Index of "International Narcotics Control Strategy Reports"
Index of "Treaties and Legal Information" ||
Electronic Research Collections Index ||
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
BUREAU OF INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS MATTERS
INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL STRAGEGY REPORT
THE CARIBBEAN 173
Dominican Republic 184
Netherlands Antilles and Aruba 200
Trinidad and Tobago 206
Eastern Caribbean 209
Antigua and Barbuda 210
St. Kitts and Nevis 212
St. Lucia 213
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 213
French Caribbean 215
UK Dependent Territories in the Caribbean 216
Anguilla, Montserrat, and British Virgin Islands 216
Cayman Islands 217
Turks and Caicos Islands 217
Although Bahamian and joint US-Bahamian drug enforcement initiatives over the past ten years have significantly reduced the volume of drugs detected moving through the country, The Bahamas remains a major transit country for US-bound Colombian cocaine and Jamaican marijuana. The Bahamas was the first country to ratify the 1988 UN Convention and has instituted laws and procedures to implement it, including controls for precursor and essential chemicals, but with the exception of adequate money laundering controls. The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (GCOB) works to fulfill the goals and objectives of US-Bahamian bilateral counternarcotics accords, including extraordinary cooperation with US drug interdiction efforts. In the future, the USG will urge the GCOB to assume more responsibility for interdiction activities. The USG seeks full cooperation with the GCOB on the complete range of counternarcotics efforts, including better coordination in extradition matters and more effective seizure and forfeiture of drug trafficking proceeds.
II. Status of Country
The Bahamas, a country of 265,000 people scattered over an area the size of California, sits astride the air route between Colombia and the US. The Bahamian archipelago contains hundreds of small, deserted islands used for transshipment and temporary drug storage, and is only 40 miles from south Florida at its closest point. Trafficker aircraft and boats blend in with the many legitimate craft moving among the islands and to the US. The Bahamas is a financial services center and a tax haven with bank secrecy laws and inadequate money laundering controls, making it vulnerable to sophisticated money laundering techniques. There is no significant cultivation or production of illegal drugs in The Bahamas.
III Country Action against Drugs in 1993
Policy Initiatives. During 1993 the GCOB continued to take steps toward fulfilling the objectives of the 1988 UN Convention to control drug trafficking and related illegal activity. In late 1993 the GCOB transferred responsibility for asset forfeiture from the Attorney General's office to the Finance Ministry, a move designed to streamline asset-forfeiture proceedings. In order to strengthen its judicial system, which encountered difficulty dealing with the extraordinary number of narcotics cases and appeals, in 1993 the GCOB created four new courts and, with USG assistance, laid the groundwork for a court-reporting training program expected to enroll its first class in May 1994.
Law Enforcement Efforts. For over ten years the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) has participated with Turks and Caicos police and DEA in Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) in air, sea and land counternarcotics. These operations are facilitated by US Coast Guard and US Army helicopters based in The Bahamas. The GCOB continued to demonstrate its strong commitment to OPBAT during 1993, dedicating almost all of the police's 35-person counternarcotics strike force to the operation. With considerable USG assistance, The Bahamas has established three OPBAT air bases in the archipelago. Several Bahamian police officers are based in south Florida where they support US Customs helicopter patrols authorized to enter Bahamian airspace.
During 1993, cocaine seizures in The Bahamas and adjacent international waters totaled 1.9 metric tons, or a monthly average of about 0.16 metric tons, compared to the two to three metric tons of cocaine that DEA estimates transit this area each month, along with undetermined but significant quantities of Jamaican marijuana. Drug seizures during 1993 decreased significantly from previous years, at least in part because of OPBAT's success in intercepting aircraft on the ground. Trafficker aircraft transporting large quantities of cocaine now seldom land in The Bahamas. Instead, traffickers are utilizing evasive tactics such as airdropping multi-hundred-kilogram loads of cocaine to waiting small boats in Bahamian or adjacent international waters or using Cuban airspace to avoid OPBAT helicopters.
The GCOB also conducts increasingly successful counternarcotics operations and investigations on its own, independent of the OPBAT framework. The Bahamas has a 95-person Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU), which includes the 35-person strike force. In 1993, 1,023 persons were arrested on drug charges, compared to 1,135 such arrests in 1992.
Because of judicial system inefficiencies, Bahamian emphasis on the rights of defendants, and the practice of granting bail while convictions are appealed, few significant convicted Bahamian traffickers have spent substantial time in jail. The GCOB has recognized the inefficiencies of its legal system and has begun to address them. In 1993, it created four new courts to ease the overcrowding of the system, bringing the total number of magistrate and supreme courts to 24. Facilities for additional courts are being readied for additional judges expected to be added to the system in 1994. The USG and the GCOB are working together on a judicial enhancement project designed to speed the movement of narcotics cases through the courts by modernizing and automating court administration procedures and expanding the use of court reporters in narcotics cases. In 1993, the two governments completed arrangements for a two-year, USG-funded court reporting course in The Bahamas to be launched in May 1994. The widespread use of court reporters in Bahamian judicial proceedings (judges or magistrates are now often required to take down the written transcript of proceedings) should significantly improve the speed with which cases move through the system and reduce the number of cases dismissed due to judicial errors. Speeding the flow of cases through the courts is expected to decrease the liberal granting of bail. The GCOB should place more emphasis on its efforts to incarcerate Bahamian traffickers.
Although the GCOB has amended its laws relating to confiscation of laundered assets and encouraged voluntary controls against money laundering, these measures are not fully adequate to control sophisticated money laundering techniques. The US-Bahamas Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) authorizes, as an exception to bank secrecy laws, access to records in cases of suspected narcotics money laundering. According to the GCOB, participating in narcotics-related money laundering would constitute a crime under the Tracing and Forfeiture of Proceeds of Drug Trafficking Act, but to date sanctions remain untested in court for lack of prosecutions targeting money laundering. Bahamian law contains no explicit "due diligence" or "bankers negligence" clauses which would make individual bankers responsible if their institutions launder money, although the Attorney General's office maintains that bankers have an affirmative legal obligation to report narcotics-related money laundering and that failure to do so could lead to criminal sanctions. In 1990, the GCOB simplified procedures for registering shell corporations, known as international business corporations (IBCs), which can issue bearer shares. Reporting requirements for IBCs are minimal, and they could be used by criminals to facilitate money laundering. Overall, the Bahamian financial system remains susceptible to exploitation by sophisticated money laundering techniques. The GCOB has not yet adopted additional measures to protect its financial institutions.
Under Bahamian law, the assets of a convicted drug offender are subject to forfeiture. In practice, however, it has been difficult to obtain asset-forfeiture orders in specific cases. At the end of 1993, using legislation not related to narcotics trafficking, the government appeared to be close to taking full title to valuable seized property on Norman's Cay, which formerly belonged to notorious Colombian drug trafficker Carlos Lehder. No procedures exist for civil asset forfeiture in narcotics cases. In a move designed to streamline the asset forfeiture process, in 1993 Parliament transferred responsibility for asset forfeiture from the Attorney General's office to the Finance Ministry. The GCOB is reviewing a USG request that the GCOB designate the US under an existing Bahamian law, which would enable Bahamian courts to enforce asset-forfeiture orders issued by US Courts without the need to initiate criminal proceedings in The Bahamas.
Corruption. As a matter of policy, the GCOB does not support or facilitate narcotics-related corruption. The GCOB takes measures to punish public narcotics-related corruption. The only action in 1993 involved the case against a former superintendent of the prison regarding participation in a conspiracy designed (unsuccessfully) to lead to the escape of a drug trafficker detained at the prison. The incident occurred several years ago. In 1993 a magistrate threw this case out, ruling there was insufficient evidence. The Attorney General's office will seek to have this ruling overturned in early 1994 so that it can go forward with the prosecution. In late 1993, testimony during the Miami trial of Nigel Bowe, a Bahamian drug trafficker (subsequently convicted), alleged that senior officials in the past and present Bahamian governments had associations with narcotics traffickers. However, those allegations remain unsubstantiated.
Agreements and Treaties. The GCOB works to accomplish the goals and objectives of the US-Bahamas bilateral narcotics control agreement, which specifies cooperative action on a wide range of narcotics-control measures such as: improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bahamian judicial system in dealing with narcotics-related cases; conducting investigations against Bahamian and foreign drug traffickers; controlling money laundering; collecting, analyzing and sharing drug-trafficking information; reducing the demand for drugs in The Bahamas; and, stemming the flow of drugs through The Bahamas to the US. The GCOB cooperates fully with the USG in the extensive Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) interdiction program. The US-Bahamas Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) facilitates exchange of information, including on money laundering. In 1993, the GCOB responded positively to specific requests under the MLAT. The 193l US-UK extradition treaty remains in force between the US and The Bahamas.
While the GCOB has been responsive to US extradition requests, it sometimes takes years for the slow-moving Bahamian courts to resolve such cases. A number of narcotics-related extradition cases are currently pending. The GCOB occasionally agrees to deport fugitives who are not Bahamian citizens; one accused drug trafficker, a US citizen, was deported into US custody during 1993. Subsequent to its extradition of Nigel Bowe in 1992, the GCOB objected, on treaty grounds, to his prosecution in the US on most of the charges in the US indictment, including the most serious charge of conducting a continuing criminal enterprise. The USG disagreed with this interpretation of the treaty, and discussions with the GCOB are continuing in order to resolve these differences. A new extradition treaty with the US signed in 1990 has been approved by the US Senate, but The Bahamas has yet to adopt implementing legislation prerequisite to ratification. This legislation was introduced in the last session of Parliament but has now lapsed. The issue is presently before the Cabinet, and implementing legislation is likely to be approved soon.
The Bahamas and the US have a number of agreements and arrangements to facilitate maritime counternarcotics operations. Under these arrangements US law enforcement officers are permitted, for the purpose of pursuing cooperative maritime law enforcement operations against drug-trafficking in and in the vicinity of Bahamian territory, to engage in law enforcement patrols and to exercise jurisdiction over non-Bahamian flag vessels within waters under Bahamian sovereignty. An exchange of notes permits The Bahamas to embark a Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) officer on US Coast Guard cutters; to permit the cutters to enter the Bahamian territorial sea to board, search, and if evidence warrants, seize US, stateless or third nation vessels with the permission of the flag state; to enter Bahamian territorial sea to assist RBDF personnel in the enforcement of Bahamian drug laws; and to board, search and seize Bahamian vessels on the high seas suspected of trafficking in drugs. The Bahamas has also authorized US Coast Guard aircraft to overfly Bahamian territory. GCOB maritime cooperation with the United States has been excellent.
Demand Reduction Programs. Demand reduction programs are a priority of the GCOB. Such programs have generally concentrated on the major cities of Nassau and Freeport but are being extended with USG support to less populated islands by the government's National Drug Council. The number of new drug users appears to have declined significantly since the mid-1980s.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
USG assistance to and presence in The Bahamas is designed to: strengthen the capability of Bahamian drug control and judicial institutions; destroy trafficking organizations; and stem the flow of drugs through The Bahamas to the US. With the permission of the GCOB, US law enforcement agencies operate in The Bahamas in close coordination with their Bahamian counterparts, especially in support of OPBAT. The USG has provided training, equipment and intelligence to support both joint efforts and unilateral GCOB enforcement initiatives.
The GCOB has supported and encouraged installation of USG counternarcotics detection-and-monitoring equipment. The US Air Force operates a tethered aerostat radar system base on Great Exuma island. An additional aerostat base at Great Inagua is currently under construction and expected to become operational early in 1994. A third aerostat, being rebuilt on Grand Bahama, is scheduled to resume operation in mid-1994.
Under the authority of the asset sharing provisions of the US-Bahamas MLAT, in 1993 the USG transferred to the GCOB $110,000, the majority of the funds seized and forfeited to the US in a narcotics case, in large part due to Bahamian assistance. In arresting three suspected cocaine traffickers wanted in the US, Bahamian authorities seized over $146,000 and subsequently agreed to transfer the money to DEA to facilitate its forfeiture.
V. The Road Ahead. Because of its location, The Bahamas will remain vulnerable to drug trafficking for the foreseeable future. Both major political parties, however, have publicly stated their commitment to combatting trafficking and to cooperating with USG counternarcotics efforts. Because of the country's small population, archipelagic scope and limited resources, the GCOB depends upon significant USG assistance to fight the international narcotics cartels. A key objective of US counternarcotics assistance in the Bahamas, however, remains the strengthening of the country's counternarcotics institutions. This will allow the GCOB to assume a greater share of the burden of combatting the traffickers. The USG will look increasingly to The Bahamas to assume responsibility for drug interdiction activities. The USG will also continue to encourage the GCOB to expand its assets seizure and forfeiture laws and procedures, in part to fund its own drug control activities. In coming years, the USG will place special emphasis on a program of judicial enhancement to improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which drug-related cases are handled. The USG will also support and encourage GCOB efforts to strengthen safeguards against money laundering and combat narcotics-related corruption.
[Chart: Statistic Tables]
Cuba is strategically located astride key drug routes into the United States, but it is difficult to quantify the volume of drugs that transit in or near Cuban territorial waters or airspace. The Cuban Government continues to give a high profile to its antidrug policies and has undertaken a modest level of counternarcotics effort. Cuba cooperated with US drug enforcement on an ad hoc basis in 1993. Continuing shortages of fuel and essential spare parts limit the Cuban Government's ability to interdict drug trafficking. Cuba has signed, but not yet ratified, the 1988 UN Convention and is working to meet many of the Convention's goals and objectives.
II. Status of Country
Traffickers transit or conduct operations in or just outside Cuban airspace and territorial waters to avoid USG and Caribbean nation law enforcement aircraft and vessels operating in the region. Smuggling operations in and around Cuba primarily involve cocaine and marijuana.
The level of trafficking taking place through or around Cuba is difficult to gauge, but available information indicates that the use of Cuban waters as an airdrop zone has increased dramatically. Cuban radio reported substantial cocaine seizures during 1993, but these reports are unconfirmed.
There is little evidence to support or refute Cuba's claim that it neither produces nor consumes illicit drugs. There are occasional reports of arrests of Cubans for cultivation or possession of small amounts of marijuana, and reports of low-level trafficking connected with drug use of foreign tourists. Although Cuba has a large chemical production industry, there is no information to indicate that it produces or deals in essential or precursor chemicals.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1993
Policy Initiatives. Cuba is making some effort to combat drug trafficking through its airspace and territorial waters. Cuban radio reports of seizures indicate that Cuba is interdicting narcotics dropped from aircraft. The GOC has been seeking to expand its antidrug cooperation with other countries, including informal information sharing with the US.
Accomplishments. During 1993, two groups of international drug traffickers were sentenced to up to 20 years in prison in well-publicized trials: five US-based traffickers apprehended in April, 1992, off the coast of Ciego de Avila Province after an unsuccessful airdrop north of Cuban territorial waters; and members of a Colombian-Cuban-German ring arrested for smuggling small amounts of cocaine to Europe through the tourist center of Varadero. In addition, the GOC transferred to US custody two prisoners and a boat suspected of taking part in a failed airdrop off the north coast of Cuba in August.
Cuba acknowledged publicly the destruction of 243 kg of cocaine and 168.5 kg of marijuana in the central provinces of Camaguey and Ciego de Avila. The GOC concluded bilateral drug accords with Jamaica and Guyana, and a team from the UNDCP visited Cuba to assist the GOC in drug trafficking control.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Article 190 of the Cuban penal code provides for imprisonment from three to eight years for the production, transport, trafficking, possession with the intent to traffic, or procurement for others of toxic drugs or hallucinogens, hypnotic or narcotic substances. Simple possession is punishable by sentences of six months to three years. If the amounts of illegal substance involved are "relatively large," sentences range from seven to fifteen years. Land used to cultivate cannabis or other illicit crops is subject to confiscation, if privately held. There are known cases in Cuba of seizure of personal property in relation to black marketeering, and it is likely that seizure of personal property will also be permitted in drug-related crimes.
Two of the four US citizens known to be serving time in Cuban prisons at the end of 1993 were convicted of drug smuggling, both in 1993. There may be others, who are Cuban-American dual nationals, but Cuba does not recognize dual nationality and, therefore, does not normally inform the USG of arrests of Cuban nationals who might also be US citizens. According to Cuban officials, over half of the smugglers arrested in Cuban territory are Cuban citizens residing in the United States. Most drug smugglers apprehended by the Cuban Border Guard are also charged with illegal entry into Cuba, a crime carrying a sentence of an additional two years imprisonment. The destination of the drugs is not considered a relevant factor by Cuban courts.
Cuban antidrug enforcement is coordinated by the National Commission on Drugs, an interagency body nominally under the Ministry of Justice. (The actual lead agency is the Ministry of Interior's Narcotics Department.) In addition to the Ministry of Justice, the National Commission on Drugs includes representatives of the Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, and Public Health, as well as Customs and the Border Guards.
On at least one occasion in September 1993, the GOC granted permission for US aircraft to enter Cuban airspace in hot pursuit of suspected traffickers aboard a boat. As a result of the pursuit, Cuban border patrol officers detained the vessel and two suspects, and recovered narcotics. The GOC turned over the suspects to the USG, and they were convicted in Miami.
Corruption and Money Laundering. Since the celebrated trial and execution of top military and interior ministry officials on drug smuggling charges in 1989, Havana claims it has no evidence of drug-related corruption. However, accusations of high-level complicity with drug smuggling persist. US fugitive financier and drug trafficker Robert Vesco continues to enjoy sanctuary in Cuba, despite US requests for his expulsion to the US. A Cuban prosecutor expressed concern that investment in the Cuban tourist industry could provide an opening for money laundering.
Agreements and Treaties. Cuba is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, but not to the 1972 Protocol. Cuba has signed but, for unknown reasons, has not yet ratified the 1988 UN Convention. Cuba should take the necessary steps to ratify and fully implement the Convention. Cuban law enforcement activities and willingness to cooperate internationally on drug control matters indicate the GOC is making some efforts to meet the goals and objectives of the 1988 Convention. Cuba concluded bilateral drug accords with Jamaica and Guyana in 1993 and has agreements with several other countries in the region, but not with the US. A US-Cuban extradition treaty, dating from 1904, is not in current use.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
The US Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration continue to exchange non-sensitive, real-time information on suspicious aircraft and vessels in or near Cuban airspace or waters with the Cuban Border Guard and the Havana Air Traffic Control Center. These exchanges, normally made by telex, occurred at a rate of one or two per month in 1993. Other working-level tactical and operational law enforcement information sharing occurs on a case-by-case basis.
The Dominican Republic is a transshipment country for illegal drugs destined for the United States. The country's geographical location, underdeveloped status, and economic problems make it an ideal venue for drug trafficking. While money laundering is not a major problem, the use of drug-gained assets from the United States for businesses is prevalent. Good local law enforcement and drug abuse prevention and education programs have attempted to keep drug consumption down. The USG's linking of denial of visas to drug-related corruption has proven somewhat effective in thwarting corruption. Cooperation between the Government of the Dominican Republic (GODR) and the USG is excellent. In 1993, the GODR acceded to the 1988 UN Convention.
II. Status of Country
The Dominican Republic's proximity to Colombia, The Bahamas, the southern United States and Puerto Rico make it an ideal transshipment point for cocaine. Its long, often desolate border with Haiti, unpatrolled coastline and poorly paid and ill-equipped police and military make it an attractive target for trafficking organizations.
There is no cultivation of coca or opium poppy and only very limited production of cannabis. Precursor chemicals are controlled, and little processing has been detected. Experts do not see evidence of large-scale money laundering, but money gained from drug trafficking by Dominicans in the United States is used freely for construction, businesses, and personal luxury in the Dominican Republic. Recent changes in bank regulations also open the possibility of dollar-denominated accounts in Dominican banks.
The National Drug Council (CND) and National Anti-Drug Directorate (DNCD) energetically maintain drug abuse prevention and education programs, with financial assistance from the GODR, the USG, UNDCP, and Germany. While the combination of education programs and enforcement appears to hold down drug consumption to a steady rate in the lower classes, consumption among upper-middle and upper class youth may be increasing. Greater attention is being given to treatment and rehabilitation.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1993
Policy Initiatives. The Dominican Senate approved, President Balaguer signed, and the Dominican Republic acceded to the 1988 UN Convention and the 1972 Protocol to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. (The Dominican Republic was already a party to the 1961 Convention.) The CND drafted an amendment to the drug law based on the OAS model which would criminalize money laundering and permit seizure of assets in drug cases. Although the proposed amendment has been sent to the President, he has not yet referred the legislation to the Congress, and election year politics may delay its progress.
Accomplishments. The GODR continued to demonstrate considerable political will in its counternarcotics effort, allocating significant resources for the CND and DNCD. The DNCD is gradually developing a cadre of experienced officers from the armed forces and police, and is devoting new attention to training.
During 1993 the DNCD, assisted at times by the Dominican Navy, seized 1,073 kg of cocaine, 305 kg of marijuana, 1,444 grams of crack, and other drugs and pharmaceuticals. It also seized two vessels, 181 vehicles, 228 motorcycles, and 164 firearms. There was a total of 812 operations nation-wide resulting in 5,635 arrests. Drug seizures in 1993 were substantially lower than 1992 levels (cocaine down 55 percent, marijuana down 95 percent), possibly due to some combination of these factors: strong actions by DNCD in jailing traffickers; some Dominican planes and boats were out of commission for repair during a part of the year; the increase of naval and air assets in the vicinity due to the Haiti embargo; and/or, traffickers' evasive techniques, changes in trafficker routes and modes of transport, and assistance from corrupt counternarcotics personnel.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The DNCD, including the JICC, is composed of officials from the Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, and civilian sector. The organization has grown rapidly to more than 800 personnel. Its ranking officers have experience and respond well when they have information, but the organization needs greater analytical ability. It also lacks depth due to low salaries and the need to rotate personnel regularly. Clandestine air strips have been practically eliminated, but off-shore air drops may be increasing.
Cooperation between the DNCD and the armed forces is excellent, although neither the Navy nor Air Force has the necessary resources to provide full support. With assistance from the USG, the Navy now has six coastal patrol boats operating and has begun to deploy them to the eastern, northern, and southern coasts. The Air Force lacks funds to maintain its helicopters and lacks night-flying capability.
The judicial system is largely ineffective in the counternarcotics effort. Local press has given much attention to the release of accused drug traffickers in cases involving more than 100 kg of cocaine while users of small amounts often receive stiff sentences. While corruption has seemingly played a role in the release of some traffickers, inadequate prosecutorial preparation also has led to the dismissal of some trafficking cases.
The DNCD, through the JICC, maintains strict control over precursor chemicals entering the country; few if any chemicals are manufactured or exported. The DNCD also monitors prescription drugs and is attempting to control their dispersal, at least in the capital.
The exact nature and extent of money laundering is unclear. Although a Washington-based task force found no evidence to indicate that significant money laundering is occurring, large sums of drug-related money earned in the US are circulating in the Dominican Republic. The DNCD financial investigations unit, formed in 1991, lacks proper training and especially suffers from the lack of adequate legislation.
Corruption. Although the GODR does not officially encourage or facilitate drug consumption or drug trafficking, corruption exists throughout the government and especially in the judicial system. Unsubstantiated rumors abound of narcotics-related contributions to political campaigns. We know of no senior government official who has been indicted for corruption although at least one field-grade military officer has been. The GODR needs to take strong steps to root out and punish narcotics-related public corruption.
Agreements and Treaties. As noted above, the Dominican Republic has recently become a party to the 1988 UN Convention and the 1972 Protocol to the 1961 Single Convention. The GODR's efforts in law enforcement, especially its cooperation with USG agencies and its information collection and sharing via its well-managed JICC, control of precursor and essential chemicals, drug abuse prevention and education, and its own allocation of a significant portion of the national budget to drug control efforts are consistent with the goals and objectives of the 1988 Convention. Improvements are needed, however, in the areas of control of money laundering and corruption, and the prosecution of traffickers. The extradition treaty with the US, which dates from 1909, does not itself list narcotics-related offenses as covered crimes. The GODR's accession to the 1988 Convention and the 1972 Protocol, however, serves to incorporate the drug offenses listed in those treaties into the GODR's existing bilateral extradition treaties, thereby creating a treaty basis for USG requests for the extradition of narcotics traffickers. In the past, the GODR has been generally unresponsive to USG extradition requests, particularly those involving Dominican nationals. On the other hand, the GODR cooperates with USG officials in deporting to the US American and third-country nationals who are fugitives from US justice (in the last five months of 1993, seven fugitives were deported upon the request of the USG).
Demand Reduction Programs. Both the CND and DNCD have demand reduction programs. The CND sponsors the highly successful Juvenile Prevention Council (Cojupre), which held 30 seminars in 1993 for 3,796 participants in seven cities. The community-based program has formed regional committees and provides ongoing training to them as well as seminars. The CND also co-hosts with the OAS (CICAD/CIECC) a school-based prevention project.
The DNCD, with funds from the UNDCP, has several projects designed to prevent drug use in poorer communities. The DNCD sponsored a marathon in one of Santo Domingo's poorest neighborhoods and is working with Dominican major league baseball players in a drug prevention-baseball clinic program. We anticipate more sports-based prevention programs and future cooperation with US Major League Baseball. Support for community programs comes from the UNDCP through the Spanish Government and from a bilateral agreement with Germany.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The primary US narcotics goal in the Dominican Republic is to assist the Dominicans in strengthening their democratic and law enforcement institutions, improve the administration of justice, and curb the flow of illegal drugs from source countries through the Dominican Republic to the United States. We will stress training, analysis, and bilateral and multilateral cooperation as well as urging a more aggressive pursuit of traffickers and their money.
Bilateral Cooperation. Under the terms of a US-Dominican bilateral counternarcotics agreement, the USG supplied communications equipment, computers, vehicles, and resource assistance to the DNCD in 1993. The GODR is accomplishing the goals and objectives of this bilateral agreement. Military assistance focused on training and maintenance for the Navy, Army and Air Force assets used for counternarcotics-related activities. A public policy initiated by the USG to link the denial of visas with drug-related corruption has proven effective in thwarting corruption and will be continued.
The Road Ahead. Building on past and present programs, the USG will cooperate with the GODR to improve law enforcement efforts. We are working with the DNCD Academy to improve both basic and advanced training, and will actively encourage new relationships between Dominican drug control authorities and those of other Caribbean countries and the US.
We will work with the GODR to better identify drug trafficking patterns and keep a careful watch on money laundering and the use of funds gained from illicit drug activities outside the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic will hold elections in May 1994 for national and local officials. Regardless of the results, we will work to assure that the present level of excellent cooperation not only continues but improves. We will place renewed focus on judicial reform. The CND court watch was not successful but will be modified and joined with a similar DNCD initiative to reduce or eliminate the premature release of drug traffickers from jail.
[Chart: Statistical Tables]
I. Status of Country
Guyana, bordering Venezuela, Suriname, and Brazil, has a densely forested, scarcely populated interior dotted with small airstrips which facilitates the shipping of cocaine to the Caribbean, the United States, and other international destinations. In 1993, the amount of cocaine seized was over 1,000 per cent higher than in 1992 and officials expect additional increases as narcotics traffickers skirt drug interdiction efforts in the Caribbean. An undetermined amount of marijuana is grown here year-round. The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has a drug enforcement unit with 28 of its authorized strength of 31. The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) employs one helicopter in marijuana eradication missions in cooperation with the GPF. The airport uses its five drug detector dogs, three donated by the USG, to seek out and seize drugs. Guyana is a party to the 1988 UN Convention.
II. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1993.
Guyana acceded to the 1988 UN Convention in 1993. However, the government has been slow to pass implementing legislation. Guyana is also a party to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (not its 1972 Protocol), and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The Government of Guyana (GOG) is actively fighting production of marijuana and shipment of cocaine through its territory, but its poorly funded police and military forces need assistance to conduct more effective antidrug operations.
During 1993, police reported seizing 463 kg of cocaine and 15.6 metric tons of marijuana. Police handled 327 cases of marijuana possession and 87 cocaine cases, including one such case which involved over 350 kg of cocaine dropped by air into the Demerara river near Timehri International Airport. There was no indication of high-level government corruption involving drugs in Guyana. The GOG has taken measures to punish military officials suspected of narcotics-related corruption.
Mechanical problems with the helicopter capable of eradication operations resulted in a reduction in marijuana eradication efforts. More detailed statistics revealing the amounts of marijuana cultivated, harvested, consumed or exported are unavailable.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
The USG seeks to improve the capability of the GPF and GDF to seize cocaine transshipped through Guyana and to locate and destroy marijuana grown there. In 1993, the USG provided training and equipment for police and military personnel including a Boston Whaler boat with engines, global positioning systems, life jackets, binoculars, handcuffs, radios, radar and motor vehicle spare parts, and medication and supplies for the detector dogs. This equipment was provided pursuant to a bilateral counternarcotics agreement, the goals of which the GOG is working to accomplish.
Police suspect some laundering of drug money takes place in Guyana, but have no hard evidence. The USG and Guyana signed a Tax Exchange Information Agreement in August 1992 which will facilitate cooperation on money laundering. The USG's extradition treaty with Guyana (a 1931 US-UK treaty that remained in force after Guyana's independence) is used infrequently. However, in 1993 the GOG deported to the US a Colombian national who was wanted by USG authorities for narcotics trafficking.
Haiti continues to be used by Colombian trafficking organizations as a base of operations and transshipment point for the movement of South American cocaine to the United States. The Government of Haiti (GOH) has had little success in attacking the problem and clearly has an inadequate interdiction and enforcement capability.
Compared to trafficking indicators in other areas such as The Bahamas or Mexico, the current level of detected air and maritime drug-related activity in Haiti is low. We do not have an accurate assessment, however, of the extent of cocaine transiting Haiti. Our best estimate is that one or more multi-hundred kilogram loads pass through the country monthly. President Aristide's ouster in the September 1991 coup d'etat halted close bilateral narcotics control cooperation in Haiti, which in turn reduced opportunities to enhance host government capabilities.
Note: In this report, GOH and host country refer to the de facto government which the USG does not recognize.
II. Status of Country
Haiti's geographic location between Colombia and the US, coupled with a long, unpatrolled coastline and mountainous interior and the presence of numerous uncontrolled airstrips make the country an ideal site for illicit narcotics trafficking. Inadequate enforcement and interdiction and the susceptibility of Haitian officials to corruption make Haiti even more desirable for traffickers. As a result, Colombian trafficking organizations are using Haiti as a transshipment and storage point. Marijuana is also transshipped through Haiti, but to a lesser degree than cocaine.
The de facto government maintains the same antidrug policies and bureaucratic mechanisms as the Aristide government. Counternarcotics law enforcement efforts fall under Haiti's Ministry of Defense. Two drug units subordinate to the Haitian military have been established to coordinate intelligence gathering and interdiction activities: the National Narcotics Bureau (NNB) directs law enforcement activities, is subordinate to the military chief of staff, and is staffed by 40 officers and enlisted men; and, the Center for Information and Coordination (CIC), responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence for narcotics law enforcement and interdiction activities, is staffed by about 30 security service personnel. Counternarcotics operations are controlled by the military and are conducted primarily by the army and the national police, which reports to the army commander. Haiti's air force and navy also have a counterdrug responsibility, but resource constraints have severely limited their involvement in drug control operations.
The de facto government has maintained drug enforcement efforts at or above the pre-coup level, but a lack of support (the CIC, is almost inoperative) and dwindling resources have affected seizures (in 1993 cocaine seizures totalled 156 kgs).
The Haitian legal system is ineffective in controlling illicit drug activity. Although Haiti's narcotics laws are relatively strong, law enforcement and military resources have been grossly inadequate to cope with narcotics trafficking. The weak judicial system has brought few traffickers to justice, even when arrests have been made. Defendants are routinely released on a technicality within days of arrest and almost never come to trial. Haiti is not an important producer of illegal drugs, though small-scale cannabis plots have been discovered and destroyed by law enforcement officials. There is almost no information available on money laundering or precursor chemical activities in Haiti.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1993
Policy Initiatives. There were no significant changes in GOH international narcotics control policy during 1993. Political issues continued to overshadow counternarcotics concerns for those in control of the government.
Accomplishments. Although the GOH made some minimal enforcement efforts during 1993, its counternarcotics actions fell far short of fulfilling the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention. Illicit drug trafficking continues to be well beyond the capacity of Haitian security forces to control. Despite continued efforts under the de facto regime, corruption, inadequate manpower and resources prevented the NNB and CIC from making a substantial impact. The air force and navy were unable to engage in effective narcotics interdiction activities in 1993. The extent of narcotics-related money laundering in Haiti is unknown. The lack of currency regulations and money laundering laws, together with an open parallel currency exchange, make Haiti vulnerable to this type of activity. The degree of manufacture or trade in precursor chemicals, if any, is also unknown. Additional legislation would accomplish little in either of these areas until enforcement capabilities are enhanced and problems in the judicial system are adequately addressed.
Corruption. The USG does not have evidence directly linking senior GOH officials to drug trafficking, though rumors and (unsubstantiated) allegations abound. In 1992, the army command issued a field order which stated that any member found to be directly or indirectly involved with narcotics trafficking would be expelled from the military and turned over to public authorities for prosecution. That year, several low ranking officers and a number of enlisted personnel were expelled or reassigned. The civilian judicial system declined to prosecute. We are unaware of any further actions in 1993. If the GOH intends to prevent and punish public corruption, it is clear that it must do so in the judiciary first and foremost. Enhancement of drug enforcement and interdiction capabilities and legislative reforms will accomplish little until the prosecutors and courts are able to bring traffickers to justice.
Agreements and Treaties. The GOH is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1972 UN Protocol amending this Convention. It did not sign the 1988 UN Convention and has not yet acceded to it. The 1905 extradition treaty between the USG and GOH is not currently in use because of the political situation. The treaty does not obligate the parties to extradite their own nationals, and Haiti's constitution forbids the extradition of its citizens. The GOH has cooperated with USG officials in deporting American and third-country national fugitives to the US in the past, although no one was deported to the US in 1993. With the de facto government in place, negotiation of a mutual legal assistance treaty or an update to the extradition treaty are not high priorities.
Demand Reduction Programs. During 1993, the commander of the CIC, who appears to have the support of the professional sector in Port-au-Prince, maintained a demand reduction program guided by the various programs supported by the UN. The main thrust of the demand reduction program has been drug abuse awareness via television and radio. The CIC commander also has made several trips to major cities in Haiti to publicize the government's concern about drug abuse.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. USG efforts to strengthen Haitian counternarcotics institutions and capabilities remain suspended until the current political crisis is resolved.
Bilateral Cooperation. US law enforcement agencies cooperate with Haitian counternarcotics authorities at the operational level on an ad hoc basis. Nevertheless, a Letter of Agreement signed in August 1991 to provide additional US resources to the CIC and NNB has not been implemented due to the political situation. No new agreement was signed in 1993. A USAID-funded administration of justice project designed to strengthen the judicial system, promote human rights and foster development of a professional and efficient legal system remains suspended.
The Road Ahead. When a satisfactory political solution to the current crisis is reached, the USG may resume narcotics assistance to provide training, equipment and other support to advance a range of narcotics law enforcement and prevention projects. The USG will also encourage the GOH to enact needed legislation covering precursor and essential chemical controls, money laundering and asset seizure and forfeiture, ratify key treaties, and address such vital issues as judicial reform and narcotics-related corruption. We will also seek to promote a working relationship between Haitian and Dominican drug control organizations.
[Chart: Statistical Tables]
Jamaica plays a relatively minor role in the transshipment of cocaine from South America to the US, but it is a major producer and exporter of marijuana. Minimal money laundering occurs, but there is no known trafficking in essential or precursor chemicals in Jamaica. During 1993, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) actively pursued institution-building, extradition of narcotics offenders, and control of corruption, and continued its drug-interdiction and demand-reduction efforts. The GOJ made some but not enough progress on counternarcotics legislation and has not yet ratified either the 1988 UN Convention or the US-Jamaica Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. The GOJ also fell short of its marijuana eradication goal.
II. Status of Country
Traffickers exploit Jamaican marijuana networks to move cocaine and some heroin in relatively small amounts. Judging from the increase in frequency of seizures, however, we believe cocaine and marijuana trafficking is on the rise. Jamaican marijuana is traditionally harvested twice yearly; however, four harvests of one variety are possible. Abundant rainfall and the lessening of GOJ eradication efforts may stimulate an increase in marijuana (ganja) production in 1994. If the GOJ does not reactivate its formerly strong eradication program, cultivation and export of the drug to the US will rise in the coming years.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1993
Policy Initiatives. The GOJ placed assets-seizure legislation before Parliament during 1993 and drafted money laundering legislation which is under review by a select ministry committee. The GOJ expects both will pass in 1994. Passage of these bills will enable the GOJ to ratify and implement the 1988 UN Convention. The GOJ also worked to prepare that legislation required for implementation of the US-Jamaica bilateral Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), upon which Jamaican ratification depends. The GOJ also expects this legislation will pass in 1994, to be followed by MLAT ratification.
Accomplishments. In many areas--including interdiction, extradition, public corruption, and demand reduction--the GOJ has taken actions consistent with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention. More progress is needed, however, in eradication efforts and in adoption of legislation regarding asset seizure, money laundering, and mutual legal assistance. GOJ interdiction efforts yielded a net increase in the amount of cocaine seized in 1993 (1992 figures were skewed by a large controlled delivery). Marijuana seizures increased from 35 metric tons in 1992 to 75 metric tons in 1993, and the GOJ eradicated 456 hectares of marijuana, short of its goal of 1,000 hectares. The GOJ took steps toward controlling corruption. The UNDCP-funded, integrated demand-reduction program made some headway in improving living conditions and economic environments in its 15 target communities throughout the island.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The GOJ arrested 73 traffickers of whom 61 percent were Class I and II violators by DEA criteria. Anticipating passage of assets-seizure legislation in 1994, the GOJ requested training in assets-seizure investigation and prosecution. In November, it hosted a prototype regional assets-seizure workshop under UNDCP auspices attended by some 40 crown prosecutors and police investigators representing 17 Caribbean nations, including ten Jamaicans.
It is a criminal offense under Jamaican law to sell, purchase, or transport illicit drugs, or to finance the sale, purchase or transport of drugs. Reported drug offense arrests of Jamaicans and foreigners totalled 1,416 in 1993, up from 1,149 in 1992.
Drug interdiction by Jamaica's several narcotics control agencies more than doubled the 1993 marijuana seizures (75 metric tons) from 1992 levels (35 metric tons). Actual amount of cocaine seized dropped from a 1992 high of 490 kg to 160 kg in 1993, reflecting more the skewing effects of a large (412 kgs) 1992 controlled-delivery seizure than a diminishing of effort. Discounting the controlled delivery, the amount of cocaine seized more than doubled from the 1992 net amount of 78 kg to 160 kg in 1993. The GOJ failed to achieve its goal of eradicating 1,000 hectares of cultivated marijuana, destroying less than half that amount. The GOJ blamed the shortfall on increased difficulty in eradicating widely dispersed, small plots in remote locations. The GOJ needs to increase its eradication efforts.
Jamaica also maintains two counternarcotics radar stations, one the civil aviation site on Mount Denham, the other a temporary radar station operated by the US Air Force and Jamaica Defense Force at Lovers' Leap on the southwest coast. A Memorandum of Understanding is under negotiation to integrate the Mount Denham radar site into the Caribbean Basin Radar Network in early 1994.
Jamaica's Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC), according to DEA, is among the most active in the Caribbean in reporting data on suspect aircraft, vessels, and passengers. Specific 1993 credits to JICC information were the seizures of 1,568 kg of marijuana in Jamaica and 5,000 kg of hash oil and 409 kg of cocaine in the US. Also as a result of JICC-Kingston data, three weapons were seized, 120 persons were arrested on drug charges, and three more on murder charges. Jamaican law enforcement personnel have also used the JICC effectively to develop trafficker profiles, enabling more efficient enforcement efforts.
Jamaica is considered neither an important Caribbean financial center nor a narcotics money-laundering center at this time, but there are no money-laundering controls in place. Although the movement of precursor and essential chemicals through Jamaica is minimal, the GOJ export promotion agency monitors their flow into and within Jamaica. There is no known trafficking in essential or precursor chemicals in Jamaica. Jamaica produces only a limited amount of pharmaceutical drugs, most being imported from the US or UK. There is no present information that legitimate drugs and chemicals are being diverted into illicit usage in Jamaica.
Corruption. The GOJ has taken legal and enforcement measures to prevent and punish public corruption. The USG was disappointed to learn in 1992 that an Assistant Superintendent of Police, acquitted of a charge of accepting bribes and providing protection to a marijuana-trafficking ring, was reinstated in his position. In 1993 he was demoted, however, and placed on leave. Jamaica's new Police Commissioner has moved visibly and forcefully to rid the police force of a number of officers widely believed to have been corrupt. At the GOJ's request, in 1993 the USG provided an innovative integrity training program for Jamaican Customs officials, which covered internal control systems and other anti-corruption techniques. Corruption remains widespread, however, among port authorities and police personnel. The GOJ does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of drugs or the laundering of drug money. No senior GOJ official has been officially charged with engaging in the production or distribution of drugs, or laundering of proceeds.
Agreements and Treaties. In the past couple of years, the GOJ has improved its performance considerably in responding to US extradition requests under the new US-Jamaica extradition treaty, which entered into force in 1991. Jamaica has become one of the USG's most active extradition partners in the region. As of the end of 1993, separate extradition proceedings were pending in Jamaica against seven individuals wanted in the US for drug trafficking offenses. The USG continues to urge the GOJ to ratify as soon as possible the US-Jamaica Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), which was signed in 1989. We have no present shiprider agreement with the GOJ, but the Jamaican Defense Force coast guard operates in close coordination with US forces.
Cultivation and Production. The bilateral narcotics control agreement between Jamaica and the US, signed in 1988 and amended annually, specifies that the GOJ will eradicate illicit drug crops. The USG agreed to assist the GOJ's eradication efforts until production was substantially reduced. In early 1993 the USG announced withdrawal of future-year support for marijuana eradication, in keeping with US national strategic priorities. Furthermore, with several years of USG assistance, the Jamaican marijuana crop had been reduced to proportions presumed to be manageable by the GOJ, that is from 2,250 cultivated hectares in 1990 (of which 1,030 were eradicated) to 1,200 hectares in 1992 (of which 811 were eradicated). Despite the continuing availability in 1993 of USG prior-year funds for eradication, the GOJ eradicated less than half the year's hectarage goal, blaming the shortfall on increased difficulty in eradicating due to the remote locations of widely dispersed, small plots and the announcement of withdrawal of USG support. For environmental reasons and because of political opposition, the GOJ failed to accept the alternative suggested by the USG of eradication by aerial spraying.
Drug Flow and Transit. Although we cannot accurately estimate the total amount of drugs transiting Jamaica, the increase in seizure frequency in 1993 from 1992 levels--cocaine up 127 per cent, marijuana up 16 percent--indicates cocaine and marijuana trafficking is on the rise. Heroin trafficking may pose a threat.
Demand Reduction. The GOJ's main demand reduction program is the National Council on Drug Abuse's Integrated Demand Reduction (IDER) program financed by UNDCP. This long-term program, currently underway in 15 communities throughout the island, employs community involvement to improve those social and economic conditions, such as substance abuse, AIDS, and teen-age pregnancies, which lead to various community dysfunctions. USG funds supported a survey of drug use and attitudes to focus demand reduction efforts and provide a baseline against which to assess results.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The USG program objective is to continue to work with the GOJ in institution-building, demand reduction, public diplomacy, counternarcotics training targeted against major traffickers and their organizations, and continuation of joint interdiction efforts.
Bilateral Cooperation. The GOJ accomplished the 1993 interdiction and demand reduction objectives. The joint eradication effort, however, fell short of its goal.
Road Ahead. Future USG support will increasingly focus on improving GOJ counternarcotics capabilities by: encouraging the GOJ to pass pending counternarcotics laws and ratify the MLAT and UN Convention; intensifying demand-reduction-education efforts in Jamaica's secondary schools; continuing to train personnel of the narcotics control agencies to increase their effectiveness and professionalism; and, continuing to support GOJ drug interdiction operations. If the GOJ corrects the program deficiencies noted, the USG will enhance the canine drug-detecting program with additional training. We will continue to monitor UNDCP projects, such as IDER, regional training, and the development of the Kingston regional law enforcement training center.
[Charts: Statistical Tables; Jamaica Cannabis Production 1989-1993]
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES AND ARUBA
The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are important cocaine transshipment points for drugs trafficked from South America to the United States and Western Europe and for chemicals destined for South America. Close political and economic ties to the Netherlands allow cocaine traffickers access to Western Europe through Dutch ports. There has been a dramatic increase in drug-related violence on Curacao. Both Curacao and nearby Aruba appear to serve as a meeting point for Colombian, Dutch, Surinamese, Antillean and US drug traffickers. Money laundering organizations use the tourism and off-shore banking industries in Curacao, the Dutch half of St. Maarten, and Aruba to transfer and deposit drug proceeds. Inertia on the part of several Government of the Netherlands Antilles (GONA) officials has hampered progress on counterdrug initiatives in this region. Although the GONA and the Government of Aruba (GOA) have taken steps to combat precursor chemical trafficking and to develop demand reduction programs on their respective islands, local law enforcement agencies in Curacao and other islands in the Netherlands Antilles must cooperate more effectively to interdict drugs and chemicals transiting these islands.
II. Status of Country
The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are favored transshipment points for cocaine moving from South America to the US and to Western Europe through Dutch ports. Large containerized cargo shipments, as well as small fishing vessels and other seagoing craft, transport cocaine between the Netherlands Antilles and South America. Cruise ships, private aircraft, and individuals (mules) on commercial aircraft are host to smaller amounts of cocaine transported to the US. Air dropping of cocaine is increasing in the area around St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius. The latter two islands' small and poorly-equipped police forces have increased their attractiveness as transshipment points.
Money laundering fostered by the off-shore banking and casino and resort industries on Aruba, Curacao, and St. Maarten flourishes on these islands. Aruba and Curacao have also witnessed an increase in such drug-related crime as shootings, robberies and murders between rival drug gangs vying for territory.
III. Country Actions against Drugs in 1993
Policy Initiatives. The Ministers of Justice of the Netherlands, Aruba, and the Netherlands Antilles have agreed to cooperate in anti-drug and anti-crime initiatives; the GONA has signed an agreement with the UNDCP to develop a demand reduction program; the GONA and the GOA have established a commission to organize joint Coast Guard patrols around Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao; the GONA is working to enact anti-money laundering legislation which the GOA has pledged to adopt.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Police and Customs officials on Curacao seized over 370 kg of cocaine and conducted joint operations with DEA as well as with Dutch and Belgian police; police officials on Aruba seized approximately 100 kg of cocaine which led to the arrest of four Colombians; police officials on St. Maarten seized 701 kg of cocaine and made nine arrests. On one occasion, a seizure of 34 kg of cocaine was made off the coast of Saba. Aruban authorities have cooperated in law enforcement initiatives leading to the seizure of drugs in the US.
Corruption. There are reports of serious corruption in the law enforcement system. The Attorneys General of the GOA and the GONA have initiated an investigation focusing on such corruption and other criminal acts, but to date have not prosecuted any GONA or GOA officials. As a matter of Government policy, the GONA and GOA do not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs or other controlled substances or the laundering of drug money. To date no current senior official has been identified as engaged in, facilitating or encouraging the production or distribution of drugs or in money laundering of drug proceeds.
Agreements and Treaties. The GONA and GOA are working towards ratifying the 1988 UN Convention. Their respective parliaments have not yet passed legislation that would enable the GONA and GOA to ratify it. The Netherlands ratified the UN Convention in December 1993. It will extend the terms of the Convention to Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles, which will then need to pass implementing legislation. Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles endeavor to meet many of the goals and objectives of the UN Convention in international counternarcotics cooperation, training programs, demand reduction efforts and anti-corruption initiatives. The development of implementing legislation on the UN Convention remains a problem: The GONA is slow to enact legislation on control of precursor and essential chemicals and money laundering. The GON and the United Kingdom signed a treaty for anti-crime cooperation including the confiscation of drug-related revenues. The terms of the treaty are expected to be extended to the GONA and to the GOA.
Anti-trafficking and anti-money laundering enforcement, particularly on St. Maarten, needs to be intensified. The multilateral Caribbean Zone Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement provides for information sharing concerning enforcement of Customs laws, including those related to the suppression of trafficking in narcotics and psychotropic substances. The USG-GON extradition treaty also applies to Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. Aruba rejected a USG request for the extradition of a Colombian drug trafficker in 1993 on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
An agreement between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States on confiscation of the proceeds of crime and forfeiture of assets was signed in November 1992. While the Netherlands is expected to ratify the agreement in 1994, neither the GONA or the GON has developed the necessary implementing legislation.
Demand Reduction Programs. Drug abuse and violent crime have increased in the Netherlands Antilles, and drug availability has risen on Aruba. The GONA strongly opposes drug abuse and has established with Aruba a long-term drug prevention and information campaign targeting such activities.
V. US Policy Initiatives and Programs.
Bilateral Cooperation. The GONA and GOA participate in US and Dutch-sponsored training programs for law enforcement officials. Several law enforcement officials from both governments attended seminars in 1992 on canine enforcement, prevention of drug abuse and money laundering. DEA conducted in 1993 a Caribbean Regional Advanced Drug Enforcement Seminar in which five police officials from the Netherlands Antilles and one from Aruba participated. Although the GONA and GOA participate effectively in training initiatives, they have fallen short in establishing a database for sharing information on trafficker profiles called the Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC). Aruba initially succeeded in establishing and using such a database, but the GOA soon let the JICC become inactive.
Close military cooperation between the US Navy and US Coast Guard and Dutch forces based in Curacao and Aruba has resulted in a coordinated mechanism for checking ahead-of-time (pre-clearing) registration, manifests and other documents required on ships in ports. The pre-clearing mechanism allows crews to request searches by law enforcement officials in 48 hours, ensuring that inventory checks and other searches are completed efficiently. Other military cooperation efforts include a US Air National Guard mobile radar unit that was deployed for sixty days on Curacao.
The Road Ahead. The GONA and the GOA have taken steps to cooperate more actively in counternarcotics initiatives. Vulnerable to powerful trafficking groups from neighboring South America, they lack expertise and funds to counter such groups' criminal activities and attendant violence. The USG will continue to assist them to counteract their drug transit problems.
Suriname is a transshipment point for cocaine from South America to Europe, primarily to the Netherlands, and for precursor chemicals destined for South American processing facilities. Few narcotics are trafficked from Suriname to the United States. Narcotics-related corruption hampers the Government of Suriname's (GOS) ability to move against those suspected of drug trafficking, although authorities are taking steps to indict those against whom there are substantiated charges. In 1992 the GOS ratified the 1988 UN Convention, but has a long way to go in meeting the Convention's goals and objectives. The GOS is slowly continuing its efforts to strengthen narcotics laws, increase law enforcement capabilities, and foster cooperation with other governments against narcotics trafficking.
II. Status of Country.
Suriname's legacy of government corruption, combined with its proximity to narcotics producer countries, porous borders, remote airstrips, unprotected coastline, navigable rivers, and vast unoccupied interior areas, promote its use as a narcotics transshipment point. Before the installation of a new military commander in May 1993, the USG had suspicions that high-ranking military officers provided protection to narcotics traffickers. Strong trade and transportation ties with the Netherlands, its former colonial power, facilitate access to the European Community. Suriname is not a producer of cocaine. An insurgency which had rendered large areas of the interior off limits to the police and other government agencies ended in August 1992 with the signing of a peace accord. Nevertheless, former insurgent groups, suspected of drug trafficking, still hold sway over much of Suriname's interior. Suriname's judicial system, law enforcement apparatus, and customs inspection system require strengthening.
Suriname is not a money laundering center. The non-convertibility of Suriname's currency and its limited financial market steer money launderers elsewhere.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1993
Policy Initiatives. After the 1991 installation of the current Surinamese government, the Minister of Justice and Police began to move against narcotics trafficking. In 1992, Suriname ratified the 1988 UN Convention and joined the International Drug Law Enforcement Conference. The GOS indicated it would cooperate with the USG on anti-narcotics and with the Dutch government to strengthen its police and criminal justice system. The USG is assisting the GOS with its nascent counternarcotics strategy and implementation plan.
Accomplishments. In 1993 several GOS drug enforcement officials participated in a DEA narcotics enforcement course and in a money laundering seminar. The GOS, with Dutch-funded assistance from the UNDCP, wrote a draft narcotics law consistent with the 1988 UN Convention, but the law has yet to be acted on by the legislature.
Law enforcement efforts. Suriname's military and civilian law enforcement agencies are beginning to emerge from the influence of past corrupt leadership. Convictions of civilian and military officials for illegal activities began to dispel the impression that such officials escaped the rule of law. Cooperation between the civil and military police has improved since the May 1992 installation of a new military commander. A DEA training course given in September 1993 for police, customs, and military police officers helped to foster cooperation among those services.
Corruption. Drug-related corruption remains a problem for Suriname. The authorities' success in some initial prosecutions marks the first steps towards rooting out corruption, but much remains to be done.
Agreements and treaties. Suriname succeeded to various Dutch treaties in 1975, when it became independent. In 1993, the GOS affirmed its adherence to the existing extradition agreement between the United States and the Netherlands, which dates from 1887, but USG extradition requests to Suriname are rare. Suriname and the United States concluded a second Letter of Agreement in 1993 on counternarcotics cooperation to reduce drug trafficking. Suriname concluded a 1993 bilateral narcotics agreement with Colombia, similar to accords previously made with Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana. The GOS has signed these bilateral agreements in the spirit of meeting the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention, but must work to implement such agreements to attain counternarcotics results.
Cultivation/production. Marijuana is cultivated in the interior, apparently for local use. Earlier reports that cocaine is processed in Suriname's interior have not been substantiated. The GOS may soon be able to confirm or refute these reports as it regains control over land previously controlled by insurgents.
Drug Flow/transit. Suriname has been used as a transshipment point for drugs produced in South America and destined for Europe. Traffickers who ship drugs mainly to the Netherlands have been known to use both indirect and direct sea and air routes to that country. Although drug seizures in Suriname declined slightly in 1993, GOS police believe that the traffic continues undiminished.
Domestic Programs. The GOS believes that a limited drug use problem confined largely to marijuana exists in Suriname. GOS funding shortages have rendered domestic demand reduction programs inactive.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
US Goals and Objectives. The USG is working to implement fully USG/GOS anti-narcotics agreements; support the GOS in the development of a comprehensive narcotics control plan; assist the GOS in building profiles on narcotics trafficking patterns through Suriname; and increase seizures of illicit narcotics and toughen prosecutions of offenders. Efforts to increase bilateral, regional and international law enforcement cooperation are other USG objectives.
Bilateral cooperation. Conclusion of a second anti-narcotics cooperation agreement with the USG and an anti-narcotics agreement with Colombia highlighted GOS cooperation efforts. Additional training should help the GOS accomplish the goals in the agreement with the USG. The GOS participated in a DEA Basic Counternarcotics course and a money laundering seminar. The GOS has taken the first step in developing a comprehensive national counternarcotics strategy by requesting a consultant. The stationing of anti-narcotics personnel in Suriname by the Government of the Netherlands (GON) is a strong possibility for 1994.
Road Ahead. The Surinamese Government has established a foundation for more effective action against drug trafficking by appointing new military leadership. Much remains to be done, however, to enable the law enforcement system to conduct effective counternarcotics activities against Suriname's transit problems. The USG seeks to enhance GOS counternarcotics enforcement ability by providing limited counternarcotics assistance and still hopes to station, with GON support, narcotics control personnel in Suriname.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Trinidad and Tobago is a transshipment point for drugs from South America to Europe and North America, as well as a producer of marijuana. It is not highly significant from a money laundering perspective. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GOTT)'s Office of Strategic Services (OSS) coordinates counternarcotics efforts under the aegis of the Ministry of National Security. Coordination is lacking, however, and neither the Police Service nor the Coast Guard has had much success in interdiction efforts. Drug-related corruption is a continuing problem. In 1993 the GOTT finally began the process of adopting implementing legislation for the 1988 UN Convention, which the GOTT signed in December 1989 but has not yet ratified.
II. Status of Country
Although Trinidad and Tobago is not a major factor in the drug trade at this time, the country's geographical location, the relatively open routes through the interior and the lack of coordinated interdiction efforts make it an attractive trafficking site.
III. Country Action against Drugs in 1993
Policy Initiatives. Following the election in November 1992 of Trinidad's Minister of National Security as President of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the GOTT became host to the CFATF Secretariat. In 1993, the Government introduced money laundering legislation and trained three money laundering investigators. Their duties, however, have not been fully established.
Accomplishments. The government has begun to amend its Dangerous Drugs Act, a prerequisite to ratifying and implementing the 1988 UN Convention. Some drug seizures occurred outside Trinidad and Tobago as a result of information provided by agencies of the GOTT.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Cocaine and marijuana seizures in Trinidad and Tobago were down slightly in 1993 from 1992 levels. The Coast Guard and Police Service, the two most important agencies in the GOTT's counternarcotics efforts, have arrested several low-level drug offenders, but have been ineffective against major traffickers. The USG supported screening for new recruits to the Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit (OCNU) and a two-week basic drug enforcement course taught by DEA instructors. The GOTT earmarked funds received from an assets-sharing case with the USG for refurbishment of the OCNU headquarters building.
Corruption. In early 1993, a team of Scotland Yard detectives investigated allegations of a drug cartel operating within the Police Service. Although the team found no evidence of a single cartel, it did uncover evidence of widespread corruption among police officers, including the involvement of several officers with local and international drug rings. Although the team recommended the dismissal of over 100 officers, to date the GOTT has taken no action. Following the Scotland Yard investigation, the GOTT attempted to retire the Police Commissioner early as part of an effort to reform management of the Police Service, but was stymied by the Police Service Commission. The GOTT is financing two-year tours of duty for three US Customs Service employees, to streamline procedures and eliminate corruption in the local Customs Service.
Agreements and Treaties. The GOTT has decided it cannot ratify the 1988 UN Convention until it passes enabling legislation, which has been introduced in the Senate but not yet in the politically more important Lower House. The government believes the new law will require a two-thirds majority, necessitating opposition support. Debate on this bill is scheduled to start in early 1994, and it seems likely to pass. The bill, which would amend the Dangerous Drugs Act, includes provisions for assets seizure and forfeiture and control of money laundering and precursor and essential chemicals.
Introduction of the legislation, and GOTT enforcement activity generally, indicate that the GOTT is attempting to meet many of the goals and objectives of the 1988 Convention, even though it has not yet ratified it. Additional efforts are still needed to curb corruption, strengthen enforcement efforts against major traffickers, improve cooperation and performance on extraditions, and accelerate the legislative process. The letter of agreement governing USG counternarcotics assistance is the only applicable bilateral agreement. The GOTT has fulfilled its obligations under this agreement.
Extradition with the United States is governed by a 1931 US-UK agreement. The GOTT has been largely unresponsive on most USG extradition requests. One fugitive wanted in the US on narcotics charges escaped from Trinidadian custody during 1993. Extradition proceedings are continuing against another suspected drug trafficker; a procedural error by the prosecutor's office and numerous appeals by the defendant have contributed to delay in this case. The GOTT earlier expressed some interest in negotiating a mutual legal assistance treaty with the USG, but has not raised the issue recently.
Cultivation/Production. The country produces no cocaine or coca. There are large tracts of cannabis in the remote eastern and southern areas of the country, however, and newspaper reports indicate that marijuana growers are moving into northeastern Trinidad. There are no accurate estimates of total acreage of cannabis cultivation.
Drug Flow/Transit. Though cocaine seizures remain low, drug enforcement personnel believe Trinidad and Tobago is an increasingly significant transshipment point because it is a natural staging site, a conclusion supported by recent seizures of large amounts of cocaine after they left Trinidad.
Demand Reduction. The National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program (NADAPP), funded mainly by a grant from UNDCP, is largely ineffective, and the second phase of the grant is still being negotiated. NADAPP spent almost $500,000 in phase one of a two-part UNDCP grant, but little was accomplished. UNDCP is now looking carefully at NADAPP's phase-two design before releasing any further funds. In contrast, local NGOs, which receive USG support, appear to deliver drug awareness education, counseling, and rehabilitation more efficiently with much fewer resources, although on a relatively small scale.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. USG program objectives include: encouraging the GOTT to adopt implementing legislation and to ratify the 1988 UN Convention; strengthening counternarcotics coordination mechanisms through the OSS; assisting the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, through provision of patrol boats, equipment, maintenance and training, to patrol the coastal waters of Trinidad and Tobago more effectively; assisting the GOTT to establish an effective, properly trained and equipped, uncorrupted police narcotics squad; improving and streamlining the Trinidad and Tobago Customs Service; and encouraging other potential donor nations to assist both law enforcement and demand reduction efforts. To provide a major impetus to the streamlining and improvement of Trinidad and Tobago's Customs Service, a US Customs Advisory Team is on site to offer daily guidance and assistance.
Bilateral Cooperation. The most successful areas are sharing of information with USG counternarcotics agencies and marijuana eradication. Police investigations, inter-agency coordination, and demand reduction have been least effective. The performance of the Coast Guard and the GOTT's slowness in introducing necessary legislation have been disappointing. In 1993, the GOTT did not initiate action to update the 1931 extradition treaty or conclude maritime interdiction or shiprider agreements or a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), though a bilateral MLAT with Trinidad and Tobago is not a high USG priority at this time.
In 1993, the USG transferred to the GOTT, under an asset sharing agreement, approximately $40,000, a portion of the funds seized and forfeited to the USG in a money laundering case. GOTT authorities provided information to US Customs leading to the seizure of the funds, which were related to a drug trafficking operation in Trinidad. The GOTT earmarked the shared funds for refurbishment of the Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit headquarters building.
Road Ahead. Any future USG support will focus on improving the JICC, the new Police Narcotics Squad, and providing patrol boats to the Coast Guard. Future assistance should be tied to good-faith efforts of the GOTT in the following areas: passage of meaningful money-laundering and assets-forfeiture legislation, ratification of the 1988 UN Convention, and more vigorous action on extradition requests. The continued budgetary problems of the Coast Guard and Police Service can be expected to hamper interdiction efforts in 1994.
I. Regional Summary
Drug use and trafficking threaten the stability and economic development of the countries of the eastern Caribbean. Successful US interdiction efforts elsewhere have intensified drug trafficking pressure on this region. Increased focus by US counternarcotics agencies on the eastern Caribbean has revealed that sophisticated and organized drug rings from South America are making use of the traditional advantages the area has to offer: geographic location, easy navigation, inadequately patrolled coastlines and waters, an ample network of airline and cruise ship connections, a large and mobile volume of tourists, as well as the inherent difficulties of policing a group of island mini-states.
The security services of seven independent eastern Caribbean countries--Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines--are grouped in the Regional Security System (RSS) and participate in the Regional Maritime Movement Information System (RMMIS). Barbados also has a Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC); RMMIS and JICC data entries are compatible. The RSS has focussed increasingly on narcotics control and enforcement efforts with some success: in 1993, individual seizures of cocaine and marijuana were larger than in years past. However, enforcement capabilities are likely to decrease in coming years as a result of significant cuts in US and UK funding.
The region's governments generally recognize the seriousness of their drug problems. With few exceptions, cooperation with US authorities and agencies is excellent. Officials of the seven states have asked for public support in combatting narcotics and generally welcome outside assistance. Area governments acknowledge that improvements in law enforcement, legal and judicial institutions are sorely needed in order to catch up with the growing load of drug-related cases. They are addressing this problem with USG support. The Bridgetown Group of international donors, a mini-Dublin Group, coordinates regional assistance.
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and Grenada have acceded to the 1988 UN Convention, while St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have requested and received USG and UN assistance in making the legislative changes necessary for their accession. St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Vincent are parties to the 1961 Convention and the 1972 Protocol. In general, implementation of the Convention is hampered by lack of training and consequent failure to understand the legislation: problems persist in the collection and presentation of evidence, the prosecution of cases, effective use of conspiracy laws against drug ringleaders, and in uniform sentencing guidelines.
In all the countries of the eastern Caribbean, corruption among public officials, including that involving drug-related activities, is punishable by law although rarely applied. To our knowledge, senior officials are not engaged in the drug trade. There are, however, continuing allegations that public officials in St. Vincent and Antigua participate in, are knowledgeable of, or allow drug activities to continue. In St. Vincent and Antigua, as in all the eastern Caribbean nations, official government policy promotes neither the illicit production or distribution of drugs nor money laundering.
(See separate INCSR sections on the Caribbean Dependent Territories of the United Kingdom for reports on Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat; on the French Caribbean Departments for reports on Guadeloupe and Martinique; and on the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba for discussion of the Dutch islands in the eastern Caribbean.)
II. Country Reports.
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA. This two-island nation, particularly Antigua, is a drug transit country. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB) continued its drug interdiction, demand reduction, and awareness efforts during 1993, but uncertainties caused by infighting within the ruling party and public allegations of corruption continued to create an impression of weakening resolve. The Antiguan airport is still used by traffickers, as indicated by drug seizures at destinations in the US and Europe. DEA reported 4 kg of cocaine and 10,095 kg of marijuana seized in Antigua and Barbuda in 1993, compared to 1992 reported seizures by the Antigua Coast Guard of 500 kg of cocaine. The country relies on offshore banking to augment its foreign exchange earnings, and its banks are money-laundering targets. There is no evidence of cannabis cultivation.
In April 1993, Antigua and Barbuda acceded to the 1988 UN Convention. The GOAB has a narcotics control agreement with the US under which DEA, US Customs, the US Coast Guard and the military provide training and undertake cooperative narcotics control efforts. The GOAB is accomplishing the goals of this agreement. In 1993 the GOAB used the results of a survey of domestic drug use and awareness, which it conducted with USG assistance in 1992, to target its demand reduction programs administered by the National Drug Council. Also in 1993, Antigua and Barbuda passed a new Proceeds of Crime Act permitting the government to trace, freeze, seize and confiscate proceeds derived from drug trafficking and other related crimes. The GOAB's enforcement efforts, cooperation with US agencies, and drug control legislation are all consistent with the 1988 UN Convention's goals and objectives.
BARBADOS. Government officials ascribe the continuing growth in the crime rate and drop in tourism in 1993 to illegal drug use and trafficking. Although marijuana cultivation has virtually been eliminated, cannabis is brought in from neighboring islands for local consumption and some onward shipment. Transshipments of cocaine increased in 1993; available evidence suggests that crews and passengers of cruise ships bring both marijuana and cocaine into the country and assist in transshipping cocaine to the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, from which it reaches the US mainland by commercial airliners. There are no known laboratories in Barbados for the manufacture or processing of illicit drugs. Inadequate legislation and monitoring facilities make it difficult to ascertain the level of money-laundering activity, but Barbados actively encourages offshore banking.
Barbados acceded to the 1988 UN Convention in 1992. It participates fully in the UN-funded judicial training project designed to enhance Convention goals. The Ministry of Home Affairs is seeking funding for a position to oversee coordination of its anti-drug program, including liaison with the US and other international donors. It used new asset-seizure legislation effectively in at least one case. Its interdiction efforts have improved. Cocaine seizures in 1993 totaled 14 kgs, compared to almost 16 kg in 1992. Marijuana seizures in 1993 totaled 387 kgs, up from the 1992 total of 21 kgs. Coordination between law-enforcement agencies has improved, helped by training provided by the US, the UK and Canada. The Ministry has also requested USG assistance in overcoming acknowledged shortcomings in its judicial system. Police manpower and equipment shortages are cited as chronic problems. Barbados has proceeded on several fronts to implement the demand-reduction program it agreed in November 1993 to undertake.
DOMINICA. There is less drug-related activity in Dominica than in some neighboring countries due, at least in part, to its less-developed tourist industry. However, marijuana is cultivated on the island, and officials say crack is available locally. Small boats transship marijuana and cocaine, typically from St. Lucia and St. Martin in route to Guadeloupe and Martinique. Evidence points to Dominica as a transit point for drug smuggling between South America and the United States. There are no known illicit drug laboratories on the island. While money laundering is not currently a significant problem, lack of specific legislation against it makes local financial institutions vulnerable to such abuse.
Dominica acceded to the UN Convention in June 1993. It has not yet made use of asset-seizure powers in a specific case. It is participating in the UN-funded judicial training project, which should improve its capability to bring drug offenders to justice and thus carry out that objective of the Convention. Dominica also is cooperating fully with USG officials to identify weaknesses in the police force and requested USG assistance in improving police presence in remote areas with high drug activity. Police regularly identify and destroy marijuana plots, but most such plots are inaccessible by road, making complete eradication difficult. Nevertheless, the Dominican Government destroyed 11,140 marijuana plants in 1993, compared to 11,880 in 1992. Although interdiction efforts have suffered from inadequate manpower, funding and equipment, they resulted in seizures of 90.4 kg of cocaine in 1993, compared to 0.11 kg in 1992. In addition, 433 pieces of crack were seized in 1993, compared to 285 in 1992. Dominica's demand-reduction programs remain informal, although it has just agreed to a multi-year UNDCP demand-reduction project.
GRENADA. Both consumption and transshipment of illicit narcotics continue to present significant threats. Marijuana, crack and cocaine consumption is growing, despite the government's active drug awareness program, and arrests for drug abuse cut across all segments of society. Despite tough penalties for possession and trafficking and regular seizures of marijuana, powdered cocaine and crack cocaine in user quantities, law enforcement may be dealing only with the tip of the iceberg. Accurate estimates of drug abuse, however, are not available. Limited police resources, liberal immigration regulations, constant and large-scale movements of tourists, and administrative logjams in the court system all contribute to the persistence of the drug problem.
Grenada's rugged coastlines are well-suited for smugglers, and its geographical location is ideal for transshipping drugs from South to North America. Vigilance of local police, customs and coast guard officials has resulted in significant seizures of drugs in transit (marijuana - 4 metric tons in 1992, 0.8 metric tons in 1993; cocaine - 9 kg in 1992, 60 kg in 1993). In addition, the Government of Grenada (GOG) conducted marijuana eradication operations, uprooting 10,862 plants in 1992 and 9,323 in 1993. Although Grenadian law provides for assets seizure, there were no known cases in 1993.
Although there is no evidence that drug proceeds are being laundered through Grenada's banks, prior to 1992 the country's registration laws may have been misused for that purpose by some of the 100 companies fraudulently representing themselves to be banks. In 1991 and 1992 Grenada enacted three amendments to its laws that restricted the registration of offshore banking companies. Thus far, these amendments have successfully blocked the operation of "sham" banks. US Department of Justice requests for information concerning fraudulent bank registration have been readily facilitated by the GOG. In addition to defining money laundering as a punishable crime under the 1992 Proceeds of Crime Act, Grenadian banks are required to maintain records of cash deposits exceeding EC dollars 5,000.
Grenada, which is a party to the 1988 UN Convention, is accomplishing its goals and objectives and also those of its bilateral counternarcotics agreement with the US.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS. This twin-island nation located in the northeast Caribbean is well situated to be a transit point between the producing countries of South America and the consumer markets of North America and Europe. Drug trafficking through the largely unprotected waters of St. Kitts and Nevis was underscored when its small police force and coast guard intercepted several drug-laden vessels and traffickers. Notable seizure events during 1993 included 5,000 kg of marijuana on the m/v Don Geronimo and arrest of nine Colombian crew members, and 3,519 kg of marijuana and arrest of the three Colombian crew members on a Venezuelan-flagged fishing vessel. These large seizures and arrests suggest an effort by traffickers to exploit St. Kitts and Nevis and avoid the well-monitored traditional routes. Evidence exists of St. Kitts having played a key role in transshipment of Colombian cocaine en route to Puerto Rico and the continental US in early 1993. Furthermore, from Kittitian waters fast boats can quickly reach Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Anguilla, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico for onward shipment to Europe and the US. The private sector continues to lead in promoting drug awareness, demand reduction, and development of a drug rehabilitation center.
The USG and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis (GOSKN) signed a narcotics-control agreement in 1993, the goals and objectives of which it is accomplishing, and have initiated discussions for a hot-pursuit agreement to allow the US Coast Guard and other USG agencies to enter territorial waters and assist in tracking and arresting suspected traffickers. In 1993 the GOSKN passed asset-seizure legislation. It has not yet become a party to the 1988 UN Convention, but its enforcement efforts and counternarcotics cooperation with the USG are consistent with the Convention's goals and objectives. There is some cultivation of cannabis for local consumption on St. Kitts, and there are unsubstantiated rumors of corruption. Offshore banking and the attendant money-laundering threat have not yet developed.
ST. LUCIA. Local officials acknowledge a fast-growing drug problem, exacerbated by a burgeoning number of tourists arriving on daily flights from Latin America, Europe and the United States and on cruise ships. Marijuana remains the most commonly used drug, but cocaine and crack use is increasing. Marijuana is grown locally, and cocaine is smuggled in by yachts, fishing boats and cruise ship and plane passengers. Cocaine destined for the United States has been discovered on at least one cruise ship. The St. Lucia Police reported 1993 seizures of over 6 kg of cocaine and 131 kg of marijuana, compared to 1992 seizures of over 10 kg of cocaine and 66 kg of marijuana. (These seizure statistics may not reflect seizures by all St. Lucian law enforcement agencies.) St. Lucia has no known laboratories for manufacturing illicit drugs, although some crack is prepared locally. Government of St. Lucia (GOSL) marijuana eradication efforts resulted in the destruction of 181,500 plants in 1993 compared to 87,760 plants in 1992. Money laundering activity is hard to gauge, but there are indications that individuals have attempted to register banks and other institutions with fraudulent intent.
St. Lucia has made significant progress toward accession to the 1988 UN Convention. Amendments to the Drugs Prevention and Misuse Act and a Proceeds of Crime Act were passed in August 1993. A draft Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act is currently under consideration. St. Lucia has requested UNDCP assistance in preparation for accession to the UN Convention in 1994 and is participating in the UN-funded judicial training project designed to enhance achievement of Convention goals. To date, asset-seizure legislation has not been implemented in a drug case; officials have asked for additional assistance in training police and prosecutors in asset-seizure procedures.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES. The drug situation in St. Vincent is markedly more serious than in other countries of the region. Unsubstantiated reports of narcotics-related corruption in government persist. Its rough and inaccessible terrain militates against any adequate enforcement, and the more than 20 islands of the Grenadines cannot be adequately patrolled by St. Vincent's police, coast guard and customs services, making the islands particularly vulnerable to cocaine deliveries by planes or boats. Cocaine transshipment and importations are increasingly common, and in 1993 the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (GOSVG) seized a little over one metric ton of cocaine in a residence, the largest ever non-maritime seizure in the eastern Caribbean. Evidence exists of links to the principal drug cartels of Colombia and Venezuela. Widespread marijuana cultivation and use continue to be St. Vincent's biggest drug problem, and US and UK offers to help eradicate the crop have been declined since February 1992, probably due to political sensitivities surrounding elections. As a result, the GOSVG reported having eradicated only about 12,000 marijuana plants in 1993, compared to the three-part US-assisted eradication effort in October 1991 and January and February 1992 which destroyed over 2 million plants.
Interdictions are hampered by geography and in some cases by lack of manpower and equipment. Nevertheless, in January 1993, as mentioned above, police seized over a ton of cocaine, along with almost $350,000 in cash. In two other notable operations during the year, one with the DEA, a total of 35 kg of cocaine and 450 kg of marijuana was seized. Total 1993 reported seizures in St. Vincent and the Grenadines included almost 1.3 metric tons of cocaine and 750 kg of marijuana. (There are no available seizure statistics for 1992.)
A UNDCP demand-reduction program has been in operation since 1993 and a National Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, charged with overseeing government anti-narcotics efforts, meets occasionally.
Local narcotics processing or manufacturing facilities are not in evidence. There is evidence that at least one local banking institution has been used for money-laundering activities, and other financial institutions are vulnerable to abuse. Over 900 ships sail under Vincentian flags of convenience, registered under a system that makes owners untraceable. Several of these ships were the subject of drugs- and weapons-trafficking inquiries by the US, the UK and Canada in 1993. In April 1993, with GOSVG cooperation, the US Navy intercepted the Vincentian-flagged M/V Sea Chariot off the Panama coast and seized some five tons of cocaine. St. Vincent was reluctant to permit the USG to seize and forfeit the ship until the USG gave assurances on asset sharing.
St. Vincent requested and received UK assistance in 1993 in drafting legislation needed to accede to and comply with the 1988 UN Convention. The legislation, which amended its Drug Act to allow for asset seizure and confiscation and mutual assistance in criminal matters, was passed in December 1993. St. Vincent is now in a position to accede to the UN Convention, which the USG hopes will occur in 1994. Although the GOSVG has passed strong counternarcotics legislation and has cooperated on some narcotics enforcement efforts, it must take strong steps to eradicate marijuana and control corruption if it is to fully meet the goals and objectives of the Convention.
Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana are departements (states) of France, and are subject, therefore, to French laws and to the 1988 UN Convention, to which France is a party. With the resources of France behind them, the governments of these territories are meeting the goals and objectives of the Convention. Nevertheless, drug traffickers and money launderers are active, especially on the French half of St. Martin, part of the department of Guadeloupe, whose free port status, heavy flow of tourists, offshore banking facilities, and easy access to the relatively less-controlled Dutch half of the island make it the most susceptible to narcotics trafficking and money laundering. A small amount of marijuana is grown in French Guiana for local consumption, but most marijuana available there comes from Suriname and Guyana.
Cocaine seizures in 1990 totalled 1.2 mt, 990 kg of which were seized on St. Martin. As a result, the French Judicial Police opened an office on the island. By 1992, seizures had fallen to 109 kgs, with St. Martin's share comprising roughly half of the total. An increase in total seizures in 1993 to over 587 kg may be part of the overall increase in drug flow in the eastern Caribbean, given its easy access to the US customs zone via Puerto Rico and to French, Dutch, or British territories in the vicinity for onward shipment to Europe. Increased counternarcotics pressure on other Caribbean trafficking routes may also contribute to the increase. Traffickers from neighboring Suriname have used French Guiana as a transit point, but there has been little activity in recent years other than some marijuana for French Guiana's local markets.
The multilateral Caribbean Zone Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement provides for information sharing concerning enforcement of customs laws, including those related to the suppression of trafficking in narcotics and psychotropic substances. The French Customs Service and Coast Guard actively cooperate with the US against narcotics smuggling by container shipments to Europe and on the many pleasure craft visiting the islands. French authorities also share information with their counterparts on neighboring English-speaking islands. In 1993, French Caribbean law enforcement personnel received some USG-funded training in regional seminars. The Attorney General of Martinique is interested in enhancing judicial and prosecutorial abilities, as well as law enforcement efforts. He also directed increased efforts toward cooperation with St. Lucia and Dominica individually and also with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in 1993 and is interested in pressing for formal agreements in 1994. Civil servants, drawn from the French civil service, have not been accused of any narcotics-related corruption. US Customs officers have taught at Martinique's regional training center.
DEPENDENT TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos Islands comprise the Caribbean Dependent Territories of the United Kingdom (UK). In 1993 the USG provided them some counternarcotics assistance, including law enforcement training. Cooperation is provided for in numerous international agreements, including the US-UK MLAT concerning the Cayman Islands, the US-UK Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement, and the Caribbean Zone Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement. There is no significant drug production on these islands, but, situated in route from the drug-producing countries of South America to the markets of the US and Europe, they are convenient way stations for traffickers. They are also tempting for drug-related financial dealings, especially the Cayman Islands with its immense offshore banking sector and bank secrecy laws. The governments of the territories are firmly opposed to narcotics-related corruption. We are aware of no evidence of official corruption among senior police and customs officials.
In June 1993, the UK extended the 1971 UN Drug Convention on Psychotropic Substances to all the Caribbean Dependent Territories. The UK ratified the 1988 UN Convention in 1991, and has almost completed work with the territories on legislation to enable them to comply fully with the requirements of the Convention. The UK hopes to extend the 1988 Convention to the Caribbean territories by mid-1994. The US/UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) concerning the Cayman Islands has been extended to the other territories. Extradition relations between the Caribbean territories and the US are governed by the 1972 US-UK extradition treaty.
Joint Information Coordination Centers (JICCs) located in Anguilla, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands gather drug-trafficking information and feed it into the Tortola JICC, which in turn feeds the data to the El Paso Information Center (EPIC). The centralized data base in Tortola thus provides a mechanism for analysis of information coming from all the Dependent Territories listed above, although the islands continue to cite a lack of feedback from EPIC as a problem.
ANGUILLA, MONTSERRAT, AND THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS. Operational contact between USG drug agencies and the BVI police and Customs is close. The US Coast Guard signed a reciprocal shiprider agreement with BVI in 1990, which was extended in 1992 to include the US Customs Service. Judging from the seizure statistics in the years 1988 through 1993, this increased cooperation was, at least for a while, an effective deterrent to drug trafficking: in the years 1988--when traffickers began using the airdrop technique--through 1990, 540 kg, 345 kg and 674 kg respectively of cocaine were seized in BVI; the 1991 and 1992 cocaine seizures of 15 kg and 29 kg suggest a shift in traffickers' routes or enhanced evasive techniques in response to the cooperative US-BVI actions. In 1993, however, cocaine seizures in BVI jumped to 700 kg, which USG and BVI counternarcotics personnel attribute, at least in part, to increased enforcement pressures elsewhere in the region and the recent overall increase in drug trafficking observed in the eastern Caribbean. Traffickers increasingly target shipments for the UK Dependent Territories of BVI, Montserrat and Anguilla, the French Caribbean departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique, the Dutch Lesser Antilles, and Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands for onward shipment to the US or Europe. The Government of BVI operates a drug surveillance aircraft, flown by a Royal Air Force officer.
CAYMAN ISLANDS. The Cayman Islands Caribbean Basin Radar Network (CBRN) site, which became operational in late 1992, monitors narcotics air traffic transiting the central Caribbean. All data collected are transmitted to the regional operations center in Key West. In addition, US Coast Guard aircraft involved in air interception operations in the western Caribbean use facilities in the Cayman Islands, with the cooperation of Cayman officials.
As a center of offshore banking with relevant confidentiality legislation, the Cayman Islands is a haven for money laundering. Enhanced cooperation by Cayman Islands authorities, especially in employing the US/UK MLAT concerning the Cayman Islands, and antidrug features of the bank secrecy law have reduced the extent of money laundering activity.
Under the asset sharing provisions of the US-UK MLAT concerning the Cayman Islands, in 1993 the USG approved the transfer to the Government of the Cayman Islands of $423,000, representing a portion of the funds forfeited to the USG in a major narcotics-trafficking case. At USG request, Cayman Islands authorities froze a bank account containing the proceeds of trafficking activities and permitted the funds to be repatriated to the US for forfeiture.
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS. Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), located at the southeast end of The Bahamas archipelago, is a participant in Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), a trilateral cooperative effort of the US, The Bahamas, and TCI (UK), for air and maritime narcotics control. The OPBAT tripartite Memorandum of Understanding provides for aircraft riders. USG assistance to TCI mainly covers fuel and per diem costs in support of their participation in OPBAT. Communications equipment, a boat and motor, and limited drug enforcement training were also provided. OPBAT operations resulted in the seizure of two metric tons of cocaine in 1993, down from 5.6 metric tons in FY 1992, at least in part due to improved evasive techniques by the traffickers and a shift in trafficking routes away from OPBAT interdiction assets to the less well patrolled eastern Caribbean.
TCI cooperates fully with the USG on counternarcotics efforts. Its police work closely with DEA in The Bahamas. TCI supports US Coast Guard cutters and aircraft, which occasionally use TCI facilities for refueling when conducting counternarcotics operations in the area. TCI police also work independently against narcotics trafficking. TCI police and customs work together to monitor transiting aircraft refueling en route from the eastern Caribbean northward. Like BVI, TCI operates a drug surveillance aircraft, flown by an officer of the Royal Air Force. The aircraft was provided by the USG from those seized in counternarcotics operations and refurbished with assistance from the UK.
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