Country Reports - Honduras through Mexico

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


A. Introduction

Honduras remained a primary transshipment point for cocaine destined for the United States in 2011. The United States estimates that approximately 95 percent of the cocaine leaving South America for the United States moves through the Mexico and Central America corridor. Of this, an increasing amount – nearly 80 percent – stops first in a Central American country before onward shipment to Mexico. The United States estimated that 79 percent of all cocaine smuggling flights departing South America first land in Honduras.

The La Mosquitia region of eastern Honduras remained vulnerable due to its remoteness, limited infrastructure, lack of state presence and weak law enforcement institutions. La Mosquitia was a primary landing zone for drug-carrying flights and transshipment was facilitated by subsequent flights, maritime vessels, riverine traffic, and land movement on the Pan-American Highway and secondary roads. Honduran government institutions attacked narcotics trafficking, though lack of resources limited their net effect on narcotics transshipment.

Honduras suffered from violence and severe homicide rates in 2011. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) Global Homicide Survey ranked Honduras as the country with the highest murder rate in the world, with an official murder rate of 82 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010.

Honduras ratified the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances on December 11, 1991, and is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In 2011, the United States and the Government of Honduras worked closely to build Honduran institutional capacity to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crime, particularly organized criminal activity, including drug trafficking. Honduras has taken several important steps this year to increase their capacity to deal with drug trafficking.

For example, on June 22, 2011 the government passed a security tax, despite private sector opposition, which showed that they are willing to impose fiscal discipline in support of its security goals. The regulation did not outline how proceeds would be distributed to Honduran institutions and no funds were distributed by the end of 2011.

The July 2010 asset forfeiture law also established a new revenue stream to provide increased self-sustainability for security projects. Under the auspices of an emergency seized asset provision, the Honduran Office of the Administrator of Captured Goods (OABI) utilized its seized assets legislation to transfer $12.9 million to five government agencies – the largest one-time disbursement of seized assets in Honduran history. The Secretariat of Security, the Secretariat of Defense, and the Public Ministry each received approximately $3.45 million. Funded activities included a $1.3 million scholarship program and a $1.3 million supplemental income program for rural and marginalized urban communities. We are encouraging the Honduran government to use more seized assets to supplement security institutions.

Honduras established a Financial Crimes Task Force that received logistical support and technical assistance from a U.S. advisor. By the end of the year, the task force submitted 22 cases to the National Asset Forfeiture Judge for consideration.

On December 8, the National Congress approved a landmark law allowing the interception of electronic communications (wiretapping). The law creates a special Communications Intervention Unit (UIC) that, with the permission of a competent judge, will be allowed to intercept phone calls, text messages, emails, and other forms of electronic communication.

To strengthen investigative capacity, U.S.-sponsored programs trained 952 police, prosecutors, and judges in 2011 on such topics as basic criminal investigation, anti-money laundering, and passport fraud prevention. The United States also provided support to the National Police Investigative School, which graduated over 450 students from the Basic Criminal Investigation (BCI) course since its opening in May 2011.

Honduras has counternarcotics agreements with the United States, Belize, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Venezuela, and Spain. Honduras 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. Honduras is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. A United States-Honduras maritime counternarcotics agreement entered into force in 2001 and a bilateral extradition treaty remained in force, though the Honduran Constitution prohibited the extradition of its nationals. Honduras signed the Caribbean Regional Maritime Counter Drug Agreement, but did not ratify it. A Declaration of Principles signed between the United States and Honduras on December 15, 2005 for the Container Security Initiative covers the inspection of maritime cargo destined for the United States. The United States submitted one extradition request to Honduras in 2011, which was granted in December.

2. Supply Reduction

Mexican and other drug traffickers exploited Honduras for their illicit activities, including transshipment of drugs across Honduran air, land, and maritime domain. With limited state presence and weak institutional development, the Caribbean coast of Honduras was particularly vulnerable to illicit activities. In addition to narcotics-related crime, Honduras experienced other criminality throughout the country, including transnational and local gang activity from such groups as the 18th Street gang and Mara Salvatrucha. These gangs participated in local distribution of drugs and other illicit activity, such as extortion and pirated goods. Limited information is available on the nexus between Honduran gangs and international drug trafficking organizations.

The Government of Honduras actively engaged in narcotics interdiction operations, while also working to develop institutions capable of preparing criminal cases, bringing them before a judge, and remanding convicted criminals to prison facilities.

With help from the United States, the Honduran government interdicted over 22 metric tons (MT) of cocaine in Honduras and adjacent waters, nearly four times more than seizures in 2010. For example, on July 13, 2011, the United States and the Honduran Navy collaborated to intercept a self propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) smuggling vessel in international waters approximately 17 miles off the coast of La Mosquitia in eastern Honduras. The vessel, carrying approximately 5.9 MT of cocaine, is the first-ever SPSS encountered operating off the coast of Honduras, and represents the single largest cocaine seizure in Honduran history. On September 17, 2011, a second SPSS with an equally substantial cargo of cocaine was intercepted 130 miles off the coast of La Mosquitia. In another example, on August 15, a special Honduran drug enforcement unit responded to the landing area of a suspicious aircraft. Upon arrival, the unit seized approximately 470 kilograms (kg) of cocaine and one rocket propelled grenade from a truck. The United States and Honduras also conducted investigations into local and transnational gangs, including disruption of drugs and other illicit activities in Honduran prisons.

Honduras reported seizing approximately $21.6 in drug-related cash and assets, 8 kg of heroin, and 299,000 pseudoephedrine tablets. Honduras did not report dismantlement of any drug trafficking organizations, but arrested over 84 individuals on drug-related crimes.

While Honduras was not generally considered a production center for drugs, except for marijuana for domestic consumption, on March 9, 2011, the Honduran government discovered a cocaine processing laboratory in northwestern Honduras. The lab was the first of its kind found in Central America in recent years. The lab relied on smuggling less-expensive coca paste from Colombia for final processing in Honduras.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

In a 2011 United Nations Development Program (UNDP) survey, 66 percent of Hondurans identified drug consumption as the primary security problem at the neighborhood level. Nineteen percent pointed to intoxicated individuals disturbing the peace as the major issue, and only three percent of respondents indicated that street gangs were their primary concern. Alcohol and inhalants remained the most common abused substances, followed by marijuana and cocaine. According to the governmental Honduran Institute for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction and Dependency (IHADFA), drug use was on the rise, and a majority of Hondurans between the ages of 15 and 19 tried illegal drugs, especially cocaine. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that 0.9 percent of the Honduran population aged 15-64 used cocaine.

To combat drug use and gang activity, the U.S.-supported Honduran National Police Community Policing division trained 344 police and 4,167 students, teachers, and parents on drug use prevention (D.A.R.E.) and the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.).

4. Corruption

Honduras historically struggled with social, economic, and political impacts of corruption in the public and private sectors. In 2011, corruption continued to negatively impact the country’s investment climate and citizens’ confidence in the integrity of government institutions. Honduras received a score of 2.4 out of 10 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking 134 out of 178 countries. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 2011-2012 listed corruption as the number two most problematic factor for doing business in Honduras, ranking the country 88 out of 142 in the prevalence of irregular payments and bribes.

To help address corruption, the Honduran government announced a comprehensive inter-institutional Transparency and Anticorruption Plan for 2011-2014. Implementing stakeholders include the National Anticorruption Commission (CNA), a civil society organization mandated to support the government and civil society’s efforts to increase transparency; the Institute for Access to Public Information (IAIP), a semi-autonomous government entity responsible for facilitating citizens’ access to public information; the Office of Norms for Procurement and Contracts (ONCAE), a government entity under the Office of the Presidency responsible for strengthening national procurement and contracting processes; and the National Office for Internal Development and Control (ONADICI), the government office responsible for developing norms for internal controls and audits for institutions under the executive branch.

Honduras embraced utilization of law enforcement vetting and background checks to address widespread corruption, including establishment of specialized units and task forces for anti-crime issues. By the end of 2011, the Honduran drug enforcement vetted unit grew to 42 members, the Honduran immigration and customs enforcement vetted unit expanded to 18 members, and the GOH established its first anti-gang vetted unit.

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

With input from the United States and UNDP, the Government of Honduras presented an Integrated Policy for Social Harmony and Citizen Safety on September 7, 2011. The document outlines three focal points: violence prevention with an emphasis on human rights; police capacity building; and community and business involvement in localized security plans.

The United States provided assistance to Honduras for citizen security, counternarcotics, law enforcement, and the rule of law initiatives that build the capacity of Honduran law enforcement, military, development, and justice sector institutions. The United States focused on building partnerships between governments, civil society, the private sector, and the international community.

Among other items, United States program activities included provision of technical assistance, training, equipment, and logistics support for counternarcotics units, such as provision of cell phones for vetted units; training and equipment to combat gang activities; technical assistance and equipment to improve prison management; support for the Honduran police investigative school; and mentoring by U.S. advisors for improved prosecution of crimes.

The United States counters the inroads of gangs and drug traffickers including a mix of policy initiatives, municipal crime prevention efforts, and community services for youth at risk. For example, the United States established 25 Outreach Centers in urban high-crime neighborhoods. The centers are safe places to play and learn vocational skills; 400 local volunteers mentor 7,500 youth and children. Honduras managed its activities in close cooperation with the United States through a cabinet-level Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) Bilateral Task Force, co-chaired by the Ambassador and the President of Honduras, which convened quarterly.

B. Conclusion

Honduras is at a crossroads. Criminal organizations operating in Honduras are ruthless, well-armed, well-funded, and logistically adept. In response, Honduras made tough decisions in support of citizen safety. Viewing narcotics trafficking as an infringement upon national sovereignty, the Honduran government asserted itself against criminal organizations, resulting in larger narcotics seizure totals than in 2010. While the Honduran government demonstrated improvements, it lacked the expertise, resources, and a complete legal framework to effectively counter the threat.

Honduras is encouraged to continue its investments in building effective security and justice institutions that are capable of repelling and bringing to justice criminal organizations while adhering to the rule of law. Further efforts to address corrections management and police reform will be needed to sustain near-term successes. To combat corruption within Honduran security institutions, officers should receive sufficient salaries, be provided promotional and professional development opportunities, and be held accountable through effective internal affairs units. The Honduran government will have a greater capacity to bring criminals to justice if it amends its laws and strengthens its institutions to facilitate swift extradition proceedings, including of Honduran nationals.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Hong Kong remains attractive for loosely affiliated international drug trafficking organizations to pursue opportunistic criminal activity, owing to its status as a high-volume and highly efficient financial and transportation center. Poppy and coca cultivation is non-existent in Hong Kong, but authorities have uncovered indoor-grown marijuana operations. While illicit manufacturing of drugs is rare, local authorities in 2010 dismantled a sophisticated methamphetamine lab uncovered in one of the city’s industrial buildings. However, energetic and highly efficient local enforcement efforts and alternative regional air and sea ports militate against Hong Kong becoming a major transshipment point. Record quantity cocaine seizures, including two record seizures of 290 and 567 kilograms in December 2010 and September 2011 respectively, were credited to law enforcement’s determined efforts and above-average regional capacity. Trafficking by non-ethnic Chinese dealers and couriers with Hong Kong as final destination or staging ground points to a rising regional demand for drugs, particularly for cocaine coming from South America and heroin from the Golden Crescent.

Ketamine poses the greatest threat to Hong Kong, with its use predominantly associated with young people. Heroin is the second greatest drug threat, but is most popular among older abusers. Cocaine is fast becoming Hong Kong’s third greatest drug threat. Arrests for trafficking and possession of both small and large quantities of cocaine have increased steadily.

Hong Kong Police Force/Narcotics Bureau and Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department/ Drug Investigation Bureau are the primary drug law enforcement agencies with a mission to suppress drug trafficking and control precursor chemicals. These agencies collaborate with Hong Kong-based U.S. law enforcement personnel, and routinely conduct joint operations with PRC counterparts to combat cross-border illicit drug smuggling. Local legislation for trafficking and abuse is robust. In 2011, the Hong Kong Government added three synthetic substances to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance and one chemical to the Control of Chemicals Ordinance, namely, derivatives of piperazine (party pills), synthetic cannabinoids (spice), derivatives of cathinone (bath salts), as well as ketamine precursor chemical 1-[(2-Chlorophenyl)-N-(methylimino)methyl]cyclopentanol and its salts.

Latest available data indicate that Hong Kong authorities in the first half of 2011 seized 156.83 kilograms of ketamine, 175.45 kilograms of cocaine, 82.97 kilograms of heroin, 19.66 kilograms of methamphetamine and 4.83 kilograms of cannabis, compared to 96.28 kilograms of ketamine, 498.16 kilograms of cocaine, 39.24 kilograms of heroin, 3.37 kilograms of methamphetamine and 1.87 kilograms of cannabis seized during the same period in 2010.

Hong Kong participates in the World Health Organization, Financial Action Task Force, Interpol, and the World Customs Organization, improving Hong Kong’s ability to combat narcotics trafficking and related money laundering. Upon resuming exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, the PRC advised the UN Secretary General that the 1961 Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention applied to Hong Kong.

Through the “Beat Drugs Fund,” a government initiative established in 1996 with an initial government outlay of US $4.5 million and an additional injection in 2010 of US $390 million to support anti-drug community efforts, education, and treatment, the Hong Kong Government continued its anti-drug use outreach campaign. In 2011, it funded anti-drug use programs by non-government organizations (NGOs) and schools, including US $1.8 million for health programs at 43 schools that included a drug testing component. Since 2004, the Hong Kong Narcotics Division has disseminated its anti-drug message through the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust-funded Drug Information Centre, via TV and radio broadcasts, internet films, and widely-disseminated posters and printed materials.

The Hong Kong Government neither encourages nor facilitates illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, or other controlled substances, nor the laundering of related proceeds. There were no reports of official involvement in narcotics trafficking or related money laundering in 2011. Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption combats public and private sector corruption.

Three agreements bolster U.S.-Hong Kong bilateral law enforcement cooperation: a Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Agreement (MLAA), an Agreement for the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders, and an Agreement for the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. Hong Kong law enforcement entities, among the most effective in the region, continue to collaborate closely with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in day-to-day enforcement, intelligence sharing, and training. Proceeds from joint U.S.-Hong Kong counter-drug investigations are routinely shared.

The Hong Kong Government remains committed against drug trafficking. Evidence of this commitment includes renewed pledges by senior Hong Kong officials, including from the Chief Executive and cabinet members, to work together with the community to combat drug problems and foster a drug-free culture; committing very significant resources to education and outreach through the “Beat Drugs Fund;” a determination to prevent drug use through school drug testing; and vigorous law enforcement and collaboration with international partners.


A. Introduction

India is strategically located between Southwest Asia (the Golden Crescent) and Southeast Asia (the Golden Triangle), the two main sources of illicit opium. The country's geographic location makes it an attractive transshipment area for heroin bound for Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and North America. In addition, India is authorized by the international community to produce licit opium for pharmaceutical uses. Licit opium is grown in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. India is also a major chemical precursor producer, including acetic anhydride (AA), ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine. India has become one of the main sources of ketamine. Ketamine, a veterinary anesthesia, is not under international control, and the number of significant ketamine seizures at major airports, in sea containers and in parcels continues to increase. India also manufactures organic and synthetic licit opiate/psychotropic pharmaceuticals (LOPPS). Destined for licit sales in markets around the world, these items (raw opium, chemical precursors, ketamine, LOPPS) are vulnerable to diversion, including through illegally operating Internet pharmacies. Licit and illicit manufactured opiate/psychotropic pharmaceuticals are often diverted in small quantities to the U.S. as illegal "personal use" shipments. There is also evidence that opium is grown illicitly in India, especially in the northeastern regions.

India continues to be a main source of illicitly manufactured amphetamines and methaqualone. Seizures of amphetamines by law enforcement authorities continue to increase; seizures of methaqualone have varied widely, from 2,382 kilograms in 2008, 33 kilograms in 2009, and zero kilograms in 2010. India is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

India’s stringent Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPSA) was last amended in October, 2001 and is designed to fulfill India's treaty obligations under the 1988 United Nations (UN) Drug Convention. An amendment to India’s NDPSA was introduced to Parliament in September, but has not been passed. India is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In May, India ratified both the UN Convention against Corruption, and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols (also called the Palermo Convention). The United States and India operate under both an extradition treaty and a mutual legal assistance treaty.

While the GOI continues to tighten licit opium diversion controls, the capacity of India's drug law enforcement personnel to collect and analyze intelligence data and to initiate and conduct complex investigations of criminal drug trafficking and other sophisticated/organized crimes remains limited by lack of training, lack of modern equipment, and inadequate coordination with foreign law enforcement agencies. In addition, India’s lack of infrastructure in the northeast and challenging terrain provides exploitable opportunities for illegal cultivation and production. The Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN) has a mandate to monitor India's licit opium production and prevent diversion. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is the National Nodal drug control agency, mandated to prevent and combat the abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Licit opium poppy cultivation in India is a labor-intensive and geographically dispersed industry, with inherent control challenges. Both the CBN and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) stress the strictness of the Indian licensing and control system. India is the only country that uses the incising method to produce raw opium rather than poppy straw concentrate, which is less prone to diversion. The CBN organizes and supervises the licit cultivation of opium poppy, deciding on the quantity of opium it intends to purchase and makes a careful estimate of the expected yield per hectare. After the harvest, the CBN collects opium gum from farmers and operates two processing centers (in Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh and Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh) where the opium is purified, dried, weighed and packaged for export or partially refined to supply to Indian pharmaceutical companies.

The possibility for diversion exists if properly licensed and harvested fields yield more opium than the Minimum Qualifying Yield (MQY) set by the CBN and the unreported excess is sold into the illicit market. Cultivators may also falsely claim their licensed fields are not harvestable and then sell their harvests illicitly. While farmers who submit opium above the MQY are paid a premium by the government, sales made on the illicit market often have a much higher profit margin than sales made to the government CBN.

India makes a serious effort to control precursor chemicals produced in its large chemical industry. India actively participates in such precursor control arrangements as Project Cohesion and Project Prism. India issues pre-export notifications for export of precursors using an online system developed by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and has an elaborate licensing regime to control dual use (licit/illicit) pharmaceutical products. India is clearly in compliance with international control requirements for these products.

2. Supply Reduction

Smuggling of heroin into India from Afghanistan via Pakistan continues to increase. Drug-trafficking organizations in India use human couriers and commercial package services to send illicit drugs overseas, both to Europe and the Americas. India continues to be targeted by traffickers as a primary source for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. Despite GOI control efforts, India has been identified in some law enforcement cases as a source of such precursors destined for illicit methamphetamine labs in Mexico. The INCB reports pseudoephedrine from India is formed into tablets in Bangladesh and then sent to countries in Central America and the Caribbean. To circumvent existing diversion control measures, drug trafficking organizations have also begun smuggling uncontrolled pharmaceutical preparations containing those chemicals, instead of the highly controlled basic precursors. There have also been increasing numbers of ketamine seizures, a substance not under international control. INCB reports that over 1 ton of ketamine was seized in India in 2009, at major airports, in sea containers, and in courier and postal service parcels.

The GOI estimates that half of India’s heroin consumption and all of India’s opium consumption (70 tons) were met by domestic supply; the GOI notes that to produce these amounts of heroin and opium in 2009, India would have needed to have a minimum of 7,500 hectares (18,533 acres) of illegal opium cultivation. Informed observers of the Indian scene downplay the role of diversion of opium from licit production to the illicit domestic market. The 2011 United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report, “The Global Afghan Opium Trade: A Threat Assessment,” states the estimated quantity of licitly produced opium diverted from licit to illicit use is very limited, or maybe even non-existent. UNODC reporting suggests that some 15 tons of heroin- or 3 percent of global supply- are illicitly produced in India. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) 2010 notes India eradicated 2,448 hectares (6,049 acres) of illicitly cultivated opium poppy in 2009. Thus, illicit production in India seems to be the main domestic source of illicit opiates, not diversion from licit production, but nobody really knows for sure, since both illicit production and diversion are crimes with stiff punishments.

The table below outlines total drug seizures made in India during the period of 2004 through December 2010. (Note: The reporting period for 2004-2007 was equivalent to the calendar year. The reporting period for 2009 was April 2008 through March 2009. The reporting period for 2009 and 2010 was April through December of the respective year).

Name of Drug

Total kg seized in India 2004

Total kg seized in India 2005

Total kg seized in India 2006

Total kg seized in India 2007

Total kg seized in India 2008

Total kg seized in India 2009

Total kg seized in India 2010

























Ganja (Marijuana)





















2, 382



Acetic Anhydride (ltrs)
























n/r = not reported

The NCB also destroyed illicit cultivation of poppy and cannabis in situ. The MHA 2010-2011 report notes the NCB coordinated the destruction of 8,392 acres of illicit poppy cultivation in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal; NCB detected and destroyed an additional 762 acres. UNODC reports that in 2009, illicit poppy cultivation totaling 6,049 acres was eradicated across India, up from 1, 542 acres eradicated in 2008 through a series of joint law enforcement eradication operations. The INCB reports law enforcement eradicated 12,066 acres of illicitly cultivated cannabis plants in 2009, about three times more than in 2008.

(Note: The amount of drugs destroyed does not accurately reflect the amount of drugs seized in the same time period. India's legal system is overburdened and understaffed. In 2010, an Andhra Pradesh high court justice estimated it would take 320 years for the courts to clear the existing backlog of approximately 32 million pending cases.)

The NCB reported the following notable seizures/lab destructions: In 2010, between May and September, the NCB seized 2,899,426 pseudoephedrine tablets and 293.50 kg of bulk pseudoephedrine in the forest near a highway connecting Imphal, India to Burma. The cumulative value of the seized drugs was estimated at approximately 4,397,448 rupees (about $99,942 ). One Burmese national was arrested.

In August 2010, the NCB busted a methamphetamine manufacturing laboratory in Maharasthra, India, seizing 8.45 kg of methamphetamine, 60 kg of ephedrine, 10 liters of liquid methamphetamine and additional chemicals. Six Iranian nationals and one Dutch national were arrested. A subsequent search of a residence in Mumbai yielded 13 kg of ephedrine and 1 kg of amphetamine. One Indian national was arrested.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

India has not conducted a national household survey on substance abuse since 2000-2001; more recent information on the national prevalence of drug abuse is not available. Pilot work on a national survey of drug abuse began in early 2010. Information from the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) indicates drug abuse in India is on the rise.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) has a three-pronged strategy for demand reduction, including drug abuse awareness building and education, counseling and treatment programs, and training volunteers to work in the field of demand reduction. India has a National Consultative Committee on De-addiction (i.e., detoxification) and Rehabilitation (NCCDR), which provides training, research and documentation for use in drug abuse prevention. The MSJE continues to work on a national policy on prevention of substance abuse, which will include more awareness training in medical colleges and schools, periodic surveys on drug abuse, increased monitoring of pharmacists, drug demand reduction as a public health policy, a shift in treatment from detoxification and rehabilitation to longer-term substitution therapy, and more sensitive treatment of patients in de-addiction centers. Treatment and rehabilitation services from drug abuse are mainly provided by non-governmental organizations, which operate 376 treatment and rehabilitation centers and 68 counseling and awareness-raising centers. The GOI also runs 100 treatment centers at its hospitals and Primary Health Centers for those who need long-term rehabilitation.

4. Corruption

Since 1964, India has had an independent statutory body, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), which issues guidelines and conducts inquiries to address government corruption. The CVC reports to the President of India through the parliament. Despite this, 50 percent or more of Indian respondents in a reliable survey reported paying bribes.

Corruption is pervasive across police forces at all levels of government, with officers rarely being held accountable for illegal actions. Officers found to have participated in such illegal activity as bribe solicitation are often simply transferred to a new post. While the law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, in practice many officials frequently engage in corrupt practices with impunity. This undermines the effectiveness of even the most elaborate control regimes for dangerous drugs. The GOI neither encourages nor facilitates illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, or other controlled substances, nor the laundering of related proceeds.

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

Law enforcement agencies in India continue their extensive cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. India has conducted a number of joint operations against illicit internet pharmacies with DEA, and numerous significant large-scale conspiracies were detected and dismantled from 2006-2011.

D. Conclusion

India remains a drug transit country due to its strategic location in proximity to the two main sources (Afghanistan and the Golden Triangle) of illicit opium. India is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of precursor chemicals, and, despite the government’s control efforts and cooperation with global partners in chemical control, has been identified in cases as the source of diverted precursor chemicals for numerous drugs. In addition to precursor chemicals, other controlled substances are also diverted, including licit pharmaceutical preparations and prescription drugs containing psychotropic substances. Licit drugs produced in India are sold through illegal Internet pharmacies and trafficked through the misuse of courier services, despite government’s efforts to combat this sort of crime. Opium is also illicitly grown in India in quantities sufficient to supply much of India’s own domestic demand. A strict control system seems to limit diversion of licitly produced opium. India is increasing its efforts at training of its national enforcement officers, and is vigorously exploiting opportunities for international cooperation in an effort to improve the effectiveness of both its demand and supply control efforts. Unfortunately, unpunished corruption limits the effectiveness of India’s efforts.


A. Introduction

Indonesia faces continuing challenges in combating drug production, trafficking, and internal drug use. Provisions of Indonesia’s new National Narcotics Law approved in October 2009 have provided the Indonesian National Narcotics Board (BNN) with increased resources and new mandates in the areas of enforcement, demand reduction, and treatment of drug users. However, the Government of Indonesia (GOI) still faces major future challenges, especially in combating a growing use of methamphetamines by Indonesian youth.

As of mid-2011, Indonesia had a population of approximately 4.1 million drug abusers (ca. 2 percent of Indonesia’s population), an increase of roughly 500,000 since 2009. During a September 2011 International Drug Enforcement Conference in Bali, the BNN Director stated that crime associated with drugs increased by 67 percent during the first six months of 2011 compared to the previous six months. The BNN Director added that, while drug usage has typically been associated with the country’s larger cities, it is now spreading to smaller villages in many parts of the archipelago. He also commented that 80 percent of the country’s drug addicts are between the ages of 15 and 39 years, reflecting the growing use of methamphetamines by young Indonesians.

The growing demand for methamphetamines, ecstasy, heroin, and ketamine is reflected in higher seizure rates and higher street prices in Indonesia than in most other Southeast Asian countries. Most methamphetamine, heroin, and associated precursors still come from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Thailand, Taiwan, and India. However, small domestic laboratories, often located in residences, produce a significant and growing amount of methamphetamine and ecstasy. Typically the labs are run by Indonesian drug syndicates or have an ethnic Chinese connection.

Most foreign drug smugglers caught with methamphetamine are associated with Iranian, West African/Nigerian, or Malaysian drug syndicates. Because Indonesian drug prices are high relative to other Southeast Asian countries, the Indonesian market offers a high profit margin as an added incentive to increase smuggling operations into the country. For example, methamphetamine can command a street value more than 10 times its cost in Iran.

Drugs smuggled into Indonesia typically transit Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, or arrive directly on flights originating from Iran, Turkey, and other travel hubs in South Asia and the Middle East. Methamphetamine and associated precursors originating from China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan are brought in via ship. The April 2011 seizure of 17.9 kilograms of Iranian-sourced methamphetamine concealed in a shipping container in Jakarta’s port of Tanjung Priok and the increased frequency of air cargo shipments containing narcotics represent two of the more significant drug trends during the past year. There has also been a tangible increase in illegal ketamine importation over the past year. Most of the ketamine originates in India, but small amounts from China have also been detected. Cannabis seizures have been gradually declining.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

This past year saw the first real effects of Indonesia’s 2009 National Narcotics Law, as BNN’s expanded authorities under the legislation led to the year’s more significant drug control accomplishments. The law provided BNN with broader authorities and increased both staff and budget, which improved the effectiveness of its enforcement activities and demand reduction programs.

BNN implemented new community and interagency programs designed to improve provincial drug awareness and interagency cooperation between BNN, the Indonesian National Police (INP), Customs and Excise, Immigration, the Judiciary, the Military, and a number of other ministries. Examples of improved interagency cooperation include rural alternative development programs in Aceh, judicial and telecommunications intercept programs targeting drug trafficking syndicates operating out of prisons, and improved cooperation with GOI Customs, INP/Maritime Security, and military units in North Sumatra and Riau provinces.

The GOI has also increased its number of international judicial and law enforcement agreements—which include bilateral accords with India, Vietnam, China, Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan, Mexico, and the United States.

The new narcotics law also imposes harsher penalties for drug trafficking. The law grants BNN new enforcement authority, specifically authorizing BNN investigators to initiate and conduct investigations, subpoena witnesses in court, and arrest and prosecute suspects in drug cases. BNN is still required to coordinate with the INP in drug investigations.

The new law also introduces the concept of mitigating circumstances, notably for minors and first time drug offenders. It allows Indonesian courts to order minors and first time drug offenders to mandatory drug rehabilitation instead of prison, a policy strengthened in June 2011 by a Supreme Court circular that directed lower courts to order rehabilitation instead of prison for non-violent drug users not convicted of drug trafficking or other felony charges.

In order to fulfill its new statutory mandate, BNN plans to increase its personnel from the current 300 officers to 5,000 located in all 32 provinces by 2015. To meet these demands, BNN, with support from DEA and U.S. Pacific Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force-West, is working to develop its information technology, infrastructure, training, and human resources through a variety of programs.

As a matter of government policy and practice, Indonesia does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs or the laundering of proceeds from illegal transactions.

2. Supply Reduction

In its 2011 Progress Report on Drug Control, the GOI cited the following drug supply reduction goals:

•  Dismantling of narcotics syndicate networks

•  Dismantling of clandestine laboratories

•  Interdiction of illicit trafficking

•  Elimination of illicit narcotics distribution

•  Control of precursor chemicals

•  Cooperation with pharmaceutical and chemical industries

•  Countering money laundering activities related to narcotics

BNN has reported the following major supply reduction accomplishments over the past year:

•  Established seven outstations for data and intelligence collection at airports and seaports.

•  Apprehended members of narcotics syndicates from Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Nigeria, and India, as well as based in the Indonesian prisons, on both narcotics trafficking and money laundering charges.

•  Dismantled 14 clandestine methamphetamine labs and 11 ecstasy labs.

•  Seized assets from narcotics traffickers equivalent to $2.106M and narcotics with a value of $31.76M.

•  In collaboration with the domestic pharmaceutical and chemical industries, formulated and disseminated guidelines for preventing the diversion of precursor chemicals.

•  Established a code of ethics related to precursor chemicals for the national pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

•  Trained 250 BNN investigators: 140 in basic training and 110 in advanced training courses.

•  Implemented the Indonesia National Single Window (INSW) to control the import/export of goods, including precursor chemicals, thereby increasing security related to customs clearances.

Current supply reduction efforts focus on methamphetamine, ecstasy, heroin, ketamine, cocaine, and cannabis—with a concentration on enhanced interdiction of drugs entering via air, land, and sea ports. Despite much progress, the BNN Director acknowledged that only 25-30% of narcotics smuggling was being discovered by authorities.

The majority of Iranian and West African drug syndicate couriers are caught at the airports in Jakarta and Denpasar, Bali. An increasing number of couriers, however, are apprehended at smaller provincial airports and at various seaports, mostly in the areas bordering the Strait of Malacca and the Sunda Strait. In 2011, 36 drug couriers were arrested at Bakauheni seaport in Lampung, South Sumatra alone. This port is situated at the convergence of several trans-Sumatra land routes. Large shipments of marijuana smuggled via truck from Aceh are often seized in South Lampung and West Java.

The use of small clandestine labs to produce methamphetamines in residential areas in large urban cities is a growing problem. These labs are hard to detect without specific intelligence, and are often run by Indonesian, Malaysian or Chinese/Taiwanese drug syndicates. In September 2011, DEA, BNN, and Taiwanese law enforcement conducted a joint operation that led to the dismantlement of a Taiwanese drug syndicate with meth labs in a residential area south of Jakarta and two additional locations in northwestern Jakarta adjacent to an oceanfront residential community and a commercial dock facility.

Ketamine, ecstasy, and other hallucinogens continue to grow in popularity, and their availability is on the rise. Ketamine, a veterinary anesthesia that induces LSD-like hallucinations, is used most often by young people and is increasingly popular on the nightclub circuit. Ketamine is legal in India for veterinary use and is being increasingly diverted into Indonesia for the illicit market—as illustrated by the increased frequency and higher volume of seizures in 2011. As recently as 2007, Indonesian authorities did not report on ketamine abuse, underscoring its rapid penetration of the domestic consumer market over the past three years. Ecstasy continues to be the third most commonly consumed and seized drug and is particularly popular with Indonesian young adults.

Cocaine remains a minor niche drug, trafficked in small quantities, and is most often associated with Western expatriates or tourists and wealthy Indonesians with foreign connections. BNN officials, however, are concerned that Indonesia may experience increased cocaine trafficking in the years ahead.

Increased seizures of heroin over the past two years are a growing concern to BNN. Most heroin seized in Indonesia originates from the Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Pakistan) and is trafficked to Indonesia by Iranian, West African, Malaysian, and Pakistani drug syndicates.

Cannabis is cultivated mainly in the Aceh region of Indonesia and transported in bulk by heavy trucks via Sumatra’s main highways and ferries to West Java. The overall amount of processed marijuana and hectares of plants under cultivation have been on a downward trend for the past five years.

During the past year BNN focused heavily on rooting out prison-based drug trafficking syndicates and administrative corruption in the prison system. During the first seven months of 2011, BNN broke up 15 drug trafficking syndicates associated with prisons in Sumatra, Riau, Sulawesi, and Java, —many of which have connections to major international drug rings—resulting in the arrest of numerous corrupt GOI officials and corrections officers. BNN continues to target prisons-based drug trafficking organizatons. The former head of Nusakambangan Narcotics Prison, in central Java, stood trial for corruption and various narcotics offences, including acting as a facilitator for prisoners trafficking drugs and laundering billions of rupiah. He was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Indonesia's 2009 National Narcotics Law has had a major impact on the GOI’s ability to deal with drug demand reduction. BNN, as noted above, is concerned about an increase in the use of methamphetamine, ketamine, and ecstasy, due to the often complicating effects of these drugs on treatment and rehabilitation.

Indonesia's 2009 National Narcotics Law provided BNN with its own budget, direct access to the president, and new operational authorities. This has enabled BNN to:

•  Hire qualified medical staff to advise on drug treatment and prevention programs

•  Establish BNN-run treatment/rehabilitation units, which are comprised of community-based units and outreach centers throughout the country

•  Begin a media and outreach campaign advising on the dangers of drug addiction

•  Work with the Ministry of Education to include anti-drug material in school curricula

•  Provide special treatment and rehabilitation programs at six prisons for drug offenders

Significant regulatory developments over the past year include:

•  Supreme Court Circular Letter No. 4 of 2010 which counseled lower courts to send convicted drug offenders to rehabilitation.

•  GOI Regulation No. 25 of 2011 which mandated reporting of drug dependence, leading to increased reporting of addiction cases. 30 percent of Indonesia’s prison population is incarcerated on drug possession, drug-trafficking, or drug-related violence charges.

BNN estimates total drug users in Indonesia in 2011 to be approximately 4.1 million—less than 2 percent of the population. BNN estimates the amount of money spent every year in Indonesia for the consumption of narcotics and dangerous substances to be more than $2.2 billion.

4. Corruption

Indonesia has made some progress in combating official corruption, primarily through the efforts of its Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). However, corruption at all levels of government, including law enforcement organizations, the penal system, and the judiciary, is common, which poses a significant threat to the country’s counternarcotics strategy.

Even when narcotics offenders receive stringent prison sentences, corruption within the prison enables inmates to use and traffic illicit substances. Even maximum security facilities are susceptible to drug trafficking, and Indonesian law enforcement in September 2010 conducted operations that led to the dismantling of an organized narcotics ring in a high-security prison often referred to as the “Alcatraz of Indonesia.” Investigators implicated three suspects on charges of methamphetamine distribution. All of the suspects had been sentenced to life imprisonment for prior narcotics offenses. Investigators believe the ring had been in operation for at least six months before it was detected.

BNN has traditionally enjoyed a good reputation among regional law enforcement agencies for being well led, well managed, and corruption free. However, corruption may become a more problematic issue as its ranks expand rapidly and are spread more widely across the country. Two BNN employees were arrested in October 2011 on drug trafficking charges with 68 grams of meth, 11 ecstasy pills, and an illegal firearm in their possession. They likely obtained their narcotics from the BNN evidence office.

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

In March 2011, DEA opened the DEA Jakarta Country Office. DEA Agents from the Singapore, Hong Kong, and Indonesia Country Offices conducted a week-long land-sea border interdiction operation with counterparts from the Indonesian Customs Narcotics Team (CNT) and BNN. The United States has provided equipment and technical assistance that has significantly increased Indonesia’s interdiction capability. During 2011, U.S. assistance focused on the Indonesian CNT’s K-9 drug detection program. The United States also provided several vehicles for BNN, as well as training in precursor control and narcotics investigations. This training focused on advanced/specialized investigative techniques, including money-laundering investigations.

BNN will co-host the 2012 International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) in Bali. IDEC is the world’s largest international drug enforcement meeting. Approximately 90 countries send delegates. 2012 will be the first time any Asian country has hosted the event.

Indonesia does not have an Extradition or Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United States, but the Indonesians have accepted past mutual legal assistance requests, and there is a practice of informal evidence sharing on a police-to-police basis.

D. Conclusion

Indonesia’s commitment to strong drug-control institutions, evidenced by the 2009 National Narcotics Law and subsequent regulations, has clearly advanced its efforts against narcotics. The BNN’s recently demonstrated administrative capability and enhanced budgetary resources, along with its willingness to collaborate with other ministries, bodes well for the future.

On the law enforcement side, BNN’s recent focus on improving its information systems, especially those efforts to link the headquarters in Jakarta with 33 province offices is particularly notable. Maritime security remains a concern, however. The Malacca and Sunda Straits, and the traditional harbor and port facilities northwest of Jakarta, are especially vulnerable. BNN does not have the resources or mandate to secure these waterways on its own. As a result, collaboration between BNN, the maritime police, and various military entities will be necessary, along with closer cooperation among the littoral states of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

BNN has also made progress on demand reduction, but drug usage is still increasing, albeit at a slower rate than general population growth. Increasing use of methamphetamines is a major concern. BNN now has medical staff at six prisons housing drug offenders. This staff provides withdrawal and rehabilitation services to drug abusers. According to the Deputy Director for Prevention, BNN plans to increase the number of these prison treatment services over the next few years.


A. Introduction

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a major transit route for opiates smuggled from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Persian Gulf, Turkey, Russia, and Europe. A large share of opiates leaving Afghanistan transit Iran for consumers in Central Asia, and Europe; a much smaller share ends up in Russia. Knowledgeable observers estimate that at least 40 percent of Afghan opium production enters Iran, with a large share of that 40 percent remaining for Iran’s own consumption.

In most years, Iran, according to Iranian statistics, seizes more illicit opium-based drugs than any other country in the world. Iran’s reported seizures of opium –the most abused drug in Iran – amounted to eight-times more than all other countries’ opium seizures combined in 2010. Since 2007, Iran has seized roughly one-third of all heroin seized in the world, and more recently Iran’s heroin seizures make up almost half of the heroin seized in the world. Iran’s opium and morphine seizures were down in the first eight months of 2011, while seizures of heroin were at nearly the same level as in 2010. Hashish seizures fell sharply (-26 %) in the first eight months of 2011 from the same period in 2010.

Iranian traffickers continued to play a major role in trafficking amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) to countries in Southeast Asia. These amphetamines are likely manufactured in Iran, as numerous labs and large amounts of ATS have been seized inside Iran, and significant seizures are made in Turkey, in addition to other countries bordering Iran. Seizure statistics for amphetamines in Iran demonstrate the emergence of a new drug threat. In 2011, reported seizures of amphetamine in Iran increased ten-times from figures reported in 2008. Treatment professionals in Iran are expressing concern that widespread amphetamine abuse may overwhelm already limited treatment resources.

Iran has one of the most serious opiate addiction problems in the world. Recent statistics on opiate abuse place Iran second in the world by share of population using opiates, exceeded only by Afghanistan. Not all opium users in Iran are addicts. Many Iranians smoke opium casually in social circumstances or use it as a medicine, in small quantities. However, highly addictive high-potency heroin is increasingly taken intravenously, especially by young people. The amount of high-potency heroin seized in Iran is on the rise.

Drug use has driven the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country. By mid 2011, there were 23,125 people registered with HIV/AIDS infections. Injecting drug use was a factor in contracting the disease in nearly 70 percent of these cases. The average HIV prevalence among injecting drug users in Iran is 14.3 percent. The total number of infected persons may be up to 80,000, according to the Iranian Ministry of Health.

Recently, Iran’s drug officials demonstrated a sharp reversal of their former policies to incarcerate drug abusers; they now claim to emphasize treatment over punishment. In addition to treatment clinics, free needle programs and the distribution of condoms have been used to curb HIV and other blood-borne disease infection rates in Iran. Methadone and Buprenorpine are used to maintain addicts during withdrawal treatment. Despite this new approach to dealing with addicts, the penalties for drug related crimes in Iran remain high. International human rights organizations condemn numerous executions for drug-related crimes in Iran.

Iran is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but its laws do not bring it into full compliance with the Convention. The UNODC is working with Iran to modify laws, train the judiciary, and improve Iran’s court system.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Iran’s Drug Control Headquarters leads all aspects of drug control policy. The Secretary General of the Headquarters and the Deputy report to the President of Iran. Other members of the Drug Control Headquarters include six Ministers: Minister of the Interior, Intelligence, Health, Education, Islamic Guidance and Research. The Chief of Police, Prosecutor General, Head of the Revolutionary Courts, Head of Prisons and the Commander of the Basij militia also have a role in the Drug Control Headquarters.

2. Supply Reduction

Iran pursues an aggressive border interdiction effort along its eastern frontier with Afghanistan. Iran claims it has dug 688 kilometers of trenches, constructed 477 kilometers of embankments, built a concrete wall 85 kilometers in length and installed 120 kilometers of barbed wire fencing to deter drug smugglers. Iran has also constructed new roads, numerous observation towers, and installed increasingly sophisticated electronic detection measures along its eastern borders. Iranian officials claimed to have seized more than 745 MT of opiates (opium equivalent) during 2010, and an additional 443.8 MT of opiates (opium equivalent) in the first eight months of 2011. Reported opiate seizures in 2010 were down by 25 percent in comparison to 2009, perhaps reflecting the decline in opium production in Afghanistan in 2010. The decline in seizures continued during the first eight months of 2011. Iran and Pakistan frequently alternate as the countries with the highest volume of opiate seizures in the world, and Iran is likely to lead in opiate seizures once again in both 2010 and 2011.

Iran-Seizure Statistics (in kg) 2010




Hi-potency Heroin

All Heroin


Total Opiates*





















% Ch.









* NB. To compare the total weight of opiates seized in Iran, morphine and heroin products are converted into opium equivalents by multiplying the seized weight by a factor of ten. This is a convention used to compare drugs by weight, and is just an estimate of the actual conversion factor of opium into morphine/heroin.

Seizures of synthetic drugs in Iran continued to increase in 2010 and 2011. In the first eight months of 2011, synthetic drug seizures exceeded levels for the whole of 2010 by 22 percent. Knowledgeable observers in Turkey, where 70 kg of what was likely Iranian methamphetamine were seized during 2011, commented that the high purity level of the Iranian-based methamphetamine is indicative of Iran’s sophisticated methamphetamine labs and their access to bulk precursor chemicals. With increasing availability of methamphetamine in both Turkey and Iran, it is feared that drug addicts will turn to this inexpensive drug.

3 Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Although China is estimated to have the largest number of opiate abusers in the world, Iran has one of the highest percentages of its population abusing opiates. Based on the information Iran provided to the World Drug Report in 2011, the prevalence rate of opiate use as a percentage of the population aged 15-64 in the country is 2.26 percent. Iran ranks second in the world by share of population abusing opiates. Many observers, including Iranian practitioners in the treatment community, believe that opiate abuse in Iran may be even higher than reported.

Significant seizures of opium by Iranian enforcement confirm that opium continues to be the drug of choice in Iran by a wide margin. UNODC and diplomatic observers in Iran note that young people have turned aggressively to drug abuse (more than two-thirds of Iran’s population is under the age of 30). This same group is now at great risk for abuse of synthetic drugs, as they are less expensive and are becoming more common in Iran.

4. Corruption

It is difficult to assess the role corruption plays in narcotics trafficking in Iran. In other countries in the region, corrupt enforcement authorities accept bribes to allow drug smuggling, and fail to enforce laws that prohibit street sales of narcotics and other contraband. Higher level officials are sometimes convicted of protecting narcotics traffickers. Given the scale of narcotics trafficking in Iran, it is possible that similar conditions may also exist in Iran. Iran does not, as a matter of official 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.

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

The U.S. Government continues to encourage regional cooperation against narcotics trafficking and has worked effectively on narcotics issues with Iranian diplomats in international organizations like the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). The United States has also approved licenses that allow U.S. NGOs to work on drug issues in Iran. Iran is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol. Iran has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime.

D. Conclusion

The Iranian Government has taken strong measures against illicit narcotics smuggling, including cooperation with the international community and interdiction of drugs moving into and through its territory. The sudden emergence of large-scale domestic manufacturing of methamphetamine drugs and methamphetamine trafficking from Iran to countries in the Near East, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia poses a new significant and growing threat. The United States anticipates that Iran will continue to pursue policies and actions in support of efforts to combat drug production, trafficking and abuse.


In Iraq, drug production, trafficking, and use are negligible by international standards. Little more than anecdotal evidence exists of drug production or cultivation. Iraq is more of a transit country than a destination for drugs. Abuse of licit prescription drugs is the only significant abuse problem, although several studies from the last two to five years note a rise in illicit drug abuse. The Government of Iraq (GOI) does not devote significant resources to counternarcotics efforts, and only a few dedicated drug rehabilitation facilities exist. State-INL has funded a “Center of Excellence” at the Baghdad Medical City hospital, the only facility that addresses drug abuse comprehensively. Iraq is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Iraq’s role in illicit drug production appears minor. However, there have been increased attempts to divert precursor chemicals for drug production in Afghanistan. In Iraq, it is illegal to traffic in and sell illicit drugs as well as to use them. The GOI maintains that the country has no drug problem, but some Iraqis abuse opiate products, hashish (mostly limited to areas near trafficking routes), and prescription drugs. Laws restricting their use are rarely enforced. Prescription drugs are available in Iraqi pharmacies without prescription. Much drug abuse results from living in a society wracked by instability. Steroid use is not illegal or controlled, and has risen among bodybuilders and athletes. There are concerns that insurgents use steroids to enhance combat capabilities. Reports indicate that among police personnel, steroids are the most widely abused drug, but drug and alcohol abuse have increased in the last two years, particularly among the army and police engaged in high stress deployments.

More drugs transit Iraq than remain in the country. Amphetamines (Captagon) move from Syria through Iraq to Saudi Arabia. Hashish moves from Iran to Kuwait, and Afghan-origin heroin shipped from Iran destined for Turkey or Syria passes through the Kurdish region of Iraq. Drugs moving from Iran to Saudi Arabia also transit Iraq. In September, Saudi Arabian officials discovered a glider near the Iraqi border with 700,000 Captagon tablets. Terrorists, militias, and large criminal gangs generate revenue from drug trafficking activities.

Iraq has not invested adequately in the counternarcotics control personnel and capacity required to effectively control drug trafficking. Iraqi forces in charge of border control and interdiction face serious challenges detecting contraband due to limited training, manpower, and equipment. State-INL’s Police Development Program (PDP) includes a counter-narcotics advisor. In addition, PDP advisors from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the Coast Guard work with the Iraqi Department of Border Enforcement to improve border controls and consult with the Iraqi Coastal Border Guard on patrolling the coastline and enforcing laws along the maritime border areas. The DHS advisors also work with the Iraqi Navy, which enforces the majority of Iraq’s maritime sovereignty regimes.

Drug policing falls under various local law enforcement jurisdictions. No central authority specifically targets drugs. Borders are porous with little or no communication among the agencies involved. Corruption frequently undermines border enforcement efforts and a high rate of illiteracy among border enforcement personnel further limits their effectiveness. As a matter of government policy, Iraq 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. Iraq is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Iraq’s drug laws are in need of reform. The vast majority of laws dates from the 1960s, and they often include overly severe, impractical penalties. Personal use can carry sentences from three to 15 years incarceration and trafficking can draw a life sentence or the death penalty. One trafficker arrested and convicted in Mosul in May for growing and selling marijuana received a sentence of 150 years in prison.

Extradition between the United States and Iraq is governed by the 1934 U.S.-Iraq Extradition Treaty, which remains in force. Although there is no mutual legal assistance treaty in force between the United States and Iraq, mutual legal assistance is provided on a reciprocal basis through letters of request.

No functioning full-spectrum drug rehabilitation programs exist in Iraq. The Iraqi Ministry of Health is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to establish a Center of Excellence on Substance Abuse Services at Baghdad’s Medical City. This project can help Iraq develop a baseline against which it can measure and model future progress.


Israel is not a major narcotics producing or trafficking country, but has a significant domestic demand for illegal drugs. Drug offenses linked to other crimes such as human trafficking, illegal labor and money laundering continue to be issues for law enforcement; a growing youth population is a concern for future drug use. Money laundering legislation and scrutiny of money laundering has increased significantly in recent years, with a focus on drug money and its ties to terror financing and human trafficking. In addition to young people, members of minority groups and an increasing number of illegal immigrants, particularly from Africa, are targets for drug trafficking investigations. Many Israelis hold multiple passports, technically giving them an advantage in drug smuggling and trafficking. Abuse of cannabis, hard drugs, hagigat (a qat derivative) and illegal prescription medications continues to be a problem in Israel. In addition, yaba, a caffeine/methamphetamine pill associated with Thailand is abused particularly by third-country national laborers and synthetic cannabinoids, which are not illegal in Israel, are a growing concern for law enforcement officials. Medical marijuana is legal in Israel, butproduction and distribution are tightly controlled.

From January thru September 2011, Israeli enforcement seized:

•  Marijuana - 639 kg (mostly from the Egyptian border)

•  Hashish - 671 kg (mostly from the Egyptian border)

•  Cocaine - 255 kg

•  Heroin - 15 kg

•  MDMA (Ecstasy) - 13,446 tablets

•  Yabba - 38,264 tablets

Israel’s Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (DDO) provides the legislative basis for drug definition, penalties and related enforcement authorities. The Knesset amended the Hazardous Substances Law, which specifically defines illegal narcotics, to include cathinone (a.k.a. hagigat), methcathinone, amphetamines and methamphetamines (Yaba) in 2010. Israel is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Israel and the United States have a customs mutual assistance agreement, a mutual legal assistance treaty and an extradition treaty. Israel is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and has been a member of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) since 2003.

The DDO created the Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA) under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office. The IADA coordinates cross-ministerial development, management and implementation of all anti-drug activity on the part of the GOI, including raising awareness, reducing demand via design and implementation of targeted anti-drug programs, and supporting treatment facilities. In 2011, the IADA was placed under administrative control of the Ministry of Public Security, but remained under the PMO’s technical control. The IADA maintains a useful and comprehensive website in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and English (

There are currently 150 community treatment programs for substance abuse throughout Israel. By law, all drug treatment facilities must be licensed by the State and are subject to approval by government committee, plus regular audits by government-appointed inspectors. In the past the IADA conducted a comprehensive survey of drug usage every four years, the last one was completed in 2009. These surveys, according to IADA, will become more frequent under the leadership of a new Chief Scientist that plans to complete the comprehensive surveys every two years and intermittent surveys every six months to track the results of both drug intervention programs and various law enforcement actions. In addition, IADA plans to develop a drug monitoring center, modeled on the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction to collect and maintain data from all relevant agencies and organizations in Israel.

Excellent bilateral cooperation on illicit drug enforcement and interdiction continues between U.S. and Israeli authorities, with efforts spearheaded by the DEA regional office in Nicosia as well as the DHS/ICE office in Tel Aviv. U.S. DEA Nicosia expanded the already close relationship with the Israeli National Police (INP) on international investigations during this past year. In 2011, two INP delegates attended the DEA-hosted International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) in Cancun, Mexico. According to DEA, the Israeli police made lasting contacts with their Egyptian counterparts, which has increased optimism for expanding cooperation in joint investigations on the Israeli-Egyptian border. Notable was a record cocaine seizure at an Israeli port as a result of DHS/ICE, DEA, and Israeli officials working together. Also, following Israeli Supreme Court decisions in 2010, the Israel extradited important Israeli organized crime figures to the United States. Furthermore, DEA Cyprus maintains outstanding relations with the Israeli Ministry of Health‘s Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and works with the Head of the Drug Lab in Israel on a wide range of issues pertaining to drug identification as well as the identification of new trends in drug production. Multiple bilateral projects, training programs, and joint investigations are currently in various planning stages.


A. Introduction

Italy remains an important European transit country for illegal drugs, owing to its location and powerful criminal organizations. Southwest Asian heroin arrives in Italy from the Middle East and the Balkans, while cocaine reaches Italy from South and Central America. Italy is also Europe’s second largest consumer of opiates and third largest consumer of cocaine. Synthetic drugs, hashish and marijuana are also concerns for the Italian government. While the majority of the narcotics trafficking is managed by traditional Italian organized criminal groups -- Cosa Nostra, ‘Ndrangheta, Camorra, and Sacra Corona -- foreign organized criminal groups have significant presence in Italy as well.

The majority of the heroin entering into Italy is routed through the transit countries of Greece, Turkey and Albania. Italian law enforcement agencies maintain liaison offices in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan to assist foreign counterparts in interdicting narcotics from source zones destined for Italy. Foreign nationals most significantly involved in heroin related offences within Italy include Tunisians, Moroccans, Albanians, Nigerians, and Algerians.

The Italian cocaine market is supplied primarily by Colombian sources with cocaine destined for Italy transiting several countries including Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Spain and the Netherlands. Multi-hundred kilogram shipments enter Italy via seaports concealed in commercial cargo as well as private vessels. In 2010, bilateral investigations in Italy revealed South American cocaine trafficking groups were using Italy as a transit point for the repatriation of drug proceeds, via bulk currency shipments, to Colombia and Mexico.

In most cases, the synthetic drugs found in Italy like Ecstasy, K2, and Spice originate in the Netherlands. The Italian Ministry of Health is active in identifying new substances and aggressive legislation has been implemented to control them.

Hashish importation to Italy continues to come predominately from Morocco through Spain as the principal transit country; the Netherlands is also a transit country. Marijuana into Italy generally comes from the Middle East with Albania and Montenegro being principal transit countries. Marijuana cultivation in Italy is usually for local consumption. Italy is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The GOI is committed to the fight against drug trafficking domestically and internationally. Italian law enforcement officials focus their efforts on heroin, cocaine, synthetic drugs, hashish and marijuana. It is unclear whether current austerity measures being implemented by the GOI will affect current and future counter narcotics efforts. In August 2010, the GOI passed legislation to authorize expanded undercover activities in furtherance of drug trafficking and money laundering investigations. While it was hoped that this new legislation would enhance the capacity of Italian law enforcement entities to infiltrate and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations, the application of the more expansive legislation has, to date, been somewhat limited.

In 2010, Italy contributed $1.6 million to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime programs. Italy has supported key U.S. objectives at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs and chairs the Dublin Group of countries coordinating narcotics assistance projects for Central Asia.

Italy is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Italy is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. Italy has bilateral extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties with the U.S. In February 2010, a U.S.-Italy protocol implementing the 2003 U.S.-EU Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements entered into force.

On October 29, 2010, the Italian government approved a Counter Narcotics National Action Plan 2010-2013. The plan seeks to improve coordination of national level policies that are implemented by regional governments, and provide an integrated approach among Italian stakeholders as well as the EU, the UN, and the international community. GOI earmarked $34.4 million for the plan (it is unclear whether the funds are actually available).

2. Supply Reduction

The fight against drugs is a priority for the National Police, Carabinieri, and Guardia di Finanza counternarcotic units. The Italian Central Directorate for Anti-Drug Services (DCSA) coordinates the counternarcotics units of the national police services and directs liaison activities with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and other foreign law enforcement agencies. DCSA has 20 drug liaison officers in 20 foreign countries that focus on major traffickers and their organizations.

Italy actively participates in the European Union’s FRONTEX agency, which is a coordination body for improving border control at the EU’s external borders. FRONTEX has standing maritime patrol operations in the Mediterranean Sea to prevent transnational crime from coming north from Africa.

Investigations of international narcotics often overlap with the investigations of Italy’s traditional organized crime groups. Additional narcotic trafficking groups include African and Balkan organized crime groups. Italian law enforcement agencies employ the same narcotics investigative techniques used by other western countries. Adequate financial resources, money laundering laws, and asset seizure/forfeiture laws help ensure the effectiveness of these efforts.

During 2010, Italian authorities seized 3,841 kilograms of cocaine (-5.87% with respect to 2009); 944 kilograms of heroin (- 18.32%); 20,141 kilograms of hashish (-0.84%); 5,337 kilograms of marijuana (-34.09%); 71,988 marijuana plants; and 74,606 doses of synthetic drugs. The single largest drug seizures during the same period were: 1,000 kilograms of cocaine at the Italian seaport of Gioia Tauro in November; 105 kilograms of heroin in Bari in March; 7,233 kilograms of hashish at the Italian seaport of Genova in August; 717 kilograms of marijuana in Brindisi in April and 42,000 dosage tablets of synthetic drugs in Arezzo in February. The most relevant drug trafficking activities were conducted by the following organized crime groups:

•  Cocaine: 'Ndrangheta, Camorra, Albanian, Colombian, Dominican, Moroccan, and Spanish;

•  Heroin: Sicilian, Puglia and Campania based crime groups together with Albanian, Tunisian, and Moroccan.

•  Cannabis: Lazio, Puglia, Sicilian working with Moroccan, Tunisian, Spanish and Albanian.

Also during 2010, 29,076 individuals were arrested in Italy on drug-related charges (Art. 73), 4,068 of which were arrested for the more serious drug trafficking / conspiracy violations (Art. 74). Sixty-nine (69) percent were Italian nationals, while the remaining 31 percent were foreign nationals, primarily Moroccan, Tunisian, Albanian and Nigerian nationals.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

GOI promotes drug prevention programs using abstinence messages and treatment aimed at the rehabilitation of drug addicts. The Italian Ministry of Health funds 533 public health offices that operate at the regional level; the government identified 1,108 private centers of which 65 percent are residential, 19 percent semi-residential facilities, and 16 percent walk-in facilities. Of 500,000 (estimated) drug addicts, about 393,000 are eligible for treatment in Italy, and 161,000 receive services at public agencies. The government continues to promote responsible use of methadone at the public treatment facilities. Regional and local governments spent about $49.3 million for drug prevention programs and a total of $26.2 million were spent for social and professional rehabilitation.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, Italy 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.

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

In April 2011, DCSA Director met with DEA’s Administrator at the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Cancun, Mexico in furtherance of bilateral cooperation and operations. In September 2010, the DCSA Director visited the DEA offices in Miami and New York, as well as DEA Headquarters. DEA and DCSA personnel continue to conduct intelligence-sharing and coordinate joint criminal investigations on a daily basis.

In July 2011, the Naples-based Camorra organized crime network was added to the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control Transnational Organized Crime list (the Calabria-based ‘Ndrangheta organized crime group was placed on the list under the Foreign Drug Kingpin program in 2008). During 2010, DEA provided training to Italian counterparts on asset forfeiture and drug law enforcement operations. In 2011 DEA also provided training to counterparts on Tactical Foreign Drug Enforcement Operations and Undercover Financial Investigations.

D. Conclusion

The USG will continue to work closely with Italian officials to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal groups impacting Italy and the United States as well as to enhance both countries’ ability to apply effective demand reduction policies. The USG will also continue to work with Italy in multilateral settings such as the Dublin Group of countries that coordinate counternarcotics and UNODC policies. The USG (via DHS) is exploring increased cooperation with FRONTEX, an organization in which Italy plays a large role.


A. Introduction

Jamaica continues to be the largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States. Although cocaine and synthetic drugs are not produced locally, Jamaica is a transit point for drugs trafficked from South America to North America. Drug production and trafficking are both enabled and accompanied by organized crime, domestic and international gang activity, and police and government corruption. The gun trade for illicit drugs exacerbates the problem as undocumented handguns are moved into the country in exchange for drugs.

Drugs flow into, through and from Jamaica in small boats and large vessels (both inside the vessel and in parasite containers attached to the hull), as contraband carried by ship and aircraft passengers, within shipping containers, and to a limited degree by private aircraft. Most drugs leaving Jamaica are bound for North America. However, some amounts of marijuana and cocaine are smuggled from Jamaica into England, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, either using personal couriers, cargo on commercial aircraft, or by inserting the drugs into shipping containers that pass through Kingston’s busy container terminal and continue onto Europe.

Factors that contribute to drug trafficking are the country’s convenient position as a point for narcotics being trafficked from Latin America; its lengthy, rugged and difficult-to-patrol coastline; a high volume of tourist travel by individuals and private boats; its status as a major transshipment point for shipping containers between Asia, Latin America, Europe and Africa; and, a struggling economy that encourages cultivation of marijuana in remote swamps and mountain areas.

Law enforcement authorities are moderately effective in combating illicit trafficking with competent and dedicated leadership, but their efforts are undercut by a slow and marginally-effective criminal justice system, a lack of sufficient resources, and corruption. Jamaican law stipulates that possession or use of cocaine; heroin, marijuana, and ecstasy are illegal and subject to criminal and civil penalties. The illegitimate possession of precursor chemicals is also prohibited by law.

Jamaica is a signatory to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Cooperation remains strong between the Governments of Jamaica and the United States in an effort to curb narcotics and related transnational crime. The United States’ primary partners are the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Jamaica Customs, and the Ministry of Finance’s Financial Investigation Division.

The Jamaican government and the United States have a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) that assists in evidence sharing. Both governments have a reciprocal asset sharing agreement and a bilateral law enforcement agreement governing cooperation to stop the maritime flow of illegal drugs. Jamaica is a party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1996 Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols, and the UN Convention Against Corruption. The Jamaican government has signed, but has not ratified, the Caribbean Regional Maritime Counterdrug Agreement.

The 1991 extradition treaty between the United States and Jamaica is actively and successfully used by the United States to extradite suspected criminals from Jamaica. Extradition requests are normally processed in a routine and efficient manner by Jamaican political and judicial authorities.

Realizing that fighting gangs, drugs, and transnational crime begins at the community level, the JCF increased community-based policing (CBP) efforts with U.S. support. CBP is now the official policy of the JCF and is incorporated into pre-service training for all police recruits. The CBP program spread from three pilot communities in 2008 to 360 communities in 2011. Of the JCF’s 8,444 front line officers, 5,609 received training in CBP practices with the remainder scheduled for training. Civilian acceptance of CBP is facilitated through programs such as a safe schools program and youth civic engagement.

The Commissioner of Police faces internal, judicial, and political roadblocks that hinder reforms mandated by Jamaica’s 2007 Police Strategic Review Implementation Plan. The Commissioner has taken a strong public stance against corruption, is continuing to implement and expand the plan, and has made steady progress toward institutional reform. However, it is unclear whether the Commissioner will secure continued legislative and executive support, both in funding and political backing, to make significant and enduring progress in combating police corruption and transforming the institution.

2. Supply Reduction

Marijuana is grown in all fourteen parishes of Jamaica. An estimated 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of marijuana is generally found in areas inaccessible to vehicular traffic on small plots in mountainous areas and along the tributaries of the Black River in Saint Elizabeth parish. The JCF and JDF employ teams of civilian cutters to cut growing plants and who are escorted by the military or police. Teams seize seedlings and cured marijuana and burn them in the field. Jamaican law prohibits the use of herbicides, and only manual eradication is conducted.

Eradication of marijuana (cannabis, seedlings, seeds, and nurseries) increased from 2010: 707 hectares of cannabis were eradicated; 1,900,630 seedlings destroyed and 480 kilos of seeds destroyed in 2011 when compared to 447 hectares, 956,300 seedlings and 255 kilos of seeds in 2010. Additional progress in eradication efforts is hindered by the Jamaican government’s fiscal constraints and the unavailability of JDF aircraft to locate marijuana fields and transport personnel to the remote areas where the crops are grown.

Jamaica prohibits the manufacture, sale, transport, and possession of ecstasy, methamphetamine, and regulates the precursor chemicals used to produce them. Jamaica does not produce precursor chemicals or other chemical substances and, relies on countries exporting goods to conform to international standards governing export verification. The importation and sale of pharmaceutical products and chemical substances are regulated and reinforced with fines or imprisonment. Other controls exist to monitor the usage of pharmaceutical products and chemical substances including register controls, inspections, and audits.

Smugglers continued to use maritime shipping containers, ships, small boats, aircraft and couriers to move drugs from and through Jamaica to the United States. Seizures of marijuana-related products improved in 2011, with 47,691 kilos of cannabis and 170 kilos of hash oil in 2011, compared to 39,291 kilos and 121 kilos in 2010, respectively, although hashish decreased to 9 kilos in 2011 from 13 in 2010. Seizures of cocaine increased to 552 kilos in 2011 from 176 kilos in 2010, though crack cocaine dropped to 1.3 kilos in 2011 from 5.98 in 2010.

High- profile organized crime gangs continued to successfully operate within Jamaica. Gang leaders are often afforded community and, in some cases, police protection. Nevertheless, drug-related arrests increased to 20,216 in 2011, compared to 10,255 in 2010.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The JCF reports that marijuana is used by nine percent of the population, making it the most abused illicit drug among Jamaicans, while cocaine abuse reached a plateau of less than 0.1 percent of the population over the last 10 years. There is evidence that new drugs, such as heroin and ecstasy, entered the Jamaican domestic market in small amounts.

To combat the use of illicit drugs, the Ministry of Health’s National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) was established by statute in 1982. NCDA field officers provide support to the primary care system through the assessment of substance abusers in the mental health system. Also, the Jamaican government’s National Health Fund (NHF) established and funded 18 community medical clinics across the island, primarily through faith- based institutions, that provide primary treatment services with referrals to hospitals, clinics, physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists. The clinics provide drug-related counseling and trauma services.

The Jamaican government operates one detoxification center located at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston. In collaboration with the Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Jamaica offers a university-level certificate program in drug addiction and drug prevention. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) works directly with the Jamaican government and NGOs on demand reduction; however, due to limited resources, these programs have little impact.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) regulates pharmaceuticals, including the importation of pseudoephedrine, both in powder and final product forms. The NCDA, the Pharmacy Council, and the MOH work to expand awareness among health professionals about the potential danger of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine when they are diverted to produce methamphetamine. The NCDA collaborates with other non-profit organizations to provide non-residential drug counseling services.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Jamaican government does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking; nor are any senior Jamaican officials known to engage in such activity. Nevertheless, corruption of public officials continues to be a major concern to the Jamaican and U.S. governments as well as most Jamaicans. The law penalizes official corruption; however, corruption is entrenched, widespread, and compounded by a judicial system that is poorly equipped to handle complex criminal prosecutions in a timely manner.

Corruption undermines efforts against drug and other major crimes and is a major factor in allowing the passage of drugs and drug proceeds through Jamaica. An improving anti-corruption stance within Jamaican customs enforcement, the JCF, the Jamaica Tax Administration, and the Office of the Contractor General has shown encouraging signs. Additionally, the USAID-supported National Integrity Action Forum helped focus increased public and government attention on anti-corruption reforms.

The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the JCF has shown success in identifying and removing officers engaged in corruption. Since the ACB’s inception in 2008, 319 JCF personnel have been dismissed for unethical or corrupt behavior, with 69 of those dismissed in 2011. Another 44 officers faced criminal corruption charges during the year. The JCF’s success is due partly to mechanisms that allow it to dismiss corrupt or unethical officers when evidence is insufficient to justify criminal prosecution. For example, the JCF requires high level police officers to sign employment contracts that improve accountability and facilitate speedy dismissal for corrupt or unethical behavior. Vetting and a polygraph examination are also required for promotions into key positions.

The JDF has been effective in identifying and responding to corruption within its ranks. The JDF, while not immune from corruption, takes swift disciplinary action when warranted in furtherance of its zero tolerance policy.

A bill creating an Anti-Corruption Special Prosecutor is being considered by Parliament, but no action is expected soon. Efforts by legislators from both political parties to dilute the effectiveness of the measure threaten its prospective impact on curbing government corruption. There has not been legislative action to create a National Anti-corruption Agency, which is required by the Inter-American Convention against Corruption to which Jamaica is a signatory.

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

Supporting Jamaica’s transformation into a more secure, democratic, and prosperous partner represents a major U.S. policy goal. Narcotics trafficking, corruption, and crime undermine the rule of law, democratic governance, economic growth, and the quality of life for all Jamaicans. In response, the United States is working to enhance the effectiveness and capacity of Jamaica’s law enforcement and criminal justice system. Within the fabric of all U.S. aid to Jamaica, beyond that relating only to law enforcement and justice, is the acknowledgement that success depends on a comprehensive approach that recognizes the link between drugs, gangs, organized crime, poverty, unemployment, lack of educational opportunities and government corruption.

The U.S. support to combat narcotics production and trafficking in Jamaica includes training, equipment and logistical assistance to the JCF and JDF. For example, funding supports continued marijuana eradication operations, logistical support to the JDF Coast Guard and JCF Marine Division for interdiction of narcotics trafficking in coastal waters, and enhancement of border security at air and sea ports for Jamaica Customs. Additional support focuses on specialized JCF units that target narcotics and gangs, on JCF crime scene investigative and forensic analysis capacity, and on training for prosecutors involved in prosecuting narcotics, corruption and financial crimes. Indirect support for counternarcotics efforts is furnished through the development of effective community-police relations, improvement of JCF training facilities, and anti-corruption initiatives within the JCF, plus education and workforce development programs targeting at-risk youth who are susceptible to narcotics and gang influence.

The primary source of U.S. funding in support of law enforcement and justice reform is through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which contains both bilateral and regional funding mechanisms. The programming of regional funds is guided by technical working groups comprised of representatives from participating Caribbean countries. The regional component of CBSI is instrumental in achieving U.S. goals in Jamaica because the challenges it faces are largely shared by Caribbean neighbors.

D. Conclusion

Through essentially solid democratic institutions and the efforts of strong leaders within the government, Jamaica is making slow, but steady progress in combating the criminal scourges that plague the country’s political, economic and social well-being, namely the illicit trafficking of narcotics and firearms, violent crime, corruption, gangs and organized crime. Carefully targeted U.S. support, combined with efforts from other international partners – in particular Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union – is helping to make a difference in that battle.

Success stories can be found in JCF efforts to root out corruption through its ACB, by its initiative to inoculate communities from crime and gang influence using community -based policing, and with specialized JCF vetted units attacking narcotics and gangs. Successes are also found within the offices of INDECOM, the Financial Investigation Division and the Contractor General, where competent, dedicated and vetted personnel are struggling with limited resources to turn the tide against police killings, financial crime and government corruption.

Despite encouraging signs within Jamaica’s law enforcement agencies, progress is less evident within Jamaica’s criminal justice system as a whole. The judicial branch remains ill-equipped to handle a large number of criminal cases and prosecutorial efficacy is also lacking. As a result, there are a large number of government corruption cases for awaiting prosecution, and convictions are few as the cases may be put off for years without result.

Future U.S. efforts should continue to sustain the momentum gained within Jamaica’s law enforcement agencies, particularly in the areas of maritime security, corruption, gangs and organized crime. The United States should focus enhanced support and pressure for demonstrable progress by prosecutors and the courts in moving criminal suspects through the criminal justice system.


Drug control in Japan is primarily a problem of domestic drug consumption; illicit narcotics do not transit Japan, nor are they generally manufactured in Japan for markets abroad. Powder methamphetamine and stimulant abuse remains the biggest challenge to Japanese counternarcotics efforts; over 80 percent of all drug arrests in Japan involve methamphetamine or amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). Marijuana continues to be popular and other drugs such as MDMA (ecstasy) and heroin are available, but much less prevalent. Cocaine use is increasing. According to Japanese authorities, almost all illegal drugs consumed in Japan are imported from overseas, usually by Japanese and/or foreign organized crime organizations.

Japan is one of the largest and most lucrative markets in Asia for methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is smuggled primarily by way of Central and South America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. There were several seizures of liquid methamphetamine solution at some of Japan’s international airports and seaports during 2010, and two clandestine laboratories were found in the Tokyo area, indicating that refining of methamphetamine is also occurring in Japan. Cocaine smuggling in Japan is on the rise, as demonstrated by several seizures of cocaine from couriers at Japanese airports this year. Methamphetamine and cocaine shipments from Central and South America pose an emerging threat, comprising an increasing proportion of the methamphetamine and cocaine seized in Japan. Eight American citizens were arrested for attempted methamphetamine smuggling through October, more than in all of 2010.

From January to October 2011, Japanese law enforcement agencies seized 431.6 kilograms of methamphetamine; 51.6 kilograms of marijuana; 25.7 kilograms of cocaine 23.1 kilograms of hashish; 892 dosage units of MDMA; 3.4 kilograms of heroin; and 11.6 kilograms of opium.

While Japanese law enforcement officers are well-trained and equipped, proactive law enforcement efforts are at times hindered by customary practices and bureaucratic obstacles. Despite these problems, authorities continue to conduct complex drug investigations both independently and in cooperation with United States counterparts such as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other U.S. federal law enforcement agencies.

Japan Customs has been effective in identifying inbound drug shipments and made numerous significant seizures at international airports and seaports. Japan Customs has been very receptive to and acted on investigative leads provided by the international law enforcement community. In addition, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s Narcotics Control Department has taken a proactive approach to drug law enforcement and is conducting longer-term and more complex drug investigations. Japanese authorities have recently coordinated enforcement operations with international liaison officers in Japan on several investigations resulting in large methamphetamine seizures. This level of coordination and cooperation is an emerging trend, but unfortunately still remains rare. In some instances, past inaction by Japanese law enforcement in response to U.S.-provided intelligence on drug-trafficking and money-laundering activities may have contributed to criminal organizations’ ability to establish a strong presence in Japan.

There were no reported cases of Japanese officials being involved in drug-related corruption in Japan in 2010. The government does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs, or the laundering of illicit proceeds.

Drug treatment in Japan is currently handled mostly by small, privately-run programs which operate without nationwide treatment criteria. While the government provides support services for addicts at prefectural consultation centers, it does not directly operate treatment or rehabilitation programs except within correctional institutions. More than 5,000 prisoners participated in prison-based programs in 2010. Government-funded drug education campaigns for schoolchildren continued to increase in 2010, reaching nearly 80 percent of middle and high school students and more than 60 percent of elementary school students in the country.

Japan 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, and has signed, but not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Corruption. Japan has also signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its three protocols but, as it lacks an anti-conspiracy law, cannot ratify the UNTOC. An extradition treaty and a mutual legal assistance treaty are in force between the United States and Japan.


Jordan’s geographical location in a region of drug producing and drug consuming countries continues to make it a transit point for illicit drugs. There are currently no indications that Jordan will move from a predominantly drug transit country to a drug producing country. Statistics produced by Jordan’s Public Security Directorate (PSD) confirm this assessment, and show that almost all major drug seizures were from foreign nationals with shipments bound for other countries. Jordan’s vast desert borders make it vulnerable to illicit drug smuggling operations. Jordanian authorities do not believe that internal drug distribution is substantial; they estimate that 85 percent of drugs entering Jordan are moving to markets elsewhere. Jordan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Jordan remains primarily a narcotics transit country. The narcotics transiting Jordan are not believed to be destined for the United States. Jordan’s main challenge in stemming the flow of illicit drugs through the country remains its vast and open desert borders, which are difficult to effectively patrol because the stationary posts along them lack the equipment and infrastructure to fully monitor traffic. While law enforcement contacts confirm continued excellent cooperation with Jordan’s neighbors, the desolate border regions and various tribes, with their centuries-old traditions of smuggling as a principal source of income, make interdiction outside of the ports of entry difficult.

Drugs moving through Jordan include: cannabis, perhaps Lebanese or Afghan in origin, entering from Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq; Afghan heroin entering through Syria on its way to Israel; and captagon tablets from Bulgaria and Turkey entering through Syria on the way to the Gulf. “Captagon” is an amphetamine-type stimulus that is popular in Gulf countries. The majority of Jordan’s drug seizures take place at the Jaber border crossing point between Jordan and Syria. Cooperative efforts between the PSD and the Israeli National Police have led to heroin seizures along the Israeli border.

Historically, Jordanians do not consume significant quantities of illegal drugs. Recently, there have been anecdotal reports suggesting possible increases in drug use in Jordan. According to PSD statistics, the number of people involved in drug cases and the number of abusers both rose by over 10 percent between 2010 and 2011. The PSD attributes the higher volume of drug cases in Jordan to more effective border interdiction operations, better intelligence gathering, and stronger cooperation between Jordan and neighboring countries.

The drugs of choice among users arrested for drug possession in Jordan continue to be cannabis and heroin, and to a lesser degree, captagon. People arrested for drug-related crimes in Jordan are mostly between 18 and 35 years old and are predominantly foreign nationals. While the PSD continues to see increased drug trafficking across Jordan’s land borders, especially its borders with Iraq and Syria, there is a continuing decrease in drugs transiting Queen Alia International Airport. During the first nine months of 2011, there was an annualized 40 percent decrease in the amount of cocaine seized by the PSD compared to 2010, with only 1.4kg seized. During the same period, there was a similar decrease in the amount of heroin seized. Captagon seizures, however, rose significantly over the first nine months of 2011, with annualized totals doubling from those of past years. Sixteen million tablets were seized. PSD reports show that interdicted captagon tablets were predominantly bound for Saudi Arabia. When compared to historical figures for the past five years, drug enforcement apprehensions continue to rise. Nevertheless, the increase should not be considered a notable trend in trafficking through Jordan, but rather the result of better enforcement.

Jordan’s PSD maintains an active counternarcotics bureau and has excellent relations with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Nicosia Country Office (CO) in Cyprus. It also has increasingly productive relations with narcotics enforcement officials from neighboring countries. As a result of these ties, the PSD conducted 12 international controlled deliveries with law enforcement counterparts in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Israel during the first nine months of 2011. According to the PSD, there are no known illicit production operations in the country.

The DEA Nicosia CO, Regional Security Office Amman, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office in Amman have excellent working relationships with the PSD. In January 2011, the DEA Office of Training provided a one week Drug Unit Commander Course to two Jordanian Police Anti-Narcotics Unit Officials in Cairo, Egypt. In addition, two PSD officials attended the 2011 International Drug Enforcement Conference in Cancun, Mexico. Members of the DEA Nicosia CO visited Jordan six times during the first nine months of 2011 in furtherance of ongoing criminal drug investigations and continue to enjoy a professional rapport and cordial working relationship with the PSD.


A. Introduction

Kazakhstan is primarily a transit country for Afghan heroin and opiates. Marijuana also grows wild on approximately 100,000 hectares in the Zhambyl oblast in southern Kazakhstan. During the past year, use of desomorphine has become very popular in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has taken aggressive steps to combat drug trafficking, and its president has declared drug enforcement a high priority for his government. Kazakhstan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Kazakhstan's Customs Union with Russia and Belarus eliminated customs controls on its border with Russia from mid- 2011. The government of Kazakhstan allocated about USD 268 million in its 2009-2011 Program on Combating Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking, primarily to strengthen the southern border. The funding covered purchases of engineering systems, technical control systems, vehicles and communications equipment.

The Ministry of Interior (MVD) 2012-2016 draft program on Combating Drug Addiction and Drug Trafficking is currently in the interagency review process. It is intended to continue strengthening Kazakhstan's southern border and also fund drug demand reduction and law enforcement activities. The government has asserted that implementation of the program will substantially improve the drug control situation in the country, facilitate cooperation among the law enforcement agencies and increase the volume of drug seizures. The program also foresees further development and extension of civil society-implemented anti-drug projects, and improved treatment and reintegration programs for drug addicts.

Kazakhstan actively cooperates with surrounding countries to improve the effort against drugs. In 2011, the government of Kazakhstan approved an agreement with Afghanistan and signed an Agreement "On the Procedure on Transfer of Samples of Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors among CIS countries."

Kazakhstan hosts the Almaty-based Central Asia Regional Information Coordination Center (CARICC), which brings together counterdrug law enforcement representatives from the Central Asian states, Russia, and Azerbaijan. In November 2011, CARICC completed its two-year pilot phase, and claimed several successes in coordinating operations, hosting training sessions, and its own establishment as a reliable analytical center. The USG, as a formal observer, regularly cooperates and interacts with CARICC via the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in Almaty. Distrust and lack of intelligence sharing between the member states continues to hamper more significant achievements.

Kazakhstan chaired the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) from June 2010 to June 2011. In June 2011, the SCO adopted an Anti-Drug Strategy for 2011-2016 that outlines an approach to improved countering of drug trafficking, prevention of drug addiction, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts.

2006 and 2008 amendments to counternarcotics legislation introduced definitions of various drugs and toughened criminal liability for large-scale possession/sale of drugs, involvement of minors in consumption of drugs and distribution of drugs in educational institutes. Kazakhstan also adopted a Law on Establishing Liability for Illicit Trafficking of Herbal Mixtures containing Synthetic Cannabinoids. A total of 27 such substances have been entered into the list subject to state control.

Kazakhstan is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

2. Supply Reduction

In the first nine months of 2011, law enforcement agencies registered 3,561 drug-related crimes, down from 7,189 during the same period in 2010. This decline follows changes in drug laws that decriminalized certain minor drug-related offenses. 2011 figures included 1,970 cases of sales and 150 cross-border narcotics trafficking cases. Law enforcement agencies seized a combined 32.9 tons of drugs, including 265 kilograms of heroin and 26.3 tons of marijuana. They arrested 1,950 individuals for drug-related crimes and charged 4,063 with administrative infractions. 2,255 criminal prosecutions resulted in 1,873 convictions. The number of foreigners arrested for trafficking fell 49% (from 259 to 131) between 2010 and 2011.


2010 (first nine months)

2011 (first nine months)


Total seizures of drugs and psychotropic substances (in kg)




















From June 1 to October 31, under the annual Operation "Kendir" (Poppy) that seeks to interdict trafficking of wild-grown cannabis from the Chu Valley, eradicate drug crops and prevent other drug trafficking crimes, Kazakhstani law enforcement agencies documented 1,547 drug-related crimes (45% fewer than last year), including 875 cases of drug sales and 75 cases of illicit cultivation.

Since November 2011, a prescription is required for medicines that contain codeine due to an increasing number of cases of licit medicines diverted for abuse. Desomorphine -- street name: "Krokodil" -- is the second most popular drug in Russia after heroin. Its consumption causes immediate exhaustion, purulent skin lesions and damage to internal organs. Police found two labs manufacturing "desomorphine" in the northern Kazakhstani cities of Pavlodar and Petropavlovsk.

2. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Officially 47,833 drug addicts are registered in Kazakhstan. Unofficial estimates place the number of addicts at four times greater.

State agencies implement a number of activities aimed at the combat of drug trafficking and demand, including the Program on Combating Drug Addiction and Drug Business (2009-2011), State Program for Development of Healthcare (2011-2015) and "Healthy Lifestyles" (2008-2016). The MVD Counternarcotics Committee coordinates the activities of the various agencies involved in these initiatives.

The Ministry of Education and Science and Ministry of Interior is coordinating with State-INL to sponsor the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in Kazakhstan. In June 2011, 25 school-based police inspectors in Astana completed the DARE Officer Training Course, and a pilot school program is expected to begin in January 2012.

The Ministry of Health is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of individuals addicted to drugs and psychotropic substances. It also operates drug demand reduction programs. The Ministry of Education and Science works to counter the spread of alcoholism, as well as drug addiction and associated HIV/AIDS, and operates rehabilitation programs for young people. The Ministry of Communications and Information organizes media campaigns to discourage drug consumption. The government also is working to improve treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, including by developing new standards for treatment intervention, protocols of treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts in jails.

The MVD Counternarcotics Committee (CN Committee) and its field divisions work with representatives of non-governmental and youth associations to prevent drug addiction among children and youth as part of its Program on Combating Drug Addiction and Drug Trafficking. They conducted 1,339 such events in the first nine months of 2011 (up 2% from 2010).

The CN Committee regularly updates its website with information on demand reduction activities and success stories in the battle against drug trafficking. The Commission on Coordinating Demand Reduction Activities and Combat Against Drug Trafficking, established by the government in 2003, monitors the work of all relevant agencies and provides recommendations for further activities. The MVD also publishes the magazines Narcopost and Future without Drugs.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, the government of Kazakhstan does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances. It also is taking steps to prevent money laundering. The MVD actively fights narco-corruption in its ranks, vets its recruits and has an internal affairs division to investigate crimes committed by police. In 1998, Kazakhstan adopted a specific law on combating internal corruption.

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

In September 2011, State- INL signed its ninth Amended Letter of Agreement with the Ministry of Interior. The government of Kazakhstan has responded favorably to INL's proposed Central Asia Counternarcotics Initiative.

The U.S. Department of Defense (Office of Military Cooperation – OMC), Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and INL support counternarcotics programs in Kazakhstan. In 2011, INL and DEA organized interagency workshops for counternarcotics officers in the detection of drug-related and money-laundering crimes; these workshops included instruction from DEA's new Central Asia Regional Training Team. INL also provided office equipment and vehicles to the CN Committee. INL continued its successful program to train dogs to search for drugs – with participants from all of Kazakhstan's law enforcement agencies -- while OMC provided funding to construct canine facilities.

D. Conclusion

Kazakhstan's law enforcement agencies are committed to proactive counternarcotics policies, and existing legislation is sufficient to the task. Law enforcement agencies are eager to receive training and resources in order to strengthen their capacity to cover a territory the size of Western Europe. The USG will continue to support the training of Kazakhstani law enforcement officers in countering drug trafficking, investigating drug-related crimes and strengthening anti-money laundering and drug demand reduction efforts.


A. Introduction

The trafficking of narcotics in and through Kenya is a major and growing problem that has permeated all strata of the society. Narcotics usage is spreading throughout the country from its original hubs in Nairobi and along the coast. According to a 2011 estimate, the number of injecting drug users in Coast Province alone is reportedly between 40,000 and 60,000. The drug menace has serious ramifications for the nation’s health, security, and stability.

Kenya is a significant transit country for a host of illegal narcotics, including heroin and cocaine, with an increasing portion of the trade being consumed domestically. Imports of precursor chemicals are on the increase, both for transshipment and local production of narcotics and psychotropic substances. Cannabis and miraa (khat) are grown domestically for both local use and export.

Stemming this flow of narcotics is an enormous challenge. Narcotics-trafficking is tied directly to the prevailing culture of impunity that has pervaded the senior political and business classes in Kenya since independence. Kenya’s leaders profess strong support for counternarcotics efforts, but this rhetoric has not translated into robust interdiction and prosecution of drug kingpins. Kenya’s law enforcement authorities at best lack the institutional capacity to successfully investigate and prosecute serious narcotics cases. At worst, its officers are complicit in the trade.

Kenya is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Ministry for Provincial Administration and Internal Security has oversight for the government’s two main narcotics supply and demand reduction agencies: the Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) of the Kenya Police Service which is the lead law enforcement agency responsible for combating drug trafficking; and the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA), which co-ordinates public education, prevention, and rehabilitation services.

The 1931 U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty remains in force between the United States and Kenya through a 1965 exchange of notes. Kenya is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols.

2. Supply Reduction

Kenya’s geographical location presents considerable challenges to supply reduction strategies. Traffickers exploit Kenya’s long Indian Ocean coastline, its bustling port of Mombasa—which serves as the port of entry for east and central Africa—and its porous northern border with Somalia.

Heroin and cocaine transit Kenya bound for Europe, the United States, Indian Ocean island nations, as well as other parts of western and southern Africa. Over the past few years newer trans-Saharan drugs routes have developed between East and West Africa with heroin from South and Southwest Asia moving west and cocaine from South America moving east.

Seizures of drugs represent a tiny fraction of what is believed to transit in and through Kenya. Due to a lack of both political will and institutional capacity, there has never been a successful prosecution of a senior-level drug trafficker in Kenya. Early in 2011, the Government announced a major operation to bring senior drug traffickers to justice. The investigation, which lasted less than two months, was insufficient to bring charges against suspected drug barons. The alleged drug barons seized upon a preliminary report that indicated there was insufficient evidence to charge them to argue that they had been exonerated. In fact, the report called for additional investigations of the suspects, but those efforts have since petered out.

3. Drug Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

There are over 200,000 heroin addicts in the country, according to government and UN statistics. It is estimated that about 10 percent or more of them are in Coast Province. This is more than any other country in Africa besides South Africa. Religious leaders have spoken out strongly against drug abuse and argue that every family on the coast has been touched by addiction.

According to the 2010 NACADA report, miraa (i.e., khat), marijuana, heroin and cocaine are the most commonly consumed drugs in descending order. Nearly 4.5 percent of Mombasa residents had consumed heroin at least once; most of those were between the ages of 18 and 28. Mombasa leads Coast Province in drug use for most categories except marijuana, which is more prevalent in Lamu. Fourteen percent of respondents said it was “easy to access” heroin or cocaine in Mombasa. Some heroin addicts have even resorted to “blood flashing” in which blood from one user who has just injected is collected and then injected into a second user. The age at which people are beginning to use drugs has also decreased, and women are an increasing percentage of users. The threat of the spread of HIV/AIDS is obvious in many of the practices of intravenous drug abusers.

The supply of heroin on the coast at the beginning of the year dropped precipitously due to the high-level calls for a crackdown on drug barons. The Government of Kenya, in cooperation with the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, responded by providing a scientifically uncertain outpatient detoxification protocol. The program was designed to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal among addicts but lacked the necessary counseling regimes to aid recovery. A Government-supported rehabilitation facility was opened at Coast General Hospital to mixed reviews. These efforts, while made in good faith, were grossly insufficient to meet the demand for rehabilitation and counseling services.

Private rehabilitation facilities are too expensive for most Kenyans to access, and the few low-cost community run centers are unable to satisfy the demand for services.

4. Corruption

Corruption remains an enormous barrier to effective narcotics enforcement. The prevailing culture of impunity is not limited to narcotics trafficking but pervades the government and society. Drug barons use proceeds to contribute to political campaigns and to buy influence with government officials, law enforcement officers, politicians, and the media.

Religious and civil society groups are increasingly demanding that the government address the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse. Members of Parliament consider the drug abuse problem significant enough to have requested a declaration of national emergency.

As a matter of policy, however, the Government of Kenya does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

The March 2010 NACADA includes reports of drugs being seized by law enforcement officers and resurfacing for sale with the help of corrupt officials. There are also reports of the police arresting individuals to obtain bribes and suspects paying bribes after being arrested to avoid prosecution.

The ANU’s maritime interdiction capabilities are limited. Inspection personnel turnover at the ports is high, contributing to Kenya’s limited capability for maritime interdiction, and corruption continues to thwart the success of long-term port security training.

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

U.S. bilateral cooperation with Kenya on counternarcotics matters is continuing. The principal U.S. counternarcotics objective in Kenya is to interdict the flow of narcotics to the United States. A related objective is to limit the corrosive effects of narcotics-related corruption in law enforcement, the judiciary, and political institutions, and in the public at large. The United States seeks to accomplish these objectives through law enforcement cooperation, the encouragement of a strong Kenyan government commitment to narcotics interdiction, and the strengthening of Kenyan counternarcotics and overall judicial capabilities.

In 2011, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration opened an office in Nairobi with regional responsibilities. It has begun the process of working with Kenyan authorities to build cases against major traffickers operating in and through Kenya.

The U.S. Department of State’s Office of Antiterrorism Assistance continues to train and equip maritime security patrol units through the U.S. Coast Guard. Graduates of this training are credited with a number of interdictions of boats which were transporting illegal narcotics.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has provided the Kenyan authorities, including the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Administration Police, with guidance, direction, and subject matter expertise in their efforts to create a Rural Border Patrol.

The U.S. Government is partnering with religious and civil society organizations to aid communities in their struggle against the scourge of drug abuse. In partnership with the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, the Embassy sponsored the Third Annual International Conference of Islamic Scholars in Drug Demand Reduction in Mombasa in July 2011. The conference brought together over 150 international and Kenyan scholars, community leaders, and government officials to promote drug demand reduction as part of normal religious practice.

D. Conclusion

Narcotics trafficking is inextricably bound up with corruption. To effectively counter these scourges will require reform of the police, judiciary, and public prosecutor. The passage of a new constitution offers the possibility of such reforms, but this will be a long process.


Kosovo is primarily a transit country for drugs destined for Europe and is not a significant narcotics producer, nor have police found domestic narcotics refining or production labs. The Government of Kosovo (GOK) faces challenges in combating narcotics trafficking due to uncontrolled border areas and possible corruption. The GOK adopted its national counternarcotics strategy in July 2009, which ends in June 2012. A new strategy for July 2012-June 2015 is currently under development.

Kosovo made progress on counternarcotics initiatives in 2011, particularly by improving coordination among agencies involved in counternarcotics. Following centralization of narcotics units under the Kosovo Police (KP) Directorate for Investigation of Narcotics Trafficking and re-election of unit leadership in July 2011, the Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs instituted interagency, bi-monthly working group meetings to review implementation of the national strategy. In addition, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) doubled the number of narcotics investigators, drawing from existing police investigators, and training them in counternarcotics operations.

Heroin and other drugs enter Kosovo primarily from Afghanistan, by way of Turkey and the Middle East, and via Macedonia, while cocaine and marijuana primarily enter through Albania and Montenegro. KP statistics show that, from January through September 2011, marijuana constituted the bulk of seizures (96.8 kg), followed by heroin (33.1 kg) and cocaine (2.6 kg). Challenges to KP in reducing supply include limited resources, tight-knit family and clan structures that impede criminal investigations, and a general lack of prosecutors dedicated to narcotics crimes. Statistics on seizures, arrests, and prosecutions are largely unreliable and inconsistent, making assessment of supply reduction efforts difficult.

Figures on drug users in Kosovo are also unreliable, though an NGO named “Labyrinth,” says the most frequently cited number is 10,000 to 15,000. KP officers speculate that demand for drugs is low because drug use runs against cultural norms and controlled substances are prohibitively expensive for most Kosovars. Labyrinth reports that over two-thirds of its drug rehab patients are unemployed, however, so poverty does not seem to be a significant barrier to drug use. The Ministries of Health and Education conduct drug education programs, community police officers educate students about risks of drug use, and NGOs, such as Labyrinth, assist with anti-drug education and drug treatment. However, lack of social services, such as follow-up treatment, as well as cultural taboos against drug use, complicate efforts to rehabilitate addicts.

As a matter of government policy, Kosovo does not encourage drug trafficking and no senior officials are known to engage in such activities. While laws prohibit corruption that facilitates narcotics trafficking or discourages investigation and prosecution of drug offenses, allegations persist that narcotics move across Kosovo’s borders by truck, bus, and private vehicle, often with the permission of customs officers who accept bribes to turn a blind eye. To fight corruption, KP increased border officer salaries by 40% and instituted anti-corruption training. In addition, closed-circuit TVs are due to be installed at border stations in early 2012, which should help deter and detect corrupt practices.

Kosovo is not yet a UN member-state and is effectively limited to agreements with the 85 countries that have recognized it. Thus, it is party to relatively few international conventions and protocols or bilateral agreements relating to counternarcotics. Kosovo cooperates and exchanges information with neighbors through informal bilateral and multilateral meetings. KP reports that data sharing with Albania and Macedonia is good. Negotiations are underway to sign a data sharing agreement with Montenegro as well.

Kosovo cooperates with the U.S. on counternarcotics issues. Kosovo officials receive technical assistance and training from the State Department-funded Department of Justice Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training (OPDAT) and International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) assistance programs in Kosovo. In 2011, OPDAT and ICITAP trained police and prosecutors on search warrant fundamentals, electronic surveillance, building a conspiracy case, financial investigations, asset forfeiture, and handling informants. OPDAT and ICITAP promote police-prosecutor task forces and plea bargaining as tools to identify narcotics trafficking organizations. As one of the successor states, Kosovo recognizes the extradition treaty between the United States and the Kingdom of Serbia, which entered into force in 1902. However, two denials of extradition requests by Kosovo’s courts – one, on territoriality and the other on nationality – have called into question its effectiveness. There is no bilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance.

Another State Department managed program, Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) has donated equipment and training which also improved the capabilities of customs officers and led, as a spin-off benefit, to increased seizure of narcotics in 2011. Full implementation of Kosovo’s 2010 anti-money laundering law, drafted with significant assistance from the USG, should further hamper the activities of narcotics traffickers.

The GOK made efforts in 2011 to advance its counternarcotics strategy. The GOK must continue to provide training and funding to counternarcotics programs to reduce trafficking. In addition, KP and prosecutors must increase their capacity to conduct thorough investigations and prosecutions of narcotics trafficking, organized crime, and money laundering to get at the roots of illegal trafficking. This may require higher prioritization of counternarcotics in a criminal justice system already stretched thin by competing demands and limited resources. Continued international support, combined with the appropriate level of attention from and coordination by the GOK, would go far toward advancing Kosovo’s counternarcotics objectives.

Kyrgyz Republic

A. Introduction

The Kyrgyz Republic is a key transit country for the trafficking of Afghan opiates to Europe, the Russian Federation, and China. Afghan opiates pass through its borders with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. The Kyrgyz Republic faces serious problems in monitoring its borders due to the topography of the country, of which 94 percent is mountainous. The drug abuse situation in the Kyrgyz Republic is also cause for serious concern. One hundred thousand hectares of wild-growing cannabis in the country serve as a raw product source for local criminals for production of marijuana and hashish. There is also evidence of more intensive cultivation of cannabis for profit by criminal elements. There is a moderately high level of drug addiction in the country, which amounts to more than 1 percent of the population. Given the government’s limited financial resources and recent political upheaval, the drug and crime situation in the Kyrgyz Republic has the potential to affect the stability not only of the country, but also of the region.

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic recognizes that the drug trade is a serious threat to its own stability and is continuing efforts to focus on secondary and tertiary drug-related issues such as money laundering, drug-related street crime, and corruption within its own ranks. In 2010, the government re-established the Drug Control Agency (renamed the State Drug Control Service) as the sole government body responsible for fighting narcotics trafficking. The Kyrgyz Republic is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The Kyrgyz Republic is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and to the UN Convention against Corruption.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In August 2010, a presidential decree created the State Drug Control Service (SDCS). This decree re-established the service as a specialized law enforcement body in the area of illicit drug trafficking, psychotropic substances, and precursors control with 262 certified and 33 civil, non-uniform and support personnel. In late 2009, the SDCS predecessor, the Drug Control Agency (DCA), was subsumed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. A September 2010 presidential decree confirmed the SDCS as a legal successor of the DCA.

At the request of the Chairman of the SDCS, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has assigned temporary duty agents to work in the SDCS headquarters. With the construction of a new U.S. Embassy compound scheduled to be completed in 2012, DEA is planning to assign a country attaché and two support personnel to the new embassy.

2. Supply Reduction

In the first eight months of 2011, law enforcement agencies, including the SDCS, made 1,262 drug-related seizures, an increase of 26.9% over the same period in 2010. The Kyrgyz government reported that opium seizures were up 27.8%, heroin seizures were up 84.1%, hashish seizures were up 31.3%, and marijuana seizures were up 198.7%.

3. Drug Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

USAID is currently funding the “Dialogue on HIV and TB” project (2009–2014), implemented by Population Science International, which works with local NGOs to provide outreach services to infected Kyrgyz citizens with the goal of reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

In 2010, according to UNODC data, there were 570 new HIV cases reported in the Kyrgyz Republic. In total, there are 3,288 HIV infected citizens, 62% of whom are intravenous drug users (IDU). 134 new cases of HIV were reported in Kyrgyz prisons. Currently there are a reported 7,474 registered IDUs in Kyrgyzstan.

The UNODC reported that in 2011 the drug-related crime rate was 28 per 100,000 population (down from 34 per 100,000 in 2010). The conviction rate for those crimes, however, was reported at 21 per 100,000 population, down from 25 per 100,000 in 2010.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic 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. Corruption, as it pertains to narcotics control, remains a serious problem in the Kyrgyz Republic. Laws that cover narcotics-related corruption are not well enforced and in 2011 there were no arrests of government officials for corruption. Narcotics-related corruption is likely widespread, especially in the poorer areas of the country.

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

State-INL does not currently have any bilateral programs directly assisting counternarcotics efforts. INL is funding the United States portion of a joint project implemented by the UNODC entitled “Strengthening the State Service on Drug Control of the Kyrgyz Republic” that is also supported by the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

D. Conclusion

Based on its geography, the Kyrgyz Republic is likely to remain a key transit country for drugs from Afghanistan. The Chairman of the SDCS has stated that the government is currently developing a national counternarcotics strategy. With this new strategy, the government and the SDCS will hopefully demonstrate increased resolve to combat drug trafficking and prosecute offenders.


A. Introduction

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is a major transport hub for opium, heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and a major producer of opium. Geographically, Laos sits at the heart of the regional drug trade in mainland Southeast Asia and shares remote and poorly-controlled borders with Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China. Long isolated, landlocked Laos currently has the highest economic growth rate in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 10th-largest in the world. However, economic development and the improvement of Laos’ road, bridge and communications networks have created opportunities for the illicit drug trade to grow.

The Lao government (GOL) recognizes the threat posed by illegal narcotics production and trafficking and has taken some actions to address it, especially in the areas of demand reduction and alternative development. However, the GOL possesses little ability to act independently of international donor support. Eighty-one percent of the GOL budget currently comes from donor aid. Lao law enforcement suffers from a lack of training and resources to combat internal drug crime. Additionally, Laos must police 5,000 km of mountain and riverine borders across which illegal narcotics flow.

From 1998 to 2008, due to aggressive government action and international cooperation, opium cultivation was reduced by 95%. However, opium cultivation has rebounded recently, rising from a low of an estimated 1,500 hectares in 2007 to an estimated 4,100 hectares in 2011. Although domestic ATS production has not been publicly confirmed, drug seizures indicate that ATS tablets are moving through Laos in increasing quantities.

The incidence of HIV in Laos is related to drug use. A rapid assessment and response survey carried out in 2010 by UNODC found a 17% prevalence of HIV among 46 injecting drug users (IDUs) surveyed in the remote border regions of Houaphan and Phongsaly provinces. Laos is surrounded by countries with a high IDU and HIV prevalence. In Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam just 40 kms from Phongsaly, there are a reported 6,000 IDUs with a 70% HIV prevalence rate.

Lao law enforcement experienced some successes in the past year, but violence as a result of the drug trade continued in 2011. In October, two Chinese commercial vessels carrying drugs were attacked on the Mekong River in Thailand across the border from Laos’ Bokeo Province. Thirteen Chinese crewmembers were killed during the encounter.

Laos is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishment, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The National Drug Control Master Plan, 2009-2013, written with international assistance, remains the guiding document for the GOL drug control strategy. The LCDC’s Comprehensive National Drug Control Strategy, as part of the Master Plan, includes nine elements:

1) Trend analysis and risk assessment

2) Alternative development and poverty reduction (opium crop and income substitution)

3) Drug demand reduction and HIV/AIDS prevention, including drug treatment

4) Civic awareness and community mobilization

5) Law enforcement

6) Criminal justice and the rule of law

7) Chemical precursor control and forensics capacity

8) International and national cooperation (cross-cutting)

9) Institutional capacity-building (cross-cutting)

This national strategy calls for a budget of $72 million for the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) over the course of the plan, largely funded by international donors and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). As of November, 2011, $10.8 million had been funded.

Since FY 2005, the United States has provided Laos with $8.4 million in narcotics-related assistance. A notable success story in our cooperation has been the elimination of opium cultivation from some areas of Laos through crop substitution programs. As recently as 1998, Laos had over 28,000 hectares of opium production. That number was reduced to 1,500 hectares in 2007, but is now on the rise; opium cultivation in 2011 is estimated to have been 4,100 hectares.

The LCDC is responsible for managing efforts to combat the trafficking and abuse of illegal drugs. It works in three areas: demand reduction, crop control, and law enforcement.

The top policy-making body for counternarcotics is the National Steering Committee to Combat Drugs (NSCCD), chaired by the Prime Minister. The head of LCDC and the Minister of Public Security (MOPS) are co-chairs. The NSCCD helps to integrate the domestic law enforcement activities of MOPS with the broader coordinating functions of LCDC.

Lao drug police are organized into 17 provincial Counter Narcotics Units, or CNUs, of which the U.S. supports ten. Although the GOL participates in regional conferences on counternarcotics cooperation, it rarely shares operational information.

Laos is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but has not yet achieved all objectives of the Convention. Laos has no bilateral extradition or mutual legal assistance agreements with the United States. Laos is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols, and the UN Convention against Corruption.

2. Supply Reduction

From January to July 2011, the GOL reports seizing 16.9 kilograms (kg) of heroin, 19.3 kg of opium, 1,464 kg of marijuana, and 1,287,148 methamphetamine tablets. (The dramatic drop in methamphetamine seizures, from over 24 million in 2010, results from a single seizure in 2010 of 21,312,600 tablets). Major seizures by Lao law enforcement authorities included an operation in Muang Sing in April, 2011, that resulted in the seizure of 75.8 kg of methamphetamine and seven arrests. In September, authorities in Bokeo Province seized 800,000 amphetamine tablets and 700 grams of heroin.

Also in 2011, U.S. postal authorities seized several hundred kg of opium gum and other narcotics that had been shipped to Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, and other states with resident Lao immigrant communities. Most drug-related arrests in Laos in 2011 were for methamphetamine trafficking and use.

Drug Statistics: January-July 2011

Following are national statistics on drug seizures by type and quantity:

Drug Type



1,287,148 Tablets


1464 Kilograms


16.9 Kilograms


19.3 Kilograms

Narcotics Case Statistics: January-July 2011

Number of Cases

Number of Suspects Arrested



Foreign suspects





Laos continues to struggle against an upward trend in the supply of opium and ATS. Opium poppy continues to be the major illegal organic narcotic produced in the country. Opium cultivation was banned in 1972 by the Royal Lao Government, and this nominal ban continues under the current régime. However, with an area under opium cultivation of 4,100 hectares (above), a reduction in the number of poppy hectares planted or harvested to less than 1,000 hectares (the U.S. “Majors List” criterion) is unlikely to be achieved anytime soon. Addicts in the remote highlands continue to demand opium, and that demand is supplemented by an export demand to such near-by markets as China and Thailand.

Opium cultivation occurs in areas bordering China, Vietnam, and Burma. Lao farmers are likely producing opium on a contract basis for traffickers in adjacent countries with stronger domestic enforcement measures against illegal crops than Laos. Most poppy is grown in areas that have received little or no development assistance.

Heroin is trafficked from Burma through Laos to markets to the north and east in China and Vietnam. During 2011, the Lao press also reported seizures of methamphetamine and heroin in Bokeo province on the border with Burma and Thailand. Marijuana is also produced in Laos; commercial quantities for regional export are grown in large plantation-type plots, sometimes financed by foreign customers, primarily in Thailand.

There has been an increase in the availability of a range of synthetic drugs, and domestic production of synthetics in Laos is likely. Synthetic drugs such as “ecstasy” and “crystal methamphetamine,” known as “ice,” are available in the capital and major tourist destinations. The overwhelming majority of synthetics are imported from Burma, but some production likely occurs in Laos as well.

Methamphetamine is the cheapest and most common illegal drug in Laos. Supply is plentiful and demand high, reflecting low street prices for the drug. Profit margins for traffickers are higher than for any other illegal drug due to high volume and low expenses in production.

The Lao government seeks international support for supply reduction. The government’s supply-reduction budget in 2011 included $162,500 of public funds and $560,000 from non-U.S. donors.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The LCDC’s budget for demand reduction in 2011 included $200,000 of public funds for drug-treatment centers. Among non-U.S. donors, Chinese companies gave assistance valued at $30,000, Singapore provided funds to open a vocational skills program at the Somsanga Drug Treatment Center, and Germany provided technical assistance. Australia continued a large-scale program for containing the spread of HIV/AIDS among drug addicts.

Laos is estimated to have 42,000 methamphetamine addicts and 14,000 opium addicts out of a population of just over 6.4 million. Methamphetamine addicts frequently turn to crime as a means to support their addiction. The treatment capacity of drug addiction treatment facilities remains inadequate to meet addicts’ needs, being deficient in human resources and post-discharge follow-up. The U.S. provides assistance to the two principal treatment facilities in Laos, one near Vientiane and one in Savannakhet.

The Lao public is receptive to educational materials that use music, dance and various media to reach youth at risk from illegal narcotics. The U.S. continued to support a drug awareness effort using hip hop music in 2011. However, effective school and community-based drug education programs are lacking. Teachers generally remain untrained in drug addiction education.

U.S. - funded UNODC programs in the northern part of the country remain the only treatment and rehabilitation activities there for opium addicts.

4. Corruption

Corruption in Laos continues to plague law enforcement and government. Salaries for police, military and civil servants are low, leading officials to augment their incomes through corrupt means. The 2010 international Corruption Perceptions Index issued by Transparency International continued to indicate a poor situation, with Laos listed as 154 worldwide after having been at 158 in 2009 and 151 in 2008.

The State Inspection Authority (SIA) is the GOL organization charged with fighting corruption. The UNODC and UNDP continue to assist the GOL in building the capacity to implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which Laos ratified in 2009. Lao law explicitly prohibits official corruption. In February 2011, the GOL approved an anti-corruption strategy for the period 2011-2020. To date, there have been no reported arrests, prosecutions or convictions of officials for drug-related corruption in Laos. It is likely that corruption in the security forces and government plays a role in narcotics trafficking in Laos.

As a matter of government policy, the government of Laos does not encourage the illicit production or distribution of narcotic drugs, psychotropic or other controlled substances, or the laundering of the proceeds of illegal drug transactions. No senior official of the Lao PDR has been shown to engage in, encourage, or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of illegal drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds of illegal drug transactions.

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

The USG signed initial agreements to provide international narcotics control assistance in Laos in 1989, and has signed further Letters of Agreement (LOAs) and amendments to LOAs (ALOAs) to provide additional assistance for crop control, drug demand reduction, and law enforcement cooperation annually since then.

In 2011, the USG agreed to two new $100,000 programs with the GOL, signing a new LOA with the Ministry of Finance for training and equipment for customs officials and provided funding to the UNODC to implement legal sector reform in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice.

Most U.S. counter narcotics assistance to Laos over the past two decades has supported the effort to reduce poppy cultivation and, more recently, to bring about demand reduction. In 2011, U.S. crop control assistance programs continued winding down in favor of justice-sector and law-enforcement reform, consistent with the current priorities of the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. Law enforcement assistance continues to support operations, training and equipment for the Drug Control Division of MOPS, provincial CNUs, and Lao Customs.

The Law Enforcement and Narcotics Section (LENS) of the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane, the U.S. Treasury Department and UNODC continued efforts to raise the profile of money laundering and terrorist financing in Laos in 2011. Laos is currently receiving assistance from the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) to improve its weak anti-money laundering (AML) regime. In July, the APG found the Lao AML framework seriously deficient in many areas. In October, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance and the UNODC conducted training in Suspicious Transaction Reporting for Bank of Laos and private banking officers.

In 2011, 26 Lao officials participated in INL-funded regional training at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok.

D. Conclusion

U.S. – Lao cooperation in counternarcotics continues to evolve, building on the success of the opium poppy eradication/crop substitution programs of the 1990s and 2000s. However, the gains made in countering opium cultivation are increasingly at risk due to factors that include high prices for opium in the region.

Also troublesome is the increase in ATS trafficking, usage and, most likely, production that is occurring in the Lao PDR. ATS addictions are exceedingly hard to cure and are straining Laos’ limited treatment resources. ATS also figures prominently in the rise in violence along Laos’ borders with Burma, Thailand and China in the Golden Triangle area.

Laos’ justice, law enforcement and security systems are lacking in the resources necessary to counter the rise in narcotics-related crime that has accompanied the country’s increasing economic development.

Institution-building within the GOL and basic law enforcement training are needed, emphasizing interdiction, investigation, prosecution and, for the guilty, incarceration. Increased material assistance would improve law enforcement agencies’ communications and transportation capacity. Regional law enforcement cooperation among Vietnam, China, Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia is also vital to Laos’ fight against drug trafficking.

The U.S will continue to work on improving cooperation with the GOL as it seeks to address these problems.


Lebanon is neither a major producer nor a major transit country for illicit drugs. The Lebanese government reported some ongoing cultivation of illicit drugs in 2011, but much of that cultivation was eradicated before it could be harvested. At least six types of drugs are available in Lebanon: marijuana, hashish, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, and other synthetics, such as MDMA (ecstasy). The illicit use of legal pharmaceuticals is also a problem. Drug use, particularly among youth, remains a concern, with hashish and increasingly heroin as the drugs of choice. There are no reliable estimates of the number of drug users. Through September, the Internal Security Forces (ISF) arrested 274 heroin users, 292 cocaine users, 607 hashish users, and 100 synthetic drug users. Through the end of September 2011, Lebanese authorities had seized 130 kg of cannabis and 57 kg of cocaine, with 53 kg of that cocaine coming from a single seizure along the Lebanese-Syrian border.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Lebanon is a transit country for cocaine and heroin, with Lebanese nationals operating in concert with drug traffickers across South America. An indictment unsealed in the United States in December 2011 alleged that the Lebanese Canadian Bank had been used by a U.S.-designated Lebanese drug kingpin, Ayman Joumaa, and his drug trafficking and money laundering network to launder as much as $200 million per month in narcotics proceeds. The indictment alleged further that Joumaa was responsible for massive shipments of cocaine to the United States, and that the U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, Hizballah, had benefitted from the money laundering activity.

In 2011, Lebanon conducted narcotic drug crop eradication efforts in the Bekaa Valley. According to the Drug Repression Office of the ISF’s Judiciary Police, all identified illicit cannabis and hashish (8,648 acres) and poppy (10 acres) production was eradicated. With regular, high-profile eradication campaigns, the ISF estimates that yearly illicit drug production continues to decline from the 2002 eradication total of 27,705 acres of cannabis and 2,110 acres of opium poppy. Nevertheless, illicit crop cultivation in small family plots remains a historically common and economically attractive option for some farmers. Another factor complicating anti-drug campaigns is the social acceptance of cannabis use in tribal areas of the Bekaa.

Although eradication efforts have diminished the supply of marijuana and hashish, the drugs are still relatively easy to obtain and are readily available to users. Heroin use is small but increasing according to Lebanese officials, who also reported an increase in the smuggling of heroin from Lebanon to Africa. Other official contacts believe that the focus of heroin smuggling from Lebanon has shifted to Persian Gulf states. There is practically no illicit drug refining in Lebanon. There also is very minimal production, trading, or transit of precursor chemicals.

Synthetic drugs, including Captagon, are available; Lebanese officials report that they are smuggled into Lebanon primarily from Eastern Europe both for sale to high-income recreational users in Lebanon and for transit to the Gulf States.

The Ministry of Interior considers the fight against counternarcotics to be a priority. Through September 2011, the ISF had arrested a total of over 521 suspected drug dealers and traffickers, and 1273 suspected drug users. The Government of Lebanon also continued its ongoing drug demand reduction efforts through public service messages and awareness campaigns. There are several detoxification and rehabilitation programs, some of which receive support from the Ministries of Social Affairs and Public Health and the United National Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Lebanon is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Lebanon is also a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. As a matter of government policy, the Lebanese government does not encourage or facilitate drug trafficking, nor does it encourage or facilitate the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior member of the government of Lebanon is known to condone or be involved in such activity.


Liberia is a transit country for cocaine and heroin destined for Europe. There is already some evidence of narcotics for local consumption entering Liberia via commercial aircraft and maritime vessels. Several Liberian law enforcement agencies work in concert to fight narcotics trafficking in Liberia, including the Liberian National Police (LNP), the Coast Guard (CG), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (Liberian DEA).

Abuse of marijuana occurs in Liberia and is a larger problem than previously thought. Extreme poverty, high unemployment, endemic conflict, and a large population who were exposed to drug use during the civil war are key factors exacerbating the drug demand situation. Cannabis is locally cultivated in Liberia on farms in northern Nimba and Bong Counties and is mostly destined for local consumption. Current abuse involves cooking the substance in food products, although smoking also occurs. Drugs such as cocaine and heroin are increasingly present in Liberia, but far less so than marijuana. Price is still a deterrent for greater use of cocaine and heroin.

Drug abuse is strongly linked to Liberia’s history of civil conflict from 1989-2003, which left behind more than 100,000 ex-combatants. Many of the combatants abused drugs during the war and remain the majority of Liberia’s current drug users. Another factor behind potential substance abuse is the high percentage of Liberians, civilian and ex-military, suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from the country’s civil war. Liberia’s unemployment rate also plays a role in its drug abuse problem, with 85 percent underemployed in the informal sector and only 15 percent of Liberians employed in the formal sector. Drug rehabilitation and treatment facilities are non-existent, with addicts being referred to the only psychiatric hospital in Liberia. “Liberians United Against Drug Abuse”, an NGO founded in 1993, provides limited drug awareness education through workshops and radio announcements. Christian Children’s Fund lists forty active NGO youth organizations, with more than one fourth dealing with HIV/AIDS prevention/treatment and general health awareness training/advice. Only three of these NGOs target drug abuse issues.

The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and donor governments including the United States are working with the Government of Liberia to understand and respond better to the local drug threat. The United States requested that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conduct an assessment of drug use, treatment, prevention, and needs in Liberia. That assessment has provided valuable information in U.S. efforts to plan demand reduction work. In addition, UNMIL is soliciting UNODC to perform a separate assessment of the Liberian DEA.

As part of the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI), UNODC is establishing a new Transnational Crime Unit (TCU), located in the Ministry of Justice, to help coordinate counternarcotics efforts in Liberia. The Ministry of Justice, with support from UNODC legal experts, is undertaking a review of current legislation related to drugs and organized crime in Liberia to create a stronger foundation for more effective law enforcement activities.

The USG launched the West Africa Cooperative Security Initiative (WACSI) in 2011, which is a five-year whole of government approach to increase global security by addressing transnational organized crime, particularly drug trafficking, in West Africa. Liberia has been identified as a future WACSI partner where USG assistance will focus on establishing functional and accountable institutions and building basic operational capacity.

Liberia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Liberia is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols and has ratified the UN Convention against Corruption. The United States has had an extradition treaty in effect with Liberia since 1939.

As a matter of government policy, the government of Liberia neither encourages nor facilitates the production or distribution of illicit drugs, nor the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. To our knowledge no senior government officials are engaged in such activity.

The Government of Liberia is concerned about the possible use of its country by transnational criminal organizations and is seeking training and assistance in the investigation and prosecution of counternarcotics and financial crimes. As the capacity of neighboring countries increases through assistance programs such as WACI and WACSI, regional organizations and Government of Liberia will have to pay special attention so that sophisticated crime networks do not seek Liberia as an easy target. The Government of Liberia is not currently ready to respond to the threat of transnational crime; however, U.S. DEA has cooperated with the Liberian NSA, and anticipates future cooperation with them should appropriate cases arise.


Macedonia is neither a major producer nor a major regional transit point for illicit drugs. GOM officials reported a drop in volume of narcotics seizures while criminal narcotic cases remained at about the same level as 2010. Macedonia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The 1901 Extradition Treaty between the United States and Serbia applies to Macedonia as a successor state of the former Yugoslavia. Macedonia is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols.

Macedonia’s National Anti-drug Strategy (2006-2012) sets out two general aims: (1) to prevent new and reduce current drug use, dependence, and drug related harms to health and society and (2) to take action against drug production and cross-border drug trafficking while preventing drug-related crimes. The two main aims are complemented by three cross-cutting themes: coordination, international cooperation, and monitoring and evaluation. The government has been implementing the plan steadily, and its goals are now 90 percent accomplished with one year remaining.

Macedonia lies on the Balkan route, used to deliver Afghan heroin to Western Europe. Hashish and marijuana produced in Albania also travel through Macedonia, but in the opposite direction to Turkey and Greece. Synthetic drugs on the Macedonian market are smuggled in from neighboring Bulgaria and Serbia and also from the Netherlands. These trafficking routes, however, seem to be less utilized than in the past, given a significant drop in heroin seizures. The drop in heroin seizures is a regional trend, and may be a result of a reduction in opium production in Afghanistan in 2010, which caused a significant shortage of heroin throughout Europe. Other factors included more air delivery of drugs, more frequent use of different smuggling routes, drug smuggling by way of Africa, and the shifting trend to cigarette smuggling. The market price of heroin has increased to 17,000 to 20,000 Euros per kilo, depending on the quality. In the first nine months of 2011, criminal narcotics-related charges were brought against 495 people. This represents a decrease of about 154 people charged compared with 2010 and a total of around 408 criminal narcotics cases. Of these, 412 people were charged with illegal production of narcotics and psychotropic substances. There were 73 cases for trafficking in narcotics committed by 83 people. These cases resulted in the seizure of 140 kilograms of marijuana, 22 kilograms of heroin, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, 1.5 liters of liquid cocaine, 1,040 cannabis plants, 637 tablets of amphetamine, and 126 grams of methamphetamine. The number of cases reported is less than the number of defendants, since in some cases multiple defendants are associated with a single narcotics case.

Enforcement cooperation with Macedonia’s new neighbor, Kosovo, continued to improve. A case coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in which Macedonia cooperated with Serbia, and Greece led to the seizure of 170 kilograms of cocaine in Greece. Macedonian work with drug enforcement agencies in Bulgaria resulted in the arrest of “Gecov”, the biggest drug lord in the region.

Ministry of Health officials estimate that there are approximately 10,000 problematic drug users in Macedonia. The most frequently used drug is marijuana, followed by heroin. Treatment and rehabilitation activities are carried out in 12 state-run outpatient medical clinics. These clinics supervise methadone maintenance therapy for registered heroin addicts. In addition, the Clinic for Toxicology at the University Clinical Center in Skopje treats patients with buprenorphine. All Macedonian prisons offer methadone treatment for drug addicts. Macedonia’s two largest prisons, with over 60 percent of the country’s total prison population, have residential programs in special prison wards. The funding for these clinics and their treatment medications comes from the national budget.

Of the 1500 prisoners in the country’s main prison, an estimated one quarter were identified as drug addicts, mainly addicted to heroin. Macedonian health officials acknowledged that rehabilitation centers are overcrowded. In-patient treatment in specialized facilities consists of detoxification accompanied by medicinal/vitamin therapy, as well as limited family therapy, counseling, and social work. Follow-up services after detoxification and social reintegration programs for treated drug abusers are inadequate. There are only three centers for social reintegration and rehabilitation in Macedonia.

The Macedonian Ministry of Education, with NGO and international support, successfully implemented three pilot prevention programs in three different cities in Macedonia, each of which included significant teacher training and other “train the trainer” programs. Educational prevention materials, such as fliers and posters, were also distributed in the pilot schools.

Corruption is common throughout the government in Macedonia. As a matter of policy and practice, however, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Going forward, the United States Government, through State Department-funded law enforcement training programs implemented by DOJ and DEA, will continue to work to strengthen the ability of Macedonian police, prosecutors, and judges to more efficiently enforce Macedonia’s laws against narcotics traffickers.


A. Introduction

Malaysia is neither a significant source country nor a major transit point for U.S.-bound illegal drugs. Nevertheless, regional and domestic drug-trafficking remains a problem, and international drug syndicates are increasingly turning to Malaysia as a production site for crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy (MDMA). Illicit drugs smuggled into Malaysia include heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) from the Golden Triangle area (Thailand, Burma, Laos), as well as ecstasy, cocaine, erimin-5 (Nimetazepam), and crystal methamphetamine from several countries, particularly Iran. In 2011, one clandestine methamphetamine lab operated by Iranians was seized in Kuala Lumpur. There is no notable cultivation of U.S.-listed drug crops in Malaysia.

Drugs transiting Malaysia do not appear to make a significant impact on the U.S. market. However, Malaysia's proximity to the heroin production areas and methamphetamine labs of the Golden Triangle leads to smuggling across Malaysia’s northern border. Most heroin and ATS is destined for Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and other markets in the region. Smaller amounts of ecstasy from Amsterdam are flown into Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) for domestic use and for distribution to Thailand, Singapore, and Australia. Large quantities of ketamine come from Chennai or Tamil Nadu, India, and are exported to several countries in the region. Nigerian trafficking organizations continue to mail quantities of cocaine from South America to Kuala Lumpur. Nigerian and Iranian drug trafficking organizations continue to use Kuala Lumpur as a hub for illegal trafficking. From January to October 2011, Royal Malaysian Police Narcotics Criminal Investigations Division arrested 53 Iranians who were attempting to smuggle methamphetamine into Malaysia through airports, and seized over 245 kilograms of methamphetamine during these investigations. This number does not include the couriers from Turkey, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and other countries who were also arrested and who worked for Iranian trafficking syndicates. Iranians continue to appear in large numbers as traffickers and as domestic drug refiners in Malaysia.

Local demand and consumption of drugs is limited in Malaysia, but police officials have expressed concern about the increased use of methamphetamine. Ketamine from India and erimin-5 also remain very popular drugs on the local market.

The government continues promoting ASEAN’s “Drug-Free by 2015” policy. Malaysia's counter-narcotics officials and police officers have the full support of senior government officials, but systemic problems with the legal system hinder the overall effectiveness of enforcement and interdiction efforts. Malaysia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Malaysia continues a long-term effort launched in 2003 to reduce domestic drug use to negligible levels by 2015. Senior officials, including the Prime Minister, speak out strongly and frequently against drug abuse. The Prime Minister chairs the Cabinet Committee on Eradication of Drugs, composed of 20 government ministers. The National Anti-Drugs Agency (NADA) is the policy arm of Malaysia's counter-narcotics strategy, coordinating demand reduction efforts with various cabinet ministries. Malaysian law stipulates a mandatory death penalty for subjects convicted of “trafficking,” with harsh mandatory sentences also applied for possession and use of smaller quantities. In practice, many minor offenders are placed into treatment programs instead of prison, and major traffickers are often arrested and held in preventive detention, as there is insufficient evidence to charge and prosecute them with “trafficking.” In many cases, subjects charged with trafficking may have their charge reduced to a lesser charge, or, if convicted of drug trafficking, have their sentence commuted upon appeal.

2. Supply Reduction

The Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) and Royal Malaysia Customs (RMC) arrested 111,186 people for drug-related offenses and investigated 2,075 drug-related cases between January and August 2011. The RMP, and to a lesser extent, RMC have been extremely effective at seizing crystal methamphetamine smuggled into Malaysia from Iran and Africa in 2011. The RMP seized more than 618 kilograms of methamphetamine and more than 54,500 liters of liquid methamphetamine from January through August 2011 (as compared to seizing approximately 760 KG and 20 liters of methamphetamine overall in 2010). The RMP aggressively seizes narcotics assets: the police seized RM 49 million (approximately $15.5 million) in drug-related property from January through August 2011. From January to August the RMP arrested a total of 79 Iranian nationals for drug charges and detained an additional 18 Iranian nationals under the Special Preventative Measures Act (SPMA).

The Royal Malaysia Police is effective in arresting smugglers and low-level drug offenders, but has had less success in investigating, arresting, and prosecuting higher-level syndicate members due to systemic legal and procedural limitations placed upon police and prosecutors. Malaysian law requires that a subject charged and convicted of trafficking be sentenced to death. As a result there is an extremely high burden of proof required of both police and prosecutors. The RMP therefore frequently uses the SPMA to arrest and detain drug traffickers. The SPMA allows for the RMP to detain suspects when there are reasonable grounds to believe a person is associated with any activity relating to or involving the trafficking in dangerous drugs. The Police are charged with ensuring the detention is in compliance with the law. Based on the police inquiry, the Minister of Home Affairs then has the ultimate authority and responsibility under the SPMA to detain subjects for up to two (2) years, subject to extension as deemed necessary by the Minister. The frequent use of the SPMA to arrest drug traffickers in Malaysia is a result of investigative, enforcement, and/or prosecutorial limitations, which include the lack of alternate sentencing guidelines, a very high-burden of proof for a death penalty conviction, and the lack of an effective conspiracy law. These systemic problems, in turn, determine police investigative and forensic procedures, as well as prosecutorial decisions. Use of the SPMA decreased in 2011; from January to August, 622 persons were arrested under the SPMA, as compared with 1,548 over all of 2010.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Since 1988 the Malaysian Government cumulatively has identified more than 300,000 drug addicts, and the government-linked Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation and other NGOs estimate that there are currently some 900,000 to 1.2 million drug addicts in Malaysia. Statistics continue to show that the majority of the nation's drug addicts are between 19 and 39 years of age and have not completed high school. The NADA targets its demand reduction efforts toward youth, parents, students, teachers, and workers, with extensive efforts to engage schools, student leaders, parent-teacher associations, community leaders, religious institutions, and workplaces.

4. Corruption

Malaysian and foreign media organizations continued to highlight corruption, both specific cases and more generally as a factor impacting law enforcement effectiveness in Malaysia. The Government of Malaysia 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. The potential for drugs to be smuggled into Malaysia with the cooperation or assistance of Customs or Immigration officials at ports of entry and/or airports remains a problem, although the overall scope and scale of this form of corruption remains difficult to quantify.

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

Overall cooperation with DEA on drug investigations is very good, with frequent exchanges of information.

The U.S. Coast Guard continued its U.S. State Department funded maritime law enforcement training program with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) by conducting Joint Boarding Officer and curriculum development courses to further develop the MMEA’s organic instructional capabilities.

U. S. goals and objectives for the year 2012 are to continue coordination and communication between Malaysian and U.S. law enforcement authorities in counter-narcotics efforts, including assisting in interdiction efforts, sharing intelligence, funding counter-narcotics training for Malaysian law enforcement officers, and working to improve Malaysia's investigative and prosecutorial processes. DEA will conduct an asset forfeiture and money laundering conference for Malaysian law enforcement officers, prosecutors and central bank officials.

Malaysia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention Against Psychotropic Substances. The U.S.-Malaysian MLAT went into effect in January 2009. The U.S.-Malaysia Extradition treaty has been in effect since 1997.

D. Conclusion

Malaysia’s overall performance in the area of drug control is good. Malaysian law enforcement effectively responds to changes in trafficking patterns and appropriately dedicates significant resources to interdicting drugs, reducing supply, and investigating criminal syndicates, although systemic legal and procedural limitations limit the effectiveness of prosecution against high-level syndicate members. The RMP and other elements coordinate and cooperate regularly with law enforcement counterparts in the region, to include the United States, and Malaysian authorities host or participate in a variety of bilateral drug control seminars and coordination meetings. With regard to demand reduction and treatment, the National Anti-Drug Agency has an outstanding drug awareness program and proactively conducts operations to identify drug users and treat addiction.

Systemic legal issues discussed above continue to affect overall effectiveness of the police and prosecutors to investigate, charge, and prosecute higher level drug traffickers and organized crime. Areas for improvement relative to the 1988 UN convention are the strengthening of Malaysia’s criminal conspiracy statute (recommended under Article 3, Section 1 C IV of the UN convention), as well as the development of a plea bargaining and an alternate sentencing system. If implemented, such changes would almost certainly reduce use of preventive detention, increase judicial oversight, streamline court cases, and provide an alternative to lengthy prosecution of drug cases.


The extremely limited resources of the government and the sheer size of Mali's three northern regions – whose sparsely populated desert is larger than the state of Texas – makes it a challenge to interdict drug smugglers. Historically, illicit drugs in Mali were limited to cannabis in both herb and resin form, most of which was consumed locally. In recent years, however, foreign smugglers have begun to engage in trafficking of cocaine from South America through Mali to Western Europe. In 2009, a Boeing 727 aircraft crash-landed in northern Mali, where an undisclosed but by all accounts significant quantity of cocaine is purported to have been offloaded before the plane was abandoned. Half a dozen arrests followed over a year after the incident occurred; as yet, there have been no convictions. Mali has been authoritatively identified as one of the West African transit countries through which up to 80 percent of cocaine seized in Western Europe can be traced. It is only recently that information has been developed which indicates unpopulated areas in the North of Mali may be being used for the reception of clandestine air shipments of cocaine as well as for the land transportation of quantities of cocaine and hashish across northern Mali. Some of the subjects facilitating this activity are believed to be associated with ethnic militias and/or extremist elements such as AQIM(al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb).

Mali is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption. There is no extradition treaty or mutual legal assistance treaty in force between the United States and Mali. Legal assistance, however, has been sought and afforded through letters of request.

The Malian National Police Counterdrug Brigade is the primary law enforcement body for combating drugs. Malian police seized over 900 kg of illegal substances during 2011 to date, of which three kilos were cocaine, five kilos were amphetamine-type stimulants, 837 kilos were cannabis herb or resin, and 97 kilos were other controlled substances, mainly prescription drugs.

Mali's chief policy organization for addressing drug issues is the Inter-ministerial Drug Committee, chaired by the Ministry of Justice. The committee includes members from eight ministries, with the commander of the Counterdrug Brigade serving as secretary. This committee is the focal point for implementation of Mali's five-year National Integrated Program (NIP) on Narcotics, adopted in 2009, whose goals include increasing law enforcement capacity, deterring transnational criminal operations, and controlling and minimizing the spread of drug consumption. The NIP resulted from the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan as well as the ECOWAS Political Declaration on the Prevention of Drug Abuse, Illicit Drug Trafficking, and Organized Crime in West Africa (both signed in 2008). Shortages of basic communications and police vehicle support suggest that new initiatives or programs to expand counterdrug operations in Mali during the coming year are unlikely.

Mali is not considered to have a serious drug consumption or dependence problem. Most hard drugs which transit the country are destined for markets in Europe, and local society is culturally resistant to drug abuse. Few official statistics on drug abuse exist. One of the NIPs goals is a comprehensive assessment of the drug abuse situation in Mali.

As a matter of government policy, Mali 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.

Mali will continue to serve as a transit country for drugs headed to Western Europe. Its involvement in the drug trade is buoyed by high cocaine prices in foreign markets, the difficulty of patrolling northern Mali, and Mali’s fundamental lack of law enforcement resources.


The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, a small and under-developed country, suffers from a combination of weak government oversight, lax financial auditing standards, a large informal trade sector, porous borders, and corruption in government and the private sector. Following the election of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in July 2009 and increasing terrorist and illicit trafficking activities along the long and porous borders with Algeria and Mali, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (GIRM) began an aggressive campaign against corruption and the terrorist network of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

There is little, if any, domestic production of drugs in Mauritania. Mauritania’s location makes it an attractive destination for drugs coming via air from South America or via land after arriving at sea ports in Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. The Mauritanian economy is based almost entirely on informal trade, therefore detecting and combating drug trafficking in Mauritania is extremely difficult.

Consumption of drugs in Mauritania is not common. There is occasional use of drugs among the class of Mauritanians with the means available to purchase them, but there are concerns that consumption could increase, following a pattern in other transit countries, if larger quantities of drugs transit through Mauritania.

The GIRM enacted its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing law (2005-0048) on July 27, 2005 and updated it in 2009. However, these laws have not been fully implemented. Drug traffickers and elements of AQIM often operate in the same isolated areas of Mauritania. Presently, there is evidence that the recent increase in the Mauritanian military presence along the borders with Algeria and Mali limited the ability of drug traffickers to easily cross Mauritanian borders. Local media reported that, in December 2010, the Mauritanian army successfully attacked a convoy of drug traffickers escorted by AQIM along the border with Mali. Many traffickers were killed and some of them were arrested by the Mauritanian army.

Mauritania has two offices primarily responsible for combating the traffic of drugs: The Police Office to Combat Trafficking in Illicit and Psychotropic Substances (POCTIPS), established in 2005, and “La Commission d’Analyse des Informations Financieres” (CANIF), established in 2005 but began operations in 2008, which is the equivalent of a financial intelligence unit. Both organizations have received funding and technical assistance from the international community. From November 28-December 4, 2010, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) held an Advanced Counter-Financing of Terrorism Financial Regulatory training course at the FDIC Training Facilities in Arlington, Virginia, attended by Four CANIF employees. This training helped them improve their abilities to combat terrorism financing through illicit trafficking.

According to the director of the POCTIPS, the GIRM arrested 174 individuals on drug trafficking charges between January and October 2011. Also during this timeframe, Mauritania seized more than 1.7 kilograms of cocaine, 638 kg of cannabis, 33 kg of cannabis resin, more than $8,000 in cash, five cars, one truck and one boat during 82 different counternarcotics operations. Earlier, in 2010, the GIRM arrested 309 traffickers, and seized 31 kg of cocaine, 1.125 tons of cannabis, 10.345 tons of cannabis resin, more than $43,000 in cash, 38 cars and two trucks. The director of POCTIPS assesses that the decreases from 2010 to 2011 are a result of the GIRM’s aggressive campaign against illicit trafficking.

In July 2011, 36 accused drug traffickers were tried. Among them 32 were acquitted and four were sentenced to 15 years in prison, but were eventually acquitted by the Criminal Court. The Supreme Court subsequently overruled these decisions, annulled the acquittals, and fired several judges who were in charge of this case. Three judges fled Mauritania before the GIRM publicly announced the decision, suggesting the possibility that corrupt payments might have affected their decision.

Mauritania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Mauritania is also a party to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention Against Corruption. There currently is no extradition treaty or mutual legal assistance treaty between the United States and Mauritania. Notably, Mauritania does not provide formal mutual legal assistance in the absence of a bilateral treaty.


Mauritius is not a major producer or exporter of illegal drugs, or a transit route for drug trafficking. While Mauritius is not a significant transshipment location on a global scale, the island state is increasingly seen as a regional hub for heroin distribution, often intended for onward movement into Europe and even the United States. Cannabis is the only illicit drug that is locally cultivated in large quantities, primarily by small groups or individuals for local consumption and is not exported. Other illicit drugs, primarily heroin and the prescription drug, Subutex (a brand name for buprenorphine, an opiate used to treat heroin dependence, which is illegal in Mauritius), are brought into Mauritius for consumption with a small amount going for transshipment to other markets.

Mauritius's Anti Drug Smuggling Unit (ADSU) of the Mauritius Police Force works closely with other law enforcement and health agencies on drug control and treatment programs throughout the country, and cooperates with U.S. Government agencies. The ADSU continues to look for ways to improve its resources and capacity. Mauritius is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Mauritius is also a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

The ADSU appears, to be on track to record a similar level, or slight increase in, seizures and cases involving illegal drugs in 2011 compared to 2010. The ADSU credits the increase in illicit drug seizures and arrests in recent years to its ongoing operations with various intelligence units of the police force and its proactive approach to regional co-operation. The strategic location of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean encourages drug trafficking/transit. The increasing number of shipping containers arriving in Mauritius, and a new wave of synthetic drugs, plus a lack of shared intelligence with other countries has complicated enforcement efforts. Mauritius has limited resources to patrol its shores and territorial waterways.

Mauritius has several agencies working on drug control issues, over the gamut from law enforcement, to public health initiatives. NGOs also are engaged in treatment and prevention efforts. The Mauritian government collaborates with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, and the International Narcotics Control Board.

Based on narcotic seizures, arrests, and drug treatment/rehabilitation program participation, cannabis followed by heroin and Subutex are the most commonly abused drugs in Mauritius. Treatment NGO's report approximately 20,000 abusers but the figures are disputed by the police as being nearer 12,000. Mauritius does have dedicated drug treatment facilities and has in recent years introduced methadone maintenance for addicts in treatment and a needle exchange program. NGO's provide counseling and treatment options. Government health facilities, managed by health professionals, are also available for drug treatment cases.

The Government of Mauritius has clearly indicated that drug traffickers and those involved in drug trafficking at all levels will not be tolerated. The present policies have not completely stopped the flow of illegal drugs, but the forfeiture of assets applied to narcotics offenders is beginning to take effect. No evidence has emerged to suggest that any government officials are involved in the production or trafficking of drugs, nor does the government facilitate drug trafficking as a matter of policy.

The U.S. government provides training assistance to Mauritian law enforcement agencies, including the ADSU, through the International Law Enforcement Academies in Botswana, New Mexico, and Africa Command (AFRICOM) efforts, including the efforts of NCIS. It is U.S. policy to help Mauritius increase its capacity to enforce its narcotics laws and to work with Mauritian enforcement to resolve cases where there is a U.S. nexus to drug trafficking. The 1931 UK-U.S. Extradition Treaty is the treaty in force between the United States and Mauritius, but we have no history of extradition cases with Mauritius pursuant to the treaty.


A. Introduction

Mexico is both a major transit and source country for illicit drugs reaching the United States. Approximately 95 percent of the cocaine flow to the United States transits the Mexico-Central America corridor from its origins in South America. Mexico continues to aggressively combat drug trafficking, apprehending key transnational criminal organization (TCO) leaders and associates and seizing narcotics, weapons, and bulk cash. The Government of Mexico’s effort to capture or kill TCO leadership has resulted in multiple fractured organizations that fight over lucrative trade routes and seek to intimidate or control communities by killing or torturing security personnel, journalists, and government officials.

As government successes continue to affect the TCO’s narcotics-driven profits and drain their resources, they are increasingly turning to traditional criminal activities such as kidnapping, extortion, trafficking-in-persons, and domestic retail drug sales. As of October 2011, Mexico was on track to surpass 13,000 drug-related murders for the year, a 20 percent rise over the 11,583 committed in 2010. Notable declines in violence in the city of Ciudad Juarez were countered by increases in the states of Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Guerrero.

Mexico is also a major supplier of heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine to the United States. Mexico is also a source and destination for money laundering activity and the U.S. Attorney General estimates that 64,000 of the 94,000 weapons recovered in Mexico over the last five years were traced from origins in the United States. Complementing the Government of Mexico’s effort, Merida Initiative implementation accelerated in calendar year 2011 with major deliveries of equipment and training of just over $500 million dollars to help transform Mexico’s judicial and security institutions.

Mexico is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Developments

The Government of Mexico continued to strengthen its institutional capacity to confront TCOs and their illegal activities. The Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) continued to restructure its Federal Police force and tripled its size, from 11,000 in 2006 to over 35,000 presently. At the state level, the Government of Mexico created Model Police Units (MPUs). The standard constituencies of the units are 422 vetted officers and are comprised of investigators, analysts, and operations personnel. To date, 24 of 31 states and the Federal District are participating in the program, and over 1,300 investigators, 450 analysts, and 1,900 operations personnel have received training. Individual states may modify the size and composition of the MPUs to meet their needs. Mexican Customs, part of Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT), complemented its traditional focus on revenue collection by implementing new law enforcement capabilities such as investigating sources of contraband and intellectual property violations. The Office of the Attorney General (PGR) restructured key divisions, dismissed numerous employees who could not pass internal vetting, and continued efforts to increase prosecution rates.

Budget. The Government of Mexico’s 2012 security budget for all security-related secretariats is $12 billion, an increase of 10.7 percent from 2011 budget levels. Funding will be used to combat organized crime, expand crime prevention programs, improve interagency coordination, consolidate police forces, support justice reforms, and strengthen the “social fabric” by encouraging citizens to be more active stewards of neighborhoods’ security conditions through cooperation with local authorities.

Judicial Reforms. Federal and state-level justice sector reform remains uneven throughout Mexico, with only 11 of 31 states and the Federal District amending their constitution and fewer implementing necessary judicial code reform in order to transition to an oral, adversarial justice system by the 2016 deadline. In September, the Calderon Administration proposed federal criminal procedure code legislation to Congress. The Government of Mexico’s Technical Secretary for the Coordination and Implementation of Judicial Reform (SETEC) has the legal mandate to coordinate justice sector reforms nationwide and is working across the justice sector including law schools and bar associations to train personnel from various agencies. The reforms should establish a justice system that promotes due process, transparency, alternative case resolution methods, and improved skills throughout the judicial sector.

Money Laundering. As part of the Government of Mexico’s National Strategy for Anti-Money Laundering, a new anti-money laundering law was passed by the Senate on April 28, and is currently pending approval by the lower house. This law will impose harsher sanctions against individuals involved in money laundering, create a specialized unit within PGR to investigate and prosecute money laundering cases, and restrict the amount of physical cash (banknotes and coins) denominated in U.S. dollars that Mexican banks may receive. The regulations are intended to mitigate risks of laundering proceeds tied to narcotics trafficking and organized crime.

Agreements and Treaties. Mexico is 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. Mexico also subscribes to the 1996 Anti-Drug Strategy in the Hemisphere and the 1990 Declaration of Ixtapa. Mexico is party to the UN Convention against Corruption, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols, and the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. The current U.S.-Mexico bilateral extradition treaty has been in force since 1980. The 2001 Protocol to this Treaty allows for the temporary surrender for trial of fugitives serving a sentence in one country but wanted on criminal charges in another. Finally, Mexico is a party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

Mexico, the United States, and Colombia participate in a tri-party group that meets at least twice a year to discuss counternarcotics and other issues of mutual interest.

Mexico is taking a leading role with the Central American Integration System (SICA) and Central American countries to reverse the deteriorating security environment in the region. In April, Mexico hosted the 28th International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC), a global forum where senior drug law enforcement officials meet and identify strategies to defeat criminal drug trafficking organizations. Mexico participates in the semi-annual Multilateral Maritime Counterdrug Summit, which includes the United States, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and most Central American countries. The last Multilateral Summit held in September had 11 countries participating. The U.S. and Mexican governments also use the North American Maritime Security Initiative (NAMSI) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for maritime interdiction operations. U.S., Canadian, and Mexican officials meet quarterly during NAMSI workgroup meetings to develop, exercise, and execute coordinated maritime security and safety operations.

2. Supply Reduction

In 2011, the Government of Mexico seized 6 metric tons (MT) of cocaine, 909 MT of marijuana, 93 kilograms (kg) of opium gum, 268 kg of heroin, and 13 MT of methamphetamine, eradicated 7,478 hectares (ha) of marijuana and 4,124 ha of poppy, and dismantled 137 drug-processing labs. Additionally, it arrested 10,979 Mexican nationals and 218 foreigners on drug-related charges, including 22 high-profile drug traffickers. A few notable examples are:

(June 21, 2011)  Jesus Mendez-Vargas (aka “El Chango”) – One of the co-leaders of La Familia Michoacána.

(July 3, 2011) Jesus Enrique Rejon-Aguilar (aka “Mamito”) – One of the top leaders within the Los Zetas TCO. 

(July 29, 2011) Jose Antonio Acosta-Hernandez (aka “El Diego”) – Among the key leaders of “La Linea,” a hit squad of the Vicente Carillo Fuentes Organization.

Cultivation and Production Trends. Estimates for marijuana and opium poppy cultivation and heroin production decreased from 2009-2010 as a result of severe drought in key growing regions and small gains in eradication. Prolonged drought conditions, record cold temperatures, and widespread wildfires in spring and early summer 2011 expect to result in a decrease for 2011. Rural areas in the northwest comprising the states of Sinaloa, Sonora, Chihuahua, and Durango are the primary locations for marijuana and opium poppy cultivation.

Mexico accounts for approximately seven percent of the world’s heroin supply. Mexico mostly produces black tar and brown powder heroin. An unknown quantity of white heroin is also produced domestically as well as imported from South America. While most heroin is exported to the United States, Mexico is experiencing an increase in domestic heroin abuse.

As of August 2011, the Government of Mexico dismantled 137 methamphetamine labs, compared to 213 and 157 dismantled in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The lower numbers do not represent a decline in methamphetamine production or interdiction activity. The Government of Mexico aggressively searches and destroys labs; on June 15, it dismantled an industrial-sized methamphetamine lab in the state of Queretaro with the capability of producing hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine per month. Also in June, PGR’s special investigative unit reported a record seizure of 3 MT of methamphetamines and additional precursor chemicals to manufacture approximately 750 MT more.

Trafficking Trends. Since 2008, Mexican smugglers have significantly expanded their presence in Central America. Land corridors through Central America and Mexico are now the most significant transit routes for cocaine from South America. While the United States remains the primary destination for illicit drugs trafficked via Mexico, Mexican TCOs are expanding their operations in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Trafficking routes continue to evolve due to increased government interdiction and the TCOs’ efforts to supply these growing markets.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

According to the Mexico’s National Council Against Addiction (CONADIC), the use of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine in Mexico increased steadily from 2002 to 2008. Northern states are disproportionately impacted by the increased availability of drugs resulting from failed smuggling attempts and TCOs’ use of drugs as payments. CONADIC, in close coordination with the office of the Mexican President, is responsible for sponsoring demand reduction programs. The Government of Mexico’s priorities include standardizing drug counseling curricula, increasing the availability of rehabilitation services in the penitentiary system, and linking the 330 government-supported New Life Center prevention and treatment referral resource clinics.

In 2011, the Office of the Mexican First Lady sponsored the first “Mexican-developed” methodology for drug awareness in the form of an informational tool kit. Bilaterally, Mexico established a drug treatment partnership with the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse's Clinical Trials Network (CTN) in order to improve the effectiveness and availability of drug abuse treatment. Centros de Integracion Juvenil (CIJ), a primary care provider for drug addicted youths, expanded its inpatient treatment centers in underserved areas of Ciudad Juarez. CONADIC is coordinating with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to open a Center of Excellence for drug demand reduction. In the final quarter of 2011, 600 new counselors will be trained in a world-class, standardized curriculum developed with the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) to treat and rehabilitate drug addicts.

4. Corruption

As a matter of law, the Government of Mexico does not permit the production or distribution of illegal narcotics, nor the laundering of money derived from illicit drug transactions. The Calderon administration has taken unprecedented steps to reduce corruption in law enforcement, and has designated the National System for Public Security (SNSP) as the agency responsible for overseeing new laws requiring stronger vetting processes for law enforcement officials, including the increased use of polygraph and background checks. To increase transparency and accountability, the Government of Mexico restructured and augmented their Internal Affairs offices through implementing programs/centers in all law enforcement agencies called “The Center for Evaluation and Control of Trust,” or more commonly known as “Control de Confianza.” Moreover, new labor laws constrain judges from reinstating police officers fired for corruption. These efforts, combined with leadership changes in the PGR, have had a positive impact; in 2011, over 40 high ranking officials and hundreds more employees were dismissed from service due to allegations of corruption.

While federal law enforcement standards continue to improve, state and municipal law enforcement officials remain vulnerable to corruption. State and municipal police have been implicated in the press and social media for facilitating the movement of drugs or contraband, as well as impeding federal or military enforcement operations. The Calderon administration has acknowledged these challenges, and demonstrated a willingness to conduct large-scale sweeps of municipal police forces where corruption is prevalent. In 2011, municipal police forces in the states of Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, and Veracruz were subject to federal enforcement efforts aimed at eliminating widespread corruption. While public sentiment in Mexico is mixed about these efforts, on the one hand appreciating the focus on the elimination of corruption but on the other apprehensive about the high rates of turnover, minimal interaction with citizens and allegations of human rights abuses, corruption remains an impediment to counternarcotics efforts within Mexico.

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

Since 2008, the Merida Initiative has been the cornerstone of U.S.-Mexico security cooperation. The Merida Initiative is built around four pillars: 1) disrupt organized criminal groups; 2) strengthen institutions; 3) build a twenty-first century border; and 4) build strong and resilient communities. Merida Initiative assistance complements the Government of Mexico’s institution building efforts. Merida funding has been used to train over 55,000 law enforcement and justice sector officials, including 7,200 Federal police officers. In calendar year 2011, the United States delivered over $500 million under Merida, for a total of over $900 million in assistance since the inception of the Merida Initiative.

Arms Trafficking. Through the use of the Spanish-language version of e-Trace, a program that determines the origins of suspect weapons, Mexican law enforcement increased the number of investigations and seizures of illegal weapons. Information from these traces and investigations are routinely exchanged at monthly bilateral working group meetings called GC Armas, which includes members of the U.S. and Mexican law enforcement communities.

Mexico and the United States cooperate in judicial assistance matters under a bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT). In 2011, Mexico extradited 93 people to the United States (31 for narcotics-related offenses) including several high-profile fugitives.

D. Conclusion

The Government of Mexico faces significant challenges to reduce drug trafficking, stem violence, build institutional capacity, and strengthen the rule of law. The Government of Mexico continues to make progress in its efforts to dismantle TCOs and their leadership. New laws and policies to prevent corruption, arms trafficking, and money laundering, and new strategies to support law enforcement institutions at the state and local levels, such as the Model Police Units, represent significant steps forward. These efforts are fortifying government institutions while fracturing the TCOs. Despite these efforts, violence continues, domestic production and consumption of illegal narcotics increases, and illicit narcotics from South America pass through Mexico en route to markets in the United States.

Future bilateral actions should emphasize institutional capacity building, promote the expansion of programs from the federal to state and local levels, and continue to focus on priority areas as defined in the Merida Initiative strategy. Implementation of judicial reforms would complement law enforcement initiatives to combat drug trafficking.

For its part, the United States continues to enhance programs on its side of the border to curb U.S. domestic drug demand and inhibit the flow of arms and cash across the border into Mexico. The battle against organized crime requires a holistic approach, and the United States remains committed to working with the Government of Mexico to strengthen the rule of law and the capacity of Mexican governmental institutions.

Country Reports - Moldova through Singapore