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Albania

I. Summary

Albania continues to be used as a transit point for heroin, cocaine and marijuana due to its strategic location, weak police and judicial systems, and lax border controls. Heroin is typically routed through the "Balkan Route" of Turkey-Bulgaria-Macedonia-Albania and on to Italy and Greece. Drug abuse is not a major problem but is increasing. Largely in response to international pressure and assistance, the government has begun confronting criminal elements more aggressively, but lack of resources and corruption make it an uphill battle. The government has drafted some narcotics legislation in an effort to strengthen the anti-drug unit established in 1998 under the Ministry of Public Order. Albania is not a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

The government continues its efforts to build security and stability throughout Albania. One of its major accomplishments this year was the establishment of law and order in areas that had been almost totally out of central government control since 1997. The judiciary is engaged in improving the legal system and developing law enforcement skills, though it remains weak and subject to corruption.

The current government of Prime Minister Ilir Meta, in power since October 1999, has begun to implement commitments to crack down on organized crime. The Albanian military and police work closely with the Italian police and coastal patrol organizations to shut down smuggling runs of illegal immigrants, drugs and other contraband across the Adriatic to Italy.

Plagued by severe unemployment, crime, and lack of infrastructure, the Albanian public has little interest in the problem of drug abuse. There are no independent organizations that compile data on drug use in Albania, nor are significant government assets dedicated to tracking the problem. The limited press and media coverage on the subject speculates that drug use, especially among adolescents in cities, is on the rise. There are no special treatment centers for drug addicts.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The government recently drafted two laws, inspired in part by the 1998 UN Drug Convention, that call for national coordination of policies regarding use and trafficking of narcotics as well as establishing a framework to improve criminal investigations in drug-related cases, but no date was set for parliament to consider these drafts. The government is also taking an active role with its Balkan neighbors bilaterally and in regional initiatives to combat organized crime. Albania is an active participant in the Stability Pact and the Southeastern European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), and plans to participate in SECI's regional anti-crime center in Bucharest.

Accomplishments. Albanian police provided evidence to U.S. authorities in Albania in 1999 on a U.S. narcotics case in which the drugs were sent through Albania to the U.S. In 1999, the government cracked down on cannabis production in 44 villages across 11 districts, mostly in southern Albania. Anti-drug authorities do not have the capacity to determine crop size and yields, but estimate that police destroyed 91 thousand plants, or more than 70 percent of the local cannabis crop. Police report they destroyed 5 marijuana processing labs.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Authorities report that in 1999, police arrested 417 persons accused of drug trafficking and seized more than 7 kilograms of heroin, 2 kilograms of cocaine, 4500 kilograms of marijuana, and 13 liters of hashish oil. Police efforts to combat distribution of illicit narcotics may be increasingly effective since the government now has greater authority over areas previously out of their control. In cooperation with Italian authorities, Albanian authorities have made some progress in interdicting narcotics smugglers at sea.

Corruption. Corruption remains a deeply-entrenched problem. Low salaries and social acceptance of graft make it difficult to combat corruption among police, magistrates, and border officials.

Agreements and Treaties. Albania has an extradition treaty with the U.S. dating from November 14, 1935. Although it is not a party to any of the UN narcotics conventions, Albania is attempting to pass legislation consistent with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention, as stated above. Albania does not have any counternarcotics agreements with other countries.

Cultivation and Production. According to authorities in the anti-drug unit, cannabis is the only drug grown and processed in Albania, and is typically for consumption or sale in Turkey and Greece. They also report that cannabis production diminished in 1999 because last year's huge supply exceeded demand.

Demand Reduction. Drug abuse is a comparatively new problem in Albania and the government and Albanian society have been slow to address it. Local and national authorities do not believe the problem is particularly widespread, owing both to traditional cultural norms and low levels of discretionary income.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Albanian authorities cooperated fully with U.S. authorities in 1999 on law enforcement and transit issues, although few of these cases involved drug issues. Only one course was provided by the U.S. in 1999 and that was an 8-week counternarcotics course at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Additional courses for law enforcement and judicial infrastructure development were provided.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to encourage Albania to crack down on illegal drug trafficking and use, offer law enforcement assistance, and support legal reform. While no specific counternarcotics training has been programmed for FY2000, U.S. assistance will increase to provide additional guidance and training to law enforcement and judiciary bodies, including the assignment of a legal advisor.

Armenia

I. Summary

Armenia is not a major drug-producing country, and domestic consumption is relatively small. The Government of Armenia (GOAM), recognizing its potential as a transit route for international narcotics shipments, is meanwhile attempting to improve its interdiction ability. The Armenian parliament is presently considering legislation which would strengthen the Interior Ministry's mandate to combat drug trafficking. Because of limited government resources, however, counternarcotics programs emphasize prevention with little funding for treatment. In 1993, Armenia ratified the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Due to its geographical position at the Caucasus crossroads between Europe and Asia, Armenia has the potential to become an emerging transit point for international drug trafficking. Armenia is presently a secondary trafficking route for drugs because of limited transport between it and neighboring countries. Armenia's borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey remain closed due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but when these borders open, drug transiting could increase significantly. GOAM's immediate concern is to begin to prepare its law enforcement capabilities for this situation.

Drug abuse does not constitute a serious problem in Armenia. The local market for narcotics, according to the Interior Ministry, is not large and the main drugs of choice are opium and cannabis. The Interior Ministry reported that 40.6 kilograms of cannabis and 1.99 kilograms of opium were confiscated in 1999. "Hard" drugs, like heroin and morphine, are the drugs of choice for an estimated 10 percent of drug addicts in Armenia. Heroin first appeared in the Armenian drug market in 1996, and since then there has been a small upward trend in heroin sales. The Interior Ministry confiscated 180 grams of heroin during the first nine months of 1999, as compared to 63 grams during the same period in 1998. The average price for one gram of heroin in the Armenian market is $100-200.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. A draft law on narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and components has been prepared by the Interior Ministry, which would allow it to regulate traffic in narcotic drugs and precursor substances and would give the Ministry a clear lead-agency mandate for combating drug trafficking. The draft is currently undergoing legal clearance. Once approved, it will be sent to the parliament. The new Armenian draft criminal code includes a statute that for the first time makes money laundering a criminal offense. The draft criminal law is anticipated to pass its third and final reading in parliament in 2000. The Interior Ministry has also drafted a decree for the establishment of a joint committee to update the classification of drugs and to introduce stricter control over licit production, sale, and distribution of pharmaceutical drugs of a psychotropic nature. The decree is currently undergoing interagency clearance.

Accomplishments. According to the Interior Ministry, several tons of wild cannabis hemp and small amounts of poppy were eradicated by the police in 1999.

The Interior Ministry reports that 1105 drug-related crimes and offenses were committed in 1999. Ministry statistics for the first nine months of 1999 further reflect that there were 401 arrests for trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In 1999, the Interior Ministry began to deploy joint teams of Armenian police and customs representatives at each customs post and checkpoint. The Ministry obtained fifteen drug-sniffer dogs from Western Europe for this purpose.

Corruption. Although corruption is rampant in Armenia, there were no cases reported of government officials being involved in drug-related corruption in 1999.

Agreements and Treaties. Armenia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Armenia is a signatory to the 1992 Kiev and 1996 Dushanbe narcotics control assistance agreements of the NIS countries. In 1999, Armenia, Georgia and Iran signed a trilateral agreement on cooperation to combat drug trafficking. Armenia has also signed bilateral agreements on cooperation against illicit traffic in narcotics and psychotropic substances with the Customs Service of Turkmenistan, Customs Committee of Georgia, and the Customs Committee of Tajikistan.

Cultivation and Production. Cannabis (hemp) and opium poppy grow wild in northern areas of Armenia, particularly in the Lake Sevan basin and in some mountainous areas. No illicit laboratories producing synthetic drugs were discovered in Armenia in 1999.

Drug Flow/Transit. Transit of illegal drugs is recognized as the most serious concern for the GOAM, however, no estimates of the total amount of drugs transported through Armenia are available. The main drug routes run between Iran, Russia, and Ukraine and almost all heroin brought to Armenia originates from those countries. The Interior Ministry estimates that 55 percent of drugs are smuggled into Armenia by trucks and other motor vehicles and 43 percent by air.

Demand Reduction. There are no reliable statistics on the number of drug addicts in Armenia. However, the Interior Ministry estimates the number of drug addicts in Armenia at about 20,000. Slightly over half of these are believed to be unemployed, 20 percent are students, and 7 percent serve in the military. The only health agency responsible for treatment of drug addicts is the state-funded narcotics dispensary. Established in 1976, this agency has barely kept its doors open in the last few years due to an almost complete lack of funding. According to narcotics dispensary officials, fewer than 25 drug addicts were treated in the hospital during 1999.

In 1999, the Interior Ministry also registered an increase of drug abuse among women, although statistics were not released. A recent opinion poll carried out by an Armenian newspaper revealed that one out of every eight teenage boys and one out of 42 teenage girls had used a narcotic drug at least once.

The Armenian Emergency Management Administration, together with the Interior Ministry, produced four documentaries on drug abuse as part of an "early intervention" campaign. Presentations of the documentaries were held in all higher educational institutions, including the medical university.

Nevertheless, demand reduction is one of the most serious concerns of health authorities, due to poor financing, a lack of communication with remote rural areas, and a lack of interest in "preventative actions" on the part of local NGOs.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. New venues of cooperation were established between the U.S. and Armenian law enforcement agencies through the U.S. Legal Attach� in Kiev and the DEA Attach� from Ankara. At the request of the Counternarcotics Department of the Ministry of Interior, in April 1999, a U.S. Defense Department narcotics detection dog-training team came to Armenia to work with Armenian narcotics dog-handlers to improve the GOAM's narcotic interdiction capability. An Armenian representative also participated in a U.S. counternarcotics dog-training seminar in August 1999. In addition, Armenian officials have participated in U.S.-funded training sessions at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest, Hungary.

In 1998, a Department of State funded U.S. Treasury advisory team launched a program on combating money laundering and economic crimes for Armenian law enforcement officers and judges. Drug enforcement was one of the aspects of the program. In 1999, this program was expanded to address corruption and legislative issues.

In April 1999, a team of experts from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) conducted a needs assessment of Armenia's forensic laboratories, with the goal of providing equipment and training for Armenian forensic practitioners.

The Road Ahead. The USG will initiate discussions with the Armenian government regarding training and equipment to improve its efforts on interdiction of contraband smuggling including narcotics. Also, the Armenian government will be encourage increase its cooperation with neighboring countries in a regional effort to control drug trafficking through the Caucasus.

Austria

I. Summary

Austria is primarily a transit country for drug trafficking from the Balkans to western European markets. Illegal drug consumption is not a severe problem in Austria, and there is no significant production or cultivation of illegal substances. Organized drug trafficking is performed largely by non- Austrian criminal groups. New investigative tools implemented in 1998 have helped contain the growth of this crime. While not considered an important regional financial center, offshore tax haven or banking center, Austria remains an attractive site for drug-related money laundering. The government continues to implement measures to narrow avenues for money launderers and facilitate asset seizure and forfeiture. Cooperation with U.S. authorities is excellent; however, Austrian counternarcotics law-enforcement authorities acknowledge considerable underfunding and lack of personnel to do their job. Austria ratified the 1971 and 1988 UN drug conventions in 1997.

II. Status of Country

There has been no change in overall trends regarding organized drug crimes in Austria since 1998. Although not a significant producer of illicit drugs, Austria remains a transit country for drug- related organized crime along the major European drug routes. Foreign-based drug crimes by organized groups continued to grow in Austria in 1999. A November 1999 government report maintains that up to 30 percent of serious crimes in Austria in 1999 can be traced to organized crime groups, most of which originate in the NIS. Despite limited appeal of anonymous passbook savings accounts for criminal purposes, possibilities for money laundering through other, unmonitored transactions remain.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. There were no fundamental changes in the legal, political and organizational framework to fight drug use and drug-related crime in 1999. Key legislation that became effective in 1998 (Narcotic Substances Act) focuses on therapy for drug users but maintains severe penalties for drug dealers. While drug dealers may face up to 20 years in prison, first-time users of cannabis may avoid criminal proceedings if they agree to therapy.

A 1998 law allows for technical law enforcement surveillance of persons strongly suspected of having committed crimes that are punishable by terms of imprisonment of up to 10 years. These regulations have facilitated the surveillance of persons for whom police have evidence leading to "substantial suspicion" that they belong to a criminal organization. The Ministry of the Interior plans to increase the use of surveillance techniques in the future.

A "police powers law," effective in 1999, authorizes investigators to obtain personal data from private telephone companies in clearly defined situations, including suspicion of organized crimes. A proposal to allow police to collect and analyze information about likely extremist/terrorist groups without judicial approval and prior to the establishment of "substantiated suspicion" has been repeatedly postponed, but will be reintroduced in the 1999-2000 legislative session.

Accomplishments. With the help of new legal tools (see policy initiatives section) and the support of the DEA Country Office, police arrested over 100, mostly African, drug dealers in May and September 1999. According to Austrian authorities, the suspects formed part of a Nigerian drug cartel involved in drug dealing and money laundering in Austria. Investigators believe the dealers received the drugs, mainly cocaine and heroin, from South America and Asia. Daily turnover in Austria from this drug trade was estimated at around U.S. $ 40,000. Approximately half of the arrested drug dealers, including the key suspect, were released due to insufficient evidence. Four have been convicted and the rest await trial.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In 1998 (1999 figures not yet available), the overall number of domestic drug-related criminal offenses decreased by 7 percent to 16,624 compared to the previous year. Serious drug-related crime dropped by 19 percent to 2,198 over the same period. However, authorities still maintain that one out of two criminal offenses in Austria is drug-related. While the number of seizures dropped slightly (5 percent) to 6,849 in 1998, the amount of confiscated illegal drugs rose by 9 percent to over 1,700 kilograms.

Corruption. Austrian ratification of the OECD anti-bribery convention is complete. The ratification instrument was deposited with the OECD in Paris on May 19, 1999. Implementing domestic legislation has been in place since October 1, 1998. The GOA's public-corruption laws recognize and punish the abuse of power by a public official. Tax deductibility of bribes and any gray market payments are no longer possible in Austria. No records exist yet to assess the degree of enforcement. There were no cases pending at year's end that involve any bribery of foreign public officials. The U.S. Government is not aware of any high-level Austrian government officials' involvement in drug-related corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. The U.S.-Austrian Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty entered into force on August 1, 1998. The U.S. and Austria exchanged instruments of ratification on October 27, 1999, for a new U.S.-Austria extradition treaty. The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2000, replacing a 1930 extradition treaty and a 1934 supplementary extradition convention. The new treaty is a modern dual criminality treaty, i.e., it no longer lists specific extraditable offenses, but makes extraditable all criminal offenses that are prosecuted in both countries and carry a penalty of more than one year or a residual penalty of more than three months.

Austria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its 1972 protocol. It ratified the Council of Europe Convention in 1997 and the Europol convention in 1998.

Vienna is the seat of UNDCP, and Austria is a UNDCP major donor. The city of Vienna and various Austrian ministries co-sponsored a UNDCP training program in Kazakhstan in October 1999. Vienna is a co-sponsor of the "UN-Vienna Civil Society Award"-- a U.S. $100,000 prize given to individuals and organizations fighting drug abuse and organized crime. In July 1999 UN Secretary General Annan awarded the prize to organizations from India, Uganda, Japan, and Mexico. Austria participates in the World Health Organization, the Dublin group within the EU, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) and the Council of Europe's "Pompidou Group." Austria supports the Southeastern Europe Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Anti-Crime Center in Bucharest. In December 1999, Austria earmarked U.S. $ 20,000 for future vocational training projects in Bolivia, keyed to combat illicit cultivation of drugs.

Cultivation. The U.S. Government is not aware of any significant cultivation or production of illicit drugs in Austria.

Drug Flow/Transit. Traditionally, the routes of the Balkan drug path have been the major venues for illegal import/transit of southwest Asian heroin through Austria. The illicit trade is carried out mainly by Turkish groups, more recently also by traffickers from Albania and Macedonia, followed by nationals of countries of the former Yugoslavia and by Romanian and Bulgarian citizens. As in previous years, traffickers continued to use nearby Bratislava/Slovakia as one of the temporary depositories for heroin. Cocaine is imported by couriers of South American drug cartels, but also African traffickers, who increasingly rely on eastern European airports.

Domestic programs and demand reduction. Austrian authorities view drug addiction as a disease rather than a crime, a fact reflected in 1997 drug legislation and in related court decisions. Recent years have seen a growing trend toward an "integrative view" in drug policy, with special emphasis on the prevention of social marginalization of drug addicts. Demand reduction puts emphasis on primary prevention, drug treatment and counseling, as well as "harm reduction." The use of heroin for therapeutic purposes is generally not allowed. Primary intervention extends from preschool to secondary-school levels and relies on educational campaigns inside and outside school fora.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Although Austria has no specific bilateral narcotics agreement with the U.S., cooperation with U.S. investigative efforts is excellent. The Austrian Ministry of Interior has announced plans to establish a liaison office at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C., to handle bilateral issues involving all forms of crime, including illegal narcotics.

Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to support Austrian efforts to create more effective tools for law enforcement. Within the context of U.S.-EU initiatives, promoting a better understanding of U.S. drug policy will remain a priority for the U.S.

Azerbaijan

I. Summary

Azerbaijan is located along a drug transit route running from Iran and Central Asia, north into Russia and west into Western Europe. Consumption and cultivation of narcotics are at low but increasing levels. During 1999, the main drugs seized were opium and cannabis. Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act has precluded the funding of U.S. counternarcotics assistance in 1999. Azerbaijan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Azerbaijan's main narcotics problem is the increased transit of drugs through its territory resulting from the disruption of the "Balkan route" due to regional ethnic conflicts in several countries of the former Yugoslavia. Narcotics from Afghanistan and South Asia enter from Iran or cross the Caspian Sea from Central Asia and continue on to markets in Russia and Europe. Azerbaijan shares a 700-km frontier with Iran, but its border control forces are insufficiently trained and equipped to patrol it effectively. Iranian and other traffickers are exploiting this situation. Domestic consumption is growing with over 12,000 persons registered in hospitals for drug abuse in Azerbaijan. The actual level of drug abuse is estimated to be many times higher. Government authorities suspect that persons displaced by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have been drawn into drug trafficking out of economic necessity. The Government of Azerbaijan continues to claim that the Armenian occupied areas of Azerbaijan are used for drug cultivation. The Azerbaijan government also maintains that narcotics are transported across the approximately 100 km of Azerbaijan's border with Iran that is under Armenian control.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The government recently created a "State Committee on Drug Control" headed by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov. This committee has been charged with implementing United Nations General Assembly resolutions relating to drug control. The Minister of Education and the Minister of Youth and Sports are currently designing a new program for the year 2000 to treat drug addicts. In May, the Ministry of Internal Affairs initiated a pilot program in the southern portion of the country, along the border with Iran, to organize local counternarcotics police officials to work closer together across local jurisdictions.

Accomplishments. The United Nations Narcotics Drug Control Program has just completed a program of technical counternarcotics assistance in Azerbaijan. A new narcotics control law entered into force in August 1999. In November a new "Law on the Police" entered into force, which provides legal authority for the operational activities of police officials. Parliament is currently debating a new "criminal code" which will authorize the police to retain not only the assets they seize, which have been used in the commission of a crime, but also assets which have been gained as a result of criminal activity.

Law Enforcement Efforts. There were 1,705 drug-related arrests during the first nine months of 1999. Police lack basic equipment and have little experience in modern counternarcotics methods. Border control facilities on the border with Iran are inadequate to prevent narcotics smuggling.

Corruption. Corruption permeates the public and private sectors. Government officials including the president and prime minister have acknowledged the gravity of the problem, but have taken no significant concrete action. Current legislation has proven inadequate to address police and judicial corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Azerbaijan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention. Azerbaijan signed a protocol of intent on counternarcotics cooperation with Iran in 1996. There is no extradition or mutual legal assistance treaty in effect between the U.S. and Azerbaijan.

Cultivation and Production. Cannabis and poppy are cultivated illegally, mostly in southern Azerbaijan. During the first ten months of 1999, law enforcement authorities discovered and destroyed about 388 tons of cannabis and about 45 kilos of potential opium gum, which were under cultivation.

Drug Flow/Transit. Opium and poppy straw originating in Afghanistan and South Asia transit Azerbaijan from Iran, or from Central Asia across the Caspian Sea. Drugs are also smuggled through Azerbaijan to Russia, then on to Europe. For example, Azerbaijan traffickers smuggle Afghan heroin from Azerbaijan to the Baltic countries. Azerbaijan cooperates with Black Sea and Caspian Sea states in tracking and interdicting narcotics shipments, especially morphine base and heroin. Caspian Sea cooperation includes efforts to interdict narcotics transported across the Caspian Sea by ferry. Law enforcement officials report they have received good cooperation from Russia, but have encountered considerable reluctance from Iran to assist in counternarcotics efforts.

Demand Reduction. Opium and cannabis products are the most commonly used drugs. The Government of Azerbaijan has begun education initiatives directed at curbing domestic drug consumption.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. law enforcement exchange of information with Azerbaijan has increased since 1998. However, no counternarcotics programs were initiated because Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act prohibits such assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan.

The Road Ahead. Without legal authority to provide U.S. counternarcotics assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan, a key strategic partner in improving regional stability in the Caucasus, the U.S. is only able to engage in piecemeal bilateral counternarcotics cooperation with Azerbaijan.

Belarus

I. Summary

The economic, political and geographical situation of Belarus gives it the potential to become a major drug transit and production site. Economic conditions have sharply deteriorated in 1999. The Belarusian government lacks both the legislative framework and the financial resources to combat drug trafficking. Belarus' location between Russia and the West, its good rail and road transportation, and a customs union with Russia that eliminated internal borders between the two countries has facilitated smuggling of contraband. Belarus considers itself a filter of illegal immigration and contraband materials, but enforcement of its border controls is uneven. Belarus is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

According to Government of Belarus (GOB) statistics reported at a February 1999 Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) crime and drug conference held in Minsk, the GOB attributes 2.1 percent of all reported crimes to illicit drug trafficking. Crimes registered included: stealing narcotic and strong action substances; organizing or maintaining drug dens for using drugs; and forging medical documents with the aim of procuring drugs. Stringent internal security measures control organized crime while irregular importation by selected GOB state agencies are official sanctioned. Belarus has regional and bilateral law enforcement agreements against organized crime and drug trafficking. However, cooperation with neighboring countries is weak.

III. Country Actions Against Narcotics in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Responsibility for investigating and discovering narcotics-related crime is divided among the Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Security Service (KGB), Customs Committee, Border Guards, and Ministry of Health. An interagency commission for combating crimes and drug abuse is charged with coordinating the activities of the above listed agencies as well as state committees, public associations, and international organizations. The GOB has periodically announced campaigns to combating organized crime and drug trafficking, however, the level of interdicted smuggled narcotics or drugs confiscated from domestic seizures has been marginal.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In 1999, there were no significant arrests or seizures regarding drug trafficking reported. Police statistics indicate that during 1999, they eradicated small plots of poppy (40 acres), hemp (4 acres), and cannabis (.5 acres).

Corruption. Corruption among state enterprise directors is a serious problem affecting the economy, especially firms engaged in officially sanctioned importation alcohol and tobacco, which is then smuggled into Russia. Although several individuals have been arrested for corruption, their cases appear to be politically motivated.

Treaties and Agreements. Belarus is a party to the 1988 UN Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and the 1972 Protocol thereto, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The GOB has signed an agreement on drug control assistance with Italy, and has also signed interstate treaties on assistance with Lithuania and China. Belarus is a party to the CIS convention on legal assistance and cooperation on civil, family, and criminal cases. The USG has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the Government of Belarus. Belarus is a member of Interpol; however, Belarusian law has no provision for extradition.

Cultivation and Production. Domestic cultivation of drug crops is minimal. Belarus does however have major chemical production facilities, much of which are lying idle. There is presently no legislation in Belarus dealing with precursor chemicals. A variety of laboratories have the technical capabilities for the production of synthetic narcotics, but Belarus law enforcement does not have resources for sophisticated investigation of clandestine production.

Drug Flow/Transit. Belarus has good rail and road connections running east to Russia, west to Poland, north to the Baltics, and south to Ukraine. Incidents of drug transportation destined for Poland and Germany have increased dramatically as a result of the customs union that eliminated internal borders between Belarus and Russia. Some illegal immigrants arriving in Belarus attempt to finance travel to the West through narcotics smuggling.

Demand Reduction. Most Belarusian addicts use products made of opium poppy, poppy oil, or cannabis. Use of synthetic drugs, heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and other "hard" drugs is small but slowly increasing. It is estimated that the number of latent addicts in the country exceeds GOB official estimates by a factor of ten. No national drug abuse prevention strategy has been formulated in Belarus. The main emphasis is on treatment of current drug addicts, while only limited efforts are devoted to preventative and educational programs. Treatment for drug addicts is generally performed in psychiatric hospitals, either through arrest or self-enrollment. While the objective of these programs is to achieve detoxification and physical stabilization, knowledge is lacking on how to further assist addicts with psychological counseling and social rehabilitation.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Initiatives/The Road Ahead. Since 1997, the USG has conducted a policy of selected engagement toward the GOB because of the latter's suppression of democratic activities and its violation of human rights. No direct assistance to the Belarus state sector, including law enforcement, has been provided by the USG since that time and none is anticipated in the future, until such time as the democratic and human rights situation in Belarus improves.

Belgium

I. Summary

The Kingdom of Belgium is not a significant producer of narcotics or precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics; however, it is a major trader in chemicals and is frequently used as a transit country for precursor chemicals destined for South America. Narcotics traffickers continue to exploit Belgium's large port facilities, transportation infrastructure, and central location in Western Europe for transshipment of illicit drugs. Belgium experienced, through 1999, a radical increase of trafficking of MDMA (Ecstasy). Belgium is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Belgian law enforcement agencies have observed a continued increase in drug trafficking through Belgium from Asia and the Middle East via the Former Soviet Republics, primarily shipped via container through the well-established trafficking networks based in the seaports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge. Combating MDMA (Ecstasy) trafficking has assumed a higher priority. Ecstasy tablets are manufactured at clandestine labs on both sides of the Netherlands border, and carried via express mail companies, air-freight or couriers to other areas of Europe, and, increasingly, to the U.S. Ecstasy transiting Brussels through Zavantem airport is mainly controlled by Israeli trafficking organizations based in the Netherlands and in Antwerp, Belgium. Belgium is cooperating with U.S. law enforcement to disrupt this route for illicit drug trafficking.

Cannabis resin (hashish) is the most widely distributed and used illicit substance in Belgium, but heroin abuse produces the most important health and social problems, including drug-related crime. Belgian police continue to voice concern over the use of ecstasy and amphetamines by young people and over the collateral health ramifications.

III. Country Action against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. In 1998, the Government adopted a plan to re-organize the police forces, currently scheduled for implementation by April 2001. At the federal level, the plan will integrate the Gendarmerie and the Judicial Police into a police force to head major criminal investigations, including significant national and international narcotics investigations; the plan also provides for a new anti-corruption service for this federal police force. At the local level, the plan will merge Gendarmerie with Municipal Police.

The Ministry of Justice maintains drug liaison offices in 13 foreign cities (covering 33 countries), staffed by either Judicial Police or Gendarmerie officers, in Bangkok, Bogota, the Hague, Istanbul, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Rabat, Rome, Vienna, Warsaw, Washington, and Wiesbaden. The Rabat and Bangkok offices opened in 1999. In August, a new Belgian liaison officer assumed the post in Washington, after a nine-month vacancy in the position.

Accomplishments. In 1999, Belgium entered into bilateral police cooperation agreements with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, which are comprehensive in nature and provide a framework for cooperation on narcotics matters. Parliament passed new legislation on organized crime that defines a "criminal organization" and criminalizes membership in such an organization; it also endorses the use of undercover operations and wiretaps by law enforcement agents.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Belgian law enforcement authorities pro-actively investigate individuals and organizations involved in illegal narcotics trafficking into and through Belgium. The law enforcement efforts of the Gendarmerie currently focus on major trafficking organizations, particularly those involved in trafficking of heroin and, most recently, those involved in MDMA (Ecstasy). In 1999, Belgium fully met the objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Belgian authorities initiate and conduct investigations that are generally effective. Interdiction efforts by Belgian Customs Authorities at Antwerp and Zeebrugge are frequently successful despite insufficient resources and manpower. Customs officials report that a five-man team of inspectors is responsible for all port activities involving drugs, while on a daily basis three to four thousand containers are loaded and unloaded at the port of Antwerp alone. The inspection team has the capacity to search five to 10 containers per week. Customs also reports increased activity involving the ships' crew members which might indicate, for example, smuggling of smaller quantities of drugs by individual crew members or larger operations in which crew members arrange to off-load large amounts of drugs from the ship before reaching the dock.

Corruption. Corruption is not judged to be a problem within the narcotics units of the law enforcement agencies. Legal measures exist to combat and punish corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. The U.S. and Belgium have long had an extradition treaty; an updated treaty entered into force in 1997. The U.S. and Belgium have also ratified a supplementary treaty on extradition to promote the repression of terrorism, but it has not yet entered into force. A new MLAT entered into force January 1,2000. The U.S. has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with Belgium.

The Government of Belgium is currently negotiating police cooperation agreements with Russia and Slovakia, and expects these agreements to enter into force in 2000. Belgium has been a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention since 1995. Belgium is also a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol.

Belgium is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). As a Schengen member state, Belgium participates in the Schengen Working Group on Drugs. Belgium is a member of the Council of Europe's (COE) Pompidou Group. Belgium has fully implemented the EU Directive on Money Laundering and participates in the contact committee established by the Directive. Belgian authorities cooperate bilaterally on money laundering issues with Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.

Belgium is a member of several international anti-drug organizations, including the Heads of European Narcotics Law Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA), the European Committee to Combat Drugs (CELAD), and the Dublin Group. Belgium is a member of the major donors group of the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP). Despite serious efforts by Belgian law enforcement to combat illegal drug production, trafficking and use, the Government of Belgium has reduced funding and support for multilateral eradication efforts. It did, however, increase its UNDCP budget in 1999 to BF 15 Million (approx. $395,000).

Cultivation/Production. There is no significant cultivation or production of illicit drugs in Belgium, although police have noted an increase in production of amphetamines and ecstasy, primarily in illegal labs on the Belgium/Netherlands border. These labs are linked to criminal organizations that distribute the drugs within Europe and to the United States--most frequently through the cities of New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Orlando, Florida.

Drug Flow/Transit. Belgium remains an important transit point for drug traffickers because of its port facilities (Antwerp is Europe's second busiest port), airports, excellent road connections to neighboring countries, and central geographic location. Most illicit drugs pass through Belgium via the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge; across the border from the Netherlands; or through Brussels Zaventem airport. Smuggling routes change constantly, but Belgian authorities believe an increasing number of heroin shipments arrive from Central Asia via Turkey. Belgian Customs reports that the heroin is most probably concealed in containerized freight in relatively small quantities of 10-15 kilograms: because Antwerp is considered a "free trade zone," traffickers know that inspections of containerized freight are minimal. These shipments typically take one of two trafficking routes: in northern Europe through Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria, or in southern Europe through Italy. The cannabis originates in Morocco, Latin America and South East Asia and arrives via land, air and sea routes.

Domestic Programs. Belgium has an active anti-drug educational program that targets the country's youth, which the regional governments (Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels) now administer. Programs include education campaigns, drug hotlines, HIV and hepatitis prevention programs, detoxification programs, and a pilot program for "drug-free" prison sections. Unlike the U.S. approach, the Belgian approach focuses on the individuals who influence young people, rather than the young people themselves. Teachers, coaches and clergy, for example, are considered better suited to deliver the anti-drug message to the target audience because they already are known and respected by the young people.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Cooperation between the United States and Belgium continues to be excellent and to expand. DEA and FBI enjoy close and effective cooperation with the Judicial Police and the Gendarmerie. U.S. law enforcement agencies represented in Brussels enjoy excellent working relationships with the Belgian National Magistrates and Prosecutors offices.

During 1999, representatives from the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Department of State and the Belgian Ministry of Justice met to continue a series of bilateral consultations on improving judicial cooperation and streamlining procedures in judicial assistance matters (including extradition cases). Belgium participated with the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands and France, in the 1999 Caribbean Maritime Counter-Drug Initiative.

Belgium is active in the Egmont Group, an informal forum for cooperation on money laundering issues, which held its inaugural meeting at the Egmont Palace in Brussels in 1995, under the sponsorship of the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) and Belgium's Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (CTIF/CFI). Belgium chairs the Egmont legal working group, which drafted a model memorandum of understanding on international cooperation on money laundering issues.

The Road Ahead. The United States looks forward to continued close cooperation with Belgium in combating illicit drug trafficking and drug-related crime, and to continued Belgian participation in multilateral counternarcotics fora such as the Dublin Group.

Bosnia

I. Summary

Bosnia is a small market for drugs but a significant transshipment point for international narcotics. While inter-entity law enforcement cooperation is improving and has resulted in several major drug seizures, the growing narcotics trade remains closely linked to organized crime, public sector corruption, and ethnic extremism. The absence of effective border and customs controls, serious flaws in the judicial system, and the lack of political will to undertake serious reforms have left Bosnia a permissive environment for drug trafficking. Bosnia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and is working closely with the UN Drug Control Program (UNDCP) as well as the U.S. and other regional states on counternarcotics issues.

II. Status of the Country

Situated astride the historic Balkan smuggling routes, Bosnia remains a logical transshipment point between heroin and marijuana production centers in south Asia and markets in Western Europe. Domestic production has not been a major problem to date, but Bosnian officials believe that the wartime black market dramatically increased drug trafficking. Although the disproportionately large international community in Sarajevo is believed to be the primary internal narcotics market, local authorities have expressed concern that rapid urbanization, a relatively young population, high unemployment, and "foreign cultural influence" could contribute to the eventual development of a major market for narcotics consumption in Bosnia.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Border controls have been tightened with the introduction of public hotlines to report customs violations in September and should improve further with the phased deployment of a state border service beginning December 31, 1999. The USG and the international community continue to provide advice and assistance to local law enforcement agencies, including counternarcotics and task force training. Efforts are underway to revise local laws regarding narcotics to ensure conformity with the UN Drug Convention.

Accomplishments. Police counternarcotics operations have confiscated over 1.2 kilograms of heroin and have resulted in 335 arrests in 1999. A single raid in Sarajevo in December 1998 seized a 38-kilogram shipment of heroin following a joint investigation with Croatian and Slovenian authorities. With UNDCP support, narcotics arrests and seizures are recorded in centralized databases in both the Federation and the Republika Srpska (RS). UNDCP has also sponsored joint counternarcotics exercises for Federation, RS, and cantonal officers, and has provided introductory training to over 1,500 Bosnian officers to date. Bosnian authorities are working to formalize international cooperation through full integration into the Interpol network. Police officers are increasingly equipped to conduct drug tests at crime scenes, while four police laboratories in the Federation and one in the RS are now capable of conducting sophisticated analysis to support narcotics investigations.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Both narcotics-related arrests and drug seizures - including major successes such as the arrest of a smuggling ring in Maglaj in October - are on the rise. Plans to expand the Federation Interior Ministry's anti-drug unit are under consideration. Nonetheless, Bosnia remains largely dependent on the international community for leadership and material support in the war against drugs, as underscored by the necessity of multinational military action in October against anti-Dayton elements reportedly involved in narcotics trafficking. Limited legal penalties for narcotics offenses, a lack of political will, and local resistance to Federation jurisdiction over narcotics offenses continue to prevent a fully integrated national counternarcotics strategy to focus on major traffickers.

Corruption. Criminal elements involved in narcotics trafficking have been credibly linked to public officials. Although proceeds from the narcotics trade are widely believed to support the parallel institutions maintained by ethnic extremists, there are no laws specifically targeting narcotics-related public sector corruption and there have been no legal/enforcement actions against public officials for narcotics-related offenses. Combating the influence of criminal elements, corrupt officials, and ethnic extremists remains a leading priority for the embassy, the Multinational Peace Stabilization Force (SFOR), the United Nations Mission in Bosnia, and the Office of the High Representative (OHR).

Agreements and Treaties. There is no bilateral agreement between Bosnia the United States specifically pertaining to counternarcotics. A bilateral police training agreement does provide advice and assistance regarding a broad range of law enforcement issues, including investigative techniques and major case management. Both the Federation and the Republika Srpska have honored their formal commitment to cooperate on narcotics issues and have worked closely with the UNDCP under the terms of an agreement signed in 1997. Bosnia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and is actively pursuing a bilateral law enforcement cooperation agreement with Croatia to address regional narcotics trafficking.

Drug Flow and Transit. Heroin and marijuana shipments through several overland routes have increased markedly in the past year. Southwest Asian heroin from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan is routinely smuggled through Bosnia. Local authorities believe that Western Europe - not the U.S. - is the ultimate destination for this traffic. Bosnian police officers have indicated that elements from each ethnic group and all major crime "families" are involved in the narcotics trade, often in collaboration. They suspect - and are actively investigating - alleged links to German, Italian, Albanian, and Russian criminal elements.

Cultivation and Production. Federation Interior Ministry officials believe that domestic cultivation is limited to marijuana crops grown in Herzegovina.

Domestic Programs. Community policing programs sponsored by the USG, which include anti-drug segments, have reached over 40,000 Bosnian children. Although there are no domestic substance abuse programs, pilot community outreach programs in Sarajevo and Zenica have been attended by over 18,000 Bosnians.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The USG remains committed to providing the counternarcotics training and support necessary to encourage independent operations by Bosnian authorities.

The Road Ahead. The international community's police assistance efforts will increasingly emphasize sophisticated technical training and intensive professional monitoring. The USG will focus its training programs on organized crime, public sector corruption, counternarcotics, and border control. A standardized national information management system, providing equal access to all law enforcement agencies and direct access to international police agencies, is essential to enhance the investigative capacity of Bosnian authorities.

Bulgaria

I. Summary

Centrally located on the Balkans route, Bulgaria is an important transit route between Turkey and Western Europe for Southwest Asian heroin and Southeast Asian marijuana. Authorities have also seized maritime deliveries of South American cocaine. The GOB is working to implement its 1998 money laundering law in accordance with European practices. In March 1999, parliament passed a drug and precursors act to provide a sounder legislative basis for pursuing and prosecuting narcotics trafficking. The GOB requires schools to offer a demand reduction program. Law enforcement authorities cooperate actively with U.S. and other counterparts on counternarcotics cases and issues. Bulgaria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Bulgaria is a significant drug-transit country centrally located on three traditional Balkan routes between Turkey and, respectively, Serbia, Romania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Clandestine labs produce amphetamines, and diverted acetic anhydride is transported from Bulgaria to Turkey.

The GOB has wide-reaching, anti-crime legislation, including the 1998 money laundering law. As a result of 1998 legislation, the prosecutorial and investigative functions of the magistracy have been restructured. The prosecutor general, in office since January 1999, envisions a more effective prosecutorial assault on crime, including narcotics trafficking.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. National strategy against narcotics is coordinated by an inter-ministerial body composed of ministers or deputy ministers from 17 ministries and agencies. This council has designated the National Service for Combating Organized Crime (NESEBOB) as the national focal point to gather and analyze information from all agencies. NESEBOB has opened a Center for Narcotics Data Coordination in Sofia with five analysts. It plans to open similar centers in Plovdiv and Varna, and will provide additional training for its analysts with funding from the EU Phare/UNDCP multi-country drugs project. The government has made the fight against organized crime and corruption major priorities, and has pressed forward with an extensive legislative reform effort strengthening anti-crime legislation.

Accomplishments. Significant accomplishments in 1999 have included the passage of a new law on drugs and narcotics, the recent establishment of the Narcotics Information Center, initial applications of the money laundering law in conformity with international standards, and the productive use of assistance from the EU Phare and other western sources.

Law Enforcement Efforts. While the 1999 drug and precursors law provided the legislative framework for GOB anti-narcotics strategy, NESEBOB is attempting to carry out this strategy with a team approach. The Narcotics Information Center will coordinate data from internal sources, from INTERPOL, and from Romania and Macedonia, then be expanded to include data from the region as a whole. The goal is integration of national and regional anti-narcotics efforts. An added instrument, especially in the investigation of money laundering, is the new financial intelligence body in the Ministry of Finance. The move of many investigative functions from the former National Investigative Service to the police services, effective January 1, 2000, plans to streamline and accelerate narcotics investigations. Significant seizures during 1999 included: Heroin, 281 kilograms; opium, 6.4 kilograms; cocaine, 24.5 kilograms; and marijuana, 232 kilograms.

Corruption. Although there have been significant improvements under the current government, corruption continues to be a widely-alleged problem in Bulgaria, including among police and customs officials. The U.S., however, has no specific information that any senior GOB official has been involved in drug trafficking or other narcotics-related crimes.

Agreements and Treaties. Bulgaria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1990 Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of Proceeds from Crime. Bulgaria is also a party to the 1957 Council of Europe Convention on Extradition, the 1959 European Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty on penal measures, and the 1983 Council of Europe Convention on Transfer of Sentenced Persons. It also has a bilateral treaty with Turkey for transfer of convicted persons. Bulgarian Customs has memoranda of understanding on mutual assistance and cooperation with several European counterparts and is negotiating or updating others. The GOB coordinates with INTERPOL and Europol. A 1924 extradition treaty and 1934 supplementary treaty are in force between the U.S. and Bulgaria.

Cultivation and Production. There is no significant cultivation or production of any illicit narcotics in Bulgaria.

Drug Flow/Transit. The main illegal drug transiting Bulgaria is heroin from the Golden Crescent and South Asian sources, although marijuana and cocaine also transit Bulgaria. The northern Balkan route from Turkey through Bulgaria to Romania is the most frequently used overland route; although there are others through Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In 1999, GOB officials noted apparently increasing amounts of South American cocaine coming from Brazil. The precursor chemical acetic anhydride, possibly produced in Bulgaria or coming from Macedonia, is transported from/through Bulgaria to Turkey.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The drug abuse problem in Bulgaria is small but growing. Experts estimate there are at least 45,000 heroin users, fewer than 10 percent of whom are in treatment. Cocaine is too expensive for all but the wealthy. Marijuana has traditionally been used in rural areas. Ecstasy is an important and growing problem among university students. Increases in drug consumption continue to be particularly noteworthy among the marginalized Roma (gypsy) population, among whom glue sniffing is a serious problem, as well as in prisons, in some localized geographic areas, and among traffickers.

Demand reduction is receiving increased attention. The Ministry of Education requires the teaching in schools nationwide of health promotion modules on substance abuse. There is also a World Health Organization program for health promotion in 30 target schools. The Bulgarian National Center for Addictions provides training seminars on drug abuse for school teachers nationwide. The center and the Institute of Public Health co-sponsor municipal demand reduction programs in six major cities and a number of smaller communities. Three universities provide professional training in drug prevention. Specialized professional training in drug treatment and demand reduction has been provided through programs sponsored by UNDCP, EU Phare, and the Council of Europe's Pompidou Group.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Strategies

The U.S. promotes increased attention to the problems of narcotics trafficking and money laundering, assists Bulgarian law enforcement and anti-crime legislative reform efforts with training, advisory assistance and some equipment. It also encourages further cooperation between Bulgarian and U.S. law enforcement agencies, including DEA, the FBI and the Customs Service.

Bilateral Cooperation. Bilateral cooperation between U.S. and Bulgarian law enforcement officials is excellent. U.S. bilateral assistance has focused on mid-level training at the ILEA in Hungary. The U.S. has also provided advisory assistance to the GOB in the drafting of money laundering legislation and reform of the penal code and procedural penal code.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to encourage the GOB in anti-drug efforts, in combating money laundering, in drafting and implementing anti-crime legislative reforms and in mutual cooperation with U.S. law enforcement. It will work with the GOB to identify law enforcement training, advisory and equipment needs, and provide limited assistance to meet those needs. The U.S. will continue to encourage exchange of counternarcotics information with other states in the region and to promote increased regional, Western European and UNDCP support for Bulgarian law enforcement authorities.

Croatia

I. Summary

Croatia is not a major producer of illicit narcotics nor a major transit country. However, with its extensive coastline, geographic location in southeast Europe, and limited resources for patrolling its coast and borders, it offers significant possibilities for transshipping narcotics. Croatia's national narcotics strategy, which remained essentially unchanged from 1998, focused on reducing both the availability of and demand for narcotics. During 1999 no new anti-narcotics laws were passed, although a government commission proposed new legislation combating narcotics abuse. The Interior Ministry (MUP) was the government ministry most directly involved in anti-narcotics activities. In addition to its domestic efforts, the MUP conducted operations along Croatia's borders, sometimes jointly with neighboring countries, designed to disrupt Balkan-Route drug trafficking. Croatia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Variants of the Balkan Route crossed a large part of Croatian territory prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia, and the Government of Croatia is concerned about increases in transshipment concomitant with the opening of borders and increased border traffic with Bosnia and Serbia. Domestic narcotics abuse remains a priority area of attention, but not a problem that officials believe has significantly worsened during 1999.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Croatia continued to pursue its national strategy for combating abuse of narcotics. This initiative included implementation of measures to reduce both supply and demand for narcotics. The Interior Ministry (MUP) and the Justice Ministry had primary responsibility for the law enforcement aspects of the national strategy, while the Ministries of Education and Health, with assistance from the MUP, had responsibility for the strategy to combat drug abuse. The Interior Ministry's Drug Division oversees the work of smaller drug units in every police department throughout the country and maintains cooperative relationships with INTERPOL, as well as with counterparts in Italy, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Slovenia, and the U.S.

Law Enforcement Efforts. During the first 11 months of 1999, 5,738 seizures of narcotics were made, and 5,560 persons were investigated by the police. The number of seizures represents a 39 percent increase over 1998 figures. Seized drugs included: Heroin, 12.7 kilograms; cocaine, 1.7 kilograms; marijuana, 139.4 kilograms; hashish, 6.5 kilograms; LSD 247.5 doses; ecstasy, 14,319 pills; and amphetamines, 0.5 kilograms. Interior Ministry activities included gathering evidence against Croatians and members of organized crime groups, both domestic and international. The ministry conducted a series of anti-crime and tactical operations at border crossings especially with Balkan Route countries on land and sea and at airports. For example, Croatian and Slovenian police confiscated 39 kilograms of heroin during joint border operations and made several arrests. From its annual budget, the Interior Ministry provided financial support for equipment purchases.

Corruption. Throughout 1999 there continued to be allegations of corruption within senior levels of the then-ruling HDZ party; however, allegations linking officials to narcotics-related corruption have not been substantiated.

Agreements and Treaties. No new agreements or treaties were entered into in 1999. Croatia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Extradition between Croatia and the U.S. is governed by the 1920 extradition treaty between the U.S. and Yugoslavia. Pending passage of a new narcotics law, the government uses its adherence to the 1988 UN Drug Convention as the basis for prosecuting those suspected of trafficking in precursor chemicals. Croatia has signed and ratified treaties and other international agreements on combating terrorism, drug abuse and drug trafficking, as well as organized crime, with Albania, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Agreements with Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech republic, Pakistan, and the Russian Federation and are being drafted.

Cultivation/Production. The Interior Ministry continues a program to identify areas of marijuana cultivation. The ministry assesses that small-scale marijuana production (less than 10,000 plants) for domestic sale and use is the only narcotics production within Croatia.

Demand Reduction. The Ministry of Health, with limited resources, has implemented some demand reduction programs. The Ministry of Education requires drug education in primary and secondary schools. The state-run national medical system offers treatment programs for drug users. There are also several independent drug treatment centers, which focus their efforts on cocaine and heroin treatment. One such center reported 31 individuals seeking treatment for "angel dust" (PCP) use in 1999, the first such cases reported in Croatia.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The U.S. continues to urge increased attention by the GOC to drug issues. The Interior Ministry and U.S. law enforcement agencies cooperated well at the operational level during the year, but training programs for rule-of-law and law enforcement have been limited because of the authoritarian nature of the Croatian Government.

Cyprus

I. Summary

Although there continues to be no evidence of significant narcotics production on Cyprus, there is increasing concern on the island about a perceived increase in usage. The Government of Cyprus has traditionally adopted a low tolerance attitude toward any use of narcotics by Cypriots and has embarked on a pro-active public affairs strategy to remind Cypriots that narcotics use carries heavy penalties. Drug traffickers may use Cyprus as a transshipment point because of Cyprus' strategic location and its relatively sophisticated business and communications infrastructure. A party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, Cyprus strictly enforces tough anti-drug laws, and police and customs authorities maintain excellent relations with United States and other foreign governments. The Government of Cyprus made progress during 1999 in its efforts to combat money laundering. The Unit for Combating Money Laundering, which coordinates the Cyprus Government's efforts against such crimes, seized houses, apartments and cars using a 1996 anti-money laundering law. The Unit recorded its second conviction under the 1996 Law Against Money Laundering and has three pending cases in the local court system. The Cypriot authorities froze assets valued at more than U.S. $2 million. The Central Bank issued a comprehensive handbook of its guidance notes to its commercial banks and conducted a special examination of each bank's "know your customer principles" in March and April 1999. Cypriot officials involved in combating money laundering acquired extensive training in 1999 from the U.S., EU, UK, and others.

Cyprus monitors the importation and exportation of chemicals for local markets. Cyprus' geographic location and the free-port status of its two main seaports continue to make it an ideal transit country for trade in chemicals and most goods between Europe and the Middle East.

II Status of Country

Cyprus has a small, but growing population of soft-core drug users. Distribution increased during the summer months in the tourist areas. The Cypriot authorities aggressively pursue this distribution, as they do illegal cultivation, sale, transport, and financing. Cyprus attempts interdiction efforts for drugs transiting Cyprus when information is made available. There is no significant sale or identified financing occurring in Cyprus.

Cypriots themselves do not produce or consume significant quantities of drugs. The island's strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean may have served as a convenient stopover for traffickers in the past. The decline of Cyprus as a major transshipment point for entirely licit cargoes, bound to or from Lebanon and Turkey means that Cyprus is no longer as attractive for traffickers. Nevertheless, Cyprus offers highly developed business and tourism facilities, a modern telecommunications system, and the fifth largest merchant shipping fleet in the world. Still low by international standards, drug-related crime has been steadily rising since the 1980's.

III. Country Action against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The Unit for Combating Money Laundering has been expanded to 12 members. It includes three representatives from the Department of Customs, the Police, and the Attorney General's office. The Attorney General's office provided new office space for the Unit in 1999. This allowed most of the Unit's members to be co-located for the first time.

The Government of Cyprus amended its monetary declaration law to be in line with the European Union Money Laundering Directive of 1991. Financial entities are now required to declare transactions above 15,000 Euros (approximately USD 15,000).

In November 1999, The Central Bank consolidated all its previous circulars and guidance in a comprehensive handbook which it issued to all international banking units and administered banking units. The handbook covered, among other things, customer identification procedures, record keeping procedures and the appointment and duties of money laundering compliance officers.

On the drug enforcement front, Cyprus continued its vigorous efforts against all violators.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Cyprus aggressively pursues drug seizures, arrests, and prosecutions for drug violations.

Corruption. There is no evidence of senior or other officials facilitating the production, processing, or shipment of drugs.

Agreements and Treaties. Cyprus is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the proceeds from crime. A new extradition treaty between the United States and Cyprus entered into force in September 1999. The U.S. and Cyprus signed a mutual legal assistance treaty in December 1999 and the U.S. plans to submit the treaty to the Senate for advice and consent in 2000. The USG has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the Government of Cyprus.

Cultivation/Production. The only known production is the limited, but increasing, cultivation of cannabis for individual use and, on a smaller scale, for resale. The only illicitly cultivated controlled substance in Cyprus is cannabis, and this is grown only in small quantities for local consumption. The Cypriot authorities vigorously pursue this illegal cultivation.

Drug Flow/Transit. No significant increase in drug flow or transit has been observed over the last year. Cyprus police believe their efforts in combating drug trafficking have mostly converted Cyprus from a drug transit point to a "broker point" for dealers. This change is likely also the result of improved conditions in Lebanon. Lebanese containerized freight now moves directly to third countries without transiting Cyprus. However, there were occasions in 1999 when kilograms of heroin seized in London were identified as transiting Northern Cyprus from Turkey.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Cyprus actively promotes demand reduction programs through the school system and through social organizations. Drug abuse remains relatively rare in Cyprus. Hashish is the most commonly encountered drug, followed by heroin and cocaine, all of which are available in most major towns. Users consist primarily of young people and tourists. Recent increases in drug use have prompted the government actively to promote demand reduction programs through the school system and social organizations, occasionally with DEA-Nicosia participation. Drug treatment is available.

Part IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Cyprus has excellent cooperative relations with its neighbors and Western nations, including the U.S., and is quick to assist when requested. On 30 June 1998, Cyprus became a member of the international Egmont Group. This will increase Cyprus' effectiveness in combating money laundering by strengthening its cooperation with other financial intelligence units and by removing past obstacles that prevented the free flow and exchange of information. One of the highest goals of the U.S. government in Cyprus is the deterrence of money laundering activities on the island. U.S. support for this goal comes from the top. The Ambassador and other members of the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia raised the issue repeatedly during the year with key Cyprus Government officials.

Road Ahead. The USG anticipates continued close cooperation from the Cypriot Office of the Attorney General, the Central Bank, the Cyprus Police and the Customs Authority officials in our drug enforcement and anti-money laundering efforts. The USG will make every effort to track the influence/effect of organized crime on Cyprus. The Cyprus Government must heighten its efforts to change the informal code of silence, which predominates within its banking community. Instead of merely turning questionable deposits away, banks must begin aggressively to report on all such activities.

Czech Republic

I. Summary

The end of Communist rule and the opening of borders a decade ago, coupled with a westward shift in patterns of international trade, resulted in a steady increase in illicit drug trafficking through the Czech Republic. In the second half of the decade, the Czech Republic itself has become a destination country for illicit narcotics and psychotropic drugs consumption. Domestically, heroin and pervitine (a synthetic stimulant) are the most abused drugs. The rise in illicit narcotics activity has led Czech policy in 1998-1999 to shift towards a more repressive rather than preventive orientation. Amendments to strengthen the 1996 money-laundering law and related changes to the criminal code are before Parliament. Additional measures such as increasing prison sentences for drug dealers are under consideration. Czech cooperation with international law enforcement counterparts is excellent and reaping results in large seizures and multilateral arrests. The Czech Republic is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

The Czech Republic remains a transshipment and stockpile point mainly for heroin from Turkey traveling the traditional Balkan route to Western Europe, and Nigerian marijuana destined for central and northern Europe. In 1999, with Italy's tightening of border controls to stem the flow of Kosovar refugees, Czech authorities encountered a significant increase in Kosovar-Albanians trafficking heroin through Czech borders. Colombian and other Latin American cocaine trafficking has continued. Cocaine is too expensive for most Czech consumers and is used mainly by Western "drug tourists" who transit Czech territory destined for Scandinavia. Crack cocaine is found in small quantity in the Czech Republic. There are indications of an emerging trend of amphetamine smuggling to the United States through the Czech Republic. Czech authorities are abating illicit synthetic drug production by small domestic labs, and intercepting precursor chemicals (most recently from Ukraine) which are diverted from legitimate domestic pharmaceutical production.

III. Country Actions Against Illicit Drugs in 1999

The Czech government has addressed illicit narcotics abuse with more emphasis on criminal than social and health dimensions. A law criminalizing narcotics possession for personal use became effective in January 1999. Czech authorities have implemented the new law on a reasonable basis, focusing their limited resources on enforcement action against major producers and dealers of illegal drugs, although individual growers of marijuana plants face charges under the new law. In the first ten months of 1999, the Czech Police National Anti-Drug Center (NDAC) submitted 4600 criminal charges for narcotics crimes, of which just 260 were for individual drug possession under the stricter standard of the new law. Kosovar Albanians, Turks, and Colombians have a strong position as illicit suppliers and generally operate within Czech territory by employing Czech nationals. As a new development, Russian-speaking organized crime syndicates are attempting to penetrate the Czech illegal narcotics market.

Accomplishments. The Czech National Anti-Drug Center (NADC) operates in close cooperation with a Czech Customs Unit focused on arms and narcotics smuggling. In 1999, Czech officials realized significant seizures of heroin destined to northern Europe leading to arrests in multiple countries, predominantly of Czech, Yugoslav/Kosovar and Scandinavian citizens. A Czech-U.S.- German action completed in early 1999 led to the biggest cocaine seizure (135 kilograms) in the Czech Republic and the elimination of an entire criminal network involving Colombian, Spanish and Russian nationals. Also in 1999, the Czech NADC located and apprehended the Kosovar Albanian drug boss Prince Dobrosi who had undergone plastic surgery to conceal his identity. Czech officials extradited him to Norway from where he had escaped a 14 year prison term. The Czech government secured the extradition of a Czech citizen from Costa Rica for prosecution as a major trafficker. Czech authorities, including the Financial Analytic Unit (FAU) of the Finance Ministry, record increased reports of suspicious transactions received from the banking, securities and real estate industry. Thirty of the 200 suspicious reports in 1999 were referred by the FAU to the police for prosecution. Czech authorities are not readily able to quantify the extent to which the various money-laundering reports are specifically narcotics-related. The largest money-laundering case intercepted by the FAU in 1999 amounted to U.S. $ 2.2 million dollars, which were the proceeds of cashing counterfeit checks.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The Czech Police National Anti-Drug Center (NADC) and its Customs partner are among the most effective Czech law enforcement units. Czech police and Customs cooperation with U.S. counterpart agencies is excellent. Despite successive years of budget cuts for Czech law enforcement, the NADC was authorized a substantial personnel increase in 1999 to a planned total of seventy agents. However, budget constraints continue to adversely affect operations. For example, despite a German Government donation in 1999 of eight vehicles, the NADC total vehicle pool has declined by two service cars. The NADC anticipates contending with a 27 percent cut in its 2000 budget, compared with the 1999 level.

UN Drug Control Program (UNDCP) funding for the Czech Republic is largely phasing out. A final 1998-1999 UNDCP grant of U.S. $ 162,000 will help the purchase of communications equipment.

Corruption. Narcotics-related corruption among Czech public officials is negligible and strongly resisted within NADC ranks. In July 1999, a local police chief and two police officers were charged with alleged complicity in illegal heroin trade. The outcome of the prosecution is pending in the backlogged Czech court system.

Agreements and Treaties. The Czech Republic is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In November 1999, the Czech Parliament ratified the U.S.-Czech Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). Both the U.S. and the Czech Republic have ratified the treaty and it is expected to enter into force in early 2000, after the exchange of instruments of ratification. The USG concluded a Customs Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the Government of the Czech Republic in 1993, and terms of the agreement were productively invoked in early 1999. The Czech Republic is a party to the World Customs Organization's International Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance for the Prevention, Investigation, and Repression of Customs Offenses (Nairobi Convention), Annex X on Assistance in Narcotics Cases.

Cultivation/Production. The Czech Agriculture Ministry monitors the cultivation and marketing of opium poppies which are produced for use as poppy seed, a major ingredient of Czech cuisine. In 1999, poppy production totaled 28 thousand tons, in line with average annual poppy production which ranged from 10 to 25 thousand tons in the past decade. There is no cultivation of coca or opium. Marijuana production is negligible and, in 1999 under the new law against personal possession, arrests occurred of individuals with household plants.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. The Czech government's growing budget deficit and funding cuts assessed for most ministries has led to a second successive year of funding cuts for prevention and education programs. This is despite the fact that the majority of drug abusers are in the 15-19 age range, with as many as 5 percent of addicts under the age of 15 years. The age of first time heroin use continues to drop, and alarmingly occurs mostly by intravenous ingestion. The Czech government finances an extensive network of counseling and health centers readily available on an anonymous basis for drug abuse drop-in and continuing treatment, but budgets allocation lag behind increased demand. Needle exchange programs are established and well-used.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Czech law enforcement agencies maintain close and effective operational relationships with U.S. counterparts, especially the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Customs. Czech Health Ministry officials participate actively in international conferences aimed at improving controls on trade in precursor chemicals and work closely with U.S. DEA regional precursor specialists based in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Road Ahead. The Czech Education Ministry in 1999 reached agreement with the United States and United Kingdom embassies to cooperate on a demand reduction education program, after several years of negotiation. Embassy Prague is now providing a grant from the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs prior-year funds to the non-profit Czech Center for Conflict Resolution/Partners for Democratic Change to train teachers in demand reduction methods. In 1998, American specialists collaborated with the British Know-How Fund, the Czech government's National Inter-Ministerial Drug Commission, and the Czech Ministry of Education in the development of a nation-wide drug education curriculum and publication of an instruction manual. In 2000, about 400 primary and secondary school teachers and district-level anti-drug coordinators will receive practical training in the range of prevention skills outlined in the manual. By training-the-trainers, the program participants will be well positioned to return to their individual schools to further educate other teachers and administrators in innovative prevention techniques and strategies.

Denmark

I. Summary

Denmark's strategic geographic location and status as northern Europe's primary transportation hub make it an attractive drug transit country. The Danes cooperate closely with their Scandinavian neighbors and the EU to check the transit of illicit drugs, and Denmark plays an increasingly important role in helping the Baltic States combat narcotics trafficking. While quantities of drugs seized in Denmark are relatively small, Danish authorities assume that their open border agreements and high volume of international trade allow some drug shipments to transit Denmark undetected. Within Denmark, heroin use increased dramatically in 1999, while amphetamines and ecstasy remain popular among a growing number of younger Danes. As a result of the EU requirement that member states establish National Centers for Investigative Support (NCIS), Denmark replaced their National Drug Intelligence Unit (NDIU) with an NCIS. Although the name has changed, the mandate remains the same. Denmark is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Drug traffickers utilize Denmark's excellent transportation network to bring illicit drugs to Denmark for domestic use and for transshipment to other Nordic countries. There is evidence that drugs from the Baltic countries, and central Europe pass through Denmark en route to western Europe states and the U.S., although the amount flowing to the U.S. remains relatively small. Kosovar Albanians are the newest actors in the European drug trade. Their activities in Denmark have caused heroin seizures to increase over 500 percent - from 18.1 kilos last year to over 110 kilos in 1999.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Denmark complies with the requirements of all major international narcotics-related conventions and agreements of which it is a member. Denmark also contributes toward the development of common counternarcotics standards within the international organizations of which it is a member. Denmark continues to provide training, financing and coordination assistance to the three Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) principally to improve interdiction efforts. As part of the Politi Told Nordic (PTN - Nordic Police Customs) agreement, Denmark has a Customs officer stationed in Lithuania.

Danish authorities view narcotics-related money laundering as a manageable problem despite Denmark's role as a major financial center. Banking procedures are transparent and are subject to government review and high taxation, which discourages prospective money launderers and minimizes the likelihood of improper use of the banking system.

Accomplishments. Danish police continued their aggressive counternarcotics efforts in 1999. Danish law permits forfeiture and seizure of assets in drug-related criminal cases. Authorities strongly uphold existing asset seizure and forfeiture laws and cooperate with foreign authorities in such cases.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Danish cocaine and amphetamine seizures were down in 1999, reflecting increasingly effective narcotics control efforts. Through September 1999, Denmark confiscated 15 kilos of cocaine (down from 29.1) and 8.5 kilos of amphetamines (down from 16.4). On the other hand, seizures of heroin and hashish have risen dramatically. So far in 1999, 110 kilos of heroin have been seized (up from 18.1), including 64 kilos from a German national, arrested in August, who was working for a group of Kosovar Albanians. In April 1999, 12 tons of hashish was seized on board the M/V Kvedarna, a Lithuanian registered ship run by criminals with ties to Danish and Russian organized crime.

Denmark continues to bolster the interdiction capabilities of the Baltic States. One of the bases of operations is on the Baltic island of Bornholm, Denmark's easternmost territory, where a continuing project involving the customs services and police, in cooperation with the Danish Navy, work to interdict narcotics, other smuggled contraband and illegal migrants.

Corruption. The USG has no knowledge of any involvement by Danish government officials in drug production or sale, or in the laundering of their proceeds.

Agreements and Treaties. Denmark is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and adopted the enabling legislation for the European Drug Unit (EDU) in 1997. The USG has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the Government of Denmark. Denmark participates in the Dublin Group and EU meetings on related topics.

Drug Flow/Transit. According to law enforcement officials in Denmark, drugs transit Denmark on their way to neighboring European nations and, in small quantities, to the U.S. The abilities of the Danish authorities to interdict this flow are slightly hampered by its EU membership and its open border policies.
Denmark's interagency group responsible for monitoring the distribution of precursor chemicals reported no infractions in 1999. In 1998, U.S. authorities criticized Danish customs for lax enforcement on precursor exports to Latin America. Since that time the Danes have become extremely responsive and proactive on monitoring exports.

Demand Reduction. Denmark's Ministry of Health continues to estimate that there are between 10,000 and 12,000 drug users in Denmark, but this low tally includes only those people who are officially registered as addicts with the government and enrolled in government programs. The country maintains an extensive counternarcotics education program in schools and youth centers. Drug addicts are treated in a large number of institutions throughout Denmark. In addition to in-patient care at hospitals, out-patient care is available at hospitals, youth crisis centers, and special out-patient clinics. These programs are free of charge to Danish residents. Since 1996 the government funded programs which involve the treatment of addicts through a medically supervised reduction program as an alternative to serving prison sentences. The debate on a proposal to permit doctors to supply some addicts with heroin continues, but support for the proposal is waning.

The Road Ahead. In the coming year, the Danish authorities hope to increase their seizures of ecstasy and work closely with the Norwegian authorities in interdiction efforts. The Danes will also continue to build on the PTN agreement to increase information sharing and cooperation against narcotics trafficking.

Estonia

I. Summary

Seizures of illicit drugs, increasing numbers of serious crimes committed by drug abusers, and significant growth in the domestic demand for hard drugs all illustrate Estonia's expanding involvement in the narcotics trade. The Government of Estonia (GOE) has acknowledged the seriousness of the problem and through strong anti-drug legislation passed in 1997 is confronting the consumption and trafficking of illegal drugs. Although a party to other UN counternarcotics conventions and protocols, accession to the 1988 UN Drug Convention has been delayed pending revision to current Estonian law.

The extent of the money laundering problem in Estonia is unknown. The recently enacted law on money laundering should enable officials to begin addressing this issue.

II. Status of Country

Estonia's geographical position, on the edge of the Baltic Sea between Europe and Russia, makes it an attractive transit area for illegal drugs. The country's growing economic integration with the world economy has attracted millions of tourists. Frequent passenger ferries, linking Estonia to Finland and Sweden, disembark thousands of tourists at a time on the docks, making border control difficult. In addition to package-laden tourist ferries, small boats and freight vehicles are used for drug trafficking.

Since the mid-1990's when Estonian law enforcement clamped down on the illegal metal and wood trades, organized crime has increasingly turned to narcotics trafficking. In one incident in October 1999, the drug squad of Tallinn police arrested 20 members of a drug trafficking gang which had close ties to organized crime. The total amount of narcotics seized during the investigation ran into kilos.

According to the counter-narcotics department, Estonians have been charged with organizing illegal drug shipments that never enter Estonia, but are shipped between other countries. In separate incidents, two boats formally owned by Estonian resident Vassili Trofimov were seized with drug contraband. The Latvian-flagged "Nemo" was seized in France with 23.5 tons of marihuana and the St. Vincent-flagged "Tammsaare" was captured near the Canary Islands with 97 kilos of cocaine and 280 kilos of heroine on board.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Law Enforcement Efforts. One police officer in each police prefecture throughout the country has been assigned specific responsibility for drug matters. The coordinating body for the involved law enforcement agencies is the Counter-narcotics Office of the Central Criminal Police. Forty-five full-time counter narcotics officers are assigned to the Tallinn-based Central Criminal Police Bureau, compared to 33 in 1998. A special 25-member counter-narcotics team in Tallinn regularly patrols the streets, high-crime areas, and youth nightspots. In 1999, drug-sniffing dogs began accompanying these team members during their rounds. A separate counter-drug office was established in Tartu, Estonia's second largest city. Another office was opened in Narva, located on the Estonian-Russian border, which is considered to have the second most serious drug problem after Tallinn.

Corruption. The U.S. Government (USG) is not aware of any narcotic related official corruption having taken place in 1999.

Agreements and Treaties. Estonia's law on narcotics and psychotropic substances is the legal basis for controlling drugs, their precursor chemicals, and the trafficking of both, and deals with the treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers. The law took effect on November 1, 1997. Estonia also aspires to meet all the requirements of the United Nations drug conventions. Estonia is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. A working group has been set up within the Ministry of Internal Affairs to work for the accession to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Certain parts of current Estonian law conflict with the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and the GOE must first amend the Credit Institutions Act, the penal code and the penal procedure code before adopting it. On April 2, 1998, the United States and Estonia signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, but it has not yet entered into force. In addition, there is a 1924 U.S.- Estonia extradition treaty and a 1935 supplemental treaty that is still in force.

Cultivation and Production. While the cold weather precludes Estonia from becoming an important source of narcotic crops, small amounts of opium poppies and cannabis have been reportedly cultivated. Primarily for their own use, addicts convert poppy straw into an injectable acetlyated opium solution known as "liquid heroin". Estonian authorities as well as foreign experts have reported that the necessary precursor chemicals and technical expertise are present in Estonia to allow for the clandestine manufacture of amphetamine.

Drug Flow and Transit. The annual illegal drug trade in Estonia amounts to several hundred million U.S. dollars. Amphetamines and other stimulants are imported from Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and, possibly, Russia. Estonian dealers and traffickers also have established direct contact with cocaine sources in Latin America, including Colombia and Venezuela.

In 1999, 192 drug-related crimes were registered, a 16 percent increase over the same period attributable not only to growing drug abuse, but also to the expanding expertise of law enforcement officials.

A separate counter-narcotics unit is functioning under the National Customs Board. Eight border guards have been trained to work with drug detecting dogs. The Estonian Customs Board has entered into a cooperation agreement with three private freight-forwarding companies to halt the expansion of drug trafficking both into and through Estonia. This agreement is directly responsible for the arrests.

Demand Reduction. By international standards Estonia's narcotics trade situation is not grave. While hard figures are not available, the estimated number of drug abusers is about 12,000. According to Estonian police officials, the increased use of MDMA is one of their most pressing concerns. Law enforcement officials report that MDMA is available for purchase in almost every bar and nightclub in the capital city of Tallinn and has become the drug of choice among the 15 to 25 year old age group.

The growing demand for cocaine and heroine, recently unknown in Estonia, implies that unless properly reined in, narcotics-related problems will begin to pose a threat to the society.

Estonian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and youth organizations are also actively participating in counter-narcotics efforts, with a series of anti-drug advertising campaigns, educational exhibitions, lectures and video seminars designed both for students and teachers. Drug related topics are a compulsory health education subject of Estonia's basic and secondary education state study program.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation U.S. training programs during 1999 were limited. One Estonian policeman traveled to the U.S. for counternarcotics training via a U.S. Information Service program and the USG again provided Estonia with several narcotics test kits. In October, GOE officials participated in a USG sponsored regional money laundering seminar in Lithuania.

The Road Ahead. In 2000, the USG intends to offer Estonia additional training dealing with drug enforcement and with organized and financial crime. A regional counter- narcotics seminar will be held in Riga. Another priority will be to continue encouraging the GOE to become party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Finland

I. Summary

Finland is not a significant narcotics trafficking or money laundering country. However, drug abuse has increased steadily during the 1990s, and drug-related crimes have increased nearly four-fold during the decade (including domestic marijuana cultivation, mostly for personal use.) Some criminal groups in Finland, with connections to Baltic and Russian organized crime, are used to distribute narcotics to the domestic market.

An efficient and professional law enforcement community nonetheless vigorously combats drug abuse and narcotics trafficking, regularly intercepting major shipments and denying traffickers an easy transit point and market. Effective controls on the Russian border have prevented the overland route from developing into a trafficking conduit. The police are concerned, however, about heroin and amphetamine shipments arriving from the St. Petersburg area and the Baltic countries, respectively. Finland is a major donor to UNDCP, and is active in counternarcotics initiatives within the European Union. Finland is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Finland remains an insignificant country with respect to narcotics production, trafficking, cultivation, and production/diversion of precursor chemicals. Finnish law enforcement authorities effectively counter the threat of trafficking from abroad and energetically combat domestic abuse. Estonia, the Netherlands, Russia, and Spain are Finland's principal sources of illicit drugs. Hashish is the drug most often seized by the Finnish police. Trafficking in highly-purified amphetamines from Estonia, including the drug "ecstasy," is a continuing concern for Finland. According to the police, these drugs are not generally manufactured in the Baltic region but are produced elsewhere in eastern Europe. Finnish authorities affirm that their land border with Russia is well-guarded by both sides and that the border has not become a significant narcotics transit route. They express continuing concern, however, about a fairly recent development: the arrival in southern Finland of high-quality, powerful heroin ("white heroin") from the St. Petersburg area. Despite declines in the amount of heroin seized during the first nine months of 1999 and 1998 as compared to corresponding periods in 1997 and 1996, the Finns say the stronger heroin being intercepted is increasingly intended for the local Finnish market and is not merely, as in the past, transiting Finland. A Finnish police liaison officer assigned to the Finnish Consulate in St. Petersburg works with the Russian authorities to combat this and other threats to Finland.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. In late 1998, the Finnish government released a comprehensive policy statement on drugs. This statement clearly articulates Finland's policy on drugs--complete prohibition. It reminds citizens that all narcotics manufacturing and trafficking are crimes punishable under Finnish law.

Accomplishments. Finland enacted legislation criminalizing money laundering in 1994. The police do not yet have final money laundering statistics for 1999. However, they estimate that they will have investigated fewer cases of narcotics-related money laundering in 1999 than during the previous year (ten fairly minor cases in 1998). During 1999, Finland maintained its staffing of one customs officer and one national police officer at Europol's European Drugs Unit (EDU) in the Hague. The Finnish authorities believe that their presence at EDU enhances their domestic counternarcotics effort.

Law Enforcement. For 1999, the police estimate that they will have investigated approximately the same number of cases of indoor cannabis cultivation as in 1998 (190 cases), extrapolating from half-year statistics. During 1999, there were no seizures of indigenously cultivated opiates, no recorded diversions of precursor chemicals, and no detection of illicit amphetamine, cocaine, or LSD laboratories in Finland.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, limited police resources focused law enforcement authorities on major narcotics cases and on significant traffickers, somewhat to the detriment of street-level patrols, investigations, and prosecutions. The police say the result of this change has been to lessen drug users' fear of arrest and to make "recreational" drug use more widespread. According to the police, the steady rise in drug use during the 1990s has led to a situation in which the number of drug offenders greatly exceeds the resources deployed to combat illegal drugs. The police report that, following the release in late 1998 of the government's policy statement on drugs, greater resources have been devoted to combating drugs at the street-level.

There are approximately 24 local crime groups in Finland, some of which have connections with organized crime in the Baltic's and Russia. These groups are used by organized crime as facilitators and distributors of narcotics to the Finnish market.

Corruption. There have been no arrests or prosecutions of public officials charged with corruption or related offenses linked to narcotics money in Finnish history.

Agreements/Treaties. Finland is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and its legislation is consistent with all the Convention's goals. Finland has extradition treaties with most countries, but seldom extradites Finnish nationals to other countries. A number of Finns have been returned to Finland for prosecution, however. Extradition legislation now before parliament would make it easier to extradite Finnish suspects to other countries. Finland is a member of the major donors' group within the Dublin Group. The vast majority of its financial and other assistance to drug-producing and transit countries has been via the UNDCP. Finland has bilateral narcotics agreements with Estonia.

Cultivation/Production. Indoor cannabis cultivation is a fairly new phenomenon in Finland, according to the police. While most home-grown cannabis is for private consumption, some is intended for trafficking. Finland's climate and short growing season make natural cultivation of cannabis and opiates almost impossible. Local cannabis cultivation involves small numbers of plants in individual homes using artificial lighting. The distribution of the 22 key precursor chemicals used for cocaine, amphetamine, and heroin production is tightly controlled.

Drug Flow/Transit. The police confiscated a record amount of hashish (100 kilograms) in April 1999. In October 1999, the police seized significant amounts of the amphetamine "ecstasy" in what may be the largest case ever of ecstasy smuggling to Finland.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Existing Finnish legislation covers the distribution, sale, and transport of narcotic substances, as well as extradition, law enforcement, transit cooperation, precursor chemical control, and demand reduction. It also criminalizes abuse of illicit drugs with sentences of up to two years in prison. The police believe it is imperative to criminalize the system effectively in order to send a strong deterrent message to the "demand" end.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives

U.S. Policies. In January 2000 Finland will host a two-week DEA regional drug enforcement seminar in Helsinki. The DEA-conducted seminar will bring together participants from Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Bilateral Cooperation. Finland does not have mutual legal assistance, precursor chemical, or money laundering treaties with the United States. Multilateral treaties, including membership in the UNDCP, constitute the basis of Finnish cooperation with the U.S. on counternarcotics initiatives. Finland's multilateral commitments cover the spectrum of law enforcement, investigative, and jurisdictional cooperation.

The Road Ahead. Draft legislation has been sent to the Finnish parliament which would increase the law enforcement community's ability to pursue criminals using additional investigative tools undercover investigations, and authorization to make controlled "buys," etc. (wiretapping was authorized in 1995.) The police say they are confident that parliament will approve this legislation next year. Following the issuance of the government's comprehensive policy statement on drugs in late 1998, the police have been preparing a study based on the new drug policy that advocates allocating greater resources to counternarcotics efforts.

France

I. Summary

France is an important transit country to other European countries, particularly for heroin originating in southwest Asia, cocaine originating in South America, cannabis originating in Morocco, and ecstasy originating in the Netherlands. Although heroin use appeared to decline, it continued to be a concern to French officials because of its health and social impact. Cocaine consumption increased, and cannabis (primarily hashish) consumption continued to be a problem, particularly among young people, where the number of users continued to grow. A major concern of French officials was the rising number of users of ecstasy and the large quantities of this synthetic drug entering France. Like other European countries, France increasingly faces the problem of "polytoxicomanie," or multiple drug addiction. France is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

French government narcotics data for 1998, released in the spring of 1999, show that the number of persons arrested for trafficking in heroin and cannabis remained significantly greater than for any other drug. The 1998 data also shows arrests for cocaine/crack trafficking and use up the third year in a row, but the amount of heroin seized and the number of arrests for heroin use/resale both fell significantly, indicating that actual use of heroin was also down for the third year in a row. Ecstasy and cannabis continued to be the most widely abused drugs in France, and cocaine use increased as more cocaine from South America entered the country. Reports in 1999 of large ecstasy and cocaine seizures indicate that the amount of ecstasy and cocaine seized in 1999 was even greater than in 1998.

III. Country Action Against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. In March 1999, France adopted a new law on drug use in sports, creating an independent administrative council for prevention of drug abuse in sports, "le Conseil de Prevention et de Lutte contre le Dopage" (CPLD), with authority to require sports federations to test athletes and discipline violators. Under the law, supplying doping products to athletes is a crime, but use is not. Sports federations remain responsible for imposing disciplinary sanctions against users.

France's drug control agency, "la Mission Interministerielle de Lutte contre la Drogue et la Toxicomanie" (MILDT), is the focal point of French national drug control policy and coordinates among the many ministries involved. In June the Government of France (GOF) adopted a new national drug policy based on the approach proposed in 1998 by the MILDT, which includes a three-year plan of action (1999-2001) to integrate illicit drugs into France's anti-narcotics programs efforts against the abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs. The plan focuses on prevention, including health, welfare and education programs, while reaffirming the role of law enforcement activities.

Accomplishments. France has stabilized and perhaps even reduced the number of heroin users. Having adopted a new national drug policy, the GOF began to implement a three-year national drug control strategy. French law enforcement officials continue to interdict and seize large quantities of narcotics destined for or transiting France.

Law Enforcement Efforts. French counternarcotics authorities are efficient and effective. In 1999 French authorities made three record seizures of narcotics. In February, French officials seized 1,270 kilograms of cocaine, the largest recorded seizure of cocaine in France, in the village of Tigery. The cocaine originated in Colombia and arrived in France by ship after being repackaged in Guadeloupe. In the same month officials made the largest seizure of cannabis in French history, approximately 23,235 kilograms, from a fishing vessel in the English Channel. The third record seizure took place in March, when 584,000 ecstasy tablets were seized on a truck which entered from Belgium and was about to depart for England. In 1998, heroin seizures (amounting to 343 kilograms) decreased by 17.25 percent, with the number of arrests for use/resale down 37.16 percent. At the same time, however, seizure figures for other drugs increased: cannabis by 1.05 percent (55,698 kilograms), cocaine by 24.47 (1,050 kilograms), LSD by 212.22 percent (18,580 doses), and ecstasy by 474.15 percent (1,142,226 doses).

Corruption. Narcotics-related corruption among French public officials is not a problem. The USG is not aware of any involvement by senior officials in the production or distribution of drugs or in the laundering of drug proceeds.

Agreements and Treaties. France is party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The U.S. and France have narcotics-related agreements, including a 1971 agreement on coordinating action against illicit trafficking. In 1996 the two countries signed a new extradition treaty to replace a 1911 treaty and a 1971 supplementary convention currently in effect. The U.S. ratified the new extradition treaty in 1998; France has not yet ratified it. As a participant in the G-8's Lyon Group of senior experts on transnational organized crime, France has modeled its handling of extradition issues on "best practices" for countries that do not extradite their own nationals. The U.S. and France signed a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) in 1998 but it has not yet been ratified by either party.

The U.S. has a customs mutual assistance agreement (CMAA) with the France. GOF officials participate in international multilateral drug control efforts, including UNDCP, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and the Dublin Group. In 1998, France was the ninth largest donor to the UNDCP, giving 8 million francs (approximately $1.3 million), with particular emphasis on judicial assistance, border controls in southwest Asia, and money laundering.

Cultivation/Production. French authorities believe the cultivation and production of illicit drugs is not a problem in France. France cultivates opium poppies for medical use and produces amphetamines. It reports its production of both products to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and cooperates with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to monitor and control those products.

Drug Flow/Transit. An important transshipment point for illicit drugs to other European countries, in 1999 France received most of the heroin from southwest Asia, whether consumed in France or transiting to other Western European countries, via Turkey, Iran and the Balkans. New routes for transporting heroin from southwest Asia to Europe are developing through central Asia and Russia. French authorities believe that only a minor amount of heroin from Colombia entered France. France is a principal transit route for Moroccan cannabis (hashish) to European markets, and for South American cocaine to destinations in Europe. Most of the South American cocaine entering France comes through Spain and Portugal. West African drug traffickers also use France as a transshipment point for heroin and cocaine, moving heroin from both southwest and southeast Asia (primarily Burma), and to the U.S. through west Africa and France, with a back-haul of cocaine from South America to France through the U.S. and west Africa. Law enforcement officials believe west African traffickers stockpile heroin and cocaine in Africa before shipping it to final destinations. Most of the ecstasy in or transiting France is produced in the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the U.K.

Domestic Programs. MILDT coordinates France's demand reduction programs, targeting target government officials, counselors, teachers, and medical personnel. The GOF continued its experimental methadone treatment program. Public debate continued concerning decriminalization of cannabis, but the GOF remained opposed to any change in the 1970 drug law that criminalizes all uses of illicit substances, including cannabis.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Counternarcotics law enforcement cooperation between the U.S. and France continued to be excellent. In October, U.S. and French narcotics law enforcement officials met in Sicily for a four-day conference with their Italian and Canadian counterparts to discuss issues of mutual concern. The sharing of seized and forfeited assets between the U.S. and France, in cases involving international counternarcotics cooperation, is handled on a case by case basis.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue its cooperation with France on all counternarcotics fronts, including multilateral efforts such as the Dublin Group and UNDCP. The U.S. will continue to seek to conclude a bilateral counternarcotics maritime agreement for the French Caribbean with France.

Georgia

I. Summary

Georgia is a secondary transit route for narcotics flowing from Central Asia to Europe. The potential for Georgia to become an important narcotics transit route in the future is exacerbated by the lack of control the government exercises over some of its borders and territory. Despite recent efforts at reform and personnel changes, law enforcement agencies remain overstaffed, under-equipped, poorly paid, and have a reputation for corruption. In response to Government of Georgia (GOG) requests, the United States Government (USG) is providing training and equipment for the border guards and customs officials. Georgia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and is working with the UN Drug Control Program (UNDCP).

II. Status of Country

Georgia is presently a secondary transit route for heroin smuggled from Afghanistan to Europe and morphine base, also from Afghanistan, being transported to Turkey. Given Georgia's geographic location and its ambition to be a key element in a future overland trade corridor between Europe and Asia, there is a possibility it could also emerge as a major drug route. Local involvement in drug trafficking remains limited, but cigarette, fuel and alcohol smuggling are major illegal activities in Georgia. Interdiction efforts are hampered by Georgia's lack of control of all its territory and its borders, some of which are under separatist control. Border guards and customs officials are poorly paid and, despite recent personnel changes, the latter service is especially liable to corruption.

III. Country Action Against Drugs In 1999

Policy Initiatives. counternarcotics efforts are coordinated under an inter-agency group chaired by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) with the Ministry of State Security (MSS) as Deputy Chair. The interagency group did not undertake any significant counternarcotics policy initiatives in 1999, in large part due to the lead agencies being fully tasked for other priorities involving Georgian national security.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Drug seizures and arrests in 1999 were greater than in 1998. Despite a growing awareness of the dangers of increased narcotics transiting, all of the relevant law enforcement agencies in Georgia suffer from a lack of financial resources. Their personnel are under-equipped and poorly trained. Command lines are vague and these organizations are vastly over-staffed.

Corruption. Corruption is a significant problem within Georgia's law enforcement agencies. Government officials generally do not encourage or facilitate illegal narcotic activity, though a number have been involved in the smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol. Georgia's anti-corruption efforts are hampered by the widespread acceptance of corruption within Georgian society. Despite numerous investigations and firings, petty corruption on the part of lower level government officials is still widely tolerated as an inevitable consequence of economic hardship and subsistence salaries, often unpaid for months at a time. Customs officials lack proper training and are easily corruptible. Although the head of the Customs Service is appointed by the President, other positions are reportedly purchased.

Agreements and Treaties. The Government of Georgia has no counternarcotics agreements with the United States. Georgia has been a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention since January 1998. Georgia is also a party to the Council of Europe Prisoner Transfer Treaty. Apart from a cooperation agreement between Georgian and Turkish Interior Ministries, there are no formal mechanisms to exchange counternarcotics information.

Cultivation and Production. Estimates by the GOG on the extent of narcotics cultivation in Georgia are unreliable and do not include those areas of the country outside the central government's control. Given the small amount of low-grade marijuana grown mainly in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains, largely for domestic use, Georgia is not demonstrably a significant producer of narcotics. Although Georgia has the technical potential to produce precursor chemicals, it is has no known capacity for presently producing significant quantities.

Drug Flow/Transit. The government has no reliable statistics on the volume of drugs transiting Georgia. The central government only recently has assumed control from the Russians over the borders on the territory it does control and it still lacks effective control over other parts of its borders.

Demand Reduction. There are approximately 11,000 drug addicts of all sorts in Georgia, according to MOI estimates. The national program prepared by the MOI's anti-narcotics unit is comprehensive; however, program implementation has been constrained due to a lack of resources. Besides law enforcement activities, the government's strategy involves the treatment of addicts and the education of young people as keys to the long-term reduction of domestic drug use.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The USG has dedicated $16.5 million in fiscal year 2000 to the Georgian Law Enforcement Assistance and Border Security Program. This program will assist the GOG in developing the capabilities of its border guards and customs officials to help it assume effective control of its borders. In October 1999, a counternarcotics component of this program was conducted by DEA and U.S. Customs to train joint classes of border guards and customs officers in contraband enforcement and the use of narcotic test kits. Upon completion of the training, two hundred test kits were divided equally between the two departments.

The Road Ahead. Corruption in Georgian law enforcement agencies makes it unlikely that counternarcotics efforts will become effective in the near future. Without radical reform and extensive personnel changes, the effect of financial and technical assistance from the U.S. and the international community will be largely nullified. Any assistance to Georgian law enforcement, including counternarcotics, must include provisions for these reforms and must be closely monitored for progress.

Germany

I. Summary

Located in the center of Europe, Germany is a significant crossroads for drug trafficking. Germany continues to be a major consumer of illicit drugs, though 10-month figures for 1999 indicate a slight decline in the number of first-time hard drug users. Heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana are the most abused illegal drugs. A 316-kilogram seizure of heroin in February was the largest quantity of that drug ever seized in Germany. Turkey continues to be Germany's primary source of heroin moving it via the traditional Balkan and northern Balkan land routes. Ecstasy smuggling to the United States through Germany is on the rise. Germany has criminalized money laundering but the law's reporting mechanisms remain a drawback. Germany is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Drug couriers from around the world travel to or through Germany via its major airports at Frankfurt and Duesseldorf and seaports such as Hamburg and Bremen on the North Sea and Rostok on the Baltic Sea. Germany acts as a major transit point for heroin destined for the European market. Turkish traffickers remain the most significant heroin trafficking group. Colombia remains the main source of cocaine transiting Germany. Police report that smuggling from Venezuela has decreased. Germany is the world's leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, making it a target for precursor chemical diversions.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Under the ruling coalition between the Social Democrats and the Greens, coordination of drug policy was transferred from the interior ministry to the health ministry late in 1998. This signified a change in emphasis: drug use and drug problems now are to be approached more as social and health concerns rather than criminal problems that require punishment. State Secretary Christa Nickels, who is in charge of drug issues in the health ministry, is focusing on prevention efforts and raising awareness of drug addiction as a sickness. She recently announced the formation of an independent addiction and drug commission to advise her. A public media campaign on drug prevention "to make children strong" is in the works. The Bundestag (parliament) is now discussing the establishment of so-called "fixerstuben" that would provide controlled environments, or 'safe havens' that administer drug paraphernalia (clean needles etc.) for addicts. Certain "fixerstuben" also administer methadone programs. U.S. law enforcement agencies report that the changes have not reduced Germany's efforts to fight international drug trafficking.

Germany contributed U.S. $ 4.2 million in 1998 to the UN drug control program. Due to federal budget restrictions, that amount was reduced to between U.S. $ 700,000 and 800,000 in 1999. Most of the funds are earmarked for alternative development programs that assist small farmers in Bolivia to develop alternative crops to coca.

Accomplishments. Through October 1999, police have seized six illegal laboratories used for the production of synthetic drugs. For the first time, an ecstasy laboratory was discovered in one of former East German states - Saxony anhalt. The substances seized would have produced 40,000 ecstasy tablets. Almost half the ecstasy tablets seized in the first half of 1999 were destined for the United States. Last year, Germany added khat and mushrooms containing psilocybine to its list of illegal drugs. Through October of 1999, police seized 3959.8 kilograms of khat (primarily from Somalians) and 24.8 kilograms of mushrooms. Both narcotics were primarily brought into Germany from the Netherlands (where khat is not considered a narcotic). Heroin seizures were on the rise in 1999, in part as the result of a February seizure of 316 kilograms of heroin in Frankfurt an der Oder in the state of Brandenburg.

Law Enforcement Efforts. At the state and federal levels, German law enforcement efforts are effective and cooperation with U.S. counterparts is excellent.

Corruption. Isolated cases of corruption may occur but it is not a major problem in Germany. The government does not encourage or facilitate the production or distribution of illicit drugs.

Agreements and Treaties. Germany has been a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention since 1993. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) negotiations between the U.S. and Germany are active and moving toward completion. The USG has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the Government of Germany.

Cultivation/Production. Police occasionally discover marijuana plants cultivated for personal use, but there is no large-scale cultivation of any type of drug in Germany.

Drug Flow/Transit. The numerous transshipments of drugs through Germany remain a cause for concern. However, U.S. law enforcement agencies report no grand initiatives on this issue by Germany during its presidency of the Schengen countries and the European Union. Turkey remains the major country of origin of heroin passing through Germany trafficked by Turks, Germans, Italians, Moroccans, and Yugoslavs. Most cocaine seizures involved drugs from Colombia, though other countries of origin include Costa Rica, Nicaragua, the Netherlands and Brazil.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. It will be some time before efforts to combat drug use through a new emphasis on prevention, as is the focus of the Health Ministry, can be assessed.

IV. U. S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. German law enforcement agencies work closely and effectively with their U.S. counterparts - particularly the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) - in narcotics-related cases. They routinely cooperate in joint investigations. This year, DEA and German law enforcement agencies cooperated to counter the surge in ecstasy smuggling to the U.S. Methods including controlled deliveries in the U.S. resulted in the confiscation of 160 kilograms of ecstasy and 20 arrests. The DEA reported cooperation in two cases in which German law enforcement agencies would have been eligible for the sharing of confiscated assets valued at U.S. $ 60,000. But Germany has no mechanism for its law enforcement agencies to accept seized assets. Close cooperation to curb money laundering continues between DEA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Customs Service and their German counterparts.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. mission in Germany will continue to encourage conclusion of an MLAT, to urge the strengthening of money laundering laws and to call for greater ease in the official flow of information. U.S. law enforcement agencies intend to develop their newly established ties with police in the eastern states.

Greece

I. Summary

Greece is an important "gateway" country in the transit of illicit drugs. Narcotics flow into Western Europe both through Greece's porous marine borders and through land borders with neighboring countries. Heroin and hashish enter Greece via Turkey, while cannabis and other drugs enter via Albania, Bulgaria and FYROM. Greek authorities report that drug abuse, particularly of heroin, is increasing. The country has the second highest rate of increase in drug overdose deaths in Europe.

Local U.S. authorities report an excellent working relationship with Greek law enforcement agencies. The government of Greece (GOG) is an active member of international anti-drug and anti-money laundering organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Dublin Group, in which its representative chairs the Balkans/Near East regional working group. The GOG signed the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) anti-crime initiative and plans to participate in the work of the regional anti-crime center in Bucharest, including a specialized task force on counternarcotics. Greece is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Greece's geography, particularly its extensive coastline and numerous islands, its merchant marine (largest in the world), and its membership in the European Union make it a favored drug transshipment route to Western Europe. Two major Balkan drug routes pass through Greece: from Turkey through Greece and Albania to Italy, and from Turkey through Greece to Bulgaria and on to central and Western Europe.

The domestic market for illicit drugs is growing, particularly for heroin. A recent study by the University of Athens found that the use of narcotics tripled in the last 15 years. Greek officials in charge of counternarcotics policy estimated the number of persons in Greece using heroin on a regular basis at approximately 40,000, an estimated 90 percent of the heroin addicts using it intravenously. Other drugs used include cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, barbiturates, amphetamines, and locally grown marijuana. Academic sources estimated the average age for first time marijuana use to be 13 years old. Solvents are the most widely used substances among high school students (6.5 percent in 1993 and 13.7 percent among students aged 15-16 in 1998).

While not a major producer, supplier, or transshipment point for precursor chemicals, Greece has a special customs unit to track and investigate chemical imports and exports.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The Ministers of Health and Justice approved the extension of the government's network of methadone treatment, in addition to two methadone treatment centers already in Athens and in two in Thessaloniki, to several other major cities in Greece. OKANA, the Ministry of Health's agency for combating narcotics use, treats approximately 650 addicts at the four existing methadone treatment centers and has 1,800 people on its waiting list. It also runs a needle exchange program; syringes are inexpensive and readily available in pharmacies. (Greece has the lowest prevalence of HIV infections in Europe, around four percent.)

The Ministry of Justice, with OKANA and the Ministry of Health, undertook the creation of a treatment facility for prison inmates addicted to drugs. The center, to be located in Avlona (Thiva), is in the process of recruiting its 120-person staff.

Accomplishments. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (SDOE) of the Ministry of Finance has participated in a number of narcotics interception operations since it was activated in 1987. In May 1999, after a 10-month investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), working with the Hellenic National Police (HNP), SDOE and Hellenic Coast Guard seized about four tons of cocaine, 4.5 million dollars, and arrested 16 suspects. Greek authorities' valuable assistance to DEA also led to the arrest of several high-level Colombian traffickers based in Barranquilla and Panama.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The Central Narcotics Council, composed of representatives from the Ministries of Public Order, Finance, and Merchant Marine, coordinates Greece's drug enforcement activities. Cooperation between U.S. and Greek law enforcement officials is excellent; the GOG pursues U.S. requests for legal assistance energetically. Although Greek laws permit the seizure of assets related to drug convictions, they do not permit the sharing of seized assets with other countries.

Due to budget constraints, Greek authorities are unable to devote adequate resources to anti-narcotics activities; as a result, police equipment is often outdated and training is infrequent. The anti-narcotics unit of the Greek police does not have its own budget.

Corruption. The Ministry of Public Order opened a Bureau of Internal Affairs in October 1999 to combat police corruption. A billion drachma (about $350 million) package was under development to train police and deter corruption. Local U.S. authorities had no reports of serious corruption within the narcotics department of the police force, nor in other governmental anti-narcotics agencies. The government ombudsman's office, created in 1998, has authority to investigate corruption complaints within the governmental bodies that bear the anti-narcotics responsibility in Greece.

Agreements and Treaties. Greece is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and meets the convention's goals and objectives relating to drug cultivation, distribution, sale, transport, law enforcement, transit cooperation, and demand reduction. Greece has passed implementing legislation for essential and precursor chemical controls. An agreement between the GOG and the U.S. to exchange information on narcotics trafficking has been in force since 1928, and an extradition treaty has been in force since 1932. A new Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between the U.S. and the GOG was signed and awaits ratification by Congress and the Greek Parliament. Progress was made in 1999 to advance the Police Protocol agreement which, when signed, will enhance operational police cooperation between the two countries. The U.S. has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the GOG.

Cultivation/Production. Cannabis, cultivated in small amounts for local consumption, is the only illicit drug produced in Greece.

Drug Flow/Transit. Greece is a major transshipment route to Western Europe for heroin from Turkey, hashish from the Middle East, and heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana from South Asia. Marijuana and other drugs are smuggled across the borders from Albania, Bulgaria and FYROM. Marijuana has been smuggled into Greece on pack mules across the mountainous border with Albania. Hashish is off-loaded in remote areas of the country and transported to Western Europe by boat or overland. Larger shipments are smuggled into Greece in shipping containers, on bonded "TIR" trucks, in automobiles, on trains, and in buses. Such trucks typically enter Greece via Turkish border crossings, then cross the Adriatic by ferry to Italy. A small portion of these drugs is smuggled into the U.S., including Turkish heroin that is traded for Latin American cocaine. Nigerian drug organizations smuggle heroin and cocaine through the Athens airport, and increasingly through the Aegean islands, from Turkey. The police have raided several organizations selling anabolic steroids (not a controlled substance in Greece) by mail to purchasers in the U.S. Cocaine also transits through Greece to other parts of Europe.

Domestic Programs. OKANA coordinates all national anti-narcotics policy in Greece. It heads demand reduction efforts, develops and administers information and prevention programs, runs treatment centers for substance abusers, and coordinates with other agencies involved in narcotics treatment and prevention.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. DEA has a close working relationship with representatives of the Greek coast guard, the national police, customs, SDOE, and INTERPOL.

Embassy Athens' economic section maintains regular contact with SDOE and facilitated the visit by the U.S. Treasury's FinCEN (financial crimes enforcement network) to SDOE in October 1999. The Embassy's office for public diplomacy regularly distributes literature on drug prevention, and periodically arranges background briefings with DEA officers for local journalists and general informational seminars. Local DEA officials are frequent speakers at local schools. Another program provides grants to Kethea (a self-regulating legal entity under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, providing treatment, vocational training and social rehabilitation to drug addicts) to bring U.S. rehabilitation experts for two weeks at a time to train Greek therapists.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will encourage the GOG to continue to participate actively in international organizations such as the Dublin Group. DEA will continue to seek funding to offer training to Greek officials.

Hungary

I. Summary

Hungary is an important transit country for illegal narcotics to western Europe. Overall, the number of seizures increased by 12 percent, while the total weight of drugs confiscated slightly decreased. Domestic consumption of illegal narcotics, particularly LSD and ecstasy, continues to be a problem. The Government of Hungary (GOH) passed anti-drug legislation in late 1998 that went into effect in early 1999. Among the strictest in Europe, the new legislation introduced stiff penalties for using and/or selling narcotics. This legislation was followed by a government campaign to eliminate corruption among government officials, especially those in the political or judicial sphere. Drug traffickers may be punished with life imprisonment. Civil rights activists have argued that the new laws unfairly punish casual users. The USG and GOH have both a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and an Extradition Treaty. An information sharing MOU to further improve U.S.-Hungarian law enforcement cooperation was signed in January 2000. Hungary is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Hungary continued to serve as a major transit country for illegal narcotics smuggled from southwest Asia, mainly heroin from Turkey, and the Balkans to western Europe. Unrest in the former Yugoslavia, coupled with the good road, rail and air connections in Hungary, make Hungary an attractive route for drug smugglers. Drug confiscation on Hungary's borders increased slightly in 1999, although several important areas showed steep declines. For example, heroin confiscations declined, in part due to the vigilance of inspectors at Budapest's Ferihegy international airport, diverting heroin shipments to other routes. Yet, Nigerian cocaine traffickers continue to successfully smuggle cocaine into Western Europe through the Hungarian airport. Moreover, in 1999, the number of marijuana and hashish confiscation's increased sharply (over 20 percent) over 1998 figures, according to GOH reports. The reduction in the weight of these confiscations, however, was even more startling. The gross weight of marijuana confiscated in 1999 compared to 1998 fell by over 90 percent. Similar figures are available for hashish confiscations by weight. The GOH assesses that foreign groups primarily control the transit and sale of narcotics in Hungary, particularly from Albania, Turkey and Nigeria. Many of these groups have been resident in Hungary for many years. Ethnic Turks increasingly are using more sophisticated means of transporting drugs through Hungary, including the use of German-licensed vehicles that are not as closely scrutinized by border guards.

Hungarian authorities report an increasingly serious domestic drug consumption problem, but GOH statistics vary widely. The Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs (MYSA), the element of the Hungarian government nominally responsible for drug use statistics, estimated the number of addicts in 1999 at 25,000 to 30,000. However, in October, Hungary's medical community, estimated the number at between 40,000 and 80,000. MYSA figures from 1998 assessed that there were over 100,000 addicts and 35,000 to 50,000 occasional users.

Drug-related deaths from overdoses and traffic accidents rose from 204 in 1995 to 339 in 1997 (latest available figures). Between 1995 and 1998 the number of hospital-reported drug treatment cases for children and teenagers increased by a factor of 2.5. Heroin and cocaine prices are relatively stable, but still remain too high for most Hungarians. Domestically produced ecstasy, LSD and marijuana are readily available and their use is rising. Criminal penalties for producing precursor chemicals were substantially increased by enactment of the new legislation.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Anti-crime legislation introduced into law on March 1, 1999 was the first initiative of the new government elected in May 1998. The legislation stiffens Hungary's criminal code, extends life imprisonment for drug trafficking, allows confiscation of property, creates new criminal provisions for production of chemical precursors and increases penalties for drug-related crimes. All drug consumers, including casual users, are subject to criminal penalties, although addicts may be exempted from prosecution. Civil rights leaders claim that the new provisions, among the toughest in Europe, will unfairly punish casual users, while exempting addicts. An ad hoc parliamentary committee called for the disbanding of the inter-ministerial drug committee by a "drug czar" and a new office responsible for anti- narcotics strategy. Both initiatives, if approved, would be subordinate to the Prime Minister's office.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Hungarian and Austrian border authorities continue joint cross-border anti-narcotics investigation efforts begun in 1998. GOH officials continue to participate in international law enforcement training efforts, particularly through the Budapest-based International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). Eastern Hungary has seen initial steps toward joint border control efforts with Romanian and Ukrainian counterparts, while newly updated detection equipment at high-incident border posts will help to bring down incident rates in these areas.

Corruption. Hungary's new governing coalition passed an anti-Mafia package that went into effect in early 1999. Its provisions include increased criminal penalties for organized crime relating to drugs and money laundering in addition to a number of other areas. The GOH has taken measures to focus attention on corruption, especially among government officials. The new commander of the border guards, upon assuming office in late 1999, unveiled plans for a new personnel system that will break up the continuity of border guard posts in an effort to separate groups of border guards who may engage in corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Hungary is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. An extradition treaty and an MLAT between the U.S. and Hungary have been in force since 1997. In January 2000, the U.S. and GOH concluded a bilateral information-sharing MOU that will allow U.S. and Hungarian law enforcement officials to work more closely together on investigations of mutual interest. The USG has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the Government of Hungary.

Illicit Cultivation. GOH authorities claim that marijuana, ecstasy and LSD are locally produced; all other illegal narcotics are imported into Hungary. Marijuana is mostly cultivated in western Hungary. Twenty marijuana plantations reportedly were eradicated in 1998, but only 4 were reported through the first half of 1999 with a combined weight of 500-kg (latest available data).

Demand Reduction. In 1999 the GOH, through the Ministry for Youth and Sports Affairs, spent approximately U.S. $ 400,000 on demand reduction activities. Nearly 75 percent of these funds were used for local programs and media events. Approximately 10 percent was used for publications and training. The USG, EU, and other international donors also provide some funding for demand reduction efforts.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The USG focuses its support for GOH counternarcotics efforts on training and cooperation, primarily through the Budapest-based, Department of State (Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs)-funded ILEA, established in 1995. In 1999 ILEA trained approximately 160 Hungarians, as well as law enforcement officials throughout the region. In the near future, ILEA hopes to participate in the training of Kosovar police officers as a way to share primarily U.S., but also European, including Hungarian, experience with Hungary's neighbor to the south. DEA also conducts training programs for its Hungarian counterparts. DEA maintains an office in Vienna, Austria that is accredited to Hungary and works with local authorities.

The Road Ahead. The USG is supportive of Hungarian legislative efforts to stiffen criminal penalties for drug offenses and will continue to support the GOH through training at ILEA and ad hoc initiatives elsewhere. The USG's law enforcement initiative is bringing greater USG resources to bear on the fight against organized crime, including drug trafficking. As part of that effort, the USG will continue to sponsor law enforcement training programs and technical assistance via a "6-point" plan developed in October 1998 to combat organized crime.

Iceland

I. Summary

Iceland is not a significant drug-producing or drug-transiting country. Most of the illegal drugs in Iceland originate from outside the country and appear to be brought in solely for the domestic market. The government is concerned, however, that the country's numerous unsupervised harbors and airstrips could make Iceland attractive to international drug traffickers looking for a transit point between continental Europe and the U.S. To better coordinate the activities of national and local authorities in the fight against drugs, the national Alcohol and Drug-Prevention Council was established in 1999. There is hope that the government's "Iceland without drugs" program, launched in 1997, is bearing fruit. A survey of 10th graders shows alcohol and drug use dropping for the first time since 1990. At the same time, however, other evidence indicates that general drug abuse is continuing to increase, as it has since 1995. The police had a record year in seizing drugs, largely due to the bust of a major drug ring, which had an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the hashish market. This case also marks the first time that the government pursued money laundering charges and moved to seize the assets of those involved.

II. Status of Country

Illegal drugs and precursor chemicals are not cultivated or produced in significant quantities in Iceland. The harsh climate and lack of arable land make the outdoor cultivation of drug crops almost impossible. Icelandic authorities believe that the production of drugs, to the extent it exists, is limited to individual marijuana plants and a small amount of homemade amphetamines. The vast majority of illegal drugs found in Iceland originates from outside the country, mainly Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and the U.S.: chiefly cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy. Icelandic authorities believe that most illegal drugs are smuggled into the country in commercial containers and by airline passengers. There is some concern that Iceland's expected accession in 2000 to the Schengen Agreement could increase the problem of drugs entering with passengers arriving from other Schengen countries.

Conventional wisdom has held that Iceland's geographic isolation in the harsh environment of the North Atlantic protects it against other types of smuggling. There is growing concern, however, that drug traffickers could be taking advantage of Iceland's sparse population and numerous unguarded harbors and airstrips to bring in drugs by small private boats and planes. Drug abuse in Iceland is considered to have increased significantly since 1995, roughly coinciding with the economic boom that brought unprecedented prosperity to the country.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. To better coordinate the counternarcotics efforts of national and local authorities, the national Alcohol and Drug-Prevention Council was established effective 1 January 1999. The council includes a representative from each of the seven ministries involved in the fight against drugs (i.e., Prime Minister's office, Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs, Health, Justice, Finance and Education) as well as a representative from the National Association of Municipalities. The existing five-year "Drug-Free Iceland" program, which began in 1997 as a cooperative effort among the national government, the city of Reykjavik, and the Association of European Cities against Drugs, is one of the council's main projects.

Accomplishments. The 1999 figures for the number of drug seizures, and for the value of drug proceeds seized which were being laundered through a local business, set new records for Iceland. The police estimate that the drug ring had been operating for at least a year and was supplying 30 to 40 percent of the hashish market. For the first time ever, the government pursued money laundering charges and moved to seize the assets of those involved. The street price of cannabis doubled immediately after the bust, but in a reflection at how quickly new supply sources can be found, the price returned to its former level after only a couple of weeks. In another major drug bust based on a year and a half of surveillance, the police were successful in stopping a smaller group that had planned, over time, to bring in some 500 kilograms of illicit drugs from Barcelona, Spain.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In March 1999, the National Police Commissioner and the Director of Customs signed an agreement to facilitate greater police and customs cooperation in the fight against illegal drugs. The agreement includes provisions for the sharing of information, the establishment of a joint database, the holding of regular consultations, the use of drug dogs, and the exchange of officers. In April 1999, the National Police Commissioner issued strict guidelines to the chiefs of police in each of the country's 27 administrative districts regarding the investigation of drug cases. The chiefs of police must now send a monthly report to the National Police Commission outlining who in their district is suspected of producing, importing or distributing illegal drugs and what the district police are doing about it. To assist the district chiefs of police in pursuing drug cases, the National Police Commission has divided the country into five operational areas and assigned a specially trained narcotics officer to each one. In addition, a special anti-drug task force has been established to conduct operations in the southwest of Iceland, where most of the illegal drugs are believed to enter the country. In April 1999, a special committee convoked by the Minister of Justice issued a report recommending legal changes to allow greater use of "unconventional" techniques by police when investigating drug crimes.

Corruption. Public corruption is rare in Iceland and there has never been a case of it involving illegal narcotics.

Agreements and Treaties. Iceland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention as well as the 1990 European Convention on Money Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of Criminal Proceeds.

Cultivation/Production. There is no significant cultivation or production of illegal drugs, aside from isolated marijuana plants grown for personal use and small amounts of homemade amphetamines.

Drug Flow/Transit. There is no evidence currently that Iceland is being used as a transit country by international drug traffickers. The illegal drugs arriving in the country appear to be solely for the domestic market. There is concern, however, that Iceland's many unsupervised harbors and airfields could make the country attractive as a transit point in the future.

Domestic Programs. The "Drug-Free Iceland" program, launched in 1997, continued in 1999 to mobilize Icelandic society as a whole in the fight against drugs. Through a series of highly visible ad campaigns, special emphasis was put on educating parents about the reality of drug and alcohol abuse by contemporary Icelandic youth and reminding them of their primary role in preventing such abuse by doing such things as enforcing the legal curfew. There were indications in 1999 that these efforts might be having an effect. An annual survey of Icelandic 10th graders showed a decrease in alcohol and illicit drug use.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. The U.S. objective in Iceland has been to facilitate to the extent possible counternarcotics cooperation between working-level officials. The embassy has addressed this in two ways: by bringing U.S. experts to Iceland to discuss their experience in fighting drugs, and by sending Icelandic police and other officials to the U.S. to participate in international visitor programs and/or law enforcement training. A November 1999 speaker program, for example, brought two drug prevention experts from Hazleton, Pennsylvania, to Iceland to discuss how they mobilized their communities to fight drug abuse. Icelandic experts visiting the U.S., such as the police officers who have attended the FBI academy, have frequently developed contacts that continue to prove beneficial to both countries.

Bilateral Cooperation. Under a 1989 bilateral agreement, a Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC) was established in Iceland, which was designed to facilitate information exchange regarding small aircraft flying between the U.S. and Europe via Iceland. The JICC reports information about transiting planes to the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), which, in turn, notifies the JICC whether derogatory information exists on that particular aircraft or its passengers. Use of the JICC, however, has yielded limited results in Iceland in terms of arrests and seizures. Icelandic officials are currently reviewing their participation in the system.

There are several new avenues for bilateral cooperation, based on a meeting that the U.S. Attorney General had with the Icelandic Justice Minister in November 1999. The Justice Minister expressed interest in learning more about police training in the U.S. with a view toward upgrading Icelandic training; sending Icelandic police officers to the U.S. on study trips and consultations to become familiar with the U.S. system; receiving information about the latest technical equipment used by police in the U.S.; having Icelandic border police receive training on fraudulent travel documents; and obtaining advice on how to enhance Iceland's collection of statistical information on drug crimes.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to foster bilateral cooperation with Iceland through its speaker and international visitor programs. Embassy Reykjavik, in cooperation with DEA and legal attaches in Copenhagen, will also work to make the JICC mechanism more useful for both countries and to respond to the Justice Minister's specific requests for cooperation and assistance.

Ireland

I. Summary

The Republic of Ireland does not figure prominently in international drug trafficking, although increasing drug abuse among Irish youth continues to have a significant domestic impact. In 1999, the Irish government maintained a heightened anti-drug effort aimed at interdiction and demand reduction and approved new counternarcotics legislation. There have been no verifiable instances of Ireland being used as a transshipment point for narcotics being sent to the U.S. Ireland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Drug seizures within the Republic and off its coast continue to show that Ireland is used as a transit point for the shipment of narcotics to and from continental Europe. Current drug flows in Ireland indicate that this transshipment role remains small; however, an extensive and largely unguarded coastline may mean a future increase in drug flows. Ireland is not a significant source of drugs or precursor chemicals. Money laundering, although still relatively limited, has seen an increase in value over the last few years.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Ireland continues to devote considerable resources to its counternarcotics efforts. In 1999, the government approved new legislation concerning mandatory prison sentences for drug dealers, witness protection, and money laundering and announced a multi-million dollar demand reduction program. Authorities stepped up anti-narcotics cooperation with other European countries and ties were further reinforced between the Garda Siochana (National Police) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) during an asset forfeiture seminar.

Cultivation/Production. Cultivation of narcotics remains limited to small quantities of cannabis. The Garda continued to break up small indoor growing operations throughout the year.

Over the last few years, the Gardai have seized fewer than 1,000 cannabis plants annually, indicating limited growth of cannabis in Ireland, usually using hydroponic methods in an indoor operation. The influx of "serious" narcotic substances, such as methamphetamine and cocaine, continued into Ireland in 1999, renewing fears by the police that domestic production of psychotropic substances may begin in the near future. To date, there is still no evidence of domestic synthetic drug production capability.

Drug Flow/Transit. Drug seizures in 1999 confirmed a continued increase in the flow of narcotics into Ireland. Irish authorities acknowledge that the republic remains a "gateway" for imports of cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines to continental Europe. The cocaine is thought to come primarily from Colombia and other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Cannabis and amphetamine shipments are thought to originate in the Netherlands and eastern European countries respectively. In the opposite direction, Ireland continues as a recipient of heroin shipments via the U.K. There have been no verifiable instances of Ireland being used as a transshipment point for narcotics being sent to the U.S.. In 1999, Gardai continued to destroy narcotics networks in operation throughout Ireland. Concerns remain, however, that such organizations are moving to more complex networks and distribution systems, including the involvement of non-Irish criminals.

Domestic Programs. Drug abuse in Ireland is still increasing, albeit at a slower rate than that of other western European countries. Drug abuse among the young is especially prevalent. A recent survey estimated that Irish teenagers are twice as likely to have sampled heroin than most other young Europeans and 40% of Irish 16-year-olds have tried cannabis. The government stepped up its demand reduction efforts, allocating approximately $54 million over the next several years toward local community drug task forces responsible for the implementation of education and prevention programs, community activity programs, local volunteer anti-drug efforts and similar programs.

Accomplishments. In 1999, the Irish government continued to make its fight against drug trafficking a high priority. It approved funding for recruitment of an additional 500 Gardai, as part of the government's effort to bring the police force to 12,000 police officers. It adopted legislation setting a minimum mandatory 10 year sentence for those convicted of dealing drugs worth 10,000 Irish pounds or more, and creating protections for witnesses called to testify at trial.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Gardai were involved during 1999 in several successful million-dollar drug busts of various substances including cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy. One notable case involved cooperation with Spanish authorities and Europol that yielded a $1.6 billion cocaine seizure in Spanish waters. The Irish Defense forces continue to contribute to anti- narcotics efforts in the Republic. The Irish Navy is part of Ireland's drugs task force, with the Gardai and customs, and sees drug interdiction as one of its major roles while patrolling the territorial waters of Ireland. It conducts several exercises each year with the British Navy focused specifically on interdiction efforts. The Irish Air Corps supplies a variety of aircraft in support of these operations.

Irish counternarcotics organizations continue to work closely with their counterparts in Europe and the U.S. In September, Irish authorities hosted a DEA-sponsored asset forfeiture seminar in Dublin. Ireland was also the host of the European chapter of International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) annual conference in May, attended by the directors of the U.S. Customs Service, the FBI and DEA.

Corruption. There were no verifiable instances of police or other official corruption related to drug activities in 1999.

Agreements and Treaties. Ireland signed agreements with the U.S. on customs cooperation and taxation, and is also a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the Council of Europe convention on mutual assistance in criminal matters, and the Europol Convention. There is a 1983 extradition treaty in place between the U.S. and Ireland. Although Ireland is not an identified source of precursor chemicals, the Republic maintains controls in accordance with the EU-U.S. Agreement on Precursor Chemical Control of 1997. Ireland is a member of the Dublin group and held the chairmanship until December 1999. Ireland continues to actively seek the extradition of drug traffickers from various states, mostly from within the European Union.

As a participant in the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP), Ireland in 1999 contributed approximately $280,000 to the organization's funds, slightly greater than the 1998 contribution. Fifty percent of this amount was earmarked for general purposes relating to institution/capacity building and alternative development. Twenty-five percent was used for anti-narcotics efforts in the Caribbean region with the other 25 percent aimed at alternative development in the Apurimac region in Peru.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. and Irish counternarcotics officials furthered their close working relationship in both official and unofficial capacities throughout 1999. In addition to handling requests for investigative assistance and background information, officials were often involved in joint operations/investigations. Most notably, the Garda Siochana hosted a DEA asset forfeiture seminar in September, with participants from Irish law enforcement agencies, the Isle of Man police and the Jersey and Guernsey police.

The Road Ahead. By supporting Irish efforts to counter drug trafficking, the U.S. can help ensure that Ireland does not become a transit point for narcotics trafficking to the U.S. and that Ireland's developing financial services market does not become a haven for money laundering. In pursuit of these objectives, the U.S. will continue to offer cooperation and assistance with Irish authorities in this field.

Italy

I. Summary

There have been no significant changes in Italy's status, nor its counternarcotics program since last year's report. The Government of Italy (GOI) continues to be committed to the fight against drug trafficking. Italian organized crime groups continue to be involved in international drug trafficking and money laundering. The collapse of the former Soviet Union and the political turmoil in former Yugoslavia has strengthened links between Italian organized crime and Russian and Albanian criminal organizations, and other organized crime groups active in the former Yugoslavian countries. GOI cooperation with U.S. law enforcement agencies continues to be exemplary. Italy is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Italy is not a drug producing country. The last heroin-processing laboratory was discovered in 1985; locally-produced heroin was last seized in 1987. Although there are no cocaine HCl processing laboratories in Italy, Colombians and Italians have jointly set up cocaine conversion sites. A cocaine conversion laboratory was seized in Rome in 1999.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Possession of small amounts of illegal drugs is not a criminal offense in Italy. Although the majority of the population is opposed to the legalization of drugs, the Italian radical party has proposed legislation to legalize drugs such as hashish and marijuana. Italy continues to promote the Teledrug system (a data base system proposal to facilitate the sharing of drug intelligence among nations, in which 13 countries participate), and has requested that the U.S. participate also. The Italian Central Directorate for Anti-drug services (Direzione Centrale per i Servizi Antidroga or DCSA) provides training for Italian and foreign law enforcement officers such as Russians and Albanians, and currently has drug liaison officers in 17 countries. Italy is a major contributor to the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP), based in Vienna, and contributed approximately U.S. $ 9 million in 1998 to UN programs to combat illegal drugs and crime.

Accomplishments. Several major organized crime figures were arrested in 1999. Narcotics seizure statistics for 1999, contrasted with 1998 figures, suggest progress in the war on drugs: 1273 kg heroin seized (710 kg in 1998), 2895 kg cocaine (2151 kg), 42383 kg hashish (15404 kg), 20332 kg marijuana (39118 kg), 286225 ecstasy tablets (129716 tabs), 745 deaths due to overdose (1075), and 23280 persons charged for drug trafficking (23625).

Law Enforcement Efforts. The fight against drugs has been a major priority of each of the three police services and is coordinated by DCSA.

Corruption. There is no indication of drug-related corruption in Italy.

Agreements and Treaty. Italy is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Both extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties are in place between Italy and the U.S. Italy is a member of the Italian-American-Canadian-French working group, as well as the bilateral Italian-American working group, which both held annual meetings in Italy in 1999. As a member of the European Community, Italy participates in the Dublin group, UNDCP Pompidou group, Europol and EU cabinet, and attendant committees and working groups. The U.S. has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with Italy. Italy is also a party to the World Customs Organization's International Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance for the Prevention, Investigation, and Repression of Customs Offenses (Nairobi Convention), Annex X on Assistance in Narcotics Cases.

Cultivation/Production. There is no known coca bush cultivation in Italy. Some opium poppy grows spontaneously in the southern part of Italy and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, but its alkaloid content is minimal and thus does not present a threat. Although small amounts of homegrown marijuana are cultivated in southern Italy, the THC content is so minimal that it is only marketed locally.

Drug Flow/Transit. Italy is a consumer and transshipment country. It is a major transit point for heroin coming from southwest Asia destined to other European countries, particularly since the political turmoil in Balkan countries has caused narcotics shipments to diverge from the heavily-used "Balkan Route," re-routing through Italy; this is reflected in the increase in heroin seizures in 1999. The flow of cocaine to Italy from South America, transported by vessel and courier, also increased in 1999. Cannabis seizures recorded a slight decrease, but at the same time the use of MDMA (ecstasy), imported from the Netherlands and other western European countries, increased.

Domestic Programs. The GOI continued work on implementing the DARE program. The most recent GOI data, published by the Ministry of the Interior in April 1999, indicates that as of December 1997, Italy had 552 public health departments operated by the Ministry of Health, assisting 94,955 patients (80,897 male, 14,058 female). Data from the 517 public health departments which reported (out of the 552 total) indicated that 40,864 patients received drug substitutes in the treatment of their addiction. In addition, some l,306 social rehabilitation centers operated (as of June 1998 - latest data available) with various government funding levels, assisting a total of 22,248 patients.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. and Italy enjoy exemplary cooperation on counter- narcotics efforts. U.S. and Italian law enforcement authorities carry out numerous joint operations against drug traffickers, money launderers and organized crime. Cooperation on extradition and mutual legal assistance is very good. Current Italian legislation, however, makes it difficult to conduct to pursue money laundering investigations concerning drug and other illegal activities proceeds.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to work closely with Italy on law enforcement operations and investigations targeting international narcotics trafficking networks and organized crime.

Kazakhstan

I. Summary

Kazakhstan continues to be a popular drug corridor for trafficking of opium from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Russian and Western European markets. The volume of drugs produced and smuggled increased in 1999. Kazakhstan has one of the region's most developed banking systems and is a potential host for money laundering operations. Thirty of the country's chemical plants have the capacity to manufacture chemical precursors, and Kazakhstan produces acetic anhydride, a heroin precursor, which is exported to Russia and other Central Asian countries. Drug abuse, especially of heroin and opium, continues to increase, with a drop in the average age of drug users. Kazakhstan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Drug trafficking from Afghanistan of opium and heroin continues to increase dramatically. An estimated 80-90 percent of drugs seized in Kazakhstan originate in Afghanistan. Northbound trains from Kazakhstan to Moscow remain the most popular means of smuggling drugs, but use of air routes is increasing. The number of registered drug abusers is approximately 34,000, but authorities estimate it to be 7-8 times higher. The majority of abusers now favor opium and heroin over hashish; intravenous use is increasing compared to the previously more popular method of smoking the drugs.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Kazakhstan met the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The government recognizes the need for increased law enforcement cooperation with its neighbors and conducted several joint border operations in 1999 with Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is negotiating formal border demarcations with several of its neighbors, which could eventually facilitate more effective border controls.

Accomplishments. In April 1999, Kazakhstan opened an inter-agency law enforcement/counternarcotics training center in Almaty, which trained over 185 law enforcement officials on various topics and has hosted training conducted by the UNDCP and the U.S. In 1999, the GOK granted formal diplomatic accreditation to the UNDCP regional representative. Kazakhstan has generally cooperated with UNDCP efforts and initiatives. However, implementation of some aspects of the 1998 UNDCP Master Plan for Counternarcotics and Related Crimes has been hindered by lack of government funding. The State Drug Control Commission, organized in 1994, has not been consistently effective. At the end of 1999, Kazakhstan was in the process of considering establishment of a new anti-drug agency with ministry-level status.

Law Enforcement Efforts. There were approximately 4,000 drug cases opened in 1999. Over 220 kilograms of heroin were reported seized in 1999, as well as over 30 tons of marijuana and hashish. One of the largest single seizures involved 73 kilograms of opium and 7.5 kilograms of heroin. Reported amounts of cocaine seized have been relatively steady for the past three years (less than one kilogram annually), but appear to be of increased purity. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (police), the Committee for National Security, and the Customs Committee all play a role in drug control efforts, but they often lack equipment, resources and technical expertise to do their jobs. Progress has been uneven in the area of improved cooperation among the law enforcement bodies and there is a need to clarify the division of responsibilities.

Corruption. The State Anti-corruption Commission began operating in January 1999. This body is well-funded and is becoming well-organized. A state-sponsored conference on corruption issues was conducted in June, with governmental and private sector participation from Kazakhstan, Russia, and international organizations. In 1999, over 400 cases were opened under Kazakhstan's 1998 anti-corruption law; detailed statistics of the charges are scarce. Additional regulations under this law are under consideration. Corruption remains widespread among lower and mid-level government officials, principally due to low salaries.

Agreements and Treaties. Kazakhstan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 protocol and the 1971 Convention. Kazakhstan is also a party to a 1996 Memorandum of Understanding on Drug Control in Central Asia, which includes Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Russia and the UNDCP.

Cultivation and Production. Kazakhstan is not a major cultivator or producer of opium or heroin. GOK authorities discovered and destroyed less than one hectare of opium poppy plots in 1999, over one third of the total estimated cultivation. The Chu Valley area contains at least 110,000 hectares of wild growing cannabis. Other parts of Kazakhstan contain an estimated 150,000 hectares of wild cannabis and much smaller areas of cultivated cannabis. The estimated annual harvest of marijuana is 5-6,000 metric tons. Most of the cannabis is consumed locally or exported to other countries in the region, but none is destined for the U.S.

Drug Flow/Transit. Kazakhstan is a significant transit country for opiates produced in Southwest Asia destined for markets in Russia and Western Europe, and probably, to a lesser extent, to the United States. Drug traffickers use adolescent or elderly people, especially women, to smuggle drugs along various road and rail routes, with increased use of commercial air routes as well. Law enforcement officials note that smugglers often transport drugs internally; some cases have involved illegal drugs packaged to resemble legal pharmaceuticals. There is evidence that Kazakhstan is used for transit of precursor chemicals from Russia and other Central Asian countries to Southwest Asia for the illicit production of heroin.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. With U.S., British, and UNDCP funding, schoolteachers from around the country were trained in the use of an anti-drug education curriculum for students ages 7-17. Government drug treatment programs often are not adequately funded, but there has been support from some local officials for individual private non-profit treatment programs.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives

The U.S. goal is to provide training and assistance to strengthen Kazakhstan's ability to combat narcotics trafficking and the associated problems of organized crime, corruption, money laundering, and drug abuse.

Bilateral Cooperation. In 1999, the U.S. provided regional seminars and training at various sites in Kazakhstan, including at the new inter-agency law enforcement/counternarcotics training facility. More than 150 law enforcement and judicial officials from Kazakhstan participated in eleven programs. The U.S. donated two major pieces of forensic equipment for analysis of evidence in drug and other cases, as well as computer equipment.

Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to support UNDCP efforts to encourage full implementation of the master plan for the control of illicit drugs and organized crime. Of particular importance is continued support for demand reduction initiatives and for the law enforcement/counternarcotics training center.

Kyrgyzstan

I. Summary

Although not a major producer of illicit narcotics, Kyrgyzstan is an important transit country for opium and heroin going to Russia and Western Europe from Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan produces a potent strain of marijuana that is used domestically and in the region. Law enforcement agencies have made counternarcotics a top priority, but they remain poorly funded, undertrained, and understaffed. Kyrgyzstan participates in anti-narcotics efforts in the region and actively cooperates with the UNDCP. Kyrgyzstan became a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention in 1994.

II. Status of the Country

During the Soviet era, Kyrgyzstan was a main producer of opium for legal medicines and retains the technology and ability to produce these substances. Its long and unprotected border with Tajikistan, whose internal difficulties have created a haven for drug trafficking, have made Kyrgyzstan an attractive transit route. Seizures of illicit narcotics continue to rise and the amount of Afghan heroin transiting Kyrgyzstan has increased dramatically, although none has been found to have reached the U.S. As a result of the drug trade, authorities report that organized crime has increased, as has money laundering.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The Kyrgyz legislature has approved an asset forfeiture statute; however, according to law enforcement officials, the law is weak and enforcement can be drawn out through a lengthy judicial process. Law enforcement agencies have made counternarcotics efforts a top priority, with concentrated efforts aimed at border control.

Accomplishments. Although final figures of 1999 seizures are unavailable, authorities expect figures to increase from previous years due to the increase in opium production in Afghanistan and the weak internal situation in Tajikistan.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In the major cities, Kyrgyz police have funded anti-drug units, however, these groups tend to be very small and without resources. In Osh, a major transit point, there has been a greater effort by authorities to control the situation. The Kyrgyz embrace proposals for combined regional efforts, such as the Central Asian Intelligence and Coordination Center, but are limited by severe budget constraints.

Corruption. Corruption is a widely acknowledged problem in Kyrgyzstan and there is no reason to believe that those agencies involved in counternarcotics enforcement are immune to it.

Agreements and Treaties. Kyrgyzstan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. It is also a party to the Central Asian Counternarcotics Protocol with the UN. Kyrgyzstan has extant extradition statutes and has extradited terrorists accused of complicity in the February 1999 bombings in Uzbekistan. However, there is no known instance of extradition relating to drug charges. Kyrgyzstan and the U.S. do not have a bilateral extradition or Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

Cultivation and Production. Except for an estimated 100 hectares of marijuana that mostly grows wild, Kyrgyzstan does not cultivate nor produce any major illicit narcotics.

Drug Flow/Transit. Because of its border with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan has become an important transit route for opium and heroin from Afghanistan to Russian and Western European markets.

Demand Reduction. The increase in opium and heroin transit has increased the user population in the country, but there are no official estimates of drug use. There are also no hospitals that offer drug treatment.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Kyrgyzstan has been receptive to U.S. training assistance provided during 1999. It has also cooperated with UNDCP and European Union members, especially in the area of improving the Customs Service ability to detect illegal narcotics shipments. Kyrgyzstan has made it clear that it wishes to maintain and enhance its anti-drug efforts. In 1999, the U.S. provided eight training courses to law enforcement officers to enhance their capability in law enforcement and counternarcotics efforts.

The Road Ahead. Kyrgyz efforts will continue to be constrained by financial, manpower, training and equipment shortages. The government recognizes that its greatest problem is inadequate border control and has requested assistance to improve border control capabilities. The U.S. will continue to provide training assistance with an emphasis on border control.

Latvia

I. Summary

Drug trafficking and abuse in Latvia continued to increase rapidly in 1999 following the pattern of previous years. The government's limited counternarcotics efforts reflect the lack of funding brought on by severe budget constraints during a recent economic recession. The Latvian government continues to receive assistance from the international community and multilateral organizations although the Riga-based EU Phare Drug Program Regional Coordination Unit has closed. Latvia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Latvia's traditional economic role as a key transit port for products to and from Russia and central Asia has extended into the narcotics trade. Latvian customs officials identify the port of Riga as a favorite destination for drug shipments destined for western Europe and the Nordic countries. Latvian officials identify hashish and marijuana shipments in Latvia as originating in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and other central Asian countries. Latvian authorities claim that many Azerbaijani nationals are involved in hashish trafficking. It is reported that most of the hashish smuggled into Latvia comes in by truck or rail transport. There is evidence that drugs shipped from central Asia travel onward to Scandinavia and elsewhere in the world market including the U.S., although not in quantities that appear to have any significant effect on the U.S..

Local production is minimal and declining in the face of lower prices for imported heroin and cocaine. The Latvian domestic market for drugs is increasing at an alarming rate especially among young people. The rates for drug-related crimes, deaths and HIV infections are also rising rapidly. Latvian officials continue to identify their major internal drug concerns as poppy straw/opium, ephedrine-based substances, cannabis products and Ecstasy. They continue to identify opium products (acetylated opium synthesized from poppy straw) as their major domestic problem. Latvian authorities have reported the increased availability of heroin believed to be supplied through Estonia by ethnic Azerbaijani traffickers. This white heroin is replacing the traditional poppy straw as the drug of choice for local addicts.

It is assumed that organized crime groups control the trade of drugs in Latvia. Latvian police officials have identified members of crime groups from the CIS as the most active network of smugglers. These groups include ethnic Russians, Azerbaijani's, Latvians connected to outside traffickers such as Dutch nationals providing hashish, and a very broad category the Latvian's refer to as "gypsies." The Latvian government has a money laundering law and regulatory system in place. There have been large cash transfers into Latvian banks from the CIS countries. However, these transactions are not judged to be drug-related.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. The government officially adopted the Drug Control and Drug Abuse Prevention Master Plan for the period 1999-2003 and noted the importance of fighting the narcotics problem for the future of Latvia. Developed with the assistance of UNDCP, the plan identifies demand reduction, interdiction, and criminal prosecution as important priorities for Latvia. However, no funding was provided for the implementation of specific projects. A specialized group for drug-related cases was formed in the prosecutor's office on organized crime. The National Drug Information Center has established a web site: www.narko.lv.

Accomplishments. 1999 brought several high-profile cases, including the arrest and sentencing of the Latvian Models Association president and her manager, the arrest by Sweden of the operators of the Stockholm-Riga ferry, and the arrest of a Latvian fishing ship by France.

Law Enforcement Efforts. All statistics for criminal enforcement rose steeply, reflecting increased drug use. The police have acknowledged their lack of resources to handle the increasing drug problem. Drug-related crimes increased from 288 for the first 9 months of 1998 to 337 for the same period of 1999.

Corruption. The USG does not know of any drug-related corruption in the government of Latvia. Though perception of corruption is a problem for Latvia, actual public corruption is not pervasive.

Agreements and Treaties. In 1993, Latvia became a party to the 1961 Single Convention, the1971 Convention of Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The U.S. has both a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with Latvia. The U.S. also has a 1924 bilateral Extradition Treaty in force with Latvia.

Domestic Programs. In July 1999, the AIDS Center received funding to expand its needle exchange program. The government has approved and will begin a school-level drug education program in the year 2000, funded by UNDCP.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) funds DEA, FBI and Customs to conduct training programs primarily focused on customs enforcement, and police/judicial training. Latvian police and customs officials have been active participants in U.S.-funded training sessions at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest, Hungary.

Multilateral Cooperation. The EU PHARE Drug Program Coordination Unit closed its Riga-based regional office in November 1999. The program is considered to be ongoing and will be coordinated from Brussels. UNDCP maintains its regional office in Riga. The U.S. Embassy participates in the mini-Dublin Group of Riga, which serves as a regional coordinating mechanism for anti-narcotics donor assistance programs.

The Road Ahead. The 1999-2003 Master Plan contains a comprehensive assessment of Latvia's programs for the next three years. Some programs have received multinational funding and others are internal to the separate Ministries' budgets. The Central Bank is considering the adoption of "know your customer" money laundering regulations. The prosecutors office has proposed stiffer sentences for drug offenders.

Lithuania

I. Summary

In 1999, new types of narcotics popular with the Lithuanian youth sub-culture appeared on the drug market, pushing prices down. Narcotics-related crimes increased by 12 percent . Lithuania continues to be a drug transit crossroads. Although the Lithuanian State Security Department and police have participated in several successful operations with law enforcement agencies from neighboring countries, statistics show that only a small amount of narcotics being shipped through Lithuania is detected and interdicted. To deal with this, the Government of Lithuania (GOL) Government has approved a new drug prevention program that will increase counternarcotics activities at the Customs department. The USG intends to continue supporting counternarcotics efforts of GOL through specialized training courses. Lithuania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

According to police estimates, in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius alone, some $12-17 million are being spent annually for narcotics. Until 1998, most popular narcotics were cheap "local" narcotic substances, such as intravenous opium extract produced from locally grown poppies or derivatives made from medications containing ephedrine. With the rise in standard of living, new competitive drugs, primarily synthetic, have appeared on the market. For example, in 1999, the price of heroin went down from $15 down to $7 for a single dose and its use doubled.

A UNDCP report published in 1999 stated that a significantly broader cross-section of young people, compared with the relatively small group of drug-dependent individuals, is beginning to experiment with drugs. The use of marijuana, ecstasy, LSD and amphetamines is often considered an integral part of the alternative youth sub-culture. In an effort to expand the market, narcotics traders increased their activities nearby secondary schools and the number of those who try drugs among 15-16 year old pupils is growing rapidly. There are 3000 officially registered narcotic addicts in Lithuania. However, according to police estimates, there are about 15-20,000 narcotics abusers in Vilnius alone. Although there has been a significant increase in recreational drug use, the majority of drug dependency cases (over 90 percent ) in Lithuania are still intravenous drug users.

According to the Lithuanian AIDS Center, from 1997 to September 1999, the number of HIV cases among intravenous drug users grew from one to 91 (and accounted for 51.4 percent of all HIV cases). According to 1998 data from the Vilnius public health center, approximately 19 percent of Hepatitis C cases in Vilnius were individuals infected via intravenous drug use.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The Lithuanian police have carried out several successful narcotics seizure operations with law enforcement agencies of Poland, Belarus, Latvia, and Russia's Kaliningrad district. Also, the Lithuanian State Security Department has worked with Belarusian law enforcement agents and cut the narcotics route from Jamaica to Belarus. In 1999, Lithuanian police seized approximately $13.75 million in narcotics and amounts of confiscated heroin have more than doubled over 1998.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Compared to 1998, narcotics-related crimes increased by 12 percent in 1999. The majority of criminal cases brought to court for narcotics-related crimes; 550 were related to the purchase and possession of narcotics for the individual use, while 85 criminal cases were brought for trade in narcotics and five for narcotics contraband. There were 12 foreigners arrested for crimes related to narcotics, including citizens of Russia, Latvia, Azerbaijan, and Korea. In April 1999, the Lithuanian registered ship "Kvedarna" with a Lithuanian crew was detained and searched at a Danish port. Twelve tons of hashish was found on the ship, whose owner was known to Lithuanian police for his involvement in organized crime. There were 23 Lithuanian citizens arrested abroad for narcotics trafficking in 1999. Police suspect that some of them belong to organized crime groups, while others may have been hired as couriers.

Corruption. The USG is unaware of any official narcotics-related corruption in Lithuania.

Agreements and Treaties. Lithuania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, as well as the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. A mutual legal assistance treaty between Lithuania and the U.S. entered into force in August 1999. Lithuania and the U.S. have a 1924 extradition treaty and a 1935 supplementary treaty that is still in force.

Cultivation/Production. A law prohibiting the cultivation of poppies was passed in 1998 and large poppy fields are identified and destroyed in order to limit the supply of poppy straw. In 1999, police detected and destroyed three times more cannabis (1842 square meters) and almost the same amount of poppy crops (33,697 square meters) as 1998. Although use of poppy has decrease and cannabis has become more popular, opium extracts derived from poppy straw still remain the predominant intravenous narcotic. A law on control of precursors (substances used in the manufacture of illegal drugs), based on recommendations by the European Union "PHARE" program, was adopted in May 1999.

Drug Flow/Transit. No exact figures are available. However, collateral information from neighboring countries indicates that Lithuania is a crossroads for narcotics transiting through the Baltic area of Eastern Europe. Lithuanian poppy straw in excess of domestic use is exported to Latvia and the Kaliningrad. Marijuana and hashish comes to Lithuania both from the east and from the west, by land and by sea. Heroin arrives to Lithuania from Russia. Cocaine is transported to Lithuania from the South America via Germany. In 1999, Lithuanian police registered their first discovery of an attempt to transport a cocaine shipment inside a person's stomach. Most amphetamines arrive in Lithuania from Poland. Lithuanian police have information that Lithuanian-produced synthetic drugs are being exported to Russia. Lithuanian police estimate that annual narcotics trade turnover in Lithuania could stand at about $75 million. Lithuanian law enforcement agencies are aware that Lithuania is being used for narcotics transit, and in 1999, a new counternarcotics division was established at the Customs Department to increase the number of interdictions. The impact of the new division is expected to be slow, as it presently lacks both practical experience and theoretical knowledge.

Demand Reduction. In 1998, a law on the control of drugs and psychotropic substances was adopted. In September 1999, the GOL approved a drug prevention program for 1999-2003. The program's main strategy is to focus on the improvement of counter-narcotics policy; increase of control of narcotics contraband and trade; increase on control of precursors and psychotropic substances use; and the preventive education and treatment of narcotic addicts, including rehabilitation and social integration of narcotic addicts. The law on narcological supervision, passed in 1997, provided narcotic addicts with the right to health care and social services, as well as to confidentiality. Anonymous consultation and needle/syringe replacement offices were opened in 1997 and presently operate in all major cities. These efforts have resulted in somewhat better contact with drug users on the social fringes, and in a slower spread of HIV infection in Lithuania than in neighboring Latvia, Belarus, and Kaliningrad oblast. The methadone treatment programs were started in major cities in1995. Approximately 800-900 of the approximately 3,000 officially registered drug-dependent individuals had access to treatment and rehabilitation in 1999. The use of drugs in Lithuania is punishable by administrative measures, with a maximum fine of $250. The illegal manufacture, purchase, or possession of narcotic substances with no intent to sell is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years; possession with intent to sell is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years (and with repeated offences, up to 20 years). If the amount of drugs confiscated is small (for one's own use) and the offense has been made for the first time, the court's sentence on detention is usually postponed on the condition that the offender enters a treatment program. Unfortunately, treatment programs exist only in big cities.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The GOL is working with the U.S., neighboring countries, and international institutions to strengthen law enforcement bodies and drug control programs.

The Road Ahead. The GOL needs to implement its prevention program to reduce the use of narcotics among student age youth. Equally important, Lithuanian police need to assign more personnel to investigation of organized crime in drug trafficking. The USG will continue to assist Lithuania to meet the obligations associated with ratification of the 1988 UN Drug Convention and to support Lithuania's inclusion in programs aimed at the Baltic region. In 1999, the USG sponsored a regional money-laundering seminar in Lithuania in 1999. In 2000, the U.S. State Department will fund training courses in advanced drug enforcement and on conducting investigations of money laundering, assets forfeiture, and clandestine laboratories.

Luxembourg

I. Summary

Luxembourg is a transit country for drugs destined for western European markets. Despite one of the highest per capita GDPs in the 15-member European Union (EU), the Grand Duchy also has one of the highest rates of substance abuse. The government has actively sought to discourage negative perceptions of it as a haven for laundered funds with a number of countermeasures, including the recent passage of comprehensive and more aggressive legislation; local authorities have redoubled both enforcement of the legislation and their already vigorous cooperation with international anti-narcotics efforts. Other legislation has been amended to focus on prevention and therapy rather than punishment. In 1999, Luxembourg became a founding member of the Council of Europe's Anti-Corruption Convention, and will likely ratify the U.S.-Luxembourg Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and Extradition Treaty in 2000. Luxembourg is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Luxembourg is not a significant producer of narcotics or precursor chemicals, but it continues to be used as a transit country for drugs entering western European countries. Law enforcement authorities are concerned about drugs transiting the country through Findel Airport and overland through neighboring countries. Dutch and Belgian drug traffickers are the main link for smaller Luxembourg-based groups. Despite a marked lack of the traditional social indicators that have been associated with drug abuse (unemployment, property crimes, migration, housing density and low socioeconomic status), Luxembourg still suffers one of the highest substance abuse rates in the EU. Of a population of 420,000, an estimated 2500 are known drug users. Estimates of problem drug use in Luxembourg range from 8.2 to 8.6 per 1000 inhabitants aged 15-54. Opiates (mostly heroin) are responsible for over 80 percent of admissions into drug treatment centers, with cocaine a far second at 15 percent (another anomaly in EU statistics). Despite the high levels of injected drug use, only three percent of identified users are known to be HIV positive.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Luxembourg's newly elected government has increased policy focus on domestic drug prevention and treatment. Draft legislation likely to be passed in 2000 will amend laws and punish "soft drug" use with fines rather than prison sentences, and "hard drug" use with mandatory therapy in conjunction with, or in lieu of, prison sentences. Law enforcement authorities have undertaken to enforce strictly new anti-money laundering legislation and the government has increased its already vigorous cooperation with foreign law enforcement officials, including those from the U.S.

Accomplishments. A fund established in 1992 from drug- related money-laundering seizures in Luxembourg (currently worth over one million USD) helps finance anti-drug trafficking efforts in several South American countries. Luxembourg also contributes 1.1 million USD to UNDCP's alternative development program fund in Laos and Vietnam.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In the first nine months of 1999, Luxembourg authorities seized the following: heroin - 1.148 kg; cocaine - 0.278 kg; amphetamines - 0.16 kg; hashish - 0.320 kg; marijuana - 1.984 kg; cannabis plants - 0.77 kg; mushrooms - 0.43 kg; LSD - 1 dose; ecstasy - 354 pills; and methadone - 180 ml. In this period, 73 individuals were arrested, 1321 were warned and 1024 were charged in drug-related incidents.

Corruption. There were no cases of drug-related government corruption in 1999.

Agreements and Treaties. Luxembourg is party to and complies with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Luxembourg participates in international counternarcotics groups including the Dublin Group, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the UNDCP "Major Donors" group. In 1999, Luxembourg became a founding member of the Council of Europe Anti-Corruption Convention. A mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) and an updated extradition treaty between the U.S. and Luxembourg await ratification by Parliament, which is likely to take place in 2000.

Cultivation and Production. There was no reported cultivation or production of illicit drugs or precursors in Luxembourg in 1999.

Domestic Programs. Public debate on cannabis use for medical purposes has intensified and, while Luxembourg's new government does not support the decriminalization of cannabis, it will not oppose any liberalization in this regard at the EU level. The government plans to establish a legal framework for the methadone program for heroin addicts that the Ministry of Health has run for the past 10 years. The Ministry of Health also distributes information and runs a 24-hour support hot line on drug use.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Luxembourg and U.S. law enforcement authorities cooperate closely on drug and judicial matters, particularly as they relate to money laundering investigations. Luxembourg police routinely contact DEA Brussels with information from suspicious transaction reports with a U.S. nexus. In 1999, Luxembourg authorities worked with DEA Brussels and Belgian gendarmerie to investigate a Brussels-based trafficking organization that attempted to move its base of operations to Luxembourg City; this cooperative effort led to the arrest of two of the principals and a seizure of cocaine and heroin.

The Road Ahead. Luxembourg and the U.S. will continue close cooperation on narcotics and money-laundering cases, which will be enhanced when the new U.S.-Luxembourg MLAT and updated extradition treaty enter into force.

Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of

I. Summary

Macedonia is not a major producer or transit point for illicit drugs. However, illicit drug trafficking increased dramatically during 1999. The war in Kosovo and the air strikes against Yugoslavia are mainly responsible for the loosening of border restrictions and frontier regimes. The flow of drugs being smuggled into Western Europe through Macedonia increased with the reestablishment of a shorter and more direct east-west link and the abandonment of the traditional Balkan "road of drugs" (Sofia-Dimitrovgrad-Belgrade-Western Europe). The increased flow of drugs through Macedonia has also fueled domestic consumption and local drug-trafficking. Macedonia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Macedonia is a transshipment point for drug trafficking between Turkey and Western Europe. Illicit narcotics trafficking increased along the east-west link through Bulgaria and Albania, but dropped along the Balkan route through Yugoslavia as a result of NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia and the war in Kosovo. Some recent seizures of acetic anhydride on the Kosovo border indicate that Kosovo has gained importance both as a market and a production area. The main reasons cited for the sharp rise in narcotics trafficking include a lack of resources available to interdict illegal drugs, better organized criminal elements operating in Macedonia from Albania, and more open border crossings.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The Ministry of Interior undertook an active counternarcotics program in 1999. The process of establishing a counternarcotics unit continued. Presently there is an operational counternarcotics unit at the national level, while on the local level the firearms and the drug enforcement units work jointly. The Ministry of Interior is actively involved in the Interpol/Pro-Balkan program.

Accomplishments. The Government of Macedonia developed legislation to allow for limited asset seizure. Currently, Macedonian police and customs authorities can seize only vehicles involved in drug trafficking.

Law Enforcement. Efforts. In 1999, the Ministry of Interior opened 211 illicit cultivation and production related cases. The activities of the Ministry of Interior resulted in the following seizures: 11.6 kilograms of raw opium; 14.4 kilograms of heroin; 3 kilograms of cocaine; 750 grams of dissolved cocaine; 650 tons of marihuana and 103 grams of marihuana seeds; 151,262 cannabis sativa plants; 89.66 grams of hashish; 5,433 tablets of ecstasy; 6 tons and 540 liters of acetic anhydride; 3.988 grams of alkaloids; 50 uncut poppy heads; 2 bottles of methadone; 2,700 tablets of phenobarbiturates; and 135 tablets and 8 bottles of heptanone. In that same period, the authorities brought 42 cases of narcotics dealing against 52 individuals. Authorities filed 438 requests for pressing criminal charges against 475 individual addicts.

Illicit Cultivation/Production. Macedonia is not a major cultivator or producer of illicit narcotics. There is legal opium poppy cultivation that is strictly controlled. Production is by individual farmer-contractors or big socially-owned agricultural plants. Alkaloid, the only factory in Macedonia that processes the opium poppy, provides the contractors with poppy seeds and buys out the poppies and poppy straw. There have been no reports of diversion. Production is reported to the Macedonian Ministry of Health and through the Ministry of Interior to the INCB (International Narcotics Control Bureau) in Vienna. There are no reports of illicit production or refining of heroin. Some recent cases under investigation have given rise to unconfirmed reports that there is a laboratory illegally producing heroin in Macedonia, but there has been no proof. There is some unknown quantity of illicit cultivation of cannabis, mainly for personal consumption. The government has an active program against illicit cultivation. In August, the police eradicated a large field of marijuana near Skopje.

Demand Reduction. Of the total of 3,432 registered drug addicts, 2,978 are men and 454 are women. Public awareness programs are scarce and supported primarily by international organizations. There have been some efforts by NGO's to begin prevention programs, but those are also scarce and ineffective. Limited treatment of addicts is financed by the state. Addicts are given methadone on the basis of a certificate confirming that they are receiving treatment in state-owned institutions.

Agreements and Treaties. Macedonia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. While a non-resident DEA Country Attach� has been accredited in Macedonia since 1997, the U.S. is working to expand DEA's presence in Macedonia with a local employee. The U.S. encourages anti-drug support from nations, primarily in Western Europe, most directly affected by the drug problems from this region. In 1999, the U.S. did not provide training seminars for drug enforcement officers because of the crises in Kosovo and the bombardment of Yugoslavia. Conditioned by the political situation in the region, cooperation with the neighboring countries is uneven. There have been no reports of regional cooperation on actual cases. Cooperation with Western European police services resulted in a 1.5 tons cocaine seizure in Vienna.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue encouraging Macedonia to expand its drug control activities, enact anti-drug legislation, and improve its counter-narcotic enforcement capabilities. In 2000, the U.S. will also provide training programs and limited equipment to Macedonia and plans to assign a regional legal advisor.

Malta

I. Summary

Drug abuse in Malta involves primarily heroin and ecstasy, and local narcotics seizures, generally of heroin, have been small. The various agencies in Malta which combat drug trafficking and abuse, including the police, Customs, the National Drug Intelligence Unit (NDIU), the military and SEDQA, appear to disagree on the level of severity of the drug problem. Government efforts to combat trafficking and abuse continue to increase, and have begun to reap tangible results. This success is in part a reflection of training received there in 1996, 1997 and 1998 from the DEA and FBI, which focused on counternarcotics, organized crime, money laundering, and investigative techniques. Malta is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Malta is not now, nor is it likely to become soon, internationally significant in the production or trafficking of illegal drugs, or prominent in money laundering. Malta's large freeport container operations, however, may be used for transfer of shipments by narcotics traffickers, and some features of its financial system, particularly banking secrecy, may provide some facility for the laundering of drug money.

III. Country Action Plan against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The Government of Malta (GOM) has clearly placed great importance on aggressively combating drugs and drug-related problems and will actively pursue illegal drug operations. The Special Police Commissioner for drug-related matters and the National Drug Intelligence Unit (NDIU) remain key to the GOM's efforts.

Accomplishments. The GOM is concerned over the increase in small-scale local drug trafficking and drug abuse. In 1999, Maltese police conducted 808 raids/seizures, made 733 arrests, 207 arraignments for possession and 109 arraignments for trafficking. For the first 11 months of 1999, the Maltese police seized 454 ecstasy pills (458 by end of year), 1.3 kg of cocaine and 1.7 kg of heroin. The GOM's most visible counternarcotics efforts remained in the areas of education and demand reduction. SEDQA, a national organization dedicated to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, coordinated these activities.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The police and the armed forces routinely attempt to interrupt local drug trafficking and drug abuse, which tend to be small-scale, limited to consumer quantities of the illegal drugs. Maltese authorities have also increased efforts to prevent the movement of drugs through the airport and the sea terminal. Although monitoring the movement of drugs through the freeport remains difficult because of the high volume of containers moving through, the authorities have shown they can act decisively when notified by foreign law enforcement authorities of transshipment attempts. No extradition, mutual legal assistance or law enforcement or transit cooperation issues directly related to drug trafficking arose in 1999.

Corruption. Malta has appropriate laws governing official corruption. Post is not aware of any problems related to or associated with corruption of public officials due to illegal drug activities.

Agreements and Treaties. The U.S. and Malta cooperate in extradition matters under the 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty, which is applicable to Malta. A Maltese national was extradited to the U.S. in 1998 in a bank fraud case. Malta is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and ratified in November 1999 the Council of Europe convention on money laundering.

Cultivation/Production. There is no significant cultivation/production of narcotics in Malta. Malta does not produce or have precursor or essential chemicals.

Drug flow/Transit. At present, there is no apparent indication that Malta is a major trafficking location. It is impossible, however, to quantify drug movements through the Malta freeport which likely do occur.

Domestic Programs. SEDQA, a GOM-funded agency, runs awareness and drug education programs in the school system and organizes programs for parents at the agency headquarters. In addition, SEDQA develops and runs on local TV stations commercials on drug awareness and education issues. A nation-wide European values study indicated that 81 percent consider drug abuse a "serious problem," compared with 43 percent in 1984. Increased public awareness will likely translate into increased public support for interdiction efforts.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. The U.S. continues to pursue its overall policy of close cooperation among law enforcement officials on drug matters. With the arrival this year of the first resident regional security officer, the embassy will have a focal point to consolidate and expand law enforcement cooperation.

Bilateral Cooperation. In 1996, 1997 and 1998 the U.S. (DEA or FBI) conducted one seminar each year for Malta's law enforcement community. The most recent was a one-week training seminar, which the FBI ran in October 1998 on general investigative techniques for Maltese police, armed forces, customs and the NDIU. There were no U.S.-sponsored seminars in 1999. The GOM remains very interested in receiving additional training assistance from U.S. law enforcement agencies, in particular on forensic investigative techniques.

The Road Ahead. We anticipate continued cooperation of the Maltese authorities on illegal drug and other issues of mutual concern.

Moldova

I. Summary

Moldova is not a significant narcotics producer and its low per capita income makes it an unattractive market for drugs. Moldova, particularly the area along its eastern border, is being used for the transshipment of illegal narcotics from, and precursor chemicals to, Central Asia. Moldova has been in a severe economic crisis since the end of 1998, which has negatively affected its law enforcement efforts. With very limited financial resources, Moldova has had a difficult time meeting its obligations under the 1998 UN Drug convention. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has a Department to Combat Organized Crime and Corruption (DCOCC). The government submitted a draft anti-money laundering law to Parliament which was still pending at year's end. The U.S. is assisting all ministries and departments in Moldova that are involved in counternarcotics affairs. The U.S. continued to provide training and technical assistance to Moldovan officials in 1999. Moldova is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Moldova does not produce a significant quantity of narcotics. With the eastern border of Moldova controlled by the "authorities" of the illegal and unrecognized, self-declared "Transnistrian Republic," Moldova (primarily Transnistria) is used as a transshipment route for a large amount of contraband, including narcotics to and from Central Asia and Europe. It is not a regional or international banking center and generally has an underdeveloped banking system, with little evidence of extensive money laundering.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Moldova's anti-drug policies remained basically unchanged during 1999. The Government submitted a draft anti-money laundering law to parliament. Parliament approved the draft in November after the first reading, but did not have the second reading on the draft before the end of the year. The Government is preparing a national program to combat illegal drug trafficking and organized crime. Several different ministries will be involved in implementing the program in 2000.

Accomplishments. The Moldovan Government continued its efforts to meet its obligations under the 1988 UN Drug Convention and other international narcotics agreements to which Moldova is a party. The ongoing economic crisis, however has limited funding available for counternarcotics or other enforcement efforts. The DCOCC reported that it investigated twenty drug cases involving organized crime groups, leading to imprisonment of sixteen defendants and fines for three others. The DCOCC further reported that during 1998 and in the first six months of 1999, 26 other cases of organized crime were investigated and prosecuted. Twenty-four people were imprisoned and eighteen were fined.

Law Enforcement Efforts. According to MIA statistic, during the nine month period ending September 1999, police and customs officials made the following seizures: 468 kilos of poppy straw; 158 kilos of marijuana; and 27 liters of opium extract. Thirteen kilos of heroin were seized while transiting Moldova in 1998. The Ministry also noted that drug traffickers were carrying smaller amounts of narcotics to reduce any possible detection and increased criminal sentence.

Corruption. The DCOCC, created in 1997, continued its operations. The Department investigated five cases involving corruption in 1998 and the first six months of 1999: two defendants were imprisoned, one fined, and one given amnesty after conviction. One case was indefinitely postponed. Acceptance of bribes reportedly continues to interfere with the government's counternarcotics efforts. Moldova has no law specifically dealing with narcotics-related corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. Moldova is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics and its 1972 Protocol, and the 1972 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Moldova is also a party to the 1992 CIS treaty which requires Ministries of Internal Affairs to cooperate in combating illegal drug trafficking. On November 11, Parliament ratified the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) agreement to combat cross border crime.

Cultivation/Production. The principal locally produced narcotic substance is hemp, originally introduced for rope making. Cannabis continues to be legally cultivated in southern regions and narcotic quality plants grow as weeds throughout the country. No reliable production estimates are available, but criminal elements have capitalized on hemp's ready availability. According to Moldovan authorities, oil-bearing poppies are legally grown by 20 % of the rural population, primarily in the northern regions. Other domestically produced substances include synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs including ephedrine, pervitin, omnoponi, and methadone. None of these substances are exported in significant quantities. There is no evidence that significant quantities of precursor or essential chemicals are produced in Moldova.

Drug Flow/Transit. Since 1991, the illegal and unrecognized, self-declared "Transnistrian Republic" has controlled much of Moldova's eastern border. There is significant anecdotal evidence that this area is used to transship all types of contraband, including narcotics. Intermittent seizures by Moldovan officials indicate that Moldova is used as a transit route for moving heroin from Afghanistan and cocaine from South America to Europe. Precursor chemicals move from Europe through Moldova to Central Asia.

Demand Reduction. Being readily available, opium and cannabis products are the most abused drugs in Moldova. Other drugs such as cocaine and heroin are available to a lesser extent and the high cost of these drugs makes them unattractive to most Moldovans. On the other hand, synthetic drugs such as LSD and Ecstasy are available and relatively inexpensive, making them popular with Moldovan youth. The Ministry of Health registered 5008 persons in drug treatment programs during the first ten months of 1999. This is an increase of 1039 addicts over the same time period in 1998. Accurate statistics on the actual number of narcotics users are unavailable, but according to estimates of the Ministries of Health and Internal Affairs, approximately 60,000 people use drugs in Moldova but are not officially registered as addicts. With continuing reduced health care spending due to the economic crisis, spending for Moldova's demand reduction program will remain constant at best.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. U.S. assistance is aimed at enhancing the ability of the Moldovan drug squad and Customs to interdict international narcotics shipments and increasing the competence of the DCOCC to deal with these interrelated problems. U.S. counternarcotics training is also being conducted for prosecutors and judges.

Bilateral Cooperation. One U.S. Customs adviser began working in September 1999 with the Moldovan Government, through the SECI program, on the full range of customs and border control issues. One of the primary goals of this program is to help modernize Moldova's border control system. The program will contribute to combating contraband smuggling, drug trafficking, and the shadow economy. The U.S. Embassy's new law enforcement training assistant, funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the Department of State, also began working in August.

Moldovan police and Customs officials continued to attend training programs conducted by U.S. law enforcement officials, in both the U.S. and Europe. Three law enforcement officials from the Ministry of Internal affairs, the Ministry of National Security, and the General Prosecutor's office were nominated to participate in the Department of State's International Visitor program.

Beside training courses which are held locally, Moldovan judges, prosecutors, and police regularly attend regional conferences and seminars conducted by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Treasury and the FBI. One of these programs is the eight week mid-level police officers course at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Among the subjects covered in various courses are prosecuting organized crime, money laundering, and public corruption. The U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice and a local non-governmental organization administer an INL-funded project to develop and operate a criminal justice information network in Moldova.

Road Ahead. The U.S. Customs Advisory program was expanded with the addition of an additional U.S. Customs adviser in December 1999. An FBI agent is also scheduled to begin work in 2000 to assist Moldova in working with the SECI Center in Bucharest to combat cross-border crime.

Netherlands

I. Summary

Despite the high priority given by the Dutch government to fighting narcotics trafficking, the Netherlands continues to be an important transit point for drugs entering Europe, a major producer and exporter of amphetamines and synthetic drugs, and an important consumer of most illicit drugs. The amount of ecstasy exported to the U.S. during 1999 increased dramatically. A total of over 3.5 million dosage units of ecstasy, either in the U.S., or in Europe and bound for the U.S., were seized between January and October 1999. The Netherlands' Special Synthetic Drug Unit (USD), set up in 1997 to coordinate the fight against designer drugs, has better defined the problem of Dutch synthetic drug production and trade, and is making every effort to combat designer drug production through dismantling of production sites. The Netherlands works closely with the U.S. in fighting international crime, including drug trafficking and related money laundering. This includes joint anti-drug operations in the Caribbean, based on an interim agreement establishing forward operating locations (FOL) on the Dutch islands of Aruba and Curacao. Drug abuse, as opposed to trafficking, is viewed primarily as a public health issue. The Dutch have extensive demand-reduction programs that reach about 75 percent of the country's estimated 25,000 to 28,000 hard drug users. The Dutch are major donors to the UNDCP, members of the Dublin Group, and chair its Central European Regional Group. The Dutch are also active in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and play a key role in the Caribbean Action Task Force (CFATF). The Netherlands is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

The geographical position of the Netherlands and its modern transportation and communications infrastructure (including the world's busiest seaport in Rotterdam), make the country a key site for drugs entering and transiting Europe. Production of amphetamines, ecstasy and other synthetic drugs and marijuana is significant. As a center for the international chemical industry, the Netherlands also attracts individuals trying to obtain or produce precursors used to manufacture illicit drugs. The country's highly-developed financial sector provides myriad opportunities for money laundering.

The Dutch Opium Act punishes possession, commercial distribution, production, import, and export of all illicit drugs, but distinguishes between "hard" drugs that have "unacceptable" risks (heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, etc.), and "soft" drugs (cannabis). Trafficking in the former is prosecuted vigorously. Sales of small amounts (under five grams) of the latter are "tolerated" (i.e., not prosecuted, even though technically illegal) in "coffeeshops" operating under regulated conditions (no minors on premises, no alcohol sales, no hard drug sales, no advertising, and no "public nuisance"). One of the aims of this controversial policy is to separate the markets for soft and hard drugs so that soft drug users are less likely to come into contact with hard drugs. It is much-debated and includes inherent contradictions. More vigorous application of the criteria for coffeeshop operations, however, has reduced the number of such points of sale.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The Dutch government's progress report on its 1997-1999 drug policy calls for continuation of existing drug policies, and concludes that the government's fight against the production of synthetic drugs is increasingly effective, in view of the large seizures, improved information, and increased cooperation.

According to the progress report, 88 percent of Dutch municipalities, in cooperation with police and justice authorities, have adopted measures to limit the number of coffeeshops selling soft drugs and intensify controls in their communities. Although an earlier study showed the number of coffeeshops dropped by 15 percent between 1995 and 1997 to about 1,179, there are indications the number has now stabilized. A new survey will take place in 2000. In the spring of 1999, a law became effective which gives mayors the power to close down coffeeshops, even when such premises have met all regulatory requirements.

New legislation was adopted banning all indoor cultivation of Dutch-grown marijuana ("Nederwiet"), and penalties on dealing and producing soft drugs were raised. Dutch Justice Minister Korthals recently said in response to a letter by mayors of 20 Dutch cities that legalization of cannabis is out of the question at this point, in view of international treaties. The mayors cited the "controversial and hypocritical situation" under which customers of coffeeshops are allowed to buy a small amount of cannabis products, while back-door suppliers are subject to prosecution. Korthals noted that a report on Dutch soft drug policy will be presented to parliament in spring 2000.

An international research program on the medical use of marijuana was launched in June 1999, in which some 60 Dutch cancer patients participate. They are given "Cannador" capsules, which contain the active ingredient of marijuana. The capsules are directly imported from Switzerland, under special license from the Dutch Health Ministry. The Netherlands plan to have a special bureau to oversee the cultivation and processing of marijuana for medical purposes by the end of this year.

Dutch Health Minister Borsht has expressed deep concern about the results of research demonstrating the damaging effects of ecstasy use. The study pointed to brain damage affecting memory and concentration, and showed that ecstasy use can cause depression. The minister has pledged additional funds for further neuro-toxicity research, in which there is much international interest. He also announced a ban on the import, export, trade and possession of the synthetic drug 4-MTA by placing it on List I of the Dutch Opium Act.

Pilot programs for medically-supervised distribution of heroin to chronically-addicted users continued in Amsterdam (100 participants) and Rotterdam (92), with a second treatment unit to be opened in Amsterdam. The establishment of similar projects in The Hague, Utrecht, Groningen and Heerlen were postponed, however. An experiment began in 1999 on the effects of anesthetic on hard drug addicts given Naltrexon (which counteracts the craving for opiates) while undergoing detoxification. In addition, a pilot program began in which addicts are given higher dosages of methadone than usually prescribed, following the encouragement of a report of success in the U.S. with high-dose methadone maintenance programs. A final assessment of the Dutch experiment is planned for 2000.

While the number of cocaine addicts seeking treatment increased significantly, the number of hard drug addicts appears to have stabilized in the past few years (their average age now 38), and Dutch authorities assert that the number of drug-related deaths in the Netherlands remains the lowest in Europe. HIV infection among addicts is relatively low.

Accomplishments. With the establishment of the USD in September 1997, better insight has been gained into the nature and extent of production of and trade in synthetic drugs. USD's 1998 annual report, indicating discovery of 35 production sites, confirms the picture of the Netherlands as an important producer of synthetic drugs (see below). In April 1999, the Finance Ministry headed up a new national coordination committee on chemical precursors to improve cooperation and coordination between the five ministries dealing with the problem.

Law Enforcement Efforts. While the Ministry of Health coordinates drug policy, the Ministry of Justice is responsible for law enforcement. Matters relating to local government and the police are the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior. At the municipal level, policy is coordinated in the tripartite consultations between the mayor, the chief public prosecutor and the chief of police. Dutch police and prosecutors give high priority to combating drug trafficking. Dutch laws and police methods at times impede such law enforcement efforts, however. In 1998, in response to controversy arising from controlled drug deliveries, the Dutch government tightened rules governing criminal investigation methods used by police and justice, particularly in undercover operations. The use of criminals to infiltrate criminal organizations is now allowed only in very exceptional cases, after personal approval by the Justice Minister. The same applies to the use of controlled drug deliveries.

Dutch police investigative methods tend to be extremely compartmentalized and do not allow much leeway in taking on additional requests from the international law enforcement community. Police teams are forced to identify a task or organization to be investigated, commit personnel, and define a timeline for the investigation. This inflexible policy often means that new areas of inquiry must be forced artificially into the confines of existing investigations. There is no Dutch police entity dedicated to responding to international requests, which at times means that international law enforcement agencies "shop" for an investigative team to assist in a case. It is not uncommon for such requests to be met with the response that Dutch police teams have "no capacity" to assist. Dutch law also does not provide for plea bargaining, thereby removing much incentive for defendants to cooperate in investigations, and impeding the ability of prosecutors to obtain evidence against leaders of criminal organizations.

The following agencies play an important role in implementing policy: the 25 regional police forces and their special criminal information services; the national police services force; the national criminal intelligence division (CRI) of the national police services force, which coordinates efforts to counter drug trafficking; and the Customs authorities and information center. Information sharing can be a major problem. Although Dutch police and investigative agencies are required, for purposes of coordination, to furnish information and intelligence on criminal investigations to the CRI, at times this process fails, resulting in two or more police entities targeting the same criminals, unaware of the interest and activities of the others. It is unclear whether the CRI has line authority to enforce this information-sharing policy.

The Netherlands has efficient national chemical control legislation in place, fully operational since 1995, which imposes record keeping and reporting requirements for listed chemicals. Dutch laws include export license procedures, including information about the shipment and the credentials of the buyer and shipper. Penalties for violations of these laws are seizure of chemicals and up to six years in prison.

The Netherlands does not have a fixed counternarcotics budget. The funds are disbursed through several distinct programs and organs of the government. In July 1995, the law on the "prevention of chemical abuse" came into force, bringing the precursors for synthetic drugs within the scope of a licensing system. The law meets Dutch commitments under the 1988 UN Drug Convention and under 1990 EU regulations. Violations of the law can lead to prison sentences (maximum of six years), fines (up to 50,000 dollars), or asset seizures. In 1999, the investigation section of the Economics Ministry's Economic Control Service (ECD), charged with precursor controls, was transferred to the Ministry of Finance. This development is being closely followed by embassy and DEA personnel at post due to a perception that this move might lessen the criminal enforcement priorities in favor of greater concerns over revenue issues.

Corruption. There were no reported cases in 1999 of corruption of public officials as a result of illegal drug activities. The Netherlands will host the May 2001 follow-up meeting to the conference against corruption convened by the Vice President in February 1999, and is working closely with U.S. officials to ensure the success of this anti-corruption initiative.

Agreements and Treaties. The Netherlands has ratified both the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the 1990 Strasbourg Convention on Money Laundering and Confiscation. Measures to counter money laundering are being extended throughout the Kingdom to include the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The U.S. and the Netherlands have agreements on extradition, mutual legal assistance, and asset sharing. The Netherlands has enacted legislation on money laundering and controls on chemical precursors, is party to agreements on a method of maintaining records of transactions of an established list of precursor/essential chemicals, and is a member of the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs. It is a member of the Major Donors group of the UNDCP, to which it contributes some $750,000 per year, and participates in the FATF and CATF. The Netherlands is a leading member of the Dublin Group, chairing the Central European Regional Dublin group, and is member of the daily management of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC). The Dutch are very active in the Caribbean region through the Barbados action plan, contribute to the Caribbean Coordination Mechanism (CCM), to maritime cooperation in the area, and, through the EU, it contributes to the Project Management Office (PMO) by making available one expert and paying 20 percent of the costs. At the Peru Donor Conference, the Dutch pledged about $10 million in debt relief, which is to be used for counternarcotics programs. The Netherlands contributed $500,000 in 1999 on relief aid to a UNDCP program to create alternatives for poppy and cannabis cultivation in Afghanistan.

The Netherlands participates in various police and criminal justice working groups of the Pompidou Group and in the narcotics working group set up in the context of the Schengen treaty, and is actively implementing the Benelux Agreement on Extradition, and the European Convention on Extradition and Mutual Assistance. Dutch police, justice and customs officials have close contacts with their colleagues in Belgium, France, Germany and the UK. The CRI has posted liaison officers in Thailand, Pakistan, Venezuela, Colombia, INTERPOL (in Lyon), the Netherlands Antilles, Turkey, Poland and Spain. New CRI posts have been opened in Hungary and Russia. The Dutch also cooperate closely with the DEA. EUROPOL is based in The Hague.

Cultivation/Production. About 50 percent of the Netherlands' cannabis market is Dutch-grown marijuana ("Nederwiet"). The Dutch government continues to give top priority to the investigation and prosecution of large-scale commercial cultivation of Nederwiet and doubled the criminal penalty to four years imprisonment and/or a fine of about $50,000. New legislation has been adopted closing loopholes and thus completing the ban on all indoor cultivation of hemp.

The USD reported that 35 synthetic drug production sites were discovered in 1998: 18 for the production of ecstasy, 15 for amphetamine, and two for a combination of amphetamine and ecstasy. Further, 357 seizures of synthetic drugs that year could be connected in some way to the Netherlands. (Seizures occurred in 26 countries spread over five continents, 35 percent in the Netherlands and 65 percent in other countries, particularly Germany and the UK.) In the same period the USD registered 103 dumping-sites in the Netherlands, a total of about 107,000 liters of chemical waste. The USD observed that Dutch criminals take an important place in the field of production of and trade in synthetic drugs, but noted that production is shifting to central and eastern European countries.

Drug Flow/Transport. The Dutch government maintains tight border controls to combat the flow of drugs. According to the Rotterdam customs information center, the container scanner in the port of Rotterdam, which became operational in early 1999, has already proved to be very successful. The two container scanners at Schiphol airport are to become operational by early 2000. According to the drug policy progress report, larger shipments of drugs are generally found in sea freight rather than in air freight. Arrests at airports, however, are significantly higher: in 1998, some 818 drug couriers were arrested at Schiphol, and total drug seizures at the airport were more than 3,000 kilos. Dutch customs made record seizures in 1999: 700 kilos of cocaine from Suriname at Schiphol airport, and 4,000 kilos of cocaine aboard a Peruvian vessel in Rotterdam port. The Dutch intensified controls of highways, as well as trains, connecting the Netherlands to neighboring countries, which resulted in narcotics seizures and arrests.

Approximately 50 percent of hashish seized in the Netherlands enters from Morocco via France and Belgium; about 80 percent of the heroin seized enters from Germany by the so-called Balkan route.

The Dutch statistical office (CBS) estimates that domestic consumption of illicit drugs amounts to some $850 million per year, and another $700 million worth of drugs is exported. According to the CBS, about two-thirds of total illicit drug earnings (more than 1.5 billion guilders) are made on cannabis products.

Domestic Programs. The Netherlands has extensive demand-reduction and harm- reduction programs, reaching about 90-92 percent of the country's 25,000-28,000 hard drug users. Since the protection of the health of drug users is a major priority, Dutch drug addicts are relatively well cared for. A national drug monitoring office to coordinate the large number of monitoring activities related to drugs became operational in 1999.

From 1997 to 1998, the number of cocaine addicts seeking treatment rose 12 percent, to 5,879 people, while in 1999 the total number of hard drug users seeking treatment stood at 25,261. At the end of 1999, the Health Ministry estimated a total of 323,000 cannabis users in the country, out of a population of more than 15.5 million. Total costs of Dutch drug treatment programs in 1999 were estimated at 100 million dollars.

Drug prevention programs are organized through a network of local, regional and national institutions. Schools are targeted in efforts to discourage drug use, while national campaigns are conducted in the mass media to reach the broader public. The Netherlands requires school instruction on the dangers of alcohol and drugs as part of the health education curriculum. The Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (the Trimbos Institute) has developed projects in the field of alcohol and drugs in the context of teaching "healthy living" in classrooms.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives

Bilateral Cooperation. Although the U.S. fundamentally disagrees with aspects of Dutch domestic drug policy, particularly the toleration of soft drugs, it works closely with the Netherlands in fighting international crime, including drug trafficking and related money laundering.

The Netherlands' slow responses to U.S. provisional arrest requests, mutual legal assistance requests and extradition requests are at times frustrating, owing to the lack of line authority between the Ministry of Justice (which receives the requests), and public prosecutors and police (who are tasked with responding to the requests). This continues to be the subject of consultations with the Dutch by U.S. Embassy and DOJ officials. Recent structural changes made in the Ministry of Justice may improve Dutch government coordination and responsiveness to such requests.

The U.S. and the Netherlands cooperate closely on law enforcement activities throughout the Netherlands and in Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. In April 1999, the U.S. and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concluded an interim one-year agreement to establish forward operating locations on Aruba and Curacao. These are now operational, and negotiations for a longer-term FOL agreement are ongoing. High-level and working-level exchanges enhance information flow between U.S. and Dutch authorities and highlight areas of needed improvement in the bilateral relationship. Important exchanges during 1999 included the visits of FBI director Freeh and CODEL Mica to the Netherlands, which included meetings with Justice Ministry, Interior Ministry, and other government officials. The board of Dutch attorneys general, and prosecutors that review sensitive investigations, visited Washington for consultations and training by the FBI and DEA.

The Dutch continue to work closely with the U.S. on precursor chemical controls and investigations. This cooperation includes formal and informal agreements on the exchange of intelligence. In 1999, DEA at post continued to arrange for the training of investigators in chemical control to participate in clandestine laboratory training in the U.S.. During 1999, Dutch experts were asked to address an international conference on chemical controls in Hong Kong, but were not permitted to attend; this occurred shortly after the investigators were transferred from the Economics to the Finance Ministry. DEA headquarters chemical control personnel plan a visit to the Netherlands to meet with the new Ministry of Finance supervisors to stress the importance of continuing the involvement of Dutch experts in future conferences. Working relations between the DEA and the USD are excellent.

The Road Ahead. U.S.-Dutch bilateral cooperation is expected to remain strong. Improved methods for screening container traffic in the port of Rotterdam will further counternarcotics efforts. The Dutch unit devoted to combating synthetic drugs such as ecstasy has made concrete progress, and more is expected. U.S.-Dutch cooperation in countering trafficking in the Caribbean, already strong, will likely intensify, especially with the FOL operations. Important differences, however, in approaches toward "soft" drugs, as well as differing legal procedures and law enforcement structures, could continue to complicate bilateral cooperation against drugs. The U.S. will continue also to view with critical interest Dutch "harm reduction" programs such as heroin distribution projects.

Norway

I. Summary

Drug production remains rare in Norway because of Norway's harsh climate, and Norwegian regulations governing domestic sales, exports and imports of precursor chemicals. Norway is unlikely to become significant in terms of money laundering or precursor chemicals due to current prohibitive legislation, and adequate law enforcement. Though narcotics production remains rare, police have stepped up efforts to track and intercept drugs in transit. The number of drug seizures in Norway continued to rise on a continuing trend through 1999 with cannabis seizures accounting for the bulk (43 percent) followed by amphetamines (16 percent). Norway is implementing various programs for curbing domestic drug abuse and cooperates actively with international counternarcotics efforts. Norway is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of the Country

According to GON officials, drug production is rare in Norway because of Norway's harsh climate, and Norwegian regulations governing domestic sales, exports and imports of precursor chemicals. While Norway has become more popular as a transit country (for drugs produced in central/eastern Europe and central/south America), the rapid increase in narcotics seizures by the police and customs has helped to curb the problem. Norway is unlikely to become significant in terms of money laundering or precursor chemicals as long as prohibitive legislation remains in place, and sufficient law enforcement efforts.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. Norway continues to implement counternarcotics policy initiatives on several levels. While Norway has not developed an overall counternarcotics master plan, the Ministry of Justice continues to implement an anti-drug action plan to meet the objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The key goals of the Ministry's plan are to: (a) curb the inward flow of illicit drugs; (b) limit illicit drug production; (c) reduce domestic drug consumption; and (d) coordinate with other ministries the fight against illicit drug activities and related crimes, including money laundering.

Accomplishments. According to the police authorities, Norway remains in full compliance with the 1988 UN Drug Convention with timely counternarcotics plans/initiatives, strengthened anti-drug legislation, and continued cooperation with the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP).

Law Enforcement Efforts. Norwegian Customs has established a mobile narcotics control unit (includes sniffing dogs), and is coordinating its efforts with the police and the Coast Guard. In 1999, the number of drug seizures rose to an estimated 18,410 cases from 17,278 in the previous year. According to the police, cannabis and amphetamines seizures rose in both number and quantity. Seizures of heroin and ecstasy also rose. Law enforcement efforts were stepped up resulting in a record number of persons charged with narcotics crimes. In order to discourage the use of narcotic substances, authorities increased the fines relating to narcotic offenses. In order to improve law enforcement efforts, the police are calling for bigger budgets and permission to use bugging devices. Various laws criminalize money laundering.

Corruption. Corruption remains a criminal offense in Norway. Norway's corruption laws have been broadened (1998) to cover corruption overseas, allowing for the prosecution of Norwegian nationals bribing officials in foreign countries. Public corruption remains insignificant in Norway, and no drug-related corruption was recorded in 1999.

Agreements and Treaties. Norway has been a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention since 1994. Norway's extradition law (1975) governs extradition of criminals to the U.S. and other countries and it has bilateral extradition treaties with other countries, including the U.S. Norway has laws governing sales, exports and imports of precursor chemicals (1997). Norway has bilateral customs agreements with the U.S., the EU, Russia, countries in central and eastern Europe, and other trading partners. Norway remains a member of Interpol, the Dublin Group and the Pompidou Group. Norwegian counternarcotics authorities cooperate frequently with their counterparts in the Nordic countries and the U.S.

Cultivation/Production. Cultivation of drugs remains limited in Norway although small quantities of Norwegian-grown cannabis have been detected.

Drug Flow/Transit. According to the police, the inflow of illicit drugs appears to have increased again in 1999 with cannabis still in the lead. Most illicit drugs are entering Norway by trailers from European destinations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and central and eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary). Some drugs have been seized in commercial vessels arriving from the European continent and central/south America. Nationals from the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) are prominent in Norway's narcotics market.

Demand Deduction. Norway's Ministry of Health and Social Affairs continues to implement educational and other programs to reduce drug abuse, and Norway's Ministry of Defense implements programs to reduce narcotics use in the armed forces. On local government levels, anti-drug campaigns have been launched in 1998 and 1999.

According to the GON, the increasing number of drug-related deaths suggests that these programs need further strengthening to become effective. Although the maximum penalty for a narcotics crime in Norway is up to 21 years of imprisonment, penalties for carrying small amounts of narcotics remain relatively mild. GON officials continue to believe that stiffer penalties and fines would probably help reduce the drug menace, especially among youths.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

In 1999, the USG had no counternarcotics assistance programs in Norway. DEA officials consult with Norwegian counterparts regularly.

The Road Ahead. In the next year, the U.S. will continue to cooperate closely with Norway in combating trafficking in illicit narcotics. Norway will continue its assistance to the Baltics and within the region combating narcotics and crime.

Poland

I. Summary

Poland is not a major drug producing or major drug transit country. However, Poland's relatively open borders and its location at a crossroads of transit routes make it attractive to drug traffickers. Organized crime groups dominate narcotics activity in Poland, producing high-quality amphetamines for both export and domestic consumption. Organized crime groups in Poland also cooperate with international drug cartels and mafias to smuggle drugs into, out of and through the country. Polish narcotics law enforcement has made steady gains against drug-related crime and trafficking. Future integration of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and the Central Organized Crime Bureau may help to continue that trend, but a comprehensive national program to counteract narcotics has yet to be approved by the Polish government. Poland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of the Country

Poland produces some of the highest quality amphetamines in the world for both the domestic use and markets abroad. The strongest organized crime groups dominate synthetic drug production, controlling substantial financial resources and legally registered companies used to launder illicit profits and obtain necessary chemical components. These groups often make use of existing legal laboratories and employ highly educated chemists to produce amphetamines that are 90-100% free of impurities. The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of the Polish National Police (PNP) estimates that there are between ten and twenty amphetamine laboratories currently operating in Poland. Criminal groups producing amphetamines are also frequently involved in the illicit trafficking of other narcotics, and Poland is an increasingly important transit point for drugs coming over land from the east and south, as well as via sea and air from Africa and South America.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. Poland has drafted a national program for counteracting narcotics, a comprehensive approach to both supply and demand issues under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The program, which is awaiting regulatory implementation, seeks to address supply-side issues through law enforcement initiatives and demand-side issues through harm reduction programs, social welfare programs and medical care.

A Council on Counteracting Drug Abuse, which will include representatives from the CNB, the Ministry of Health, other ministries and Polish non-governmental organizations is currently awaiting approval from the prime minister.

The upcoming reorganization in the PNP will integrate the CNB with the Central Organized Crime Bureau, giving the Organized Crime Unit the lead role in investigation. While this arrangement may improve law enforcement efficiency due to organized crime's substantial involvement in Polish narcotics activity, some authorities have expressed concern that resources currently dedicated to counternarcotics may be diverted to address other organized criminal activity.

Poland's porous borders are the result mainly of ineffective customs officials and border guards. The EU is pressuring Poland to improve border controls before it becomes an EU member. The priority Poland places on EU accession is a powerful incentive for such improvements.

Accomplishments. A Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance entered into force between the U.S. and Poland in 1999, replacing the cumbersome letters rogatory process. Requests for assistance will be processed directly between the Polish Ministry of Justice and the U.S. Department of Justice. Under the new agreement, law enforcement agencies in each country will be able to request search and seizure of evidence in the other country's jurisdiction, and U.S. and Polish prosecutors will be able to seek forfeiture of assets relating to criminal activity located in the other country.

Poland has a strong relationship with the UNDCP, working together to implement several projects in the Poland and the region. Projects include a multinational program aimed at increasing and improving regional cooperation, demand- and harm-reduction programs, and the support of Warsaw's Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) for Eastern Europe.

Law Enforcement Efforts. During the first six months of 1999, Polish police seized 85 liters of Polish domestic heroin (compared to 78.5 during the first six months of 1998), .9 kg of heroin (8 kg), 24 kg of marijuana (13 kg), 20.5 kg of amphetamines (19 kg), 884 tablets of LSD (5431 tablets), 2109 tablets of ecstasy (437 tablets), 12 kg of cocaine (8 kg), 41 kg of hashish (544 kg), and 6 kg cannabis (no data for 1998). During the first eight months of 1999, seven amphetamine laboratories were eliminated.

Polish police cooperate closely with their international counterparts, exchanging information on drug seizures, suspects, new trends and operational methods; intercepting shipments of precursor chemicals; and coordinating controlled deliveries and transports. Polish narcotics officers are stationed in neighboring countries, and 14 foreign officers are stationed in Poland, creating a network of liaison officers to facilitate the exchange of information.

Corruption. Corruption among Polish law enforcement officers is not highly publicized, nor are figures readily available. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that significant corruption does exist, especially among the border guards and in some local police organizations.

Agreements and Treaties. Poland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and participates in the UNDCP Cross-border Law Enforcement Project and the Eastern European Regional Demand Reduction Project. Polish drug enforcement organizations have also been key players in the Task Force on Organized Crime in the Baltic sea region, cooperating closely with their Swedish counterparts to spearhead a project aimed at counteracting illicit production and trafficking in narcotics in the Baltics. The USG has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the Government of Poland.

Cultivation/Production. The production and consumption of low-grade domestic heroin has declined in recent years, but the illicit cultivation of poppy straw and cannabis, remain problems in Poland. To combat the problem, Polish police conduct a yearly, nationwide operation to eradicate illegal cultivation. This year's operation located and liquidated 495 illicit poppy fields (27.16 hectares) and 180 cannabis fields (6.41 hectares), a decrease from last year's 1118 poppy fields (42.99 hectares) and 257 cannabis fields (68.60 hectares). Cultivation of low-morphine poppies is legal in Poland, if a grower is properly licensed.

Polish police are making use of profiling techniques to help track the production and distribution of amphetamines. Laboratories are usually located in remote areas, where they are operated for three to four months before being moved to a new location, but synthetic drugs are sometimes produced in the legal, permanent laboratories of chemical companies and universities. According to police data, markets for Poland's high-quality amphetamines include Russia, Estonia, Scandinavian countries, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and New Zealand.

Drug Flow/Transit. Narcotics on the illegal market in Poland come from a variety of sources, with their distribution under the control of local organized crime elements. Heroin bound for Europe and the U.S. (to a lesser extent) comes into the country from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey. LSD and ecstasy come to Poland by land from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, while marijuana and hashish are imported from Morocco, Pakistan and, most recently, Nigeria. Shipments usually come by sea, usually weigh in the tons and are either shipped directly to Poland by freighter, or loaded into cars in the Netherlands to be carried overland to Poland and markets in the Baltic states.

Polish organized crime groups are also responsible for ensuring the safe transit of cocaine, smuggled through the countries of South America and destined for the markets of Russia, Germany, Italy and Great Britain. The majority of the drug is brought into Poland by air, using small shipments sent by mail or express courier.

Domestic Programs. Poland's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare estimates that there are approximately 47,000 drug addicts in Poland, though non-governmental sources report that the numbers are actually much higher. Official estimates indicate that 30% of minors have had some contact with drugs, and the PNP report a continuing increase in the number of drug-related crimes committed by juveniles.

Both the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the PNP have organized programs aimed at combating this growing trend, including a nationwide public awareness campaign. Entitled "Narcotics -- I Don't Take Them", the program uses billboards and other media to publicize its message. The PNP have also organized training courses for teachers and schoolchildren to help prevent juvenile substance abuse.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. Mission in Poland maintains close contact with the Polish agencies involved in narcotics law enforcement, and provides significant training assistance through law and democracy programs and other Department of State initiatives. U.S. agencies such as DEA, FBI, and Customs have excellent relationships with their Polish counterparts. A regular exchange program exposed Polish police officers to their counterparts in Chicago and Charlotte, and, in July 1999, U.S. Customs conducted a SEED-funded Airport Narcotics Interdiction Course in Poland for 28 customs and police officials.

The Road Ahead. The primary U.S. goal remains enhancing the Polish law enforcement community's ability to combat drug trafficking and organized crime, and to foster increased participation in international counternarcotics efforts. The USG will continue to provide specialized training requested by Polish law enforcement agencies, to support Poland's role as a key player in regional law enforcement cooperation and to promote coordination both regionally and among Poland's domestic law enforcement agencies. Training programs planned for the upcoming year include several seminars on narcotics, police management, and organized crime.

Portugal

I. Summary

Portugal figures in the international drug situation largely as a gateway into Europe for drug smugglers. In domestic consumption, hashish leads, followed by heroin and cocaine. Drugs enter by air and sea (smugglers take advantage of Portugal's long coastline) and transit overland both to and from other countries participating in the Schengen system. The drugs tend to originate from North Africa and South America. U.S.-Portuguese cooperation on drugs includes visits by American officials and experts, training of law enforcement personnel, and assistance in establishing rehabilitation programs. Portugal participates actively in international counternarcotics efforts. It views drug addiction as a public health problem and administers methadone and needle-exchange programs. Portugal is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Production is not a significant concern in Portugal. Drug smugglers use Portugal as a point of entry for drug shipments headed into Europe from North Africa (notably Morocco), and from Latin American countries (particularly Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador). Portugal's open borders with other members of the Schengen Agreement unfortunately simplify the work of drug smugglers, and linguistic and cultural ties with Brazil and Mozambique facilitate trafficking from those countries. In recent years, Moroccan hashish and Afghan opium have entered Portugal through the Schengen countries. Cocaine and heroin enter Portugal by commercial aircraft, truck and maritime vessel. The heroin, largely of Dutch, Indian and Thai origin, is consumed domestically. Cocaine produced in Brazil and Colombia passes through Portugal to the rest of Europe. The U.S. has not been identified as a final destination.

In the past, drug consumption occurred almost exclusively in the big coastal cities. However, drug consumption is increasingly spreading inland and to rural areas. The Portuguese acknowledge that their drug problem is increasing, and estimates suggest that (of a population of 10 million) Portugal has more than 60,000 heroin addicts, 5,000 cocaine addicts and 100,000 hashish consumers. Ecstasy is a popular drug among some urban youth who frequent nightclubs.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio promoted discussion of narcotics at the 1998 Ibero-American summit in Oporto and again in 1999 in Havana, and has also promoted closer European integration of drug laws and law enforcement. The president's brother, a psychiatrist, led a national commission whose report provided a basis for a comprehensive drug strategy for the country, which at year's end had not yet been introduced as legislation. Some of the strategy's organizational recommendations, however, have been adopted.

Antonio Vitorino, a prominent Portuguese politician, was recently named EU Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, a portfolio including counternarcotics.

Accomplishments. In December 1999, Portugal and the U.S. signed a case-specific assets sharing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Portuguese intend to use a portion of the monies to fund rehabilitation programs.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Portugal has three separate law enforcement agencies that deal with the drug program--the Judicial Police ( PJ ), the Public Security Police (PSP) and the Republican National Guard (GNR). The PJ is a unit of the Justice Ministry with overall responsibility for coordinating enforcement efforts and record keeping. The PSP and GNR are uniformed forces operating in the cities and countryside, respectively, although in practice overlap often occurs. The GNR also patrols the highways, inland waterways and the coast. The government recently announced its intention to equip the GNR with the new speedboats it sorely needs. PSP officers in some cities are involved in a "safe schools" project similar to the D.A.R.E. Drug awareness program in the U.S..

Drug programs overall are coordinated by the Minister for Youth, Media and Drug Addiction, Armando Vara. He is also the new Minister Assistant to the Prime Minister.

In keeping with its philosophical approach to the drug problem, Portugal prefers to see addicts in rehabilitation rather than in prison. A judge can offer a convicted user a choice between therapy and prison, but cannot compel the user to enter therapy against his or her will.

Corruption. Systematic or large-scale corruption is not a concern in Portugal, and no such cases were reported in 1999.

Agreements and Treaties. Portugal supports the goals of the 1988 UN Drug Convention, of which Portugal is a party. End-users of all narcotics-related chemicals imported into Portugal are required to be identified to the Customs Bureau. A Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) has been in force between Portugal and the U.S. since 1996. Portugal and the U.S. cooperate in extradition matters through a 1908 extradition treaty. The extradition treaty does not cover financial crimes, drug trafficking or organized crime, and lacks provisions for asset seizure and asset sharing. Portugal has signed judicial conventions on some of those issues, and drug trafficking offenses are extraditable in accordance with the terms of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Planning is underway to initiate consultations on re-negotiation of the extradition treaty in 2000.

Drug liaison officers from Spain, Germany and Britain are stationed in Lisbon, and the DEA office in Madrid maintains close contact with Portuguese authorities.

Maritime interdiction cooperation between Portugal and Spain continued in 1999, following the terms of the 1998 treaty between the two countries.

Portugal is a member of the Pompidou group of the Council of Europe, which began in 1971 as a Europe-level forum to discuss narcotics issues. The European Monitoring Center on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), an EU facility, is located in Lisbon and serves as an information clearinghouse for EU countries.

Cultivation/Production. In Portugal production is not a significant concern.

Drug Flow/Transit. Portugal's exposed geographic position, its long, rugged coastline and proximity to North Africa, offer an advantage to traffickers who smuggle illicit drugs into Portugal. Cooperation between criminal elements in the far north of Portugal and the nearby Galician underworld in Spain is also a concern.

Available statistics indicate that the origin of about 40 percent of the heroin seized in 1998 could be identified: most came from Holland, roughly equal amounts from Spain and India. Almost a third of the cocaine seized in 1998 was from Venezuela.

Domestic Programs. Projecto Vida ("Project Life"), the umbrella organization which coordinated community and government action and aimed at raising public awareness about drugs, was phased out in 1999 after a government determination that the program was ineffective. The anti-drug public service advertising campaign showed little activity compared to similar campaigns on the danger of AIDS, but a new series of radio spots began before year's end.

The Ministry of Health administers needle exchange, psychiatric, methadone and detoxification programs. In 1999 the mayor of Lisbon called for the nationwide establishment of "shooting rooms," where addicts could use drugs under controlled conditions, similar to systems in some other European countries. The government did not support this proposal, however, stating that it would be contrary to Portugal's drug strategy and international commitments, and that the record of such "shooting rooms" was mixed in other countries. The proposal has not gone forward.

The Portuguese consider drug addiction to be an illness, not a crime. Small-scale possession is rarely prosecuted, although persons found with more than five "doses" of a narcotic are assumed to be dealers/traffickers and are prosecuted as such. Judges may, and often do, offer convicted users a choice between (shorter) prison sentences or (longer) therapy programs, but cannot compel the prisoner to enter therapy; many prisoners refuse the offer. Those who want methadone treatment can get it at branch clinics of the Ministry of Health. Registered addicts can get prescribed doses of methadone from any pharmacist, and thus avoid having to go to a public clinic. Long-term clinics offer free detoxification.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. Embassy Madrid office of the DEA has cooperated with the Portuguese Judicial Police in several high-profile cases. As mentioned above, a case-specific assets-sharing MOU was signed at the end of 1999 and the Portuguese Customs Bureau cooperates with the U.S. under the terms of the 1996 CMAA.

In 1999, Embassy Lisbon's Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) arranged for a U.S. Coast Guard mobile training team to conduct boarding officer training with the Portuguese Customs Bureau, following a similar and well-received visit in 1998. 1999 also saw the first GNR attendee at the USCG maritime law enforcement course in Yorktown, Virginia.

A number of U.S. counternarcotics officials have visited Portugal to collect data and share information. Most notably, Director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Barry McCaffrey visited Portugal in October, following a successful visit the previous year, to meet with President Sampaio and to conduct discussions with EU officials at the EMCDDA. The visit provided a fruitful and productive exchange of information.

The ODC at Embassy Lisbon, through the Extended Military Education and Training program (E-IMET), facilitates contact between the Portuguese Navy and a private company (International Health Resources Management) to develop a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. The Portuguese Navy has signed an agreement with the Portuguese Industry Association that will allow civilian organizations and businesses to purchase drug testing and treatment services from this program--a unique civil-military partnership.

The Road Ahead. Portugal takes its international counternarcotics obligations seriously. Portugal is also assuming the EU presidency at a time when leading Portuguese are involved with EU counternarcotics efforts. The future should see a continued effective performance by Portugal, characterized by increasing cooperation with the United States and with European nations.

Romania

I. Summary

Romania is not a major producer of narcotics. The country's geographic position, however, makes it a transit route for drugs moving from the East to the West. In 1999, Romania made significant progress in passing legislation that targets illegal drugs and money laundering. Additional steps, however, are needed to counter what is commonly viewed as a serious corruption problem. Romania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Romania's primary significance is as a transit country. It is located along the northern "Balkan Route," a string of countries used to funnel drugs from the Near and Middle East to Western Europe. While Romania's economic situation continues to have a significant effect on keeping domestic consumption low, law enforcement officials are seeing a marked increase in the domestic use of some drugs, particularly heroin and ecstasy. Economic problems, which led to significant cuts and freezes in government expenditures, have hampered Romania's efforts to fight narcotics trafficking, money laundering and corruption. Romania's budgetary problems are not expected to improve in 2000.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. In 1999, Romania passed the "Law on Drug Consumption and Trading Control," as well as the "Law to Prevent the Use of the Financial and Banking System for Money Laundering Purposes." The U.S. is working with Romanian prosecutors to assist in the effective use of the anti-money laundering law. In April 1999, Romania created an inter-Ministerial committee to focus on the fight against narcotics. The committee, which operates under the executive branch, was designed to allow for better communication and cooperation between the Ministry of Interior, which has primary responsibility in combating crime, and other relevant ministries. The committee, however, appears to have accomplished little in 1999.

Accomplishments. Romania is home to the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Organized Crime Center, which is expected to commence operations in March 2000. The center will focus on all forms of cross-border crime, including narcotics, by establishing task forces on trafficking. Both U.S. Customs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have representatives participating in the center.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The lead organization of Romania's fight against drugs is the Ministry of Interior's Squad for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption (BCCOC). In 1999, the BCCOC was split into two distinct units. One will focus on fighting the sale and use of narcotics domestically; the other will concentrate on international drug trafficking. In addition to the BCCOC, Romanian Customs and the Border Police also play a vital role in stopping the flow of drugs through the country. Drug seizures, however, fell in 1999. According to figures provided by the BCCOC, 120 kilograms of narcotics were seized in Romania in 1999, compared to 785 kilograms the year before. The nature of seizures changed, with an two and a half-fold increase in ecstasy tablets in 1999 (10,546 tablets in 1999 as opposed to 4,203 tablets in 1998.) There were 201 arrests in 1999, compared to 118 in 1998.

Corruption. Anti-corruption legislation is currently under review. The proposed law, however, appears weak and is mostly limited to increasing penalties for existing crimes, instead of more clearly defining what constitutes corruption and making such activity a crime. Also under consideration is a law that would expand police powers to include the use of undercover officers in the pursuit of exposing certain crimes. While corruption was originally listed as a crime to be covered by this law, it has since been dropped. The law would, however, allow for the use of undercover officers in fighting narcotics.

Agreements and Treaties. Romania currently has an extradition treaty with the U. S. and in 1999 the U.S. and Romania signed a mutual legal assistance agreement. The U.S. and Romania also concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement. Romania has agreements with Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Moldova, and Ukraine relating to fighting organized crime, including narcotics. Romania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

Drug Flow/Transit/Cultivation. Narcotics enter Romania from the east by land, sea, and air. Once in Romania, they continue onwards toward Western Europe. Romania may also be a transit country for precursor chemicals moving from Western Europe to laboratories further east. While illegal drug cultivation and production have traditionally not been a problem in Romania, the country is seeing a small amount of cannabis cultivation and amphetamine production. Nonetheless, actual narcotics sales and consumption remain relatively low, in part because of poor economic conditions that make drugs simply too expensive for the local population.

Domestic Programs. As consumption has not been a serious problem in Romania, there are no extensive efforts directed toward domestic drug abuse. Nonetheless, the Romanian Ministry of Health does have some programs designed to educate young people about the hazards of drug abuse. A lack of funds, however, hampers these efforts.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. anti-drug cooperation with Romania improved during 1999. The U.S. offers training assistance to local law enforcement in a variety of areas including drug control. In addition, a U.S. Department of Justice legal advisor provides assistance in legislative reform and assists in coordinating U.S.-sponsored training directed toward money laundering and corruption. During 1999, the U. S. Customs Service provided State Department funded training and approximately $500,000 in equipment to Romanian Customs and Border Police. This training covered a broad spectrum of anti-contraband measures that are also applicable to drug trafficking. DEA activities in Romania are coordinated by the regional office in Vienna and DEA works closely with the Romanian Government, principally through BCCOC, on a case-by-case basis.

The Road Ahead. While the newly opened SECI organized crime center is not yet fully operational, it is expect to play a significant role in Romania's continuing efforts to fight narcotics, money laundering, and corruption. The U.S. will continue to work with the Romanian Government to build upon the progress achieved in 1999.

Russia

I. Summary

Drug smuggling into Russia, mainly from Central Asian countries as well as from Afghanistan and Pakistan, continued to grow in 1999. The most notable increases involved heroin and marijuana, which have dropped in cost in the Russian market. Cocaine imports have decreased, according to the Russian State customs committee, apparently as a result of its steady high price and the decreased purchasing capacity of Russian drug consumers. The number of drug-related crimes grew by more than 14 percent in the first nine months of 1999, compared to the similar period in 1998, according to statistics from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). There is insufficient information to determine how much of the money illicitly filtering through Russia's financial services system is derived from narcotics trafficking. Russia is a party to the 1988 UN drug convention.

II. Status of Country

Russia is a conduit for illicit drugs such as South Asian heroin and, to a lesser extent, cocaine, largely destined for Western European markets. Russian authorities consider heroin for domestic consumption, originating in Southwest Asia and transiting Central Asia, the greatest problem. It is also a minor producer of illicit amphetamines, cannabis and opium poppy, mostly supplying domestic consumption. The country's neighbors add to the supply of cannabis, opium and opium derivatives in the domestic market. For example, opium poppy straw is conveyed to Russia cities from Ukraine, Lithuania, and Central Asia and opium and cannabis projects are transported to Russia from Central Asia -- marijuana has been transported into Russia from Ukraine. Law enforcement efforts have been targeted to tamp the increasing use of heroin.

Ethnic Russian criminal groups control most narcotics trafficking and distribution in the country, with the active participation of members of ethnic groups from around the New Independent states and other countries, particularly West Africans. Control over various types of drugs is divided among different groups who have established proprietary niches, often to avoid disputes. In general, Afghans, Tajiks and other Central Asians traffic heroin, opium and opium derivatives in European Russia and Western Siberia; Vietnamese and Chinese traffic drug through Eastern Siberia; Ukrainians focus on cannabis; Nigerians and other Africans are involved in the import and sale of heroin and the declining cocaine trade; and Azerbaijanis concentrate on synthetic drugs.

A 1998 Russian law on narcotics and psychotropic substances criminalized the purchase and possession of drugs without intent to distribute. Russian law now provides for punishment of up to three years imprisonment for "large" quantities, defined as 0.1 gram to 500 grams of marijuana, 0.01 to 1 gram of cocaine or up to 0.005 grams of heroin. Purchase and possession of drugs with intent to distribute of similar quantities is punishable by three to seven years imprisonment and confiscation of property. Regarding "specially large" quantities, greater than the amounts specified above, and involving the element of conspiracy or organization, the law provides for punishment of 7 to 15 years of incarceration.

Although formal extradition mechanisms are lacking, Russia cooperates with other countries in bringing international traffickers to justice.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. As in 1998, Russia focused its counternarcotics efforts on law enforcement. The new drug law and criminal code provisions, which went into effect in 1997, have substantially enhanced police powers to act against illicit drug trafficking. Russian law enforcement agencies place greater emphasis on drugs destined for domestic consumption, particularly originating from Central and Southwest Asia. The turnover in ministers of the MVD in Moscow in 1999 did not diminish the status of counternarcotics law enforcement as one of the MVD's highest priorities. However, inadequate resources hamper the MVD's counternarcotics efforts.

Accomplishments. In October 1999, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and the Director of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on counternarcotics cooperation between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the FSB. The U.S. and Russia also signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in June 1999.

Focusing on a key aspect of international narcotics trafficking, Russia and Nigeria signed a counternarcotics cooperation agreement in May 1999. The agreement was the culmination of two years of negotiations and provides for the exchange of operational information related to investigations. Russian customs cooperated with a number of foreign law enforcement organizations from more than half a dozen countries, including the United States in more than a dozen controlled shipment operations in 1999.

Russia's counternarcotics efforts in cooperation with neighboring countries reach to the southern borders of the former Soviet Union. Russian border guards protecting the frontiers of Tajikistan, for example, made numerous seizures of heroin, including one 110 kilogram shipment in August, and other drugs.

In January, the UN office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) signed an agreement with the Russian government to provide technical assistance on control and prevention of drug and related organized crime. Under the agreement, ODCCP will assist in the establishment of the center for interagency cooperation at the MVD through the provision of computers and means of communications. Additionally, the project will provide counternarcotics and related training for nearly 500 law enforcement officers and judges handling drug cases. To oversee the project and other future activities, UNDCP opened offices in Moscow in July 1999.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The number of drug-related crimes grew by more than 14 percent in the first nine months of 1999, compared to the similar period in 1998, according to statistics from the MVD. Nearly 80 percent of these cases involved "large" quantities. The number of cases involving "specially large quantities" grew by 85 percent. In the first nine months of 1999 (compared to a similar period in 1998), the MVD seized 279.1 kilograms of heroin, up 120 percent; 12.7 kilograms of cocaine, up 35.2 percent; and 21,477 kilograms of marijuana, up 29.7 percent. Between January and September 1999, the State Customs Committee seized 274 kilograms of heroin, 14.8 kilograms of cocaine, and 6,977.7 kilograms of marijuana.

One of Russia's largest drug seizures in 1999 occurred early in the year, when authorities discovered 220 kilograms of heroin bound for Europe in a macaroni truck at the seaport of Olya in Astrakhan. The Turkish vehicle had started its journey in Iran and arrived at the port on a ferry boat from Turkmenistan. Later, in March 1999, customs authorities in the city Ulyanovsk seized 300 kilograms of opium. The drugs were hidden in the false fuel tanks of a truck which had come to Russia from Central Asia.

In December 1999, MVD officials in St. Petersburg culminated a lengthy investigation into methyl-fentanyl (a synthetic, more powerful form of heroin) trafficking with the seizure of an operational laboratory. They seized precursor chemicals, lab equipment, 1.2 kilograms of the drug and arrested five persons.

Corruption. There have been no reported cases of narcotics-related corruption that facilitates the production, processing, or shipment of narcotics and psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances or that discourages the investigation or prosecution of such acts. A draft law on corruption is stalled in the State Duma.

Agreements and Treaties. Russia is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic substances. In 1995, the Russian border service concluded an agreement with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to reinforce trilateral counternarcotics cooperation on the borders with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. A customs union consisting of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus was also established in 1995. Russia is a party to the 1992 Kiev treaty on cooperation in inter-regional drug investigations.

The executive agreement on cooperation in criminal law matters, signed in 1995, provides for assistance in cases involving narcotics violations, as well as money laundering cases. In July 1998, the DEA and the MVD signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on counternarcotics cooperation. A 1995 MOU between the Russian federal border service and the U.S. Coast Guard includes provisions for maritime drug interdiction. There is no extradition treaty in force between Russia and the United States. Russia is a party to the WCO's international convention on mutual administrative assistance for the prevention, investigation, and repression of customs offenses "Nairobi Convention" annex on assistance in narcotics cases. A U.S.-Russia Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) is in force.

Cultivation and Production. Although there are no official statistics on the extent of opium cultivation, the USG has no evidence to suggest that more than 1,000 hectares of opium are cultivated. In 1999, Russia eradicated twelve hectares of wild and cultivated opium. Wild cannabis is estimated to cover some 1.5 million hectares in the eastern part of the country. The U.S. has no evidence of how much is harvested. In 1999, 32 hectares of cultivated cannabis were eradicated and 78,368 hectares of wild cannabis were eradicated.

Drug Flow/Transit. Heroin from South Asia flows through Central Asia into Southern Russia for domestic consumption, or further through Ukraine and Poland into Western Europe. The MVD considers the Krasnodar region and the customs point at Bratsk as major hot points. The lack of effective border controls with China and Mongolia facilitates international drug trafficking through that region. Reported seizures of ephedrine imported from China to manufacture methamphetamine are up. Nigerian and South American drug traffickers exploit international air links, routing cocaine through Moscow and other major Russian cities. Nigerian traffickers also smuggle heroin through Moscow and these other cities.

Demand Reduction. Drug abuse prevention and treatment remain limited. The 1998 narcotics law provides for compulsory treatment of drug abusers who come to the attention of the authorities. The law also restricts drug abuse treatment to government institutions and facilities.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The principal U.S. goal is to assist Russia in integrating counternarcotics efforts into international efforts against drug trafficking and to strengthen Russian institutions to address the problem domestically. The DEA has provided forensics and basic and advanced drug investigation training to representatives of the MVD, the Federal Security Service, Customs and Federal Border Guards and through its country office has facilitated cooperative efforts. Training provided by U.S. law enforcement agencies has reached some 6,000 Russian law enforcement officials through courses and seminars in Russia, the U.S. and the international law enforcement academy in Budapest.

The Road Ahead. Russia gives high priority to counternarcotics efforts and can be expected to continue its excellent cooperation on drug matters with the U.S. and the international community. The U.S. will continue to provide training and assistance aimed at strengthening institutions and law enforcement efforts.

Slovak Republic

I. Summary

The Government of the Slovak Republic (GOSR) estimates that domestic drug use rose in 1999. Slovakia remains a transshipment point for heroin to Western Europe along the "Balkan Route" from Turkey to Germany, France and other western European countries. The GOSR has funded the fight against narcotics at the same levels as 1998. The GOSR is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

One of the main concerns of the GOSR is the continuing use of Slovakia as a transshipment point for the smuggling of illicit drugs. The GOSR continues to concentrate on east-west smuggling from Ukraine and Russia. In 1999 increased emphasis was placed on the "Balkan Route" and the suspected Kosovar Albanian criminal organizations which utilize this route. The GOSR reports that cooperation of these organizations with organizations in neighboring countries has been on the increase throughout the past year.

The GOSR has maintained funding to law enforcement elements charged with the responsibility of combating illegal narcotics at the same nominal levels as in 1998. The national drug service and the customs service both report that less funding was committed to anti-narcotics efforts in real terms in 1999. One service suggested that this was due to an overall decline in the Slovak economy. Embassy observers note that many difficult choices faced the GOSR in the budget process in 1999. The overall budget for 1999, however, did not decline in real terms.

As reported in 1998, the influence of organized crime on drug sales and use continued to increase in 1999. The Slovak police continue to see organized crime elements gain ground in terms of their complexity and resources available. While some success against drug shipments connected to organized crime elements has been made, specific information about the true extent of the problem is still not known.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Note. At the time of writing, final statistics on drug seizures were not available. All characterizations made in this report are based upon interviews with responsible officials and their assessment of the year 1999.

Accomplishments. The current government, elected in 1998, has to a large extent completed a reorganization of the police corps and national drug service. This reorganization combined with a strong desire to participate in all educational opportunities has assisted the GOSR in their efforts to combat narcotics and organized crime. The government continues to state that fighting organized crime and corruption (which influences the porosity of the borders and the enforcement of the law) is one of its top three priorities. While the concept of cooperating with other nations in the fight against narcotics trafficking has not been completely absorbed by all GOSR elements, the GOSR has cooperated more closely on certain specific cases of international trafficking. Of particular note is the improvement of cooperation between the Slovak customs directorate, neighboring states and the United States.

Corruption. The current government is trying to reduce corruption by means of legal reform and increased education. While observers believe that some measured progress has been made, most believe corruption is still a serious problem, particularly at the lower levels of the law enforcement community. This corruption affects enforcement of applicable anti-narcotics laws. Prime Minister Dzurinda is spearheading an initiative to develop a national anti-corruption program in conjunction with the NGO Transparency International-Slovakia. The program should be publicly released in late February 2000.

Agreements/Treaties. Slovakia is party to the1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and the 1972 Protocol thereto, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The bilateral extradition treaty between Czechoslovakia and the United States has continued in force in the Slovak Republic and has been updated to encompass drug-related offenses by virtue of the GOSR's ratification of the UN narcotics conventions. The USG concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement with the GOSR in 1998.

Cultivation. Cannabis continues to be grown in all regions of the country, but it appears to be for domestic consumption only. The GOSR still has not seen evidence of production of cocaine or heroin or synthetic drugs within Slovakia.

Drug Flow/Transit. The GOSR reports that the number of attempts to smuggle illegal narcotics in 1999 was approximately equal to the number in the year 1998. More than 90 percent of those apprehended were not Slovak citizens. The border service reports that most seizures at the borders were for marijuana trafficking.

The GOSR states the Hungarian border was the site of the greatest number of attempts to enter Slovakia with illegal substances, followed by Ukraine. The greatest number of attempts to smuggle substances out of Slovakia was noted at the Czech border, followed by the Austrian border. When the total number of seizures (sum of attempts to cross the border in either direction) are considered, the most problematic border was the Czech border, followed in order by Hungary, Austria, Ukraine, and Poland. This was no change from 1998.

The major drugs of abuse are heroin, MDMA, cannabis products and, to a lesser extent, cocaine. The rising use of MDMA and heroin is of special concern to Slovak authorities. Most of the drug dealing and abuse has been confined to the region in and around the capital city of Bratislava and the western city of Kosice.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Slovakia has been the recipient of several USG sponsored training activities 1999. The USG sponsored activities were provided by the Department of State, Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The courses were designed to increase the resistance to corruptive influences at the working level, and to improve efforts to combat narcotics trafficking and organized crime.

Through bilateral cooperation, the USG continues to encourage the GOSR to maintain its tough stance on drug interdiction and to expand its enforcement and prevention capabilities through modernization of responsible agencies.

Slovenia

I. Summary

Slovenia is not a major producer nor a major transit country for illicit narcotics. However, its location in southeastern Europe has the potential to make it an important transit country in the area. Militating against this, however, is a higher standard of living and more professional police and customs organizations than in neighboring southeastern European states. As a successor state to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), the Slovenia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

While its location between the Balkans and Central Europe could make Slovenia a vulnerable as a trafficking route, it has not yet become an important threat. While drug abuse is not a major problem in Slovenia, interdiction and seizure records indicate that the problem of illegal drugs in Slovenia is on the rise.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives/Accomplishments. The GOS continued to make counternarcotics a priority of its law enforcement entities. In 1999 the GOS took steps to interdict illicit drugs at its borders by cooperating with U.S. officials, including Department of State, Department of Defense, DEA, FBI and Customs, to develop better interdiction, and with EU member states bilaterally and multilaterally to improve interdiction coordination. The GOS met regularly with Southeast European governments, other than Belgrade, to better coordinate counternarcotics activities in the region. It underwent an anti-money laundering mutual evaluation conducted by the Council of Europe's select committee of experts on the evaluation of anti-money laundering measures.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Law enforcement efforts led to the seizure in 1999 of 32.2 kilograms of heroin, 249 kilograms of marijuana, and 64.6 kilograms of hashish.

Slovenia's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), established under 1994 money laundering legislation, has processed 166 reports of which 28 were passed to law enforcement authorities for investigation, although there have been no successfully prosecuted cases to date.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. has provided bilateral training for Slovenian customs and border patrol personnel in interdiction of contraband goods, including narcotics, and other narcotics and law enforcement development courses. Cooperation between Slovenian law enforcement and U.S. and other countries has been very good. Slovenia participates in the Southeastern Europe Cooperative Initiative (SECI) among whose goals is the control of the increasing flow of narcotics trafficking across borders and to close the links to transborder organized crime. Cooperation with member SECI states will assist Slovenia's efforts to combat the predicate offenses that generate illegal proceeds laundered in Slovenia.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue to provide counternarcotics and other law enforcement training to Solvenian law enforcement entities.

Spain

I. Summary

Spain is an important transit country for drugs and chemical precursors, and remains actively involved in counternarcotics efforts globally. Drug trafficking and terrorism remain Spain's highest law enforcement concerns. Spain is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Illicit refining and manufacturing of drugs in Spain is minimal; however, small- scale laboratories which convert cocaine base to cocaine hydrochloride are discovered and confiscated each year. The first significant cocaine conversion operation was discovered in February 1995, when the Spanish National Police (SNP) seized a cocaine base extraction and conversion lab in Madrid. Spain's pharmaceutical industry produces precursor and essential chemicals, but there have been no reports of diversion of locally-produced chemicals to the illicit market. In 1999 there were two reported cases of foreign-produced potassium permanganate transiting Spain: twelve metric tons seized in April, and ten metric tons (destined for Colombia) in May. Seizures of local laboratories producing MDMA (3, 4-methylene dioxymethamphetamine, known as "Ecstasy"), have consistently shown Dutch traffickers to be in charge of operations. Spanish authorities recently dismantled two heroin laboratories in Madrid (September, 1998 and March, 1999).

Spain is the chief gateway for cocaine shipments entering Europe; the amount of cocaine seized by Spanish law enforcement agencies generally increases each year.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Spain's National Drug Plan Office (PNSD) prepared a new national drug strategy, the "Drug Strategy for 2000- 2008," which Parliament approved in late December, 1999. The strategy promises to make progress in an area previously addressed in the drug policy initiative adopted in January 1997, of which most of the proposals were implemented except for the proposal to authorize undercover operations against drug traffickers.

The new strategy authorizes the government to monitor modern methods of communication used by traffickers, to tap telephone lines without notification and to sell seized assets in advance of a conviction. It would give legal cover to police informers, create a registry of vehicles (including ships) capable of being used in drug trafficking, and reinforce border controls. The strategy also establishes a new program, the "System for Assistance and Social Integration for Drug Addicts" (SAID), to create several levels of treatment for addicts through the national health system. In recognition of the international aspect of the fight against money laundering and illicit trade in chemical precursors, the strategy calls for closer counternarcotics cooperation with France, Italy, Portugal, the UK and Germany, and for the establishment of permanent channels for collaboration with the Andean countries, Central America, and the Caribbean.

The National Central Drug Unit (OCNE), which coordinates counternarcotics operations among the various agencies involved, including the security forces and Customs Service, appears to be functioning well.

Accomplishments. Spanish authorities seized increasingly large amounts of cocaine and hashish destined for Europe. Figures through July 1999 indicate cocaine seizures already 1.3 times that for all of 1998 (predicted 1999 total: over 20 thousand kilograms), and heroin seizures already more than twice the total for 1998. Marijuana seizures were also up considerably.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Domestic measures to counter illicit drug trafficking and international operational cooperation fall under the authority (as of January 14, 1997) of OCNE, in the General Police Directorate within the Judicial Police Chief's office. OCNE is comprised of three agencies, each important in the fight against narcotics trafficking: the National Police Corps (SNP) and the Civil Guard (GC-Guardia Civil), both in the Interior Ministry; and the Customs Service, part of the Ministry of Economy. The PNSD, the equivalent of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and attached to the Interior Ministry, provides political and strategic direction and develops general operational plans. Regional police units, or UDYCOs, address domestic and related international organized crime activity in designated zones of intense activity, increasing the number of cocaine seizures.

Agreements and Treaties. Extradition between the U.S. and Spain is governed by a 1970 extradition treaty, which has three additional supplements. Spain complies with EU consensus on drug trafficking and money laundering. Spain is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, of which it applies all articles, and has recently become a party to the 1990 Strasbourg Convention (in force December 1, 1998). The U.S. has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with Spain.

Cultivation and Production. Coca leaf is not cultivated in Spain. Opium poppy is cultivated for research purposes under strictly regulated conditions. Insignificant amounts of cannabis are also cultivated. While refining and manufacturing of drugs is minimal, there is evidence of small scale laboratories which convert cocaine base to cocaine hydrochloride. Ecstasy is manufactured in limited quantities.

Drug Flow/Transit. Close historic and linguistic ties with Latin America attract Colombian cocaine traffickers who fully exploit Spain's position as a bridge to the rest of Europe. Maritime containerized cargo shipments account for most of the cocaine shipped to Spain, but much enters in smaller amounts smuggled by air courier, usually through Madrid's Barajas International Airport. In Galicia (northwest Spain), tobacco smugglers have turned to trafficking in cocaine and hashish.

Domestic Programs. Studies show that Spanish city residential neighborhoods tend to measure safety by the presence or absence of street-level drug trafficking and drug use: drug-related behavior appears to account for at least 80 percent of urban crime. The PNSD continued to push a positive drug prevention message to young people, reinforcing and extending media campaigns throughout 1999, giving priority to rehabilitating minors with a view to diminishing the threat of syringe- borne diseases, developing mechanisms for dispensing methadone and exchanging needles, and implementing joint action with the National Plan on AIDS (Plan Nacional del Sida). Programs now offer alternative penalties for addicts, making it possible for them to complete their sentences in accredited detoxification and rehabilitation centers, and methadone distribution programs have been extended to all penitentiaries.

Multilateral Cooperation. Spain provides counternarcotics assistance to a number of countries, including Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru, cooperating on the bilateral level as well as within the framework of the European union. Spanish counternarcotics officials feel that police training is an area of primary importance in many Latin American countries. Spain is actively engaged in providing training assistance in El Salvador and other Central American nations. Spain is a major donor to UNDCP and is committed to additional contributions to its programs, particularly in the areas of law enforcement, interdiction, alternative crop development, demand reduction, and anti-corruption. As a member of the Dublin group, Spain serves as regional chair for Central America and Mexico.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. goals and objectives in Spain include maintaining and increasing existing excellent levels of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in law enforcement and demand reduction efforts. The U.S. seeks to promote continued contacts between officials of both countries involved in all facets of counternarcotics work and related fields. Latin America continues to be an area in which both Spain and the U.S. have considerable interests and expertise and where many opportunities for counternarcotics cooperation exist. Latin America will continue to be the focus of our shared efforts to augment existing high levels of cooperation in third countries.

Bilateral Cooperation. Particularly in the law enforcement area, cooperation between the U.S. and the government of Spain on drug matters is very close.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. Embassy in Madrid will maintain close coordination with Spanish counternarcotics officials in both the public policy and law enforcement areas. Spain will continue to be a key player in the international fight against drug trafficking and money laundering.

Sweden

I. Summary

Sweden is not a significant illicit drug production, trafficking or transit country. Swedish drug policy remains zero tolerance with the long-term overall goal of a drug-free society. According to law enforcement sources, more drugs were seized annually, and drugs are available in more places in Sweden. Young Swedes today are more curious about drugs and less averse to them than at the end of the 1980s. Youth are increasingly using rohypnol or ecstasy. Purity levels of amphetamines, the most abused drug in Sweden, have gone up, and prices have decreased a bit the last few years, probably due to greater availability. Drugs from Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States (NIS) remain a problem for Swedish law enforcement. In early 2000, Sweden will submit a draft proposal to the EU council for a new comprehensive plan against synthetic drugs in Europe. Swedish EU representatives continue to strongly oppose liberalization trends in Sweden and in Europe. In 1999, Sweden continued its co-operation in international law enforcement fora, e.g., in the UN, the Dublin Group, the Pompidou Group, the EU and with the Baltic nations to combat drug trafficking and money laundering. Sweden is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status Of Country

Sweden remains intolerant of drugs. However, increased travel and study abroad combined with extensive Internet use has led to the Swedes' increasing exposure to drugs and to other nations' liberal drug attitudes. The current restrictive government policy towards illicit drugs dates from the end of the 1970s and is supported by the majority of the population.

Cannabis/hashish and amphetamines are still the most frequently seized and abused drugs. Police report that indoor cultivation of cannabis, although small scale, has increased somewhat. Brown heroin abuse (smoked) continues to increase on among immigrant youth. Ecstasy is used by some youth. GHB (Gamma-Hydroid-Butyrate) abuse increased in 1999 in Sweden. Though recent court case decided that GHB is not considered a doping agent, the Swedish government intends to classify it as soon as possible as a narcotic drug.

In 1999, as in 1998, the number of amphetamine seizures (4,859 in 1998 and 3,950 January - November 1999) was about equal to the number of cannabis/hashish seizures (5,062 in 1998 and 4753 in January - November 1999). In 1999, there were three major seizures of cocaine from rollon/rolloff boats from Costa Rica and Colombia, in the Gothenburg harbor. Police believe this cocaine was destined for European markets other than Sweden. Rohypnol found in Sweden is often made in the Czech Republic. There is also some illegal diversion of legally prescribed rohypnol. Despite the increase in this abuse, the Swedish medical products agency has not yet changed rohypnol's classification to a schedule 2 (1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Drugs).

The latest governmental nationwide study, published in 1993, indicated that there were 14,000-20,000 daily drug users in Sweden (about 2 percent of the total population). Swedish authorities believe the number of hard-core daily users may have increased somewhat in the 1990s, and limited studies indicate that weekend use among the young is increasing. In 1995, the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN) initiated ESPAD, the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs, a major investigation of 15-16 year-olds in 26 nations. The result, published in November 1997, shows that cannabis is the most prevalent drug among this age group.

Precursors. The GOS monitors the import and export of all precursor and essential chemicals. The Swedish Medical Products Agency is responsible for precursor and essential chemical controls. In 1999, work continued on a joint program between the police, customs, and the medical products agency to create a national network of contact persons dealing with precursors. The idea is also to train trainers within narcotics enforcement to develop institutional knowledge about precursors and to hold seminars on the potential threat of precursors. In 1999, work continued to establish MOUs with major branch organizations covering wholesalers and retailers dealing with precursor chemicals.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. Swedish customs and police officials continue to train Baltic authorities in drug trafficking intelligence work, investigation methods and drug recognition in abusers. They spend U.S. $2 million annually from a 1991 multi-year program to assist Baltic nations, Poland and St. Petersburg with various projects, such as building criminal surveillance centers, and providing technical assistance for controlling borders. The program also provides training through the Nordic Baltic police academy, including forensic training, special forces training, and advanced narcotics training.

Sweden continues to chair the Baltic Sea States' Task Force on Organized Crime established at the Visby Summit in May 1996. The Task Force consists of personal representatives of the government leaders. In 1999 there were five bi-/trilateral operations with preventive and suppressive results. The Task Force's Secretariat is in the Ministry of Justice in Stockholm. A special U.S. law enforcement point of contact has been established with the U.S. Department of Justice representative in Brussels.

SIDA, the Swedish International Development Authority, received about U.S. $ 1.4 million in 1998 for multi- and bilateral UN normative instruments projects against drugs and tobacco primarily in Africa, and to a lesser extent in Asia. The 1999 projection remains at the same level. In 1999, Sweden's contribution to the World Health Organization was about U.S. $ 0.241 million.

Sweden continues to work in many different ways within the EU to combat drug abuse. The Swedish government is content with the new EU strategy against drugs and feels that many Swedish viewpoints have been included, e.g., the link between unemployment, marginalization, poverty, and drug abuse. Sweden remains active in the Pompidou Group.

"European Cities Against Drugs" (ECAD) an alliance of major cities that espouses zero tolerance policies and no liberalization, is a growing Europe-wide movement founded in Sweden in 1994. The alliance maintains its Secretariat in Stockholm. In September 1999, ECAD opened its first regional office in St. Petersburg. The organization cooperates with various anti-drug organizations in the U.S., including National Families in Action and Drug Watch International, and is expanding its network to Latin America, Asia, and Australia. ECAD continues to hold anti-drug conferences. At present, 220 cities and municipalities in more than 30 European nations are members of ECAD.

Domestic policy. Sweden's National Narcotics Commission, appointed in 1998, continued its work in 1999, writing broad-based evaluation reports on the drug policy since the mid-80s in order to propose ways to strengthen it. All reports are to be concluded in the year 2000.

Accomplishments. In 1999, Parliament passed new legislation making it punishable to drive under the influence of narcotics or certain medical drugs. Another new law in 1999 bans products that are deemed hazardous to a person's health. Like other nations, Sweden faces the growing problem of designer drugs. To combat their proliferation, the criterion "strongly habit-forming" in earlier law text was replaced with "dependence-creating qualities or euphoria-creating effects" through a Parliament decision in 1999. This will be an easier-to-establish criterion, which the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs hopes will speed up investigations and thus decisions regarding new designer drugs.

In 1999, Swedish police and customs drug liaison officers continued to be located in Paris, Brussels, St. Petersburg, Bangkok, Athens, Copenhagen, the Hague, London, Warsaw, Tallinn, Riga, Bonn, Budapest, and Moscow. Sweden has both a customs and a police officer in Europol in The Hague; there is one Swedish policeman at Interpol in Lyon. In 2000, a Swedish police officer will be posted in Amman.

Agreements and Treaties. Sweden is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and is meeting the convention's goals and objectives. Sweden also is a party to the 1961 Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and to the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

Sweden participates in a number of international fora, including the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the UN Drug Control Program (UNDCP), the Dublin Group, and the Pompidou Group. Sweden chaired the regional Dublin Group in Africa 1998-99 and contributed about U.S. $ 0.25 million to the UNDCP "drug nexus study" in Africa in 1998. During 1999, Sweden continued actively to promote improvement of multilateral anti-drug activities in UNDCP. According to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden, as one of UNDCP's major donors pledged approximately U.S. $ 4.375 million in 1999.

Sweden has bilateral customs agreements with the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Spain, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, and the Czech Republic. In 1998, a similar agreement with Slovakia entered into force. In 1997, the Swedish and Russian governments agreed on cooperation between the Russian Federal Tax Police Service and Swedish police and customs (two agreements). Sweden cooperates with the U.S. under a 1984 Extradition Treaty.

Law Enforcement. Swedish law enforcement authorities are effective. In 1999, there were 12,702 individual drug seizures by police and customs. Seizures of heroin and cocaine increased in 1999. In the first eleven months of 1999, Swedish police and customs made 930 heroin seizures weighing a total of 58 kg, and 413.8 kg of cocaine in 254 seizures. During 1999 there were 102 seizures of ecstasy, totaling 27,238 tablets. There were 253 khat seizures January-November 1999, totaling 2,797 kg.

Corruption. Corruption is very rare and, when discovered, consistently punished. Anti-corruption laws effectively deter public officials from engaging in the illicit production or distribution of drugs, and in the laundering of drug money.

Cultivation/Production. No illicit drugs are known to be cultivated or produced in significant amounts in Sweden, but there seems to be a trend towards increasing cultivation of cannabis at home, using seeds bought through the Internet.

Drug Flow/Transit. In 1999, Sweden remained a destination for synthetic drugs entering through the Netherlands or Germany and Denmark, originally produced in Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the Baltic nations. Sweden is also a final destination for cocaine from South America. Police report an increase in seizures of amphetamine from Estonia. Drugs enter the country concealed in commercial goods, overland, by mail, by air, and by ferry. The Netherlands remains the source for approximately half of all amphetamines seized, but substantial amounts originated in Poland, the Czech Republic, and, possibly, the Baltics. Cannabis, originating from Morocco, seems to come through Spain directly to Sweden, by air and by lorry.

Pakistani brown heroin reportedly is smuggled in by ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and FYROM, through the Czech Republic or Slovakia, via Germany and Denmark, by ferry to Sweden.

Cocaine still is most often smuggled into Sweden by passengers flying in from South America, via EU airports. There are also criminal groups from Eastern Europe involved as well. Khat smuggling, mainly for and by Somalis, has increased considerably.

Demand Reduction. The Swedish National Institute of Public Health coordinates all drug prevention efforts. Teaching about the dangers of drug abuse is compulsory in Swedish schools. Various private organizations also are active in drug abuse prevention and public information programs. Under Swedish law, individuals who abuse drugs can be sentenced to drug treatment.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Swedish cooperation with U.S. law enforcement authorities continues to be excellent.

The Road Ahead. The USG looks forward to strengthening its already good counternarcotics cooperation with Sweden, particularly in the Nordic-Baltic nexus and with the Newly Independent States (NIS).

Switzerland

I. Summary

Switzerland is both a transit and destination country for illicit narcotics, especially heroin. The government continues to evaluate, refine and consolidate its four-pillar counternarcotics policy focusing on prevention, treatment, harm reduction and law enforcement. Voter rejection of popular initiatives in 1997 and 1998, which would have either increased enforcement or decriminalized drug use, indicates that a national consensus in support of the pragmatic four-pillar policy has emerged. The Swiss government is continuing with the heroin prescription program as a therapy for hard-core addicts. Switzerland remains a site for money laundering operations. However, more effective legislation and vigorous law enforcement efforts are making it more difficult to launder money and have led to seizures of drug-related assets. The Swiss government is expected to ratify with reservations the 1988 UN Drug Convention in 2001.

II. Status of Country

On a per capita basis, Switzerland has an unusually large number of drug addicts - roughly 30,000 according to the most recent data. Most of these individuals are users of heroin and/or cocaine. Marijuana consumption continues to increase as does the abuse of the hallucinogen "ecstasy". Police concern is growing over the tendency of casual users to increasingly mix cannabis, ecstasy and speed or other (usually synthetic) amphetamines.

An abundant supply contributes to the relatively low cost of illicit narcotics, which often have a high grade of purity. According to law enforcement authorities, foreigners from the former Yugoslavia (especially Kosovar Albanians), Turkey, Lebanon, Africa and South America play a primary role in distribution.

Switzerland has long been an attractive site for money laundering due to bank secrecy laws, the absence of currency controls, and the strength of the Swiss franc. However, by enforcing comprehensive legislation, Swiss authorities are making inroads against money laundering and are seizing significant drug-related assets.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. In 1991, Switzerland intensified its counter-narcotic efforts with a policy initiative based on four pillars: prevention, treatment, harm reduction and law enforcement. In 1997, 70 percent of Swiss voters rejected an initiative called "youth without drugs" which would have introduced a strict, abstinence-oriented drug policy based on repression, prevention and therapy and would have stopped the heroin prescription program. In 1998, 75 percent of voters rejected a second initiative entitled "For a Reasonable Drug Policy (DROLEG)", which would have decriminalized the production, possession and purchase of narcotics for personal use and would have compromised Switzerland's ability to cooperate internationally in the fight against drugs. In August 1998, the Federal Council opened a consultation procedure for the revision of the 1951 narcotics law. The revised law is expected to anchor the four-pillar policy in legislation with draft provisions eliminating loopholes and inconsistencies in the existing law, tightening regulations prohibiting the sale of alcohol and tobacco to youths under 16, and permanently establishing the legal basis for the heroin treatment program. Furthermore, the revision calls for improved coordination between local and federal authorities on drug enforcement issues. The Federal Council is expected to submit its conclusions regarding the revision of the law to the Swiss Parliament in the second half of 2000.

Accomplishments. Through therapy and treatment programs, Switzerland has improved the physical and mental well-being of many addicts and reduced incidents of drug-related criminality. Swiss officials credit needle exchange programs with reducing drug- related AIDS and hepatitis infections. Drug-related mortality has steadily declined with the most recent annual total dropping from 241 to 209 deaths. The average age for drug-related deaths has risen from 30 to 32.

In December 1999 the Swiss Parliament passed a bill to make prosecution of organized and white-collar crime more effective. The new law confers on the federal attorney general's office the option to intervene in cases that have international dimensions or involve several cantons and in cases involving cantons that lack resources to research and prosecute a case effectively.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The most recent statistical data shows that in 1998 the number of apprehensions under the narcotics law rose to 45,726 (from 45,093 in 1997), with approximately 81% of those offenses for consumption. Amphetamine seizures more than quadrupled from 1997 to 1998 and 403.7 kg of heroin were seized, a substantial increase above 209.3 kg in 1997. LSD and other hallucinogen seizures declined as did cocaine seizures, which dropped to 251.6 kg in 1998 from 349.4 kg in 1997. The quantity of seized marijuana rose dramatically to 13.163 metric tons from 6.6 metric tons although the number of marijuana plants seized declined.

The police investigation into one of the largest Swiss trafficking operations uncovered to date came before the courts this year. Code-named "sippe", the lengthy undercover investigation paid off when police caught the suspect, a Kosovar Albanian, with 6.67 kg of heroin in his car. Police suspect him of involvement in the trafficking of up to 44 kg of heroin in the Zurich area and are calling for an eleven-year prison sentence. The court's decision is pending.

Approximately 250 hemp shops continue to operate throughout Switzerland. They sell a variety of cannabis products. Tea, oil, paper, textiles and so-called sachets. Supposedly sold to freshen-up closets and drawers, the sachets contain good quality marijuana suitable for smoking.

In July 1999, the Wintherthur district prosecutor called for sentences of between 12 and 27 months and fines of between U.S. $ 675-34,000 for four businessmen who had been cultivating and selling hemp since 1995. The district court found that the hemp produced and sold in the form of sachets, was intended to be smoked. The judge based his assessment on the high THC-content of the hemp and the sale price of the sachets. The federal government has taken steps to revise the law to eliminate the loophole that requires evidence of sale for narcotic use.

Corruption. There have been instances in which public officials were allegedly involved in corruption related to narcotics trafficking, but such cases are very rare.

Agreements and Treaties. A 1997 U.S.-Swiss Extradition Treaty is currently in force. Switzerland has been re-elected to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). It supports and is a major donor to the UN Drug Control Program (UNDCP). Switzerland works closely with the UN International Narcotics Board (INCB), and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as with the Council of Europe's co-operative group to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs (Pompidou Group).

Switzerland has adopted legal instruments to implement the provisions of the 1988 UN Drug Convention and adheres to the convention in practice. However, the government is expected to delay ratification until the current review and revision of the drug law is completed. The federal council has indicated that it might attach two reservations to the ratification to allow for a more liberal Swiss policy regarding individual consumption of drugs and to give Swiss cantonal (local) courts more discretion in sentencing.

In 1996, Switzerland became party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The government intends to conform national law to the Chemical Action Task Force (CATF) recommendations and new European Union regulations.

Cultivation and Production. Police sources report that Switzerland has reached self- sufficiency in marijuana and hashish production and has even become a modest exporter. According to Swiss narcotics law, cannabis cultivation is legal if the harvest is not destined for narcotics use or production. Farmers growing hemp receive government subsidies as long as their plants contain less than 0.3 percent THC. About 300 tons of hemp is cultivated annually and hemp products, such as rope, have become a million franc industry. Figures on the extent of illegal cultivation are not available. However, police acknowledge that they have underestimated the seriousness of the problem. Police have also reported an increase in the domestic production of ecstasy and other synthetic drugs.

Drug Flow/Transit. While Switzerland continues to be used to transit narcotics to European and, to a lesser extent, U.S. markets, it is also a destination for narcotics deliveries, particularly heroin.

Domestic Programs. Switzerland focuses heavily on prevention and early intervention to prevent occasional users from developing an addiction. It spends U.S. $ 22-25.5 million annually on programs, aimed primarily at youths, which encourage abstinence from drug use and an overall healthy lifestyle. A new nation-wide program aimed at high-risk youths and intended to prevent addiction was announced in November 1999. With over 100 public and private institutions providing drug therapy, and an annual budget of U.S. $ 160-190 million, Switzerland has the capacity to provide therapy to two-thirds of its approximately 30,000 addicts.

Switzerland was among the pioneers of methadone treatment, the controversial drug rehabilitation program involving medically controlled delivery of heroin to hard-core addicts. A GOS assessment of this program cites significant improvements in the social and health conditions of the addicts, a significant reduction in criminality, and a reduced number of drug-related deaths. The report also found that the reduction in legal and court costs associated with drug- related crime and the improved health of addicts resulted in an overall reduction in costs to the government. In light of this assessment, the Swiss Parliament passed - and in June voters accepted - a federal decree valid until 2004, which provides the temporary legal basis for continuation of the program.

A favorable assessment of the heroin prescription program by a group of experts appointed by the World Health Organization was published in April 1999. The key results of the study showed that: "a) the medical prescription of heroin in a strictly regulated environment that provides for injection at dispensing centers is feasible, safe, responsible and can be implemented in a way that is acceptable for the community; b) according to the self-reports of participants a clear improvement was noted in the state of health, the social situation and a reduction of the criminal behavior and consumption of illegal heroin."

Harm Reduction. Switzerland was among the first countries to adopt a needle exchange program to combat the spread of the HIV virus. The Swiss federal government supports an extensive needle distribution program involving injection rooms, pharmacies, mobile needle exchange buses and public needle dispensers. Although blind (i.e., anonymous) needle exchange is available, the government employs social workers at needle exchange facilities to encourage occasional users and addicts to participate in counseling programs. Swiss officials credit this program and other housing and employment programs with reducing the prevalence of HIV and hepatitis among Swiss drug addicts. Switzerland earmarks U.S. $ 88 to 146 million annually for harm reduction.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. officials continue to receive excellent cooperation from their Swiss counterparts in legal and law enforcement efforts to counter narcotics trafficking and money laundering. There have been several successful cooperative operations against money laundering in which the Swiss have seized bank accounts and shared the assets with the USG in the past.

Road Ahead. We will build on our solid foundation of law enforcement cooperation in the fight against narcotics trafficking and money laundering and will encourage the Swiss government to ratify the 1998 UN Drug Convention as soon as possible. We will reiterate USG concern about the heroin prescription program, noting that while such policies may bring short-term benefits, they may in the long run prove detrimental to the well- being of Swiss society.

Tajikistan

I. Summary

Tajikistan is the usual first leg of the transit route for opiates and cannabis products from Afghanistan, via the Central Asian countries, to Russia and Europe, and probably, to a lesser extent, to the United States. The volume of drugs following this route is significant, and interdiction efforts are only occasionally successful. The amount of narcotics cultivation within Tajikistan itself is relatively small, and the government claims to have reduced it through vigorous law enforcement efforts. Drug abuse, primarily of heroin, is growing, and Tajikistan's medical infrastructure is inadequate for the population's growing need for addiction treatment and rehabilitation. Government actions in 1999 show a willingness, but little ability, to combat drug trafficking and other narcotics-related problems. Tajikistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Geography and economics have made Tajikistan an attractive transit route for illegal narcotics. Its border with opium-producing Afghanistan is thinly guarded and easily crossed at a number of points. The disruption of normal economic activity during the 1992-1997 civil war gave rise to a warlord class whose leaders jostle for control of the lucrative narcotics trade. Tajikistan's under-developed banking sector will prevent it from becoming a significant money laundering country in the near future. In-country cultivation is minimal, and the Government is unaware of any processing or precursor chemical production facilities.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. Following through on the recommendations of a 1998 master plan devised jointly by the government and UNDCP, a new agency, the Drug Control Agency under the President of the Republic, was created in 1999. The new agency aims to centralize government counternarcotics efforts and support drug treatment and rehabilitation efforts.

Accomplishments. Tajikistan moved towards a more centralized and coordinated approach to combating narcotics trafficking with the creation of the Drug Control Agency.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Tajikistan officials report having seized of some 7OO kilograms of illegal narcotics along the border with Afghanistan during 1999. National and Russian border forces are Tajikistan's first and main line of defense against illegal narcotics trafficking from Afghanistan. These forces are, however, unequal to the task and--given low pay and incentives for corruption--are often part of the problem. Arrests and seizures are widely publicized, but probably represent only a small fraction of the estimated total trafficking volume. While political pressures, or worse, can be used against authorities to deter them from focusing on major traffickers and their organizations, the Government appeared to be giving counternarcotics law enforcement a higher priority in 1999 than in the past. The resources available are limited, however.

Corruption. Influential figures from both sides of the civil war, many of whom hold positions in the government, are widely believed to have a hand in the drug trade. While it is impossible to determine for certain how pervasive drug corruption is within government circles, it is a fact that salaries for even top officials are low and often seem inadequate to support the lifestyles many officials maintain. Even when arrests are made, the resulting cases are not always brought to a satisfactory conclusion. As a matter of policy, however, Tajikistan 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. While accusations of drug-related corruption are routinely made by political figures against their enemies, there is no direct evidence of senior officials of the government engaging in, encouraging, or facilitating illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

Agreements and Treaties. Tajikistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and other UN narcotics-related agreements as well. It has signed the Central Asian Counternarcotics Protocol with UNDCP and neighboring Central Asian countries, as well as a bilateral cooperation agreement with the United States. Tajikistan is a party to the World Customs Organization's International Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance for Prevention, Investigation, and Repression of Customs Offenses (the Nairobi Convention), Annex X on Narcotics Cases.

Cultivation/Production. Opium poppies and, to a lesser extent, marijuana are cultivated in limited amounts, most in the northern Aini and Pendjikent districts. Cultivation has been limited by law enforcement efforts as well as the fact that it is cheaper and safer in neighboring Afghanistan.

Drug Flow/Transit. An estimated 80 percent of the narcotics produced in Afghanistan are smuggled across the border into Tajikistan's Shurobod, Moskovski, and Panj districts, according to government figures. Europe and Russia are the ultimate destination of most illegal narcotics transiting Tajikistan, though a small portion may reach the United States.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The new Drug Control Agency has begun some experimental initiatives aimed at increasing drug awareness, primarily among schoolchildren, but there is still a long way to go in this area.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Twenty-one law enforcement personnel from Tajikistan participated in U.S.-sponsored programs at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest during 1999. In addition, 2-3 law enforcement personnel from Tajikistan have normally participated each year in DEA training programs. Opportunities for these programs were lost during 1999 because of disruptions caused by the U.S. Embassy's suspension of normal operations in Dushanbe.

The Road Ahead. UNDCP will remain the principal agency supporting counternarcotics efforts in Tajikistan. The U.S. will continue to provide law enforcement training, encourage similar support from Western European countries, and promote regional cooperation as essential to improve counternarcotics.

Turkey

I. Summary

Largely as a result of its geographical position, Turkey continues to be a major transit route for Southwest Asian opiates moving to Europe. Turkish law enforcement organizations continue to focus their efforts on stemming this transit traffic, and on disrupting illicit laboratories within Turkey which process smuggled opiate raw materials into heroin. Historically, drugs transiting Turkey have not entered the U.S. in significant quantities, and although trafficking from Turkey to the United States has increased during the last six months, the total amount entering the U.S. still remains small. There is no appreciable cultivation of illicit narcotics in Turkey. We are not aware of any diversion from Turkey's licit opium production program. Turkey is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Turkey is an active member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an anti-money laundering group.

II. Status of Country

European governments estimate that as much as 75 percent of the heroin seized in Europe either transited Turkey, was processed there, or was seized in connection with Turkish criminal syndicates. Assembling reliable data on heroin and other illicit opiates transiting Turkey is notoriously difficult, although DEA estimates that the flow to Europe has remained steady for the last two years at between four and six tons of heroin each month. Turkish law enforcement and anti-narcotics forces continue to improve their professional capabilities in their aggressive efforts to stem transit traffic. The increased discoveries of processing labs and seizures of illicit precursor chemicals, such as acetic anhydride, indicate that refining heroin in Turkey remains a problem.

No appreciable illicit narcotics cultivation takes place in Turkey, although Turkey is one of the world's two traditional opium growing countries, as recognized by the U.S. government and the INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL BOARD (INCB). The Turkish government maintains strict controls on its licit poppy program, which provides opiates for the international pharmaceutical market. Although the Turkish government has significantly improved seed yields and processing techniques, farming inefficiencies and relatively low alkaloid content continue to make poppy production in Turkey only marginally commercial, although poppy seeds are a valuable food crop in Turkey's domestic market. The USG has an ongoing program to work with the Turkish government to improve its licit poppy production.

Turkey continues to take actions against money- laundering, which include expanding government oversight of Turkish banks and taking steps to bring the large unregistered economy under fiscal control. The Financial Crimes Investigative Board (FCIB) continues to investigate several dozen money laundering cases, although most of these focus on non-narcotic criminal actions or tax evasion. Thirty percent of the FCIB's investigations are narcotics related.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. In 1999, the Turkish government continued to strengthen its control over financial institutions, primarily through the passage of a banking reform bill that increased regulatory oversight over commercial bank operations. While primarily aimed at strengthening the financial health of the banking sector, the Turkish government also intends to reduce the ability of banks and companies to evade taxes, and as a collateral benefit, to reduce the ability of criminal organizations to use the Turkish financial system. The Turkish government has also successfully pursued several high profile extradition cases of notorious criminals. By and large, these criminals have little or no direct relationship to narcotics trafficking, although their seizure will boost Turkish law enforcement efforts in general.

The Financial Crimes Investigative board (FCIB) continued to work closely with FATF and other international organizations to improve its money laundering investigative capabilities. During a review of Turkey's anti-money laundering efforts this fall, FATF gave Turkey generally good marks, although it also suggested several areas for further improvement.

Law Enforcement Efforts. During 1999, Turkish law enforcement agencies, including the Turkish National Police, the Jandarma (Rural Police), Customs and the Coast Guard, seized over 2.2 tons of heroin, five tons of hashish and thousands of pills. There were 5030 drug- related arrests and a significant increase in seizures of precursor chemicals, including acetic anhydride. Turkish counternarcotics forces continued to improve their professionalism and effectiveness. Most notable is the Jandarma, which added several more counternarcotics teams to its forces. Turkish officials continue to maintain a close relationship with counter narcotic counterparts in the U.S. and European governments, as well as with the UNDCP. Turkish officials hold monthly meetings with drug liaison officers based in Ankara.

Corruption. Allegations of corruption continue to be prevalent in Turkey, although rarely related to narcotics. The most prominent story of 1999 involved charges that high-ranking Istanbul police officials had cooperated with organized crime families in Turkey. Although there is a widespread belief in Turkey that significant corruption exists, primarily in or related to the private sector, the current government is generally regarded as being much less tolerant of corruption than previous governments.

Agreements and Treaties. The United States and Turkey have long-standing bilateral treaties covering extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, as well as a narcotics assistance protocol. The United States has concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement with Turkey. Turkey is a party to the World Customs Organization's International Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance for the Prevention , Investigation, and Repression of Customs Offenses (Nairobi Convention). Turkey is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and is a member of FATF.

Cultivation/Production. Illicit cultivation of narcotic plants, primarily marijuana, is minor and has no impact on the United States. Licit opium poppy cultivation is strictly controlled by the Turkish grain board (TMO), with no apparent diversion into illicit channels. Sale in Turkey of poppy seeds for traditional recipes nets farmers more return than the sale of the low alkaloid content poppy straw to the state enterprise which processes it into CPS. The U.S. Government is working with TMO to improve the alkaloid content of Turkey's poppies, and the efficiency of TMO's operations. Preliminary results of this program are quite encouraging, as seen in this year's increased production.

Drug Flow/Transit. Turkey remains a major transit route for the flow of southwest Asian heroin to Europe. Indications are that Turkish narcotics traffickers are supplying the heroin fueling the upswing in Albanian trafficking reported in 1999. Heroin, and to a lesser degree, morphine base is smuggled across Turkey's eastern border. Morphine base is refined in illicit labs, most often in Turkey's rural southeast, or near Istanbul. Heroin is most commonly transferred to Europe hidden in containers on TIR (International Road Transport System) trucks, which are only subject to customs inspections in source and final destination countries, not en route. Smaller amounts are transported by bus, air passengers or in private vehicles. The DEA Ankara office reports an increase over the past six months in the number of U.S.-destined heroin trafficking cases. However, this change is from a very low base, as historically, there has been very little evidence that heroin from Turkey enters the United States, either directly or through another transit state.

There are continued reports that the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) is involved in drug (and weapons) trafficking. The PKK, a terrorist separatist group active in the southeast border region of Turkey, is reportedly paid protection money by narcotics traffickers and refiners. PKK groups based in Europe are also alleged to be involved in narcotics trafficking. The Turkish government made major gains in its campaign against the PKK in 1999 with the capture of the organization's leader, Abdullah Ocalan, and several of his top lieutenants. Ocalan's capture and subsequent Turkish government actions aimed at improving conditions in southeastern Turkey may reduce PKK activities, including drug and arms trafficking, while also improving the Turkish government's ability to control its borders and interdict narcotics smuggling flows.

Demand Reduction. Turkey improved its efforts to reduce domestic demand for drugs by opening two new prevention and substance abuse clinics in 1999. Turkey plans to open a further three clinics in 2000. The incidence of substance abuse in Turkey remains low, although surveys indicate that the abuse rate among school children is growing and is beginning at an earlier age. Turkey's oldest drug prevention and substance abuse clinic, the Istanbul ANATEM, has broadened its outreach to local schools and doctors in an effort to better educate children about the dangers of drugs. The Ministry of Health is also preparing a national plan to combat drug abuse. The Turkish government established a national council with representatives of all concerned ministries, the Istanbul ANATEM and university faculties, which meets monthly to discuss strategies and coordinate efforts.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. U.S. Policy remains to strengthen Turkey's law enforcement capability to combat narcotics trafficking and to enhance Turkey's ability to control money laundering and financial crimes. The USG provides counternarcotics commodity and training assistance to the Turkish National Police and Jandarma; training and equipment to Turkish Customs to improve border interdiction; and training and assistance to the Turkish FCIB. The USG is also helping the Turkish government improve its licit poppy production program to prevent its diversion into illicit channels. USG counternarcotics programs in Turkey are budgeted at U.S. $500,000 annually.

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. counter-narcotic agencies report that their Turkish counterparts have steadily increased cooperation with U.S. officials. Turkish counternarcotics forces have also become increasingly professional, in part because the U.S. program affords them access to the training and equipment they need to pursue more sophisticated investigations. U.S. officials held several very successful training sessions for Turkish law enforcement officials, including a major money laundering investigation seminar in April.

Road Ahead. Turkey's primary focus will remain to interdict and disrupt narcotics flows across its territory. As part of its broader campaign against tax evasion and corruption, Turkey will also continue to increase its ability to combat money-laundering. Turkey will need to improve its judicial system, including increasing the number of judges and providing them with advanced training in issues like money laundering, to produce significant convictions which will begin to serve as a deterrent. Turkey will also need to procure more advanced equipment to keep pace with increasingly sophisticated trafficking methods.

Turkmenistan

I. Summary

Turkmenistan is not a significant producer of illegal drugs or precursor chemicals. The country's geographic location, however, makes it an ideal corridor for drug transit from Southwest Asia to Russian and European markets. Turkmenistan borders Afghanistan and Iran for more than 1,000 kilometers along its southern and southeastern frontier. The Border Guards, State Customs and Committee for National Security (KNB) share responsibility for preventing the flow of drugs into the country. Their efforts are made difficult by a lack of resources and equipment. Domestic drug use remains relatively low, but there is anecdotal evidence that the user population is increasing. Turkmenistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, having acceded to it on 1996.

II. Status of Country

Turkmenistan has become a popular transit country for opium, heroin and precursor chemicals. Narcotics move through the country to European, Russian and Turkish markets from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Border crossing points with Iran have heavy truck and bus traffic flowing into Turkmenistan. This year Turkmenistan Airlines added Bangkok to the list of 8 major international cities with direct routes to Ashgabat. The trafficking of the precursor chemical acetic anhydride continues to be a concern in Turkmenistan. Border officials report an increasing number of drug smugglers who carry the drug, usually heroin, within their bodies by swallowing it. Officials report an increase in street-level distribution of heroin in Ashgabat. Traditionally, white or brownish heroin has been sold. However, recently officials report that a higher quality black crystal type of heroin has been introduced by Afghan-based traffickers. Turkmen authorities believe Afghan traffickers keep considerable amounts of drugs hidden in and around Ashgabat while finalizing details for transporting the contraband to Russia, Turkey and Europe.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. The manufacture, possession, sale and use of illicit narcotics are illegal under the criminal code that took effect in 1997. Although the 1997 code allowed for the death penalty in such cases, President Niyazov declared a moratorium on capital punishment in early 1999. However, sentences are strict--8-10 years--even for those convicted of possessing small amounts of drugs. Drug interdiction remains a priority for the Government of Turkmenistan.

Accomplishments. During the first 8 months of 1999, Turkmen border authorities seized 16 tons of various drugs, mostly hashish, marijuana, opium and heroin. In May 1999, Turkmen authorities seized approximately 12 metric tons of acetic anhydride at the Kushka border crossing point inside a truck destined for Afghanistan. In July 1999, Turkmen law enforcement personnel were involved in a skirmish with Afghan traffickers attempting to cross the border with a 20-mule caravan. During this confrontation, two traffickers were killed, two were arrested, and 1,800 kilograms of opium were seized. There were 1,490 drug-related criminal proceedings in the first 8 months of 1999 and 2,148 persons were taken into custody. Other notable seizures include 1.4 kilos of hashish and 316 kilos of heroin discovered in Kushka in a railway container en route from Afghanistan to Russia.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The Ministry of Interior established a 20-person unit dedicated solely to counternarcotics, with a presence in all five velayats (regions). Turkmen authorities have concentrated border interdiction efforts along the Iranian border and the Kushka crossing point at the Afghan border. As a result, seizures in these areas have decreased slightly as traffickers adjust to law enforcement actions. However, seizures have increased in the remote areas bordering Afghanistan and in Lebap Province in the east. Additionally, law enforcement efforts at border crossing points with Uzbekistan have increased.

Corruption. Low salaries of police and other officials and lack of rule of law create a climate in which corruption can occur. In November, three KNB officers were publicly reprimanded by the president for allegedly receiving payoffs from drug smugglers. According to official reports, the three had arrested a trafficker, but then allegedly accepted USD 2,000 to let the smuggler go free.

Agreements and Treaties. In 1996, the Government of Turkmenistan signed a memorandum of understanding pledging cooperation with its Central Asian neighbors (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) in the fight against drugs. In June 1999, Turkmenistan and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding for curbing drug and chemical precursor trafficking along their border. In 1996, Turkmenistan became a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

Cultivation and Production. Turkmenistan is not a major drug producing country. Opium cultivation is illegal, although it does occur on a limited scale in remote mountain and desert areas. Each spring, the Ministry of Interior conducts aerial inspections of outlying areas in search of illicit poppy cultivation and illegal crops are eradicated.

Drug Flow and Transit. Turkmenistan's popularity as a transit country for drugs and precursor chemicals is increasing. According to law enforcement officials, 80 percent of the drugs flowing into Turkmenistan originates in Afghanistan. Because border control units are concentrated heavily in the south, Turkmen officials fear traffickers will route their contraband through Uzbekistan, where border crossing points are less well staffed and equipped than those with Afghanistan and Iran. Although the Turkmen do a decent job of interdiction given their limited resources, the illegal flow of narcotics through Turkmenistan will likely increase in the coming years.

Demand Reduction. Treatment clinics for drug addicts operate under the auspices of psychiatric hospitals. Reliable statistics are unavailable on the total number of addicts in Turkmenistan, although there is anecdotal evidence that drug abuse is rising. No concerted anti-drug campaign or educational program currently exists, but government-run newspapers frequently run articles about the harmful health and social effects of narcotics use.

IV. U.S. Policies and Initiatives

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. has provided significant law enforcement and counternarcotics training to Turkmen law enforcement entities and remains committed to providing training assistance to enhance existing capabilities in narcotics control.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will work with the Government of Turkmenistan to further enhance counternarcotics and law enforcement capabilities, especially in border control by providing training courses and programs. The U.S. will encourage development of demand reduction efforts and improvement of judicial and legal institutions handling of narcotics-related crime.

Ukraine

I. Summary

Ukraine continued to witness an increase in narcotics trafficking and use in 1999. Although domestic cultivation of poppy and hemp has been on the upswing in recent years, the Government of Ukraine continued to take concrete steps in 1999 to limit their cultivation. The transit of narcotics from Turkey, Asia, South America, and Africa through Ukraine, however, remains problematic. Although combating narcotics trafficking and use is a national priority for law enforcement agencies, the lack of sufficient funding continues to severely hamper Ukrainian efforts. Coordination between law enforcement agencies responsible for anti-narcotics work has improved but still remains a problem. Corrupt officials may also contribute to the increased use of Ukraine for drug transit and may complicate interdiction efforts. Ukraine is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and has sought to follow the provisions of the convention in enacting counternarcotics legislation.

II. Status of Country

While Ukraine is not a major drug producing/transit country, Ukrainian officials believe the trends for the past three years appear to indicate an increase in trafficking of narcotic drugs through Ukraine (although no official statistics exist to support this trend and drug seizures leveled off in 1999). A rise in domestic drug use has also been reported and is documented by the increase in the number of officially registered drug addicts. Due to its geopolitical location, Ukraine is becoming more of a significant transit corridor for narcotic drugs (primarily heroin and hashish) originating in Uganda, Nigeria, Colombia, Turkey, as well as other parts of Southeast and Central Asia. Numerous ports on the Black Sea and porous borders, coupled with poorly funded and underequipped Customs and Border units, make Ukraine increasingly attractive to trafficking organizations. While drug seizures appear to have leveled off, drug usage levels and trafficking activity continue on upward trends.

According to preliminary Ukraine government statistics for the first eleven months of 1999, approximately 40,168 cases involving narcotics were brought to court, a small increase over last year's figures. Additionally, 20,389 persons were fined administratively for minor drug-related violations, a small decrease over last year's figures. About 14,700 individuals are currently in confinement for drug-related offenses. At the same time, there were approximately 3,723 criminal cases involving crimes committed primarily by unemployed persons under the age of 30.

While the number of officially registered drug addicts in the country now exceeds 85,000, an increase of approximately 20,000 over last year's figures, the number of unregistered abusers is estimated to be two to three times that number. Opium poppy straw extract continues to be the main drug of choice for addicts, although marijuana is also prevalent and growing in popularity among young people. Synthetic drugs are also becoming popular with the younger generation. Hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin are still too expensive for the average Ukrainian citizen, so their levels of abuse are still not significant. Ukrainian efforts to combat narcotics continue to be plagued by low pay among law enforcement personnel and by the lack of resources available for the fight against drugs.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. In February 1995, the Ukrainian Parliament passed a package of drug control laws that were drafted with the assistance of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The laws are generally well drafted, quite comprehensive, and in line with the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In general, Ukrainian law enforcement officials praise the drug control legislation as being effective tools in drug enforcement.

Under this legislation, the counternarcotics enforcement responsibility is given to the Ministry of Interior (MVD), the State Security Service (SBU), the State Customs Service, and the Border guards. In 1993, the Drug Enforcement Department (DED), an independent department within the MVD, was also created. The DED reports directly to the Minister of Interior and is currently staffed by 1,570 personnel. Although understaffed, the DED has achieved some major successes in fighting drug trafficking by eliminating a number of international drug trafficking channels.

In 1994, the National Anti-narcotics Coordinating Council, established in the Cabinet of Ministers to coordinate the efforts of government and public organizations, approved a 1994-97 anti-drug plan. However, many of the steps, including the establishment of an inter-agency drug data bank, were shelved due to lack of funds. A counternarcotics plank was incorporated into Ukraine's 1996-2000 anti-crime program. In 1998, the MVD made the anti-drug effort a top law enforcement priority and continues to do.

Because of the increasing use of Ukrainian seaports in the transit of drugs to the West, in 1997 the government also tasked the State Security Service with focusing on preventing the shipment of drugs by sea. The authorities have also stepped up counternarcotics efforts at the nation's airports.

Accomplishments. As mentioned above, Ukraine's efforts to implement its anti-narcotics plan have been greatly hindered by severe lack of funding for police and social organizations. Despite this, the Ministry of Health working with the MVD is moving ahead with an anti-drug educational program, conducting training of teachers, health care workers and police to serve as counselors. During the first eleven months of 1999, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies were successful in seizing approximately 25 tons of narcotic drugs. This included domestic seizures of 6.0 kilograms of heroin, 21 tons of opium straw extract, 123 kilograms of opiates, 4 tons of marijuana, 18,000 tablets of ecstasy, and 253 doses of LSD. The Drug Enforcement Department of the Ministry of Interior was also successful in uncovering 35 laboratories, some of which were involved in making synthetic drugs, including amphetamines. The government has also made efforts to periodically destroy poppy fields using pesticides and slash and burn tactics. In 1999, government authorities destroyed 1, 903 square meters (approximately two hectares) of opium poppy fields, 18,000 square meters of marijuana and 26,000 square meters of wild cannabis. Local consumption, rather than export, absorbs most of what is grown. The police also broke up 680 criminal groups (most of which number only a handful of people) involved in narcotics. The latter figure is down from last year.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Ukrainian drug enforcement units remain relatively inexperienced, understaffed, and severely underfunded. The MVD has approximately 1,570 officers assigned to drug units throughout Ukraine, but it is estimated that four times this number is needed to operate effectively. Budget cuts may also force further staff reductions and limit operations. Although coordination between law enforcement agencies (primarily the MVD, SBU, Customs Service and Border Guards) responsible for counternarcotics has improved, conflicts of investigative jurisdiction, as well as the degree of cooperation, continue to hamper interagency effectiveness.

Corruption. Ukrainian politicians and private citizens consistently point out that corruption remains a major problem and hinders investment and broader economic reform. While corruption is rarely linked with narcotics, it diminishes the effectiveness of Ukrainian government efforts to combat organized crime, a major player in the narcotics business. It is possible that the increased use of Ukraine for drug transit to Western European markets may be linked to easily corrupt law enforcement officials, especially since the drugs are not intended for the domestic market. Parliament passed a law on corruption in 1995 which was intended to clean up the Ukrainian government. The President, in April 1998, approved a seven-year concept to combat corruption. While a number of lower ranking officials have been prosecuted, there have been very few cases involving senior officials.

Agreements and Treaties. Ukraine is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and has also signed counternarcotics agreements with the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP). It is also a party to the agreement of the police forces of the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which provides for coordination of operational drug control activities, and bilateral anti- narcotics agreements have been signed with the security services of Belarus and Russia. Intergovernmental agreements providing for joint enforcement efforts against illicit drug trafficking have been signed with the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom. The Ukraine government has also concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement with the USG.

Cultivation and Production. Opium poppy is predominately grown in western, southwestern and northern Ukraine, while hemp cultivation is centered in the eastern and southern parts of the country. Small quantities of poppies are grown legally for the food industry by state farms, which are closely controlled and guarded. In late 1997, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal which allows specially licensed farms to engage in poppy and hemp cultivation. In 1999, special certificates for cultivation were issued to seven agricultural enterprises, totaling 804 hectares.

Drug Flow/Transit. Ukraine continues to see an increase in drug traffic from Central and Southeast Asia, Russia, Moldova, and Hungary. In 1999, twenty-nine international drug trafficking routes through Ukraine were eliminated. Shipments are usually destined for Western Europe and transit by road, rail or sea. While some drugs are produced locally, synthetic drugs are also imported from Moldova, Hungary, Germany, and other European countries.

Ukraine's importance to drug traffickers as a transit corridor to Western and Eastern Europe is increasing, as evidenced by the following seizures in late 1997 and 1998 in port areas on the Black Sea: 6.1 tons of hashish (originating in Uganda), 250 kilograms of cocaine paste (originating in Ecuador), and 624 kilograms of refined cocaine (originating in Colombia). There were no large seizures of narcotic drugs in 1999. However, in 1999 two Panamanian registered ships, crewed by Ukrainian seamen and carrying considerable quantities of cocaine, were seized in the Gulf of Mexico by U.S. authorities. Four Ukrainian sailors were recently convicted in federal court in Houston, Texas for trafficking in narcotics.

Domestic Programs. Since most Ukrainian drug abusers are under the age of 30, Ukrainian officials are targeting education efforts in schools. A U.S. based non-government organization has been operating a drug information center in Kiev since 1996. In addition, religious organizations have opened over one half dozen rehabilitation centers throughout Ukraine.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. objectives are to assist Ukrainian authorities to develop effective counternarcotics programs both in interdiction of drugs transiting the country and demand reduction. Ukraine signed a mutual legal assistance treaty in criminal matters with the United States in 1998, which is pending before the U.S. Senate. The U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as U.S. Customs have sponsored a number of training courses in such areas as interdiction, management training, asset forfeiture, forensics, border control, and money laundering.

The Road Ahead. Ukraine does not yet have a serious drug problem by world standards. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union has resulted in the rapid growth of criminal activity, including narcotics trafficking and use. The trafficking of narcotic drugs from Central and Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America to European destinations through Ukraine is on the increase as traffickers look for ways to circumvent stringent Western European customs and border controls. Demand reduction and treatment for drug abusers continues to be an area that needs attention. Law enforcement agencies need continued assistance in Western techniques. The U.S. government, through training and law enforcement assistance, is working to increase Ukrainian performance in counternarcotics efforts.

United Kingdom

I. Summary

The United Kingdom (UK) is a consumer country of illicit drugs. In the course of legitimate business it produces and exports precursor and essential chemicals that could be used to manufacture illicit drugs, strictly enforcing national precursor chemical legislation in compliance with European Union (EU) regulations. Implementation of tougher legislation appears to have reduced vulnerability of British financial institutions throughout the crown dependencies and overseas territories to money laundering, but offshore banking facilities in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Caribbean Overseas Territories (COTS) remain attractive to drug funds. Crime syndicates from around the world tap into the underground narcotics market, and use the UK as a major shipping route. Like other developed nations, the UK faces a serious domestic drug problem. The UK is in the second year of a 10-year drug strategy, monitored by the UK anti-drug coordinator (UKADC), Keith Hellawell. The two governments held their first drug summit in October 1999. The UK is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

British drug policy addresses demand reduction, treatment and law enforcement, and focuses on locally-based action plans. Marijuana is still the most popular illicit drug in the UK. With the number of heroin addicts at more than 100,000, heroin and other injected drugs (notably cocaine and crack cocaine), which have been on the increase over the last four years, continue to be a major concern. The region around Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland is the hardest hit, but even Oxford, England and many rural areas confront a serious heroin problem; heroin seems to be a greater problem outside London. The death toll from heroin rose from last year's figure of 99 to 107 as of September 1999.

Reports of arrest for possession of crack cocaine and cocaine have doubled or even tripled over the last three years. Seizures of illegal narcotics have quadrupled, yet increased arrests have failed to make a serious dent in the drug trade: the value of drugs confiscated amounts to only a fraction of the overall profits from drug dealing. The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) reported that Britain faces its worst-ever threat from national and international organized crime: drugs are linked to about 80 percent of all organized gangland crime in London, and about 60 percent of UK crime overall. British authorities are also concerned about the use of amphetamines and ecstasy (MDMA), particularly among young people in London's popular club scene. Methadone is frequently misused. On a brighter note, a recent survey revealed that drug use among teenagers dropped about seven percent from the previous year.

III. Country Action against Drugs

Policy Initiatives. The government developed a 10-year strategy, first outlined in an April 1998 white paper which emphasized the importance of all sectors of society working together to combat drugs: drug problems do not occur in isolation, but are often linked to other social problems. This reflects wider UK government reforms in the welfare state, education, employment, health, criminal justice and the economy.

The UK's continuing drug strategy focuses on preventive measures to help young drug users resist the use of narcotics, aid to communities in dealing with the effects of drug abuse, effective treatment for drug abusers, and reducing availability of drugs on the streets. This strategy continues to prompt a wide-scale review of available resources. The UK government spends around $2.3 (BPS 1.4) billion per year on fighting drugs: 62 percent for enforcement-related work and the balance for education, prevention, and treatment, shifting away from expenditure dealing with the consequences of drug misuse, toward greater investment in prevention.

The UK works closely with the UNDCP and is its second-largest bilateral donor. The British play a leading role in a number of international drug-control fora, including the Council of Europe's Pompidou group, the Dublin group, EUROPOL's drug unit and other EU forums, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The UK chairs the south Asian region of the Dublin group and is an active counternarcotics advocate in the many mini- Dublin groups throughout the world. In 1999, the FCO spent approximately $9.9 (BPS 6) million on aid and assistance focusing on the primary southwest Asian and Balkan heroin route and on the Latin American and Caribbean cocaine route. In addition, the UK government allotted $3.3 (BPS 2) million for Royal Navy ships on counternarcotics duty and assistance programs in the Caribbean.

In January 1999, the UKADC announced an additional $445.5 (BPS 270) million for domestic anti-drug education, treatment and prevention schemes. In July, it pledged support for a new $33 (BPS 20) million challenge fund scheme to reduce drug-related crime through the use of more arrest referral programs in local police stations.

The government is planning legislation to give police the power to test criminal suspects whose offense may be linked to hard-drug misuse. Courts will be required to give weight to a positive test-result when deciding bail, and testing will be extended to offenders serving community sentences and those on parole. Tough drug policies have bipartisan support. Parliament's opposition leader proposed legislation to mandate life sentences for drug dealers twice convicted of supplying hard drugs to children.

New Scotland Yard appointed in January 1999 its first anti-drugs coordinator for the London Metropolitan Police, to work closely with the UKADC on coordinated drug programs for the capital. In Scotland, the government announced a tough new crackdown on drugs in prisons: inmates in open prisons caught using drugs will be sent immediately to high-security prison.

Accomplishments. The Drug Treatment and Testing order is a new community-based sentence authorizing courts to require that offenders undergo treatment, and submit to mandatory and random drug testing. The new order began as a pilot program in September 1998 in three areas of England. Outcomes are being closely monitored and evaluated. If successful as a pilot scheme, implementation of the new order will begin across the country in 2000.

In January 1999 the Home Secretary announced a new initiative to reduce smuggling of drugs into prisons, and the government launched a prison service drugs treatment program. In April the government published new clinical guidelines for doctors (GPS), based on evidence and offering best-practice guidance for clinicians. A drug prevention advisory service was launched, building on the drug prevention initiative, to provide guidance and support for drug action teams (DATS). In May the UKADC published its first annual report and plan, which set tough, binding targets for all government departments. Key targets include reduction in the number of young people using heroin and cocaine, of the availability of heroin and cocaine among young people, and of the level of repeat offense by drug misusing offenders (25 percent by 2005, and 50 percent by 2008). Another key target is to increase the number of people accessing treatment services (66 percent by 2005, and 100 percent by 2008). In May came also the announcement of a new fund, deriving from money seized from drug traffickers, to be used in the fight against drugs.

Results of the National Treatment Outcome Research Study (NTORS) released in June 1999 indicated that two years after treatment, former users' drug consumption and related offenses are significantly reduced, supporting the strategy's aim of getting offenders into treatment. A survey of arrestees began, using the New-Adam urine analysis, to monitor recent and long-term drug use and availability. In July, the Home Secretary announced the new arrest referral challenge scheme (see above), endowed with $33 (BPS 20) million for drug offender arrest referral programs over a three-year period.

In September a new schools survey began to measure use of and attitudes toward narcotics among students between the ages of 11 and16. In October, a streamlined DAT template came into use, improving the quality of data on the year's progress in the four strategic areas of focus.

Law Enforcement Efforts. British law enforcement officials, including customs and excise officials, are vigilant and effective. Scotland Yard's Special Branch was assigned to help fight the war on drugs, to add their expertise to that of MI5 (internal intelligence) and MI6 (external intelligence). Former regional crime squads merged in April 1998 to create a single national crime squad under one central command. The Scottish Parliament plans a separate position similar to the UKADC, as well as a Scottish drug enforcement agency similar to the DEA.

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

Agreements and Treaties. The U.S.-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) entered into force in December 1996. The UK is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and complies fully with its provisions. It was the first country to ratify the Council of Europe's directive on money laundering, as well as the first EU member to ratify the agreement establishing EUROPOL. An extradition treaty and protocol are in force between the U.S. and the UK. The UK is party to the WCO International Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance for Prevention, Investigation and Repression of Customs Offenses ("Nairobi Convention") Annex X on assistance in narcotics cases. The U.S.-UK customs mutual assistance agreement (CMAA) dates from 1989.

Cultivation/Production. Marijuana is cultivated in limited quantities for personal use, and occasionally is sold commercially for illicit use. Most illicit amphetamines and ecstasy are imported from continental Europe, but some are manufactured in the UK in limited amounts. Authorities destroy the crops and close down clandestine facilities as detected.

Drug Flow/Transit. Steady supplies of heroin and cocaine continue to enter the UK. Heroin comes primarily (95 percent) from southwest Asia, chiefly Afghanistan, but also Pakistan. Most goes through Iran, Turkey (where much of it is processed), and eastern/central Europe. The UNDCP believes that drug traffickers increasingly use some of the Newly Independent States (NIS) as alternative smuggling routes to the UK, but British authorities have not been able to verify this. Hashish comes primarily from Morocco. Large cocaine shipments arrive directly from South America, while smaller shipments often come up from the Spanish coast, either directly or via Amsterdam. The street price of cocaine is much higher than in the U.S., making the UK an attractive market. A synthetic drug supply originates out of western and central Europe; amphetamines, ecstasy, and LSD have been traced from the Netherlands, Poland, as well as the UK.

The UK supports drug interdiction efforts in Iran, a key country on the heroin transit route. The FCO provides $1.65 (BPS 1) million for UN counternarcotics projects in Iran and $247,500 (BPS 150,000) for related bilateral assistance to Iran. The UN project covers training and equipment primarily to strengthen counternarcotics work at the borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. In March 1999, the UK donated $495,000 (BPS 300,000) to the UN to provide Iranian border personnel with 1020 bulletproof vests. Following discussions with Iranian authorities in November 1999, the UK expanded such assistance to include direct training (by British Customs and Excise) and equipment to strengthen Iran's exit border with Turkey, which will address gaps in UNDCP coverage. The FCO observed that export from the UK of some equipment may be subject to control, and an export license may be required if sourced from the UK. If such a license were granted, it would constitute an exception to the UK's arms embargo on Iran.

Domestic Programs. The UK government's demand and reduction efforts focus on school and other community-based programs to educate young people and prevent them from taking drugs. New guidelines were enacted in November 1998 to help teachers and youth-workers to warn young people about the dangers of drugs, and in April 1999 the drug prevention advisory service established school and community teams to give specialist prevention advice to all of the locally-based drug action teams. In the same month, the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse published guidance for teachers on managing drug problems in school. In July (as mentioned above) the Home Secretary launched a joint funding initiative for arrest referral programs in local police stations.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. Since 1989 the U.S. and UK governments have conducted periodic consultations at the senior level to coordinate and harmonize policies, plans and programs on all counternarcotics fronts. Law enforcement cooperation between the two countries is excellent and growing. The first U.S.-UK drug summit, held in London in October 1999, revealed near unanimity on U.S.-UK drug issues, ranging from drugs in prisons to doping in sports, and demonstrated that domestic and foreign drug-policy issues have merged. The FCO Minister of State noted participants' agreement that demand and supply reductions are two sides of the same coin, and said he plans to move the anti-drug effort up the UK's foreign-policy agenda. The successful summit reflected and built upon closer ties formed between U.S. and UK drug officials. Through ONDCP, in particular, the U.S. has formed a solid working relationship with the UKADCU and other parts of the British anti-drugs machinery, including the FCO.

At the November 1999 International Olympic Committee (IOC) conference in Sydney, Australia, the UK supported the U.S. proposal to establish a fully independent anti-doping agency, which differed from the proposal made by the IOC. The U.S. and UK agreed on some basic principles and on continuing to work together to build consensus with the EU and its international partners on this issue.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. looks forward to continued close cooperation with the UK on all counternarcotics fronts.

Uzbekistan

I. Summary

Uzbekistan is a transit country for opium and heroin going to Russia and Europe mainly from Afghanistan. It is not a producer of narcotics or precursors. Although narcotics seizures have increased significantly, drug control efforts are hampered by lack of adequate resources and centralized coordination. The Ministries of Health and Internal Affairs count approximately 22,000 identified addicts in Uzbekistan and the number of drug abusers is assumed to be much higher. The government considers the fight against drugs to be a high priority. Uzbekistan is a party to the 1988 UN drug convention.

II. Status of Country

Several transshipment routes for opium, heroin and hashish originate in Southwest Asia and cross Uzbekistan on the way to Russia and Europe. Precursor chemicals have in the past traveled the same routes in reverse on their way to laboratories in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but there were no seizures of precursors in 1999. With the explosive growth in heroin and opium production in Afghanistan, the volume of narcotics crossing Uzbekistan is growing. Effective government eradication programs have eliminated nearly all illicit production of opium poppy in Uzbekistan.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1999

Policy Initiatives. On August 19, 1999, the president signed a new law "on narcotic substances and psychotropic agents," which took effect January 1, 2000. The law regulates production, use and transport of narcotics and precursors. All legitimate activities involving these substances, including medical use, will require state licensing, although the government has yet to assign licensing responsibility to any state agency. Many activities, including import and export of narcotics and precursors, will also require the explicit permission of the State Commission on Drug Control.

The law also contains a section on combating illegal trafficking in narcotics and directs the State Commission on Drug Control to coordinate counternarcotics efforts. It also authorizes law enforcement measures, such as conducting searches, confiscating contraband and compelling blood testing for suspected criminal drug use. The law's final section guarantees medical treatment for addicts. Although the law's scope is comprehensive, it is not detailed. Officials are currently drafting implementing regulations.

A draft counternarcotics master plan through the year 2000, submitted to the presidential apparat in 1998 and delayed for lack of funding, will be updated and resubmitted in 2000. Current Uzbek legislation nominally meets the requirements of the 1988 UN Drug Convention in that illicit cultivation, production, sales distribution and transport are criminalized. However, money laundering legislation and asset seizure regulations are vague.

Accomplishments. Uzbekistan agreed to a UNDCP project on precursor control that will establish an agency to oversee trade, transport and production of precursor chemicals. The UNDCP plans to assist in developing the legal framework for precursor control and in training and advising the new agency's staff. Uzbekistan continues to support the Uzbek Institute of Plant Genetics, which is developing a pathogen specific to opium poppies. This project has existed since 1997 with UNDCP and USDA support.

Law Enforcement Efforts. According to the State Commission on Drug Control, law enforcement agencies seized about 4 tons of illicit narcotics in 1999, a significant increase over 1998. Preliminary statistics show that in the first 9 months of 1999, Uzbek law enforcement seized nearly 4 metric tons of illicit drugs. In October and November, there were further significant seizures amounting to nearly 1 ton. The Customs Service in particular has improved its drug interdiction record over the last year.

Uzbek law enforcement agencies have cooperated with UNDCP on two projects that were completed in 1999. They include assistance to the National Drug Information and Analysis Center within the State Commission on Drug Control and a regional project involving Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan aimed at improving interdiction in the Ferghana valley. The project established regional communication links among the law enforcement agencies of the three countries.

Three agencies with separate jurisdictions have counternarcotics responsibilities. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), the National Security Services (NSS), and the State Customs Committee. The MVD concentrates on domestic crime, the NSS handles international organized crime (in addition to its traditional foreign intelligence role), and Customs works on the border. Despite this apparently clear delineation of responsibilities, the lack of operational coordination diminishes the effectiveness of counternarcotics efforts. The State Commission on Drug Control was designed to minimize mistrust, rivalry and duplication of efforts among the agencies, but has had limited success to date. To address this problem, the new narcotics law clearly assigns the commission responsibility for coordination.

Corruption. There were no major narcotics-related corruption cases in 1999. Nonetheless, corruption and bribery among law enforcement officials are common and sometimes related to narcotics.

Agreements and Treaties. Uzbekistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug convention; the Central Asian Counternarcotics Memorandum of Understanding with the UNDCP; the 1994 Central Asian Economic Commission that includes pledges to cooperate in counternarcotics efforts; and the 1999 Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan agreement on regional cooperation in fighting transnational crime, which includes a protocol on counternarcotics and calls for regular liaison among the signatories. In April 1998, Uzbekistan and the U.S. signed a letter of agreement for provision of USG counternarcotics assistance. Uzbekistan has bilateral agreements to cooperate in the fight against narcotics and in other areas of law enforcement with Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, the Czech Republic, Germany, Turkey and Pakistan. In November 1999, President Karimov committed to bilateral counternarcotics cooperation with China. The country is party to the commonwealth of independent states multilateral extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements and has bilateral agreements with several other states.

Cultivation/Production. The annual "Operation Black Poppy" destroyed 2.7 hectares of poppies, the total amount found by the government in 1999. The government eradication effort, which has been ongoing for several years, has all but eliminated illicit opium poppy cultivation in Uzbekistan. There were no reports of significant narcotics production in 1999.

Drug Flow/Transit. While Uzbekistan is not the premier transit country in the region, the quantity of drugs crossing Uzbek territory continues to grow. Opium and cannabis products from Southwest Asia transit Uzbekistan through several routes, mostly routes that pass through its border with Tajikistan. The drugs then travel through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to markets in Russia and Europe.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Most observers agree that there are around 200,000 narcotics abusers among Uzbekistan's 24 million inhabitants. The problem is growing. According to the Ministry of Health, the number of registered addicts rose from 15,000 in 1998 to 22,000 in 1999. The government youth agency, Kamolot, launched a public relations campaign against drug use in 1999. Registered addicts are subject to compulsory treatment.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives

U.S. Policy Initiatives. The U.S. continues to support counternarcotics efforts in the Central Asian Region, including Uzbekistan. The goals of the 1998 counternarcotics bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Uzbekistan are to prevent illicit drug activities in and through the territory of Uzbekistan and to increase the effectiveness of the fight against the trade in illicit narcotic substances.

Bilateral Cooperation. In 1999, the U.S. assisted Uzbekistan's counternarcotics efforts by continuing support of the Uzbek Institute of Genetics Research into an opium destroying pathogen and providing training courses aimed at improving counternarcotics and law enforcement infrastructure development. The U.S., United Kingdom and Germany provided bilateral counternarcotics and border control assistance in 1999.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. is planning several training initiatives in Uzbekistan in 2000. The U.S. intends to provide the State Customs Committee with vehicles for border control. In-country advisors will work with the Uzbek Customs Committee to improve narcotics detection and drug interdiction. Fifteen courses have been requested for 2000, including counternarcotics and law enforcement infrastructure development.

[End.]

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