International Narcotics Control Strategy Report -2006-

Sweden

I. Summary

Sweden is not a significant illicit drugs producing, trafficking or transit country. The fight against illegal drugs figures among the Government’s top priorities and enjoys strong public support. Amphetamine and cannabis remained the most popular illegal drugs. The Government of Sweden (GOS) increased efforts concerning treatment of drug addicts. Sweden actively participates in numerous international counternarcotics fora. Sweden is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Relative to other European countries, Sweden (both government and society) is highly intolerant of illegal drugs. Sweden places strong focus on prevention and education. Among adults, the number of drug users is twice as high among men as women. Sweden has approximately 28,000 seriously dependent drug addicts (i.e. addicts with regular intravenous use and/or daily need for narcotics) which represents an increase of 7 percent from last year; women represent 25 percent of this total. The rate of drug-related deaths has increased significantly the last few years. There were approximately 390 narcotics-related deaths during the year, which represents an 8 percent increase from last year. NGO reports indicate that the overall number of young people who use drugs remained the same during the last five years. Trends observed in 2005 include continued use among young drug users of high-profile drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine. Among sixteen-year-old students, 4 percent said they had used narcotics recently. There were no differences between the percentages of male and female students using drugs. Approximately 60 percent of students who used drugs claimed they used cannabis when trying narcotics for the first time. Amphetamines and ecstasy were the second and third most common drugs.

Reports of teenagers buying drugs on the Internet have led police to increase efforts to develop methods, such as infiltration and sting operations, to stop the trade. Swedish Police have also increased Internet monitoring for drug transactions. Prime Minister Goran Persson has declared the fight against narcotics to be one of his government’s top priorities. Sweden has allotted approximately $42 million to a National Action Plan on Narcotic Drugs, which began in January 2002 and ran through the end of 2005. Restricting supply to young people figures prominently in the plan. Continued cooperation with countries in the Baltic region, where significant trafficking routes exist, constitutes an ongoing and important element in Sweden’s counternarcotics efforts.

There were no reports concerning the liquid steroids originating from China that were mentioned in the 2005 INCSR. Also, problems that arose in 2004 with the synthetic drug fentanyl did not reoccur.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. The Government’s “Mobilization Against Drugs” taskforce continued to implement the National Action Plan on Narcotic Drugs established in January 2002. Its work during 2005 involved information campaigns and seminars throughout the country designed to raise awareness, in addition to the establishment and/or maintenance of networks with national and international NGOs. The task force’s final report was scheduled to be delivered to the Government at the end of 2005 or at the beginning of 2006. Police in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries have started a joint initiative to combat west-African criminal networks smuggling heroin, cocaine and marijuana into the Nordic countries. In Sweden, these networks dominate the increased heroin-trade.

At the end of 2004 the GOS announced that it would be making an investment of $80 million for a three year nationwide fight against drugs. Approximately $12 million will be directed towards the treatment of drugs abusers in prisons; the rest will be distributed among municipalities, which bear responsibility to act at the local level. This initiative directs $10 million to addicts recovering from drug abuse and to the improvement of treatment facilities. In March 2005, the GOS gave $1 million to the National Board of Health and Welfare to strengthen voluntary organizations that work with drugs and narcotics, and $1 million to drugs prevention projects operated by NGO’s and County Administrative Boards throughout the country. Fighting drugs remains a high priority area for Sweden’s efforts in official development assistance. The Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA) allocated about $1.5 million for 2005 for multilateral and bilateral UN “best practices” projects against drugs and tobacco.

Sweden played a strong part in the development of an EU strategy plan for narcotics 2005-2012 that was approved during the autumn. Also, a frame decision was taken by the European Council concerning common criminal regulations on penalties for handling narcotics. Another action within the EU concerns an initiative on a resolution for cannabis. The resolution aims to increase awareness about cannabis and reduce the use of the drug among young people. Sweden is also one of the major contributors to the UNDCP.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Police reported 37,471 narcotics-related crimes for the January-September 2005 period. This represents a slight decrease (5 percent) compared to the corresponding period in 2004. Approximately 30 percent of the arrests under the Narcotics Act led to convictions, which on average carried six-month jail sentences. The majority of the crimes involved consumption and possession. No major drug processing labs were detected during the year.

Corruption. As a matter of government policy, Sweden does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Swedish law criminalizes all forms of public corruption and stipulates maximum penalties of six years imprisonment for gross misconduct or taking bribes. The Narcotics Act contains severe penalties for the use or production of illegal narcotic substances.

Agreements and Treaties. Sweden is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and is meeting the Convention’s goals and objectives. Sweden is a party to the 1961 Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and to the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Sweden is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocol against trafficking in persons, and has signed, but has not ratified, the UN Convention Against Corruption. An extradition treaty is in force between the U.S. and Sweden

In October 2005, the GOS approved cooperation agreements between the Swedish National Police Board and Russian Narcotics Control Authorities. The agreement provides for increased bi-lateral cooperation in fighting narcotics in the region, such as facilitation of information sharing and bilateral efforts in police enforcement actions.

Cultivation/Production. No major cultivation or production operations were detected during the year. Some legal cultivation of cannabis for use in fibers occurs in Sweden, as permitted under EU regulations on the cultivation of flax and hemp for fiber.

Drug Flow/Transit. Drugs mainly enter the country concealed in commercial goods, by air, by ferry, and by truck over the Oresund Bridge linking Sweden to Denmark. Statistics show that 70 percent of all seizures are made in the southern region. Despite increased smuggling through the Baltic countries and Poland, 75 percent of illicit drugs are smuggled through other EU countries. Most of the seized amphetamines originate in Poland, the Netherlands, and Baltic countries. Seized ecstasy comes mainly from the Netherlands; cannabis from Morocco and southern Europe; and khat from Eastern Africa via Amsterdam and London. Cocaine often comes through Spain and the Baltic region.

The route for heroin is more difficult to establish but, according to police information, a west-African network has established a route for smuggling into Sweden. The Stockholm Police have characterized as alarming the heroin inflow, and note that despite 30 arrests during the year heroin continues to enter the country in significant amounts via this network. Sweden and other countries in Scandinavia have cooperated in customs and law enforcement activities, as well as other activities, to combating this influx.

Domestic Programs and Demand Reduction. The National Institute of Public Health, and municipal governments, are responsible for providing compulsory drug education in schools. Several NGO’s are devoted to drug abuse prevention and public information programs.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Since 2004 Sweden has participated in the Container Security Initiative (CSI), a U.S. Government-sponsored program designed to safeguard global maritime trade. Through identification and examination of high-risk and/or suspect containers, CSI enhances security for the global trading system, deterring terrorism and hindering illicit traffic of all kinds. Two U.S. Customs Officials are currently based in Gothenburg in support of this program. There were no cases of extradition between Sweden and the U.S. concerning drug crimes during 2005. Sweden has a bilateral customs agreement with the United States.

The Road Ahead. Swedish cooperation with United States Government law enforcement authorities continues to be excellent. The United States will pursue enhanced cooperation with Sweden and through the EU.
Switzerland

I. Summary

Switzerland plays a role as both a consumer market and transit route for illicit narcotics, but it is not a significant producer of most illicit drugs, with the exception of hemp/marijuana. Nevertheless, in 2004 (NB. Throughout this report, the latest official statistics available are for 2004) total drug-related arrests reached 50,000 cases for the first time. Cocaine and ecstasy seizures increased by 91.6 percent and 480 percent respectively.

The Swiss public continues its strong support for the government’s four-pillar counternarcotics policy of preventive education, treatment, harm reduction, and law enforcement. The politics of drug liberalization at the federal level have changed recently, putting the brakes on the cannabis legalization movement. A new drug bill aimed at decriminalizing cannabis use for Swiss adults, concentrating enforcement efforts against other drugs, and making permanent a pilot heroin maintenance program for drug addicts was rejected by parliament in June 2004. One month later, the public lobby “For The Protection of Youth Against Drug Criminality” initiated a new ballot initiative demanding the decriminalization of cannabis, including the possession, consumption, and purchase for personal use. Supporters include well-known legislators from the whole political spectrum, physicians, scientists, prevention professionals, business leaders, as well as law enforcement and hemp industry representatives. The group collected 70,000 signatures over four months and is expected to obtain the remaining 30,000 signatures needed to pass the initiative soon. The initiative is expected to be formally registered at the Federal Chancellery on January 13, 2006. A zero tolerance law against driving while on drugs (cannabis, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy) entered into effect on January 1, 2005.

II. Status of Country

In a country of approximately seven million people, about half a million are thought to use cannabis at least occasionally. Roughly 30,000 people are addicted to heroin and/or cocaine, and more than 7.2 percent of the population uses a narcotic substance regularly. While the use of heroin and ecstasy has stabilized, the use of cannabis, amphetamines, and LSD continues to increase. Police are also concerned about the continuing trend by casual users to mix cannabis and other drugs. An international survey recently found that Swiss teenagers smoke more cannabis than their peers in more than 30 other European countries, with one in three Swiss 15-year-olds smoking pot at least once within the past year. There are an estimated total of 250,000 people who regularly smoke cannabis—nearly twice as many as a decade ago. Drug consumer arrests increased by 9.5 percent in 2004 and concerned mostly marijuana smokers.

The Swiss Federal Police published a report on narcotics activities in 2004. It is available on http://www.bap.admin.ch/f/aktuell/stat/BMS-f-2004.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. Since January 1, 2002, jurisdiction for all cases involving organized crime, money laundering, and international drug trafficking shifted from the cantons to the federal prosecutor’s office in Bern. According to the federal prosecutor’s office, the number of investigative magistrates will be increased to 25 by 2006. Beginning January 1, 2002, it became illegal to advertise products that contain narcotic or other psychotropic substances without government certification. Violators who put human lives at risk face fines up to $161,000 (SFr 200,000) or imprisonment.

Heroin maintenance prescription programs originally intended to end in December 2004 have been extended until 2009. The Swiss Federal Office for Public Health believes that its heroin prescription program has a direct impact on drug-related crime: around 70 percent of addicts earned money from illegal activities at the time they entered the program, compared with 10 percent after 18 months in the program. The heroin prescription program has many detractors.

Following the release of the “Zurich drugs and addiction policy report,” made public on August 12, 2004, Zurich authorities admitted that they had been so busy tackling the open heroin scene that other areas of addiction had been overlooked. After concentrating on the heroin problem for the past ten years, the city said it wanted to be more active in other areas, such as encouraging the reintegration of drug addicts. While heroin consumption is on the decline, the use of cocaine and ecstasy is on the increase. A pilot project for the distribution of cocaine under prescription is underway but it is not being supported for the time being by the Federal Health Office in Bern. However, the Swiss government is backing other pilot projects in Bern and Basel aimed at distributing Ritalin, a substitute for narcotic drugs.

Law Enforcement Efforts. To give a sense of drug abuse developments in Switzerland, some important drug-related enforcement operations are described below:

Over the year 2005, Lausanne police undertook 10 counternarcotics operations leading to the arrest of 14 drug traffickers, and the seizure of 3.6 kilograms of cocaine and 1 kilogram of heroin. Most of the drug traffickers were of African origin or from the Balkans.
In April 2005, the Lausanne police seized a record 30,000 ecstasy pills worth 450,000 Swiss francs ($346,786). Two Serbs and one Frenchman were arrested.
In July, the Zurich police dismantled an African drug ring which was based in Switzerland, Italy and Holland. Eleven people were arrested, and 21 kilograms of cocaine and 100,000 Swiss francs in cash were seized. The drugs were smuggled into Switzerland using human mules from Africa and South America. In many cases, these were women accompanied by small children.
In October, the Zurich police managed to break a ring that smuggled 180 kilograms of cocaine into Switzerland. The traffic went through a Zurich-based company that imports precious stones, minerals, and flowers from Brazil. The company is owned by a Swiss-Brazilian dual citizen. Payments to traffickers in Brazil were presumably made through another company owned by a Brazilian national with businesses in Lausanne and Lugano. Also arrested were Swiss and Moroccan citizens accused of delivering narcotics to Zurich and another Swiss national from Schwyz who was in charge of laundering the funds.
In November, the Zurich police arrested two Turkish citizens after discovering 11.5 kilograms of heroin and four handguns in their apartment.
Following a three-and-a-half year investigation, cantonal and federal police authorities managed to break an important drug trafficking ring operating from Fribourg. About 50 individuals, including four Swiss citizens and nationals from mostly the Balkans, were arrested on accusations of having possession of and trafficking 115 kilograms of heroin estimated to be worth Sfr. 5-7 million (ca. $4.6 million). The ring supplied drugs to the Fribourg, Bern, Biel, Thun, Lausanne and Geneva areas.
Geneva police authorities also complain that a large number of drug dealers or traffickers have applied for asylum while simultaneously destroying their identity papers to avoid repatriation to their home country. Dealers from Algeria, Guinea and Serbia Montenegro are the most problematic in this regard.

During 2004, Swiss border guards reported that the amount of drugs seized at the border was still significant, with cocaine seizures doubling to 259 kilograms. Most of the drug seizures took place at airports. Cannabis seizures dropped by a third to 157 kilograms, largely as a result of police crackdown on hemp shops in several cantons. Ecstasy and amphetamines seizures increased to 180,000 largely as a result of the demand at rave parties. Across Switzerland five to ten percent of police time is spent fighting drugs. In 2005, a new undercover law went into effect. Under this law, undercover operations can only be authorized at the federal prosecutor’s level. Previously, this authority rested at the law enforcement level.

Foreigners and asylum seekers play a significant role in the Swiss drug scene, especially in distribution. Those arrested in the past originated mainly from the Balkans (Albania, Former Yugoslavia, and Bosnia) Africa (Sierra Leone, Guinea), the Dominican Republic, and Europe (France, Germany, Italy and Portugal). According to the Swiss Federal Police, there are three types of criminal organizations in the country: the West African networks involved in the cocaine traffic; Albanian bands dealing in heroin and prostitution; and the money laundering networks working from the former Soviet republics. Noticing that many resident aliens suspected (but not convicted) of drug dealing travel from canton to canton, several cantonal authorities increasingly ban convicted drug dealers, resident in another canton, from visiting their cantons. They also prohibit convicted drug dealers from visiting certain areas, like railway stations and schools. If picked up by police, these dealers (mainly refugees from Eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa) are fined and “deported” to their canton of residency. If picked up again, they are jailed. Deportation of foreign drug dealers to their home country is difficult because they often hide their true country of origin from the police. When looking at cross-border cocaine smuggling, the Swiss federal police believe that many criminals involved use the train to connect the Swiss drug market with Holland or Spain. Their nationalities range from Swiss, Italians, Lebanese, West-African, South-East Europe, South American, and from the Dominican Republic. The “mules” generally originate from Africa or South Africa, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Europe.

Corruption. As a matter of government policy, the GOS 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. Similarly, no senior government official is alleged to have participated in such activities.

Agreements and Treaties. Switzerland and the United States cooperate in law enforcement matters through bilateral extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties. Switzerland is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. In September 2005, Switzerland ratified the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Switzerland has signed, but has not yet ratified either the UN Convention Against Corruption, or the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.

On June 22, 2004, Swiss and German authorities announced a new bilateral police agreement aimed at increasing bilateral cooperation at border checkpoints. The main goal of the agreement was to deal more effectively with drug and weapons smuggling. Document specialists from both countries will also assist border guards to use improved techniques to detect forged travel documents. The Swiss-German border crossing at Basel/Larach is one of the busiest in Europe, with 70 million people crossing over per year. In September 2005, a joint police operation led to the arrest of a Yugoslav drug ring that was established in Switzerland and the neighboring German region of Baden Wurttemberg. On July 27, 2004, Slovenia and Switzerland signed a police agreement aimed at fighting organized crime, and facilitating the return of illegal residents. The deployment of liaison officers will enable a faster more direct exchange of information.

Cultivation and Production. Switzerland is not a significant producer of illicit drugs, with the exception of illicit production of high THC-content cannabis/hemp. Police estimate the illicit hemp planted area at 350 hectares, with a value of approximately $674 million. Approximately 200 hemp shops operate throughout Switzerland, selling a variety of cannabis products, including tea, oil, foods, and beverages, cosmetics, textiles and so-called sachets. Ostensibly sold to freshen-up closets and drawers, the sachets contain a quality of marijuana suitable for smoking. Following a series of police raids on hemp shops, a federal court ruled in March 2000 that selling hemp products with a THC level above 0.3 percent was a violation of the narcotics law regardless of how the shop had labeled the hemp. Government subsidies are available to farmers growing industrial hemp. Police have also expressed concern over the increase in domestic production of ecstasy and other synthetic drugs.

Drug Flow/Transit. Switzerland is both a transit country for drugs destined for other European countries and a destination for narcotics deliveries.

Domestic Programs. Switzerland focuses heavily on prevention and early intervention to prevent casual users from developing a drug addiction. Youth programs to discourage drug use cost $6 million annually according to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. Swiss authorities increased the allotment of heroin to 246 kilograms to use for maintenance of severe drug addicts as part of its maintenance programs in 2004, as compared to 230 in 2003. Three-quarters of those enrolled in the program were male. The number of slots available in “heroin treatment centers” also increased by eight to a total of 1389. These centers are currently at 92 percent of capacity . Medical treatment costs approximately $16,137 (SFr 20,840) per year per person, or $44 per day (SFr57). Twenty percent of the costs were paid for by the cantons, while 80 percent was paid by the individual’s health insurance. Average time in heroin treatment is 2.83 years. Of the 182 persons who terminated the heroin prescription program, 42.3 percent opted for the methadone-assisted programs, or an abstinence therapy. In early 2005, Switzerland took part in an international pilot study, the implementation of the Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) for adolescents with a cannabis problem. MDFT was developed at Miami University and has been used successfully in many instances in the U.S.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation/Policy Initiatives. On March 15, 2004, Switzerland and the U.S. joined forces to curb the rise in illegal sales of prescription drugs over the Internet. The two countries called for international action in a resolution presented at the annual session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna. The joint resolution stated that every country should introduce and enforce laws against the sale of narcotics and psychotropic drugs over the Internet. Swissmedic, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, estimates that 4,000 to 8,000 packages containing medicines with narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances come across the border into Switzerland. The latest annual report by the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) highlighted that Switzerland had seen a big increase in seizures of narcotic drugs bought over the Internet, many of these originating from Pakistan. The Pakistani authorities are said to be working with their Swiss counterparts to resolve the problem.

The Road Ahead. The United States and Switzerland will continue to build on their strong bilateral cooperation in the fight against narcotics trafficking and money laundering. In particular, the United States urges Switzerland to use experiences gained in fighting terrorist money laundering to become more proactive in seizing and forfeiting funds from narcotics money laundering. The United States also will monitor Switzerland’s proposed revisions of its narcotics law.
Tajikistan

I. Summary

Tajikistan produces few narcotics, but it is a major transit country for heroin and opium from Afghanistan. A significant amount of opium/heroin is trafficked, primarily using land-based routes, through Tajikistan, onward through Central Asia, and then to Russian and other European markets. Illicit narcotics transiting Tajikistan rarely enter the United States. Abuse of heroin, opium, and cannabis in Tajikistan is a relatively small but growing problem. Tajikistan’s medical infrastructure is inadequate to address the population’s growing need for addiction treatment and rehabilitation. The Tajik Government remains committed to fighting narcotics, but is less equipped to handle the myriad social problems that stem from narcotics abuse. Tajikistan continues to implement a counternarcotics strategy and coordinates well with all major donors to that strategy. Tajikistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Geography and economics continue to make Tajikistan an attractive transit route for illegal narcotics. The Nizhniy Pyandzh River, which forms part of Tajikistan’s border with opium-producing Afghanistan, is thinly guarded, and difficult to patrol. It is easily crossed without inspection at a number of points. Tajikistan’s economic opportunities are limited by a lack of domestic infrastructure and the fact that its major export routes transit neighboring Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan has often closed its borders to combat a perceived instability from Tajikistan, adversely affecting Tajikistan’s economic prospects further. Additionally, the Tajik Government’s efforts to strengthen rule of law and combat illegal narcotics flows are hindered by criminal networks that came to prominence during the 1992-97 civil war, as well as the Government’s lack of revenue to adequately support law enforcement efforts. With the average monthly income in the country around $30, high unemployment, poor job prospects, and economic migration resulting in many single heads of households, the temptation to become involved in narcotics-related transactions remains high for many segments of society. In-country cultivation of narcotics crops is minimal, and neither the Tajik Government nor the USG is aware of any processing or precursor chemical production facilities. The small amount of precursor chemical imports is closely monitored by the Tajik Government and is essentially limited to five in-country industrial sites that use such chemicals.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. In coordination with other Tajik government agencies, the Presidential Office’s Drug Control Agency (DCA) continued to implement a number of U.S. and UN-funded programs to strengthen Tajikistan’s drug control capacity, including: new facility construction; renovation of existing facilities; purchase of vehicles and trucks and police support equipment; creation of new analytical centers, a national K-9 facility and trained dog and handlers; forensics laboratory improvements; national law enforcement communications network, training academy improvements, and salary supplemental programs. The addition of the new mobile response and deployment teams by the DCA has improved DCA’s operational capacity. As a result of the final withdrawal of Russian border troops in August, Tajik forces are now solely responsible for patrolling and maintaining the border.

Accomplishments. Although the TBG (Tajikistan Border Guards) are poorly equipped and trained, enforcement operations have increased substantially since the Russian troop withdrawal, as have arrests and seizures of narcotics and related counternarcotics operations, thanks in large part to the new initiatives and programs.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Despite misgivings that the withdrawal of Russian border troops would lead to an increase in narcotics trafficking and a decrease in seizures, the Tajik Government reports that the opposite has proven true: Tajiks forces claim to have seized up to twice the amount of drugs as Russian forces during the same period. During the first 10 months of 2005, the DCA, TBG and MOI reported the following seizures: DCA—407.5 kilograms of heroin; 553.7 kilograms of opium; 151 metric tons of cannabis. TBG—137.4 kilograms of heroin; 261.6 kilograms of opium; 151 metric tons of cannabis. MOI—965.7 kilograms of heroin; 1.25 metric tons of opium; 498 metric tons of cannabis. Tajikistan currently ranks fourth in the world for quantity of heroin seizures.

Corruption. As a matter of policy the Tajik Government does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances and has continued to seek international support in augmenting its efforts to combat narcotics trafficking. However, it has been reported that many senior officials in the TBG, MOI and DCA live in modest houses and apartments and drive modest vehicles, while some counterparts in Customs and Security agencies, have more extravagant lifestyles. Because of this apparent disparity here is a good deal of public speculation about the involvement of government officials in narcotics trafficking and money laundering. Speculation focuses on prominent public figures involved in Tajikistan’s 1992-97 civil war. It is impossible to determine authoritatively just how pervasive drug-related corruption, and other forms of corruption are within government circles. However, there is certainly a comparative disproportion between low salaries paid to government officials and the lifestyles many senior officials appear to maintain. Even when arrests are made for narcotics trafficking, the resulting cases are not always brought to a satisfactory conclusion. Tajikistan is not a party to the UN Convention against Corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Tajikistan 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 1972 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Tajikistan is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons.

Cultivation/Production. Opium poppies and cannabis, are cultivated in very limited amounts, mostly in the northern Aini and Panjakent districts. Law enforcement efforts limited opium cultivation, but cultivation has also been limited because it has been far cheaper and safer to grow opium poppies in neighboring Afghanistan. No statistics are available for 2005. In 2004, there were 228 registered cases of cultivation of plants containing narcotics substances, including 38 cases of opium poppy cultivation. In the course of continuous “Poppy Operation”, more than 4.9 hectares or about 291,137 narcotic plants have been eradicated, including 825 poppy plants.

Drug Flow/Transit. The Tajik government estimates that a high share of narcotics produced in Afghanistan is smuggled across the border into Tajikistan’s Shurobod, Moskovskiy, and Pyanzh districts. While the government may be seriously overestimating the percentage of Afghanistan’s drug production that transits Tajikistan (most observers believe the largest single share of Afghan drugs passes through Iran) the total volume of drugs transiting Tajikistan is certainly high and growing. One UN estimate put the amount of heroin from Afghanistan going through Tajikistan at roughly 80 to 120 tons a year. Hashish from Afghanistan also transits Tajikistan en route to Russian and European markets.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The DCA continued to expand and develop its initiatives aimed at increasing drug awareness, primarily among school children. The Tajik Government also encouraged the involvement of domestic and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in this effort. In 2004, a youth center in Khorog was added to the Tajik Government’s programs to fight drug use among youth and other at-risk groups. The Tajiks spent $11,000 through the “Decrease of Demand for Drugs in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan” Program for the creation of a Rehabilitation Center for drug users in Badakhshan, and another $5,000 for the construction of sport complex in Khorog; however, the number of young addicts continues to grow. Over 60 percent of Tajikistan’s drug addicts are in the 18-30 age group.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. Embassy has a full-time Senior Law Enforcement Advisor to coordinate Law Enforcement and counternarcotics assistance. A full-time narcotics assistance officer should be in place by summer 2006, and the DEA plans to open their office in 2006 as well. The Embassy’s Border Law Enforcement Working Group (BLEWG) provides a coordination mechanism for all USG assistance on counternarcotics and border assistance. The Embassy played a large role in creating a donor working group to coordinate multilateral assistance with IOM, the UN and EU to better meet Tajikistan’s great needs. The USG provided training for a number of Tajik law enforcement officials through the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest and Roswell.

The Road Ahead. The United States remains committed to working with the Tajik Government to increase its law enforcement and counternarcotics capabilities. The United States plans to coordinate closely with European countries, including Russia, to maximize available resources for narcotics-related projects.
Turkey

I. Summary

Turkey is a major transit route for Southwest Asian opiates to Europe, and serves as a base and refining center for major narcotics traffickers and brokers. Turkish law enforcement organizations focus their efforts on stemming the traffic of drugs and intercepting precursor chemicals. The Turkish National Police (TNP), under Interior Ministry control, is responsible for security in large urban areas. The Jandarma, paramilitary forces under joint Interior Ministry and military control, is responsible for policing rural areas. The Jandarma is also responsible for specific border sectors where smuggling is common; however, the military has overall responsibility for border control. Turkish law enforcement forces cooperate closely with European and U.S. agencies. While most of the heroin trafficked via Turkey is marketed in Western Europe, an increasing amount of heroin and opium also is smuggled from Turkey to the U.S., but not in quantities sufficient to have a significant impact on the U.S. There is no appreciable cultivation of illicit narcotics in Turkey other than marijuana grown primarily for domestic consumption. There is no known diversion from Turkey’s licit opium poppy cultivation and pharmaceutical morphine production program. Turkey is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Turkey is a major transshipment point. Turkey is also a base of operations for international narcotics traffickers and associates trafficking in opium, morphine base, heroin, precursor chemicals and other drugs. The majority of these opiates originate in Afghanistan, and are ultimately trafficked to Western Europe. A smaller but still not insignificant amount of heroin is trafficked to the U.S. via Turkey. Turkish law enforcement forces are strongly committed to disrupting narcotics trafficking. The Turkish National Police (TNP) remains Turkey’s most sophisticated counternarcotics force, with the Jandarma and Customs continuing to play a significant role. Turkish authorities continue to seize large amounts of heroin and precursor chemicals, such as acetic anhydride. It is estimated that multi-ton amounts of heroin are smuggled through Turkey each month. Some heroin is still being refined in Turkey.

Turkey is one of the two traditional licit opium-growing countries recognized by the USG and the International Narcotics Control Board. Opium for pharmaceuticals is cultivated and refined in Turkey under strict domestic controls, and in accordance with all international treaty obligations. There is no appreciable illicit drug cultivation in Turkey other than cannabis grown primarily for domestic consumption. Turkish law enforcement authorities continue to seize large quantities of synthetic drugs that have been manufactured in Northern and Eastern European countries. The majority of the synthetic drug seizures have occurred as the drugs were being shipped through Turkey to other countries in the Middle East.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. The Government of Turkey devotes significant financial and human resources to counternarcotics activities. Turkey continues to play a key role in Operation Containment (a DEA regional program to reduce the flow of Afghan heroin to Western Europe), as well as in other regional efforts. The Turkish International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC), established under the Turkish National Police (TNP), continues to be a key agency leading the fight against drug abuse in Turkey. In 2004, TNP increased the number of drug training and prevention units it previously established in various provinces, to cover most parts of Turkey. These units conducted intensive training programs for parents, teachers and students in these provinces, making a major contribution to the GOT’s drug prevention efforts.

Accomplishments. TADOC organized 44 training programs for local and regional law enforcement officers in 2005. A total of 287 foreign officers were trained at TADOC this year, including officers from the Balkans, Central Asia, Syria, and Afghanistan. The training programs focused on drug trafficking, corruption, counterfeiting, illegal immigration, money laundering, and demand reduction. TADOC also hosted an FBI training program on criminal interrogation techniques for 35 law enforcement officers from the region. A 2004 UN drug survey indicated that while there was no major increase in drug abuse in Turkey in the last couple of years, the use of synthetic drugs is on the rise.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Through 05 December 2005, Turkish law enforcement agencies seized 7,760 kilograms of heroin, 409 kilograms of morphine base, 7.6 million dosage units of synthetic drugs, 10,671 kilograms of hashish and 25 kilograms of cocaine. In addition, the GOT law enforcement authorities have made more than 12,749 drug-related arrests. (The Jandarma and Customs have only reported statistics through October 2005.)

Corruption. As a matter of government policy, Turkey 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. Similarly, no senior government official is alleged to have participated in such activities. In December 2005, the General Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a law ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Turkey 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. Turkey also is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, and illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms. The U.S. and Turkey cooperate in law enforcement matters under a 1981 treaty on extradition and mutual assistance in legal matters.

Cultivation/Production. Illicit drug cultivation, primarily cannabis, is minor and has no impact on the United States. The Turkish Grain Board strictly controls licit opium poppy cultivation quite successfully, with no apparent diversion into the illicit market.

Drug Flow/Transit. Turkey remains a major route, refining center and storage, production and staging area, for the flow of heroin to Europe. Turkish-based traffickers and brokers operate in conjunction with narcotics smugglers, laboratory operators, and money launderers in and outside Turkey. They finance and control the smuggling of opiates to and from Turkey. Afghanistan is the source of most of the opiates reaching Turkey. Morphine and heroin base are smuggled overland from Afghanistan and Pakistan via Iran. Opiates and hashish also are smuggled to Turkey overland from Afghanistan via Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Traffickers in Turkey illegally acquire the heroin precursor chemical, acetic anhydride, from sources in Western Europe, the Balkans and Russia. For fiscal year 2004, 2,304 liters of acetic anhydride were seized in, or destined for, Turkey. Some criminal elements in Turkey reportedly have interests in heroin laboratories operating near the Iranian-Turkish border in Iran. Turkish-based traffickers control much of the heroin marketed to Western Europe.

In 2005, Turkish authorities reported an increase in synthetic drug seizures throughout Turkey. Although Turkish law enforcement has not seen a large increase in synthetic drug manufacturing in Turkey, Turkish National Police did report one synthetic drug laboratory seizure in Usak, Turkey in December 2004. For calendar year 2005, a total of 7.5 million dosage units of synthetic drugs, predominantly captagon and ecstasy, were seized in Turkey.

Demand Reduction. While drug abuse remains modest in scale in Turkey compared to other countries, the number of addicts reportedly is increasing. Although the Turkish Government is increasingly aware of the need to combat drug abuse, the agencies responsible for drug awareness and treatment remain under-funded. As of 2005, seven Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment and Education Clinics (AMATEM) have been established, which serve as regional drug treatment centers. Due to lack of funds, only one of the centers focuses on drug prevention as well as treatment. The most recent clinic was opened in Ankara in 2004 and will serve as the countrywide coordinating center for drug and alcohol treatment and education. The Health Ministry has not conducted a drug abuse survey since 1995 due to lack of resources.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives and Programs. Through fiscal year 1999, the U.S. Government has extended $500,000 annually in assistance. During 2005-06 the U.S. Government anticipates spending approximately $60,000 in previously-obligated funds on counternarcotics programs.

Bilateral Cooperation. DEA reports excellent cooperation with Turkish officials. Turkish counternarcotics forces have developed technically, becoming increasingly professional, in part based on the training and equipment they received in the past from the U.S. and other international law enforcement agencies.

The Road Ahead. U.S. policy remains to strengthen Turkey’s ability to combat narcotics trafficking, money laundering and financial crimes.
Turkmenistan

I. Summary

Turkmenistan remains a transshipment route for traffickers seeking to smuggle contraband to Turkish, Russian and European markets from neighboring drug-producing countries. Turkmenistan is not a major producer or source country for illegal drugs or precursor chemicals. Turkmenistan shares a rugged and remote 744-kilometer border with Afghanistan as well as 992-kilometer boundary with Iran. Counternarcotics efforts are carried out by the Ministry for National Security (MNB), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), State Customs Service (SCS), State Border Guards Service (SBS), State Service for the Registration of Foreigners and Prosecutor General’s Office. The State Counternarcotics Coordination Commission (SCCC) at the Cabinet of Ministers is an inter-departmental body responsible for coordination of the activities of concerned government departments. According to Government of Turkmenistan (GOTX) statistics, law enforcement officers seized a total of 548 kilograms of illegal narcotics in the first six months of 2005.

The GOTX continues to publicly commit itself to counternarcotics efforts; however, its law enforcement agencies are hampered by a widespread lack of resources, training and equipment. GOTX officials have acknowledged publicly that smuggling organizations are increasing their efforts to traffic narcotics across Turkmenistan and large-scale seizures are increasingly common. Domestic drug abuse is steadily increasing, although concrete statistics are not publicly available. Turkmenistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Turkmenistan remains a key transit country for the smuggling of narcotics and precursor chemicals. Opiates from Afghanistan—such as heroin, opium and other opium-based drugs—destined for markets in Turkey, Russia and Europe enter Turkmenistan from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The bulk of the GOTX’s law enforcement resources and manpower are directed toward stopping the flow of drugs from Afghanistan and Iran. Turkmen law enforcement efforts at the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border are primarily focused on interdicting smuggled commercial goods. Traffickers appear aware of this focus, and thus seem to view this route as an attractive transshipment route. Commercial truck traffic from Iran continues to be heavy. Caspian Sea ferry traffic from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan and Russia continues to be a viable smuggling route. Turkmenistan airlines operates international flights connecting Ashgabat with Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Beijing, Birmingham, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Kiev, London, Moscow, and New Delhi. These too provide options to traffickers.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. During the past year, the President of Turkmenistan acknowledged that drug usage and smuggling were a problem in Turkmenistan and increased pressure on law enforcement officials to improve counternarcotics efforts. In August 2004, the GOTX introduced a new draft criminal procedure code in its efforts to transform its Soviet era criminal justice sector. The parliament has not adopted the new code.

Accomplishments. The U.S. Export Control and Related Border Security Program (EXBS) conducted an interdiction and boarding officers’ course in Turkmenbashy Port in July and the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection hosted a Port Security training exercise in August. The GOTX had two law enforcement officers participate in counternarcotics dog training in Rostov, Russia in March, and three officers from counternarcotics units attended the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) counternarcotics unit commanders training seminar in Tashkent in December. Along with the enhancement of border infrastructure (see paragraph below), the UNODC and OSCE conducted training programs on narcotics identification. INL, European Union-Border Management Programme for Central Asia (BOMCA) and UNODC all have permission to continue counternarcotics training.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The USG is constructing two new border crossing checkpoint facilities, one on the border with Afghanistan and one on the border with Iran, and the GOTX has given the SCS money for the construction of two new facilities on the border with Kazakhstan. EXBS delivered nine additional jeeps and three additional water trucks along with radios and radio networking equipment to the SBS. The USG donated gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer and laboratory equipment to the MVD’s national forensic laboratory for analyzing narcotics. Turkmen border forces are moderately effective in detecting and interdicting narcotics and reported a total of 548 kilograms of seized illegal narcotics in the first six months of 2005. The local press published articles in August and September detailing drug seizures by SGS officers along the border with Iran. Officers involved in the incidents seized 100kg of opium and 122 kilograms of narcotics respectively and were awarded medals for courage and given immediate promotions.

Corruption. Law enforcement officials’ low salaries, combined with their broad general powers, foster an environment in which corruption occurs. A palpable general distrust of the police by the public, fueled by anecdotal evidence of police officers soliciting bribes, suggests a problematic level of corruption in law enforcement. There have been persisting reports that senior GOTX officials are directly linked to the drug trade. In September, President Niyazov dismissed the provincial governor of Ahal province and the provincial head of law enforcement for drug addiction. The governor was also accused of purchasing and selling heroin. In November, the president dismissed the SBS chief responsible for the border guards at Serhetabad border crossing checkpoint along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan border for his staff’s involvement in the illegal drug trade. Payments to facilitate passage of smuggled goods to lower officials at border crossing points frequently occur.

Agreements and Treaties. Turkmenistan 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. Turkmenistan also is a party to the UN Convention Against Corruption, the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, and its protocols against migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, and Illegal Manufacturing and Trafficking in Firearms.

Cultivation/Production. Turkmenistan is not a significant producer of illegal drugs, although small-scale opium and marijuana cultivation is thought to occur in remote mountain and desert areas. Each spring, the GOTX conducts limited aerial inspections of outlying areas in search of illegal poppy cultivation. Upon discovery, law enforcement officials eradicate opium crops.

Drug Flow/Transit. Turkmenistan remains a primary transit corridor for smuggling organizations seeking to transport opium and heroin to markets in Turkey, Russia and the whole of Europe, and for the shipment of precursor chemicals to Afghanistan. Turkmenistan’s two major border control agencies, the SCS and the SBS, have received increased attention and funding for their drug enforcement duties. Systemic deficits in necessary equipment, training, resources, and facilities will take time to improve. Border crossing points with rudimentary inspection facilities for screening vehicle traffic and lacking reliable communications systems have been identified by the GOTX and are being improved.

Domestic Programs. Currently, the Ministry of Health operates seven drug treatment clinics; one in the capital Ashgabat, one in Serdar city, and one in each of the five provincial administrative centers. Drug addiction is a prosecutable offense with jail sentences for convicted persons, although judicial officials usually sentence addicts to treatment. The president’s opening statement read at the GOTX-UNODC Regional Counternarcotics Conference in March was the first high-level admission that drug use was a concern for the government. GOTX consistently has refused to participate in USG or UN drug demand reduction programs and is not conducting any of its own.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. The USG is providing necessary equipment and quality training to make the GOTX a more effective partner in counternarcotics issues. State Department assistance has an on-going relationship with the MVD through a forensic lab project, the funding of two UNODC projects on the border with Afghanistan, funding of English language programs for law enforcement officers working to combat narcotics trafficking, and training port security officials to locate contraband. INL will also begin a regional counternarcotics training program for MVD officers. The EXBS program directly benefits INL efforts by providing search and seizure training and enhancing border security. The U.S. Department of Defense is currently funding and implementing the construction of two border crossing checkpoints.

Bilateral Cooperation. The USG-GOTX bilateral relationship on law enforcement issues, most specifically counternarcotics programs, continues to improve. The GOTX supported USG initiatives to enhance law enforcement institutions and training programs, and has expanded the relationship to include the construction of infrastructure along the border.

The Road Ahead. Bilateral cooperation is expected to continue, and the USG will expand counternarcotics law enforcement agency training at the working level. The USG also will encourage the GOTX to institute long-term demand reduction efforts and will foster supply reduction through interdiction training, law enforcement institution building, the promotion of regional cooperation, and an exchange of drug-related intelligence.
Ukraine

I. Summary

Trafficking and use of narcotics continued to increase in Ukraine in 2005. Ukraine has adequate counternarcotics legislation. The Government of Ukraine continued to take steps to limit illegal cultivation of poppy and hemp to proven licit uses. The transit of illicit narcotics through Ukraine is a serious and growing problem. Combating narcotics trafficking and use, and its effects, continues to be a national objective, though a lack of resources seriously hinders Ukrainian efforts. Coordination between law enforcement agencies responsible for counternarcotics work has improved but still remains a problem due to regulatory and jurisdictional constraints. Ukraine is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Ukraine is not a major drug-producing country; however, Ukraine is located astride several important drug trafficking routes into Europe, and thus is an important transit country. Ukraine is a significant transit corridor for narcotics originating in East, Central and Southwest Asia (Afghanistan) and transiting through Russia, the Caucasus and Turkey, and then through Ukraine further into Western Europe. Some of the drugs trafficked through these routes come from Latin America and Africa. Ukraine’s domestic market is increasingly influenced by synthetic drugs trafficked from both Asia and Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, Romania, Baltic Republics). Numerous available ports on the Black and Azov seas, river transportation routes, porous borders, and inadequately financed and under-equipped border and customs control forces make Ukraine susceptible to drug trafficking, especially on the north-east border with other former Soviet Republics, Belarus and Russia. Domestic use of narcotics continues to rise, and the number of drug addicts is increasing. Domestic drug abuse is marked by a growing trend of use for synthetic drugs and psychotropic substances, especially amphetamine type stimulants (ATS).

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. In 2005 the Government of Ukraine continued to implement a comprehensive policy entitled “The Program of the State Policy in Combating Illegal Circulation of Narcotics, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors for 2003-2010.” The Program acknowledged the growing scale of drug abuse, and that the Government’s current education and public awareness efforts, community prevention efforts, treatment and rehabilitation centers are not adequate in scope and number to address the problem. The Program’s implementation involves two stages: stage one took place from 2003-2005 and stage two will be implemented between 2006-2010. Stage one’s objectives included: improving legislation; improving monitoring of drug abuse and drug trafficking; improving interagency cooperation; creating a modern interagency data bank; improving the prevention of drug abuse; increasing law enforcement capacity; scientific research; and setting up an interagency lab to research new drugs and discover new trends in drug trafficking. Stage two will include integration into the European information space and exchange of information on drug trafficking; strengthening drug abuse prevention centers; introducing new treatment practices; increasing public awareness and education, especially in schools; further strengthening law enforcement capacity and fully achieving international standards. The Program also provides estimates of future funding for the continuing support of its implementation. The total estimate is over 300 million Ukrainian hryvnyas ($60 million).

As part of the Program implementation, the Ukrainian Government proposed a bill amending The Law on Circulation of Narcotics, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors in Ukraine. The amendment establishes an explicit procedure for licensing activities related to licit trade of narcotics, psychotropic substances and precursors. It also sets forth a requirement that hospitals and health care institutions should obtain licenses for storing, transporting, purchasing, and selling medical drugs containing narcotic substances. The new Criminal Procedure Code pending adoption will also regulate more consistently the procedure for destruction of confiscated or seized equipment that has been used for illegal production of narcotics or psychotropic substances and cannot be used for legal purposes.

Accomplishments. In Ukraine counternarcotics enforcement responsibility is shared between the Ministry of Interior with its domestic law enforcement function and the Security Service of Ukraine which deals with trans-border aspects of drug traffic. The State Border Guard Service and the State Customs Service carry out drug enforcement functions in their respective field of operation, mainly drug interdiction at the green and customs borders. The Ukrainian Security Service participated in an international operation to limit cocaine trafficking from South America to Ukraine. The operation was jointly conducted by the Security Service, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Argentine Federal Police. It led to the seizure of more than two kilograms of cocaine and the elimination of an organized criminal group with members in both Argentina and Ukraine.

Law Enforcement Efforts. According to official statistics for 2005 (January through November), approximately 61,867 narcotics offenses were investigated by the Ministry of Interior and 177 were investigated by the Security Service. Between 2001 and 2005, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies eliminated 309 drug trafficking organizations in Ukraine and 57 foreign-led drug trafficking organizations operating from Ukraine territory. According to government statistics, drug “imports” for consumption remain comparatively low while drug “exports” are increasing. The Ministry of Interior continued to strengthen its Drug Enforcement Department (DED). The total number of DED officers is 2,613 in the regions and 51 in the central headquarters; however, unlike the central staff, regional officers are tasked with other anticrime activities besides narcotics.

Corruption. The Ukrainian government has acknowledged that corruption remains a major problem in the country. In 2005, media published several reports about public officials or law enforcement officers being engaged in drug trafficking or covering up such activity. Despite the increased attention of the public to the issue of corruption and the government’s declaration that it will decisively root out corruption, corruption remains a major challenge in Ukraine due to a widespread bribe-tolerant mentality, and the lack of means that law enforcement can use to investigate and prosecute it. In 2005, there were no charges of corruption of public officials relating to drugs. Ukraine has signed but has not yet ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Ukraine is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The U.S.-Ukraine Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty came into force in February 2001. Ukraine is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons.

Cultivation/Production. Opium poppy is grown in western, southwestern, and northern Ukraine, while hemp cultivation is concentrated in the eastern and southern parts of the country. Small quantities of poppy and hemp are grown legally by licensed farms, which are closely controlled and guarded. Despite the prohibition on the cultivation of illicit drug plants (poppy straw and hemp), many cases of illegal cultivation by private households were discovered during past government investigations.

Drug Flow/Transit. The Customs Service alone interdicted 644 cases of drug trafficking across the Ukraine border from January to September of 2005. Heroin is trafficked from Central Asia (primarily Afghanistan). It comes into Ukraine mostly through Russia, the Caucasus and Turkey. Shipments are usually destined for Western Europe, and arrive predominantly by road, rail, or sea, which methods are perceived as less risky than air or mail shipment. Lately, experts noted an increase in heroin traffic from Turkey into Ukraine by sea and then across Ukraine’s western border into Western Europe. Experts believe that criminals are looking for alternatives to traditional Balkan drug traffic routes. This assumption is also supported by a number of large heroin seizures in the last year on the Ukrainian-Hungarian border. Drug traffic from Asia is increasingly controlled by well-organized international criminal groups of Afghan, Pakistani, and Tajik origin, which use citizens of the former Soviet republics as drug couriers. At the same time, the high street price of heroin ($70-$100 per gram) in Ukraine in 2005 testified to comparatively effective heroin interdiction efforts of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. The largest segment of drug flow is composed of poppy straw and hemp, which are the most popular types of drugs in Ukraine. They are usually produced and consumed locally and partially trafficked to Russia. The same types of drugs are also trafficked from Russia into Ukraine. These drugs are cheap and therefore are easily accessible.

The trafficking of synthetic drugs and psychotropic substances from Poland and of licit medical opiates and other licit painkillers from Romania and Moldova is growing. Criminal groups, which formed in the 1990s and traditionally stayed away from the drug trafficking business, are now increasingly taking up this lucrative niche. The price of the mass-use drugs is lower than that of heroin and cocaine and therefore is attractive to young drug addicts. Other smuggling routes include cocaine from Latin America and hashish from North and West Africa. These routes transit Ukraine into Europe. The quantity of drugs moving along these routes is comparatively small.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Estimates of the number of drug addicts vary widely, from 141,594 of officially registered drug addicts as of September 2005 to roughly one million reported by local NGOs. Drug addicts commit about 15,000 criminal offenses annually. Drug addiction is a cause of more than 1,000 deaths every year, according to Ukrainian health authorities. Marijuana and hashish have grown in popularity with young people; but opium straw extract remains the main drug of choice for Ukraine addicts. Young people are using synthetic drugs more frequently, such as ephedrine, ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, amphetamines and methamphetamines. Hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin are still too expensive for most Ukrainian drug users. Ukrainian officials are working to reduce drug demand through preventive actions at schools, as most Ukrainian drug abusers are under the age of 30. Drug information centers have been opened in the cities and regions with the highest levels of drug abuse. NGOs operating with assistance from international institutions are conducting a number of rehabilitation programs throughout the country.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. objectives are to assist Ukrainian authorities in developing an effective counternarcotics program in interdiction (particularly of drugs transiting the country), investigation, and demand reduction, as well as to assist Ukraine in countering money laundering. Officers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have conducted a number of training courses funded by the U.S. Department of State in drug interdiction in seaports and investigation of drug cases. The Drug Enforcement Agency has established good working relations with Ukrainian counternarcotics law enforcement units.

The Road Ahead. Trafficking of narcotics from Asia and cocaine from Latin America to European destinations through Ukraine is on the upswing, as drug traffickers look for new ways to circumvent border controls. Trafficking of synthetic drugs from countries of Eastern Europe is a growing concern. Demand reduction and treatment of drug abusers remain a challenge and require close attention. Law enforcement agencies need continued assistance in adopting modern techniques to fight drug trafficking, as well as to enhance interagency and international cooperation.
United Kingdom

I. Summary

The United Kingdom (UK) is a consumer country of illicit drugs. Like other developed nations, the UK faces a serious domestic drug problem. The UK is in the eighth year of a ten-year drug strategy launched in 1998 to address both the supply and demand aspects of illegal drug use. The UK strictly enforces national precursor chemical legislation in compliance with EU regulations. Crime syndicates from around the world try to exploit the underground narcotics market and use the UK as a major transshipping route. Legislation introduced in October 2001 to improve the UK’s asset forfeiture capabilities took effect in January 2003 and is being effectively implemented. The UK is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Cannabis remains the most-used illicit drug in the UK according to Home Office figures for England and Wales compiled as part of the 2004/05 British Crime survey. Around 9.7 percent of 16-59 year-olds (3.04 million) reported using cannabis at least once in the past year. Cocaine is the next most commonly used drug with 2.0 percent reporting use of it in the last twelve months, closely followed by ecstasy at 1.8 percent and amphetamines at 1.4 percent.

Overall, the latest official surveys on drug use showed few changes between 2003/04 and 2004/05. About 11.3 percent of those between the ages of 16-59 reported having used an illicit drug in the past year, down slightly from 12 percent in the previous survey. The decline was mainly due to a decrease in the use of cannabis between 2003/04 and 2004/05. Between 1998 and 2004/05 the use of all Class A drugs, with the exception of cocaine, has remained stable or has dropped. Ecstasy use has fluctuated, peaking in 2001/02 and is now stable. The overall increase in Class A drug use since 1998 reflects the increase in the use of cocaine and ecstasy through 2000 and an increase in the percentage of people age 25-59 who use Class A drugs. Between 2003/04 and 2004/05, the survey showed stable overall use of Class A drugs, with a slight decrease in cocaine use and an increase in the use of “magic mushrooms.”

The 2004/05 survey indicates that among young people age 16-24, the incidence of use of any drug has decreased significantly since 1998, (dropping from 31.8 percent to 26.3 percent) with Class A drug use remaining stable. Cannabis is the drug most likely to be used by young people; according to the survey, 23.5 percent of 16-24 year olds used cannabis within the last year. Cocaine was the next most commonly used drug with 4.9 percent claiming to have used it in the last year, followed closely by ecstasy at 4.8 percent, amyl nitrite at 3.8 percent, and amphetamines at 3.3 percent, and hallucinogens at 3.0 percent. (The survey does not differentiate between amphetamines and methyl amphetamine.) Other drugs showed minimum usage levels among this age group.

Virtually all parts of the UK, including many rural areas, confront the problem of drug addiction to at least some degree. Official estimates of cocaine and crack users ages 16-59 have dropped, but are still well over 600,000. Current estimates of opiate users declined approximately 27 percent to 75,000 in the 2003/04 survey and further still to 41,000 in the 2004/05 survey, but still represent a significant subgroup of users. The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) reports that Britain faces a significant threat from national and international organized crime. Historically drugs have been linked to about 80 percent of all organized crime in London, and about 60 percent of crime overall.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives/Accomplishments. UK counternarcotics policies have a strong social component, reflecting the widely accepted view that drug problems do not occur in isolation, but are often linked to other social problems. In 2005, the British government continued its ten-year strategy program, launched in 1998, that emphasizes that all sectors of society should work together to combat drugs. Trends in responding to drug abuse with government programs reflect wider UK government reforms in the welfare state, education, employment, health, immigration, criminal justice, and economic sectors.

UK counternarcotics strategy focuses on Class A drugs and has four emphases: to help young drug abusers resist drug misuse; to protect communities from drug-related, antisocial and criminal behavior; to enable people with drug problems to recover and live healthy, crime-free lives; and to limit access to narcotics on the streets. Key performance targets were set in each of these four areas and updated in the November 2002 drug strategy. The most controversial aspect of the updated strategy was the decision to downgrade cannabis to a Class C drug. The final legislation implementing this downgrade was enacted in July 2003, taking effect on January 29, 2004. Class C categorization reduced the maximum sentence for possession of cannabis from five to two years in prison. There is now a presumption against arrest for adults for possession, though not for young people. Maximum penalties for supplying and dealing remain at 14 years. Notwithstanding this amendment, the UK government has emphasized that it continues to regard cannabis as a harmful substance and has no intention of either decriminalizing or legalizing its production, supply or possession. There are currently no plans to change the penalties for Class C offenses.

In April 2005, the Home Secretary asked for a review of the cannabis reclassification decision in light of studies into links between the regular use of cannabis and mental illness. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs issued its new report in December 2005, but did not make a firm recommendation. The Home Secretary is reviewing the report and still has the option of reclassifying the drug. Police chiefs have reportedly urged that, if cannabis is upgraded to Class B, fixed penalties be established to streamline enforcement. Despite an aggressive government education campaign aimed at cannabis users, some police authorities report a lack of understanding on the part of offenders that the drug remains illegal and that they can be detained or prosecuted for possession or dealing.

On November 17, the Advisory Council published a special report on methyl amphetamine. While the Council did not recommend changing the classification of the drug (currently Class B), it did suggest that the serious impact of methyl amphetamine on communities in other countries, notably the United States, warranted extra attention to its patterns of use in the UK and recommended regular reassessments.

Direct annual government expenditures under the updated overall drug strategy are increasing 10 percent between 2004/05 and 2005/06, from $2.38 billion (£1.344 billion) to $2.63 billion (£1.483 billion). Drug treatment expenditures are targeted to increase 12 percent over the same period, expenditures on programs for young people will rise 5 percent, and funding for reducing supply will hold steady at $673 million (£380 million). The largest increase will come in spending on community programs (24 percent).

New legislation, the Drugs Act of 2005, has further strengthened police powers in drug enforcement. The new law allows for drug tests on arrest, rather than on charge, and requires persons with a positive test to undergo further assessment. It also amended the Anti-social Behavior Act of 2003 to allow authorities to enter a suspected crack house to issue a closure notice. Under provisions of the Act, “magic mushrooms” were upgraded to Class A in July 2005. Prior to this change in the law, only prepared (such as dried or stewed) magic mushrooms were rated as Class A drugs. The most controversial provisions of the new law will set thresholds for possession that allow police to charge persons found with more than a specified amount of a given drug with dealing, rather than the lesser charge of possession. The prescribed amounts have yet to be set; the UK government expects to begin consultation at the end of 2005 with a final review by the Advisory Council.

Laws that took effect in 2000 required courts to weigh a positive Class A test result when deciding bail and bail may be denied or restricted if an offender refuses a test or refuses treatment after a positive test. The testing requirement also is applied to offenders serving community sentences and those on parole. Under the Criminal Justice Interventions Program created in January 2003, now called the Drug Interventions Program (DIP), the UK government targeted this testing regime to the 30 areas most affected by drug-related crime; 36 additional areas were added in April 2004, and the DIP program now operates with an annual budget of $292 million (£165 million). As of April 4, 2005, Drug Testing and Treatment Orders (DTTO) for adults were replaced by a new “Community Order.” The new orders will allow authorities to choose from a larger menu of options and more closely tailor the consequences to the seriousness of the offense. Standard DTTOs will continue for 16-17 year olds until April 2007 and for offenses committed prior to April 2005. In December 2005, the UK inaugurated a pilot program of drug courts. Magistrates in one court in Leeds and one in West London have received special training and begun to track convicted drug offenders and personalize treatment. The long-term plan is to establish the courts nationwide. Scotland has been running a pilot drug court in Glasgow since 2003.

In January 1999, the Home Secretary announced an initiative to reduce smuggling of drugs into prisons, and the government launched a prison service drug rehabilitation program. Counseling, assessment, referral, advice, and treatment (CARAT) services are now available in every prison in England and Wales. The program is linked to another initiative called “Prospects,” which was launched in February 2003 to offer support to those leaving prison by providing stable living situations and assistance with life skills. The UK government runs 77 different types of drug rehabilitation program in prisons, including a high-intensity short duration program and plans to expand the number of programs available to 117 by March 2006.

Under the UK’s devolved government system, Scotland and Northern Ireland have separately articulated policies and independent judicial systems. However, they have published and implemented similar counternarcotics strategies linked to the goals and policies outlined by the central UK government.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The UK gives a high priority to counternarcotics enforcement and the United States enjoys good law enforcement cooperation from the UK. The UK honors U.S. asset seizure requests and was one of the first countries to enforce U.S. civil forfeiture judgments. The “Proceeds of Crime Act,” which took effect in January 2003, has significantly improved the government’s ability to track down and recover criminal assets. The total value of assets recovered by all agencies under the Act (and earlier legislation) in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland was $96.6 million (£54.5 million) in 2003/04 and $149.6 million (£84.4 million) in 2004/05.

The number of drug seizures recorded in 2003 dropped to 109,410—four percent fewer than in the previous year. (Note that, as of 2003, Home Office statistics only include seizure data for England and Wales; 2003 represents the most recent detailed statistics.) Seventy-seven percent of all seizures were of Class B drugs, 94 percent of which were cannabis seizures. Twenty-seven percent of all seizures involved Class A drugs. Overall, police and customs seized a greater amount of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, amphetamines, and cannabis in 2003 than in 2002. Heroin was the most commonly seized Class A drug, followed by cocaine. The volume of Class A drugs seized in 2003 also was greater than that seized in 2002; authorities seized 6.8 tons of cocaine (almost twice as much as in 2002) and 2.7 tons of heroin (a 2 percent increase over 2002). With the “date rape” drug GHB illegal as of July 2003, official figures recorded for the first time a seizure of 40 kilograms of this substance. The government claimed it had dismantled or disrupted 193 drug trafficking groups in 2002/03 and an additional 268 groups in 2003/04.

In 2003, the total number of drug offences in England and Wales rose 5 percent over 2002 levels to 133,970. The majority of these were cannabis offenses, at the time still a Class B substance. The number of Class A offenses rose 6 percent to 35,610. Heroin offenders were the largest group of known Class A drug offenders, accounting for 10 percent of all known offenders in 2003. The vast majority of persons convicted or cautioned for drug offenses were charged with possession. About 90 percent of all persons dealt with in the courts for drug offenses were male. Possession offenses tend to be committed by younger people (63 percent committed by those under the age of 25) while 63 percent of the producing/exporting/importing offenses were committed by persons over age 30 and 71 percent of dealing offenses were committed by persons over age 25.

Corruption. Narcotics-related corruption of public officials at all levels is not considered a problem in the UK. When identified, corrupt officials are vigorously prosecuted.

Agreements and Treaties. The U.S. and UK have a long-standing extradition treaty, a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), and a narcotics agreement, which the UK has extended to some of its dependencies. A new bilateral extradition treaty has been negotiated and signed by both countries and awaits final ratification. A new UK extradition statute, which entered into force in January 2004, facilitates U.S. requests for extradition even prior to U.S. ratification of the new treaty, although this status is conditional and subject to revocation by Parliament.

The United States and United Kingdom also have a judicial narcotics agreement and an MLAT relating to the Cayman Islands, which extends to Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The UK 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 U.S.-UK Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) dates from 1989. The UK has signed, but has not yet ratified, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption. In July 2005, the UK signed an updated U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) Memorandum of Understanding with the USG. This included the airborne use of force (AUF) capability on Royal Navy and auxiliary vessels attempting to stop noncompliant drug smuggling go-fast vessels as well as authorization to carry LEDETS in the eastern Pacific in addition to Caribbean operations. The first success of this AUF capability was realized on October 28, 2005 when HMS CUMBERLAND seized 1,756 kilograms of cocaine from a go-fast vessel that refused a lawful order to stop and was subsequently disabled by precision rifle fire from the HMS Cumberland’s helicopter.

Cultivation/Production. Cannabis is cultivated in limited quantities for personal use, and occasionally sold commercially. Most illicit amphetamines and MDMA (ecstasy) are imported from continental Europe, but some are manufactured in the UK in limited amounts. Authorities destroy crops and clandestine facilities as detected. U.S. authorities have been concerned about a growing incidence of production of a “date rape” precursor drug, GBL. While the UK government made GHB, the “date rape” drug, illegal in July 2003, GBL remains uncontrolled and there were some instances of trafficking of GBL to the United States in 2003. DEA has had two very significant investigations in which UK nationals were operating websites offering GBL for sale to the U.S. In early 2004, the UK police executed a search warrant on one of these targets, but had to leave a large drum of GBL behind at the suspect’s house, as GBL is not a controlled substance in the UK. Police did seize some individual parcels that were ready to be shipped to the U.S., as they were evidence of exportation. In 2005, the DEA, in concert with UK authorities, conducted the controlled delivery of three GBL shipments to the U.S. DEA has asked the UK to control GBL and the UK is active in EU-wide discussions on control of this substance.

Drug Flow/Transit. Steady supplies of heroin and cocaine enter the UK. Some 90 percent of heroin in the UK (amounting to around 30 tons a year) normally comes from Southwest Asia, chiefly Afghanistan. UK-based Turkish criminal groups handle a significant amount of the heroin eventually imported into the UK, although Turkish criminals in the Netherlands and Belgium also channel heroin to the UK. Pakistani traffickers also play a significant part; most of the heroin they import, normally in small amounts by air couriers traveling direct from Pakistan, is destined for British cities where there are large South Asian populations. Caribbean criminals (primarily West Indians or British nationals of West Indian decent) are involved in the supply and distribution of heroin as well as cocaine. Most heroin probably enters the UK through ports in the southeast, although some enters through major UK airports with links to Turkey, Northern Cyprus, and Pakistan.

Hashish comes to the UK primarily from Morocco. Cocaine imports are estimated at 25-40 tons a year and emanate chiefly from Colombia. Supplies of both cocaine and crack cocaine reach the UK market in a variety of ways. Around 75 percent of cocaine is thought to be carried across the Channel from consignments shipped from Colombia to mainland Europe and then brought to the UK concealed in trucks or private cars, or by human couriers or “mules.” Traffickers based in South America, Mexico, Spain and the UK are the organizers of this smuggling. Other information also suggests that cocaine is smuggled into the UK via West Africa.

The Caribbean, chiefly Jamaica, is a major transshipment point to the UK from Colombia. Cocaine comes in both by airfreight and by couriers, normally women, who attempt to conceal internally (i.e., through swallowing in protective bags) up to 0.5 kilogram at a time. A synthetic drug supply originates out of Western and Central Europe: amphetamines, ecstasy, and LSD have been traced to sources in the Netherlands and Poland; some originates in the UK.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The UK government’s demand reduction efforts focus on school and other community-based programs to educate young people and to prevent them from ever starting on drugs. In May 2003, the government launched a $5.7 million (£3 million) multimedia campaign called “FRANK”, its official national drug awareness campaign. FRANK offers help and advice to anyone who may be affected by drugs. The latest information cites over 739,000 calls to the FRANK help line and 5.7 million hits on its website. The UK now has drug education programs in all schools, supported by a certificate program for teachers. In March 2005, the Department for Education and Skills officially linked FRANK to its “Every Child Matters” education programs to assure regularly reviews for effectiveness. A similar information and support program called “Know the Score” operates in Scotland.

“Positive Futures,” a sports-based program started in 2000 to specifically target socially vulnerable young people, has served over 80,000 young people since its inception with 108 projects established in regions throughout the country. As of January 2006, the program will be handed over to a national charity, Crime Concern. The contract will run through March 2008. The charity hopes to use the heightened interest in sports generated by London’s successful 2012 Olympics campaign to promote its agenda.

The UK has rapidly expanded treatment services and believes it is on track to meet the target of doubling the number of people in treatment by 2008; current figures show an 89 percent increase of people in drug treatment programs since 1998. The so-called “pooled treatment budget” administered by the Home Office and the Department of Health is targeted to increase from $448 million (£253 million) nationally in 2004/05 to $847 million (£478 million) by 2007/08. Additional services are provided through the National Health Service. National Health Service statistics show a 50 percent increase in trained drug treatment professionals (currently 10,106 with a target of 11,000) and a drop in waiting times for treatment from 6-12 weeks to 2.4 weeks since 2002. Waiting times in areas more heavily affected by drugs is lower at 1.8 weeks. Latest statistics indicate that drug-related deaths between 2002 and 2003 continued to fall and have dropped 12 percent since 1998. Among young people under the age of 20, drug-related deaths fell by almost one-third between 2002 and 2003.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The Road Ahead. The United States looks forward to continued close cooperation with the UK on all counternarcotics fronts.
Uzbekistan

I. Summary

Uzbekistan is primarily a transit country for opiates originating in Afghanistan. Well-established trade routes facilitate the transit of these narcotics to Russia and Europe. There is a growing market for a variety of narcotics and consequently a growing problem with drug addiction and the spread of HIV/AIDS. The Government of Uzbekistan (GOU) has taken steps to combat the narcotics trade but still relies heavily on multilateral and bilateral financial and technical resources. Law enforcement officers seized approximately 504 kilograms of illegal narcotics in the first six months of 2005. Uzbekistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

While there is no significant drug production in Uzbekistan, several transshipment routes for opium, heroin, and hashish originate in Afghanistan and cross Uzbekistan for destinations in Russia and Europe. Drug seizures in 2004 were up 50 percent from 2003. However, they have seemed to slow slightly in 2005. Precursor chemicals have in the past traveled the same routes in reverse on their way to laboratories in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Effective government eradication programs have eliminated nearly all the illicit production of opium poppies in Uzbekistan.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005

Policy Initiatives. In November 2005, Uzbekistan and Russia signed an agreement on cooperation in the fight against the illegal trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic substances and control of precursors. The agreement obligates the two countries to exchange information and cooperate with each other against drug trafficking. It also calls on the two sides to conduct coordinated operations against organized crime groups involved in the narcotics trade. As of the end of 2005, however, few tangible results have occurred. The United States and Uzbekistan continued counternarcotics cooperation in 2005 under the 2001 US-Uzbekistan Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement Agreement (LOA) and its amendments. These agreements provide for U.S. assistance to Uzbekistan, and are typically amended in the years following their first negotiation to increase assistance levels to ongoing programs, or to agree to begin new assistance programs. The agreements have established the framework to support projects designed to enhance the capability of Uzbek law enforcement agencies in its efforts to fight against narcotics trafficking and organized crime. In 2005, the United States proposed an additional amendment to the agreement whereby the U.S. Government would provide additional funding via the State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement program to the Uzbek Ministry of Interior Special Investigative Unit (SIU), designed to target and dismantle transnational heroin trafficking organizations. The GOU declined for unspecified reasons to sign the proposed amendment. Implementation of various counternarcotics programs, including the provision of technical assistance in investigating and prosecuting narcotics trafficking cases, judicial and legal reform, and enhancement of border security, continue under previous amendments to the 2001 agreement.

The Uzbek criminal justice system continues to suffer from a lack of modernization and reform, mainly judicial and procedural reform, and standards remain below international norms. The Uzbek criminal justice system is largely inherited from the Soviet Union. The Executive Branch and Prosecutor General’s Office are powerful entities and the judiciary is not independent. The outcomes of court cases are usually not in doubt and conviction rates approach 100 percent. Prosecutions often rely on coerced confessions by the defendants and conviction is typical even in the absence of evidence. Corruption at all levels of the criminal justice system is rampant.

Accomplishments. Uzbekistan continues to work toward the goals of the 1988 UN Drug Convention on combating illicit cultivation and production within its borders. The annual “Black Poppy” eradication campaign has been very successful and has virtually eliminated illicit poppy cultivation. In 2005, the operation only had to eradicate less than 100 hectares of illicit drugs. Efforts to achieve other convention goals are hampered by the lack of effective laws, programs, money, appropriate international agreement, and coordination among law enforcement agencies. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is continuing its efforts to implement important projects, focusing on improvements in law enforcement, precursor chemical control, and border security.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Preliminary statistics provided by the GOU show that in the first half of 2005, Uzbek law enforcement seized a total of 504 kilograms of illicit drugs. Unprocessed poppy accounted for 33 percent of the total, cannabis 30 percent, heroin 23 percent and opium 12 percent. Three agencies with separate jurisdictions have counternarcotics responsibilities: the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), the National Security Service (NSS), and the State Customs Committee. The MVD concentrates on domestic crime, the NSS (which now includes the Border Guards) handles international organized crime (in addition to its intelligence role), and Customs works at the border (interdiction/seizures at the border are also carried out by the Border Guards during their normal course of duties). Despite this apparently clear delineation of responsibilities, a lack of operational coordination diminishes the effectiveness of counternarcotics efforts. The National Center for Drug Control was designed to minimize mistrust, rivalry and duplication of effort among the agencies, but the Center continues to have difficulty accomplishing this goal. In 2005, training and equipment were provided to the State Customs Committee under U.S.-Uzbekistan counternarcotics-related bilateral agreements. In addition, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-supported MVD Special Investigation Unit, which became operational in 2003, continues to conduct effective counternarcotics investigations.

According to National Center reports, most smuggling incidents involve one to two individuals, likely backed by a larger, organized group. Resource constraints, however, have limited the GOU’s ability to investigate these cases. In general, information that has been gathered suggests smuggling rings are relatively small operations. These rings tend to be located on the border between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, where poor border controls allow group members to cross between the countries with relative ease. There are indications that smuggling activities are growing along the Turkmen-Uzbek border.

Lack of training and equipment continues to hamper all Uzbek agencies. Basic necessities, even the ability to replace aging Soviet era equipment, remain in short supply or seem administratively impossible. Uzbekistan has relied heavily on international assistance from UNODC, the U.S., the UK, and other countries to supplement their own thinly-funded programs. In 2005 UNODC continued its cooperation with the GOU. However, the GOU has shown greater reluctance to work with the United States and European Union-member countries. As a result, international counternarcotics assistance to Uzbekistan has slowed substantially.

Corruption. As a matter of policy the GOU policy does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances. However, corruption is endemic at all levels of government and the paying of bribes is an accepted practice. There are anecdotal accounts of drug traffickers bribing customs and border officials to look the other way to narcotics shipments. It is likely that some government officials are involved with narcotics trafficking organizations. Uzbekistan is not a party to the UN Convention Against Corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Uzbekistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol. Uzbekistan is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Uzbekistan signed the Central Asian Counter-Narcotics Memorandum of Understanding with the UNODC. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan signed an agreement in September 1999 on cooperation in combating transnational crime, including narcotics trafficking. The five Central Asian countries, as well as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey, are members of the Economic Coordination Mechanism supported by the UNODC.

Cultivation/Production. “Operation Black Poppy” has all but eliminated illicit opium poppy cultivation in Uzbekistan.

Drug Flow/Transit. Several major transnational trade routes facilitate the transportation of opiates and cannabis from Afghanistan through Uzbekistan to Russia and Europe. The border crossing point at Termez is increasingly a point for trafficking. Narcotics are being discovered in trucks returning to Uzbekistan after delivering humanitarian aid into Afghanistan as well as on trains coming from Tajikistan. The National Center and UNODC report that trafficking also continues along traditional smuggling routes and by conventional methods, mainly from Afghanistan into Surkhandarya oblast and from Afghanistan via Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic into Uzbekistan. The primary regions in Uzbekistan for the transit of drugs are Tashkent, Termez, Fergana Valley, Samarkand and Syrdarya.

Domestic Programs. According to the National Drug Control Center, as of the end of 2004 there were approximately 19,440 drug addicts in Uzbekistan. However, the number of registered addicts is believed to reflect only 10-15 percent of the actual drug addicts in Uzbekistan. During the last few years, there was an alarming growth in the number of persons who are HIV positive. Over 3,000 people, mostly drug addicts, have tested positive for HIV in the first 11 months of 2005, according to the World Health Organization office in Tashkent. Approximately half of the people infected with HIV are between the ages of 25 and 34. Hospitals with drug dependency recovery programs are inadequate to meet the increasing need. The Ministry of Health and National Drug Control Center have recognized the need to focus increased attention on the drug problem, but do not have sufficient funds to do so adequately. Drug awareness programs are administered through NGOs, schools and the mahalla (neighborhood) support system.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S.-Uzbek bilateral counternarcotics agreements focus on the prevention of illicit drug activities in and through Uzbekistan, and the need to increase the effectiveness of Uzbek law enforcement agencies to combat these activities. In spite of the GOU’s hesitance in 2005 to engage in U.S. sponsored training and programs in a variety of areas, including counternarcotics, some GOU agencies participated in U.S.-sponsored training in 2005. The DEA continues to fully fund, train and equip the SIU in the Ministry of International Affairs. The SIU has conducted a number of undercover and international operations, which have led to substantial increases in the amount of narcotics seized. Also in 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense provided training and equipment for the Border Guard Maritime unit on the Afghan border. In June 2005 the U.S. Government sponsored the travel of fourteen Uzbek Customs officials to El Paso, Texas to observe operations on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Uzbek officials visited all of the border crossings in the El Paso area where they observed U.S. Customs narcotics detection equipment and inspection methods and exchanged information with U.S. counterparts

The Road Ahead. The U.S. remains committed to providing support to appropriate Uzbek agencies to improve narcotics detection and drug interdiction capabilities. DOD plans further counternarcotics training for 2006.
Source: USA Department of State
 

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