Pakistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In mid-2010, Pakistan issued the “National Anti Narcotics Policy 2010” and “Drug Control Master Plan 2010-14.” The policy addressed three objectives: drug supply reduction, drug demand reduction, and international cooperation. It seeks to accomplish the first by eliminating poppy cultivation to regain Pakistan’s “poppy-free status”; preventing the trafficking and production of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals; and, strengthening law enforcement agencies and streamlining their activities. The second objective is to be achieved by enhancing prevention efforts through education and community mobilization campaigns, effective and accessible drug treatment and rehabilitation systems, and, conducting a survey to determine the prevalence of drug addiction. Third, the policy suggests that Pakistan should promote and actively participate in bilateral, regional and international efforts to combat drugs; emphasize controlling the problem at the source in poppy-growing countries; and prioritize demand reduction in destination countries.

The policy underlines that cooperation among GOP agencies with counter-narcotics responsibilities has been lacking and needs to be enhanced. It establishes an Inter-Agency Task Force on Narcotics Control to coordinate drug interdiction operations by all federal and provincial agencies. The report emphasizes the primacy of the ANF as the principal enforcement agency and advocates the reinforcement and enhancement of its resources and capabilities. The Master Plan is built around the same three objectives as the National Policy, but goes into much greater detail on short, medium and long-term implementation strategies. It also contains a Monitoring and Evaluation section that identifies performance indicators. While both policies are cogent and reasonable, neither contains any discussion of funding and resources needed in order to implement the proposed initiatives.

2. Supply Reduction

The ANF is the lead counternarcotics agency in Pakistan. It is not part of the armed forces: its Director General is traditionally a senior Pakistan army officer. The ANF is authorized 3000 personnel. Other law enforcement agencies have counternarcotics mandates, including the Frontier Corps Baluchistan (FCB) and Frontier Scouts (FSKP), the Pakistan Coast Guards, the Maritime Security Agency, the Frontier Constabulary (FCONS), the Rangers, Customs Preventive Force, the provincial police forces, and the Airport Security Force (ASF). The Pakistan Coast Guards uses counternarcotics cells and checkpoints along the Makran Coast to better coordinate and execute counternarcotics operations. The primacy of ANF, however, limits other agencies’ investigative authorities. In addition, weak inter-agency cooperation has degraded the GOP’s ability to pursue drug traffickers and seize their contraband.

In the first three quarters of 2010, GOP law enforcement and security forces reported seizing 1.7 metric tons of heroin, 3.46 tons of morphine, 7.6 tons of opium, and 228 kilograms of cocaine. Eighty-nine tons of hashish was also seized, with 31 tons captured in a single operation late in the year in Khyber Agency. In March, authorities in Karachi seized 15,600 kilograms of acetic anhydride (AA), a precursor chemical used in heroin production. Almost an equivalent amount was intercepted in Dubai in an operation in which Pakistani agents were closely involved. Pakistan is not a major drug-producing country, but it has lost the “poppy-free” status it enjoyed briefly in 2000/2001. UNODC estimates that just over 1700 hectares of illicit poppy were harvested in Pakistan in 2010. There was a minimal amount of eradication, possibly a few dozen hectares. Based on the GOP’s standard estimate for poppy crop yield, (25 kilograms of opium per hectare cultivated), Pakistan’s potential opium production was about 40 metric tons in 2010.

Through September 2010, Pakistani law enforcement agencies made 689 arrests in narcotics cases. Of these, 611 were made by the ANF. Authorities registered 599 cases. During the same period, there were 898 convictions in narcotics cases. According to the ANF, the overall conviction rate during the period exceeded 90 percent.

Since many strong cases are reversed on appeal, the ANF supplemented its in-house prosecutors by hiring private lawyers to argue appealed convictions. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to advise ANF on the use of conspiracy laws to prosecute major traffickers. Through September 2010, drug traffickers’ assets totaling 56 million rupees (about $700,000) remained frozen.

Pakistan has an established chemical control program to closely monitor the importation of controlled chemicals used to manufacture narcotics. Significant quantities of precursor chemicals nevertheless transit Pakistan. Some progress has been made in determining the routes and methods used to smuggle chemicals through Pakistan into Afghanistan. Major routes run to the Afghanistan provinces of Nangarhar, Helmand, Kandahar, and Nimroz. DEA routinely provides Pakistani law enforcement with information regarding chemical seizures that may have links with Pakistani smuggling groups and/or chemical companies, to facilitate further investigation within Pakistan.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Pakistan’s position as a major drug transit country has fueled domestic addiction. The GOP estimates that there are about one half million chronic addicts and perhaps four or five million more occasional drug users. Pakistan’s population is growing rapidly and is believed to have reached 180 million, with some estimates as high as 184 million. The figures for narcotics addicts and users are somewhat conjectural, since no comprehensive survey of the problem has been done since 2006. The National Anti-Narcotics Policy recognizes that there is no accurate picture of the extent of drug abuse and that a survey is needed in order to grasp the true magnitude of the problem. Pakistan has one of the largest demographic bulges of young people in the world, with many of them poorly educated and either underemployed or unemployed; the country thus has a vast pool of people in danger of becoming drug users.

Currently, Pakistan’s programs for drug awareness, demand reduction, and treatment are inadequate. The National Policy recognizes that with the increase in opium and heroin production in Afghanistan and the shift in trafficking routes toward Pakistan, it is likely that opiate usage rates have increased. The policy proposes a national “Drug Free” campaign that would be a coordinated effort among educators, religious leaders, labor unions, the media, and political parties. The policy also envisions development of effective and accessible treatment and rehabilitation systems. It argues for wards in hospitals for treatment and detoxification of drug users. Pakistan has only three Model Addict Treatment Centers, in Quetta, Karachi and Islamabad. The report argues for upgrading those centers and adding two more, in Lahore and Peshawar. It also proposes separate facilities for women and children, who are under-served by the minimal treatment facilities that exist. There are some private organizations engaged in drug rehabilitation and treatment, such as the USG-supported DOST (“Friend”) Foundation in Peshawar.

4. Corruption

Corruption is widespread in Pakistan. Government officials as well as the political opposition, press and courts have acknowledged that it is a major challenge to law enforcement and the business climate. An independent judicial system and a lively and critical press investigate and expose corrupt practices, but sometimes with limited consequences for those involved. While parliamentary oversight committees and executive branch agencies also work against corruption, their overall effectiveness is mixed. Pakistan’s corruption challenge also increases its vulnerability to drug trafficking, principally through bribes to officials to allow the unchecked movement of people and goods. Narcotics traffickers are not thought to have major influence on senior-level government policy or law enforcement. The Government of Pakistan does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution, nor is it involved in laundering the proceeds of the sale of illicit drugs.

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

The USG and the GOP have cooperated on counter narcotics since the 1980s. The U.S. Embassy’s Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) manages an extensive and multi-faceted effort in Pakistan, with an FY10 budget of $130 million. The Counter-Narcotics program includes road building and alternative development projects in previously inaccessible areas, assistance for GOP counter-narcotics units including the Special Investigative Cell within the ANF, and demand reduction programs. NAS also manages a Border Security Program (BSP) and a program of Law Enforcement Reform and Capacity Building. The three are closely related and complementary. Through the BSP, for instance, the USG provides aviation support and training to enhance the GOP’s surveillance and interdiction capabilities; makes available commodity support, training and outpost construction for Pakistani security forces to improve their capability to interdict militants, narcotics traffickers and other criminals; and has built hundreds of kilometers of roads to allow Pakistani authorities access to remote areas where narcotics cultivation and militant activity often occur. The Law Enforcement Reform Program provides training and equipment to enhance the professionalism, investigative skills and technical expertise of Pakistani police and prosecutors. The USG funds a Narcotics Control Cell in the FATA Secretariat to help coordinate counternarcotics efforts in the tribal areas, where the bulk of the poppies are grown. The NAS Air Wing, operated by the Ministry of Interior (MOI), but using both fixed and rotary wing aircraft provided by the U.S., was established to assist the counternarcotics efforts and also serves to advance U.S. border security objectives.

DEA’s Islamabad Country Office has a close working relationship with the ANF Special Investigation Cell (SIC). A recent joint DEA-ANF/SIC international priority target investigation led to the seizure of 30,000 liters of the heroin precursor acetic anhydride, 16.5 metric tons of hashish, over $200,000 in cash, and three priority target arrests. The narcotics and precursor chemicals seized in this investigation deprived traffickers of more than $164 million in drug proceeds. In an effort to enhance DEA – ANF/SIC joint operations, an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been submitted for final approval, aimed at funding an 80-man ANF Vetted Unit (VU) that will be adequately trained and fully equipped to conduct joint DEA – ANF/SIC operations from Pakistan throughout the world.

The Office of the Defense Representative in Pakistan (ODRP) has provided counternarcotics assistance to Pakistan since 2004. Over $174 million in equipment, construction, and training have been provided to the Navy, Maritime Security Agency (MSA), Coast Guards (PCG), Customs Preventive (MCC), Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), and Special Services Group-Navy (SSG-N). Joint training includes military-to-military engagements such as Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) tactical training, and civilian-to-civilian engagements such as operator and maintenance training for narcotics/explosive detection equipment. Key ODRP- funded counternarcotics programs and equipment grants include the construction of a Joint Maritime Information Operations Center (JMIOC) in Karachi, individual soldiering equipment and the construction of a training compound at Gharo Creek for the SSG-N; nine 42-foot Fast Response Boats (FRB) for the MSA; and a boat storage and maintenance facility for the MSA at Pasni.

The United States continues to encourage Pakistani cooperation in the extradition of narcotics fugitives and the enactment of comprehensive money laundering legislation. The USG also encourages streamlining Pakistani drug enforcement legislation, making it easier for the ANF and other law enforcement agencies to prosecute narcotics cases.

The GOP is also working independently with other governments and UN agencies against narcotics trafficking. In November 2010 Pakistan hosted UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, along with the Afghan Minister for Counter Narcotics and the Iranian Interior Minister for the fourth ministerial meeting of the UNODC-sponsored Triangular Initiative. The Initiative was launched in 2007 to strengthen cooperation among countries seriously affected by illicit opiates originating in Afghanistan. The meeting resulted in agreement on expanding the work of the Joint Planning Cell in Tehran, increasing joint patrols in the border areas, and enhancing legal cooperation in drug-related matters. A senior officials meeting is planned for May 2011 in Tehran and another ministerial meeting in November 2011.

Pakistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Pakistan is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption, and on January 13, 2010 ratified, the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. The United States provides counternarcotics and law enforcement assistance to Pakistan under a Letter of Agreement (LOA). The LOA provides the terms of and funding for cooperation in border security, crop control and area development efforts, narcotics law enforcement, and drug demand reduction efforts. There is no mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) between the U.S. and Pakistan, nor does Pakistan have a mutual legal assistance law; it has not responded to formal U.S. requests for assistance. The 1931 U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty, which was applicable to all of British India, was adopted by Pakistan when it gained independence in 1947. Both the Extradition Treaty and Pakistan’s Extradition Act are outmoded. Lack of action by Pakistani authorities and courts on pending extradition requests continues to be of concern to the United States. One case has been pending since 1995. The last extradition was in 2006. Obstacles to extradition include the inexperience of GOP public prosecutors, an interminable appeals process that tolerates delaying tactics by the defense, and corruption.

D. Conclusion

Pakistan is likely to continue to serve as a major narcotics trafficking country as long as production of narcotics in Afghanistan continues at current levels and Pakistan’s border region remains largely ungoverned. Afghan-produced narcotics require exit routes to foreign markets and Pakistan offers many of the most accessible and most efficient transit corridors. This influx of narcotics into Pakistan almost certainly will fuel an expansion of drug use among Pakistanis, creating additional social and economic ills in a country already burdened by security challenges and poverty.

Pakistani authorities recognize that narcotics trafficking and drug use are growing and are very aware that the damage they are causing the country is increasing. This year’s National Anti-Narcotics Policy and Drug Control Master Plan are indicative of the growing concern within the government. But the capacity of the GOP to act effectively against the narcotics trade is limited. Combating the threat to the country from terrorist groups and insurgents takes priority, and that effort absorbs most resources available for security and law and order. The militancy along the border with Afghanistan contributes to the difficulty of blocking or interdicting the drug trade.

Despite the obstacles and difficulties it faces, the GOP can make its counter narcotics efforts more effective. Most importantly, government agencies can work in a more coordinated fashion against the traffickers. Stove-piping and inter-agency rivalries severely hamper the government’s effectiveness. Better utilization of GOP agencies’ limited resources requires basic improvements such as information sharing to avoid duplicative or contradictory efforts. Increased cooperation with other governments and international organizations is another way for the GOP to enhance its capabilities. While the GOP does accept training, equipment and advice from outside sources, such assistance is not always put to effective use. The GOP has re-affirmed its own plans for combating drug use, including a national “Drug Free” campaign involving numerous national groups along with increasing availability of treatment, but it needs to put those plans into action. Disaster recovery and reconstruction in the aftermath of devastating floods in 2010 are the overriding national priority right now, making it more difficult than ever for the GOP to commit the funding and manpower needed for a fully resourced, multifaceted counter-narcotics policy.


A. Introduction

Panama is a major transshipment hub for the movement of contraband to the United States and other world markets due to its geographic position and well-developed transportation infrastructure. Colombian and Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) located in Panama along with a Colombian illegal armed group operating in the remote Darien region actively seek to move drugs through Panamanian territory. Traffickers utilize Panama’s coastline and littorals and its transportation infrastructure, including four major containerized seaports, the Pan-American Highway, and an expanded Tocumen International Airport, to facilitate the movement of licit and illicit commodities.

In 2010, the Martinelli Administration continued Panama’s history of close cooperation with the United States on counternarcotics operations. United States Government (USG) support to Panama’s counternarcotics efforts, including support of the newly created Ministry of Public Security (MSP) and its three security services, continued to help Panama combat narcotics trafficking and build stronger security and justice institutions.

Panama is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishment, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Developments

In 2010, Panama reorganized the Ministry of Government and Justice (MOGJ) into the Ministry of Interior (Ministerio de Gobierno or MOG) and the newly-created MSP. Dividing the unwieldy MOGJ into component parts was widely seen as a necessary reform that may enable the new ministries to more effectively address pressing needs within their respective mandates. Though the MSP was not fully staffed or operational in 2010, this new structure should enhance the Government of Panama’s (GOP) ability to coordinate the activities of its security services. The GOP also increased the fiscal year 2011 budget of the MSP by over 12 percent over fiscal year 2010 funding levels, demonstrating a commitment to resourcing overall Panamanian security efforts. The Panamanian National Police (PNP) continued a series of reform efforts to establish community based policing, improve policing methods, and overhaul the PNP’s Internal Affairs process throughout 2010. These ongoing reforms hold the potential to increase the effectiveness and transparency of the PNP.

Panama’s National Frontier Police (SENAFRONT) continued to develop as a law enforcement institution and improved the GOP’s ability to exert control in the remote Darien region of Panama along the border with Colombia, although challenges remain. In 2010, SENAFRONT benefited from a robust training program with the Colombian National Police, which included the training of SENAFRONT members by Colombian Commando Junglas trainers in Colombia and Panama, increasing cooperation between the two countries.

Throughout 2010, efforts to reform the National Air-Naval Service (SENAN) suffered due to frequent changes in key personnel. While the force contributed to the GOP’s maritime interdiction capacity, SENAN’s ability to effectively control Panama’s territorial waters was limited by endemic institutional weakness and corruption. SENAN and the PNP riverine unit cooperated with U.S. assets to interdict narcotics transiting Panama’s waters with varying degrees of effectiveness.

In addition to efforts to improve the capacity of its security services, improvements in judicial and prosecutorial effectiveness are required to effectively control trafficking and organized crime penetration in Panama. Corruption and institutional weakness limited the ability of judicial institutions to thoroughly investigate and prosecute complex cases of organized crime, weakening the judicial deterrent that is critical to push traffickers out of Panama.

Panama is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. A mutual legal assistance treaty and an extradition treaty are in force between the U.S. and Panama, although the Constitution does not permit extradition of Panamanian nationals. In 2002, the USG and GOP concluded a comprehensive maritime interdiction agreement, which continued to be one of the most effective agreements in the region in 2010. Panama has bilateral agreements on counternarcotics with the United Kingdom, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, and Peru. Panama is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols and to the UN Convention against Corruption. Panama is also a member of the Organization of American States (OAS) and is a party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, the Inter-American Convention of Extradition, the Inter American Convention against Terrorism, and the Inter-American Convention against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms. Panama is a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and an active participant in the U.S. - SICA security dialogue.

2. Supply Reduction

In 2010 the GOP reported the seizure of over 49.5 metric tons of cocaine in cooperation with U.S. law enforcement. This data includes cocaine captured by GOP forces, but does not include cocaine interdicted by U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) assets in Panamanian waters or cocaine jettisoned by traffickers to avoid prosecution. SENAN cooperated with USCG requests for ship registry data and provided officers to serve aboard U.S. maritime vessels as “ship riders,” which expanded the effectiveness of these operations. In addition to allowing USG maritime vessels to operate in Panamanian territorial waters under the bilateral agreement, SENAN provided support for counternarcotics operations within its limited means and with varying degrees of effectiveness, including patrolling and photographing suspect areas, and identifying suspect aircraft. Nevertheless, SENAN’s institutional weakness continued to be a limiting factor in the GOP’s ability to effectively deter drug trafficking through its territorial waters.

Panama is not a producer of cocaine, heroin or precursor chemicals. There is limited cannabis cultivation in Panama, principally for domestic consumption.

Maritime trafficking along Panama’s north coast increased in 2010, with Panama experiencing a nearly two-fold increase in the amount of documented cocaine departing Panama’s north coast towards Honduras and other Central American counties. The USG assesses that there is an increased amount of trafficking through the exploitation of maritime containers, with Europe as a final destination rather than North America, although the scale of this traffic has not been determined. Panama has interdicted few maritime containers destined for third-countries at its seaports.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

While the GOP took steps to better coordinate existing at-risk youth programs in 2010, further steps are necessary to address growing drug abuse. A lack of hard data makes trends difficult to assess, as the last drug demand study was conducted in 2008. The GOP did not update the formal written strategy on drug demand reduction established in 2007. Throughout 2010, the GOP lacked an official budget for drug reduction programs, although funding became available through seized assets, donations from civil society groups and international cooperation. Nonetheless, the Ministry of Education provided drug prevention programs in schools and the Ministry of Health supported a drug-counseling program known as the Mental Health Institute. The GOP also designated the Ministry of the Presidency as the coordinating entity for some 45 at-risk youth programs spread among 20 GOP agencies. Meanwhile, the USG partnered with the PNP and other local actors to implement such programs as Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (DARE) and Youth Crime Watch.

4. Corruption

The GOP does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution, nor is it involved in laundering the proceeds of the sale of illicit drugs. Despite the GOP’s public stance against corruption, the government adjudicated few cases of corruption, in part due to a lack of investigative capacity and a weak judicial system. Corruption remains a serious concern throughout the security services and the justice sector. There are indications that members of the security services were involved in trafficking and that DTOs penetrated the PNP and SENAN. However, the MSP and the PNP supported a major reform of the internal affairs process governing all security services in 2010. While the reform effort will continue into 2011, the new PNP Internal Affairs system has already produced quick results, with over 50 officers – including some senior leaders – removed for corruption in the latter half of 2010. In October 2010, the GOP and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) agreed to create a Regional Anti-Corruption Academy in Panama that will seek to improve transparency in Panama and throughout the region.

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

USG-supported programs focus on improving Panama’s ability to intercept, investigate, and prosecute illegal drug trafficking and other transnational crimes; strengthening Panama’s judicial system; improving Panama’s border security; and promoting strict enforcement of existing laws.

In 2010, the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC), and USCG provided resources for modernization and upkeep of SENAN, SENAFRONT, and PNP vessels and facilities in support of interdiction efforts. Throughout 2010, the USG also provided training, operational equipment, and logistics support to members of Panama’s security services to improve their professionalism and effectiveness.

The USG supported and encouraged a growing training relationship between Panama and Colombia through which Colombian police experts provided jungle-survival training to members of Panama’s security services. The NAS continued support for a major law enforcement modernization project within the PNP to develop its leadership and implement community-based policing procedures. The program aims to improve community policing tactics, expand existing crime analysis technology and also promote managerial change to allow greater autonomy and accountability. In 2010, the program expanded beyond community policing training to incorporate the training concepts into the curriculum of the PNP’s three training academies. As a result, the PNP provided the 40-hour block of instruction to 20 percent of the PNP’s estimated 17,000 members. In 2011, the program will culminate by providing the community-based police training to all remaining members of the PNP, and the implementation of new criminal statistic management procedures.

In addition to these reforms, the USG collaborated with the PNP and the MSP to help Panama reform its Internal Affairs process for all of Panama’s security services to combat corruption and the corrosive influence of criminal actors. The combination of establishing community-based policing tenets within the PNP’s core values, and reforming its internal affairs process is expected to bring far-reaching, positive effects on the law enforcement institution.

In 2010, the GOP collaborated in joint counternarcotics efforts with U.S. entities, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), DHS, and USCG, and worked to strengthen national law enforcement institutions with assistance from NAS and ODC.

The U.S. provided equipment and support to GOP vetted law enforcement units in 2010. These law enforcement units conduct sensitive investigations and operations related to counternarcotics, money laundering, human smuggling, and other transnational crimes. The DEA vetted law enforcement unit continued to lead the region’s vetted units in cocaine seizures. The NAS-funded Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI) vetted unit remained a critical asset for the PNP, due to continued high-profile investigations and operations, many involving crimes with a nexus to the U.S. In 2010, the MSP – with infrastructure support from ODC – embarked on an ambitious plan to establish Air-Naval Stations in key locations throughout Panama’s littoral waters to increase the ability of its security forces to respond to suspect trafficking vessels.

D. Conclusion

Panama has a long tradition of close cooperation with the United States. Narcotics trafficking and associated violence threatens to erode public confidence in government institutions. The current administration came to power amid rising insecurity and increased narcotics trafficking, and it took concrete steps to improve security in the short-term and reform the security services for long-term institutional change. The GOP made some strides toward institutional reform and increased transparency, within the newly created MSP and the security services under its control. However, these reforms must be completed and institutionalized to ensure that the PNP, SENAFRONT, and SENAN develop into professional forces capable of withstanding the corrosive effects of transnational crime.

Panama’s justice and security organs remain weak and susceptible to the corrupting influences of drug trafficking organizations. The United States encourages Panama to devote more resources to the modernization of its security and justice services and to continue with reform efforts that improve public sector accountability and transparency. The GOP made positive advances in reforming and improving the PNP and SENAFRONT, and should ensure that these changes are implemented in SENAN. The GOP took some positive initial steps to combat corruption in the security forces, and the United States encourages the GOP to continue reform efforts aimed at increasing transparency and bringing corrupt elements to justice. The GOP also is encouraged to continue enhancing its efforts to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute financial crimes and money laundering. Panama’s ability to safeguard its citizens, confront drug traffickers and other transnational crime, and ensure that law enforcement efforts are anchored in democracy will be strengthened by its continued focus on law enforcement modernization, strategic planning, decentralization of decision making, and community-oriented policing philosophies.


A. Introduction

The U.S. Government dropped Paraguay from the President’s list of major narcotics transit or producing countries in September 2010. Paraguay previously appeared on the major’s list as a significant marijuana source country. However, Paraguayan marijuana is trafficked to the neighboring countries of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay but not to the United States. Paraguay does remain a transit country for cocaine produced in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. But again, while a small portion of the cocaine from these countries that transits Paraguay may be destined for the U.S., the vast majority is transported to Brazil, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Paraguay continues to face significant challenges in its fight against narcotics production and trafficking. Its continental location, poverty, unemployment, crime, corruption, and limited governmental and security presence in much of the country, all impede counternarcotics efforts. Although domestic demand for illegal drugs remains low, Paraguay continues to produce a marijuana crop second only to Mexico. Seizures of precursor chemicals, including ephedrine, continue apace.

Despite these challenges, the Government of Paraguay (GOP) continued to make progress against illegal narcotics trafficking in 2010 and supported drug interdiction, eradication, and demand reduction efforts.

Paraguay is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In June 2010, Paraguay’s Congress passed a new terrorism bill sanctioning the prosecution of acts of terrorism, terrorist association, and terrorism financing. The law is an important companion piece to the July 2009 legislation that established money laundering as an autonomous, punishable crime in Paraguay. Despite slow implementation and a lack of convictions, in 2010 SENAD, Paraguay’s National Antidrug Secretariat, continued to press for a full legal framework to combat drug trafficking, calling in October for President Lugo to press Congress to pass a long-stalled asset forfeiture law to better fund counternarcotics activities.

SENAD is staffed by a 366-person anti-narcotics unit, which includes 127 special agents and 68 military Special Forces operators conducting anti-drug efforts in the field. SENAD special agents have de facto law enforcement powers in that they carry weapons, conduct investigations, make arrests, and forward cases to prosecutors. However, SENAD has not been provided with law enforcement authority through legislation.

SENAD combats all aspects of the illegal drug trade nationwide from its Asuncion command base with regional offices, control points, airport control brigades, a 15-dog canine unit, and a Sensitive Investigation Unit. SENAD also works with Paraguayan customs to more closely monitor imports and exports. The Paraguayan National Police (PNP) has twenty-two thousand police officers and offices throughout the most remote areas of the country with the ability to conduct operations and investigations in those same areas. The PNP also maintains a counternarcotics unit, but its operations are separate from SENAD and the two organizations do not coordinate their efforts due to inter-agency rivalry, lack of trust, and a government-wide hierarchical management culture which does not encourage inter-agency cooperation.

As SENAD’s seizure and arrest statistics show, it continues to improve its ability to find and seize narcotics, leading to the arrest and prosecution of narcotics traffickers. However, weak prosecutorial presence in regions with high incidence of drug trafficking and judicial corruption continues to confound successful prosecution efforts in many SENAD cases.

In 2010, the GOP increased SENAD’s annual budget from approximately $2.98 million USD to approximately $3.53 million. While a positive step, additional resources are still needed. In particular, inadequate GOP funding hampers maintenance of one of SENAD’s most important assets, its drug analysis laboratory, which cannot operate at full effectiveness due to its antiquated and limited technical equipment. Compounding the problem, Paraguayan courts assign drug analysis work from PNP drug cases to the lab which, in addition to SENAD’s own workload, overburdens an already limited capacity.

Paraguay is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The GOP is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism. The GOP also signed the Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) Hemispheric Drug Strategy. Paraguay has law enforcement agreements with Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia. The United States and Paraguay cooperate in extradition matters under a 2001 extradition treaty. The 1987 bilateral Letter of Agreement under which the United States provides counternarcotics assistance to Paraguay was extended in 2004 and followed by yearly amendments through 2010. Paraguay is also a signatory to the 1992 Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

2. Supply Reduction

Drug traffickers use land, air, and sea operations to smuggle narcotics through Paraguay. Overland tanker trucks and large cargo trucks transporting cover loads of legitimate goods are the preferred method of smuggling cocaine from Bolivia through Paraguay and into Brazil. Border towns such as Pedro Juan Caballero, which has witnessed an increase in violence and Brazilian gang presence, Salto del Guaria, and Ciudad del Este are notorious narcotics, arms, and contraband transit centers with both vehicular and foot traffic crossing wide-open, typically unmanned borders. Small airplanes are also used to transport 200-250 kilogram drug shipments to the Chaco region near the Bolivian and Brazilian borders. Large farms in this area are used as bases of operation due to the harsh terrain, limited transportation routes, and minimal security presence in the region.

In 2010, and for the second consecutive year, SENAD doubled its cocaine seizures from the previous year, seizing 1,425 kilograms (kg) of cocaine and 3.5 kg of crack cocaine. Precursor chemical seizures fell in 2010, but all indications point to a continued stream of acetone, ephedrine, lidocaine, and other chemicals flowing through the country. In March, SENAD seized 30 kilograms of ephedrine from a cargo container destined for Mexico. Additionally, it seized 45 kg of lidocaine, 40 kg of acetone, 108 metric tons (MT) of marijuana, 110 vehicles (including motorcycles), 121 firearms, 4 airplanes, 4 boats, and made 312 arrests.

Paraguay’s two international airports and private and public maritime shipping ports are used to transport narcotics overseas. In 2010, SENAD’s canine unit made 16 airport seizures with 30 related arrests, the majority of which were of travelers destined for Western Europe. Ports on the Rio Paraguay link to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay, where shipping containers are combined with others, usually destined for Europe. Paraguayan customs has typically ignored exported containers, choosing to focus its limited resources on imported materials with higher revenue potential. In March 2010, Spanish officials seized 175 kg of cocaine in Seville; in April, German officials seized 1,300 kg of cocaine in Hamburg; and in June, officials in Hong Kong seized 70 kg of cocaine; all three cases involved containerized cargo originating in Paraguay.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime 2010 World Drug Report, Paraguay is the world’s second-largest marijuana producer, trailing only Mexico in terms of its cannabis crop. Paraguayan marijuana is not trafficked to the United States. Production takes place primarily in the hilly, northeastern departments of Amambay, San Pedro, Canindeyú, and Concepcion near the border with Brazil. Multiple crops are harvested throughout the year. High international demand, low crop cost, continued rural poverty, unemployment, weak institutions, sparse government presence, and limited eradication efforts are causing marijuana cultivation to spread to new regions of Paraguay. According to SENAD officials, there are approximately 5,000 hectares of marijuana under cultivation; however the UN Office on Drugs and Crime places the estimate closer to 6,000 hectares.

In 2010, SENAD’s manual marijuana eradication operations in the departments of Canindeyú and Amambay destroyed 869 hectares of marijuana crops, 60 camps, and 12 marijuana pressing factories. SENAD seized 4,285 kilograms of marijuana seeds, wax and plants during eradication and interdiction operations. Additionally, SENAD continued working with, and receiving funds from, the Brazilian Government to conduct joint marijuana eradication missions in 2010 in two northeastern departments, Amambay and Canindeyú, which border Brazil. SENAD partnered with the Brazilian Federal Police (DPF) and established a cooperation program to fight marijuana production and trafficking utilizing DPF equipment and technical expertise including helicopters and remote sensors in marijuana plantations.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Domestic demand for illegal drugs in Paraguay remains low in comparison to neighboring countries. National estimates indicate marijuana is used by roughly 3 percent of the population and cocaine by 0.7 percent. Though there are no reliable numbers, both SENAD and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have expressed concerns that crack is increasing in popularity among young adults and children in Paraguay based on seizure numbers and reporting data.

SENAD conducts formal workshops, informal sessions, public seminars, and distributes informational materials in order to reach thousands of students, teachers, and parents in its role as the principal coordinator for the National Program Against Drug Abuse. A revised pilot program, begun in the third quarter of 2010 called “Prevent Together,” provides drug awareness information and evaluates its impact throughout the school year. Another SENAD initiative is a weekly demand reduction and narcotics education radio program. Due to poverty, illiteracy, and limited telecommunications and Internet connectivity in Paraguay’s sparsely populated countryside, radio reaches the largest percentage of the population.

In 2010, SENAD sponsored 335 workshops reaching 23,240 students, parents and teachers in 105 different educational institutions. It distributed 8,291 informational pamphlets and 149 DVDs to students, teachers and counselors, and conducted 41 radio broadcasts.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the GOP does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking. No senior government officials have been implicated in specifically facilitating or encouraging illegal activity. Nevertheless, corruption remains the principal barrier to reducing the production and distribution of illegal drugs. Corruption in the judicial system is a significant concern and is the greatest barrier to effective prosecution of drug traffickers and producers. Police officials are routinely involved in organized crime activities or accept bribes.

In September 2010, a three-judge panel absolved and released drug trafficker Mendi Pavao after an alleged $1 million payoff. Although the dismissal of the case is yet another example of judicial misconduct, the swift and strong reaction by the GOP to suspend the three judges and two prosecutors involved in the case is a positive sign and anticorruption efforts are a major priority for the current administration.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) continued phase II of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s anticorruption project in 2010, targeting corruption within the judicial system and Paraguayan National Police.

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

The U.S. Mission in Paraguay works closely with the GOP to disrupt drug trafficking organizations; build stronger legal and regulatory measures to restrict money laundering, drug trafficking, and illegal contraband flows; and to enhance institutional capacities to carry out effective measures against narcotics trafficking. In 2010, SENAD received USG assistance for equipment and commodities, operational support, its canine detection program, and demand reduction initiatives. USG operational support sustains joint SENAD/DEA investigations of major narcotics traffickers, resulting in successful drug trafficking investigations documented by official records of drug seizures, arrests and cases presented for prosecution.

Meanwhile, the USG has expanded its cooperation with the PNP and Paraguayan Customs, creating both a new Sensitive Investigations Unit within the PNP and a new Container Group with Paraguayan Customs.

USG support for SENAD’s Narcotics Detection Canine Program continues to show results in seizures at border, port, and airport locations throughout Paraguay. Although the program received four new dogs in 2010, allowing it to expand its country-wide detection and seizure operations, the program remains constrained by the number of animals versus the number of potential transit points that need them, transportation capabilities, and the dogs limited use within airports. A more robust program would substantially increase seizure rates.

The USG funded the participation of SENAD and the Secretariat to Combat Money Laundering (SEPRELAD) agents at seminars on information sharing, software implementation, sensitive investigations training, drug and chemical controls, canine training, and money laundering. The USG also funded participation of the Paraguayan Navy in a Regional Small Boat maintenance course in Argentina. In addition, the USG provided support for members of SEPRELAD, prosecutors, and others associated with intellectual property rights initiatives.

D. Conclusion

Corruption remains a challenge to Paraguay’s ability to counter drug trafficking and prosecute narcotics traffickers. We encourage the GOP to continue to institute measures to address this issue. The GOP is also faced with increasing amounts of cocaine crossing into Paraguay -- particularly from Bolivia, limited law enforcement coverage, and corrupt police and customs officials who permit not only drug trafficking, but the trafficking of weapons and counterfeit materials as well. The GOP needs to augment SENAD’s presence on the Bolivian border and elsewhere, supply it with greater budgetary support, and encourage SENAD to work more effectively with other Paraguayan agencies such as the PNP and Customs.

In 2010, SENAD continued to demonstrate positive seizure results in spite of limited resources, and SENAD’s leadership has been effective at keeping pressure on narcotics traffickers. However, SENAD is constrained by the GOP’s failure to pass legislation giving it autonomy and its officers law enforcement authority, and, while SENAD’s seizure rate continues to improve, those seizures still represent only two to three percent of the cocaine likely transiting Paraguay.

We encourage the Government of Paraguay to effectively implement its anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism legislation, as well as to pass and implement the long-awaited asset seizure and forfeiture legislation and the new criminal procedure code pending before Congress.

The USG supports SENAD’s demand reduction and drug education programs which have reached tens of thousands of people throughout Paraguay. However, demand reduction efforts are constrained by a lack of clear demand and usage statistics. The agency has not conducted a thorough usage analysis since 2006. Having key information, such as tracking trends in drug use among younger users (70 percent of Paraguay’s total population is under 30), would enable SENAD to better focus both its demand and supply reduction efforts within the country.


A. Introduction

Peru is the world’s second-largest producer of cocaine and, according to U.S. Government (USG) statistics, in 2009 had an estimated 40,000 hectares (ha) used for coca cultivation nationwide. Cocaine is transported over land to neighboring countries, and to Europe, the Far East, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the United States via maritime conveyances and commercial air flights. Peru is also a major importer of precursor chemicals used for cocaine production.

While studies show that 93 percent of the coca leaf grown in Peru is illegal and destined for narcotics production, the fact that coca cultivation and drug production is distant from the urban centers often relegates the issue to a lower priority. In Peru’s major cities the public is most concerned about the impact of drug trafficking and the effect of drug abuse among youth. There is a growing awareness of the damage that illicit drug cultivation and production causes to the environment. According to DEVIDA, the Government of Peru’s (GOP) drug policy entity, Peru has lost 2.5 million ha of land to deforestation in the last three decades, experienced the erosion of 30 cubic meters annually per hectare of coca cultivated, and suffered from the dumping of 118 million liters of precursor chemicals in forests and streams over the past five years.

Drug addiction is also a serious social problem in Peru, but the number of treatment and rehabilitation centers throughout the country falls far short of what is needed to treat the estimated 200,000 addicts nationwide.

Peru has a national counternarcotics strategy but does not devote sufficient resources to its implementation or for counternarcotics operations. In 2010, the Peruvian government began to absorb the cost of aviation fuel for eradication operations. Eradication remains controversial in coca-growing areas and coca growers engaged in violent acts to resist it in 2010, including attacking police and eradicators, blocking major roads, and seizing a power station. Remnants of the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path, or SL) in the Upper Huallaga Valley (UHV) and in the Apurimac and Ene River Valley (VRAE) are reliant on drug trafficking for funding and are also active in ambushing and killing police and military personnel. Two police officers and three eradicators were killed in 2010. Since 2006, 35 Peruvian National Police (PNP) officers and three Control and Reduction of Coca in the Upper Huallaga (CORAH) employees have been killed in attacks. Despite these violent incidents, the Peruvian Government did not give in to protestors’ demands and the eradication program continued without pause.

Peru is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In 2010, U.S.-supported police academies in Santa Lucia, Mazamari, and Ayacucho graduated 874 PNP officers. An additional 600 candidates graduated from special schools that prepare students to enter the police academies; of these, 127 were women and 14 were indigenous minorities. As a result of this intensive training, by 2010, 2,048 counternarcotics police (DIRANDRO) were operating in coca source zones east of the Andes.

The Office of the Attorney General (Public Ministry) continued its efforts to strengthen its prosecutorial capacity by increasing staff and providing training on the new Criminal Procedure Code. By the end of 2010, the 2007 Code, which moves the Peruvian legal system from the inquisitorial system to the adversarial system, and is designed to expedite the way drug cases are prosecuted, had been implemented in 16 judicial districts out of 29 nationwide. Implementation in the remaining districts is expected by the end of 2013, with Lima anticipated to be the final judicial district to implement the code. On August 31, the Minister of Justice announced the suspension of the implementation of the new code until Congress could evaluate the benefits of the code in the fight against organized crime and until more resources could be identified to aid in the rollout. At the end of September, a new calendar for the rollout was approved through Supreme Decree outlining the implementation schedule of the remaining 13 districts; however, on September 17, the Congress issued a law approving the application of the new code nationwide for all public corruption cases.

Institutional disputes affected cooperation among the Peruvian Customs (SUNAT), Coast Guard (DICAPI-Naval Maritime and Riverine Authority), Autoridad Portuaria Nacional (APN-Sea and River Ports Management Authority), and Peruvian National Police (PNP). Additional GOP resources are also needed to give the country the capability to mount a more credible interdiction force to combat maritime, land border, and airport cocaine shipments.

In 2010, the Garcia administration placed a high priority on achieving economic growth and focusing law enforcement efforts on domestic crime within its major cities and provinces as well as coca grower and Sendero Luminoso activities. The GOP placed less of an emphasis on dismantling and disrupting major drug trafficking organizations. It continued to rely heavily on USG counternarcotics assistance to maintain police academies and police bases focused on counternarcotics efforts, to fund eradication efforts, and provide aerial support and fund operations and equipment for counternarcotics police. The GOP designated approximately $33.2 million for DEVIDA’s counternarcotics programs, of which approximately $8.2 million was intended for mobile checkpoints to control precursor chemicals in the UHV and VRAE.

Peru is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol; the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances; the 1988 UN Drug Convention; the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters; the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption; the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols; and the UN Convention Against Corruption. 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 any probationary period in Peru before being eligible for extradition. Among the 11 pending U.S. extradition and provisional arrests, four are related to narcotics trafficking. Five subjects of extradition requests remain at large. Three Peruvians were extradited to the U.S. on drug and money laundering charges in 2009; one Peruvian was extradited to the U.S. on drug and money laundering charges in 2010. In November 2009, Peru signed separate bilateral agreements with the Government of Mexico and the Government of Brazil to increase intelligence sharing and cooperation on counternarcotics matters.

In September 2010, one Peruvian was extradited from Peru to the U.S. for his involvement in smuggling between 15 to 20 metric tons (MT) of cocaine from Peru to Mexico between 2005 and 2007.

In September 2010, the PNP and DICAPI culminated a year-long investigation by seizing 3.1 MT of cocaine aboard a Mexican-flagged fishing vessel and arresting 23 suspects, including 10 members of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. This was the most prominent evidence of Mexican-led maritime cocaine smuggling operations in Peru since February 2009, when Mexican police seized 7 MT of cocaine aboard the fishing vessel Polar I, which likely had been loaded in the Peruvian port of Callao. Further Mexican activity in Peru by the Los Zetas cartel was confirmed with a December 2010 seizure of 66 kg of cocaine aboard a Peruvian fishing vessel, in which four Peruvians, two Mexicans, and two Colombians were arrested.

2. Supply Reduction

The official USG estimate for 2009 indicated that 40,000 ha of coca were under cultivation in Peru, a figure slightly below the 2008 level of 41,000 ha. The United Nations Office of Drug Control (UNODC) uses a different methodology and estimates there were 59,000 ha of coca under cultivation in 2009 in Peru. However, due to more mature coca fields, this past year estimated potential cocaine production increased to 225 MT of pure cocaine, or 245 MT of less pure export-quality cocaine. Density of coca cultivation per hectare has remained stable, as has the efficiency of alkaloid extraction from coca leaves, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Approximately 45 percent of coca cultivation and 59 percent of potential cocaine were found to be in Sendero Luminoso areas of operation.

In 2010, authorities eradicated 12,033 ha of illicit coca in the UHV and the Ucayali department, a figure higher than the 10,000 ha target set at the beginning of the year. Eradication efforts this year focused on the Huanuco, Ucayali, and San Martin departments in central Peru. Throughout the year, coca growers and their leadership pressured the GOP to halt or limit eradication, but their disarray made the protests more a distraction than an effective impediment to counternarcotics efforts. A week-long strike and road blocks in early October failed to bring about a cessation in eradication. Day-to-day coordination among drug police, aviation components, and eradicators permitted eradication to continue at an optimum pace, and CORAH counter-measures mitigated the possibility of attacks against eradicators.

In 2010, the PNP eradicated approximately 21.5 ha of opium poppy and seized 17 kg of opium latex. The PNP reported instances of opium latex, intercepted at Lima’s international airport, being couriered by “drug mules” and/or mailed to European destinations.

2010 is the sixth year that the GOP has increased DIRANDRO personnel in source zones, contributing to more effective and sustained eradication and interdiction operations. Traffickers use large production laboratories and storage areas to prepare and store cocaine, which is then transported from coca production zones, primarily in the UHV and VRAE, to Peru’s coastal and border areas for further processing and distribution.

Maritime smuggling is the primary method for transporting multi-ton loads of cocaine. Colombians and Mexicans operate drug transportation networks in Peru, shipping cocaine to Colombia, Mexico, and the Caribbean. U.S. law enforcement agencies and their host nation counterparts from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand report that Peruvian cocaine trafficking and transportation organizations also operate in the Far East.

In joint investigations with U.S. law enforcement during 2010, DIRANDRO identified and disrupted major international cocaine trafficking organizations responsible for maritime and air shipment of metric tons of cocaine to U.S., South American, and European markets, as well as cross-border trafficking over land and rivers. The PNP continues to make headway against Peru-based organizations, but sustained progress will require the expenditure of greater resources.

As reported by the Peruvian Government, by the end of November, approximately 13 MT of cocaine paste and 16 MT of cocaine hydrochloride (HCl) had been seized in 2010. Peruvian law enforcement officials also reported seizing 3.4 MT of marijuana. In addition, DIRANDRO destroyed 1,148 cocaine-production laboratories, including 18 HCl and 1,130 base laboratories in the UHV and the VRAE.

PNP and Peruvian Customs (SUNAT) authorities seized 11.1 MT of cocaine in maritime counterdrug enforcement operations during 2010. Of an estimated one million containers that passed through Peruvian ports, SUNAT personnel inspected approximately 4,500 containers, down from the 5,400 containers inspected in 2009. The decrease in container searches was due in part to SUNAT operational changes as it adjusts and develops strategies to operate non-intrusive inspection equipment. Although some inspections are conducted at random, most follow intelligence provided by a joint PNP-SUNAT manifest review task force, which analyzes export cargo and coordinates with the Public Ministry so that PNP elements can conduct counternarcotics interdiction and investigations at Peruvian ports of entry.

PNP and SUNAT also interdicted 2.18 MT of cocaine and arrested 424 individuals at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport, including 98 internal drug carriers. Nearly 10,000 passengers were submitted to inbound and outbound body scan x-rays searches to detect illicit narcotics and currency. Exams are at times performed at random, but most follow intelligence provided by the joint PNP-SUNAT task force.

In addition, the PNP-SUNAT Maritime Task Force conducts profile exams from analysis of export cargo at the Callao seaport. The task force coordinates with the Public Ministry so that PNP elements can ultimately interdict narcotics at Peruvian ports of entry.

Authorities discovered narcotics concealed within 122 international air cargo shipments at SERPOST locations. Unable to confirm individuals’ identity as packages are delivered for export, GOP authorities rarely arrested those responsible. SERPOST will be testing a fingerprint identification device linked to a national database (RENIEC) to confirm people’s identity immediately, thus establishing ownership of the packages being mailed.

In 2010, the PNP arrested[1] high-ranking SL members, including Edgar Mejia Ascencio (aka “Izula”), believed to be the number two leader in the organization in the Huallaga Valley, and Efrain Santa Maria Trinidad (aka “Luis”). The PNP also killed several SL members during counterterrorist operations, including Victor Raul Vasquez Santa Cruz (aka “Ruben”), reputed to have assassinated political leaders in the Huallaga area, Mario Antonio Sifuentes Sandoval (aka “Sergio”), and Teodorico Penadillo Carmen (aka “Rayo”). These actions should result in reducing the operational capacity of the SL in the Huallaga Valley proper. Police also arrested the SL financial manager in the VRAE, Oscar Montes Perez (aka “Negro” or “Oscar”). In 2010, Victor Quispe Palomino and Florindo Eleuterio Flores-Hala (aka “Artemio”), leaders of Sendero Luminoso’s strongest factions in the VRAE and UHV respectively, were added as targets of the State Department Narcotics Rewards Program with rewards of up to $5 million offered for their arrest and/or conviction.

The Alternative Development (AD) element of the counternarcotics program continued to consolidate its previous gains in the coca-growing regions. A total of 28,185 farmers received technical assistance to maintain 47,190 ha of licit crops, including 12,181 ha of new crops installed in 2010. Local producer associations gained strength as membership increased with the expanding acreage of licit crops and as producers received customized technical assistance on business administration and marketing strategies. As a result, total sales of these crops were $34 million in 2010, generating 13,865 equivalent full-time jobs, 18 percent of which were for women. More evidence of the AD impact is substantiated by a continual increase in licit incomes of participant families, which jumped by 24 percent from 2009 to 2010. Poverty levels of direct beneficiaries decreased by 25 percent, from 65.7 percent in 2008 to 49 percent in 2010. Most importantly, the commitment to leading a coca-free life has firmly taken root across a broad-section of people in AD regions, as more than 70 percent of direct beneficiaries convey that coca should be eliminated.

In light of the success in San Martin, and following the results of a recent programmatic evaluation, USAID will continue working in this region to consolidate gains, emphasizing alliances with the private sector and transferring AD activities to regional and local governments, farmer associations, and other agents. At the same time, the program’s resources are being redeployed to newly eradicated areas in other regions, under the post-eradication strategy. This model is now being implemented in Ucayali, under which several dozen communities have thus far signed coca non-replanting agreements involving approximately 1,000 new families and programming the installation of 2,000 hectares of cacao.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

DEVIDA is the organization responsible for various media campaigns to inform public opinion about drug abuse. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) do most of the work educating, researching, and providing statistical information. Most local/public schools have drug awareness education in the large cities, but drug use prevention programs are lacking in the regional education system and at the university level. Abuse of marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and synthetic drugs (most notably Ecstasy) has been increasing in Peru in recent years. According to the Information and Education Center for the Prevention of Drug Abuse (CEDRO), a Peruvian NGO, most illegal drug use is marijuana (668,972 users), preferred by the younger population, followed by coca paste (254,846), and cocaine (191,135). While the latest (2007) GOP statistics show a slight decrease in synthetic drug abuse, a 2009 Andean Community of Nations study reported synthetic drug abuse was a growing trend among high school and university students. The number of treatment and rehabilitation centers throughout the country is low. The treatment facilities and number of beds (700) offered by the GOP Ministry of Health do not cover the number of services estimated to be required by the population of addicts (some 100,000 cocaine addicts and 130,000 marijuana addicts).

The USG funds NGOs in the development of 35 community anti-drug coalitions (CAC) targeting poor, at-risk communities in Lima, Callao, Pucallpa, Huanuco, Tingo Maria, Ayacucho, and Tocache. The CAC model is one of a formal organization of all sectors of a community working towards long-term, sustainable solutions and activities to reduce drug use at the community level. The CACs have proven effective in addressing community-specific drug demand issues, especially among youth.

The number of mental health hospitals working with drug addiction is limited. There are a growing number of private treatment and rehabilitation centers in main cities, but in most of the cases these centers lack expert supervision. There are eight private clinics that provide treatment programs for teenagers and youth, weekend services treatment, and outpatient services. There are approximately 20 formal therapeutic communities (TC) treatment centers, of which four are specifically for female addicts. It is estimated that there are about 150 informal treatment centers operated by recovered addicts with no medical or expert supervision. There are a few faith-based organizations that work with drug addicts by providing counseling services to drug users.

The GOP Ministry of Health has been working on regulations to standardize treatment and rehabilitation centers, including the professional TC services. A few major prisons have established treatment and rehabilitation programs for youth, men, women, and their children.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the GOP 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. However, in the Sixth National (Peru) Survey on Corruption compiled by Ipsos Apoyo in August 2010, more than half of the Peruvian population, 51 percent, thought corruption is one of the biggest problems in the country, and about 80 percent perceived the country as corrupt or very corrupt. Forty-five percent of the population believes the police are corrupt.

In January 2010, the Attorney General created a Coordination Office for the Specialized Anti-narcotics Prosecutors and an Office of Risk and Analysis. The Coordination Office will coordinate, direct, supervise and evaluate the execution of institutional policy on drug trafficking and serve as a liaison between national and international organisms. The Office of Risk and Analysis will manage information related to crimes such as drug trafficking, illegal chemical precursors and money laundering and elaborate statistics.

The Public Ministry, the judicial system, and the National Police are implementing new procedures to investigate internal corruption cases. The Ministry of Interior announced a special telephone line for the public to report cases of corruption. To reinforce the fight against corruption, the Public Ministry established a Victims and Witness Protection Program to provide assistance, such as establishing a new identity in a new location, to prosecution witnesses and victims in serious criminal cases. New legislation also protects persons who report corruption in government, and the New Criminal Procedure Code will take effect nationwide at the end of January 2011 for crimes committed by public officials. The Peruvian Congress is in the process of investigating former Minister of Interior Fernando Barrios for corruption. His case could be prosecuted under the New Criminal Procedure Code, depending on the progress of the investigation.

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

The USG supports the GOP’s efforts to strengthen their governmental and non-governmental institutional capacity and this includes increased GOP funding so it can assume greater responsibility for counternarcotics programs. With the GOP’s strong economic growth, including foreign currency reserves of more than $40 billion, the U.S. has proposed that the GOP increase support for counternarcotics efforts.

The first strong indication of GOP readiness to participate in this process has come from the Aviation Police (DIRAVPOL) and the Peruvian Air Force (FAP). In 2010, the GOP assumed the cost of the aviation fuel required to conduct helicopter and fixed-wing operations in support of manual eradication and interdiction. DIRAVPOL spearheaded the effort to reprogram funding and obtain the required ministerial resolutions that authorized the spending of the $3.2 million to purchase the fuel. This nationalization effort will culminate in March 2012 with the GOP assuming full responsibility for manning and maintaining the fueling equipment and installations at all five counternarcotics operating bases.

In May 2010, the USG and GOP signed Operational Procedures, which allow the Boarding and Inspecting Vessels Suspected of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances between the Peruvian National Maritime Authority (Peruvian Coast Guard General Director) and the United States Coast Guard. These procedures ensure that appropriate notifications and communications are made between the participants, and established a process to board and inspect vessels suspected of illicit trafficking.

Meanwhile, the USG continues to support programs that strengthen governance and create opportunities for legal activities in areas where drug traffickers and terrorists operate. In addition, the USG assists in aggressive eradication, interdiction, and control of precursor chemicals, coupled with alternative development, to reduce dependence on illicit coca cultivation. The USG also provides support for GOP efforts to improve its counter-terrorism efforts and publicize the links between drug production and common crime so that Peruvians understand that drug trafficking degrades the quality of their lives, damages the environment, and threatens economic development. Although there has been some growth in GOP institutions’ ability to deal with narcotics issues, significant improvement still needs to be made.

In 2010, the USG continued to work with the GOP on counternarcotics operations in the major drug source zones of the UHV and the VRAE. The PNP received USG assistance to increase police presence and improve police operational capabilities in these areas by supporting and renewing existing police bases and enhancing police training. The USG also supported Peruvian Air Force (FAP) Joint Anti-Drug C-26 Air Squadron counternarcotics reconnaissance operations east of the Andes, which used Forward Looking INFRA-RED (FLIR) to map suspected clandestine runways and update the status of known airstrips as well as provide imaging for combined counter-drug exercises. The FAP C-26s also provided critical overhead real-time coverage for eradication workers, eradication police, and army personnel in the field.

Peru’s law enforcement organizations recognize the importance of joint operations with other countries. PNP DIRANDRO units have participated in joint operations with neighboring countries and drug enforcement strategy conferences to address drug trafficking along Peru’s borders with Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador, such as the International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) hosted by Brazil in 2010. The GOP also hosted the United Nations’ twentieth meeting of Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA) in October.

Other U.S. government-provided training included maritime law enforcement and container inspection. With U.S. support, DIRANDRO commanders and field personnel received specialized counternarcotics courses and refresher courses in advanced airport drug interdiction and chemical field testing. Law enforcement officials from other Andean countries also participated in the training courses, which contributed to regional cooperation in drug investigations and interdiction.

D. Conclusion

The GOP’s assumption of financial responsibility for aviation fuel for counternarcotics operations in 2010 is a step in the right direction, but the GOP will have to devote significantly more resources of its own to fight drug trafficking and focus more efforts on dismantling and disrupting major trafficking organizations. The GOP’s five-year counternarcotics strategy comes to an end in 2011, and it will develop its plan for the next five years. In that process, the USG will continue its engagement with GOP policymakers on the leading role of the GOP.

The USG encourages the GOP to maintain its core commitments to eradication, interdiction, and alternative development to reduce coca cultivation and cocaine production. The GOP’s five-year counternarcotics strategy appropriately emphasized control and interdiction of precursor chemicals, drug seizures, reduction in coca cultivation, enforcement of money-laundering laws, demand reduction, and improvement of local economic conditions by introducing development alternatives to reduce dependency on coca cultivation.

The results, however, have been mixed but have delivered progress in key areas. The contrast between the results in San Martin, where the eradication/alternative development model has dramatically reduced illicit coca cultivation to insignificant levels, and the unabated production in the Monzon and Apurimac and Ene River Valleys is an example.

Peru Statistics













Net Cultivation* (ha)

In progress











Eradication (ha)



10, 143









Leaf: Potential Harvest ( MT)*

In progress











HCl: Potential (MT)*

In progress























Coca Leaf (MT)**


1,016 **










Coca Paste (MT)












Cocaine (HCl) (MT)


10.4 l










Combined HCl & Base (MT)












Arrest/ Detentions












Total Labs Destroyed












Cocaine HCl (labs)












Base (labs)












Net cultivation, Leaf Potential Harvest, and HCl Potential figures are based on CNC estimates.
** In 2007 the basis of reporting coca leaf seizure was shifted from total for just "dry leaf" to dry leaf plus "macerated leaf."
*** Revised


A. Introduction

The Philippines continues to face challenges in the areas of drug production, drug trafficking, and internal drug consumption. The primary drug threat faced by the Philippines continues to be the importation, manufacture, and abuse of methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as “shabu” in the Philippines. Philippine law enforcement has been successful in eliminating the large-scale clandestine methamphetamine “super” laboratories discovered in past years during investigations against transnational drug trafficking organizations operating in the Philippines. During 2010, no “super” labs were detected; transnational criminal groups have apparently moved to establish smaller-scale clandestine methamphetamine laboratories that are typically easier to conceal. Philippine law enforcement agencies have been successful in interdicting at the Port of Manila several chemical precursor shipments suspected to be destined for these kinds of methamphetamine laboratories.

Despite the success of enforcement efforts against the domestic methamphetamine laboratories, high grade methamphetamine produced in other countries continues to be smuggled into the Philippines by transnational drug traffickers. During 2010, the majority of the seized methamphetamine in the Philippines appeared to have been of foreign origin.

Although methamphetamine remains the primary drug of choice in the Philippines, marijuana is the second-most abused drug. In addition, many drug users have shifted to using inhalants, the third most commonly abused substance.

On December 14, 2009, approximately 1.9 tons of South American cocaine was jettisoned from a Chinese vessel in international waters off Eastern Samar Province by drug traffickers, who were reportedly in fear of being apprehended after they believed they had been compromised. Community education programs and seizures by Philippine law enforcement agencies led to the recovery of approximately 584 kilograms of the cocaine during the year, but the remote nature of Samar and security concerns have hampered complete recovery efforts. (Efforts to recover the jettisoned cocaine included the government’s offer of a large sack of rice in exchange for every brick of cocaine found and surrendered to authorities.) Some of this cocaine, apparently recovered illicitly and trafficked to major urban areas, has resulted in a proliferation of cocaine use during 2010, including several high-profile smaller-scale seizures and arrests. However, the current price of cocaine $106 per gram) remains atypically cheaper than methamphetamine hydrochloride by weight, which continues to be the drug most commonly abused in the Philippines.

In addition to importation and consumption of illegal drugs for the domestic market, the Philippines also serves on occasion as a transshipment point. During 2010, Philippine authorities at NAIA (Manila’s Main International Airport) detected and arrested 12 couriers attempting to depart the Philippines with relatively small quantities of drugs. In August 2010, an arrest at NAIA by Bureau of Customs personnel yielded 7 kilograms of methamphetamine transiting the Philippines en route to Hong Kong. Philippine authorities worked with DEA during the year to conduct investigations into drug couriers attempting to smuggle methamphetamine from Manila to Guam.

Numerous arrests in South America and Asia during 2010 showed an increasing trend of Philippine citizens acting as drug couriers. It appears that these couriers were employed by international drug syndicates, and typically carried drugs from South America to Asia – although the drugs were generally not destined for the Philippines. As of August 2010, 626 Filipinos had been arrested for drug trafficking offenses in other countries.

During 2010, lack of judicial reform and slow progress in drug cases continued a trend of very low conviction rates for drug cases. The government recognized problems with the judicial sector and is considering several reforms. The Philippines is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Philippine government is implementing a counternarcotics master plan known as the National Anti-Drug Strategy. The Strategy is executed by the National Anti-Drug Program of Action and contains provisions for counternarcotics law enforcement, drug treatment and prevention, and internal cooperation in counternarcotics, all of which are objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Philippine drug enforcement efforts are primarily conducted by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the lead counternarcotics agency, with the cooperation of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Bureau of Customs.

During 2010, PDEA continued to establish itself as the lead drug enforcement agency by increasing coordination and cooperation with other Philippine government security forces, notably in regional offices, as well as with the U.S. and other foreign counterparts. However, PDEA continues to be hampered by lack of personnel and resources; some of its staff consists of officers on loan from other agencies. Despite the lack of resources and personnel, PDEA continues to develop as a law enforcement agency and to pursue investigations aggressively. PDEA focused on the recovery of the Samar cocaine. As of November 2010, the recovery of approximately 584 kilograms of the 1 9 MT East Samar cocaine (ca. one-quarter) has been accomplished primarily due to the PDEA-led efforts.

During 2010 the PNP continued to pursue the establishment of a permanent drug unit inside the PNP, although at present the drug investigative units remain temporary task forces, creating challenges for close coordination with PDEA. Despite its task-force status, PNP AIDSOTF continued to conduct significant and successful investigations and to cooperate effectively with U.S. and other foreign counterparts. In May 2010, a PNP AIDSOTF operation led to the seizure of two seaborne containers of chemicals and laboratory equipment intended for production of methamphetamine. An AIDSOTF operation in September 2010 resulted in the seizure of 24 kilograms of foreign origin methamphetamine in metropolitan Manila.

The NBI continued to maintain a small, but highly effective, drug unit. During 2010, they conducted investigations which revealed possible links between Filipino political figures and the Samar cocaine. In addition, NBI maintained excellent cooperation with U.S. DEA.

In an effort to increase convictions in drug cases, the Philippine Supreme Court’s Judiciary Academy, in partnership with DDB, conducted a series of seminar-workshops on the Dangerous Drugs Law for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement personnel nationwide. The workshops identified problems encountered in prosecuting drug-related cases, and presented solutions to such problems, including improved methods of identifying, gathering, handling, presenting, and using evidence, as well as training for law enforcement personnel in arrests, searches, and seizures.

In the Philippine Congress, deliberation continues on the creation of an Office of the Special Prosecutor for Dangerous Drugs (OSPDD) that would speed up judicial processes in narcotics-related cases. The OSPDD would have exclusive jurisdiction over drug cases, and be independent of political influence.

During 2010, the Philippine Congress worked to improve the Witness Protection Law, in an effort to prevent the recantation or substantial alteration of testimony by vital witnesses in criminal offenses, and to penalize law enforcement personnel and other government officials who refuse to testify as prosecution witnesses in criminal proceedings.

According to the DDB, 8 percent of drug cases are dismissed before going to trial; 7 percent result in conviction; 8 percent result in acquittal; while 76 percent remain unresolved. Drug cases are often dismissed due to technicalities such as irregularity or illegality of arrest, non-appearance of witnesses, inconsistent testimonies of witnesses, mishandling of evidence, and unreliable police laboratories. In March 2010, authorities arrested a Chinese national for drug trafficking who had been released in 2009 due to such technicalities in a 2007 drug trafficking case. In October 2010, the court permanently dismissed a two-year drug case against the son of the Mayor of Manila because witnesses failed to appear at trial.

According to the DDB and local municipal officials, drug traffickers contracted with indigenous groups in remote mountainous locations in Luzon and Mindanao to arrange contract cultivation of marijuana crops that were subsequently trafficked by the big-city criminals. In addition to conducting educational programs on the implications of marijuana cultivation, the government implemented rural development and alternative livelihood programs to offer such indigenous persons sustainable income-generating activities such as silk production, abaca farming, planting of edible malunggay trees (Moringa oleifera), and propagation of bamboo for the production of fiber, and fabric, and handicrafts. The success of these efforts has been limited due to lack of funds, the remoteness of the locations, and resultant poor access to markets.

During 2010, the Philippine government created the Drug Couriers’ Task Force under the leadership of PDEA to stop the recruitment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by international drug traffickers as drug couriers. Task Force members include the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Bureau of Immigration and Customs, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Information Agency, Manila International Airport Authority, and the Philippine Tourism Authority. This group is also tasked with conducting an anti-drug media campaign, and prosecuting members of international drug syndicates operating in the Philippines. The Drug Couriers Task Force also works with other nations’ counterpart agencies to undertake bilateral or regional actions to counter the use of OFWs as drug carriers. In March 2010, PDEA coordinated an operation with authorities in Malaysia and China which resulted in arrests and drug seizures in China, but the PDEA’s limited resources pose a problem for such operations in the future.

With increasing numbers of inhalant users, many of whom are unemployed and impoverished, the DDB reinforced strict implementation of a law that requires adding at least 5 percent mustard oil to toluene-based contact cement, to discourage its use as an intoxicant.

In recent years, escalating costs have been a factor in declining numbers of admissions to rehabilitation centers. During 2010, Congress worked to make rehabilitation programs free of charge for drug-abuse victims by including the cost of rehabilitation in the country’s health insurance coverage (known as “Philhealth”).

The Philippines is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, as well as to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention. The Philippines is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols, and the UN Convention against Corruption. The U.S. and the GRP continue to cooperate in law enforcement matters through a bilateral extradition treaty and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

2. Supply Reduction

PDEA reports that from January to November 2010, authorities seized 222 kilograms of methamphetamine, valued at $49 million; 1,988 kilograms of processed marijuana leaves and buds, valued at $2.5 million; 17,104,052 plants (including seedlings), valued at $75.9 million; 584 kilograms of cocaine, valued at$61.9 million; 44 tablets of Ecstasy, valued at $1,182; and 30 grams of Ephedrine, valued at $10,827. From January to November 2010, authorities dismantled seven clandestine laboratories, eradicated 196 marijuana plantations, and arrested 6,435 individuals for drug-related offenses. By comparison, in 2009 Philippine authorities seized $167.1 million in narcotics, dismantled nine clandestine laboratories and three warehouses, eradicated 187 marijuana plantations, and arrested 9,052 individuals for drug-related offenses.

Based on figures for arrests, raids, and seizures, ethnic Chinese organized crime groups continued to be the primary organizers and financers of methamphetamine trafficking in the Philippines.

In January 2010, police arrested three Chinese nationals in a raid on a small, kitchen-type clandestine laboratory in a metropolitan Manila housing subdivision. In October, 2010 a kitchen-type clandestine laboratory was discovered in a house in General Santos City, Mindanao following reports from neighbors of foul odors coming from the house. Authorities seized about one-half million dollars worth of drugs and laboratory equipment, including 300 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a hydro generator capable of producing up to a kilo of narcotics at a time, and precursor chemicals. In September 2010, authorities seized some 24 kilos of high-grade methamphetamine hydrochloride worth $2.7 million during a raid on an apartment of Chinese nationals in Quezon City, metropolitan Manila.

Smuggling of illegal drugs into the country through its international airports remains a problem. The majority of smugglers arrested were Malaysians, Koreans, and Chinese. In June 2010, a Malaysian national was arrested at the Manila airport with $1 million dollars worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride in his bag. In August 2010, one Malaysian national was arrested and another escaped as airport authorities seized more than 14 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride, worth more than $3 million. In October, 2010, a Hong Kong resident was caught smuggling one kilo of heroin stuffed inside a children’s book at Manila’s international airport.

The street price of methamphetamine hydrochloride in the Philippines is $221 per gram. According to a PDEA provincial director, the methamphetamine hydrochloride supply in the provinces comes from metropolitan Manila.

The Philippines produces and consumes marijuana. A high share of marijuana cultivation occurs in mountainous regions of Luzon and Mindanao, often in remote publicly-owned areas inaccessible to vehicles. In 2010, law enforcement achieved significant success in eradicating marijuana plantations and interdicting marijuana shipments, despite a lack of government resources.

In the Cordilleras Autonomous Region (northeastern Luzon), 14 barangays (villages) were declared free of marijuana and other illicit drugs; law enforcement authorities headed by PDEA have focused on eliminating marijuana and other drugs from an additional 81 barangays.

The “Golden Green Triangle” in mountainous northern Luzon has long been well-known for marijuana production and trafficking. For 40 years, marijuana cultivation was carried out openly in Santol, La Union (northern Luzon), which was often considered the largest source of marijuana in the Philippines. In a recent joint operation involving PDEA, PNP, AFP, and local government, an estimated 90 percent of marijuana plantations in the Santol area were neutralized. Marijuana eradication efforts in August 2010 in other areas of northern Luzon resulted in the destruction of some 539,000 marijuana plants and seedlings valued at $2.1 million.

Throughout 2010, cocaine from the 1.9-ton cocaine shipment jettisoned in waters off the Samar coast continued to surface, and has reached metropolitan Manila, northern Luzon, and Mindanao. It is likely that drug traffickers have hidden caches from which they are supplying local drug dealers in metropolitan Manila, Cebu, Baguio, and Mindanao.

Although provincial authorities do not possess the necessary assets to exercise control over provincial shores, local leaders have teamed with law enforcement agencies, maritime police, Philippine Port Authority, and the Philippine Coast Guard to increase monitoring of coastal areas.

During August 2010, the Bureau of Customs was involved in three significant seizures of precursor chemicals at Manila’s North Harbor, at least one of which was detected due to anomalies that arose during routine screening of shipping containers. The concealed chemicals were likely destined for clandestine drug laboratories in the Philippines.

Drug distributors continue to recruit and exploit children as drug runners. The law protects children below 18 years old from prosecution, and children often return to illegal drug activities after leaving youth rehabilitation centers. In addition, senior citizens were recruited and used as drug runners because of a misconception that the elderly could seek clemency and probation in case of arrest. According to PDEA, local drug groups recruit distributors from among impoverished local communities.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

According to the latest Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) survey in 2008, the estimated number of drug users in the Philippines is 1.7 million. As of August 2010, there are 1,236 patients in drug rehabilitation centers. Approximately 68 percent are new admittances; some 16 percent are readmissions, while 17 percent are in treatment as outpatients. The Philippines has 57 residential and 4 nonresidential rehabilitation facilities; three additional rehabilitation facilities are under construction, and should be ready by early 2011. The goal of the DDB is to have a rehabilitation center in every region.

DDB continued implementing and monitoring its preventive education programs, including the national Drug Education Program, Family Drug Prevention Program, Peer Group Against Drugs program, National Youth Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention Education, Random Drug Testing Program, Drug-Free Workplace Program, and ongoing capacity-building programs. In November 2010, DDB and the Civil Service Commission initiated orientation seminar on the promotion of a drug-free workplace program for national government agencies, local government universities, state colleges, and universities. The drug-free workplace program prescribes quarterly drug tests for all employees and additional tests as a requirement for promotion; pre-employment drug testing is mandatory when there is any history of drug use, involvement in accidents, or discovery of illegal drug paraphernalia.

Throughout 2010, provincial government officials were aggressive in identifying local communities – often low-cost housing projects -- most seriously affected by the proliferation of illegal drugs. In addition to vigorous efforts on the part of law enforcement personnel, local government officials worked with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Department of Education, and Department of Labor and Employment to develop a rigorous anti-drug awareness campaign in these communities.

PDEA regional offices conducted narcotics awareness seminars, conferences, local TV/radio appearances, and press releases outlining the dangers of illicit drug use. In Region I alone (Ilocos Norte/Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, in northwestern Luzon), PDEA conducted anti-drug lectures and seminars for more than 20,000 individuals between January and November, 2010.

DDB maintains a 24-hr./day hotline and walk-in center for persons with information or concerns relating to drug abuse or narcotics trafficking. There are mobile phone numbers available for anonymous reporting of drug offenses.

4. Corruption

Corruption remains a problem in the Philippines, particularly at local levels among lower-ranking government officials. During 2010, PDEA filed administrative charges against three local prosecutors because of alleged mishandling of drug cases, and assisted in numerous arrests of local elected officials and candidates for drug trafficking. In January, a candidate for mayor of Mandaluyong City (metropolitan Manila) was apprehended while attempting to sell five packets of cocaine to an undercover agent. Reports of local law enforcement officials involved in drug trafficking continued, as demonstrated by the arrest of PNP officers for cocaine trafficking during 2010.

According to a PDEA Regional Director, 8 out of 12 candidates who were believed to be supported by persons involved in drug trafficking won elections in the Western Visayas in October 2010 barangay (village) elections. He added that there were also drug-tainted local candidates in the May 2010 national elections, but that none of those candidates had won. In the Regional Director’s view, local drug-trafficking rings’ assistance to sympathetic local candidates reflected a shift in strategy, from infiltrating and influencing law enforcement personnel and prosecutors, to influencing government policymakers.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has instituted a campaign against illicit drug use via a series of seminars for newly-elected village officials, and mandated that a percentage of the village budget be appropriated for drug-abuse awareness campaigns, treatment, and rehabilitation. DILG has also instructed village officials to work with PDEA in identifying persons connected to the trafficking of illegal drugs.

The Philippines has criminalized officeholders’ involvement in drug trafficking through the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, which prohibits GRP officials from laundering proceeds of illegal drug actions.

As a matter of government policy, the Philippines does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking, and no senior Philippine government official is known to engage in such activity.

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

During 2010, U.S. counternarcotics assistance primarily took the form of infrastructure projects, such as the U.S.-funded construction of a new PDEA Regional Headquarters in Butuan, Mindanao, and in the form of U.S. military/DEA training events.

In 2010, DEA conducted Airport Interdiction Training for PDEA, PNP, NBI, and Bureau of Customs officials at NAIA, in order to provide needed skills to counter the growing trend of drug couriers transiting the Philippines. This DEA-sponsored training highlighted the need for further integration of law enforcement operations at NAIA. During 2010, several sizable methamphetamine seizures at NAIA demonstrated that significant quantities of methamphetamine are transiting the airport.

DEA and JIATF-West conducted four month-long training programs in different locations in the Philippines that trained approximately 150 Philippine officers from PDEA, PNP, NBI, and Customs in basic police skills. Cebu, the nation’s second-largest city and the location of an international airport and large seaport, was chosen as one training venue; DEA has identified Cebu as a strategic point for increased counternarcotics engagement.

The Interagency Counternarcotics Operations Network (ICON) was funded and constructed by JIATF West on behalf of PDEA, and consists of five facilities located throughout the Philippines that are intended to act as drug intelligence fusion centers. DEA envisions that with additional resources and greater participation of a broader spectrum of Philippine law enforcement agencies, the ICON system can be further developed to enhance interagency counternarcotics intelligence capacity and cooperation.

D. Conclusion

The Philippine government takes drug trafficking and drug abuse seriously, and has made substantial efforts to address these problems. Lack of law enforcement resources, the slow pace of judicial and investigative reform, together with a lack of interagency cooperation continue to hamper government efforts to investigate and prosecute higher echelons of drug trafficking organizations operating in the Philippines. However, despite these resource and institutional limitations, Philippine law enforcement agencies continue to pursue drug traffickers aggressively. This effort, together with drug education and rehabilitation initiatives, has led to positive results in reducing drug abuse and drug trafficking in the Philippines.

Many observers believe that if the Philippines were to increase cooperation and coordination among Philippine drug law enforcement agencies such as PDEA and PNP at the national level, through multi-agency initiatives that can draw on different agencies’ strengths and resources, it would have a very positive impact on enforcement effectiveness. One specific example of a program that might bring big dividends is an airport-focused interagency program to counter drug couriers transiting Philippine airports, and to detect and deter persons going abroad to act as drug couriers.


Although not a center of drug production, Portugal continues to be a gateway for drugs entering Europe, particularly from South America and western Africa. Drug use remains stable, despite decriminalization of personal drug use in 2001. Portugal, which is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, focuses much of its efforts on treatment and prevention. Portugal is also a member country of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Center-Narcotics (MAOC-N), headquartered in Lisbon. Few illegal drugs originate in Portugal. The vast majority of drugs used in Portugal and passing through the country originate in South America, Africa, and southwest Asia.

Drug smugglers have used Portugal as a primary gateway to Europe in recent years, a task that has been made easier by open borders among the Schengen Agreement countries and by Portugal's long coastline. However, since early 2007, Portuguese law enforcement entities have seen a significant drop in cocaine seizures and speculate that traffickers have moved to western African nations, where they use "swallower mules" to enter Europe in smaller, harder to detect packages. Additionally, it is believed that traffickers are increasingly using shipping containers, where secreted drugs are harder for law enforcement officials to identify. Some traffickers reportedly use high-speed boats in attempts to smuggle drugs into the country, and some use the Azores islands as a transshipment point. The U.S. has not been identified as a significant destination for drugs transiting through Portugal. South America remains the principle source of cocaine arriving in Portugal, usually having at least transited through Brazil and/or Venezuela before passing through Portugal. For hashish, the primary source country is Morocco, transshipped through Spain. Cocaine and heroin enter Portugal by commercial aircraft, containers, and maritime vessels. The Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium are the primary sources of ecstasy in Portugal.

Portugal decriminalized drug use for personal consumption in 2001. The law makes the "consumption, acquisition, and possession of drugs for personal use" a simple administrative offense. The decriminalization effort is widely viewed as a success. Drug use among 13- to 18-year-olds declined significantly after the new law took effect, according to the most recent national statistics (released in 2007). However, drug use did increase somewhat among older Portuguese citizens. Statistics also showed a decrease in health problems, including HIV infection, related to illicit drugs. Within the Portuguese prison system, drug use continues to be a major concern for authorities.

Portugal is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Portugal is also party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (“TOC”) and its protocols against trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling. In September 2007, Portugal ratified the UN Convention against Corruption (“CAC”). A Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) has been in force between Portugal and the U.S. since 1994. Portugal and the U.S. have been parties to an extradition treaty since 1908. Although this treaty does not cover drug trafficking, and certain financial crimes, certain of these offenses are deemed extraditable in accordance with the terms of the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the TOC and the CAC. Portugal and the U.S. have also concluded protocols to the extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties pursuant to the 2003 U.S.-EU extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements. On September 30, 2007, Portugal – along with Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom – agreed to work together as part of the MAOC-N regional initiative. As a member country, Portugal is collaborating to combat the increasing cocaine flow from South America to Europe and Africa. Since 2007, liaison officers from MAOC-N partner and observer countries, including a permanent observer from the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-South), have been bringing together their data, experiences, and contacts to coordinate counterdrug activities and provide advice on maritime and interdiction operations.

On September 30, 2007, Portugal – along with Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom – agreed to work together as part of the MAOC-N regional initiative. Since 2007, liaison officers from MAOC-N partner and observer countries, including a permanent observer from the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-South), have been bringing together their data, experiences, and contacts to coordinate counterdrug activities and provide advice on maritime interdiction operations.

Under the decriminalization law, drug users identified by law enforcement agencies are referred to the Drug Addiction Dissuasion Commission, consisting of multi-disciplinary teams that assess users and decide the most 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 several initiatives to combat drug use and addiction. Prevention programs include training sessions, awareness-raising activities, and dissemination of information through printed material. Universal drug prevention is part of the Portuguese school curriculum. In addition, in the “Safe Schools” program, law enforcement agents patrol 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.


A. Introduction

Russia is a major destination country for heroin from Afghanistan and is a user market for opium, hashish, marijuana, synthetics, and other dangerous illegal substances. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports (June 2010) that Russia is the largest single market for Afghan-origin heroin, consuming approximately 70,000 kilograms (70 MT) per year, and has the highest national level of per capita consumption of heroin. UNODC estimates that there are 1.6-1.8 million heroin users in Russia (1.3 percent of the population), among whom HIV infection rates are up to 61 percent in some regions, according to recent epidemiological surveillance. Approximately 25 percent of Afghanistan’s annual heroin production traverses neighboring Central Asian states along the so-called “northern route” to Russia. Russia’s 7000-kilometer border with Kazakhstan is roughly twice the length of the U.S.-Mexican border and is sparsely patrolled, while citizens of Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan have visa-free access to Russia. Contraband is typically carried in vehicles along the region's highway system that connects populated areas of southwestern Russia and western Siberia, often bundled with loads of agricultural produce. Couriers sometimes use the region's passenger trains and incidents involving internal body carriers or "swallowers" are also common. Russia has called on the international community to recognize the production of heroin in Afghanistan as a threat to international peace and security.

Although not as significant as the use of heroin, opium and hashish, Russian counternarcotics officials have expressed concern about increased use of synthetics and other pharmacological narcotics that are inexpensive and increasingly available in Russia. One such synthetic is desomorphine, which first appeared on the Russian market in 2003, and is as addictive as, and more toxic than, heroin. Desomorphine is easily produced at home by mixing codeine-based medications, widely available in Russia without a prescription, and household chemicals. The FSKN reports that between January and through September 2010, a total of 35 kg of desomorphine was seized. The demand at Russian pharmacies for codeine-based pharmacological preparations has increased by a factor of ten in the last five years, according to Federal Narcotics Control Service (FSKN) Director Victor Ivanov, who attributed the increase directly to demand from drug-dependent abusers. Cocaine is also used in Russia, and the supply appears to be keeping pace with a growing pool of would-be users, whose affluence makes higher priced cocaine more feasible as a recreational drug. It appears that the preferred smuggling route for cocaine continues to be by sea from South America.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), 2.5 million Russians (1.8 percent of its population) use illicit drugs on a regular basis. Russian officials estimate that there are 80,000 new drug users each year, and that more than 30,000 people die annually of drug overdoses and that another 70,000 deaths per year are drug-related. This translates to economic losses of up to 3 percent of gross national product per year, according to FSKN.

Cannabis grows wild throughout Russia (FSKN estimates 1,000,000 hectares of “wild hemp”). Wild stands of the plant and large-scale outdoor cultivation are concentrated in the Caucasus and in the Republic of Tuva and the Amur River Basin in the Russian Far East. Russia is a producer of acetic anhydride (AA), which has many licit uses, but is also an essential precursor chemical for processing heroin. Currently Russia has one factory located in Dzerhinsk that is licensed to produce AA for internal use and for export.

The Russian Government has begun to take steps to address the public health issues associated with drug use. Health education programs in schools and outreach programs for youth and other vulnerable populations incorporate messages concerning the harmful effects of drug use and the links between injecting drugs and HIV/AIDS. However, government-supported drug addiction treatment programs are ineffective and in any case not widely available.

The United States has a bilateral Treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance with Russia, signed on June 17, 1999. The United States and Russia have exchanged evidence in the past year on one significant drug-trafficking case involving a subject who was convicted on cocaine-trafficking offenses in the United States, after having been extradited from Peru; Russia was investigating his possible involvement in trading cocaine for heroin within Russia. Russia is also a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 Single Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Russia is also a party to the UN Convention Against Corruption and the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Four federal agencies in Russia conduct investigations of drug trafficking: FSKN, MVD, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Federal Customs Service (FTS). The FSKN is the primary drug enforcement agency and has an authorized staffing level of 40,000 employees, with branch offices in every region of Russia.

The Russian Government has stepped up counternarcotics efforts in the past year, particularly in the area of international cooperation to combat drug trafficking in the region in light of the challenges posed by the “northern route” for trafficking of Afghan heroin. The Government issued its “State Counternarcotics Strategy until 2020” in June 2010 by Presidential decree. The strategy enlists all levels of government and all agencies in the fight against illicit drugs. It stipulates the roles of different government agencies in counternarcotics activities, calls for improvements in efforts to reduce the supply of illegal drugs, outlines new legislation aimed at deterring drug trafficking and discusses the requirements for reducing the demand for illegal narcotics and preventing drug use. The strategy also calls for the development of a surveillance system to track trends in illegal drug trafficking and use, better state control over legal narcotics and their precursors, more attention to the medical and social services needed in order to rehabilitate drug users and for more state funding in a number of these areas.

Regarding the issue of heroin trafficking from Afghanistan, the FSKN has stepped up efforts with regional and other partners, including the U.S., to address this problem. FSKN hosted an international conference in June 2010 aimed at galvanizing cooperative action to thwart production and trafficking of Afghan heroin. In October 2010, FSKN signed a bilateral agreement with the Narcotics Control Ministry of Pakistan on counternarcotics cooperation bringing the total number of Russian bilateral counternarcotics agreements to 35. A Russian initiative to enhance cooperation among Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Russia to counter heroin production and flows from Afghanistan was launched with an inaugural meeting of the counternarcotics heads of these countries in Moscow on December 8, 2009. The delegation heads signed an agreement to increase joint training and operations.

Russia continued to mount efforts within regional organizations such as CSTO and others to further multilateral counternarcotics cooperation. The FSKN has said that its drug liaison officer in Kazakhstan will work with the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC), which has been established by the UNODC and is based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. CARICC serves as a regional focal point for communication, analysis and exchange of operational information in “real time” on cross–border crime, as well as a center for the organization and coordination of joint operations. In addition to Russia, which joined in 2009, CARICC includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Russia’s ratification of the CARICC agreement, however, remains pending in the State Duma.

As part of the NATO-Russia Council’s counternarcotics project, Russian trainers conducted training courses with Central Asian counterparts at the Domodedovo training centre of the Ministry of the Interior in Moscow. These training courses assist Central Asian police entities in combating major heroin trafficking organizations. Russia has also agreed to partner with the U.S. in implementing an OSCE project to step up capacity building for border guards in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan with a view toward increasing vigilance against illicit narcotics flows.

The FSKN has continued its efforts to implement effective monitoring of the chemical industry. Production, transportation, distribution, and import/export of controlled substances now require licensing from FSKN. Russia is a producer of several precursor chemicals including the amphetamine precursor benzyl methyl ketone (aka Phenyl-2-Propanone or P2P) the heroin precursor Acetic Anhydride (AA), and the precursor Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), a precursor in the production of Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). In Russia, the production and distribution of GBL is licensed to attempt to avoid diversion for illicit drug production.

2. Supply Reduction

The total amount of narcotics, psychotropic, and dangerous substances seized from illegal circulation in connection with criminal cases by all law enforcement agencies in 2009 was 45 tons 871 kilograms (a 20.3 percent increase in comparison to the previous year) of which FSKN seized 29 tons 529.1 kilograms and MVD seized 12 tons 740.1 kilograms. In the first nine months of 2010, the FSKN seized 27.3 tons and the MVD seized 7.9 tons, for a partial-year seizure of 35.2 tons of narcotics, psychotropic, and dangerous substances. Of the total seizures in 2009, 3.152 MT was heroin, of which 1.6 MT was seized in FSKN operations, 581 kilograms in Customs enforcement actions and the remainder (unspecified) by MVD and FSB. According to the UNODC, Russian law enforcement agencies seize approximately 4 percent of the heroin reaching Russian territory. Total hashish seized was 3.984 MT, of which FSKN seized 1.405 MT. The total amount of marijuana seized was 33.4 MT, of which FSKN seized 22.9 MT. The FSB and the Federal Customs Service combined seized a total of 276 kilograms of opium and other opiates and a total of 214 kilograms of cocaine. (Data for seizures by other agencies was unavailable.) Substances seized in smaller amounts by the FSB and Federal Customs Service included amphetamines, LSD and other types of narcotics. [NOTE: Total seizure data for CY2010 was not yet available at the time of this report.]

FSKN officials continue to be concerned about the significant increase in drug trafficking into Russia along the “northern route” following the withdrawal of Russian border guards from the Afghan/Tajik border in 2005. Russian forces had been stationed in Tajikistan after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but departed after the expiration of the agreement governing their presence.

To disrupt this trafficking, each year since 2003, law enforcement agencies of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization-CSTO (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan) have participated in “Operation Canal.” However, seizure statistics from this operation include narcotics and weapons seized in parts of the world not applicable to the identification of smuggling trends in Russia and the Central Asian countries. [NOTE: Operation CANAL expanded its contributing members to include representation from countries such as Venezuela, Columbia., Italy, Spain, Germany, China, et al. All statistics from these countries are included in the total statistics for each phase. Unfortunately, individual country reports are not available; therefore total seizure amounts (and predictive trends for Central Asia) are skewed by inclusion of activity from non-Central Asian countries.]

The Chu River Valley, which runs from Northern Kyrgyzstan into Kazakhstan, is the source of most of the foreign-grown cannabis brought into Russia. An estimated 140,000 hectares of cannabis, with a high THC content, is available free for anyone to harvest in the valley. No information has been received which would indicate a concerted effort is being made by either country, on a consistent basis, to conduct operations geared specifically to the interdiction of marijuana.

Russian counternarcotics officials continue to express concern about trends pointing toward increased use of synthetic narcotics in Russia, but little data or concrete information is available. In a September 2010 speech, FSKN Director Ivanov stated that 35 kilograms of desomorphine had been seized so far during the year, a four-fold increase over the previous year.

Russia has a legislative and financial monitoring structure that facilitates the tracking, seizure, and forfeiture of all criminal proceeds. Russian legislation provides for investigative techniques such as wiretapping, search, seizure and the compulsory production of documents. Legislation passed in 2004, entitled: "On Protection of Victims, Witnesses and Other Participants in Criminal Proceedings" extends legal protection to all parties involved in a criminal trial. Prosecutors or investigators may recommend that a judge implement witness protection measures if they learn of a threat to the life or property of a participant in a trial. Steps taken to protect a program participant could include personal and property protection, change of appearance, change of identity, relocation, and transfer to a new job. The Russian Government has issued implementing regulations and provided money from the federal budget for implementation of the legislation.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

As noted above, the Russian government has begun to take steps to address the public health issues associated with drug use. Demand reduction and drug abuse prevention are addressed at length in the National Counternarcotics Strategy, issued in June 2010. The strategy outlined 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. The few government-supported drug addiction treatment programs that do exist are generally ineffective with high rates of recidivism.

The absence of sufficient treatment options for drug users was underscored by the case of Yegor Bychkov, an anti-drug activist in central Russia who was recently sentenced to three and a half years for kidnapping drug addicts and abusing them in the name of providing forced drug treatment at the request of the addicts’ parents. This case was notable for the public outcry of support for Bychkov, who remains a controversial figure, but it also highlighted the lack of good options for drug treatment in Russia. The National Counternarcotics Strategy calls for addressing these deficiencies through augmentation and reorganization of state resources and new programs for treatment and rehabilitation of drug users.

Drug replacement therapies, such as methadone, are illegal in Russia. A few new models of cognitive therapy which expand the breadth of substance abuse programs and rehabilitation are being implemented in treatment centers in St. Petersburg and Orenburg, but substitution therapy (such as programs using methadone or buprenorphine) has not been fully explored, and remains illegal and politically sensitive. Researchers supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health have begun work in St. Petersburg to explore alternative drug treatment regimens, such as naltrexone which might be more acceptable to Russian authorities. The U.S. Agency for International Development has also recently secured additional funding from the Office of Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) to develop and implement collaborative research using naltrexone.

The National Counternarcotics Strategy also notes that insufficient employment opportunities for young people contribute to the drug problem as do insufficient leisure activities for youth in many regions. Health education programs in schools and outreach programs for youth and other vulnerable populations do incorporate messages concerning the harmful effects of drug use and the links between injecting drugs and HIV/AIDS. The government sponsors a range of public health publicity campaigns that include drug use prevention messages, for example, posters in metros, billboards and other outreach efforts, but many of these efforts are viewed as only marginally effective.

Local non-government organizations (NGOs) are also active in drug prevention activities. Healthy Russia Foundation, for example, has established, with assistance from the U.S. Government and others, a peer-to-peer outreach program that 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. The peer-to-peer program encourages youth to discuss the impact of substance abuse and introduces life skills to avoid drug use. Healthy Russia has also developed a Ministry of Education-sanctioned health education curriculum for high school students and training materials for teachers that incorporate demand reduction messages.

4. Corruption

Corruption among law enforcement officials in Russia continues to present major challenges. As a matter of government policy, the Russian Government does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior Russian officials were known to engage in, encourage, or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. However, several long-running cases of arrests of counternarcotics law enforcement officials on corruption or organized crime charges remained unresolved at year’s end. There were no new arrests of high-level law enforcement officials related to drug charges, but a number of lower level FSKN officials faced corruption-related charges during the year in at least 16 publicized cases. For example, the Deputy Head of the Novosibirsk Regional FSKN office was detained on suspicion of bribery and involvement in organized crime in November 2010.

The Investigative Committee of the General Procuracy stated in November 2008 that its investigation of the general in charge of the FSKN’s Department of Operative Support has been completed and that he would stand trial for abuse of power, accepting and paying bribes, illegal wiretapping and money laundering. In October 2009, the defense claimed that the Prosecutor General’s Office had returned the case to the Investigative Committee “for the removal of identified shortcomings.” The investigation has since been extended to January 2011 and the general has been released following two years of pre-trial detention, pending the results of the investigation.

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

U.S.-Russia counternarcotics cooperation was strengthened in 2010, particularly between DEA and FSKN, by frequent productive meetings of 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 Victor Ivanov. As a result, a number of firsts were registered during 2010 , including: the first-ever participation of FSKN officers in U.S.-based DEA training programs; two successful joint efforts to dismantle cocaine smuggling operations in both Moscow and St. Petersburg; and cases in which DEA and FSKN agents worked directly together for the first time. In May 2010, U.S. and Russian counterparts established the Northern Route Working Group (NRWG), which facilitates the exchange of intelligence and furthers joint investigations among U.S., Russian, Central Asian, and Afghan counternarcotics officials. This led to a successful October 2010 operation in Afghanistan in which Russian counternarcotics officers observed an action to eliminate four clandestine labs and seize one metric ton of heroin, and; a November joint operation in Florida involving the participation of a Russian Customs Service officer that resulted in dismantlement of an illicit pharmaceuticals trafficking ring and seizure of codeine tablets, cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

In addition to operational law enforcement cooperation, the U.S. has, since 2002, conducted a range of programs to promote counternarcotics and law enforcement cooperation with the Russian Government. These programs include a counternarcotics border project to enhance capacity of drug interdiction units along the Russian-Kazakh border and programs with the Federal Customs Service in locations vulnerable to trafficking such as St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, and Caspian and Black Sea ports. The U.S. is also partnering with Russian institutions to provide support in the areas of criminal justice reform, mutual legal assistance, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering.

At the October 21, 2010 meeting of the Counternarcotics Working Group, ONDCP Director Kerlikowske and FSKN Director Ivanov signed a joint protocol committing to further cooperation on: 1) suppressing drug flows from Afghanistan; 2) strengthening both bilateral and regional counternarcotics cooperation, including through efforts of the NRWG and CARICC; 3) implementation of the joint action plan to combat illicit financial flows connected to drug trafficking; 4) prevention of drug abuse and treatment and rehabilitation for those who use drugs; and 5) studying the feasibility and experience of drug courts in the U.S. and how they might be applied in Russia. All of these areas build on cooperative bilateral or multilateral programs begun or intensified in the last year and will contribute to the implementation of various aspects of Russia’s national counternarcotics strategy.

D. Conclusion

Russia views counternarcotics efforts as a top national priority, issued a comprehensive National Counternarcotics Strategy in June 2010 by Presidential decree, and has strengthened and deepened its counternarcotics cooperation with the United States and other countries. The National Strategy is a positive step toward establishing and assuring the required interagency coordination, legal framework and commitment of resources that are necessary to succeed in the fight against drugs not only in Russia and the region but across all international boundaries. Russia’s active participation in international, regional and bilateral counternarcotics activities and productive work in the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Counternarcotics Working Group reflects this impetus toward cooperation as do the numerous operational successes involving both U.S. and Russian law enforcement over the past year. The joint protocol signed at the October 21 meeting of the Counternarcotics Working Group lays the foundation for enhanced bilateral counternarcotics cooperation in both supply and demand reduction in the coming year. The regular high-level contacts between the Working Group’s Chairpersons, ONDCP Director Kerlikowske and FSKN Director Ivanov, continue to build on the partnership. Russia’s cooperation is essential to combating the scourge of international narcotics trafficking, and the United States is committed to continuing to promote both bilateral and multilateral cooperation and partnerships that bring results.

Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no appreciable drug production and is not a significant transit country for drugs. Saudi Arabia’s conservative cultural and religious norms discourage drug abuse. Nonetheless, drug abuse and trafficking are on the rise and are addressed as both social and law enforcement problems. This rise in trafficking and abuse has led to increased arrests and government policy initiatives, including a new drug education curriculum, ongoing expansion of drug treatment facilities, economic development and employment programs for Saudi youth, as well as better coordination on narcotics law enforcement with neighboring countries, specifically along the Saudi-Yemeni border.

The SAG places a high priority on combating narcotics abuse and trafficking, often with harsh punishments for convicted offenders. In September, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) reported 210 drug-related arrests during the previous three months, 113 of which were of Saudi citizens. Saudi Arabia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol. Saudi Arabia is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols. Saudi Arabia has signed, but not ratified, the UN Convention Against Corruption.

SAG officials actively seek and participate in U.S.-sponsored training programs, and they are receptive to enhanced official contacts with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). As a matter of government policy, the SAG does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, nor does it encourage or facilitate the laundering of proceeds from illegal transactions. There is no evidence of SAG officials’ involvement in the production, processing, or shipment of narcotic and psychotropic drugs and other controlled substances.

The MOI’s General Directorate for Drug Control leads and coordinates the SAG’s drug interdiction efforts and has 19 overseas offices in countries representing a trafficking threat. In 2009, the government authorized Saudi participation in the Gulf Center for Criminal Intelligence, established by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to enhance counternarcotics and organized crime intelligence sharing among the six member states of the GCC. Saudi Arabia also has narcotics-related bilateral agreements with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey and security agreements including cooperation on drug trafficking issues with a number of other countries.

In 2010, the SAG hosted a regional symposium on drug control and information sharing. The widely-attended conference was a first for Saudi Arabia and demonstrated the SAG’s commitment to countering narcotics. Throughout the year, the government also conducted drug awareness campaigns targeting schools, government ministries, and shopping malls. The government continues to block internet sites deemed to promote drug abuse. The country’s influential religious establishment actively preaches against the use of narcotics and SAG treatment facilities provide free services to Saudi addicts.

The negative social perception of drug users and traffickers discourages admission of drug problems The National Committee for Combating Drugs (NCCD) directs a 12-step rehabilitation program for Saudi addicts in each of the Kingdom’s 13 provinces. The program runs between three months and two years. More than 1200 former addicts have participated in the program, which includes performing the annual pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj). According to the NCCD, only 20 former participants have relapsed to addiction.

SAG efforts to treat drug abuse are aimed solely at Saudi nationals, while expatriate substance abusers are usually jailed and summarily deported. In addition, the cost of drug treatment facilities is often so high that many expatriate abusers are unable to afford treatment. There are four facilities offering free detoxification, rehabilitation, and aftercare to Saudi nationals: three Al-Amal Mental Health and Narcotics Hospitals -- in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam -- and one Al-Amal Health Clinic in Qassim Province. Most patients participate in detoxification and rehabilitation treatment for three to five weeks. In June, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced plans to collaborate with King Saud University on a three-year study on drug addiction in the Kingdom.

According to the most recently available information, 72.8 percent of patients treated for drug problems in Saudi Arabia are addicted to amphetamines and 55.8 percent are addicted to marijuana; other abused drugs include khat, heroin, cocaine, and sedatives. MOH and hospital officials note that many newer patients have a dual diagnosis of addiction and psychiatric issues, possibly due to consumption of contaminated drugs, particularly Captagon (an amphetamine in pill form).

The wealthiest segments of society tend to consume the purest, most potent drugs, while the majority of drug abusers consume more diluted forms. Captagon and other amphetamines are reportedly consumed mainly by students, drivers, and employees seeking prolonged energy. Khat is mainly consumed by Yemeni and Somali expatriates. Saudi officials say that heroin and cocaine are in greater demand in the two large Saudi cities of Jeddah and Dammam.

While drug use is on the rise and conservative cultural norms still discourage many addicts from seeking rehabilitation, the SAG is actively working to eliminate drug use and trafficking within the context of the 1988 UN Drug Convention through regular seizures of illegal drugs, harsh penalties for drug traffickers, including public beheadings, on occasion, and information sharing with regional governments.


A. Introduction

Senegal, along with other West African countries, serves as a transit country for traffickers due to its location, infrastructure and porous borders. South American traffickers have taken advantage of areas in West Africa, where resource-poor central governments have limited presence, including parts of Senegal. They use these areas as warehousing/transit zones for drugs moving to European markets. Dakar's location on the west coast of Africa, its well-serviced international airport and active seaport make it an enticing transit point for drug traffickers. The Port of Dakar and the Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport are the two primary points of entry/exit for drugs in Senegal. An increasing amount of narcotics, often cocaine, is being trafficked through Senegal by vehicle and boat from countries to the south of Senegal, including Guinea Bissau and Guinea. The U.S. is not a destination point for these drugs.

Cocaine abuse in Senegal is on the rise. Cannabis, a traditionally popular drug in Senegal, is cultivated in the south, in the Casamance region. According to UNODC, Senegal may become the leading producer of cannabis among the Francophone countries of West Africa and the third largest producer in West Africa after Nigeria and Ghana. Though the Government of Senegal (GOS) has in place several institutions to fight against drug trafficking, the GOS is challenged by a lack of resources and infrastructure in carrying out intended programs. Senegal is a party to the 1988 U.N Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Senegal has a national plan of action, originally created in 1998, to combat drug abuse and the trafficking of drugs. Multidisciplinary in its approach, Senegal's national plan includes objectives to control the cultivation, production and traffic of drugs; to inform the population of the dangers of drug use; and to reintroduce former drug addicts into society. Although Senegal appears to have the political will to combat drug trafficking and has created and improved its national plan, the government does not have the financial means to effectively counter this threat, so it frequently falls short of achieving plan objectives.

Senegal’s Drug Law of 1997 is the country’s basic law on drugs; it covers the entire breadth of policy from apprehending and punishing offenders to rehabilitating abusers. Senegal stiffened penalties for drug traffickers by enacting the so called “Abdoul Latif Gueye Law of 2006”. Under this law convicted drug traffickers can face 10 to 20 years of hard labor and a fine that is three times the value of the drugs seized, double the former punishment. The government has also signed off on a plan called the “Dakar Initiative,” which intends to tackle trafficking by strengthening the judicial system, boosting the security forces and improving international cooperation.

Senegal works with its partners in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to combat cocaine trafficking. Specifically, Senegal, which borders Guinea-Bissau and Guinea, two countries with significant cocaine trafficking problems, participated in the fifteen country ECOWAS conference in Praia, Cape Verde on confronting drug trafficking. During the conference, the ECOWAS members discussed the various narcotics problems facing West Africa, resulting in a Political Declaration and Plan of Action adopted in December 2008.

Senegal has several bilateral agreements with neighboring countries to combat narcotics trafficking and has signed mutual legal assistance agreements with the United Kingdom and France to facilitate exchange of enforcement information on narcotics trafficking, among other transnational crimes. Along with members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Senegal has enacted a uniform common law against money laundering. Senegal is also a party to the ECOWAS protocol agreement, which includes an extradition provision. Traffickers and their organizations are subject to asset seizure, imprisonment of criminal members, and permanent exclusion from Senegal if convicted.

In addition to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, Senegal is also a party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. Senegal is also a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Crime and its three protocols.

2. Supply Reduction

Between June 2009 and May 2010, Senegalese police, gendarmerie, and customs officials reported seizing 96 képas (a small packet equivalent to roughly ¼ gram=24 gm total) of heroin, 126 kg of bulk heroin, not-yet-broken-down for street sale, 10.5 tons of cannabis, and 3009 tablets of barbiturates. 1235 suspects were arrested for drug trafficking, and 1929 individuals were arrested on charges of drug use. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that about 40 tons of cocaine from Latin America reaches Europe via West Africa each year. UNODC also believes that a new drug route from Dakar to Istanbul is currently developing. Senegal and its neighbors are unprepared to deal with increasing levels of drug trafficking. Law enforcement officials lack the means to track smugglers, and poorly equipped local authorities face an uneven battle against the cash-wealthy traffickers.

Senegalese drug enforcement agents are posted at the international airport, but they lack the training and equipment to systematically detect illegal drugs. Senegal airport authority's efforts to attain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category One certification have resulted in the tightening of security procedures and more thorough passenger luggage screening with a positive spin-off benefit for drug trafficking enforcement through the airport. UNODC is developing a multi-agency program (Customs, Gendarmes and Ministry of Interior Police) for screening container shipments at Dakar Port. Although the USG sponsored the establishment of a Financial Intelligence Unit, with an in-country U.S. Treasury Department advisor, the unit has not yet specifically targeted drug traffickers, still its very existence will surely discourage money laundering in Senegal. European assistance efforts to combat illegal immigration, particularly to Spain have led to enhancement of Senegal’s ability to mount maritime patrols which may also serve to inhibit the trafficking of narcotics.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Nongovernmental organizations, such as the Observatoire Geostrategique des Drogues et de la Deviance (OGDD), have taken the lead in public drug abuse education efforts in Senegal. Since 2001, OGDD has instituted a multi-phase drug abuse and awareness campaign. The first phase involved a campaign of information targeted at cannabis cultivators, arguing that the land had greater potential if it were used for purposes other than drug cultivation, that drugs were bad for the environment and health, and that drugs were degrading the economy. Village committees have also been established to convey the above information. The focus of the second phase of the program is to encourage farmers to substitute alternative crops for drugs on their land. Due to funding constraints, however, implementation of this part of the program has been impeded. Other associations for the prevention of drug abuse are in the process of elaborating a program of drug prevention under the auspices of the International Committee for the Fight against Drugs, which is managed by the Ministry of the Interior.

4. Corruption

Corruption is a problem for narcotics law enforcement all over Africa, although narcotics-related corruption does not appear to be a problem within senior levels of the Senegalese government. In 2004, the National Commission against Non-Transparency, Corruption and Misappropriation of Funds, an autonomous investigative panel, was created in Senegal. The efficacy of the commission's efforts remains an issue in Senegal, as it has no authority to investigate or to prosecute. Many observers allege that it remains inefficient in fighting corruption, and specifically prosecutes no government officials. The GOS does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Although no senior GOS officials are known to engage in, encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions, prosecutions of any suspected government official seems foreclosed at present thanks to their legal immunity. Senegalese government officials could only be indicted by the country’s Senate. Criminal charges could then be brought against suspects once a high court had removed their immunity, a potentially long and difficult process.

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

USG goals and objectives in Senegal are to strengthen law enforcement capabilities in counter-narcotics efforts. The USG will continue to leverage Senegal’s relative stability to enhance Senegal’s capacity to counter narcotics traffic. Furthermore, the U.S. Mission will seek the placement of an INL-funded Narcotics Affairs Officer and a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent based in Dakar to enhance the effort against trafficking. In 2010, the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP), a program of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) administered by AFRICOM, conducted two operations off the coast of Senegal utilizing U.S. Coast Guard and Navy vessels to expand maritime training and operations with the GOS. Additionally, a U.S. Coast Guard mobile training team conducted a two-week advanced maritime law enforcement course for the Senegalese Navy to expand maritime training and operations with the GOS.

D. Conclusion

The GOS has the political will to fight drug trafficking, though its efforts are hampered due to lack of infrastructure and funding. Its national plan to counter narcotics trafficking and its cooperation with regional neighbors are both positive and necessary steps to help the GOS in this fight. However, Senegal, like its neighbors, continues its struggle to track and prevent traffickers who have greater resources. Senegal’s geographical location creates a tempting point for drug traffickers seeking to move narcotics from South America to Europe, and its proximity to Guinea-Bissau, a country plagued by a severe narco-trafficking problem, presents an ongoing challenge as Senegal tries to maintain its borders and handle illicit marijuana cultivation in the Casamance region.


A. Introduction

The Republic of Serbia is an important transit country for narcotics and other drugs along the traditional Balkan smuggling corridor leading from Central Asia and Turkey to Central and Western Europe. Heroin grown and processed in Afghanistan is smuggled through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, and Kosovo into Serbia, and onward to other European markets. Large amounts of marijuana flow from Albania through Montenegro and Serbia. Limited quantities of cocaine are also smuggled into or through Serbia. The UNODC estimates that 85 tons of heroin – the most prevalent narcotic – travel along the Balkan route each year; some smugglers are reportedly shifting attention to Serbia's southern and eastern neighbors, especially European Union (EU) members. The government of Serbia has significantly improved its law enforcement cooperation with neighboring states, recognizing that regional cooperation is critical in the fight against drug trafficking and other forms of trans-national crime.

The Ministry of Interior believes that Serbian organized crime groups continue to smuggle cocaine directly from South America to Western Europe. Trafficking of synthetic drugs and precursors from Western Europe or elsewhere, either for the domestic market or transiting along a reverse Balkan route to Bulgaria and Turkey, also remains a concern. Serbia is not a major producer of organic or synthetic drugs or precursors, though Serbian authorities occasionally seize drug labs. The Serbian government estimates that relatively small amounts of internationally trafficked narcotics, mostly heroin or marijuana, remain in the country for domestic consumption. Officials believe that marijuana and synthetic drugs are the most popular drug among users.

According to the Public Health Service, there were 60,000 drug users in Serbia in 2008, with more recent estimates of addicts ranging from 30,000-100,000. Serbia’s drug abuse and drug treatment capacity is limited. The only dedicated government-run drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic treats about 1100 patients per year, and the government conducts some public outreach on prevention. As a successor state to the former Yugoslavia, the Republic of Serbia is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Ministry of Interior’s Drug Smuggling Suppression Department, Drug Addiction Suppression Department, and Border Police, as well as the Ministry of Finance’s Customs Administration, are responsible for combating drug-related crimes in Serbia. While these agencies report generally good operational cooperation among themselves, there is no government-wide coordinating body that has a clear lead in counter-narcotics law enforcement efforts, analogous to the U.S. DEA. The Interior Ministry is currently undergoing a strategic planning process that could result in a reorganization and centralization of counter-narcotics efforts. The Commission for the Fight against Drugs, composed of the Ministries of Health, Education and Sport, Interior, Social Welfare, and Justice, meets to develop activities to implement the National Strategy for the Fight against Drugs, and the Ministry of Health takes the lead in prevention education efforts and treatment. The government has made limited progress in implementing the National Action Plan connected to the five-year National Strategy for the Fight against Drugs, both adopted in 2009.

In 2010, the government of Serbia significantly increased law enforcement cooperation with neighboring states as part of its strategic focus on fighting organized crime and drug trafficking. Serbia concluded diverse agreements on police and customs cooperation with Albania (March 2010), Bulgaria (April 2010), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (September 2010). Serbia signed extradition agreements with Croatia in June and Montenegro in late October 2010 targeting organized crime and corruption. Serbia and Montenegro immediately acted to enforce the agreement in an attempt to arrest several suspected international narcotics traffickers, among others. Serbian organized crime prosecutors filed charges in April 2010 against 20 suspects in connection with the seizure in October 2009 of over two tons of cocaine in international waters near Uruguay, an operation facilitated by Serbian law enforcement working in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The trial in Belgrade opened in September 2010, though many of those indicted, including suspected ringleaders, remain at large despite ongoing apprehension efforts.

Serbian authorities cite operational cooperation with Croatia as a particular bright spot: direct and regular exchange of information includes a secure video-link publicly inaugurated by the Ministers of Interior of both countries in September 2010. The Interior Ministry conducts joint investigations with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. The Serbian police provide intelligence to neighboring and Western European countries, contributing to seizures and arrests in those countries. Serbia is also working with South American countries with U.S. assistance and has signed bilateral police cooperation agreements with Argentina, Brazil (both June 2010), and Uruguay (September 2010). The Minister of Interior intends to continue to expand international cooperation with countries in Latin America and Asia.

In October 2010, the Ministries of Justice and Interior hosted a regional conference in Belgrade on the fight against organized crime for the second year in a row and signed an agreement with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Macedonia to establish in Belgrade a regional office to support operational information exchange and facilitate communication in cross-border criminal investigations targeting organized crime. Serbia continued to participate in the Southeastern Europe Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Regional Center for Combating Trans-border Crime activities, as well as the associated Southeast European Prosecutors Advisory Group (SEEPAG). Ministers also frequently attended regional and European-wide conferences aimed at fostering international law enforcement and justice cooperation. Serbia hosts law enforcement liaison officers from Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, Romania, the United Kingdom, and Australia, as well as a joint office for five Scandinavian countries.

Cooperation with the Republic of Kosovo remains a significant exception to the positive trend of increased regional and international cooperation. The Serbian government does not recognize Kosovo as an independent country and therefore will not cooperate directly with representatives of Kosovo’s government, permit them to attend conferences that Serbia hosts, or participate in multilateral events with Kosovo representatives. The Interior Ministry signed an agreement with the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) in 2009 to cooperate on law enforcement issues. The Customs Service also cooperates informally with EULEX. Direct customs and law enforcement interaction needs to increase significantly, however, in light of the continuing practical challenges.

Serbia’s updated drug laws are adequate. An anticipated new law on psychotropic drugs has not yet been adopted, however. Work continues on a revised Criminal Procedure Code, which is expected to be enacted in early 2011. A new Customs Law entered into force in May 2010, while a new Customs Service Law remains under review. In combination, the new legislation would bring Serbia’s Customs Service into compliance with EU standards, most importantly by giving the Customs Service law enforcement status and the ability to testify in court.

Serbia became a legal successor state to 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 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols.

2. Supply Reduction

The Ministry of Interior continues efforts linked to the nationwide “Operation Morava” launched in October 2009 to pressure street-level drug dealers throughout the country and disrupt supply flow to local markets. In October 2010, close local and international law enforcement cooperation led to the seizure by police in Belgrade of 120 kilograms of heroin bound for Central Europe – one of the largest such seizures in the capital in many years, and more than double the total amount of heroin seized in the preceding nine months.

Serbia’s Customs Administration and all Interior Ministry agencies made a total of 4186 seizures from January to September 2010. During this period, Serbia interdicted a total of 1010.4 kilograms of drugs including 108.3 kilograms of heroin, 814.3 kilograms of marijuana, 6.5 kilograms of cocaine, 23.5 kilograms plus 860 tablets of ecstasy, 4.2 kilograms plus 1025 tablets of amphetamines, and 53.3 kilograms plus 13,669 tablets of "other" illegal drugs. This is a significant overall increase in drugs seized compared to the same period in 2009 (over 50%), largely accounted for by increases in marijuana (up 62%), ecstasy (up three times), and "other" drug seizures (up six times). The amount of heroin seized was static, while seizures of cocaine were down over 30 percent. Authorities also uncovered a synthetic drug lab near the Bulgarian border in September 2010, thought to be aimed at the Bulgarian market.

Serbian law enforcement agencies report that most drug seizures are the result of international intelligence sharing, good interagency cooperation, and careful investigative work. The government is also introducing new equipment to aid in border inspections, anticipating the phased deployment of 10 mobile x-ray systems for the Customs Administration beginning in late 2010. The Customs Administration has also invested in other equipment, improved post-clearance procedures, upgraded its risk analysis system, and increased cross-border information-sharing.

Under Articles 246 and 246a of the Criminal Code (revised in September 2009), covering Production and Distribution of Narcotics and Possession of Narcotics, respectively, in the first nine months of 2010 police arrested and charged 3957 individuals, a 10 percent increase over the same period in 2009. Under Article 247, of the criminal code, entitled “Facilitating the Consumption of Narcotics,” police arrested and charged 190 individuals, a 22 percent increase over the same period. In 2009, 4053 individuals were tried under both articles, and 3825 of those (94.4%) were convicted. More than half of those convicted were fined or put on probation, with nearly 40 percent sentenced to jail time.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The Serbian government launched a drug abuse prevention campaign with EU assistance in November 2010 aimed at children and parents under the slogan "United Against Drugs." The government conducts an addiction prevention program in primary and secondary schools, “Drugs Zero, Life One,” which includes lectures for students, parents, and teachers and referrals for families who seek help. The program is not mandatory, however, and individual schools choose whether to participate. According to a 2009 Public Health Service study, 15 percent of high school freshmen have tried narcotics. The National Network for the Fight against Drugs, a network of anti-drug NGOs, maintains a website with information about drug addiction and prevention. Serbia’s only dedicated government-run drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic provides emergency services and inpatient and outpatient detoxification using opiate receptor blockers or methadone, psychotherapy, and reintegration skills workshops to treat patients. Public hospitals, including prison hospitals, run outpatient and inpatient drug rehabilitation programs. The Health Ministry has a pilot project to provide methadone substitution in primary care clinics.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy the Serbian government does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics or actively launders proceeds from illegal drug transactions. There is no evidence that any senior government official engages in, encourages, or facilitates the illicit production or distribution of drugs. However, corruption in Serbia remains a concern due to low pay, inadequate working conditions and a culture of tolerance of petty corruption in certain fields of public administration, including law enforcement. The Drug Smuggling Suppression Department reported no internal police investigations into narcotics-related corruption in the first nine months of 2010. The Customs Administration reported no organized crime influence and no changes in the rate of prosecution of officials suspected of corruption, but reported an increase in disciplinary procedures based on internal controls. The Republic of Serbia is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption.

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

The Serbian Government works closely with the United States, the OSCE, and EU countries to reform and improve its law enforcement and judicial capacity. The United States has provided extensive technical assistance and equipment donations to the police, customs services, border police, and judiciary. Several USG agencies have programs that directly or indirectly support counter-narcotics activities in Serbia, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury, and the Department of State. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) funded programs are implemented by the Department of Justice International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and Department of Justice Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT) and have been instrumental in providing support to the Organized Crime Police and Organized Crime Court in Serbia.

USG assistance programs are aimed at professionalizing the police and customs services, building skills for prosecution and investigation techniques provided guidance in the drafting of new legislation, improving the ability of Serbia to prosecute corruption and organized crime, including money laundering and illicit trafficking, and increasing the ability of the judiciary to effectively address serious crime. In 2010, OPDAT assistance focused on training prosecutors and improving capacity in plea bargaining and asset seizure, following changes to the relevant laws enacted in 2009. ICITAP sponsored a joint study visit to the U.S. for Croatian and Serbian police, prosecutors, and customs officials to observe U.S. methods for combating drug, human, and weapons trafficking.

D. Conclusion

The government of Serbia continued to undertake measures to improve domestic capacity to combat drug trafficking. Serbian authorities have also devoted significant effort and resources to fostering regional law enforcement cooperation, although more effective cooperation with Kosovo and EULEX is needed. Improved communication and strategic coordination among law enforcement and judicial bodies within Serbia is also needed to enhance the comprehensive counter-narcotics efforts. Serbia’s goals for the future include passing relevant legislation, implementing judicial and law enforcement reform, strengthening interagency coordination, increasing public awareness campaigns, and fully defining the structure and activities of the Commission for the Fight against Drugs. The United States will continue to support the efforts of Serbian law enforcement to combat narcotics smuggling in the country and the region.


Seychelles is not a major producer or exporter of illegal drugs, or a transit route for drug trafficking. Marijuana is the only illicit drug that is locally cultivated in large quantities, but only by small groups of individuals. It is consumed locally and is not exported. Other illicit drugs, primarily: heroin and to a lesser extent marijuana are brought into Seychelles for consumption with an amount going for transshipment to other markets. In the last 5 years heroin has been introduced to Seychelles and has overtaken marijuana as the drug of choice. Seychelles has problems controlling drug trafficking as a result of limited resources to patrol its shores and waterways.

Seychelles National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) of the Seychelles Police Force works closely with other law enforcement and health agencies on drug control and education/treatment programs throughout the country, and cooperates with U.S. Government agencies. The NDEA continues to look for ways to improve its resources and to build its capacity. Seychelles is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

The Government of the Seychelles does not encourage or facilitate drug trafficking as a matter of government policy, and senior officials of the government are not involved in such activity. Seychelles is a party to the UN Convention Against Corruption.

The NDEA appears on track based on data up to October 2010 to record an increase in seizures and cases filed involving illegal drugs. Seychelles customs has recorded record levels of seizures over the last three years. The NDEA and Customs credit the increase in illicit drug seizures and arrests in recent years to their ongoing operations with other units of the police force and cooperation with immigration in profiling.

The Government of Seychelles collaborates with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the International Narcotics Control Board. In June 2010, a month-long drug abuse awareness campaign was undertaken with the help of UNODC.

Based on narcotic seizures, arrests, and rehabilitation program participation, heroin is the most commonly consumed drug in Seychelles. NGO's believe that approximately 3000 addicts exist of which 1000 to 1500 are injecting. Seychelles has only one dedicated drug treatment facility with limited resources. A disturbing increase in Hepatitis C cases has prompted the Government to consider the use of a methadone substitute to maintain addicts during treatment and to introduce a needle exchange program. NGO's provide counseling and prevention advice to supplement government efforts.

The Government of Seychelles has clearly indicated that it will deal harshly with drug traffickers. Contract police trainers with experience working in the Irish police force have made a positive impact on the capacity of Seychelles Police to enforce the law.

The U.S. Government provides training assistance to Seychelles law enforcement agencies, including the NDEA, through the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs) in Gaborone Botswana and Roswell New Mexico, and Africa Command (AFRICOM), FBI, and NCIS all provide some training.

Sierra Leone

A. Introduction

Sierra Leone has taken steps to combat illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and has mounted efforts against drug abuse. However, the country’s efforts to combat the drug flow in 2010 continue to be hampered by resource issues and limited operational sophistication. The country has limited enforcement, treatment, and rehabilitation programs, and corruption often impedes interdiction efforts. Interagency coordination among Sierra Leone's law enforcement entities has been a challenge, but the Joint Drug Interdiction Task Force, created in 2008, is now a well-functioning group that spans agencies and interests. This year, it was re-named the Trans-national Organized Crime Unit (TOCU) to reflect an expanded mandate.

Sierra Leone is a transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly cocaine from South America. Europe is usually the final destination, often via regional neighbors such as Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. Narcotics move to Guinea primarily overland or via sea, with Konakridee near Port Loko as the usual port of exit. Recent reports indicate that direct flights from Freetown Lungi International Airport to London and Brussels may be vulnerable. There are also unsubstantiated reports that traffickers may be using small, unmarked air strips throughout the country, as they do in near-by Guinea-Bissau. Transshipment of Southwest Asian heroin has increased with the start of direct commercial flights from East African countries. Drug trafficking rings are increasingly active in Sierra Leone, often relying on corrupted government officials, police and intelligence officers, who have accepted bribes to turn a blind eye to the traffickers’ illegal activities.

Cannabis cultivation is on the rise in Sierra Leone and products like marijuana are used regularly here. Marijuana is the only drug produced in-country. However, trafficking of more serious drugs like cocaine and heroin has fueled increasing domestic consumption of these drugs, primarily among expatriates and short-term foreign visitors who can afford to pay their steep cost. Law enforcement officials are concerned that narcotics rings active in Sierra Leone are growing in size and influence. Major drug traffickers pay local accomplices in kind, and Freetown now has a "street price" of 50,000 Leones (US$12.50) for a gram of cocaine. Diversion of precursor chemicals, on the other hand, is not a problem. Sierra Leone is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The National Drug Control Act was passed in 2008 to bring Sierra Leone into conformity with international conventions and norms. The Act expands on the Dangerous Drugs Act (1960) and the Pharmacy and Drugs Act (2001), which had major substantive drafting problems and called for inadequate punishment for narcotics abuse and trafficking. The 2008 Act established a National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to serve as the focal point on narcotics policy issues and enforcement investigations. The new law also defined stricter penalties for all charges, contained mutual legal assistance provisions, and authorized a budget appropriation to support prevention and control activities. While the new Act was a positive step for Sierra Leone, some revisions may be required in order to increase its effectiveness. Offenses by legal “persons” (i.e., corporations) and provisions for complicit or insufficiently responsible commercial carriers, and in addition the sections on forfeiture and foreign assets have been identified as areas needing either new or strengthened drafting. The Act also fails to address adequately prevention measures and treatment options for addicted drug abusers. The law was expected to have been revised in 2010, following the conclusion of the appeals process for individuals convicted under the Act in 2009, but as of the end of the year this has not occurred.

The NDLEA has a limited budget and staff. Sixty officers have been seconded from the Sierra Leone Police, but lack equipment and support to perform their duties effectively. The NDLEA has offices in five locations outside of Freetown, but the NDLEA is not yet operational at these locations. The NDLEA intends to increase its efforts in the area of demand reduction and public awareness.

Two new initiatives are underway. First, TOCU is creating a team comprising the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and Office of National Security (ONS) officials to monitor all organized crime and narcotics cases charged locally to ensure that they are followed through to completion. The team will report any compromises or delays to the Attorney General and Inspector General. Second, TOCU will create a special court dedicated to organized crime and narcotics issues with specially trained judges and prosecutors. Funded by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the court will fill the gap in prosecuting offenders, as TOCU and the SLP are focused primarily on law enforcement.

Government of Sierra Leone representatives participate in ECOWAS conferences and Mano River Union meetings, and are striving for better regional cooperation. Law enforcement agencies cooperate with their counterparts in neighboring countries on specific cases and trying to identify trends and methods in drug trafficking.

Sierra Leone is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. The 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty applies to Sierra Leone, but it has not been utilized since 1996. Sierra Leone is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption. In March 2008, Sierra Leone ratified the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. Though Sierra Leone signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in 2001, it has yet to ratify it.

2. Supply Reduction

Sierra Leone law enforcement agencies cooperated to combat narcotics trafficking through Transnational Organized Crime Unit, which includes representatives from the Sierra Leone Police, Office for National Security, NDLEA, Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Immigration, Civil Aviation Authority, Anti-Corruption Commission, and the National Revenue Authority. Throughout 2010, TOCU continued to expand and increase in sophistication. Thanks to significant training efforts supported by international partners, TOCU consists of 77 enforcement officers, including surveillance specialists (there is still a need for forensic capabilities). TOCU, whose management board meets on a regular basis, is now a pro-active unit which generates and shares intelligence, conducts large-scale operations, and responds quickly to emergent threats. It will continue to be the primary government agency responsible for narcotics-related crimes until the NDLEA becomes fully operational.

Drugs transit in and out of Sierra Leone by sea, but authorities have limited means to combat this. The Joint Maritime Wing, composed of military and police officials, conduct minimal patrols with three small cutters provided by the U.S. Coast Guard and a larger, Shanghai-class patrol boat, donated by the Chinese Government. The expense of fuel and maintenance is an impediment to the Wing's effectiveness, as is the short-range nature of the patrol boats available to them (the cutters have a range of 20 – 25 nautical miles; the patrol boat has a range of up to 60 nautical miles). The Chinese-built boat, despite its longer range, has a shallow draft and is unsuitable for deep water operations. Currently, only one of the cutters is operational. In 2010, the Maritime Surveillance System, donated by AFRICOM, was installed and operational, but the Joint Maritime Wing has yet to use it due to long-term sustainability issues that are currently being addressed.

The Government of Sierra Leone is working to improve the reliability of statistics maintained on arrest rates, prosecutions, and convictions. TOCU reports that since its inception in July 2008 through November 2010, they have opened 61 drug trafficking cases involving 118 suspects. Ninety-four of these suspects were convicted and either fined or jailed. The remaining 24 cases are still under investigation. Within the same period of time, TOCU seized approximately 845 kilograms of cocaine, 1598 kilograms of cannabis, 2.96 kilograms of heroin, and 2.1 kilograms of imported hashish. In August 2010, TOCU destroyed approximately $1 million worth of cocaine believed to be targeted for sale within Sierra Leone, as well as an estimated 6000 kilograms of cannabis still in the field.

Cannabis is widely cultivated and consumed locally, and is also transported to surrounding countries and Europe. TOCU conducted multiple raids of cannabis farms, and noted that cultivation appears to be increasing; the government is concerned that cannabis production is now one among other activities substituting for regular subsistence farming, thus threatening food security. One “joint” costs approximately 1,000 Leones, (25 U.S. cents) on the streets of Freetown. The Government of Ireland has pledged 50,000 Euros (US$70,477) for cannabis eradication. As part of the grant procedure, TOCU has drawn up an overall strategy for cannabis eradication nation-wide targeting primarily large-scale farming operations.

Cocaine is the main drug that transits Sierra Leone. Cocaine comes from South America en route to Europe. Sierra Leone's unguarded and porous maritime border makes it highly vulnerable to traffickers moving shipments by sea. Narcotics are often warehoused and repackaged in Sierra Leone for reshipment to Guinea, though some go directly to Europe via shipping containers or in air cargo. Individuals also carry small amounts on passenger aircraft, sometimes in their baggage or items with hidden compartments, and through body cavity concealment and swallowing.

Improving security at Lungi Airport has been a priority for authorities and the international airlines that use it. Individuals are now searched, as well as hand-luggage searches, which have resulted in most of the arrests at the airport to date. Still, officials assume that the drugs found are only a small portion of what slips through the cracks due to imperfect detection efforts and corruption. In October, an Indian national was arrested at the airport for possession of five marijuana cigarettes and fined 500,000 Leones (US$125). In November, the UK sponsored three weeks of training for the SLP and airport and customs officials in profiling and identifying passengers suspected of transporting drugs.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The NDLEA, in conjunction with civil society, conducted occasional public awareness campaigns about the dangers of drugs. This includes outreach to schools and programs broadcast over radio, and the publication of posters and pamphlets. Treatment programs are offered only at the country's one psychiatric in-patient hospital and one out-patient clinic in downtown Freetown. Approximately 80 percent of the patients at these facilities are being treated for drug-induced psychosis, primarily due to cannabis and alcohol abuse. The treatment programs include complete abstinence and administering of tranquilizing drugs plus counseling. At least 50 percent of the inmates at the Pademba Road High Security Prison in Freetown are doing time for drug offenses, and staff from the psychiatric hospital will treat prisoners upon request. The relapse rate for treated drug offenders is approximately 20 percent. The 2008 law puts treatment and rehabilitation for offenders under the purview of the Minister of Justice and an appointed treatment assessment panels. Depending on the crime, offenders may undergo treatment in lieu of prosecution, or receive a suspended sentence. Funding for treatment and facilities is provided solely by the Ministry of Health.

4. Corruption

Sierra Leone does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions, nor has any senior official been charged with engaging in, encouraging, or facilitating narcotics production or trafficking. However, Sierra Leone's judicial system is still undergoing a rebuilding process, and struggles with low conviction rates across a spectrum of crimes, including those that are narcotics-related. Even those violators who are convicted often pay a fine in lieu of serving prison time, though the new National Drug Control Act has stiffer penalties and required minimum sentencing. The limited resources available to the judiciary remain a problem in controlling drug trafficking in Sierra Leone.

Corruption among law enforcement officials is also a problem in Sierra Leone due to the low levels of pay and endemic poverty, as well as the large potential profits from any one drug deal. The problem with corruption was underscored in the 2008 cocaine bust at Lungi International Airport, in which, during the trial, a number of government officials and security agents were implicated, including the Minister of Transport and Aviation, who was never arrested or tried.

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

The USG's counternarcotics and anticrime goals in Sierra Leone are to strengthen Sierra Leonean law enforcement capacity generally, improve interdiction capabilities, and reduce Sierra Leone's role as a transit point for narcotics. In 2008, Sierra Leone became eligible for ILEA-U.S Law Enforcement Academy training. In 2010, forty officers attended courses that included narcotics-specific and related training. TOCU and others benefited from several USG-sponsored events, including surveillance training and investigation techniques for transnational organized crime cases. For example, in November – December, TOCU’s Director of Operations attended a ten-week course at the FBI National Academy.

In fiscal year 2011, AFRICOM plans to fund significant infrastructure improvements for TOCU. AFRICOM will also provide a military funding grant to repair the Joint Maritime Wing’s U.S. Coast Guard-provided cutters.

Finally, in 2010, the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP), a program of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) administered by AFRICOM, conducted two separate U.S. Coast Guard operations off the coast of Sierra Leone to locate and board vessels suspected of illegally trafficking narcotics. To facilitate these operations, the United States and Sierra Leone signed a permanent bilateral maritime counterdrug agreement. APS intends to conduct similar operations in 2011.

D. Conclusion

The Government of Sierra Leone suffers no lack of political will in trying to stem the tide of organized crime that is infiltrating the region. Ongoing efforts to train and mobilize the enforcement forces, as well as willingness to collaborate with international partners, demonstrate Sierra Leone's tough stance on drugs. However, limited funding to enforce the 2008 law remains a significant problem. Enhancing law enforcement's capacity to combat the drug trade through training and equipment and reducing corruption within the ranks require funds the Sierra Leonean government simply does not have. Enforcing strict controls over financial transactions, to prevent funds earned from the narcotics trade being used for further criminal activity, is also an unaffordable luxury for developing Sierra Leone. Strengthening law enforcement capabilities, enhancing security measures at the airport, and improving surveillance of the ports and waterways are important priorities that the government can ill-afford to ignore if it seeks to prevent Sierra Leone from becoming an even more attractive target for criminal organizations.


The Government of Singapore (GOS) enforces stringent counter-narcotics policies through strict laws -- including the death penalty and corporal punishment -- vigorous law enforcement, and active prevention programs. Singapore is not a producer of narcotics, but as a major regional financial and transportation center, it is an attractive target for money launderers and drug transshipment. 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.

According to Government of Singapore (GOS) figures, during the first half of 2010, 914 drug abusers were arrested compared to 1051 arrested during the same time frame in 2009. Heroin and methamphetamine remain the top two drugs of choice in Singapore accounting for 84 percent of the drug abusers arrested. In the first half of 2010 Singapore saw an increase in seizures of almost all drug types. From January to June 2010, Singapore seized: 25.3 kg of Heroin #3, a 76 percent increase from the same time period in 2009; 5.3 kg of Cannabis, a 93 percent increase from 2009; 3.9 kg Methamphetamine, a 206 percent increase from 2009; 9.3 kg of Ketamine, a 91 percent increase since 2009; and 24,124 tablets of Nimetazepam-AKA Eremin-5, a 16 percent increase since 2009. The amounts of seized ecstasy, Yaba and Subutex decreased. According to the Singapore Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), Singapore seized approximately S$5.9 million (U.S. $4.6 million) worth of drugs in the first half of 2010, which is almost S$2 million (U.S.$ 1.6 million) more than the same time period in 2009.

In 2010, there was no known production of illicit narcotics in Singapore. Singapore has been used as a transit point for narcotics moving to other countries such as Indonesia, China and Hong Kong via parcels, maritime containers and air cargo. Air and maritime ferry passengers have also frequently transited Singapore in possession of narcotics for delivery to other countries such as Indonesia. Points of origin have included Malaysia, India, Thailand and Pakistan. Precursor chemicals, such as acetic anhydride, have also transited Singapore from South Korea and China en route to destinations such as Pakistan. Singapore is one of the busiest transshipment ports in the world. With few exceptions, Singapore does not screen containerized shipments unless they enter its customs territory. Neither Singapore Customs nor the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) keep data on in-transit or transshipped cargo unless there is a Singapore consignee involved in the shipment.

The Government of Singapore neither encourages nor facilitates illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, or other controlled substances, nor the laundering of related proceeds.

Singapore continues to pursue a strategy of demand and supply reduction for drugs. The GOS worked closely with numerous international groups dedicated to drug education, including the “Partnership for a Drug-Free America”. In addition to arresting drug traffickers, Singapore focuses on arresting and detaining drug abusers for treatment and rehabilitation, providing drug detoxification and rehabilitation, and offering vigorous drug education in its schools. Singaporeans and permanent residents are subject to random drug tests. The Misuse of Drugs Act gives the Singapore Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) the authority to remand all drug abusers to rehabilitation centers for mandatory treatment and rehabilitation. Since 1999, individuals testing positive for consumption of narcotics have been held accountable for narcotics consumed abroad as well as in Singapore.

Singapore is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Singapore and the United States continue to cooperate in extradition matters under the 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty. Singapore and the United States signed a Drug Designation Agreement (DDA) in November 2000, a mutual assistance agreement limited to drug cases. Singapore has signed mutual legal assistance agreements with Hong Kong and ASEAN. The United States and Singapore have held discussions on a possible bilateral MLAT, most recently in December 2005, although there have been no formal negotiations since 2004. Singapore is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Corruption Convention. In April 2006, Singapore amended domestic legislation to allow for mutual legal assistance cooperation with countries for which Singapore does not have a bilateral treaty.

[1] The arrests of the individuals listed have been widely reported by various media outlets, however, a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. An arrest or the issuances of an indictment are only evidence of an accusation.


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