U.S. Department of State

Southwest Asia

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I. Summary

Afghanistan continues to be the world's largest opium producer after another year of major increases. Afghanistan now accounts for 72 percent of the world's illicit opium supply. Despite severe drought conditions in much of the country, reliable USG estimates indicate that cultivation increased by 25 percent and potential production reached 3,656 metric tons. Traffickers of Afghan heroin continued to route most of their production to Europe but also targeted the United States. The Taliban and Northern Alliance factions vie for national control of Afghanistan and both control territory used by cultivators, refiners and traffickers. The United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and non-governmental organization (NGO) efforts at supply and demand reduction have had little success due to the lack of cooperation and support from the Afghan factions. The factions, especially the Taliban, which controls 96 percent of the territory where poppy is grown, promote poppy cultivation to finance weapons purchases as well as military operations. Those in positions of authority have made proclamations against poppy cultivation but have had little or no effect on the drug trade, which continues to expand.

The Taliban issued in late July a new ban on poppy cultivation. However, it is not clear how serious the Taliban's efforts are to enforce the ban. Nor is it clear that a ban on poppy cultivation will impede a drug trade suspected by the international community to have large quantities of opium in storage. The announcement of the opium ban has caused opium prices to rise, a boon for traffickers sitting on large stockpiles. Neither the Taliban nor the Northern Alliance has taken any significant action to seize stored opium, precursor chemicals or arrest and prosecute narcotics traffickers. On the contrary, authorities continue to tax the opium poppy crop at about ten percent, and allow it to be sold in open bazaars, traded and transported.

Afghanistan is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but no political faction took meaningful steps in 2000 to meet Afghanistan's obligations under the Convention. In 1996, the Taliban pledged to deal with narcotic drugs according to international drug control conventions. In June 2000, the International Narcotics Control Board invoked article 14 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 against the Taliban for failing to extend support and cooperation to all international agencies working in the drug control field.

II. Status of Country

In 2000, Afghanistan remained the largest producer of opium poppy in the world, despite a protracted drought and an ongoing civil war and political instability. The Taliban and Northern Alliance continued to focus on the internal struggle for control of Afghanistan. By the end of 2000, the Taliban controlled 85 to 90 percent of the country's territory, including over 96 percent of the area where opium poppy is cultivated. The Northern Alliance has nominal control over the remaining four percent of the opium growing area, mostly in Badakhshan and Takhar provinces.

In the year 2000, potential production was estimated by the USG at 3,656 metric tons, two and a half times that of Burma, its nearest competitor for illicit poppy cultivation. New areas of poppy cultivation, high opium prices at planting and adequate water during the growing season spurred the record crop. Most of the poppy is grown on irrigated, prime agricultural land, and was unaffected by a devastating drought in the region during 2000. Afghanistan's poppy fields therefore produce very high yields per hectare.

Drug production in and trafficking from Afghanistan is affecting, negatively, the region. The drug trade corrupts local authorities, is the major factor behind skyrocketing regional heroin addiction in refugee and indigenous populations, and is responsible for increased levels of terrorism and drug-related violence in neighboring countries. The Afghan drug trade also undermines the rule of law by generating large amounts of cash, contributing to regional money laundering and official corruption in countries with weak economies and institutions.

III. Country Actions against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. The U.S. Government does not recognize either of Afghanistan's major political factions but holds those factions responsible for illicit activities within their areas of control and operation. The Northern Alliance has taken no action of which we are aware against cultivation and trafficking in its area. However, in July 2000, Taliban "supreme leader" Mullah Omar issued a decree to end poppy cultivation nation-wide in the 2000/2001 growing season. This decree followed the one issued in September 1999 to reduce poppy cultivation by one-third. While there have been some credible reports of scattered enforcement actions related to the new ban on poppy cultivation, it will not be possible to assess the extent of any eradication or reduction in cultivation until mid-2001. The Taliban made no discernible attempt to enforce decrees banning or reducing poppy in 1997 and 1999. Rather, cultivation increased countrywide in those years.

Accomplishments. No Afghan faction took any significant steps to achieve the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In June 2000, the International Narcotics Control Board invoked article 14 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 for failing to extend support and cooperation to all international agencies working in the drug control field.

The "State High Commission for Drug Control" (SHCDC) is a partner with UNDCP in Taliban-controlled areas on drug control projects. UNDCP's pilot alternative development/poppy reduction projects in Nangarhar and Qandahar provinces had mixed results in achieving poppy reduction targets last growing season. UNDCP-managed small-scale development assistance projects did not achieve significant reductions in opium cultivation and claimed decreases were offset by the expansion of cultivation in new districts. Only in Qandahar did poppy cultivation actually decline, but not by one-third as decreed. Local authorities continued to maintain a 1998 ban on opium production imposed in the Xebec district of Badakhshan province. In 1999 Badakhshan authorities subsequently extended it to the districts of Eshkashem and parts of Baharak. As a whole, Badakhshan opium poppy cultivation declined by 16 percent in 2000.

Because alternative development programs have had little or no effect and the controlling authorities continue to profit from the illicit trade, the international community has grown resistant to supporting alternative development projects in Afghanistan. As a result, UNDCP has insufficient donor support for its Afghanistan alternative development programs and is closing them down. The U.S. continues to support the UNDCP's annual opium poppy survey in Afghanistan as well as UNDCP crop monitoring programs.

Law Enforcement Efforts. In the absence of an effective central government, a trained antinarcotics force and an operational drug policy in Afghanistan, there is virtually no counternarcotics law enforcement. Afghanistan does not have any effective national institutional arrangements for the planning and coordination of drug control efforts. Local Taliban authorities claimed to have seized and burned 335 kilograms of opium and 4,500 kilograms of cannabis publicly in Qandahar in March 2000 but this has not been verified. There were no independently verifiable reports of arrest or prosecution of drug traffickers or local drug dealers. In November, the Nangarhar Taliban authorities claimed to have closed down a drug market in the notorious Ghani Khel bazaar in Shinwar district. The head of the Taliban's Anti-Narcotics Commission claimed destruction of cannabis cultivation in Logar and Balkh provinces in June and July 2000. None of these reports could be verified. Some local Shuras (councils of elders) are reportedly supporting the 2000 poppy ban. During October to November 2000, 28 farmers in Nangarhar reportedly were detained for violating the ban on sowing poppy seeds.

Also in Nangarhar, local authorities reportedly eradicated 200 hectares of poppy along the Torkham-Darunta road in April 2000; however, independent observers suggest the area eradicated was far smaller than reported and may have already been harvested. Despite this and other Taliban promises to destroy heroin laboratories, open narcotics refining is flourishing.

Agreements and Treaties. Afghan governments have signed a number of international conventions, and made specific commitments concerning the cultivation, trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 Single Convention. There is no evidence of compliance with any of these agreements. Afghanistan also signed the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime in December, 2000.

Cultivation and Production. Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium and a major producer of cannabis. An estimated 3,656 metric tons (MT) of opium gum was produced in 2000. Poppy cultivation and opium production increased 25 and 28 percent respectively, spurred by high opium prices at planting, adequate water conditions during the peak poppy growing season, and the failure of authorities to oppose the development of new areas for poppy cultivation.

Afghanistan's area under poppy cultivation has more than quadrupled since 1990. Opium poppy cultivation was found in 22 out of 29 provinces in 2000, according to the UNDCP. Helmand province alone accounted for more than half of the total opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and was responsible for 39 percent of the world illicit opium supply. By USG estimates, Helmand province dominated cultivation with 33,300 ha, followed by Nangarhar province with 15,800 ha in 2000.

An infrastructure for the production of morphine base and heroin has been developed in Afghanistan in contrast to the situation several years ago when nearly all heroin refining took place outside the country. Most laboratories refining opium into heroin operate in Nangarhar and Helmand provinces. Some laboratories also may be located near the Afghan borders of Central Asian countries.

Drug Flow/Transit. Opium trading in Afghanistan and Southwest Asia is well-organized and well developed. Traders offer growers advances to finance inputs, and tide growers over while the crop is in the ground. They visit households to buy opium. This credit, or advance payment on future opium production is an integral part of livelihood strategies in poppy producing areas of Afghanistan. The relatively stable value of opium and its nonperishability mean that it also serves as an important source of savings and investment among traders and cultivators. Taliban authorities reportedly facilitate the internal transit and export of drugs for traffickers.

As much as half the quantity of illicit drug produced in Afghanistan could be consumed in Afghanistan and its neighbors Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and other states in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf, according to UNDCP estimates. U.S. seizure data suggest that at least five percent (approximately one metric ton) of the heroin imported into the U.S. originates in Afghanistan. Smuggling routes are varied. Historically heroin has been trafficked to Europe and North America through Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey, but smuggling routes through the Central Asian Republics are proliferating. Afghanistan provides raw opium primarily for local consumption in Pakistan, Iran, and the Persian Gulf, where trafficking organizations have strong links.

On a regional basis, UNDCP operates a number of programs to reduce Afghan drug trafficking in Southwest Asia, including specific law enforcement programs with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Iran. Tajik, Iranian and Pakistani law enforcement forces are engaging more frequently in armed confrontations with well-equipped narcotics traffickers moving large quantities of drugs across the Afghanistan border.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Drug abuse is rising in Afghanistan. The increase in opium and heroin production inevitably has made more of these drugs available on the local market, despite any official attempts to prevent this from happening.

According to the UNDCP, heroin, opium and hashish are the most commonly abused drugs, along with a wide variety of easily available pharmaceutical drugs such as analgesics, hypno-sedatives and tranquilizers. Heroin, opium and other narcotics are almost exclusively ingested orally or inhaled, and are very rarely injected. Of particular concern is opium abuse among women and passive opium exposure of very young children. This year UNDCP cited anecdotal reports from Kabul suggesting an "epidemic" of tranquilizer use among women.

Heroin addiction is a rapidly growing problem especially in Jalalabad, Kabul, Qandahar, Herat as well as in expatriate Afghan communities in refugee camps. A Taliban court in October 1997 issued a decision that "addicts of illicit drugs should be referred to a hospital/treatment center to receive proper treatment." Nonetheless, the Taliban continues to incarcerate rather than treat drug addicts in Afghanistan. Effective institutional arrangements for the planning and coordination of demand reduction programs, in particular, are not in place in Afghanistan. Kabul's remaining mental hospital is reportedly the only place in Afghanistan providing limited specialized treatment for drug addicts. The hospital sees about 200 problem drug users per month, mostly heroin addicts. Some non-specialist hospitals and clinics in Afghanistan provide treatment to drug users. In Badakhshan province, where between ten to 25 percent of the local population is believed to use opium, at least one NGO has set up drug treatment facilities, but security concerns have forced the UNDCP to close a demand reduction program in Badakhshan.

UNDCP's drug awareness program in Afghanistan is limited by a lack of resources. Its drug demand reduction program focuses on the need for providing community based drug treatment and prevention programs. With the BBC Afghan Education Project, the UNDCP's Drug Demand Reduction Project published 15,000 picture books on the effect of drugs, leaflets on the consequences of heroin and cannabis use, and posters and calendars with an antidrug message. In 2000, UNDCP organized campaigns in Qandahar using the district shura, community representatives, and local representatives. UNDCP also trained over a hundred female community mobilizers in drug awareness, basic health, and sanitation.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The U.S. continues to urge the Afghan factions to demonstrate that they take international drug control obligations seriously. USG officials have repeatedly urged Taliban officials to respect and implement Afghanistan's international obligations on terrorism, narcotics, and human rights. In addition, the U.S. introduced and actively promoted the adoption of Security Council resolution 1333, which requires all states to prevent the sale, supply, or transfer by their nationals or from their territories of acetic anhydride to any person in the territory in Afghanistan under Taliban control. Regionally, the U.S is cooperating with the UNDCP and Afghanistan's neighbors to build national and regional capacities to counter the Afghan drug trade. The USG has been active in the UN-sanctioned Six Plus Two Group (Iran, Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, plus the U.S. and Russia) in its efforts to launch a regional counternarcotics initiative. In May 2000, the USG supported a UNDCP-sponsored Technical Experts meeting in Vienna that brought together Six Plus Two members and donor countries to develop a broad-based response to situation in Afghanistan and the surrounding region. In September, with the exception of Turkmenistan, the Six Plus Two Group signed a Regional Action Plan to counter the Afghan drug trade.

The Road Ahead. Prospects for meaningful progress on drug control efforts in Afghanistan remain dim as long as the country remains at war. Nothing indicates that either the Taliban or the Northern Alliance intend to take serious action to destroy heroin or morphine base laboratories or stop drug trafficking. The degree of implementation of the 2000 opium poppy ban cannot be verified until mid-2001. To the extent that poppy continues to displace wheat production in Helmand and in the country as a whole, Afghanistan will face increasingly severe food shortages. The USG seeks to contain the flow of opium and heroin from Afghanistan through a stronger focus on regional counternarcotics cooperation. As coordinator of the Six Plus Two counternarcotics initiative, the USG will continue to support and advance the Regional Action Plan. The USG will continue to impress upon all Afghan factions the importance of unconditional and verifiable counternarcotics measures, not merely claims and publicity measures.

Afghanistan Statistics












Potential Harvest (ha)










Eradication (ha)

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Potential Yield(1) (mt)










(1) Note: Potential production estimates for 1996-1999 have been revised upward from previous INCSRs, reflecting improved methodologies for estimating opium yields. The estimates of land area under poppy cultivation in Afghanistan for those are unchanged and have not been revised.


I. Summary

Surrounded by major drug producing and exporting countries, Bangladesh lies in the middle of one of the largest drug producing regions in the world. Although rumors persist of opium cultivation in some areas, Bangladesh is not a significant producer of narcotics. However, recent seizures of Southwest Asian heroin en route to Bangladesh indicate that trafficking organizations are using Bangladesh as a drug transit route. Bangladesh is also a consumer of illicit drugs. Local law enforcement agencies lack training, equipment, and other resources to detect and interdict drug shipments, and narcotics control efforts in Bangladesh lack coordination. Widespread corruption in the police aggravates law enforcement problems. Bangladesh is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Unconfirmed reports indicate opium is cultivated in Bandarban District near the Burmese border. However, the extent (if any) to which Bangladesh produces illegal narcotics or precursor chemicals is unknown. Bangladesh authorities seized six kilograms (kg) of heroin from January through September 2000. However, Pakistani Customs officials in Karachi seized more than 39 kilograms of heroin en route to Dhaka in eight separate incidents during this same period.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. In late November, the Bangladesh Government passed a new Narcotics Control Act, updating the law for the first time since 1990. This new law allows authorities to follow a drug shipment through to its destination, thereby identifying all the various channels involved. Prior law required authorities to seize the drugs immediately. The Narcotics Control Act of 2000 also includes a ban on precursor chemicals.

Accomplishments. In May 2000, Bangladesh completed construction of its central chemical laboratory (which includes some U.S.-provided equipment), designed to assist the Bangladesh Department of Narcotics Control in identifying and evaluating seized drugs. The lab has not yet become operational.

Law Enforcement Efforts. During the period from January through September 2000, law enforcement officials seized six kilograms of heroin, 3.9 metric tons cannabis and 140,000 bottles of Phensidyl, a cough syrup containing codeine widely abused in Bangladesh. In 1999 law enforcement officers seized a total of 28 kilograms of heroin (24 of which were seized in a single raid), 2.3 metric tons of cannabis and 113,000 bottles of Phensidyl. The Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) recruited twenty new officers directly from the university and gave them the rank of Assistant Deputy Director, a rank that would normally take twenty years to achieve in a move designed to limit the agents' vulnerability to corruption. While the DNC does offer some basic training, border guards, airport customs officers and police officers have little training in narcotics control.

Corruption. Corruption of government officials and law enforcement personnel is widespread in Bangladesh. Local police officers and government officials assist in smuggling goods, including narcotics. Corruption cases are rarely prosecuted, and corrupt officials are usually not punished beyond suspension or termination of government employment.

Asset Forfeiture. The Narcotics Control Act of 2000 grants the authorities the right to confiscate assets to combat drug-related money laundering.

Agreements and Treaties. Bangladesh is a party to the 1988 Drug Convention. Bangladesh also exchanges narcotics-related information with Burma, and it previously entered into a memorandum of understanding on narcotics cooperation with Iran.

Drug Flow/Transit. From January to September 2000, Pakistani Customs officials in Karachi seized more than 39 kilograms of heroin en route by air to Dhaka in eight different incidents. Obstacles to drug trafficking are few. The Department of Narcotics Control has no officers posted at the Chittagong airport, which receives 14 daily domestic flights and eight international flights per week. Customs officials receive no training in detecting narcotics. The DNC also does not conduct random searches of crew members, ships, boats, vehicles or containers at the Chittagong port. Guards along Bangladesh's porous borders with India and Burma, as well as postal officials, receive no training in detecting narcotics. Unconfirmed reports suggest that narcotics are shipped in parcels, especially from Pakistan.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Bangladesh has a large population of drug abusers, but the actual number of illegal drug users in Bangladesh, variously estimated between 100,000 and one million, is unknown. Drugs are inexpensive and readily available in certain areas of the major cities and in the border areas. There are some outpatient and some 14-day detoxification centers, but their long-term success rates are negligible. Bangladesh has four long-term residential rehabilitation centers, two started by a Catholic Brother, and two others just opened in 2000 by people who had worked with him. These centers appear to have had some success. The United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) had some awareness campaigns early in the year, but closed its operation in June 2000.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. In July 2000, the U.S. delivered an analytical balance, a top-loading balance and a polarizing microscope to Bangladesh for the yet-to-be-opened central chemical laboratory for analysis of illicit drugs. The USG also sponsored a training seminar for police officers in Nepal, which Bangladesh police officers attended.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. is sponsoring an anticorruption seminar in Dhaka in January 2001, which will be attended by representatives from the South Asia region. This seminar will address an issue that plagues law enforcement efforts throughout South Asia and undermines efforts to control illegal narcotics. The U.S. also is currently studying a proposal that would help Bangladesh develop a more comprehensive strategy against narcotics, improve the investigative and forensic skills of law enforcement, and institutionalize modern law enforcement techniques and practices in training facilities.


I. Summary

India is one of the world's top producers of licit opium and is the sole producer of licit opium gum. It is a key heroin transshipment area due to its location between Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia, the two main sources of illicitly grown opium. India is a modest, but apparently growing producer of heroin for the international market. The government of India (GOI) continues to tighten controls to curtail diversion of licit opium, but an unknown yet significant quantity of licit opium finds its way to illicit markets. There was a significant increase in diversion of licit opium from the 1999 crop, but the 2000 crop suffered much less diversion. A small amount of illegal poppy is cultivated in the foothills of the Himalayas and northeastern India.

India continues to tighten controls on diversion and in 2000 agreed to a joint licit opium poppy survey (JLOPS) agreement with the U.S., a significant step in fighting diversion. The survey will provide a firmer scientific basis for minimum qualifying yields for farmers. India and Burma continue to cooperate on drugs regionally, holding regular working-level meetings on the border or policy level meetings in Rangoon or Delhi. Cooperation with Sri Lanka has been limited despite the apparent surge in heroin trafficking from southern India to Sri Lanka. India-Pakistan drug control cooperation has declined since the 1999 military coup in Pakistan, but border coordination meetings between the countries that address security issues including drug trafficking have continued.

GOI controls restrict access to acetic anhydride (AA), a chemical used to process opium into heroin. The chemicals n-acetylanthranillic acid, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine and their salts are also fully controlled. The GOI reviews its chemical controls annually and updates its list of "controlled substances" as necessary. The U.S. has requested that the GOI control all 22 chemicals listed in the annex to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. GOI is willing to consider controls if provided with compelling evidence that legally produced Indian chemicals, such as potassium permanganate, are being diverted to illegal drug production. India participates in the multilateral potassium permanganate tracking program, "Operation Purple," and is co-chairing the AA tracking program, "Operation Topaz."

India is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention but has not yet enacted money laundering legislation in line with the 1988 UN Convention. The Indian parliament continues to consider draft legislation that would explicitly criminalize money laundering, impose reporting requirements on financial institutions and intermediaries, and provide for seizure and confiscation of assets related to the proceeds of crime. The bill has been referred to a select committee of the upper house of India's Parliament, which has made certain recommendations. These are currently under review by the executive branch.

II. Status of Country

India is the world's largest producer of legal opiates for pharmaceutical purposes and the only country that still produces opium gum rather than concentrate of poppy straw (CPS). The Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN) oversees licit opium cultivation in India and regulates the export of precursor chemicals. Opium poppy is grown legally in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Under the terms of internationally agreed covenants, and to meet U.S. certification requirements, India is required to maintain licit production of opium and carry over stocks at levels no higher than those consistent with world demand, i.e., to avoid excessive production and stockpiling which could "lead" into illicit markets. India has complied with this requirement. In 1994, the GOI was unable to fill pharmaceutical companies' demands for opium because of an inaccurate inventory of opium stocks, and at the end of 1995, the chief controller of the factories estimated only five to ten metric tons (MT) remained in stock until the next harvest. This stagnation continued in 1996, but in 1997 sufficient rains combined with improved police enforcement and crop management techniques produced a sharp rise in the realized harvest to a record 1,341 metric tons (at 70 percent solid—the relatively "wet" opium collected by farmers).

Unfortunately, bad weather during the 1997-98 poppy growing season and a cultivator's "strike" which delayed planting led to a disastrous 1998 opium harvest of only 260 metric tons (at 90 percent solid). To fulfil domestic and international demand commitments the GOI "completely exhausted" its licit opium stockpile leaving no carryover stock from 1998. This precarious situation made an adequate 1999 harvest extremely important.

To meet India's share of anticipated world demand for licit opium in 2000 and rebuild domestic stockpiles toward an International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)-recommended level of about 750 metric tons (90 percent solid), the Indian government set a licit opium harvest target of 1,200 metric tons (90 percent solid) in 2000 (870 metric tons for export, 130 metric tons for domestic use and 200 metric tons for buffer stocks). To meet this goal, for the third consecutive year, the GOI continued to license a historically larger number of farmers and an increased area for poppy cultivation. For the 2000 opium harvest season, the GOI licensed 159,884 farmers to cultivate opium on 35,271 hectares.

The 2000 harvest yielded 1,302 metric tons at 90 percent solid (or 1,674 metric tons at 70 percent solid), the highest ever in Indian opium history. This was some 300 metric tons higher than the 1999 harvest of 971 metric tons from roughly the same amount of cultivated land and exceeded the GOI's target of 1,200 metric tons. Though the 1999 and 2000 harvests had identical weather conditions, enhanced enforcement during the harvest and weighing period prompted farmers to turn in higher yields in 2000. The average yield also showed an appreciable rise. The average yields in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh (UP) were 55.79 kilograms, 53.82 kilograms and 44.77 kilograms respectively. The level of diversion from the licit opium crop, while always difficult to estimate, clearly declined from an alarming level in 1999, when up to 300 metric tons of opium gum may have been diverted to the black market. The success seen in 2000 appears due in large part to the more aggressive GOI drug control efforts during the harvest and collection period of the crop.

For the crop year 2001, the total licensed area has been reduced from 35,271 hectares to 25,375 hectares. Cultivators who had failed to achieve qualifying yields (at least 45 kilograms per hectare in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan) in the previous year were de-licensed. The GOI has not licensed any first time applicants for 2001.

While criminal elements produce heroin from both diverted legal opium and illegally grown opium, no reliable data are available on the extent of production. Poppies are grown illicitly in the Himalayan foothills of Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, and in northeast India near the Bangladesh and Burmese borders in the states of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh. The quantities of illicit production appear relatively small, and there is little current indication that such opiates find their way into the export market for the United States. Heroin base ("brown sugar" heroin) is the domestic drug of choice. In the northeastern state of Manipur, injectable Southeast Asian heroin was common a few years ago and needle sharing spread the HIV virus. But since the mid-1990s the drug of choice in northeast India has been proxyvon, a painkiller in capsule form that is opened, the contents dissolved in water and then injected. Proxyvon is now the drug of choice as it costs about 34 cents per dose, compared to a price of $2 and higher for a dose of heroin.

"Brown sugar" heroin, originating in India, is available in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Since January 1999, Indian authorities have seized more than 337 kilograms of refined heroin, at least part of which was produced in India, destined for Sri Lanka.

India produces acetic anhydride (AA) for the legal domestic and international chemical markets. Locally, much of the licit AA is used by the tanning industry. A significant quantity of AA continued to be diverted to heroin laboratories throughout South Asia, but apparently at levels considerably lower than in previous years. Through November 2000 the GOI had seized a total of 687 liters of AA. In 1993 the GOI imposed controls on the production, sale, transportation, import, and export of AA. These controls have reduced the availability of the chemical to the illicit market. Nevertheless, illicit diversion of precursor chemicals from India continues to occur.

India is also a transit route for illicit heroin, hashish, and morphine base from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, and to a lesser extent, Nepal. The amount of Indian-origin heroin or other drugs that enters the U.S. is not believed to be significant. Some trafficking in Indian produced methaqualone to southern and eastern Africa continues, but this trade may be in decline as methaqualone production in Africa grows. Cannabis smuggled from Nepal is mainly consumed within India, but some makes its way to western destinations.

III. Country Action Against Drugs in 2000

Amendments to India's Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985, sought by the government since 1997, were passed by the upper house of parliament but are now under consideration before the Lok Sabha (the main parliamentary body). These amendments would: (1) streamline provisions relating to search and seizure by enforcement officials; (2) codify provisions for the civil forfeiture of the assets of drug traffickers; (3) simplify the procedures for controlled delivery enforcement operations; (4) reform sentencing guidelines to allow greater differentiation between minor and serious crimes to facilitate convictions of offenders; (5) clarify the application of bail for serious offenders more likely to disappear before trial; and (6) close various technical loopholes that hinder the prosecution and conviction of drug traffickers.

Chemical Controls. In recent years, the list of substances covered by the drug law has grown, and controls on precursor chemicals have been strengthened. To align Indian law more closely with recommendations of the UN Economic and Social Council and the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the GOI has brought all substances included in schedules III and IV of the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances under Indian import/export controls. In addition, the following new substances have been brought under controls: etryptamine, methcathinon, zipeprol, aminorex, brotizolam, and mesocarb. Regulations covering the precursor chemicals n-acetyl anthranillic acid and AA have been amended to require sellers to establish the identity of buyers before sales are vetted for approval. Besides these controlled chemicals, export of seven substances, namely, acetic anhydride, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, 1phenyl2propanone, 3,4 methylenedioxyphenyl, 12propanone, methyl ethyl ketone and potassium permanganate require a "no objection certificate" (NOC) from the Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN). Imports of acetic anhydride, ergometrine, ergotamine and heliotropin (piperonal) require an NOC from the CBN. These administrative controls are necessary because ergometrine, ergotamine and heliotropin (piperonal) are imported in India and could be misused for illicit manufacture of drugs.

The GOI reviews its chemical controls annually and updates its list of "controlled substances" as necessary. The U.S. has requested that the GOI control all 22 chemicals listed in the annex to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GOI is willing to consider controls if provided with compelling evidence that legally produced Indian chemicals, such as potassium permanganate, are being diverted to illegal drug production.

Accomplishments. India's various agencies involved in drug control work, particularly the CBN and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), continued to take steps to curb drug trafficking and abuse in India during 2000. While CBN oversees the licit opium program and India's chemical industry, the NCB is responsible for counternarcotics efforts and law enforcement coordination. Efforts to advance India's commitment to meet international demand for licit opium and to control narcotics trafficking are noteworthy, as the following examples illustrate.

  • Following the disastrous 1998 licit opium harvest and doubts concerning India's ability to meet its global licit opium commitments, India substantially increased the area to be licensed for cultivation to about 30,000 hectares and the number of licensed cultivators to 156,071. The 1999 harvest of 971 metric tons (at 90 percent solid) allowed India to meet world export requirements but failed to rebuild opium stockpiles to INCB-recommended levels. The 2000 harvest of 1,302 metric tons (at 90 percent solid) was sharply higher than the 1999 harvest and exceeded the GOI's target of 1,200 metric tons. This yield came from roughly the same amount of land under cultivation in 1999. As the 1999 and 2000 harvests had virtually identical weather conditions and came from roughly the same amount of land, the 300 metric tons increase in the crop would seem to be attributable to enhanced enforcement during the harvest. One measure was that the GOI augmented CBN staff by 70 officers from central Customs and Excise on a 60-day detail during the opium gum harvest. In addition the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) provided 50 motorcycles to CBN in 1999, giving investigators greater mobility to inspect opium fields during the 2000 growing season and harvest. An additional unexpected 20 motorcycles were provided to the CBN by the GOI in 2000.

The government periodically raises the official price paid to farmers to increase incentives to licit cultivators for declaring and selling to the government all licitly grown opium. This price raise is related to the export price the U.S. and other countries are willing to offer in the international market for Indian opium. The GOI has been increasing the procurement price of licit opium by 20 to 25 percent annually in the last three years. For the crop year 2000, the price schedule (opium yield per hectare and price per kilogram at 70 percent solid) was:

  • Up to 44 kilograms/hectare (ha)—Indian Rupees (Rs.) 630 (U.S. $ 13)

  • More than 44 kilograms/ha and up to 52 kilograms/ha—Rs. 650 (U.S. $14)

  • More than 52 kilograms/ha and up to 60 kilograms/ha—Rs. 800 (U.S. $17)

  • More than 60 kilograms/ha and up to 80 kilograms/ha—Rs. 1100 (U.S. $23)

  • More than 80 kilograms/ha and up to 100 kilograms/ha—Rs. 1200 (U.S. $25)

  • More than 100 kilograms/ha—Rs. 1400 (U.S. $29)

  • This graduated scale of payment to licensed farmers is designed to encourage greater productivity and prevent diversion to the black market, where opium can fetch prices as much as 25 times higher than the base government price of Rs. 630 per kilogram. The GOI has decided not to raise the procurement price for the crop year 2001.

  • Licit opium diversion controls introduced in 1999 have been continued in 2000 to include re-surveys of plots after the planted crop reaches a particular stage of growth to ensure that the area under cultivation matches that licensed. Cultivation more than five percent above the licensed amount is destroyed, and the cultivator is liable to prosecution. Controls during the poppy lancing period at harvest have also been strengthened. To increase control over licit opium production, offenses relating to cultivation and embezzlement of opium by licensed cultivators continue on par with the other trafficking offenses. Convictions can result in ten to 20 years imprisonment and fines up to USD 6,000.

  • The GOI has continued a systematic program to combat illicit opium cultivation, especially in the north of India, by combining remote sensing information with raids and the destruction of illicit crops as well as crop substitution programs. Indian authorities are also studying the feasibility of establishing a continuous aerial/satellite based system for monitoring of licit and illicit opium cultivation nationwide. Small-scale illicit cultivation of opium has existed for years in areas of India's northeast, usually along the region's border with Burma and China. Cultivation in easily accessible areas of Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland was successfully eliminated in the early and mid-90s, according to CBN officials. The bulk of India's illicit cultivation is now confined to Arunachal Pradesh, the most remote of northeastern states, with no airfields and few roads.

  • The CBN began organized poppy eradication campaigns in Arunachal Pradesh four years ago. In the first campaign, the 1997 opium crop, CBN destroyed 35 hectares. This increased to 95 hectares in 1998, and 248 hectares in 1999. In 2000, 153 hectares were destroyed. In order to staff the force of 60 necessary for the annual eradication campaigns, the CBN office of ten is assisted by national customs officers from throughout the northeast. The Ministry of Finance has provided CBN with funds for fuel, camping gear and stipends for this force. According to veterans of past eradication efforts, most of the illicit opium is grown to meet consumption needs of local addicts, a sizeable population. CBN, however, is concerned that production is rising, with an increasing percentage for commercial purposes, for local sale or to heroin producers across the Burma border. Current rough estimates by the local drug control officials put opium cultivation in Arunachal Pradesh at 1,500 to 2,000 hectares. With funding from the UNDCP and the UN Development Program (UNDP), CBN will begin a two-month survey in November to get a more precise figure on production, before starting the annual eradication campaign. Estimates of opium gum yields are nonexistent, but CBN officials believe that the illicit production in Arunachal Pradesh yields at least ten kilograms per hectare.

  • INL has recently funded the purchase of portable mowing devices to assist CBN staff with the annual illicit opium eradication campaign in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • India participates in the multilateral potassium permanganate tracking program, "Operation Purple," and India's Narcotics Commissioner is co-chairing the AA tracking program, "Operation Topaz," scheduled to begin March 1, 2001. The NCB reports that cooperation from industry in controlling the availability of precursor chemicals continues to be strong. A series of meetings by NCB with the industry in 1996 produced a voluntary code of conduct among firms that is aiding the enforcement effort. NCB says that seizures of shipments of illegal precursor chemicals remained low in 1999, apparently because of the reduced illegal supplies available. Prices of precursor chemicals have risen.

  • Indian authorities continued to work closely with the drug enforcement agencies of other countries. In February 2000 cooperation between Indian authorities and the United Kingdom Customs Service led to the arrest in Mumbai of an alleged drug trafficker and the seizure of six kilograms of Indian produced heroin found in his possession and bound for the United Kingdom.

  • To decrease the backlog of case, the GOI works with special state courts for narcotics matters, which are 50 percent funded by the federal government. Federal narcotics enforcement officials meet quarterly with their state government counterparts to share information and provide training, and federal efforts have spurred the formation of specialized narcotics units in state and metropolitan police agencies. The NCB, as the GOI's "nodal" agency for drug control efforts, has organized several nationwide or regional coordination meetings. In August, the NCB organized the first conference to discuss with state governments in the northeast coordination of drug control efforts in the region.

  • In 1999, India hosted the 34th meeting of the UN Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic in the Near and Middle East, which produced the "Lucknow Accord" on precursor chemical control. The NCB also worked with the UNDCP on studies on drug demand reduction and precursor chemical control in South Asia. To learn more about India's own drug problem, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the UNDCP have embarked on a comprehensive survey of narcotics addiction nationwide. The first results of the survey, initially expected in early 2000, are still awaited. Under the "Scheme for Prohibition and Drug Abuse Prevention" begun in 1985, the GOI funds 90 percent of the costs of 340 NGOs in maintaining 425 drug treatment centers nationwide. The GOI is also working with the ILO and the UNDCP to implement community based rehabilitation and workplace prevention programs. Despite new initiatives, both the CBN and the NCB continue to face financial constraints in conducting a strong counternarcotics program.

  • India also participates in bilateral efforts to counter narcotics trafficking. Under the auspices of the UN and with U.S. encouragement, meetings between counternarcotics officials of India and Pakistan which began in 1994 have continued. Periodic meetings also take place with Burmese officials along the border, most recently in November 2000, to exchange narcotics information and coordinate enforcement operations on either side of the Indo-Burma border. India and Sri Lanka have held "operational level talks" since 1997 and continue to do so to coordinate counternarcotics efforts. India also maintains close liaison with other South Asian countries through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) drug offenses monitoring desk in Colombo that facilitates collection of data on drug seizures in SAARC countries. India has entered into bilateral agreement with 13 countries for sharing of strategic and operational intelligence and holds regular meetings at various levels with drug enforcement organizations.

Law Enforcement Efforts. More focused GOI efforts are resulting in increased seizures and fewer arrests. In 2000 an estimated 1,089 kilograms heroin were seized, up 27 percent from 1999 (861 kilograms) and 66 percent over 1998 (655 kilograms). Opium seizures totaled 2,218 kilograms, up from 1,635 kilograms in 1999 and 2,031 kilograms in 1998, occurring mostly in the poppy growing areas. Hashish seizures totaled 3,258 kilograms (versus 3,391 in 1999) and morphine totaled 24 kilograms (versus 36 kilograms in 1999). Through November 2000, 2,129 persons were convicted for drug trafficking:

India Law Enforcement Statistics (1996-2000)
























Determining the geographic origin of heroin seized in India is often not possible with current forensic capabilities. Nevertheless, the GOI was able to determine that at least 353 kilograms of heroin (32 percent) came from Afghanistan or Pakistan. The percentage of heroin locally produced within India appears to be growing and seems bound for the international market. Over 200 kilograms of heroin were seized either bound for Sri Lanka or seized in Sri Lanka and determined to have originated in India.

Corruption. Allegations of corruption among law enforcement personnel and elected politicians continue to be aired in the Indian media. The USG receives reports of narcotics related corruption, but lacks means to assess the overall scope of drug corruption in India. Both the CBN and the NCB have periodically taken steps to punish corrupt officials within their ranks. The CBN frequently transfers officials in key drug producing areas and has increased the transparency of paying licensed opium farmers to prevent corruption.

Agreements and Treaties. India is a party the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. India meets most of the requirements of the three UN drug conventions to which it is a party through the NDPS Act of 1988, though India has yet to meet the money laundering requirement of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. A new extradition treaty between the U.S. and India entered into force July 21, 1999, replacing reliance on the 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty.

Cultivation and Production. The 2000 crop was cultivated by 159,884 licensed farmers on 35,271 hectares in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. Licensed farmers are allowed to cultivate a maximum of 20 ares (one fifth of a hectare) of opium poppy. Upon completion of the harvest season in March/April, licensed farmers in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were expected to remit to CBN (responsible for controlling and collecting India's licit opium gum production) at least 54 kilograms of opium gum per hectare of cultivation at a 70 percent solid consistency. Licensed farmers in Uttar Pradesh were each expected to submit 44 kilograms of opium gum per hectare. The GOI's Ministry of Finance each year announces these "minimum qualifying yields" at the beginning of the opium cultivation season in September or October, and they are based on historical yield levels from licensed farmers during previous crops.

India produces opium by traditional methods, extracting the opium gum by hand by lancing the capsules. India's licit opium gum is high in morphine content and has other alkaloids such as thebaine now favored by international narcotics raw materials importers. Other legal producers of opium alkaloids, such as Turkey, France and Australia, produce concentrate of poppy straw (CPS), harvesting unlanced poppy capsules and using a chemical extraction process.

India's traditional style of harvesting opium gum has an inherent weakness in controlling diversion. Each year over a million farmers and farm workers come into contact with the poppy plants and their lucrative gum. Closely policing these farmers operating on privately held land scattered throughout three of India's largest states is a considerable challenge for the CBN. The GOI recently explored the possibility of converting to the more sophisticated CPS harvesting method to curtail licit opium diversion but there are no current plans to make this expensive transformation.

Though no reliable estimate of diversion from India's licit opium industry exists, observers and drug enforcement officials have estimated diversion at ten to 30 percent of the crop. There was international concern that diversion in 1999 was at record levels but most observers believe that diversion was greatly curtailed in 2000. A ten percent rate of diversion would put some 130 tons of opium gum into the illicit narcotics market and make India the world's fourth (after Afghanistan, Burma, and Laos) largest producer of illegal opiates.

GOI heroin seizures data during 2000 may point to increased illegal production of heroin within India from opium gum diverted from the licit fields. Some heroin locally produced from diverted opium gum was bound for the international market, including the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka.

Drug Flow/Transit. India is a transit area for heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan and from Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, and Laos). Seizures of heroin made in India from these two regions continue to provide evidence of India's transshipment role. Most heroin transiting India appears bound for Europe. Seizures of heroin made at New Delhi and Mumbai airports reinforce this assessment. There appears to be no significant level of heroin trafficking directly to the United States from India.

Demand Reduction. Reliable estimates of drug abuse in India are elusive. GOI and UN sources continue to cite a range of one to five million opium users and one million heroin addicts, though some NGO's working on drug abuse believe the true number of heroin addicts is much higher. Anecdotal reports from key drug abuse "hot spots" in northeast India and urban centers suggest that heroin abuse is increasing.

In 1999, the UNDCP and the Ministry of Social Justice announced plans to conduct a joint survey of drug abuse nationwide, but this survey is now expected in 2001. The UNDCP in 2000 embarked on two demand reduction projects in India. One targets northeastern India where drug abuse rates and drug related HIV/AIDS cases are the highest in India. A lack of international donor funding for these projects, however, has postponed their full implementation.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. The GOI took a number of steps in 2000 to improve its antidrug policies and programs. The GOI added ephedrine, a methamphetamine precursor, to the list of controlled chemicals under its Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and increased CBN resources to fight the diversion of licit opium and licitly produced chemicals. In December 2000, the GOI placed an amendment to the NDPS Act before parliament to grant judges greater flexibility in sentencing drug violations.

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. and India expanded drug control cooperation in 2000, with several new initiatives launched. Agreement was reached to conduct a U.S.-India joint survey of licit opium yields, which will begin during the 2001 opium crop season. INL commodities and training assistance to Indian drug enforcement agencies increased, with a $200,000 project signed with the Ministry of Finance in September 2000. This package of assistance will boost the drug enforcement capacities of various Indian agencies, providing equipment to the 11 NCB units operating throughout India and to the Mizoram state government to counter drug and chemical trafficking across that state's border with Burma. Cooperation between the DEA and Indian drug enforcement authorities is expanding, particularly in investigations into precursor chemicals smuggled from India to key drug production areas.

The Road Ahead. The GOI has tightened controls over licit opium cultivation and looks to increased USG cooperation for combating drug trafficking and narcoterrorism. The Ministry of Finance, the GOI lead for policy on drug control, is more actively shaping and coordinating drug control strategies among India's various drug enforcement agencies and will continue to be the U.S.' focal point for cooperative antidrug efforts. The GOI is increasingly concerned over the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism. The GOI has recognized the need for stronger drug control efforts nationally but in the northeast in particular. The U.S. will continue to explore opportunities to work with the GOI in addressing drug trafficking and production and other transnational crimes of common concern.

The Maldives

The Republic of Maldives consists of 1,100 islands in the Indian Ocean with a comparatively small, but growing, drug problem. The fact that children under 16 constitute 50 percent of the population makes police and UN officials wary of the high growth potential for drug abuse in the country. Police, however, think they can still control the sale of drugs on the streets of the capital, Male'. Police officials believe the country's 25,000 foreign workers, mainly Indians and Sri Lankans who work in the country's resorts, conduct most of the trafficking. The U.S. has received reports from informed observers who note that an epidemic of heroin abuse (in the form of brown sugar, a relatively unrefined version of heroin suitable for smoking, not injection) by Maldivian youth may be under way in the Maldives.

Officials fear that the Maldives might become a transshipment point for drug smugglers. Most drugs come into and through the country by ship, but the customs service and police find it impossible to search all ships adequately. The government has discussed using drug sniffing dogs to help search vessels, but strong cultural resistance to dogs and opposition in part over questions of cost effectiveness, prevent the project's implementation.

The Government of the Republic of the Maldives (GORM), assisted by $25,000 in USG funding, began to computerize its immigration record-keeping system in 1993 in an attempt, among other things, to track the movements of suspected drug traffickers. The U.S. provided another $33,000 between 1996 and 1998 to the GORM to expand this computer system with additional computers and microwave networking technology.

In November 1997 the GORM established a Narcotics Control Board (NCB) under the Executive Office of the President. The Board's first commissioner, a lieutenant colonel, has concurrent duties as Deputy Commissioner of the Maldivian National Security Service.

The NCB coordinates drug interdiction activities, oversees rehabilitation of addicts, and coordinates actions of NGOs and individuals engaged in counternarcotics activities. In 1997 the GORM also established the country's first drug rehabilitation center with space for several dozen clients. The government launched a national antidrug program in 1998 and sent teams to increase drug awareness and assist with drug detection to 11 of the 19 atolls. The Italian government donated funds in 1998 for drug rehabilitation training.

The Republic of the Maldives has no extradition treaty with the United States. In 1994, however, the Maldives cooperated with the U.S. in rendering a Nigerian national to the U.S. to face narcotics trafficking charges. The GORM has signed the 1988 UN Drug Convention, although the country's legislature has not ratified the Convention. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention on Narcotic Drugs came into force in the Maldives in 1993. The Drug Action Program of the Colombo Plan has conducted training for Maldives prison authorities and other interested officials in controlling abuse of narcotics among prison inmates. No evidence exists of narcotics-related corruption in the Maldives.

In 1998, the UNDCP donated computers to the NCB to assist efforts to control precursor chemicals. Although some in the Maldives hope to establish the country as an offshore financial center, its antiquated banking laws and regulations and currency controls present challenges. No laws specifically address money laundering or seizure of assets.


I. Summary

Nepal is neither a significant producer of nor a major transit route for narcotic drugs. Although customs and border controls remain weak, international cooperation has resulted in increased narcotics-related indictments in Nepal and abroad. Nepal's Narcotics Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit (NDCLEU) has enhanced both the country's enforcement capacity and expertise. Nepal has drafted bills on money-laundering and mutual legal assistance, but they have not yet been enacted as law. Nepal is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Heroin from Southwest and Southeast Asia is smuggled into Nepal across the open border with India and through Kathmandu's international airport. Local use of refined "brown" no. 3 heroin is rising. Reportedly, considerable cannabis is produced in Nepal for the India market. Abuse of locally grown and wild cannabis and hashish, marketed in freelance operations, is widespread. There is also domestic abuse of licit, codeine-based medicines. Nepal is not a significant money laundering country. It is not a producer of chemical precursors.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs In 2000

Policy Initiatives. Nepal's basic drug law is the Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act, 2033 (1976). Under this law, the cultivation, production, preparation, manufacture, export, import, purchase, possession, sale or consumption of most commonly abused drugs is illegal. The Narcotics Control Act, amended last in 1993, conforms in part to the Single Convention and the 1972 Protocol by addressing narcotics production, manufacture, sales, import, and export. Nepal has developed, in association with the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) a master plan for drug abuse control. Nepal did not receive any UNDCP funding for the program in 2000.

Legislative action on money-laundering, mutual legal assistance, and witness protection remained stalled in 2000. The government has not submitted scheduled amendments to its customs act to control precursor chemicals. Legislation on asset seizures or criminal conspiracy has not yet been drafted.

Accomplishments. The Government of Nepal (GON) is active in regional coordination of antinarcotics efforts and actively cooperated in international efforts to identify and arrest traffickers. Cooperation between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Nepal's NDCLEU, has been excellent and has resulted in indictments both in Nepal and abroad. Nepal actively participates in the efforts of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for regional coordination to combat drug trafficking and abuse.

Customs and border control are weak along Nepal's land borders with India and China. The Indian border is open. Narcotics and other contraband security at Nepal's regional airports with direct flights to India and Kathmandu's Tribhuvan international airport remain inadequate. The GON along with other governments is working to increase the level of security at the international airport. In 2000, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service provided fraudulent document training to Nepal's immigration service. U.S. Customs provided training to Nepali customs and police and held discussions to expand customs and immigration training to land border areas.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Final statistical data for 1999 and data for the first three quarters of 2000 indicate that destruction of cannabis in cultivation decreased in 2000 while seizures of cannabis increased. 2000 media reports indicate that cannabis production is up significantly and mostly bound for India. Arrests and seizures of heroin and opium are not significantly different from patterns of previous years. Most Nepali seizures of heroin, hashish, and opium occur at the Tribhuvan international airport in Kathmandu.

The NDCLEU has developed an intelligence wing, but its effectiveness is constrained by a lack of transport, communications and surveillance equipment. Coordination and cooperation between NDCLEU and Nepal's customs and immigration services, while still problematic, is improving. U.S. Customs held a narcotics interdiction course in Kathmandu with NDCLEU, police, customs, and immigration in March and a course in regional integrity reinforcement in April. These courses served to bridge communications issues between Nepal's enforcement services. Enforcement personnel also participated in a DEA basic drug enforcement school held in Sri Lanka in august.

Corruption. Laws required by the 1988 UN Drug Convention to prevent and punish public corruption in narcotics issues, especially by senior government officials, are lacking. However, there is no record that senior government officials have facilitated the production, processing, or shipment of narcotic and psychotropic drugs and other controlled substances or discouraged or otherwise hampered the investigation or prosecution of such acts.

Agreements and Treaties. Nepal is party to the 1993 SAARC Convention on Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Nepal is a party to the 1998 UN Drug Convention.

Cultivation/Production. Cannabis is an indigenous plant in Nepal and cultivation of developed varieties is rising, particularly in lowland areas. A recent Nepali newspaper report claimed that Indian entities have contributed to expanding cannabis cultivation by supplying seed and agricultural know-how, financing operations, buying, and exporting the product to India. There may be some small-scale cultivation of opium poppy, but detection is difficult since it is interspersed among licit crops. Nepali drug enforcement officials believe that all heroin seized in Nepal originates elsewhere.

Chemical Controls. Nepal produces no precursor chemicals and has no laws governing precursor chemicals. Authorities do not consider chemical controls a priority issue in Nepl at this time.

Drug Flow/Transit. Narcotics seizures suggest that narcotics transit Nepal both from the east and west in equal proportions. Arrests of Nepalese couriers in other countries suggest that Nepalese are becoming more involved in trafficking and that Nepal may be increasingly used as a transit point for destinations in South and East Asia. There is no data clearly indicating that the U.S. is a final destination for drugs transiting Nepal. The GON is attempting to track changes in trafficking patterns.

Domestic Programs. The GON continues to implement its national drug demand reduction strategy in association with the Sri Lanka-based Colombo Plan, the U.S., UNDCP, donor agencies, and NGOs.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. U.S. policy is to strengthen Nepal's law enforcement capacity to combat narcotics trafficking and related crimes, to maintain positive bilateral cooperation, and to encourage Nepal to enact and implement appropriate laws and regulations to meet all objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The U.S., NDCLEU, and other donor nations work together through regional drug liaison offices and through the Kathmandu Mini-Dublin Group.

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. works with GON agencies to implement Nepal's master plan for drug abuse control and to provide expertise and training in enforcement and policy. In 2000 the USG held a narcotics interdiction course and a regional integrity reinforcement course, each taught by U.S. Customs in Kathmandu, and hosted NDCLEU officers at a regional drug enforcement school in Sri Lanka taught by DEA. Nepal exchanges trafficking information in connection with international narcotics investigations and proceedings.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will continue ongoing information exchanges, training, and enforcement cooperation, work with the UNDCP to enhance the NDCLEU, support the Colombo Plan's rehabilitation programs in Nepal and work with the Ministry of Home Affairs on demand reduction. The U.S. will encourage the GON to advance stalled drug legislation.


I. Summary

Pakistan is an important transit country for Afghan opiates and cannabis. In 2000, Pakistan became a minor producer of opium, with poppy cultivation dropping below 1,000 hectares to 515 hectares, a 67 percent decrease from 1999. Government of Pakistan (GOP) cooperation on drug control with the U.S. is excellent. Intensive law enforcement efforts, led by the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), have forced narcotics traffickers to adopt a lower profile. Interdictions of heroin increased 85 percent and several major traffickers were arrested. The Government of Pakistan has prevented the re-emergence of large heroin/morphine processing laboratories. However, there was little progress in 2000 on pending extradition cases of narcotics fugitives. There was little new progress in extending the Control of Narcotic Substances Act (CNSA) and the Anti Narcotics Force Act (ANFA) into new tribal areas in North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The military government that seized power in October 1999 has maintained the commitments of the previous civilian government on counternarcotics, including implementation of the 1999 Drug Control Master Plan. Pakistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

U.S. figures for 2000 show that Pakistan almost achieved its ambitious goal of eliminating opium production by the year 2000. The opium poppy crop fell to a record low of 515 hectares. While Pakistani opium production has plummeted, neighboring Afghanistan has become the world's largest opium producer by increasing opium production some 28 percent in 2000 to 3,656 metric tons (MT). The tripling of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan since 1993 and growth in sophistication of the Afghan drug trade are putting enormous pressure on GOP border control efforts and Pakistani society. Successful interdiction operations occur, but traffickers have superior firepower and faster vehicles, the territory is enormous, and law enforcement is widely dispersed, with little rapid mobilization airlift capability. This means more drugs transiting Pakistan, a growing addiction problem, and more cash available for bribery and official corruption. Pakistan remains an important transit country for the precursor chemical acetic anhydride (AA) destined for Afghanistan's heroin laboratories. While chemical controls appear adequate, some diversion from licit imports has taken place.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. Closing in on its goal of a poppy-free Pakistan by the end of year 2000, the GOP plans to consolidate its success in replacing the illicit poppy crop by building more roads to improve access and giving drug cultivators viable economic alternatives within poppy growing areas. The U.S.-funded crop control program, an element in the GOP Drug Control Master Plan, will continue for another three years through 2004. To further the Plan's enhanced law enforcement objectives, the Minister of Interior organized in September 2000 a conference to promote coordination among law enforcement agencies. The Drug Control Master Plan also calls for the government to review policies to bring about a drug-free Pakistan, but a lack of resources hampers implementation of these policies.

The GOP also initiated during 2000 new policies on the prosecution of narcotics offenses and organized crime. Five new special narcotics courts were approved but will not be operational without further funding. The GOP issued a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance establishing a framework for detecting and recovering the proceeds of serious crimes. In December the cabinet approved Pakistan's signing of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Accomplishments. The most important accomplishment in 2000 was the steep drop in opium poppy cultivation in Pakistan. GOP officials continue to take measures to prevent the re-emergence of heroin or morphine base laboratories. In December, a raid in the Khyber Agency at the Afghan border netted some addicts and small-time operators involved in manufacturing heroin and other drug related materials. The ANF monitored the purported destruction of two small heroin laboratories in Helmand province of Afghanistan across the border.

The ANF launched an important regional maritime interdiction initiative in 2000. The Narcotics Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy Islamabad has worked closely with the ANF to enlist the participation of all relevant Pakistani law enforcement agencies and law enforcement from Oman and the UAE. All major law enforcement agencies participated in a planning conference held at Karachi from June 5-7, 2000. Follow-on training provided by the U.S. and the visits of experts from both sides have further cemented interagency cooperation.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The ANF is Pakistan's principal narcotics law enforcement agency. Throughout 2000 the ANF was understaffed, operating with 1,594 out of an authorized personnel strength of 1,932. However, the GOP has authorized recruitment of an additional 225 personnel to shore up ANF operational capability. Army and police personnel assigned to the ANF for a three-year tour of duty need performance incentives and specialized training. Specialized training and the formation of a Special Investigative Cell (SIC) or "Vetted Unit," targeting major trafficking organizations, have boosted morale. Veterans of the program underwent a rigorous five-week technical training course in the U.S. in October-November, 2000. This program will be expanded in 2001.

Pakistan's illicit drug seizures were up significantly compared to the same period in 1999. These figures show 7.4 metric tons of heroin, 7.8 metric tons of opium and 108.1 metric tons of hashish seized during the first ten months of 2000 (compared to 4.0 metric tons of heroin, 12.9 metric tons of opium and 70.0 metric tons of hashish seized in 1999). Seizures of AA consisted of small consignments originating in India. ANF seizures of heroin and cannabis set records in 2000. ANF Baluchistan, covering major trafficking routes from Afghanistan, brought in record hauls. Apart from ANF, other law enforcement agencies tallying significant drug seizures were the Police, Pakistan Customs, Coast Guard (CG) and the Frontier Corps. The U.S. urged better interagency coordination and record CG seizures of 15 metric tons of hashish and improved heroin/opium seizures were in part attributable to this U.S. initiative. Customs seizures also showed a 20 percent increase for the first ten months of 2000 compared with the same period last year. Both the Frontier Corps Baluchistan and Customs improved their drug seizure records compared to the previous year. Customs offices at Pakistan's international airports have been increasingly effective in interdicting heroin couriers of all nationalities belonging to foreign trafficking organizations, many with a Nigeria connection, mostly traveling to the Middle East, Bangladesh, and Thailand.

For 2000, total frozen drug traffickers' assets stood at Rupees (Rs.) 4337.6 million (U.S. $80 million) and $5 million in travelers' checks. A Pakistani court ruled in favor of forfeiture of assets to the government for the first time in 1998. In that precedent setting case, assets worth approximately $434,783 were forfeited based on the trafficker's conviction in the U.S. on a narcotics offense. A petition requesting a stay of the order of the court is still pending in the Supreme Court. Forfeited property belonging to convicted drug traffickers so far is worth Rs. 465 million (U.S. $8.6 million).

The trial of Sakhi Dost Jan Notezai, a prominent drug trafficker and suspected member of the Quetta Alliance trafficking syndicate, concluded this year, after seven years of proceedings. He received a sentence of life in prison and forfeited his assets. The case of another alleged drug trafficker, Munawar Hussain Manj, a former member of Pakistan's National Assembly is still pending in the superior court, after five years of proceedings. The case of Rahmat Shah Afridi, owner of an English language daily and an influential politician from N.W.F.P. arrested in early 1999, also is pending. These three cases represent a significant test of the ANF's ability to prosecute politically powerful traffickers.

The prosecutions of most criminal and narcotics cases in Pakistan are protracted. Corruption and low salaries threaten the integrity of law enforcement and judicial institutions throughout Pakistan. Judges grant continuances; defendants file delaying interlocutory appeals; witnesses are reluctant to testify; and bribery can influence case outcomes. To expedite cases through the court system, the ANF still needs to strengthen its law directorate. A step in the right direction has been the establishment of five special narcotics courts in 2000, although they are not yet fully operational and lack realistic operating budgets. The ultimate effectiveness of these new courts is in question and they would best serve Pakistan by targeting major offenders and trafficking organizations.

Corruption. We have no evidence that the GOP and its senior officials encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. To check official corruption more effectively, the President of Pakistan promulgated the National Accountability Bureau (amendment) ordinance 1999. Among the politicians and civil servants convicted in corruption cases were an Air Vice Marshal (retd) and his three brothers who received sentences of seven years rigorous imprisonment and Rs. 2 million fine for willful bank loan default—the first time that the GOP has successfully convicted such a high ranking military officer.

Agreements and Treaties. Pakistan does not have specific agreements with the U.S. for mutual legal assistance, precursor chemicals or money laundering. However, it does have a general counternarcotics agreement with the U.S., which provides for cooperation in the areas of opium poppy eradication, narcotics law enforcement and drug demand reduction. Extraditions are carried out under a 1931 U.S.-UK treaty, affirmed to be valid by the GOP. Several pending U.S. extradition requests are waiting court action. (No new requests were made in 2000.) One subject awaiting extradition died of natural causes in prison.

Pakistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and has signed bilateral narcotics agreements with Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China and India. Pakistan also is a party to the World Customs Organization's International Convention for the Prevention, Investigation and Repression of Customs Offenses (Nairobi Convention), Annex-X on Assistance in Narcotics Cases.

The governments of Pakistan and Iran and UNDCP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on narcotics cooperation in May 1994. Under the MOU, the UNDCP has implemented a law enforcement project with both governments, designed to encourage cooperation on interdiction, as well as improve narcotics law enforcement. Under an extended 1994 MOU, Pakistani and Iranian counternarcotics officials exchange information on narcotics trafficking and cooperate on cross border narcotics trafficking interdictions. Since 1994, counternarcotics officials of both India and Pakistan have regularly held meetings to discuss operational cooperation and cross border flows of precursor chemicals that flow across the border.

Cultivation/Production. Five hundred fifteen (515) hectares (ha) of opium poppy were cultivated in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in 2000, compared to 1,570 ha in 1999, most of it in the Bara River Valley of Khyber Agency, on the border of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. Completely eliminating cultivation in Khyber will be difficult since there are no roads into the area for an effective eradication campaign. However, U.S. and GOP officials are exploring the possibility of a project into the area based on successful eradication approaches used elsewhere in the NWFP. The USG estimated potential opium production for 2000 at 11 metric tons, compared to 37 metric tons in 1999.

UNDCP provides alternative development assistance in Dir District of NWFP, with the United Kingdom and U.S. the principal donors for the Dir project. The U.S. directly funds alternative development projects in Mohmand and Bajaur agencies and contributes to poppy enforcement operations in those agencies and Dir district. The U.S. and UNDCP crop control consolidation projects seek sustainable results.

Both Afghan-origin cannabis and opiates transit through Pakistan. Afghanistan produced an estimated 3,656 metric tons of opium in 2000. Afghan opiates trafficked to Europe and North America enter Pakistan's Baluchistan and NWFP provinces and exit either through Iran or Pakistan's Makran Coast, or through international airports located in Pakistan's major cities. Traffickers also transit land routes from Baluchistan to Iran and from the tribal agencies of NWFP to Chitral, where they re-enter Afghanistan at Badakhshan province for transit through Central Asia.

Drug production increases in Afghanistan are primarily responsible for more trafficking of opiates through Pakistan. Intensive counternarcotics efforts by the Government of Iran have forced traffickers to find alternative routes, increasing the pressure on Pakistan and the Central Asian countries. In addition, the GOP estimates its addict population could consume as much as 126 metric tons of opium a year. Decreasing production of opium in Pakistan means that Pakistan is a major customer of Afghan opium, although the majority of the heroin smuggled out of Southwest Asia through Pakistan continues to go to the European market, including Russia and Eastern Europe. The balance goes to the Western Hemisphere and to Southeast Asia where it appears to supplement opium production shortfalls in that region. Couriers intercepted in Pakistan this year were en route to Africa, Nepal, Europe, Thailand and the Middle East.

Domestic Programs. The GOP estimates a drug abuse population of between three and four million (of whom half are heroin addicts), growing at the rate of seven percent a year. No reliable survey has been conducted since 1993 to verify these figures. Although the GOP attached great importance to attacking its drug abuse problem in 2000, the GOP allocated little funding to expand the country's woefully inadequate drug treatment facilities and to raise awareness of the issue. Demand reduction educational efforts during 2000 included a radio awareness program organized by the ANF, a sports tournament and a painting competition, and ANF distribution of posters and stickers. More significantly, the ANF and Pakistan PTV, supported by USG funds, completed a 13-episode TV serial to raise awareness about narcotics problems. The GOP's five-year Drug Abuse Control Master Plan calls for expenditure of $21.4 million on demand reduction with $12.5 million for prevention.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. counternarcotics policy objectives for 2001 are to encourage the GOP to eliminate remaining pockets of opium poppy cultivation; to increase interdiction of opiates from Afghanistan; to dismantle major trafficking organizations; to enhance cooperation regarding the extradition of narcotics fugitives to the U.S.; and to encourage GOP efforts against white collar crime such as money laundering.

Bilateral Cooperation. The U.S. provided $4.015 million in narcotics control assistance to Pakistan in 2000. This amount included $750,000 from DEA for the Special Investigative Cell (SIC) within the ANF. In addition to narcotics law enforcement, the U.S. continues to fund crop control projects in Mohmand and Bajaur and public awareness projects in support of Pakistan's demand reduction efforts.

The ANF continues to cooperate effectively with DEA to raise investigative standards. The creation of the SIC, trained and equipped by the U.S., has been a milestone in improving GOP counternarcotics efforts. The SIC targets major drug trafficking organizations and first year results have been encouraging. With this success, plans are underway to expand SIC operations.

Strengthening inter-agency cooperation remains a priority, particularly in Baluchistan and the NWFP. U.S.-funded crop control projects in NWFP's Mohmand and Bajaur agencies contributed to the near elimination of poppy cultivation in 2000. In Mohmand, cultivation declined from 200 ha in 1999 to 10 ha in 2000; in Bajaur, from 70 ha to 45 ha.

Pakistan also received counternarcotics assistance from other sources in 2000. Principal among these were UNDCP and the United Kingdom. A $5.2 million UNDCP funded three-year narcotics law enforcement program started in 1999 is now progressing well with donors' support, complementing U.S. bilateral assistance. UNDCP also supports an enforcement project furthering counternarcotics cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, is upgrading three forensic laboratories to test narcotics, and supports the GOP's efforts at enforcing narcotics laws within tribal areas of Pakistan. The UNDCP conducted a survey of Pakistan's addict population to determine baseline information on drug abuse.

The Road Ahead. The U.S. will work closely with the GOP to target major heroin trafficking organizations and increase seizures of large shipments of opiates, particularly those transiting through coastal areas of Baluchistan and precursor chemicals. The SIC will play an important role in this strategy. The U.S. will urge the GOP to fully implement UN Security Council Resolution 1333, which requires all states to prevent the sale, supply, or transfer of acetic anhydride to any person in the territory of Afghanistan under Taliban control. The USG will encourage GOP efforts to consolidate the gains made in the crop control program and to sustain the enforcement of law within poppy growing areas in the Mohmand and Bajaur agencies. The U.S. will work with the GOP to expedite extradition requests and to strengthen Pakistan's ability to attack money laundering. The U.S. will continue efforts to enhance maritime enforcement with the Maritime Security Agency, Coast Guard, Customs, ANF, and countries in the region affected by narcotics trafficking from Afghanistan.

Pakistan Statistics












Potential Harvest (ha)










Eradication (ha)










Cultivation (ha)










Potential Yield (mt)











Opium (mt)










Heroin (mt)










Hashish/Marijuana (mt)










Labs Destroyed










Acetic Anhydride (ltr)















Users (thousands)






Opium (since 1995)






Heroin (since 1995)
















Other Drugs










(1) Figures 1999 have been corrected to reflect full year.

Sri Lanka

I. Summary

Sri Lanka continued its nation-wide demand reduction campaign in 2000. Efforts at public education on drug abuse also continued in 2000, with the support of the U.S. Embassy. The country remained a strong regional player in counternarcotics cooperation. The Government of Sri Lanka continued to make available a U.S. Government-funded database on narcotics arrests and related data to other countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Implementation of the Counternarcotics Master Plan, begun in 1994, also continued. Cannabis eradication and seizures decreased from 1999, and the number of drug-related arrests decreased slightly, although heroin and opium seizures exceeded 1999 rates due mainly to a record 38-kilogram heroin catch in June. In 2000, Sri Lanka, a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, again failed to consider enabling legislation for its implementation. The GOSL has drafted legislation to update existing antinarcotics statutes, but did not submit legislation on the control of precursor chemicals to parliament.

II. Status of Country

Sri Lanka has a comparatively modest drug problem, but a number of recent heroin seizures in India bound for Sri Lanka and in the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka confirm the existence of a heroin trafficking pipeline in the area. A slight but steady increase in narcotics consumption—particularly heroin—continued in 2000. The Ministry of Defense (MOD), under whose jurisdiction the police serve, has overall responsibility for counternarcotics and demand reduction activities, but the conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) separatists drains the Ministry's resources, leaving it limited personnel, time and funding to address the drug problem. The conflict absorbs the attention of Sri Lanka's naval forces and prevents the adequate patrol of Sri Lanka's 1,100-miles of coastline. The island's popularity as a transshipment point for narcotics from South Asia has consequently grown, but there is no evidence that these drugs reach the U.S. in any significant quantity. Police officials in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu continue to report drug smuggling activities among Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living there and express concern that much of the drug trafficking in southern India in 2000 was destined for Sri Lanka. Some believe the LTTE helps finance its insurgency through drug trafficking, although neither the U.S. Government nor the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) has firm evidence to support this suspicion.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2000

Policy Initiatives. The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) continued to implement a counternarcotics master plan developed in 1994 in consultation with the UNDCP. At the end of the year, the GOSL was still reviewing a comprehensive counternarcotics legislative package drafted with expert help from the UN by the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB), the government agency responsible for coordinating national drug policies. The package focuses on three counternarcotics issues: 1) reforming the Poisons, Opium and Dangerous Drugs ordinance to include a ban on precursor chemicals and on narcotics-related money laundering; 2) enacting legislation to implement the 1988 UN Convention and the 1990 SAARC Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, including provisions for extradition and mutual legal assistance; and 3) initiating legislation for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts. The draft legislation is two years old.

Illicit Cultivation and Production of Illicit Narcotic Substances. Cannabis is the only illicit narcotic cultivated and produced in Sri Lanka. Cannabis grown in Sri Lanka has no significant effect on the U.S. Most cannabis cultivation occurs in heavy jungle in the southeastern part of the island, near areas of conflict. Due to staffing limitations brought on by the conflict and the location of the fields, the police located and destroyed only one large field of cannabis in 2000, a four-acre plot containing nearly 13,000 kilograms, in January, and a total of 15 acres nationally. Police continue to rely primarily on informants to find cannabis cultivation.

Regional Cooperation. Sri Lanka is active in regional antinarcotics cooperation. A computer program developed by the PNB and funded by the U.S. Government hosts a regional database of narcotics arrests, monitoring and other information. Law enforcement agencies throughout SAARC have access to the database, although local officials claim many countries in the region did not contribute enough information to the database in 2000 for the program to be useful. The NDDCB takes the lead in drafting legislation and encouraging regional cooperation on precursor control and in 2000 drafted a voluntary code of conduct for legal precursor chemical importers. The NDDCB hopes the private sector will adopt the code formally in 2001.

During 2000, the Drug Advisory Program (DAP) of the Colombo Plan (an international organization headquartered in Sri Lanka) conducted successful narcotics training programs in the region, partially funded by the U.S. In September, the DAP used USG funds to convene the Third Global Conference on Drug Abuse Primary Prevention in Italy. More than 100 participants from 20 countries attended.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. The NDDCB carried out an island-wide outreach campaign in 2000 and conducted individual counseling sessions with 25,000 drug abusers in urban areas. Based on this project, NDDCB sources estimate the total number of addicts at 40,000 to 50,000. In 1992, the government estimated the number of heroin addicts at 50,000, although a world health organization-funded survey in 1998 estimated there were only 22,500 addicts.

The NDDCB has continued an aggressive, nation-wide drug education campaign that features a weekly national radio program. The NDDCB also has held seminars for judicial officers, training courses for police officers, hundreds of drug awareness seminars for students, teachers and parents, and training programs on drug abuse prevention. The NDDCB has established youth camps for youth leaders and treatment programs at residential treatment centers. A family-based prevention/treatment program begun in 1994 continued to function in 2000. In addition, the number of people utilizing rehabilitation centers has increased. The Colombo Plan supported several local organizations training volunteer drug counselors. An officer from the U.S. Embassy spoke at an awards ceremony for one of these programs in 2000.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The PNB, the Customs Service, and the Department of Excise share responsibility for countering cannabis production. Total seizures of cannabis decreased in 2000—20.3 metric tons (MT) through November, compared to full-year figures of 80.0 metric tons in 1999 and 24.7 metric tons in 1998. The PNB reported arrests of 12,598 people on drug-related charges through November 2000. This compared to full-year figures of 15,875 arrested in 1999 and 13,867 arrested in 1998. The PNB hired 20 new officers in August 1999 to expand efforts to combat a modest increase in narcotics abuse and trafficking. Through November 2000, most of those arrested for narcotics-related offenses had their cases referred to the Attorney General's Office for prosecution.

Corruption. There was no evidence public officials engaged in narcotics trafficking in 2000, although there were allegations that police officers in the provinces accepted bribes in return for ignoring drug trafficking. In 1994, the GOSL set up a permanent commission to investigate charges of bribery and corruption against public officials, although the commission effectively stopped functioning in 1998 due to political in-fighting. No narcotics-related corruption cases have emerged from the commission.

Agreements and Treaties. Sri Lanka has signed the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the 1990 SAARC Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Enabling legislation for both conventions, drafted in 1997, has still not been presented to parliament. The draft legislation includes specific provisions for extradition for narcotics-related offenses. Sri Lanka and the U.S. signed a new general extradition treaty in 1999, which entered into force in January 2001. Sri Lanka has also signed the World Customs Organization (WCO) International Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance for the Prevention, Investigation and Repression of Customs Offenses, which is known as the Nairobi Convention. Sri Lanka signed the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols in December, 2000.

Drug Flow/Transit. Heroin is the only known narcotic to transit Sri Lanka in significant quantities. In 2000, the PNB detected and seized several heroin shipments from India at Katunayake International airport and in June made a record catch of 38 kilograms of heroin after intercepting a small vessel crossing from southern India to the coastal city of Chilaw. The PNB says this case illustrates the coast's vulnerability to transshipments of heroin from India. Sri Lanka has no Coast Guard and the Navy is preoccupied with LTTE military operations.

Large hauls by Indian and Sri Lanka authorities of heroin and opium shipments bound for Sri Lanka are evidence of yet another narcotics pipeline in South Asia. In June 2000 counternarcotics officials in Tamil Nadu arrested four Indian nationals transporting 20 kilograms of high-purity heroin bound for Sri Lanka, presumably for transshipment. In October and November 1999 the Indian Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested Sri Lankans operating heroin trafficking operations in India and seized 100 kilograms of heroin marked for shipment to the island. NCB officials believe much of the heroin seized in southern India each year (amounting to hundreds of kilograms) is bound for Sri Lanka, an important transshipment hub between the Middle East and East Asia. The island's relatively small number of heroin users suggests a transshipment role for Sri Lanka. There are no data, however, indicating this heroin reaches the U.S.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The U.S. Government works with Sri Lankan counternarcotics organizations in support of their efforts to promote awareness of the dangers of narcotics among the general population. In addition to providing occasional material and financial support, the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka has participated actively in community awareness seminars. The U.S. Government hopes to advance self-sufficiency and cooperation among law enforcement and other government officials working on narcotics issues in Sri Lanka and the region. The U.S. has supported regional efforts by providing over $700,000 to the Colombo Plan's Drug Advisory Program from 1998 through 2000.

Bilateral Cooperation. In previous years, the U.S. has assisted several Sri Lankan organizations in their counternarcotics efforts. In 1998, the USG provided about $ 7,000 to the NDDCB, the Federation of Nongovernmental Organizations Against Drug Abuse (FONGOADA) and the Sri Lanka Anti-Narcotics Association (SLANA) for equipment purchases. Sri Lankan police and customs officials also have benefited from equipment and training funded by the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and German governments.

In 2000 U.S.-funded training assistance to Sri Lanka law enforcement increased significantly. In August, more than 30 participants from narcotics enforcement agencies in four countries attended a DEA antinarcotics investigative techniques course in Colombo funded by the USG

The USG-funded regional narcotics crime database on drug arrests, investigations, and other information is available to all SAARC law enforcement agencies. Not all SAARC countries are updating the system with country specific data, hampering its effectiveness as a regional tool. NDDCB officials conducted their outreach, preventive education and training programs effectively in 2000 with the help of audio-visual equipment provided by the USG in previous years. Embassy participation in drug prevention seminars has generated publicity for those events, including newspaper coverage.

The Road Ahead. U.S. Government officials will continue to work with Sri Lankan counternarcotics organizations whenever possible, particularly by speaking at or otherwise participating in seminars addressing the drug problem.


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