International Narcotics Control Strategy Report -2006-

Moldova

I. Summary

Drug usage within Moldova remains a concern; although the number of officially registered addicts decreased, the importation of synthetic drugs and psychotropic substances increased, despite the fact that consistently poor economic conditions make Moldova a relatively unattractive market for narcotics sales. To date, 2005 statistics regarding the quantity of hemp and poppy plants seized doubled in comparison with the same period of last year and heroin seizures increased by more than four times. There was also a noticeable increase in the seizures of psychotropic substances, especially ecstasy. Moldova is not a significant producer of narcotics or precursor chemicals. The number of criminal proceedings this year indicates a noticeable increase in cases sent to trial. Moldova is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Moldova is an agricultural country with a climate favorable for cultivating marijuana and opium poppy. Annual domestic production of marijuana is estimated at several thousand kilograms. By November of 2005, authorities seized and destroyed 16,688 kilograms of hemp plants and 18,418 kilograms of poppy plants. The market for domestically-produced narcotics remains small. The importation of synthetic drugs continues to grow as evidenced by the increase quantities of ecstasy and other psychotropic substances seized this year. Domestic drug traffickers remain closely connected to organized crime in neighboring countries. Moldova is not a factor in the regional production of any precursor chemicals. During the first 10 months of 2005 the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) discovered 8 cases of medical personnel prescribing narcotic and psychotropic substances in violation of the established regulations.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. In November 2005 the Parliament amended the articles pertaining to narcotics control in the Criminal Code (CC), Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and the Administrative Offences Code (AOC), which brought the legislation in line with the provisions of Article 3 of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The maximum penalty in the CC for narcotics trafficking was increased from 12 years to 20 years in prison. The CC was amended to include six new articles that covers a wider range of drug-related crimes . The articles from the CPC related to wiretapping, intercept of communications and correspondence, were greatly improved to allow the use of these techniques for the entire range of drug related crimes, versus only especially grave offenses before November 2005. The AOC was amended to include a more detailed description of drug-related offenses. In 2005 the Anti-Drugs Department of the MIA was transferred from the Directorate to Combat Organized Crime to the Directorate of the Judicial Police, which also incorporates the Criminal Police Department. This change was considered significant by the MIA, because the regional counternarcotics investigators are now directly subordinated to the Anti-Drugs Department, instead of reporting to a different department. Unfortunately, this change also brought a reduction of the number of law enforcement personnel within the Anti-Drugs Department, which decreased from 103 to 75 officers nationwide, with 12 officers at headquarters in Chisinau supporting 63 in the regions. Moldova also continues to pursue—with U.S. support—anticorruption, counternarcotics and border control initiatives that supplement counternarcotics efforts.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Moldovan authorities initiated at least 1,846 drug-related cases in the first 10 months of 2005, as compared to 2,140 total cases for the entire year of 2004. This year, 558 kilograms of poppy straw and 9 liters of opium were seized, compared with 460 kilograms of poppy straw and 13.5 liters of opium for the same period of 2004. Heroin seizures increased by 4 times in 2005: 870 grams were seized during the first 10 months of 2005, while only 202 grams were seized during the first 11 months of 2004. Seizures of ecstasy almost tripled: 326 pills in 2005 and 124 pills in 2004. Concerns over Moldova also focus on the fact that historically, many transit countries have become user countries over time. Moldova will need to invest significant resources in education, border enhancement, and further law enforcement initiatives to stem the growth of its user population. Narcotic drug seizures and lab destructions remain high priorities for the counternarcotics units. The Anti-Drugs Department found and destroyed 38 clandestine labs this year compared with 11 labs in 2004. MIA officials also continue to work with the Prosecutors to ensure quality cases are pursued. During the first 10 months of 2005, 98.8 percent of the cases reported were sent forward for prosecution, with 78.7 percent going to trial. During the entire year of 2004, 99 percent of those reported were forwarded for prosecution, resulting in 70.5 percent of cases going to trial.

Corruption. Corruption, on all levels, is a major systemic problem within Moldova. Despite repeated pledges by the Government of Moldova to eradicate corruption, corruption appears to be pervasive, permeating all levels of society from the judicial and political processes to education and health care to business. The Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCECC) is the law enforcement agency responsible for investigating corruption allegations, including those related to narcotics-related public corruption. It has been accused of political bias in its investigations, although not specifically with regard to narcotics cases. As a matter of government policy, Macedonia neither encourages nor facilitates illicit production or distribution of narcotics or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

Agreements and Treaties. Moldova is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1961 UN Single Convention. Moldova is also a signatory of the Strasbourg Convention of 1990 and the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, and cooperates in accordance with these agreements where resources and abilities permit. Moldova is a party to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling. Moldova has signed, but has not ratified, the UN Convention against Corruption

Drug Flow/Transit. Seizures this year increased and they indicate that Moldova remains primarily a trans-shipment country for narcotics. Information provided by the MIA indicates that two of the predominant heroin routes are from Ukraine through Moldova to Western Europe, and from Turkey through Romania and Moldova into the Commonwealth of Independent States. The MIA continues to express concern about the increased use of heroin and ecstasy and has indicated that in the near future Moldova may become a target of international drug trafficking networks, especially those trafficking heroin.

Domestic Programs. As of November 2005 the number of officially registered addicts was 8,247, which is a decrease compared with the same period of 2004 (8,527). The MIA conducted 5,515 raids and operations in 2005, organized 7,013 meetings with vulnerable groups and published 312 preventive advertisements in the media. Treatment is an option for only the wealthiest of offenders. These rehabilitation programs continue to suffer from lack of financial resources and dilapidated facilities, which restrict rehabilitation and treatment efforts by the Moldovan government.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The USG’s counternarcotics program remains focused around Department of State (INL) Bureau activities. In March 2005, the United States provided narcotics interdiction training for the Moldovan police, customs officials and employees of the Information and Security Service. The training focused on tactical vehicle stops, drug identification, parcel interdiction and secret compartments, jet way interdiction, ground transportation interdiction, case development and international controlled deliveries. INL supported travel abroad by Moldovan police investigators, customs officials and border guards to attend the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest for basic law enforcement training, which included sessions on combating organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering and corruption. INL also organized an ILEA Roswell Advanced Management training for ILEA graduates from Moldova focused on drug and human trafficking. Ongoing USG training and equipment initiatives are designed to improve the abilities of police to investigate and infiltrate organized crime and narcotics syndicates. Other training programs related to counternarcotics include customs and border improvement programs, aimed at strengthening Moldovan border controls and reducing the flow of illegal goods through Moldova.

The Road Ahead. Moldova and the U.S. will continue to work closely on narcotics control issues.
Netherlands

I. Summary

With its extensive transportation infrastructure and some of the most active maritime ports in Europe, the Netherlands is one of the leading distribution points for illegal drugs to and from Europe. A significant percentage of the cocaine consumed in Europe enters first through the Netherlands, and the country remains one of the leading international producers of ecstasy (MDMA), although production seems to be declining substantially. The current Dutch center-right coalition has made measurable progress in implementing a five-year strategy (2002-2006) against production, trade and consumption of synthetic drugs. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the number of ecstasy tablets seized in the U.S. that could be linked to the Netherlands dropped to 0.2 million in 2004 from 1.1 million in 2003 and 2.5 million in 2002. This number does not take into account the amount of ecstasy seized in Canada that is destined for the U.S. Operational cooperation between U.S. and Dutch law enforcement agencies is excellent, despite some differences in approach and tactics. In July 2005, ONDCP Director John Walters and Dutch Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst signed an agreement between their two agencies to exchange scientific and demand reduction information. The Netherlands actively participates in DEA’s El Paso Information Center (EPIC). The 100 percent close inspection at Schiphol airport on inbound flights from the Caribbean and some South American countries has resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of drug couriers. Dutch popular attitudes toward soft drugs remain tolerant to the point of indifference. The Government of the Netherlands (GONL) and the public view domestic drug use as a public health issue first and a law enforcement issue second. The Netherlands is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

The central geographical position of the Netherlands, with its modern transportation and communications infrastructure, one of the world’s busiest container ports in Rotterdam and one of Europe’s busiest airports, makes the country an attractive operational area for international drug traffickers and money launderers. Production of ecstasy and marijuana is significant; although significant ecstasy production has shifted outside the country—particularly to neighboring European states and perhaps to Canada. There is also production of amphetamines and other synthetic drugs. The Netherlands also has a large (legal) chemical sector, making it an opportune location for criminals to obtain or produce precursor chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. The National Crime Squad (“Nationale Recherche” or NR), which officially started functioning in January 2004, had a very successful year in 2005. Not only did it make the largest cocaine seizure ever in the Netherlands, it also dismantled the largest ecstasy laboratory ever found in the country (see below for more details).

Cannabis. As announced in the 2004 “Cannabis Letter”, the Dutch Government has given top priority to discouraging “drug tourism” and cannabis cultivation, particularly in the southern border regions. In November 2005, Justice Minister Donner sent the Second Chamber an assessment of the government’s cannabis policy, highlighting the most important developments:

Dutch authorities in Maastricht will shortly begin a trial project to offer local residents special access passes to coffeeshops. The Netherlands permits sale of cannabis in coffeeshops under vigorous controls and conditions. The objective of the Maastrict trial is to cut down on drug tourism from neighboring countries. If successful, the experiment will be expanded.
In October 2005, Justice Minister Donner proposed amending the Opium Act to make it easier for local governments to close down premises where drugs are sold illegally. Currently, closure of such “drug premises” is possible with a judge’s order, but only if there is concrete evidence they are causing a serious public nuisance.
The public prosecutor’s office and the police in the southern provinces of Brabant and Limburg have started a pilot project targeting the criminal organizations behind illegal cannabis cultivation, rather than merely focusing on individual growers.
In anticipation of parliamentary ratification of the bilateral law enforcement cooperation treaties with Germany and Belgium, practical measures have been taken to reduce drug trafficking in border regions. Cross-border surveillance has been intensified and license numbers of drug tourists are being exchanged.
To implement the EU framework decision on illegal drug trafficking of November 2004, the Government currently is drafting a proposal raising the sentence for large-scale cannabis cultivation and illegal cannabis trafficking “either (in organized form) or not in organized form” from 4 to 6 years’ imprisonment.
The 2004 National Drug Monitor, published by the Trimbos Addiction Institute in April 2005, showed that recent (within the last-month) cannabis use among young people aged 12-18 dropped from 11 percent in 1996 to 9 percent in 2003. Lifetime prevalence (ever-used) of cannabis in this age group dropped from 22 percent to 19 percent over the same period. In 2004, Trimbos began a 3-year mass-media publicity campaign, subsidized by the Health Ministry, to discourage cannabis use among young people.
The average THC content in Dutch-grown cannabis (“Nederwiet”) was a very high 20 percent in 2003-2004, and appears to be stabilizing at between 17 and 20 percent. The State Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM) has been ordered to investigate acute health risks of cannabis with high THC levels. Results of this study are expected in March 2006.
A July 2005 study estimated the total number of coffeeshops in the Netherlands at 737 at the end of 2004, down from 754 in 2002. Only 22 percent of the 483 Dutch municipalities allow coffeeshops within their cities—70 percent do not allow any at all. Half of all coffeeshops are located in the five largest cities. On average, coffeeshops are checked by the authorities four times per year, and criteria for operating such shops usually are well observed.
In a November 28, 2005 letter to the Second Chamber, Health Minister Hoogervorst stated that legal sales of medicinal cannabis by pharmacies have largely failed. He said the policy to allow medicinal sales in pharmacies could only be effective if an official cannabis-based medicine were registered. Hoogervorst intends to end the experiment if the pharmaceutical industry fails to develop such a medicine within one year. Since March 2003, doctors have been allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis for their chronically ill patients. The Health Ministry’s Bureau for Medicinal Cannabis buys the cannabis from two official growers, confirms quality and organizes the distribution.

Cocaine Trafficking. In July 2005, the Justice Ministry expanded prosecutions of South American and Caribbean cocaine couriers at Schiphol airport. Previously, the government only prosecuted couriers carrying 3 kilograms or more of cocaine; couriers carrying smaller quantities were sent home (to save the Dutch taxpayer the expense of “lodging” them in prisons). Under the new policy, couriers carrying 1.5 or more kilograms are prosecuted. Government officials expect to prosecute all couriers, regardless of quantity carried, by January 2006. This has become possible because of the dramatic decline in the number of couriers due to the stricter controls. During a Justice Ministry budget debate in November 2005, the Second Chamber questioned the high amount of money spent annually on the 100 percent checks: 27 million Euros by Justice, and 6.5 million Euros each by the military police and Customs. In early 2006, the Justice Ministry will publish an assessment of the Schiphol drug policy, including a long-term plan.

In September 2005, Justice Minister Donner signed agreements with his Colombian and Venezuelan counterparts on intensified cooperation in combating cocaine trafficking to Europe. In June 2005, the Justice Ministry agreed to resume sharing the list of all “blacklisted” Schiphol couriers with DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) after a two-month hiatus due to Dutch concerns over privacy protections. To date, approximately 5,300 courier names have been provided to EPIC. In August 2005, the Rotterdam police seized 4,500 kilograms of cocaine—the largest cocaine seizure ever in the Netherlands. The cocaine, hidden inside two large steel cable spools, was worth an estimated $273 million. The investigation involved close cooperation with DEA offices in Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Cooperation among Dutch, German and Spanish police led to the seizure of 1,650 kilograms of cocaine at the Port of Rotterdam in November. The cocaine, with an estimated street value of $60 million, was hidden in tins of asparagus and red peppers.

Ecstasy. In July 2005, Justice Minister Donner submitted to the Second Chamber an interim evaluation of the Government’s 2002-2006 ecstasy action plan. The report, which covers the period up to 2004, indicated positive effects, such as increased seizures, increased apprehensions, and completed investigations. (For more details, see section on cultivation/production.)

On November 29, 2005, the National Crime Squad (NR) and the FIOD-ECD fiscal and economic investigation service dismantled the largest ecstasy lab ever found in the Netherlands. The professional lab was found in Nederweert (southern Limburg province), and was estimated to have had a production capacity of 20 million ecstasy tablets. The police also found more than 300 liters of PMK (the precursor for ecstasy) and a small quantity of MDMA powder and amphetamine. In addition, more than 50,000 liters of chemicals were discovered at a different location. Six people were arrested, all of them from Limburg province. The investigation, which began in May 2005, was carried out in close cooperation with German and Belgian authorities. This was the first ecstasy lab discovered in 2005; previously, only amphetamine laboratories had been found this year.

Accomplishments. The new National Crime Squad (NR) has proved very effective in drug investigations, and resulted in closer cooperation with the DEA. In July 2005, the national police (KLPD) assigned a liaison officer to China to work on joint precursor chemical investigations. In addition to working directly with the Chinese, the Netherlands is an active participant in the INCB/PRISM (A multilateral control effort) project’s taskforce.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The Health Ministry coordinates drug policy, while the Ministry of Justice is responsible for law enforcement matters relating to local government and the police are the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior. At the municipal level, policy is coordinated in tripartite consultations among the mayor, the chief public prosecutor and the police. The Dutch Opium Act punishes possession, commercial distribution, production, import, and export of all illicit drugs. Drug use, however, is not an offense. The act distinguishes between “hard” drugs that have “unacceptable” risks (e.g., heroin, cocaine, ecstasy), and “soft” drugs (cannabis products). Trafficking in “hard drugs” is prosecuted vigorously and dealers are subject to a prison sentence of up to 12 years. When trafficking takes place on an organized scale, the sentence is increased by one-third (up to 16 years). Sales of small amounts of cannabis products (under five grams) are “tolerated” (i.e., not prosecuted, even though technically illegal) in “coffeeshops” operating under regulated conditions (no minors on premises, no alcohol sales, no hard drug sales, no advertising, and not creating a “public nuisance”).

The Dutch National Police (KLPD) and the National Prosecutors office continue to give high priority to combating the illegal drug trade. The National Crime Squad (Nationale Recherche—NR), a branch of the KLPD, became operational on January 1, 2004; two of the NR’s primary missions are investigating of smuggling and cross border trade in cocaine and heroin, and investigating the production and trade of synthetic drugs. As part of the bilateral “Next Steps” law enforcement negotiations, DEA has obtained increased access to the NR office in The Hague, which focuses on cocaine investigations, and is working toward a similar relationship with the NR office in Helmond, which focuses on synthetic drugs. In September 2004, DEA assigned an additional special agent to The Hague Country Office, increasing the office’s manpower to six, the largest it has ever been.

The Netherlands has accelerated efforts to collaborate on joint-law enforcement operations with its neighbors. On May 27, 2005, the Dutch government signed the Prum treaty with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, France, and Spain, promoting broad police cooperation across borders. In March, the Netherlands signed the Germany-Dutch Treaty, which will go into effect in 2006 and allow for common police patrols and controls in the border area between the two countries. The Benelux treaty, (the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg), signed in June 2004 and enacted in February 2005, provides for increased cross-border police cooperation between the three countries. In June of 2005, Belgian and Dutch authorities agreed to jointly increase border controls in order to prevent ecstasy and cannabis production from shifting to Belgium. This expanded international cooperation on law enforcement investigations is particularly necessary given evidence that some ecstasy production is migrating from the Netherlands to neighboring states.

All foreign law enforcement assistance requests continue to be sent to the DIN (International Network Service), a division of the NR. The DIN has assigned two liaison officers to assist DEA and other U.S. law enforcement agencies. Since the reorganization into the NR, the DIN has allowed DEA and other liaison officers to contact one of the five NR offices directly with requests. In addition, DEA has been allowed to contact regional police offices on a case-by-case basis. This policy has permitted better coordination during ongoing enforcement actions, such as controlled deliveries and undercover operations. Under Dutch law enforcement policy, prosecutors still control most aspects of an investigation. Dutch police officers must get prosecutor concurrence to share police-to-police information directly with foreign liaison officers. This can hamper the quick sharing of information, which could be used proactively in an ongoing investigation. However, the quick sharing of police-to-police information is improving as a result of the increased access for DEA agents with NR units. This improved information sharing led to the seizure of approximately 4,500 kilograms of cocaine and the dismantling of a Colombian cocaine transportation cell operating in the Netherlands and Spain in September 2005. Dutch law enforcement has also become much more willing to undertake controlled delivery operations with DEA. In fiscal year 2004, the Dutch did not accept any requests from DEA for controlled delivery operations. In FY 2005, the Dutch and DEA conducted 10 inbound controlled deliveries of cocaine. This trend is continuing with three controlled delivery operations attempted so far in FY 2006. Most of these controlled deliveries are small amounts of cocaine (less than five kilograms) contained in parcels being sent from South America or the Caribbean.

The Dutch Government also took significant steps at the policy and operational levels to target the more significant international drug trafficking organizations active in the country. In 2005, the National Crime Squad (NR) began operations to better coordinate Dutch investigations with a focus on large organizations. In early July, the NR announced the arrests of 10 members (including the leader) of an international organization believed to be responsible for a significant percentage of all MDMA production in the Netherlands. Seizures from this organization have included 25,000 liters of precursor chemicals, enough to make 375,000,000 tablets worth an estimated $7.5 billion in retail street value. The NR attributes the doubling of the price of precursors since 2004 to seizures against this organization—a mark of its market dominance. Also, Dutch targeting of Israeli-based trafficking organizations has had a demonstrable impact; they are no longer dominant players in the ecstasy trade originating form the Netherlands.

The 100 percent checks on inbound flights from the Caribbean and some South American countries continue at Schiphol Airport. The manpower required to conduct these 100 percent checks remains a major monetary expense and logistical challenge for the authorities at Schiphol. The program negatively affects the number of flights targeted for outbound checks, and as a result, the number of outbound drug couriers going to the United States arrested at Schiphol remains low.

Double Dutch. This is a joint initiative between Dutch Customs, ICE, and CBP, that is led and coordinated by ICE. The operation targets drug smuggling via commercial air carriers departing Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam for various U.S. airports. On selected flights, Dutch Customs conducts 100 percent outbound examinations of cargo, baggage, passengers, and flight crews, as do ICE and CBP upon the flight’s arrival in the U.S. The rationale behind 100 percent exams on both sides is intended to preclude the possibility of internal conspiracies.

Mercure. From November 3-10, 2004, the Office of the ICE Attache/The Hague participated in Operation Mercure II, a World Customs Organization-sponsored, multinational initiative designed to target synthetic drug smuggling from 21 European countries via airfreight, courier services, and letter/parcel post packages bound for the United States, Australia, and Canada. The European countries include: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Estonia, Greece, Slovenia, Finland, Austria, Portugal, Lithuania, Italy, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, and Switzerland.

Mercure II, based at Europol in The Hague, ran for 24 hours a day for the duration of the operation. The primary focus of Mercure II was for European customs organizations to attempt to intercept packages containing controlled substances and facilitate controlled deliveries to the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

The operation resulted in approximately 175 referrals to the U.S. Of these, only one resulted in an ICE/DEA controlled delivery of 47,250 ecstasy tablets in New York, although CBP did effect numerous seizures of anabolic steroids at JFK. Most of the referrals were recommendations for examination in the U.S., which obviously usually met with negative results for controlled substances.

Corruption. The Dutch government does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior official of the Dutch government engages in, encourages or facilitates the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Press reports of low-level law enforcement corruption appear from time to time but the problem is not believed to be widespread or systemic. In November 2005, 140 officers of the special Schiphol CargoHarc drug team staged a preventive security control action of the airport’s baggage basement, searching for drugs and other potential criminal activities. The action did not result in any arrests.

Agreements and Treaties. The Netherlands is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol. The Netherlands is a member of the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs and the major donors group of the UNODC. The Netherlands is a leading member of the Dublin Group of countries coordinating drug-related assistance. The Netherlands is a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption, and is a party to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.

The U.S. and the Netherlands have fully operational extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements (MLAT).

Cultivation and Production. Although commercial (indoor) cultivation of hemp is banned, about 80 percent of the Dutch cannabis market is Dutch-grown marijuana (“Nederwiet”). A 2004 national police report of the Dutch drug market estimated the Netherlands has between 17,000-22,000 cannabis plantations producing about 68,000-99,000 kilograms of “Nederwiet.” In 2004, 2,261 hemp plantations were dismantled, up from 1,867 in 2003. Domestic Dutch cannabis production in 2005 remains quite significant. Although the Dutch government has given top priority to the investigation and prosecution of large-scale commercial cultivation of Nederwiet, tolerated coffeeshops appear to create the demand for such cultivation. To end the controversial policy of allowing “front-door” cannabis sales in coffeeshops, but banning “back-door” deliveries, a Second Chamber majority urged the Government in October 2005 to approve a trial program regulating cannabis cultivation. Proponents, including the Mayors of Amsterdam and Maastricht, argued that the measure would end large-scale home cultivation, in which organized crime plays an important role. Justice Minister Donner and Interior Minister Remkes strongly opposed the experiment on the grounds that it would violate international treaties to which the Netherlands is committed. The matter remains under consideration.

The Netherlands remains one of the largest producers of synthetic drugs, although the National Crime Squad (NR) has noted a production shift to Eastern Europe. According to the NR, there also appears to be a shift from ecstasy to amphetamine production. According to a July 2005 report by the National Crime Squad (NR), 197 ecstasy suspects were arrested in 2004, down from 214 in 2003. The NR seized 11,120 liters of chemical precursors compared to 11,453 liters in 2003. The NR completed 60 criminal investigations in 2004 and 40 in 2003. The Fiscal and Economic Investigation Service (FIOD-ECD) completed 23 investigations in 2004 and 19 in 2003. The total number of ecstasy tablets with an alleged Dutch connection confiscated by U.S. authorities continued to drop from almost 2.3 million tablets in 2002, and 1.1 million in 2003, to about 0.2 million in 2004. The number of registered ecstasy tablets seized in the Netherlands totaled 5.6 million in 2004, compared to 5.4 million in 2003.

According to the same NR report, 2004 drug seizures around the world that could be related to the Netherlands involved more than 10 million MDMA tablets (2003: 12.9 million) and more than 1,000 kilograms (2003: 870 kilograms) of MDMA powder. MDMA (powder and paste) seizures in the Netherlands in 2004 dropped to 303 kilograms from 435 kilograms in 2003. The number of dismantled production sites in the Netherlands for synthetic drugs dropped to 29 in 2004 from 37 in 2003. Of the 29 production sites, 13 were for amphetamine and 11 for ecstasy production, and 5 were meant for ecstasy tableting.

Drug Flow/Transit. The Netherlands remains an important point of entry for drugs to Europe, especially cocaine. According to a November 2003 report by the National Crime Squad, an estimated 40,000-50,000 kilograms of cocaine are smuggled annually into the Netherlands, of which about 20,000 kilograms enter via Schiphol and the remainder via seaports and road from Spain (Dutch cocaine use is estimated at 4,000-8,000 kilograms annually). The Dutch government has stepped up border controls to combat the flow of drugs, including the successful Schiphol Action Plan. Cocaine seizures in the Netherlands dropped to 12,387 kilograms in 2004, of which about 8,155 kilograms were seized at Schiphol. The government has expanded the number of container scanners in the port of Rotterdam and at Schiphol airport. Controls of highways and international trains connecting the Netherlands to neighboring countries have also been intensified.

Demand Reduction. The Netherlands has a wide variety of demand and harm-reduction programs, reaching about 80 percent of the country’s 26,000-30,000 opiate addicts. The number of opiate addicts is low compared to other EU countries (2.6 per 1,000 inhabitants); the number has stabilized over the past few years; the average age has risen to 40; and the number of overdose deaths related to opiates has stabilized at between 30 and 50 per year. According to the Dutch government, needle supply and exchange programs have kept the incidence of HIV infection among intravenous drug users relatively low. Of the addicts known to the addiction care organizations, 75 percent regularly use methadone. According to the 2004 National Drug Monitor, the out-patient treatment centers registered some 29,173 drug users seeking treatment for their addiction in 2003, compared to 27,768 in 2002. The number of cannabis addicts seeking treatment rose to 4,485 in 2003 from 3,701 in 2002, but the number of opiate addicts seeking treatment dropped from 16,043 in 2002 to 15,195 in 2003. Statistics from drug treatment services show a sharp increase in the number of people seeking help for cocaine addiction, from 6,103 in 2000 to 9,216 in 2003. About 65 percent of addicts seeking help for cocaine problems are crack cocaine users.

Prevention. A network of local, regional and national institutions organize drug prevention programs. Programs target schools in order to discourage youth drug use, and use national mass media campaigns to reach the broader public. The Netherlands requires school instruction on the dangers of alcohol and drugs as part of the health education curriculum. The “healthy living” project, developed by Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (the Trimbos Institute) continues to run in about 75 percent of Dutch secondary schools. The three-year cannabis information campaign launched in 2004 by the Health Ministry and the Trimbos Institute warning young people (12-18 years old) about the health risks of drugs also continues. The 24-hour national Drug Info Line of the Trimbos Institute has become very popular.

Heroin Experiment. In June 2005, Ministers Donner and Hoogervorst informed the Second Chamber that projects providing free heroin to hard-core drug addicts would be expanded to another 15 municipalities, for which 7 million Euros would be made available over the next few years. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Groningen and Heerlen already have such projects, which include a total of 300 addicts. In total, 980 addicts could be “treated” with the extra money.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. and Dutch law enforcement agencies maintained excellent operational cooperation, with principal attention given to countering the Netherlands’ role as a key source country for MDMA/ecstasy entering the U.S. The U.S. Embassy in The Hague has made the fight against the ecstasy threat one of its highest priorities. Dutch law enforcement has dramatically improved its acceptance of controlled delivery operations with the DEA but continues to resist use of undercover operations in investigations of drug traffickers. They are also reluctant to admit the involvement of large, international drug organizations in the local drug trade and do not use their asset forfeiture rules often. The fourth bilateral law enforcement talks, which were held in Washington in April 2005, resulted in additional agreements to the “Agreed Steps” list of actions to enhance law enforcement cooperation in fighting drug trafficking. The U.S. is also working with the Netherlands to assist Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles in countering narcotics trafficking. The 10-year FOL agreement between the U.S. and the Kingdom for the establishment of Forward Operating Locations (for U.S. enforcement personnel) on Aruba and Curacao became effective in October 2001. Since 1999, the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) has been working with NIDA on joint addiction research projects. We have also noted improved and expedited handling of extradition requests.

The Road Ahead. We expect U.S.-Dutch bilateral law enforcement cooperation to intensify in 2006. The bilateral “Agreed Steps” process will continue to promote closer cooperation in international investigations, including ecstasy and money laundering cases. In particular, increased access for DEA agents to NR drug units is expected to result in enhanced police-to-police information sharing and coordination. The Dutch government’s ecstasy Action Plan is expected to result in further improvements in Dutch counternarcotics efforts. The Dutch synthetic drug unit, which now is part of the National Crime Squad, will continue to make concrete progress. The stationing of the Dutch liaison officer in China in July 2005 is expected to increase cooperation among the U.S., China and the Netherlands on precursor chemicals.
Norway

I. Summary

Norway’s illicit drug production remained insignificant in 2005. Norway continued to tightly control domestic sales, exports and imports of precursor chemicals. The volume of drugs seized increased despite a decline in the number of drug seizures as the police continued to focus attention on bulk drug suppliers rather than individual abusers. Of the 2005 seizures, cannabis accounted for 43 percent followed by amphetamines (20 percent) and benzodiazepines (16 percent). Other drugs accounted for 21 percent of seizures. The police continued to step up efforts to track and intercept drugs in transit. Norway is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Norwegian illicit drug production remained insignificant in 2005 mainly due to Norway’s tight regulations governing domestic sales, exports and imports of precursor chemicals and Norway’s unfavorable climate for drug production. However, Norway remained a popular market and transit country for drugs produced in Central/Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Looking ahead, Norway is unlikely to become a significant source for diverted dual-use precursor chemicals because of the country’s prohibitive regulatory framework and strong law enforcement.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. In 2005, the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs continued their joint Narcotics and Alcohol Abuse Treatment and Prevention Reform program. The national government, represented by the regional health enterprises, has the responsibility for treatment and prevention of narcotics and alcohol abuse. The principal aim of state centralization is to provide improved and uniform health and counseling services for drug and alcohol abusers countrywide.

On January 31, 2005, the Ministry of Social Affairs opened the first injection control room (in Oslo) for drug addicts; more are slated to follow. The rationale for the injection rooms is to remove the drug addicts from the streets and to provide addicts with sterilized injection needles in a controlled environment. The Ministry of Social Affairs has also arranged counternarcotics conferences in Oslo on themes including Norwegian Cities against Narcotics, with officials from major Norwegian cities attending.

The national government unveiled a drugs status report on July 25, 2005, as a progress report on Norway’s 2003-2008 Counter-Narcotics Action Plan (see below). Then-Social Affairs Minister Dagfinn Hoeybraaten underscored that the Norwegian Government’s counternarcotics policy remains comprehensive and coordinated. He called for continued international cooperation to combat drug abuse and stated that increased rehabilitation of drug offenders was a priority in Norway. Meanwhile, the joint Narcotics Action Committee (established by the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs in 2003) continued its work on government narcotics policy. According to the committee’s mandate, it will evaluate preventative strategies and propose drug rehabilitation and treatment measures. The committee is also mandated to study the premises behind current narcotics policy and propose long-range policy changes.

The Norwegian Police Directorate (PST), a part of the Justice Ministry, continued to implement Norway’s 2003-2008 Counter-Narcotics Action Plan, with the police carrying out an increasing number of countrywide drug raids. The PST has at its disposition one helicopter that is used in narcotics investigations, specifically in tracking narcotics criminals. The PST’s 2003-2008 Action Plan, unveiled in October 2002, carries forward plans and initiatives to meet the objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The PST Plan focuses on reducing domestic drug abuse, identifying and curbing illicit drug distribution, and curbing drug abuse among drivers of motor vehicles.

Norway’s Customs and Excise Directorate (CED) continued its counternarcotics efforts. The CED has now been equipped with mobile X-Ray scanners that can detect drugs, illegal firearms and alcohol in vehicles passing major border crossings. The CED continued implementing its own counternarcotics plan aimed at curbing drug imports, and seizing illicit drug money and chemicals used in narcotics production. The CED continues to coordinate its efforts with the police and the Coast Guard.

Law Enforcement Efforts. According to statistics compiled by the Norwegian police crime unit (NEW KRIPOS), which was re-organized as of January 1, 2005, the number of drug seizures in 2005 dropped by eight percent to an estimated 22,300 cases from 24,108 in 2004. But NEW KRIPOS notes that volumes of some seized drugs rose (e.g., cocaine) as the police continued to focus attention on bulk drug suppliers rather than individual abusers. In November, the police seized a record haul of cocaine (nearly 200 kilograms) onboard a South American ship docking in a Norwegian industrial port. Of the seizures made in 2005, cannabis accounted for 43 percent, amphetamines 20 percent, benzodiazepines 16 percent, and other drugs accounted for 21 percent of total seizures. In 2004 (the most recent year in which figures were available) the number of persons charged with narcotics offenses remained virtually unchanged from the prior year—37,259 in 2004—(the latest available figure) compared to 36,657 in 2003—perhaps reflecting a tendency for police to focus attention on bulk drug suppliers,. In order to discourage the use of narcotics substances, Norwegian law enforcement authorities have continued to make coordinated raids at border crossings against smuggling rings and to impose heavy fines relating to narcotics offenses. In a move to improve law enforcement, the Ministry of Justice gave permission in 2005 to use bugging devices to track down narcotics offenders.

Corruption. Norway does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Senior government officials do not engage in, encourage, or facilitate illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. According to Norway’s penal code, corruption of Norwegian and foreign officials is a criminal offense.

Agreements and Treaties. Norway is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol. Norway is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling and illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms, and has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention Against Corruption. Norway has an extradition treaty and customs agreement with the U.S. Norway remains a member of Interpol, the Dublin group, and the Pompidou group.

Cultivation/Production. In 2005, insignificant amounts of illicit crop plant cultivation were discovered. Very small quantities of Norwegian-grown hashish/cannabis concealed as potted plants in private premises were detected. While there is concern that narcotics dealers may establish mobile laboratories to convert chemicals into drugs, the police did not uncover significant synthetic drug production in 2005.

Drug Flow/Transit. According to the police crime unit NEW KRIPOS, the 2005 inflow of illicit drugs remained significant in volume terms with cannabis, heroin, benzodiazepines, ecstasy, amphetamines and khat topping the list. Most illicit drugs enter Norway by road from other European countries including the Baltic states, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Central, the Balkans and other countries in Eastern Europe and Asia. As in the past, some drugs have been seized in commercial vessels arriving from elsewhere on the European continent and from Central/South America. A record quantity of cocaine (nearly 200 kilograms) was seized onboard a South American ship that docked in Norway in November.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Government ministries and local authorities continue to initiate and strengthen counternarcotics abuse programs. According to the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs, the reduced number of drug-related deaths suggests that these programs have been successful. While the maximum penalty for a narcotics crime in Norway is 21 years imprisonment, penalties for carrying small amounts of narcotics are mild.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

DEA officials consult with Norwegian counterparts when required.

The Road Ahead. Norway and the U.S. will continue to cooperate on narcotics related issues both bilaterally and in international fora, especially the EU.
Poland

I. Summary

Poland has traditionally been a transit country for drug trafficking. However, improving economic conditions and increased ease of travel to Western Europe have increased its significance as a consumer market and a producer of amphetamines. Illicit drug production and trafficking are closely tied to organized crime. Poland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Poland has traditionally been a transit country for drug trafficking. However, improving economic conditions and increased ease of travel to Western Europe have increased its significance as a consumer market and a producer of amphetamines. Illicit drug production and trafficking are closely tied to organized crime, and, while Polish law enforcement agencies have been successful in breaking up organized crime syndicates involved in drug trafficking, criminal activities continue to become more sophisticated and global in nature. Poland finalized a National Program for Counteracting Drug Addiction in July 2002, and in 2004 allocated a budget for its implementation. Cooperation between USG officials and Polish law enforcement has been consistent and outstanding, and Poland’s EU accession has accelerated the process of GOP diligence on narcotics policy.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. The National Program for Counteracting Drug Addiction (National Program), which covers the period 2002-2005, brought Poland into compliance with the 2000-2004 EU Drugs Strategy. The National Program is a comprehensive and realistic plan focusing on prevention, supply reduction, treatment, and monitoring. MONAR, a nongovernmental organization, is the main actor in the implementation of the National Program. In 2005, the National Program budget was decreased slightly from $3.6 million in 2004 to $3.2 million. In addition, individual ministries and local governments continue to finance the program’s activities out of existing counternarcotics budgets.

Law Enforcement Efforts. DEA agents visit Poland regularly and in 2005, worked closely with the Polish National Police in numerous narcotics investigations targeting drug trafficking organizations that import controlled substances into Poland, as well as those that export controlled substances to the United States. The National Bureau for Drug Addiction is well-known for its openness and cooperation in discussing drug-related issues. During 2005, Polish police shut down 18 major amphetamine-producing laboratories. Many of these were in the Warsaw region, with two in Katowice and others scattered throughout Poland. To fight international crime, the use of informants, telephone taps, and controlled deliveries are now all permitted by Polish law, and a witness protection program is in place.

Corruption. A comprehensive inter-ministerial anticorruption plan is in existence that contains strict timelines for legislative action and for the implementation of strict and transparent anticorruption procedures within each individual ministry. Instances of small-scale corruption bribery, smuggling, etc., are prevalent at all levels within the customs service and among police. In April and May, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBS) offices in Lodz and Poznan were closed and the Director of the CBS, Janusz Golebiewski resigned. An inspection at the CBS in Lodz revealed that over the last several years over 120 kilograms of narcotics disappeared from CBS custody, while in Poznan an inspection revealed that CBS officers were trading top-secret operational information. The number of cases investigated and successfully prosecuted relative to the number of reported incidents, however, remains low. The U.S. Government has worked closely with the Polish National Police to improve police training on ethics and corruption, and has presented several training courses on the subject under a Law Enforcement LOA.

Agreements and Treaties. Poland has fulfilled requirements to harmonize its laws with the EU’s Drug Policy. Poland is a party to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, and illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms. Poland has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention Against Corruption. Poland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. An extradition treaty and MLAT are in force between the U.S. and Poland. In May 2004, Poland became a full member of the Dublin Group of countries coordinating narcotics assistance.

Drug Flow/Transit. While synthetic drugs are manufactured in Poland (the precursors are usually imported from other countries), heroin, hashish, and cocaine frequently transit Poland en route to Western Europe. Ecstasy transits Poland en route to both Western Europe and the United States. There are also North-South routes transiting or leading to Poland. Polish police believe that most of the drugs transiting Poland are headed to Germany and the United Kingdom. Sea-based shipping routes are also utilized; some of the largest seizures in Poland have taken place at the Baltic port of Gdansk. Police, however, report that they lack a basis to estimate with any precision the amount of illegal drugs transiting through Poland.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Demand reduction objectives of the National Program include reducing the spread of drug use, limiting the spread of HIV infections connected with drug use, and improving the quality and effectiveness of treatment. The program also seeks to improve training and coordination between various Polish law enforcement authorities, including the CBS and the border guards. The CBS has made the controlling and monitoring of precursors the Bureau’s top priority. The Law on Counteracting Drug Addiction also requires the Ministry of Education to provide a drug prevention curriculum for schools and to provide support for demand reduction projects based on a community approach. The Ministry of Education requires all schools to incorporate a drug prevention curriculum in their programs, however, schools are able to modify and tailor their drug prevention curriculum to meet individual school needs. To assist teachers with this task, the Ministry has a Center for Psychological and Didactic Assistance which offers professional training and programs to develop drug prevention curriculum.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. The USG believes that targeting training to assist the Polish law enforcement community with more effective investigation and detection techniques continues to be the best way to serve U.S. interests. DEA-conducted seminars and train-the-trainer programs will continue and will be part of the 2006 bilateral activities. Enhancing operational cooperation through joint investigations and travel assistance to Polish law enforcement officers will also continue.

Bilateral Cooperation. The DEA maintains close contact and holds numerous operational liaison meetings with Polish law enforcement officials, and cooperates with two full-time agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation posted in Warsaw. In 2006, DEA plans to have two full time agents posted to Warsaw. In 2005, the U.S. International Criminal Investigative Training and Assistance Program (ICITAP) conducted a training of senior level police officials, such as regional commanders and deputy commanders, on Code of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Strategy. This training was part of a series of highly successful courses presented at the National Police Training Center under a Law Enforcement Assistance Letter of Agreement (LOA) signed in November 2002 by the U.S. and Poland.

The Road Ahead. Poland’s accession to EU membership on May 1, 2004 played a key role in sharpening the GOP’s attention to narcotics policy. The EU is by far the largest donor to Poland’s counternarcotics activities, which serves as a motivating force for even closer collaboration between Poland and its neighbors to the East and the West. GOP priorities for 2006 will continue to include better educational campaigns addressed to specific target groups (including media campaigns, and a ‘peer campaign’ for children and students) and continuing the pilot program for the assessment of the quality of medical, rehabilitation, and health harm reduction treatments provided by various institutions. Authorities will also continue to focus on the creation of a strategy for counteracting drug addiction at the local (township) level.
Portugal

I. Summary

Portugal is a significant gateway into Europe for drug shipments from South America and North Africa. Hashish remains the most prevalent drug used in Portugal, with cocaine and heroin also taking a heavy human and economic toll. Overall drug seizures in Portugal in 2004-2005, as compared to 2003-2004, significantly increased. For example, seizures of cocaine increased 146 percent and heroin increased 35 percent. Seizures of hashish diminished by 8 percent. Portugal actively participates in international counternarcotics programs. U.S.-Portugal cooperation on drugs has included visits to Portugal by U.S. officials and experts, training of law enforcement personnel, and assistance in establishing rehabilitation programs. Portugal is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Drug smugglers use Portugal as a gateway to Europe, their task made easier by open borders between the Schengen Agreement countries and by Portugal’s long coastline. South America was the primary source in 2004-2005 for cocaine arriving in Portugal, largely from Brazil and Venezuela, both of which have large resident Portuguese populations. Other primary source countries in 2004-2005 were Morocco and Spain, especially for hashish. Cocaine and heroin enter Portugal by car, commercial aircraft, truck containers, and maritime vessels. The Netherlands, Spain and Belgium are the primary sources of ecstasy in Portugal. Drug abuse within the Portuguese prison system continues to be a major concern for authorities.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. Portugal decriminalized drug use for casual consumers and addicts on July 1, 2001. The law makes the “consumption, acquisition, and possession of drugs for personal use” a simple administrative offense. In March 2002, Portugal created the Maritime Authority System and the National Maritime Authority. This authority, in coordination with other law enforcement agencies, combats drug trafficking in coastal waters and within Portugal’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Portugal is planning to open its doors soon to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

Law Enforcement Efforts. Portugal has seven separate law enforcement agencies that deal with narcotics: the Judicial Police (PJ), the Public Security Police (PSP), the Republican National Guard (GNR), Customs (DGAIEC), the Immigration Service (SEF), the Directorate General of Prison Services (DGSP), and the Maritime Police (PM). The PJ is a unit of the Ministry of Justice with overall responsibility for coordination of criminal investigations. According to the 2004 annual report drawn up by the PJ, the Portuguese law enforcement forces arrested 5,086 individuals for drug-related offenses in 2004. 2,235 were traffickers and 2,851 were “traffickers/consumers.” Most were Portuguese citizens, followed by a number of nationalities, such as Cape Verdeans (368), Angolans (68), Venezuelans (66), Spanish (57), Bissau-Guineans (42), and Brazilians (41).

The 2005 PJ semi-annual report indicates a significant increase of drugs seized in the first half of 2005 compared to the first half of 2004. Seizures increased by 104 percent for heroin, 363 percent for cocaine, and 59 percent for ecstasy. Hashish seizures decreased by about 24 percent. The PJP 2005 semi-annual report indicates the following monetary seizures related to narcotics: 1.8 million Euros in cash, 212 thousand Euros in assets and the equivalent of Euro 426 thousand in foreign currency.

In December 2005, a joint investigation by the PJ and the Spanish Internal Revenue Service Agency (Agencia Tributaria Espanhola) led to the seizure of a UK-flagged fishing vessel called “The Guiding Light.” Upon the boat’s attempt to dock in Portugal, officials seized huge quantities of hashish. Three British citizens were arrested, and the cargo was recovered.

In November 2005, the PJ seized more than 230 kilograms of cocaine in Lisbon’s harbor. The drug, coming from South America, was disguised in a container carrying furniture.

Also in November 2005, Portuguese Customs Patrol made three important seizures of cocaine—two at the Lisbon airport and one at the Madeira airport. Two Venezuelans and one Italian were arrested. All three flights originated in Caracas.

Corruption. As a matter of government policy, Portugal does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior Portuguese officials are known to be involved in, or encourage, such activities.

Agreements and Treaties. Portugal is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Portugal is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling. Portugal has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Corruption. A Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) has been in force between Portugal and the U.S. since 1996. Portugal and the U.S. are parties to an extradition treaty dating from 1908. Although this treaty does not cover financial crimes, drug trafficking or organized crime, certain drug trafficking offenses, are deemed extraditable in accordance with the terms of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. On July 14, 2005, the U.S. and Portugal signed agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance pursuant to the U.S.-EU Agreements on these subjects. These will modernize the criminal law relationship between the U.S. and Portugal. Portugal has signed, but has not ratified, the UN Convention against Transnational Crime.

Drug Flow/Transit. Portugal’s long, rugged coastline and its proximity to North Africa offer an advantage to traffickers who smuggle illicit drugs into Portugal. In some cases, traffickers are reported to use high-speed boats in their attempts to smuggle drugs into the country. The U.S. has not been identified as a significant destination for drugs transiting through Portugal, but in recent years, U.S. border officials have found an increasing number of Portuguese citizens trying to smuggle in khat. The U.S. embassy in Lisbon is aware of at least 50 such cases.

Domestic Programs. Responsibility for coordinating Portugal’s drug programs was moved to the Ministry of Health in 2002. The Government also established the Institute for Drugs and Drug Addiction (IDT) by merging the Portuguese Institute for Drugs and Drug Addiction (IPDT) with the Portuguese Service for the Treatment of Drug Addiction (SPTT). The new IDT gathers statistics, disseminates information on narcotics issues and manages government treatment programs for narcotic addictions. It also sponsors several programs aimed at drug prevention and treatment, the most important of which is the Municipal Plan for Primary Prevention. Its objective is to create, with community input, locality-specific prevention programs in thirty-six municipal districts. IDT runs a hotline and manages several public awareness campaigns. Regional commissions are charged with reducing demand for drugs, collecting fines and arranging for the treatment of drug abusers. A national needle exchange program was credited with significantly reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, although HIV infections resulting from injections are still a major concern in the Portuguese prison system.

Portugal is currently bringing forward a new National Drugs Strategy: 2005-2012, with an intermediary impact assessment scheduled for 2008. The new strategy builds on the EU’s Drugs Strategy 2000-2004 and Action Plan on Drugs 2000-2004. The Portuguese strategy focuses on reducing drug use, drug dependence and drug-related health and social risks. The system will include prevention programs in schools and within families, early intervention, treatment, harm reduction, rehabilitation, and social reintegration measures. Drug demand reduction measures take into account the health-related and social problems caused by the use of illegal psychoactive substances and of poly-drug use in association with legal psychoactive substances such as tobacco, alcohol and medicines.

In law enforcement cooperation, the program aims at strengthening cooperation among all security forces within Portugal as well as within the 25 EU member states. The program also will intensify law enforcement cooperation with Portugal’s countries of interest, largely in Africa and South America.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. DEA-Madrid cooperates closely with the Portuguese authorities on U.S.-nexus drug cases. The Portuguese Customs Bureau cooperates with the U.S. under the terms of the 1996 CMAA.

The Road Ahead. Continuing cooperation between the U.S. and Portugal on narcotics law enforcement will aid in attacking drug trafficking networks. Portugal’s ratification of the MLAT and its participation in the Container Security Initiative will assist in the seizures of narcotics in maritime cargo containers.
Romania

I. Summary

Romania is not a major source of narcotics; however, Romania serves as a transit country for narcotics from Southwest Asia to Central and Western Europe. It is also a developing route for the transit of synthetic drugs from Western and Northern Europe to the East. In 2005, Romania made several major drug seizures. Romania worked to implement its 2004-2005 National Anti-Drug Strategy and finalized the National Anti-Drug Strategy for 2005-2012 which was drafted to comply with EU standards. Romania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Romania lies along the Northern Balkan Route, which is used to move heroin and other opiates from Southwest Asia to Central and Western Europe. Romania also lies along a developing route for the transit of synthetic drugs from Western and Northern Europe to the East. A large amount of precursor chemicals transit Romania from West European countries en route to Turkey. Heroin and marijuana are the primary drugs consumed in Romania; however, the use of synthetic drugs such as MDMA (ecstasy) also increased among segments of the country’s youth. According to estimates by Romanian authorities, domestic heroin consumption remained level in 2005, due in part to a country-wide campaign against the use of intravenous drugs because of the danger of the spread of HIV

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. Romania recently completed hiring personnel for a new legally-required integrated system for prevention and treatment services at the national and local level. The 47 Drug Prevention and Counseling Centers throughout the country are furnished, staffed and capable of providing treatment. However, the occupancy rate is below expectations because of the low quality of the services provided to patients. The General Directorate for Countering Organized Crime (DGCCO) operates at both the central and local level, with 15 brigades assigned next to the local Appeal Courts and 27 county offices for combating organized crime and narcotics. Joint teams of police and social workers carry out educational and preventive programs against drug consumption. Romania plays an active role in the Bucharest-based Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Center’s Anti-Drug Task Force.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In the first eleven months of 2005, Romanian authorities seized 906.1 kilograms of illegal drugs, including 284.8 kilograms of heroin, 109.7 kilograms of cocaine, 6.2 kilograms of opium, 493.9 kilograms of cannabis and 32,309 amphetamine and derivates pills. The number of drug-related offenses increased 5 percent in 2005, up to 1,495 crimes. Between January and October 2005, the Romanian authorities identified 145 organized groups of drug traffickers composed of 653 individuals. The Prosecutor’s Offices opened 1,105 criminal cases related to drug and precursor crimes, in which 1,828 individuals were investigated.

Corruption. Corruption remained a problem within the Romanian government, including in the judiciary branch and with law enforcement. Existing legislation, which allowed drug dealers to receive smaller sentences in exchange for providing information about other drug criminals, contributed to the development of bribery between police and drug criminals. In conjunction with renewed emphasis on the Code of Ethics, which provides strict rules for the professional conduct of law enforcement, the government created an Anti-Corruption Unit within the Ministry of the Administration and Interior to monitor compliance with the Code. The Anti-Corruption Unit conducted several internal undercover operations targeting suspected corrupt police officers. While no policemen were officially convicted on corruption charges, numerous administrative sanctions were imposed. As a matter of government policy, however, Romania 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.

Agreements and Treaties. Romania 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. Romania is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling, and illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms. Both an extradition and a mutual legal assistance treaty are in force between Romania and the United States.

Cultivation/Production. Not applicable.

Drug Flow/Transit. Illicit narcotics from Afghanistan and Central Asia enter Romania both from the north and east, and through its southern border with Bulgaria. Land transportation methods include both cargo and passenger vehicles. However, drugs, primarily heroin, are also brought into the country via the Black Sea port of Constanta on commercial maritime ships and across the border with Moldova and Ukraine, as well as via the country’s international airports. Once in Romania, the drugs move either northwest through Hungary, or west through Serbia. Police estimate that 80 percent of drugs entering Romania continue on to Western Europe. Romania also is becoming an increasingly important route for the transit of synthetic drugs from Western and Northern Europe to the East.

Domestic Programs. While consumption of narcotics in Romania has historically been low, this appears to be slowly increasing, and the Romanian government has become increasingly concerned about domestic drug consumption. In 2005, 213 drug prevention programs and activities were initiated. Detoxification programs were offered through some hospitals, but treatment remained severely limited. These programs were hampered by a lack of resources and adequately trained staff. In the first eleven months of 2005, approximately 1,800 individuals were registered for treatment.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. In 2005, the United States provided $1.75 million in SEED money assistance to further develop Romania’s crime fighting capabilities at the police, prosecutor and judicial levels. In addition, Romanian Police officers have participated in DEA and Customs Enforcement (ICE) undercover operations training, focusing on drug-related investigations. The FBI provided training in advanced cybercrime investigations, combating police corruption and advanced organized crime. Romanian police officers participated in U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Security Canine Enforcement Officer training. Romania also benefited in 2005 from approximately $1.3 million in U.S. assistance to the Bucharest-based Southeast European Cooperative Initiative Center for Combating Trans-border Crime, which more broadly supports the twelve participating states in the Balkan region and focuses on trans-border crime, including the narcotics trade.

The Road Ahead. In 2005, Romania put emphasis on its counternarcotics efforts and cooperation with the USG and other nations. Future efforts will likely be keyed to domestic drug consumption, corruption and strengthening Romania’s borders. The USG believes that cooperation will continue, as Romania moves closer to becoming a member of the European Union. The United States will continue supporting Romania’s efforts to strengthen its judicial and law enforcement institutions.
Russia

I. Summary

In 2005, the Government of Russia (GOR) intensified its counternarcotics efforts in response to the threat of narcotics trafficking along the “Northern Route” from Afghanistan through Central Asia into Russia. Afghan opiates transported along the Northern Route supply Russia’s internal user demand, as well as transit through Russia to the rest of Europe. In addition, heroin use contributes to the significant increase in the number of persons infected with HIV/AIDS and/or Hepatitis C, due to intravenous drug use. Press reports claim that one hundred Russians each day are infected with HIV/AIDS. Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) Director General Cherkesov emphasized the need for international cooperation to combat drug traffickers that operate without regard for borders. The FSKN plans to open liaison offices in ten countries, including Afghanistan, in 2006. In November 2005, the FSKN signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to enhance bilateral cooperation to combat illegal drugs and their precursor chemicals. Trafficking in opiates from Afghanistan (primarily opium and heroin) and their abuse continued to be major problems facing Russian law enforcement and public health agencies, although the FSKN reports the sharp post-Soviet increases in the number of drug users has begun to stabilize.

Russia handed over control of the Afghan/Tajik border to Tajikistan in June 2005. Following withdrawal, FSKN officials report the drug flow into Russia has increased significantly. More than 90 percent of Afghan drugs arrive in Russia via Central Asia. The GOR has recognized the extent of the drug trafficking and is taking steps to address both the law enforcement and public health issues. Health education programs in schools are beginning to incorporate messages concerning the harmful effects of drug use and the links between injecting drugs and HIV/AIDS. Russia is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Russia is both a transshipment point and a market for heroin and opium. Opiates transiting Russia originate almost exclusively in Afghanistan and are typically destined for the rest of Europe. The Russian border with Kazakhstan is roughly twice the length of the U.S.-Mexican border and poorly patrolled. Considering the resource constraints facing local law enforcement agencies, Russian authorities are unlikely to stop a significant proportion of the heroin entering their country.

Synthetic drugs produced in Russia usually take the form of amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) and heroin analogues like methadone and mandrax (methaqualone). The FSKN reports that the use of illegal synthetic drugs increased dramatically in 2005. Clandestine amphetamine labs are occasionally reported in Russia, typically located in the northwest region of the country close to St. Petersburg or right across the border in the Baltic States. The St. Petersburg area had long been considered the primary gateway for foreign-produced MDMA (ecstasy) smuggled into Russia. However, the Russian Federal Customs Service (FTS) reported that roughly half of the MDMA it seized in 2005 entered the country from Belarus and is typically manufactured in Poland. Although the MDMA tablets produced in Russia are of poor quality, the low prices (as little as $5.00) are attractive to Russian youth compared to the $20 typically charged for MDMA tablets from the Netherlands. Methamphetamine production is extremely rare in Russia.

Russia is a legitimate producer of acetic anhydride (AA), which is a widely used industrial chemical, but also is a precursor chemical used in the clandestine production of heroin from opium. The FSKN and Russian Customs report that the small number of legitimate production facilities in Russia is subject to strict government regulation. However, they acknowledge that diversion of AA may occur. Other precursors such as ergotamine (for LSD), red phosphorous (for methamphetamine), and acetone (used in several substances) are also produced in Russia. There have been no reports of large-scale diversion of these other chemicals for illicit uses.

Cocaine trafficking is not widespread in Russia. Cocaine prices in Russia remain very high, though the drug is easily obtained. Disposable incomes in Russia have risen steadily for seven years, while cocaine prices have remained static, making the drug more affordable to a growing pool of potential users. Cocaine is frequently brought into Russia through the port of St. Petersburg. Sailors aboard fruit carriers and other vessels operating between Russian and Latin America provide a convenient pool of potential couriers. Cocaine also enters Russia in cargo containers. Couriers traveling on commercial flights bring cocaine into Russia, often traveling through third countries in Europe as well as through the U.S.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. The FSKN was established in 2003 as the State Committee for the Control of Traffic in Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances (GKPN). Russian President Putin issued an edict in July 2004 calling for the restructuring of FSKN. The FSKN has 35,000 employees, with branch offices in every region of Russia. Since the FSKN’s creation, Director Cherkesov has stressed the importance of attacking money laundering and other financial aspects of the drug trade. The FSKN has also continued its efforts to implement effective monitoring of the chemical industry. Prior to the creation of FSKN, precursor chemicals and pharmaceuticals were governed by a patchwork of regulations enforced by different agencies. Production, transportation, distribution, and import/export of controlled substances now require licensing from the FSKN.

Accomplishments. Russia now has a legislative and financial monitoring structure that facilitates the tracking, seizure, and forfeiture of all criminal proceeds. Russian legislation provides for investigative techniques such as search, seizure and the compulsion of documents production.

In 2002, Russia’s financial intelligence unit, the Financial Monitoring Committee (FMC), became operational (the FMC has since been renamed the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring or FSFM). The FSFM has responsibility for coordinating all of Russia’s anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing efforts. Legislation passed in 2001 requires financial institutions to report suspicious transactions to the FSFM.

In 2004, Russia passed new witness protection legislation. Russian law previously provided limited protection for testifying witnesses, but the provisions were weak and ineffective. The new legislation, entitled “On Protection of Victims, Witnesses and Other Participants in Criminal Proceedings” expands protection to all parties involved in a criminal trial. Prosecutors or investigators may recommend that a judge implement witness protection measures if they learn of a threat to the life or property of a participant in a trial. Steps taken to protect a program participant could include personal and property protection, change of appearance, change of identity, relocation, and transfer to a new job. The new legislation requires implementing regulations. The GOR is working on such regulations, but they have not yet been published.

One of the key obstacles in Russia’s struggle with drug trafficking is a lack of experience with prosecuting narcotics-related cases. FSKN Director Cherkesov has commented publicly that the courts must give stiffer sentences to drug traffickers. It is rare that criminals who have committed serious drug crimes in Russia are given the maximum 20-year sentence. However, Russia’s legislators and politicians continue to address this problem, demanding stiffer sentences for narcotics-related crimes and establishing a legal framework that is beginning to work effectively against drug dealers.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In November 2004, the FSKN announced it would establish a system of drug liaison offices (DLOs). FSKN officers will be stationed in approximately ten foreign countries to facilitate information sharing and joint investigations. The FSKN has already established an office in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and plans to open an office in Kabul in early 2006.

The average price for a gram of heroin (retail) in 2005 was in the $40 range. The range in 2004 was $30 and in 2003, $20. The wholesale price for a gram of heroin in 2005 was between $20-$30. Per gram prices as low as $10 and as high as $50 have been reported.

FSKN officially reported seizing 3.9 metric tons of heroin in 2004 and 1.5 metric tons of heroin in the first half of 2005. At a November 2005 press conference, Cherkesov stated that the year-to-date total was over four metric tons of heroin seized by all law enforcement agencies. The FSKN further reported the seizure of 102.3 metric tons of narcotics and psychotropic and other powerful substances in 2004 and that 129.7 metric tons were seized by all Russian law enforcement agencies in 2004. Final figures for 2005 are not yet available.

Corruption. Controlling corruption has been a stated priority for the Putin administration since its inception. However implementing this policy is a constant challenge. Inadequate budgets, low salaries, and lack of technical resources hamper performance, sap morale, and encourage corruption. Evidence indicates the scope and scale of official corruption have grown markedly in the past several years. Officials from the FSKN report that corruption is a problem within their agency. In an effort to decrease corruption, Cherkesov endorsed a Code of Honor in 2005 for FSKN personnel. The Code is a brief list of rules of conduct that are supposed to guide the activities of every FSKN employee. FSKN officials report that about 100 law enforcement officers were arrested in 2004 for drug trafficking and stated that the figures for 2005 (not yet available) will be even higher. There were no reported cases of high-level narcotics related corruption, but given the scale of drug trafficking in Russia, some probably exists. Russia has signed but has not yet ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Russia is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. A mutual legal assistance treaty is in force between the United States and Russia. As a result of the provision in the MLAT for designating a central authority and point of contact, a separate office responsible for implementing international assistance requests has been formed within the Russian General Procuracy. To date, Russia has provided MLAT assistance in two narcotics-related cases and has received a third request for assistance from the USG. Russia is a party to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons.

Cultivation/Production. There are no official statistics on the extent of opium cultivation in Russia, and the USG has no evidence to suggest that more than 1,000 hectares of opium are cultivated. In Russia, there are small, illicit opium poppy fields ranging in size from one to two hectares. Typically, the opium fields are small backyard plots or are located in the countryside concealed by other crops. In Siberia, in the Central Asian border region, and in the Omsk-Novosibirsk-Tomsk region along the border with Kazakhstan, opium poppies are widely cultivated. Cannabis grows wild throughout Russia and is also cultivated in quantities ranging from a few plants to plots of several hectares. Every year Russian authorities carry out the “Operation Poppy” eradication effort, aimed at illicit cannabis and poppy cultivation. In 2005, Operation Poppy identified and destroyed numerous illicit plantations of cannabis, primarily in maritime areas and the Altai region.

Drug Flow/Transit. Opiates (and hashish to a lesser degree) from Afghanistan are carried across the Central Asian states and into Russia. The FSKN estimates that 60 tons of heroin are smuggled annually into Russia from Afghanistan via Central Asian countries on the “Northern Route.” Contraband is typically carried in vehicles along the region’s highway system that connects it to the populated areas of southwestern Russia and western Siberia. The Russian cities of Yekaterinburg, Samara, Omsk, and Novorossisk have emerged as hubs of trafficking activity. Couriers also frequently use the region’s passenger trains. Incidents involving internal body carry or “swallowers” are common.

At the wholesale level, the trade in Afghan opiates within Russia is dominated by Central Asians. Tajiks, Uzbeks, and others with family, clan, and business ties to Central Asia transport Afghan heroin across the southern border with Kazakhstan and into European Russia and western Siberia. The FSKN claims that ninety percent of drug kingpins in Russia are from Central Asia. Retail distribution of heroin and other drugs is carried out by a variety of criminal groups. Again, these organizations are typically organized along ethnic lines with Central Asian, Caucasian, Russian/Slavic, and Roma groups all active in drug trafficking.

Cocaine destined both for Russia and in-transit to Western Europe enters the country through the port of St. Petersburg. Synthetic drugs manufactured in Russia and elsewhere in Europe flow in both directions across Russia’s western borders. Again, much of this smuggling activity appears to be concentrated in the Northwest region around St. Petersburg.

In 2004, there were multiple seizures of large quantities of ephedrine tablets that had originated in Turkey. In 2005, there was one report of a large seizure of ephedrine in both bulk powder and tablet forms that had originated in China. These seizures were not associated with any evidence of large-scale methamphetamine production. Ephedrine tablets are often sold in Russia in their original form as a low-cost stimulant.

Each year, law enforcement agencies of several CIS countries participate in Operation Kanal. Kanal is an interdiction blitz during which extra personnel are stationed at railroad stations, airports, border crossings, and other checkpoints. In Russia, 881 individuals were detained and 1,396 kilograms of illegal drugs were seized during Kanal 2005.

Russian forces were stationed in Tajikistan after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. At that time, their stated goal was to prevent incursions by Islamic extremists. This arrangement was formalized in a 10-year agreement signed in 1993. During that time, narcotics interdiction became one of their primary functions. In May 2003, the agreement governing the presence of Russian forces on the Tajik-Afghan border expired. In June 2005, Russia handed over control of the Afghan/Tajik border to Tajikistan. FSKN officials report that the withdrawal of Russian border guards from the Afghan/Tajik border has led to a significant increase in drug trafficking into Russia.

Demand Reduction. The FSKN reports that there are 1.5 million drug users with 400,000 officially registered drug addicts in Russia’s narcological centers. New models of cognitive therapy are being implemented in narcological centers in St. Petersburg, but substitution therapy (i.e., maintenance using some artificial opiate like methadone) has not been fully explored and remains politically sensitive. The Ministry of Health estimates that up to six million Russians take drugs on a regular basis. These figures are significantly higher than FSKN statistics cited in 2004 and suggest a new willingness by the GOR to acknowledge and combat drug use in Russia. In 2004, Cherkesov claimed that there were only 390,000 “officially registered” drug addicts in Russia and four to five million Russians who use drugs regularly.

According to the Ministry of Health, as of October 2005, there were 335,000 officially registered HIV/AIDS cases in Russia. However, unofficial estimates, including those by the United Nations AIDS program, put the figure much higher, with some suggesting that there are over one million HIV-positive Russians. Intravenous drug use continues to be the most common method of transmission of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in Russia. There are estimates that nearly 70 percent of new HIV cases can be attributed to intravenous drug use, and that 90 percent of injecting drug users are Hepatitis C positive.

Russian authorities are attempting to implement a comprehensive counternarcotics strategy that would combine education, health and law enforcement. FSKN is tasked with demand reduction among its other responsibilities and has recently begun a large-scale public awareness campaign. Russian law enforcement authorities also have come to support the idea that demand reduction should complement law enforcement efforts to reduce supply. With support from the USAID Healthy Russia 2020 project, demand reduction messages are being incorporated into a Ministry of Education sanctioned health education curriculum for high school students and training materials for teachers. This program has been tested in Ivanovo (the eighth poorest oblast in Russia) and plans to expand to Irkutsk and Orenburg, two oblasts on the key drug trafficking routes. The problem of drug use among homeless teens has reportedly reached extraordinary levels in St. Petersburg. The Doctors of the World Program, which works with street children, reported that about 70 percent of children age 11 and younger (on a small sample of 30) were injecting homemade substances and 30 percent of these young people were HIV positive. While the knowledge of HIV risks is high even among drug users, the messages have not yet translated into behavioral changes and injecting practices.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Objectives/Initiatives. The principal U.S. counternarcotics goal in Russia is to help strengthen Russia’s law enforcement capacity, both to meet the challenges of international drug trafficking into and across Russia, and to provide reliable Russian law enforcement partners for U.S. law enforcement.

Bilateral Accomplishments. In 2002, the U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) negotiated a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the GOR allowing direct assistance to the GOR in the area of counternarcotics and law enforcement assistance. In 2005, DEA International Training teams provided instruction to the agency’s Russian counterparts in precursor chemicals, highway interdiction, and specialized training for drug enforcement unit commanders. Progress continued on the Southern Border Project, an effort that will lead to the establishment of three mobile drug interdiction task forces based in Orenburg, Chelyabinsk, and Omsk, all near the Russian-Kazakh border. The U.S. and Russia worked together to provide canine training to counternarcotics law enforcement officials from four Central Asian countries, training more than 45 law enforcement officials. The U.S. provided technical assistance in support of institutional change in the areas of criminal justice reform, mutual legal assistance, anticorruption and money laundering. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducted 2 Border Security Seminars at Russian Customs training academies and Rostov-on-Don and Vladivistok. The training included equipment packages of nonintrusive inspection equipment. In 2005, the U.S provided $809,000 worth of equipment to Russian Customs and the FSKN in support of INL counternarcotics projects. In November 2005, the FSKN signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to enhance bilateral cooperation to combat illegal drugs and their precursor chemicals.

The Road Ahead. The GOR places high priority on counternarcotics efforts and has indicated a desire to deepen and strengthen its cooperation with the United States and other countries, particularly in light of its upcoming chairmanship of the G-8. The USG will continue to encourage and assist Russia to implement its comprehensive, long-term national strategy against drug trafficking and use with multidisciplinary sustainable law enforcement assistance projects that combine equipment, technical assistance and expert advisors. DEA is scheduled to provide INL-funded counternarcotics training to over 100 trainees in 2006, drawn from the FSKN, the MVD, and the Federal Customs Service.
Slovakia

I. Summary

Slovakia lies near the western end of the Balkan drug transit route, which runs from southwest Asia to Turkey and on to Germany, France, and other western European countries. Since 1989 Slovakia has seen an increase in transshipments of narcotics and domestic production and consumption. Slovakia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Narcotics consumption and production remain relatively low in Slovakia, though the domestic market is still growing. The fastest growth is seen in the production and use of stimulants, including Pervitin and ecstasy, as well as marijuana. The Government of Slovakia (GOS) remains concerned that Slovakia is a transshipment point for drugs, particularly heroin, smuggled by ethnic Albanian criminal organizations along the “Balkan Route”—from Afghanistan, through Central Asia, and then through the Balkans, Hungary, and Slovakia, and on to Western Europe. The Slovak police believe the same criminal organizations are responsible for the shipment of smaller amounts of cocaine (from South America) and hashish (mostly from Morocco) into Slovakia for the domestic market. For the time being, however, the high price of such drugs has restricted the local market.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. The national action plan for the fight against drugs was revised for 2005-2008 in accordance with the Action Plan of the EU for the Fight against Drugs. The revised version represents a comprehensive strategy to reduce drug use and to intercept drug transshipments.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In the first half of 2005, there were 837 drug-related criminal cases in Slovakia, which is a 29 percent increase in comparison to the first half of 2004. In the first 9 months of 2005, police seized almost 2 kilograms of heroin; 302.2g of cocaine; 1.35 kilograms of synthetic drugs; 649g of marijuana (including 92 plants uprooted), 98.7g of hashish, and 60 ecstasy tablets. Police are concerned by a growing number of small synthetic drug laboratories, mostly used to produce Pervitin. In the first 9 months of 2005 police confiscated 14 such laboratories.

Corruption. Although corruption remains a serious problem, GOS has enacted major legislation in recent years. In 2005 charges were brought and sentences handed down against several high profile personalities. Most officials seem serious about creating transparent rules and prosecuting abuses. In addition to the special Police Bureau for Fighting Corruption, since 2004 there is also a special prosecutor and, since September 2005, a special court for the fight against corruption. All are viewed as effective.

Agreements/Treaties. Slovakia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention; the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substance. Slovakia is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling and illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms. Slovakia has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Corruption. The extradition treaty between the former Czechoslovakia and the United States continues in force between the United States and Slovakia as a successor state. In 2005 the U.S. and Slovakia successfully completed negotiations to implement the U.S.-EU extradition treaty and the U.S.-EU mutual legal assistance treaty; these agreements were signed in early 2006.

Cultivation/Production. Marijuana is the most commonly cultivated illicit drugs in Slovakia. Although some high-quality marijuana is grown in greenhouses and indoors, the majority of marijuana and hashish used in Slovakia is of Moroccan origin.

Drug Flow/Transit. In years past the majority of drugs sold in Slovakia were taken from larger shipments of drugs that continued west. Because of improved policing, however, larger transshipments are usually kept whole until reaching a final destination west of Slovakia, at which point smaller amounts are couriered back to Slovakia on demand.

In years past the main sellers of illicit drugs were thought to be Roma selling from their homes. Today the police believe that Roma are responsible only for a negligible portion of sales, and that foreign criminal groups with local contacts, especially ethnic Albanian groups, have taken over the trade. Slovakia’s border with Hungary was the site of the greatest number of attempts to enter Slovakia with illegal narcotics. The Austrian border was the site of the greatest number of attempts to smuggle drugs out of Slovakia.

Domestic Programs. According to the 2003 Mini-Dublin group report, the GOS is among the highest spenders on preventive activities in relation to per capita GNP. Centers for education and psychological prevention focus on community outreach concerning drug use and function in half of the municipal districts of Slovakia. The Slovak healthcare service has a comprehensive network across the country and offers short-term and long-term treatment.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Road Ahead. The USG will continue to encourage the GOS to adequately budget for narcotics enforcement and to maintain its tough stance on drug interdiction.
Slovenia

I. Summary

Slovenia is neither a major drug producer nor a major transit country for illicit narcotics. The Government of Slovenia (GOS) is aware that Slovenia’s geographic position makes it an attractive potential transit country for drug smugglers, and it continues to pursue active counternarcotics policies. Slovenia’s EU membership in May 2004, and its goal of attaining full Schengen membership as soon as possible resulted in a continued intensive focus on border controls in 2005. Slovenia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Heroin from Afghanistan, which transits Turkey, continues to be smuggled via the “Balkan Route” through Slovenia to Western Europe. Heroin was the leading confiscated drug in 2005. Slovenia’s main cargo port, Koper, located on the North Adriatic, is a potential transit point for South American cocaine and North African cannabis destined for Western Europe. Drug abuse is not yet a major problem in Slovenia, although authorities keep a wary eye on heroin abuse, due to the availability of the drug.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. In June 2004, a two-year regional project sponsored by the European Union aimed at strengthening cooperation of law enforcement structures and other agencies, such as Customs of EU candidate countries, which focused on the areas of tracking, risk assessment and shipment controls, among others. The project was extensive and extremely welcomed and highly valued by Slovene Police and Customs officials.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Law enforcement agencies seized 1,166 tablets of ecstasy in the first 11 months of 2005 compared with 198 in 2004. In 2005, authorities seized slightly less than 24 kilograms of heroin, compared with almost 150 kilograms in 2004. In addition, police netted 22.8 kilograms of marijuana, up from approximately 17 kilograms in 2004. Police also seized 2,183 cannabis plants in the first 11 months of 2005 compared with 4,893 plants in 2004. Through the end of November 2005, police seized just over 2 kilograms of cocaine compared with approximately 105 kilograms in 2004.

Corruption. Neither the government nor senior officials encourage or facilitate the production or distribution of illicit drugs. Police and border control officials are adequately paid, and corruption among them is uncommon.

Agreements and Treaties. Slovenia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The 1902 extradition treaty between the United States and the Kingdom of Serbia remains in force between the United States and Slovenia as a successor state. Slovenia is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling, and illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.

Drug Flow/Transit. In the first 11 months of 2005, the Slovene authorities registered 1,262 criminal acts involving the production of and trade in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and the facilitation of illegal drug use. There were several substantial seizures of drugs in the first 11 months of 2005, with three seizures at border crossings constituting the majority of heroin seizures for the year.

Domestic Programs. Slovenians enjoy national health care provided by the government. These programs include drug treatment.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Slovenian law enforcement authorities have been willing and capable partners in several ongoing joint operations against dangerous drugs.

The Road Ahead. Based on the high quality of past cooperation, the USG expects to continue joint U.S.-Slovenian law enforcement investigation cooperation into 2006.
Spain

I. Summary

Spanish National Police, the Guardia Civil and Customs Services interdicted near-record amounts of cocaine, hashish, and heroin, and performed numerous enforcement operations throughout Spain to arrest distributors of synthetic drugs, such as LSD and ecstasy. Spain continues to be the largest consumer of cocaine in the European Union with four percent of young adults reportedly using cocaine during 2005. Spain also ranks in the top four of all EU nations in its consumption of designer drugs and hashish. Spain continues to work on ways to reduce demand. Law enforcement officials have increased investigations into the trafficking of ecstasy (MDMA). The Spanish government ranks drug trafficking as one of its most important law enforcement concerns, and continues to maintain excellent relations with U.S. law enforcement.

II. Status of Country

Spain remains a principal gateway for cocaine transported from Latin American countries, such as Colombia and Venezuela, or transshipped from South America through West Africa and Morocco. The ready access to hashish from Spain’s close southern neighbors of Morocco and Algeria make the maritime smuggling of hashish across the Mediterranean Sea a large-scale business. Spanish police continue to seize large amounts of Moroccan hashish, some of which is brought into Spain by illegal immigrants. The majority of heroin that arrives in Spain is transported via the Balkan route from Turkey. The Spanish National Police have identified established organizations operated by Turks that distribute the heroin once it is smuggled into Spain. Illicit refining and manufacturing of drugs in Spain is minimal, although small-scale laboratories of synthetic drugs such as LSD are discovered and confiscated each year. MDMA labs are rare and unnecessary in Spain since labs in the Netherlands are plentiful and productive; however, ecstasy and other synthetic drug traffickers use Spain as a transit point to the U.S. in an effort to foil U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors who are increasingly wary of packages from the Netherlands or Belgium. Spain has a pharmaceutical industry that produces precursor chemicals. There is effective control of precursor shipments within Spain from the point of origin to destination, administered under the National Drug Plan (PND).

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. Spanish policy on drugs is directed by the National Drug Plan (PND), which covers the years 2000 to 2008. The strategy, approved in 1999, expanded the scope of law enforcement activities, such as permitting sale of seized assets in advance of a conviction and allowing law enforcement to use informers. The strategy also outlined a system to reintegrate individuals who have overcome drug addictions into Spanish society. The strategy also targets money laundering and illicit commerce in chemical precursors, and calls for closer counternarcotics cooperation with other European and Latin American countries. In March, the Spanish government modified the PND to focus on reducing drug consumption. The plan was funded with 17 million Euros. In 2003, Spain and Portugal signed a Treaty of Cooperation to reduce drug consumption and to control the illegal trafficking of controlled substances. The Treaty establishes a joint “Hispano-Portuguese Commission” to exchange information, to coordinate intelligence gathering and professional training efforts.

Spain is a member of the UNODC major donors group and the Dublin group of countries coordinating policies on drug issues. Spain also chairs the regional Dublin group for Central America and Mexico. Spain funds programs through the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission. Spain pledged $100 million to support Plan Colombia in 2003 and has pledged to continue to support the program in the coming years. Spanish aid is targeted towards institutional strengthening of police and judicial forces, alternative development, and demand reduction. Spain sponsors numerous training courses for police and judicial authorities in Latin America and Morocco.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Spanish officials at the Ministry of Interior reported that drug enforcement agencies seized more than 40,000 kilograms of cocaine in 2005 year-to-date. Many of the more significant seizures and arrests in 2005 were a direct result of cooperation between the U.S. DEA’s office in Madrid and Spanish authorities. For example, in coordination with DEA, on March 22, the Spanish GC seized two metric tons of cocaine and more than 17 million Euros hidden in maritime shock absorbers. The cocaine had been smuggled into Barcelona via commercial air cargo from Mexico. On July 21, DEA contributed to an operation that resulted in a seizure of 2,500 kilograms of cocaine by Spanish customs agents. Eight Brazilian nationals were arrested. Also in coordination with DEA, on August 3, a shipment of 4,500 kilograms of cocaine that originated in Spain was seized in the Netherlands. A total of 14 traffickers were arrested. Operations that resulted in cocaine seizures of 458 kilograms on March 30 and 190 kilograms on April 19 are two additional examples of success from DEA/Spanish cooperation. Increased efforts in MDMA investigations led to several significant seizures of the drug. In January, Spanish authorities seized 8,500 ecstasy tablets from a Spanish female as she attempted to travel to Philadelphia. On February 6, the GC seized 2,550 tablets of ecstasy during a raid on a residence in Alpedrete, a section of northwest Madrid. Two Moroccan nationals were arrested. On September 10, the GC intercepted 1,590 ecstasy tablets hidden inside a vehicle at a service station in Cordoba, Spain. Two Spanish nationals were arrested. On September 14, five Spanish nationals were detained following a vehicle stop in Guarroman-Jen, Spain, where nearly 2,000 ecstasy tablets were discovered.

Hashish trafficking continues to increase as does the use of the drug in Spain. Hashish trafficking is controlled by Moroccan, British and Portuguese smugglers and, to some extent, people from Gibraltar and Dutch nationals. GC investigations have uncovered strong ties between the Galician mafia in the northwest corner of Spain and Moroccan hashish traffickers. Hashish continues to be smuggled into Spain via commercial fishing boats, cargo containers, Fast Zodiac boats and commercial trucks.

Some notable hashish interdictions include the August 13 capture of 67 bundles of the drug with an approximate weight of 2,000 kilograms found inside a maritime vessel named “Trolls.” Spanish Customs officials, in cooperation with the National Police, were credited with this seizure. Two British nationals and one Moroccan were detained. On September 20, the GC, also in cooperation with Spanish customs, intercepted 2,600 kilograms of hashish on a Zodiac boat in Las Mulas-Murcia, Spain.

Corruption. The National Central Drug Unit coordinates counternarcotics operations among various government agencies, including the Spanish Guardia Civil (GC), the Spanish National Police, and the Customs Service. Their cooperation appears to function well. There is no evidence of corruption of senior officials or their involvement in the drug trade.

Agreements and Treaties. Spain is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Spain is also a party to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling. A 1970 extradition treaty and its three supplements govern extradition between the U.S. and Spain. The U.S.-Spain Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty has been in force since 1993. The U.S. and Spain have also signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement. On December 17, 2004, Spain and the United States signed bilateral instruments on extradition and mutual legal assistance pursuant to the U.S.-EU Agreements on these subjects.

Cultivation/Production. No coca is grown in Spain. Some cannabis is grown but the seizures and investigations by Spanish authorities indicate the production is minimal. Opium poppy is cultivated licitly under strictly regulated conditions for research. Refining and manufacturing of cocaine and synthetic drugs is minimal, with some small-scale laboratories converting cocaine base to cocaine hydrochloride.

Drug Flow/Transit. Spain is the major gateway to Europe for cocaine coming from Columbia, Peru, and Ecuador. Traffickers exploit Spain’s close historic and linguistic ties with Latin America and its long southern coastline to transport drugs for consumption in Spain or distribution in other parts of Europe. Maritime vessel and containerized cargo shipments account for the bulk of the cocaine shipped to Spain. Spain remains a major transit point to Europe for hashish from Morocco; Spain’s North African enclaves of Ceuta and Mellila are principal points of departure. Police officials acknowledge that traffickers are beginning to abandon traditional drug trade routes between the Strait of Gibraltar and the coasts of Huelva, Cadiz, Malaga, and Almeria, and are delivering hashish and other narcotics, to points along the coasts of Alicante, Valencia, Castellon de la Plana and Barcelona, where counternarcotics sea patrols are less frequent. Spain’s international airports in Madrid and Barcelona are a transit point for passengers who intend to traffic ecstasy and other synthetic drugs, mainly produced in the Netherlands, to the United States. These couriers, however, are typically captured before they leave Spain or when they arrive in the U.S.

Domestic Programs. The national drug strategy identifies prevention as its principal priority. In that regard, PND continued its publicity efforts targeting Spanish youth. Spain’s autonomous communities provide treatment programs for drug addicts, including methadone programs and needle exchanges. Prison rehabilitation programs also distribute methadone. The Government has also provided approximately 4.1 million Euros to assist private, nongovernmental organizations that carry out drug prevention and rehabilitation programs.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. U.S. goals and objectives for Spain are focused on maintaining and increasing the current excellent bilateral and multilateral cooperation in law enforcement and demand reduction. The USG seeks to promote intensified contacts between officials of both countries involved in counternarcotics and related fields. Minister of Interior Juan Jose Alonso met with DEA Administrator Karen Tandy when he visited the U.S. in April. Latin America remains an important area for counternarcotics cooperation. Spanish officials work closely with U.S. Embassies in Peru and Bolivia on drug issues.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to coordinate closely with Spanish counternarcotics officials though the Madrid Country Office. Spain will continue to be a key player in the international fight against drug trafficking.
Source: USA Department of State

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