Index of "International Narcotics Control Strategy Reports"
Index of "Treaties and Legal Information" ||
Electronic Research Collections Index ||
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL STRATEGY REPORT
BUREAU FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AFFAIRS
THE CARIBBEAN 157
Dominican Republic 168
Netherlands Antilles and Aruba 185
Trinidad and Tobago 189
Eastern Caribbean 192
Antigua and Barbuda
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
French Caribbean 199
UK Dependent Territories in the Caribbean 200
Anguilla, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
Bahamian and joint U.S.-Bahamian drug enforcement initiatives over the past ten years have reduced significantly the volume of drugs moving through The Bahamas. Nevertheless, The Bahamas remains a major transit country for U.S.-bound Colombian cocaine and Jamaican marijuana,and an occasional transit site for heroin. 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. In 1994, the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (GCOB) drafted stronger money laundering legislation, which the GCOB expects will be enacted in 1995. The GCOB works diligently to fulfill the goals and objectives of U.S.-Bahamian bilateral counternarcotics accords, including extraordinary cooperation with USG drug interdiction efforts.
II. Status of Country
The Bahamas, a country of 265,000 people scattered over an area the size of California, is strategically located on the air and sea routes between Colombia and the U.S. 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 U.S. The Bahamas is a dynamic financial services center and a tax haven with bank secrecy laws and some money laundering controls. These controls, however, may not be sufficient to deter sophisticated money laundering techniques. There is no significant cultivation or production of illegal drugs in The Bahamas.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. During 1994,the GCOB extended its efforts to fulfill the objectives of the 1988 UN Convention by drafting stronger money laundering legislation and undertaking judicial enhancement activities. The GCOB also took steps which demonstrated a strong ommitment to working with the USG against drug traffickers. The new U.S.-Bahamian extradition treaty, which entered into force in September, will provide a more flexible tool against international drug traffickers than the 1931 treaty it replaced. The Bahamas also adopted legislation, based on U.S. law, making a continuing criminal enterprise (CCE) related to narcotics trafficking a crime. This will facilitate U.S. extradition requests for individuals charged with a CCE offense and should facilitate domestic Bahamian narcotics prosecutions. Following a technical review of existing narcotics legislation, in 1994 the GCOB took regulatory action to make a significant number of additional drugs illegal under the provisions of the existing Bahamian Dangerous Drug Act. Unauthorized use of all drugs listed under the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs of 1961 and the Psychotropic Substances Convention of 1971 is now illegal in The Bahamas.
Accomplishments. Working closely with the U.S., the GCOB placed special emphasis during 1994 on strengthening its judicial system. Because of judicial system inefficiencies, Bahamian emphasis on the rights of defendants, the practice of granting bail while convictions are appealed, and the reluctance of juries to convict Bahamians for drug offenses, too few Bahamian traffickers have spent substantial time in jail. To improve the system's efficiency, the government significantly increased the budget of the courts during 1994 and continued an extensive capital improvement program of judicial facilities. The government worked closely with the USG to implement a U.S. foreign assistance program designed to speed the processing of narcotics cases by two means: implementing a court automation system, and commencing court-reporter training. Legislation passed in 1994 permits the Attorney General's office to dispense with time-consuming preliminary inquiries in major criminal cases and to limit the granting of bail in cases against persons charged with drug trafficking and other serious offenses.
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), a joint program designed to intercept narcotics shipments and arrest traffickers in the Turks and Caicos Islands (a neighboring British Dependent Territory), and The Bahamas. U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army helicopters, located at three Bahamian bases established with considerable USG assistance, facilitate these operations. The GCOB continued to demonstrate its strong commitment to OPBAT during 1994, dedicating almost all of the police's 35-person counternarcotics strike force to the operation. During much of 1994, several Bahamian police officers were based in south Florida where they supported U.S. Customs helicopter patrols authorized to enter Bahamian airspace. This program was ended, however, because of its limited effectiveness and budgetary and resource problems in both countries.
Although there was a dramatic increase in seizures toward the end of the year, total drug seizures during 1994 were low and believed to represent only a small percentage of the cocaine and Jamaican marijuana transiting the area. Traffickers are using tactics that are difficult for U.S. and Bahamian law enforcement to counter. Trafficker aircraft make non-stop round trip flights from Colombia and employ several tactics over the area, including airdrops to awaiting boats, use of Cuban waters to evade OPBAT efforts, drop-offs by aircraft making only momentary landings, and development of a cocaine route through Jamaica. An increase in seizures and significant arrests at the end of the year probably reflected both an upsurge in trafficking and more effective tactics employed by OPBAT personnel.
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. During 1994, 1,025 persons were arrested on drug charges.
The USG is concerned that existing Bahamian bank regulatory measures may not be fully adequate to control sophisticated money laundering techniques. According to the GCOB, participating in narcotics-related money laundering would, as a practical matter, constitute a crime under provisions of the Tracing and Forfeiture of Proceeds of Drug Trafficking Act of 1986. 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. A bankers' code of conduct promoted by the central bank calls for the reporting of suspicious transactions, but compliance is largely voluntary.
The GCOB has made a concerted effort to address shortfalls in its money laundering control efforts. New money laundering legislation was introduced into parliament in 1994 and is expected to be enacted during the first half of 1995. This legislation will specifically criminalize money laundering and should significantly improve the government's ability to prevent and combat this illicit activity. Regulations to be issued under the new legislation are expected to strengthen the obligation of financial institution employees to report suspicious transactions and establish a mandatory "know your customer" rule. Moreover, the current U.S.-Bahamas Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) authorizes, as an exception to bank secrecy laws, access to records in cases of suspected narcotics money laundering. In 1994, the GCOB agreed to an independent evaluation of Bahamian money laundering controls in The Bahamas by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, scheduled for 1995.
In 1990, the GCOB simplified procedures for registering shell corporations, known as international business companies (IBCs), which can issue bearer shares. Reporting requirements for IBCs, currently numbering over 30,000 in The Bahamas, are minimal, and they could be used by criminals to facilitate money laundering. Under Bahamian law, the assets of a convicted drug offender are subject to forfeiture. Courts may order such forfeitures only after the often lengthy appeals process runs its course. No procedures exist for civil asset forfeiture in narcotics cases.
Corruption. As a matter of policy, the GCOB does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of drugs, or the laundering of illicit proceeds therefrom. Some mid- and low-level officials who engaged in narcotics-related corruption have been prosecuted and convicted. In 1994, a lengthy prosecution continued against a former prison superintendent for allegedly accepting a bribe in connection with an unsuccessful escape attempt by a Colombian trafficker several years ago. At year's end, the matter had not yet been resolved. There are other notable examples of GCOB action. Nevertheless, the current weaknesses of the judicial system reduce the possibility that narcotics traffickers and corrupt officials who assist them will serve appropriately lengthy prison sentences.
Agreements and Treaties. The GCOB works to accomplish the goals and objectives of U.S.-Bahamas bilateral narcotics control agreements, which specify cooperative action on a wide range of narcotics-control measures such as: improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bahamian judicial system; controlling money laundering; collecting and analyzing drug-trafficking information; reducing the demand for drugs in The Bahamas; and, stemming the flow of drugs via OPBAT and other cooperative efforts. The U.S.-Bahamas Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) facilitates the exchange of information, including on money laundering. The GCOB generally responds positively to specific requests under the MLAT, although the response time can be very slow.
As noted above, the new U.S.-Bahamas extradition treaty entered into force in 1994. While the GCOB has been responsive to U.S. extradition requests, it sometimes takes years for the Bahamian justice system to resolve such cases. A number of narcotics-related extradition cases are currently pending. In 1994, The Bahamas extradited one accused drug trafficker to the U.S.
The Bahamas and the U.S. have a number of agreements and arrangements to facilitate maritime counternarcotics operations. An exchange of notes permits The Bahamas to embark a Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) officer on U.S. law enforcement vessels. The notes permit the U.S. vessels with shipriders to enter the Bahamian territorial sea to board, search and, if evidence warrants, seize U.S., stateless or third-nation vessels with the permission of the flag state; to enter Bahamian territorial seas 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 drug trafficking. The Bahamas also has authorized U.S. Coast Guard aircraft to overfly Bahamian territory. GCOB maritime cooperation with the U.S. has been excellent.
Demand Reduction Programs. The GCOB supports demand reduction programs, but budgetary constraints limit available funding. Such programs have generally concentrated on the principal cities of Nassau and Freeport but, with the support of significant grants from the Pan American Health Organization and UNDCP, they are being extended to less populated islands by the government's National Drug Council. The USG provides assistance to the demand reduction activities of the National Drug Council and to several private sector demand reduction groups. The number of new drug users appears to have declined significantly since the mid-1980s, although a disturbingly high number of chronic cocaine addicts remains a serious problem, as does drug-related street crime.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The goals of USG assistance to and presence in The Bahamas are to destroy trafficking organizations, stem the flow of drugs through The Bahamas to the U.S., and strengthen Bahamian drug control and judicial institutions. With the permission of the GCOB, U.S. law enforcement agencies operate in The Bahamas in close coordination with their Bahamian counterparts, especially in support of OPBAT. In the summer of 1994, the GCOB supported a test deployment of Sea Based Apprehension Tactics (SEABAT), a waterborne expansion of OPBAT. SEABAT involves embarking an OPBAT U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and a joint DEA-Bahamian law enforcement team, providing shiprider authority and OPBAT apprehension capability, aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in Bahamian and adjacent international waters. The USG has provided training, equipment and intelligence to support both joint efforts and unilateral GCOB enforcement initiatives. In 1994, U.S. Customs conducted an Overseas Enforcement Training Program and a train-the-trainer workshop for the RBPF, RBDF and Bahamian Customs. The GCOB has supported and encouraged installation of USG counternarcotics detection and monitoring equipment. In 1994, despite strong objections from the GCOB, the USG closed three aerostat radar sites in The Bahamas for budgetary reasons.
Under the authority of the asset sharing provisions of the U.S.-Bahamas MLAT, in late 1994 the USG transferred to the GCOB $56,323, a portion of funds forfeited in the US in a trafficking case developed by U.S. law enforcement with considerable assistance from the RBPF. During 1994, the GCOB created a special account to hold all forfeited funds shared with The Bahamas under provisions of the MLAT. This account will be used exclusively for counternarcotics purposes.
The Road Ahead. Because of its location, The Bahamas will remain vulnerable to drug trafficking for the foreseeable future despite strong Bahamian efforts to combat trafficking. The Bahamians have demonstrated their determination to cooperate fully with USG counternarcotics efforts. Because of the country's small population, archipelagic expansiveness, strategic role in the Caribbean community, and limited resources, the GCOB will continue to depend upon significant USG assistance to fight the international narcotics cartels. A key objective of U.S. counternarcotics assistance in The Bahamas, however, remains the strengthening of the country's counternarcotics institutions to allow the GCOB to assume a greater share of the burden of combatting the traffickers. The USG will also continue to encourage the GCOB to forfeit assets it seizes from traffickers, both as an effective means of punishment and to better enable funding of its own drug control activities. In coming years, the USG will continue to place special emphasis on the joint judicial enhancement program, designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which drug-related cases are handled. The USG also will support and encourage GCOB efforts to strengthen safeguards against money laundering and combat narcotics-related corruption.
[CHART: BAHAMAS STATISTICAL TABLES]
[GRAPHIC: BAHAMAS COCAINE SEIZURES 1987-1994]
Cuba occupies a key geographic location astride primary air and maritime drug smuggling routes from the principal South and Central American drug exporting countries to the U.S. Given an absence of diplomatic relations and the short transit times of illegal drug movements, it is difficult to quantify the volume of drugs transiting in or near Cuban territorial waters or airspace. The Cuban Government (GOC) regularly denies that drug consumption, corruption, or drug-connected organized crime exist in the country. Cuban police have characterized drug consumption within the country to third-country diplomats as "insignificant." Bilateral U.S.-Cuban drug enforcement remains sporadic and ad hoc, but professional. Economic problems have caused fuel and spare parts shortages which have limited the GOC's ability to interdict suspicious vessels and aircraft violating Cuban territorial waters or airspace.
II. Status of Country
There is little evidence to either support or refute Cuba's claim that illegal drug use "does not constitute a social problem" in the country. Since the celebrated trial and execution of top military and Ministry of Interior officials on drug smuggling charges in 1989, the Cuban government has insisted it has no evidence of drug-related corruption. Financier Robert Vesco, a fugitive wanted in the U.S. on drug charges, continues to enjoy sanctuary in Cuba, despite U.S. requests for his expulsion to the United States. Reports that Raul Castro, brother of Fidel Castro and the second-ranking individual in the Cuban hierarchy, was named in personal papers of deceased Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar have been rejected by high Cuban officials as a "bare-faced lie" and a "manipulation by enemies of the Revolution."
Publicly, Cuban officials describe drug consumption -- in other countries -- as one of the most serious issues facing the international community. They insist that illegal drug production and consumption is demand driven. Cuban officials recognize their geographic location astride the principal production/consumption route is attractive to drug traffickers and are aware of the implications for drug consumption and trafficking that a rapidly expanding hard-currency tourist industry poses. While publicly favoring coordinated efforts to attack the problem, Cuban officials caveat such declarations by noting that respect for national sovereignty and non-intervention must provide the framework for any such cooperation.
U.S. law enforcement experts believe that drug traffickers successfully take advantage of the absence of U.S.-Cuban bilateral relations to avoid detection and capture by USG or Caribbean countries' law enforcement authorities by transiting through or near Cuban territory. Although surrounding countries (Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Panama, Colombia, and Mexico) have been identified as major drug producing or drug-transit countries, lack of information and regular liaison precludes making any determination of Cuba's status. Smuggling operations in and around Cuba are presumed to primarily involve marijuana and cocaine.
Money laundering does not appear to be a problem at present, although the growing presence of U.S. dollars in the country -- from tourism, legalized possession by Cuban citizens, and foreign investment -- and provisions permitting foreign investors to repatriate profits in hard currencies, could be manipulated for money laundering purposes by drug traffickers.
The key law enforcement agency on drugs in Cuba is the Ministry of Interior's Narcotics Department. The Cuban Drug Commission is part of the Cuban Ministry of Justice. The Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Public Health, Customs and Border Guards are represented on the National Drug Commission.
Article 190 of the Cuban Penal Code provides for imprisonment from three to eight years for the production, transport, trafficking, possession with intent to traffic, or procurement for others of toxic drugs, hallucinogens, or hypnotic or narcotic substances. If the amounts of illegal substances are "relatively large," the sentences can range from seven to fifteen years. Privately-held land used to cultivate cannabis or other illegal crops is subject to confiscation.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1994
Most information about drug usage or seizures comes from the government-controlled media. There has been very little such information provided thus far for 1994. There are periodic rumors of a cocaine package washing up on a beach, or of drug-related arrests at local discos, all unsubstantiated. Cuban antidrug police have characterized most drug sales in the country as accidental, i.e., packages of drugs brought by currents to the country's northern beaches which are discovered and sold by passers-by to tourists or Cubans with hard currency rather than turned in to the police. According to Cuban authorities, only 1.2 percent of all crimes in 1993 were drug-related.
Cuban officials reported that 238 kgs of cocaine and 1.1 mt of marijuana were seized in 1994. In 1993, government officials and the media reported 3.3 mt of cocaine was seized in 79 different cases. Cuban officials have also reported that 377 persons were convicted of trafficking or possession in 320 cases during 1993; figures for 1994 were unavailable. Cuban authorities state that seized illegal drugs are burned in accordance with international practice.
Cuban officials have explained that two large seizures in late 1993 artificially inflated that year's statistics. They attribute the downturn in 1994 seizures to the deterrent effect of being better organized and to the mid-summer's rafters' crisis. The heavy presence of Cuban and U.S. Coast Guard vessels in the straits of Florida may have caused traffickers to alter their routes; some Cuban authorities are reportedly worried that a return to "normality" in 1995 may also lead to increased attempts by traffickers to again transit Cuban territory.
Cuban officials have indicated that they are preparing an educational campaign to deter drug usage. Details and dates of such a program are uncertain.
Cuba participated in several international fora in the past year. Cuban antidrug police have publicly stated the country's readiness to participate in bilateral and multilateral efforts with all countries, including the U.S. Cuba has applied for membership on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) at the April 1995 session of the UN Economic and Social Council. Cuba participated in the sixth meeting of Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA) in the Dominican Republic (May 30-June 3) and was elected co-vice chair of the conference. In October, Argentine specialists offered a course to a reported 30 Cuban Customs, Justice, Interior, and Public Health officials on combating drug trafficking. In November, the Cuban-Venezuelan Bilateral Working Group on Narcotics Cooperation held its second meeting in Caracas. The three-day meeting focused on information sharing in the areas of drug detection, canine training, precursor chemical and money laundering controls, and drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Cuba is a signatory to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol. Cuba has signed, but not ratified, the 1988 UN Convention. There is no indication from Foreign Ministry officials that ratification is imminent. However, this should not stop Cuba from taking the necessary steps to fully implement the Convention. Cuban law enforcement activities and a willingness to cooperate internationally on drug control matters indicate that Cuba is making efforts to comply with the goals and objectives of the 1988 Convention.
While Cuba has bilateral drug accords with several other regional countries, the 1904 U.S.-Cuban extradition treaty is not currently being implemented.
As of January 1995, only one U.S. citizen was known to be imprisoned in Cuba. The individual is not being held on drug-related charges. Two of the four U.S. citizens known to be imprisoned on drug smuggling charges were released and deported back to the U.S. in 1994. Since Cuba does not recognize dual nationality, it does not normally inform the U.S Interests Section in Havana of the arrest, detention, or imprisonment of Cuban-American dual nationals. According to Cuban officials, however, over half of the smugglers arrested in Cuban territory in the past were Cuban citizens resident in the U.S. Most drug smugglers apprehended by the Cuban Border Guard are additionally charged with illegal entry into Cuba which is a crime carrying an additional two years imprisonment. The destination of drugs is not considered a relevant factor by Cuban courts.
IV. Bilateral Cooperation
The Cuban Civil Aviation Authority, through the Havana Air Traffic Control Center, continues to share real-time information on suspicious aircraft transiting Cuban airspace with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Similar exchanges on suspicious maritime activity occur with the U.S. Coast Guard. Other bilateral exchanges of information and material between working level professionals occurs on a case-by-case basis.
The Dominican Republic is a major transshipment country for illegal drugs destined for the United States. The country's strategic geographic location and its weak law enforcement and juridical structures make it a logical venue for drug trafficking. Dominican Government (GODR) commitment to counternarcotics enforcement, tougher enforcement actions by both the Dominican police and military, and cooperation between the USG and the GODR have aided in monitoring and countering drug trafficking activities. However, during 1994 there were indications that trafficking was on the rise. The GODR seized a record 2.8 mt of cocaine in 1994. Several multi-ton cocaine seizures in Puerto Rico and Florida were traced to shipments from the Dominican Republic. While money laundering has not been a major problem in the Dominican Republic, it may be increasing. U.S.-based Dominican traffickers use or invest their drug proceeds in the Dominican private sector with impunity. While improvements are needed in law enforcement, the judicial structure continues to be the weakest link in the GODR antidrug effort. Local law enforcement and drug prevention programs have helped limit local drug consumption.
II. Status of Country
The Dominican Republic's prime location in the Caribbean, between Colombia and the U.S., its proximity to Puerto Rico, which was designated a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in 1994, and inadequate money laundering legislation make it vulnerable to drug trafficking and money laundering. The country's porous border with Haiti, unpatrolled coastline, and poorly paid and under-equipped police and military make it attractive to criminal organizations. Although use of the Dominican Republic (DR) by Colombian drug organizations remains the primary narcotics-related concern, Dominican trafficking organizations, with strong ties to criminal elements in New York City, Florida and Puerto Rico, are expanding their role in the country's illegal drug trade. It appears many of the organizations involved in the traffic of illegal immigrants are also involved in drug trafficking.
There is no cultivation of coca or opium poppy and very limited production of cannabis. Precursor and essential chemicals are controlled, and no processing has been detected. There is evidence that money is being laundered through the Dominican Republic, but the total amount is disputed. U.S.-generated drug profits are used with impunity in the Dominican Republic for construction, businesses, and personal luxury because there are no laws criminalizing money laundering.
The National Drug Council (CND) and National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) operate drug abuse prevention and education programs. The combination of effective education programs and enforcement appears to be containing local drug consumption at a low level. Both the GODR and the Dominican private sector are focusing greater attention on treatment and rehabilitation of addicts.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. As a matter of public policy, the GODR is opposed to drug trafficking and drug-related corruption. During the year, President Balaguer twice submitted to Congress an amendment to the drug law to criminalize money laundering and permit seizure of assets in drug cases. The legislation was not passed by the Congress. The president will resubmit the legislation to congress in March 1995.
Accomplishments. GODR antidrug forces, especially the DNCD, enjoyed their most successful year since the passage of the Dominican antidrug law in 1988. The DNCD, assisted by the Dominican Armed Forces, seized approximately 2.8 mt of cocaine (160 percent increase over 1993) and 6.8 mt of marijuana and arrested 3,000 suspects for drug-related crimes. The defining characteristic of 1994 was the unprecedented cooperation between the DNCD and the Dominican Armed Forces as well as between USG and GODR counternarcotics forces.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The DNCD has developed a small cadre of experienced and well-trained officers from the Armed Forces and the police which succeeded in seizing multi-hundred kilogram loads of cocaine in 1994. While many of its operations were coordinated with USG agencies, the DNCD relied less on the USG for support than during previous years, and its operations and investigations were evidence of its growing independence and increasing strength as an organization. Despite this enhanced professionalism, DNCD efforts remain inconsistent due to poor analytical capacity, low salaries and the need to rotate personnel frequently -- as an anti-corruption measure. Also, limited resources will keep it dependent on the USG and other experienced countries for air and marine support, and for intelligence and analytical assistance.
Cooperation between the DNCD and the Dominican Armed Forces has been good, but a lack of resources has traditionally hindered Navy and Air Force participation in antinarcotics operations. Following the appointment of a new Secretary of Defense in mid-1994, the Dominican military appeared to become more aggressive in combatting drug and alien smuggling. The Navy and Air Force expanded their law enforcement roles using USG-provided inflatable boats and helicopters, originally intended for Haiti embargo enforcement. This new equipment, in addition to the Navy's six patrol boats (refurbished by the USG in late 1993), enabled the Armed Forces to respond to situations typically handled by U.S. counternarcotics forces.
Although the use of clandestine air strips has been reduced, off-shore airdrops between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have continued. In addition, GODR and U.S. Embassy antidrug officials speculate that drugs are being smuggled over the border from Haiti using the same techniques, routes, and assets that smugglers employed to smuggle petroleum into Haiti during the embargo.
The judicial system is outdated, ineffective and corrupt. Dominican law enforcement attempts to convict drug traffickers and seize assets are often undermined by long delays, poor preparation by prosecutors and release of suspects. Corruption appears to have played a role in the dismissal of some trafficking cases and the premature release of convicted narcotics traffickers. Hundreds of Dominican traffickers, charged with narcotics offenses committed in the U.S., have returned to the DR. The GODR has not extradited any of these fugitives from U.S. justice.
The DNCD and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Services enforce the chemical control section of the Drug and Substance Control Law through export and import recording or use. Control of chemicals is strict and, while there is no formal bilateral agreement with the USG, cooperation is good. The GODR is a party to the 1988 UN Convention and was a signatory of the Program of Action of Ixtapa, both of which obligate it to pursue chemical controls.
Money Laundering. The exact nature and extent of drug-money laundering is unclear, but there are indicators of a serious problem. Significant amounts of money (U.S. dollars) are sent from the Dominican Republic to the U.S., more than is generated by legitimate industry in the Dominican Republic. However, weak laws and regulations make it difficult to differentiate between the proceeds of narcotics sales and other monies. Although the proposed money laundering law would provide some means to counter illegal efforts to launder money, GODR financial investigation units currently lack the necessary training to enforce its provisions.
Corruption. The GODR does not as a matter of policy encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or trafficking, or the laundering of illicit proceeds therefrom, but official corruption is endemic. A USG policy to link denial of visas to drug-related corruption had some effect. Nevertheless, the GODR has yet to act forcefully to identify and eliminate official corruption.
Agreements and Treaties. In 1993, the Dominican Republic acceded 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 Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC), control of precursor and essential chemicals, drug abuse prevention and education, and its allocation of financial resources to drug control efforts, are consistent with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention. More action is needed, however, in areas such as money laundering, asset forfeiture, and corruption.
The GODR's accession to the 1988 UN Convention and the 1972 Protocol incorporated drug crimes into its bilateral extradition treaties. The GODR has not recently extradited its own citizens to other countries in exceptional cases in the past. However, the GODR provides excellent cooperation in deporting U.S. and third-country nationals who are fugitives from U.S. justice. In 1994, twelve fugitives were deported upon request of the USG. Bartolome Moya, one of the USG's most wanted drug fugitives, was returned voluntarily in November.
Demand Reduction Programs. Both the CND and DNCD have demand reduction programs. Their programs are financed by the GODR, USG, UNDCP, and Germany. In 1994, the GODR and USG teamed up with Major League Baseball to implement a baseball-based drug prevention program in Dominican high schools. The DNCD also coordinates with Dominican baseball players in a drug prevention-baseball clinic program.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The primary U.S. narcotics goals in the Dominican Republic are 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 U.S.
Bilateral Cooperation. In 1994, emphasis was placed on expanding collaborative efforts, strengthening Dominican participation and improving communication between GODR and U.S. law enforcement agencies. This led to increased bilateral interaction, especially between the Dominican Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, which conducted several joint operations in 1994. Recent successful Dominican Republic Navy seizures are likely results of those efforts. The GODR accomplished the goals set out in the 1994 bilateral narcotics letter of agreement. However, some coordination problems still exist, as evidenced in a recent maritime interdiction operation in which a Dominican Navy vessel fired on a foreign vessel suspected of carrying drugs without notifying a USCG vessel participating in the operation. However, nearly three mt of marijuana was discovered on the vessel. The USG and GODR are currently working to improve communications and coordination.
Also, the USG provided the GODR with approximately $15 million in security assistance for helicopters, boats, vehicles, radios, parts and training, for use in enforcing the UN embargo against Haiti. Following the termination of the embargo, the Dominican Armed Forces shifted most of these assets to the GODR's military antidrug operations, enabling an increase in their level of participation.
The Road Ahead. The GODR is slowly building and fortifying its counternarcotics institutions. Dominican and USG drug control cooperation is improving. However, the Dominican Republics's location and economic under-development will continue to make it susceptible to drug trafficking. While USG support is important to counternarcotics efforts in the Dominican Republic, long term success depends on continued Dominican commitment to all aspects of narcotics control.
Two principal USG priorities in 1995 are to press for the extradition or rendition of fugitive drug traffickers to the U.S. and to negotiate a maritime interdiction agreement with the GODR. The USG also will encourage the GODR to pass the proposed money laundering and asset seizure legislation, and take steps to improve its judicial system.
[CHART: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC STATISTICAL TABLES]
GRAPHIC: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC COCAINE SEIZURES 1985-1994]
Guyana is a country of 215,000 square kilometers on the north Atlantic coast of South America. An undetermined amount of marijuana is grown year-round in the hot, wet, heavily forested and sparsely populated interior of the country, especially along the many rivers and streams. Police have no evidence of cocaine, hashish, heroin, or opium production in Guyana or coca cultivation. The police and military destroy some cannabis fields and occasionally seize marijuana or cocaine at the country's only international airport, where five trained drug detection dogs are in use, or at other locations. Although Guyana is a party to the 1988 UN Convention, it lacks the full range of implementing legislation to have a viable control effort. Furthermore, Guyanese counternarcotics forces are too poorly trained and equipped to have much of an impact.
II. Status of Country
Cocaine enters Guyana from its three neighboring countries: Venezuela, Brazil, and Suriname. Cannabis is grown along creeks and in riverine areas and transported along waterways and roads for air or maritime export. Dozens of small airfields are scattered throughout Guyana, many in areas almost inaccessible by land, which could allow light aircraft to ferry drugs into and out of the country with little chance of police interception.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives/Accomplishments. Guyana has ratified the 1988 UN Convention, but lacks the full range of implementing legislation. Although there is a law allowing courts to seize assets used in illegal drug activities or purchased with the proceeds from illegal drug activities, no assets have been seized. Guyana representatives attended a regional asset forfeiture training seminar for investigators and prosecutors in Jamaica sponsored by UNDCP. Guyana has no laws governing money laundering. A functioning U.S.-Guyanese extradition treaty dates from the time the country was a British colony, but is infrequently used. In 1988, the Government of Guyana (GOG) crafted a strategy for dealing with the drug problem. Although not yet formally approved by the president, the GOG takes steps to implement its strategy, which covers the areas of legislation, education, enforcement, rehabilitation, and regional and international cooperation. The strategy calls for the president to chair the National Drug Law Enforcement Committee (NADLEC), which meets monthly. Committees on education, rehabilitation, and joint-narcotics operation are subordinate to NADLEC. The Ministry of Health and the Police Drug Enforcement Unit conduct narcotics awareness programs at schools. UNDCP also finances a drug-use reduction program in Guyana.
Law Enforcement Efforts. GOG efforts to fight production of marijuana and shipment of cocaine are hampered by lack of resources. The Guyana Police Force (GPF) created a 12-man drug enforcement unit in 1975. By 1994, the unit consisted of 31 persons. The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) conducts joint operations with the GPF, but the GDF's only two helicopters were inoperative for most of 1994. The GPF has no aircraft. Nevertheless, during 1994 police reported 57 ha of cannabis destroyed in the field and a total of 54.8 mt of marijuana destroyed in Guyana. Police reported 76 kgs of cocaine seized in 1994. By comparison, for 1993 police reported 15.6 mt of marijuana destroyed and 463 kgs of cocaine seized. The smaller amount of cocaine seized in 1994 compared with 1993 does not necessarily indicate a decrease in the amount of drugs transiting the country. It may be the result of more sophisticated techniques and coordination on the part of drug smugglers or an insufficient drug enforcement unit. Police estimates of field destruction of cannabis are subjective and based on an individual perception of the number of plants, their size and spacing.
In 1994, police handled 401 marijuana cases, charging 516 persons of whom 120 were convicted, and 186 cocaine cases, charging 252 persons of whom 93 were convicted. Twenty-three marijuana cases and 10 cocaine cases were dismissed.
Corruption. In July, virtually all members of the drug enforcement unit were transferred to other duties after an investigation uncovered evidence that some of them may have been involved in a ring smuggling illegal aliens into Canada and the U.S. In June, a Guyanese customs officer was arrested on suspicion of assisting two suspects in an attempt to by-pass inspection of a bag containing 13.5 kgs of cocaine. The two suspects were Guyanese-American passengers on a New York-bound flight. There was no indication that more senior government officials were involved in drug-related corruption.
Money Laundering. Police suspect that some laundering of drug money may take place in Guyana, but have no hard evidence. The U.S. and Guyana signed a tax information exchange agreement in August 1992, which could facilitate cooperation on money laundering.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The USG seeks to improve the capability of the GPF and GDF to intercept cocaine passing through Guyana and to locate and destroy marijuana grown in Guyana. Under a letter of agreement, the USG provides training and equipment for police and military personnel for use in the struggle against illegal drugs. In 1994, the USG assisted Guyana in setting up a Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC), which became operational in December. The JICC draws members from the GPF, GDF, customs, and coast guard. The USG also provided two four-wheel-drive vehicles and some spare parts to the GPF. The narcotics detector dog program in Guyana consists of five dogs, three of which were provided by the U.S. and two by the UK. The dogs, stationed at the airport, have only intermittently been employed to inspect air cargo, due to severe health and maintenance problems. The program is now under close scrutiny, and remedial measures are being taken, including USG-funded provision of attentive veterinary care. The GOG generally fulfills its obligations under its letter of agreement with the USG, with the exception of adequate oversight of the detector dog program.
Road Ahead. Authorities expect the amount of cocaine shipped through Guyana to increase as narcotics traffickers continue to develop routes around drug interdiction efforts in the Caribbean and South America. The USG will press the GOG to adopt needed narcotics-control legislation and, to the extent resources are available, assist in strengthening narcotics enforcement and judicial institutions. The USG will also monitor and support the detector dog program, including provision of administrative training, especially because it appears to be an effective deterrent to trafficking through the airport and, if made fully viable, could usefully be expanded to the Georgetown wharves and at checkpoints on overland routes.
The Government of Haiti (GOH) underwent a major transformation in 1994. For the first nine months of the year, Haiti was controlled by the military, acting in concert with an illegally appointed civilian government which the USG did not recognize, and which in turn provided little cooperation or information. In fact, some members of the military and their families were suspected of being directly involved in drug trafficking. With the return of President Aristide to Haiti on October 15, however, the USG anticipates that there will be much greater cooperation and planning between the U.S. and the GOH.
Although there is only incomplete information about the extent of cocaine transiting Haiti, the USG believes that Haiti remains a base of operations for Colombian trafficking organizations and an increasingly-important transshipment point for the movement of South American cocaine to the U.S. However, compared with other areas such as the Bahamas or Mexico, the current level of detected air and maritime drug-related activity in Haiti is low.
II. Status of Country
Haiti's geographic location between Colombia and the U.S., coupled with a long, unpatrolled coastline, mountainous interior, and the presence of numerous uncontrolled airstrips, make the country an ideal site for illicit narcotics trafficking. Inadequate law enforcement and interdiction capabilities, an underdeveloped economy and lack of economic opportunity and the susceptibility of Haitian officials to corruption, make Haiti even more desirable for trafficking. As a result, Colombian trafficking organizations are using Haiti as a transshipment and storage point. Marijuana and some heroin are also transshipped through Haiti.
In 1994, a total of 716 kgs of cocaine was seized in Haiti, 530 kgs in the first half of the year alone. This was more than in any of the three previous years: 1993, 157 kgs; 1992, 56 kgs; 1991, 188 kgs. In 1994, most of the seizures and arrests took place during the first half of the year. The reduction in seizures in mid-late 1994 resulted from several factors. As the international community tightened sanctions against the de facto regime, cooperation with the Haitian counternarcotics authorities lagged. In addition, the UN-imposed embargo, implemented in the spring of 1994, and the concomitant increase in vigilance around Haitian territory effectively closed traditional avenues for trafficking. Finally, the de facto government's focus on heightened public security in the face of dwindling resources took priority over counterdrug measures.
The responsibility for counternarcotics law enforcement currently falls under Haiti's Ministry of Defense. Two drug units, subordinate to the Haitian military, have existed up to now to coordinate intelligence gathering and interdiction activities. The National Narcotics Bureau (NNB) directs law enforcement activities; it is subordinate to the military Chief of Staff and is comprised of 40 officers and enlisted men. The Center for Information and Coordination (CIC) is responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of intelligence for narcotics law enforcement and has about 30 security service personnel. Counternarcotics operations have, up to now, been controlled by the military and conducted primarily by the Army and the National Police, which used to report to the Army Commander. Haiti's Air Force and Navy have also had counterdrug responsibilities, but resource constraints severely limited their involvement in drug control operations. The limited resources mean these elements are woefully inadequate for the task. With the restoration of the legitimate government in Haiti in September, both the police and armed forces are undergoing major changes. A new, professional police force, separate from the Armed Forces, is being formed, and the Armed Forces themselves will be drastically reduced. Thus, the structure described here will probably change. Such change will most likely be for the better, as Haiti's antidrug laws were ineffectively enforced under the de facto regime.
Haiti's judicial system -- a key component in any antinarcotics effort -- is badly in need of repair. It has brought few traffickers to justice, and even when arrests have been made, defendants are routinely released through "payoffs" or on a technicality within days of arrest and almost never come to trial. In parallel with the U.S. effort to overhaul the Haitian police, there is a separate program to reform and improve Haiti's justice system. A short-term training program for local judges and prosecutors is now underway, and other elements of the program will begin shortly.
We have no information on money laundering in Haiti in 1994, but there are no laws against this kind of activity. There is almost no information available on precursor chemical activities in Haiti.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. There were no significant changes in GOH international narcotics control policy during 1994. Political issues continued to overshadow counternarcotics.
Accomplishments. The most significant accomplishment in Haiti in combatting trafficking in 1994 was the increase in cocaine seizures -- 716 kgs. As relations between the U.S. and Haiti became more strained, cooperation on counternarcotics initiatives was further adversely affected.
Corruption. There were numerous allegations that members of the Haitian Armed Forces, including high-ranking officers, were involved in narcotics trafficking. Following the return to power of the legitimate government in September 1994, a system was set up by the U.S. and Haitian governments to screen all members of the Armed Forces for suitability for retention. Involvement in narcotics offenses was one of the criteria for being removed from the Armed Forces. In addition to this screening process, investigations continued to seek possible indictments against officers who may have violated U.S. law.
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. An extradition treaty between the USG and the GOH was not used for most of 1994 because of the political situation. It was, however, reaffirmed in October 1994. 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 the U.S. on return of fugitives in the past, although no one was deported for drug offenses to the U.S. in 1994. With the legitimate government restored to power, we look forward to more cooperation in 1995.
Demand Reduction Programs. During 1994, the de facto regime maintained its demand reduction programs sponsored by the UN. The program emphasizes drug abuse awareness via television and radio. The effects of the embargo, however, also limited this program.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs.
Policy Initiatives. USG efforts to strengthen Haitian counternarcotics institutions and capabilities were suspended until the political crisis was resolved. A wide array of programs are now being implemented.
Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. law enforcement agencies cooperate with Haitian counternarcotics authorities at the operational level on an ad hoc basis. As a result of the political situation in Haiti, however, a letter of agreement signed in August 1991 to provide additional U.S. resources to the CIC and NNB was not implemented. A USAID-funded Administration of Justice project, however, designed to strengthen the judicial system, promote human rights and foster development of a professional and efficient legal system has been reactivated, with the signing in November of a project implementation letter.
The Road Ahead. Now that the political crisis has been resolved, we anticipate a full roster of counternarcotics programming, including enacting needed legislation covering precursor and essential chemical controls, money laundering and asset seizure, and forfeiture. We will also encourage the GOH to ratify the UN Convention and address such central issues as judicial reform, narcotics-related corruption, and bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
[CHART: HAITI STATITICAL TABLES]
Jamaica is both a major producer of marijuana and a flourishing transshipment site for South American cocaine en route to the U.S., The Bahamas, Canada, and Europe. Although not a party to the 1988 UN Convention, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) took steps to fulfill the goals and objectives of both the Convention and U.S.-Jamaican counternarcotics agreements. During 1994, the GOJ passed an asset forfeiture bill and continued its marijuana eradication operations, clearing nearly 700 ha. The GOJ actively cooperated with the DEA Kingston country office in drug law enforcement matters as well as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in extradition cases.
II. Status of Country
Many major marijuana traffickers in Jamaica also deal in cocaine, since it is more lucrative and easier to conceal. The increasing size of seizures of cocaine and marijuana, along with occasional heroin seizures, gives evidence of Jamaica's dual roles as a major producer of "ganja" (marijuana) and as an increasingly important drug transshipment site. Although there has been a recent rapid build-up of foreign currencies, especially U.S. dollars, in the central bank, observers do not believe it is from money laundering, of which there is scant evidence. Nor does illegal use or transfer of precursor chemicals appear to be a problem at this time.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. The GOJ passed a long-awaited asset forfeiture law. Although yet to be used by the courts, this represents legislative progress. The GOJ indicated the next priority would be the passage of mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) enabling legislation, paving the way for the ratification of our 1989 bilateral MLAT. The GOJ has assigned a lower priority to submission of a money laundering bill, since money laundering has not been a particular problem in Jamaica. Passage of a money laundering bill, however, would remove impediments to Jamaican ratification of the 1988 UN Convention. Parliament also recently passed an amendment to Jamaica's Dangerous Drugs Act to stiffen fines and prison terms for convicted traffickers. The GOJ indicated that national supply and demand reduction plans are in draft, following a UNDCP national planning workshop in Barbados last fall attended by four GOJ representatives. In the area of regional cooperation, Jamaica continues to pursue with UNDCP the establishment of a regional law enforcement training center, to which the USG pledged $750,000. The GOJ forwarded its training plan and project document to the UNDCP in Barbados in September, and a UNDCP committee is currently reviewing the proposal. A crop substitution program funded by the European Union (EU) gained GOJ acclaim in 1994. The EU's St. Ann's Parish rehabilitation program is credited with helping some 3,000 ganja farmers switch to legal crops at a project cost of approximately $152,000.
Accomplishments. The GOJ has taken many actions consistent with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention and U.S.-Jamaican counternarcotics agreements, especially in the areas of eradication, interdiction, extradition, controlling public corruption, and some legislation. More legislation is needed, however, regarding mutual legal assistance and money laundering. The GOJ cooperated fully in a U.S.-Jamaican initiative in November to estimate the total amount of growing marijuana in order to resolve a wide discrepancy between U.S. and GOJ crop estimates. The combined team of DEA, Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) personnel estimated a total of 232 ha growing throughout Jamaica, plus an identical area just harvested. The JDF and JCF quickly organized a task force to eradicate the 232 hectares spotted by the joint exercise. During 1994, a total of almost 700 ha of marijuana was eradicated, exceeding the total of 456 ha eradicated in 1993. Forty-six mt of marijuana were seized and destroyed by the JDF and JCF, and 179 kgs of cocaine were seized by the JCF. Reported drug offense arrests of Jamaicans and foreigners totalled 1,416 in 1993, which dropped to 886 in 1994. The Jamaican Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC) continued to actively report drug trafficking data to DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center.
The GOJ passed an asset forfeiture bill in August and sent four representatives to a UNDCP-sponsored November asset forfeiture workshop. To date, however, no asset forfeiture cases have been brought before the courts. Jamaica continues to be one of the USG's most active extradition partners. Jamaica extradited to the U.S. two individuals charged with drug trafficking. A number of other extradition cases related to drugs were pending. The GOJ has not yet passed MLAT-enabling legislation to ratify our bilateral MLAT of 1989. At present there are no legislative controls over the import and use of precursor chemicals, although Jamaica has a precursor chemical control program, operated by the GOJ's export-promotion agency, which monitors the flow of precursor chemicals into and within Jamaica. Jamaica produces only a limited amount of pharmaceutical drugs. We have no information that chemicals are being diverted to illicit channels in Jamaica.
The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) continues its UNDCP-funded program to reduce drug demand and abuse in Jamaica through sixteen community action councils throughout the island.
Law Enforcement Efforts. During 1994, the excellent collaboration of the JCF with DEA's Kingston office resulted in the arrest of 40 traffickers (of whom 45 percent were class I and II violators by DEA criteria), compared to 54 such arrests in 1993 (of which 48 percent were class I and II violators). Of the total number of drug trafficker arrests in 1994, an increased percentage was for cocaine violations, compared to 1993 figures. Jamaica's law enforcement agencies arrest a respectable number of drug-trafficking suspects; the problem lies in their prompt prosecution and conviction. For this reason, the USG is directing more resources toward judicial reform to improve the flow of drug cases through Jamaica's court system and obtain more convictions. The GOJ cooperates fully in this effort.
Corruption. The GOJ has taken a number of measures to prevent and punish official corruption. Sons of a top Jamaican government official were arrested for marijuana trafficking. The case, still in trial, indicates there is no immunity from arrest where drug allegations are concerned. Since September 1993, the Commissioner of Police has attempted to de-politicize the police force and rid it of corrupt officers, largely by transferring suspect personnel. The Commissioner has visibly improved the integrity, efficiency, and pride of the JCF during his relatively short tenure. The Commissioner fully supported USG revocation of the visas of several police officers suspected of drug trafficking connections. The GOJ neither encourages nor facilitates illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior GOJ official has been officially charged with engaging in or facilitating the production or distribution of illicit drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.
Agreements and Treaties. In 1994, the GOJ enacted an asset forfeiture law. The GOJ has not yet ratified the U.S.-Jamaica MLAT nor has it ratified the 1988 UN Convention. MLAT ratification is the GOJ's declared next priority among anti-narcotics bills. The GOJ signed a 1988 bilateral counternarcotics agreement with the USG, which is amended annually, and a 1991 bilateral extradition treaty.
Cultivation and Production. Jamaica produces marijuana year-round and island-wide. The GOJ reinvigorated its marijuana eradication program during 1994, eradicating 692 ha, a 52 percent increase over 1993 eradication. Cultivated acreage is estimated through aerial surveys, the most recent being a joint DEA-JDF-JCF survey of the entire island in November, which resulted in a mutually-agreed total of 232 ha of marijuana cultivation seen at that time. An equal area of just-harvested ganja was seen from stubble, making the crop total 464 ha. It is possible to have a maximum of four crops of some ganja varieties per year. The USG estimates a total of approximately 1,000 ha of ganja grown in 1994 in Jamaica. Crop yield is estimated by multiplying the number of hectares by the factor of .675 to determine the number of metric tons of ganja produced. The GOJ has not favored proposals to eradicate marijuana by aerial spraying. Its strong objections are based on ecological and political concerns.
Drug Flow and Transit. The USG can quantify the drug seizures reported by the GOJ but cannot accurately estimate the total amount of drugs produced in or transiting Jamaica. In 1993, 75 mt of marijuana were seized. During 1994, that amount decreased to 46 mt, perhaps due to successes of the eradication and interdiction programs. We remain concerned that 1994 cocaine seizures were 179 kgs, exceeding the 1993 total of 160 kg. This could mean that cocaine trafficking is increasing. Heroin may eventually pose a threat equal to that of cocaine in Jamaica, in the opinion of DEA's Kingston office. Heroin identified in Jamaica has come from Colombia, as does most of the cocaine seized here.
Demand Reduction. The NCDA's major demand reduction program is not making appreciable progress at this time due to internal NCDA problems. Drug treatment facilities are lacking both in number and dispersion. There are only four such facilities, all in Kingston.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The USG program objective is to continue to work with the GOJ to improve its counternarcotics laws, agreements and institutions in order to increase the effectiveness of its narcotics control efforts, specifically to increase major drug trafficker arrests, drug seizures, and the convictions of drug traffickers in Jamaica's courts. In 1994, U.S. Customs presented several training courses to Jamaican law enforcement entities.
Bilateral Cooperation. In 1994, Jamaica generally fulfilled its obligations under its letter of agreement with the USG. GOJ cooperation under our extradition treaty is excellent. With U.S. assistance, the GOJ eradicated 692 ha of marijuana, considerably exceeding its total 1993 eradication of 456 ha. The GOJ satisfactorily accomplished interdiction and demand reduction goals.
Road Ahead. Future USG support will concentrate on judicial reform to improve the conviction rate of arrested drug traffickers. The USG will press the GOJ to fulfill its legislative promises: pass an MLAT-enabling bill, ratify the MLAT, pass a money laundering bill, and, finally, ratify the 1988 UN Convention. A promising new forum for these exchanges has been established at the USG's initiative: a GOJ-USG anti-narcotics committee which meets monthly in Kingston. The USG will support demand reduction training in secondary schools and for the Jamaican public, as well as train and equip Jamaican antinarcotics agencies to better perform their interdiction responsibilities. The USG will monitor important regional programs and projects of the GOJ and the UNDCP, to include the regional training center and the NCDA's integrated demand reduction program.
[CHART: JAMAICA STATISTICAL TABLES]
[GRAPHIC; JAMAICA CANNABIS PRODUCTION 1989-1994]
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES AND ARUBA
The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba serve as important links in the transshipment of cocaine from Colombia, Venezuela, and Suriname to the U.S. and Europe. Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (the ABC islands) are the bases for transshipment organizations sending shipments to the U.S. and Europe. In 1994, Aruban authorities noted an increase in drug transshipment destined for the U.S. as well. Money laundering organizations use banking, free zones, and resort and casino complexes to transfer and launder drug proceeds. The Government of Aruba (GOA) and the Government of the Netherlands Antilles (GONA) recently agreed to join with the Government of the Netherlands (GON) to enact and enforce money laundering legislation.
The GONA and the GOA, with assistance from the Netherlands, also are trying to reorganize police agencies to increase cooperation among the island governments and their law enforcement agencies. The islands' few demand reduction programs are splintered, with government and private industry organizations attempting to implement programs without meaningful coordination. Although the GON has ratified the 1988 UN Convention, neither the GONA nor the GOA has taken action that would permit extension of the Convention to them. Their respective parliaments have not passed legislation that would enable them to comply with the Convention's obligations.
II. Status of Country
The ABC islands are located near the coast of Venezuela, the origin of most of the drugs; most are shipped by sea. Cocaine is transshipped from the islands to the U.S. and Europe via couriers on commercial airlines and cruise ships, and in air cargo. Some shipments have been large enough to require the use of containers. St. Maarten has become a major center for air drops in the Leeward Islands. The GON has implemented new measures to close the Antilles as a money laundering route by involving the GONA and GOA in investigating irregular banking transactions.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. As noted, the GONA and the GOA have joined with the GON to combat money laundering activities. The new laws, to go into effect in mid-1995, will provide for the reporting of all irregular transactions and other transactions over 25,000 Guilders (approximately $13,000). The three governments also are attempting to establish a coast guard. The GONA is reorganizing its police department to concentrate more on preventing crime, including combating drug trafficking and associated crimes.
Accomplishments/Law Enforcement Efforts. GONA law enforcement officials have had some modest successes in interdicting and seizing drug transshipments. The GOA, however, is not accommodating in sharing law enforcement statistics, so hard data on its interdiction record are not available. However, GONA and GOA police officials have assisted the U.S. Department of Justice in arresting and extraditing important Colombian traffickers; they also have provided valuable information leading to arrests in the U.S. Laws pertaining to asset seizure are new to the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba; consequently, such seizures are rare.
Corruption. In 1994, officers from the Curacao police department were arrested in the U.S. and in the Netherlands for narcotics trafficking offenses; there have been other arrests of police officials as well. Recognizing the need for reform, and in response to an initiative by senior police officials, the GONA is reorganizing the police department and hopes to establish an independent organization to conduct internal investigations.
Agreements and Treaties. The Netherlands has not yet extended the 1988 UN Convention to the GONA or the GOA. The USG-Netherlands extradition treaty applies to the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. During 1994, Aruba extradited to the U.S. several fugitives arrested on drug charges.
Demand Reduction. There is no centralized demand reduction program either in the Netherlands Antilles or in Aruba, but drug abuse continues to increase. Efforts are underway to establish programs and the private sector has taken some pro forma steps toward an educational drug abuse program.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Proposals
Policy Initiatives. The USG first seeks to strengthen counternarcotics coordination among the various law enforcement agencies on the islands. Other goals include improved statistical data and information sharing; the establishment of a coast guard; drug control training for law enforcement officials; and the establishment of centralized demand reduction programs.
Bilateral Cooperation. Although the GONA and the GOA have in the past participated in U.S. and Dutch law enforcement training, the two governments did not respond to requests for participant nominations in the last two years. There is better cooperation regarding requests for provisional arrests and for the extradition of individuals wanted in the U.S. for narcotics offenses.
The Road Ahead. Powerful South American trafficking organizations have established operations on Curacao, Aruba, and St. Maarten. However, local law enforcement agencies lack the manpower, resources and expertise to combat these groups. A more coordinated effort, to include U.S. and Dutch involvement, would help in dealing with this threat. However, the local governments' distrust of outside assistance, especially from the Netherlands, limits meaningful cooperation.
Suriname is a transshipment point for South American cocaine shipped to Europe. Government efforts to combat narcotics trafficking are hindered by corruption and the intimidation of law enforcement authorities by traffickers. Antidrug operations also were hampered by the Government of Suriname's (GOS) failure to enact narcotics legislation and its reluctance to sign a judicial exchange agreement with the Netherlands. A major Dutch effort to strengthen the police force and judicial system represent long-term programs which may require several years to show results. Suriname is a party to the 1988 UN Convention, but is far from meeting its goals and objectives.
II. Status of Country
The government lacks control over Suriname's extensive borders and coastline, which facilitates the transshipment of narcotics. In addition, the lingering effects of a domestic insurgency between 1986 and 1992 have limited the government's control in the interior. Suriname's police and customs forces are small and under-funded. Suriname has limited appeal to money launderers, given the size of its economy, and its relatively tight banking controls .
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives and Accomplishments. Surinamese police and judicial authorities implemented a program to strengthen law enforcement and legal capabilities, with financial assistance from the Government of the Netherlands (GON). The police completed a draft comprehensive narcotics strategy; the Council of State revised draft narcotics legislation prepared in 1993 designed to bring Surinamese law into compliance with the 1988 UN Convention.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Law enforcement authorities are hampered by threats from members of the military involved in trafficking, as well as by legislation which grants immunity to military officers from arrest or prosecution by civilian authorities. The police did arrest the son of the former dictator on narcotics charges, along with a powerful army officer who had previously been immune from arrest. Surinamese Customs interdicted a 207-kgs shipment of cocaine concealed in cargo being shipped to Europe. U.S. Customs conducted a training course in June, which helped improve police and customs search capabilities. The Surinamese military participated in joint aerial reconnaissance and interdiction operations with Dutch navy aircraft. The government continues to consider updated narcotics legislation, which includes asset forfeiture and conspiracy provisions.
Corruption. Corruption and intimidation are key factors preventing Suriname from conducting effective counternarcotics operations. Law enforcement officers are paid less than $25 per month, and narcotics organizations actively attempt to undermine antinarcotics efforts. Nor is the military exempt from corruption; military police have assumed immigration functions at border posts and airports, and have been known to permit the suspected traffickers through airport security unchecked. Several military officers were arrested for narcotics trafficking, but have avoided prosecution because of the legislation limiting their trials to military tribunals.
Agreements and Treaties. Suriname is a party to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, its 1972 Protocol, and the 1988 UN Convention. The GOS signed an amendment to the U.S.-Suriname letter of agreement on antinarcotics cooperation in September. The USG and Suriname have an extradition treaty (an 1887 USG-Dutch treaty that remains in force), but the treaty rarely has been used.
Cultivation/Production. Suriname is not an important producer of narcotics. However, it is difficult to assess the exact extent of cannabis cultivation, given the lack of effective government control over Suriname's sparsely inhabited interior.
Drug Flow/Transit. Suriname is a transshipment point for drugs originating in South America; drug seizures indicate that the majority of these narcotics are destined for Europe. The police do have indications that a limited quantity of cocaine is being shipped to the U.S. as well.
Demand Reduction. The Surinamese do not believe they have a serious domestic drug problem; limited government resources are concentrated on enforcement rather than on demand reduction programs.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The USG is assisting the GOS in meeting the following goals: implement fully USG/GOS antinarcotics agreements; remove corrupt elements in the military, or those actively engaged in narcotics trafficking; revise existing legislation to eliminate immunity for military personnel from prosecution by civilian authorities; place the Surinamese immigration service under the authority of civilian ministries; encourage Suriname's participation in regional counternarcotics efforts; enhance bilateral law enforcement cooperation; and prosecute actively narcotics trafficking and related cases. Suriname has yet to accomplish these goals, but has taken the first step towards accomplishing them by drafting a national counternarcotics strategy.
Bilateral Cooperation. Surinamese police, defense force, and customs personnel attended U.S. Customs training and cooperate actively with USG antinarcotics efforts.
Road Ahead. The USG hopes to increase the extent of bilateral cooperation to permit Surinamese law enforcement agencies to conduct antinarcotics activities operations more effectively.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) serves as a drug transshipment point, produces some marijuana, and has been used for limited money laundering. In 1994 public reaction to rising crime -- much of it narcotics-related -- led the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GOTT) to undertake a number of improvements in public security and law enforcement. The GOTT amended the Dangerous Drugs Act to bring the country's laws into conformity with the 1988 UN Convention which it plans to ratify in 1995. Coordination among law enforcement and counternarcotics agencies has improved, but allegations of corruption persist. Lengthy delays and backlogs continue to hamper the judicial system, particularly in narcotics-related cases. This island nation of 1.3 million could be easy prey for sophisticated narcotics cartels wielding vast financial resources.
II. Status Of Country
Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is not a major producer, consumer or trafficker of illegal drugs, precursor chemicals, or a significant money laundering center. The government and people of T&T recognize, however, that production, trafficking, and consumption of illegal drugs are disruptive to public health, safety, and the social fabric. Business people contend that money laundering undermines legitimate economic activities. The effects of illegal drug-related activity are likely to increase, particularly if depressed economic conditions continue and drug-related work is seen as one of the few income-producing opportunities.
III. Country Action Against Drugs In 1994
Policy Initiatives. Passage of the Dangerous Drugs Amendment in November brought the laws of T&T into conformity with the requirements of the 1988 UN Convention, ratification of which should occur in 1995. Other actions had only indirect effect on counternarcotics: passage of a bail bill to curb the release of serious and repeat offenders, increased funding for patrol vehicles, and difficult efforts to maintain a viable witness protection program.
Accomplishments. The Dangerous Drugs Amendment of 1994 covers precursor chemicals, money laundering, maritime trafficking, extradition of money launderers, forfeiture of assets, and removal of impediments to effective prosecution. The president is expected to sign the bill in 1995, giving the GOTT a significant milestone in developing its counternarcotics master plan.
Since 1992, local banks have voluntarily reported large deposits to the police department's Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a practice that has diminished availability of banking services to traffickers. OSS collects intelligence on financial transactions and in 1994 published a money laundering information pamphlet for local financial institutions. No money launderers have been prosecuted or assets seized, although the 1991 drug law provides for both.
The GOTT manually eradicated 783,024 marijuana plants and destroyed 2.1 mt of cured marijuana in 1994. There have been no asset seizures initiated under the 1991 Dangerous Drugs Act, nor has there been progress on several outstanding extradition requests. Shared drug intelligence resulted in seven significant international drug interdictions. Distribution networks in T&T were somewhat disrupted by the arrests and, in a few instances, the gangland killings of a number of traffickers.
The GOTT has assigned a law enforcement agency to design a monitoring/regulatory system for precursor chemicals which will be regulated when the Dangerous Drug Amendment is put into effect. Reorganization of the T&T Customs Service continued with the assistance of two U.S. Customs officers.
Law Enforcement Efforts. A seizure of 226 kgs of cocaine was made by the T&T Coast Guard in June from a pleasure craft. T&T authorities hope this case will be the first in which the law's asset forfeiture clauses are applied. In Florida, 2.4 mt of cocaine were interdicted as a result of intelligence generated in T&T. Another seizure netted 1,066 kg of marijuana. In the first 10 months of 1994, GOTT law enforcement agencies made 539 cocaine-related arrests and 960 arrests related to marijuana. In November, the murder trial of reputed major drug lord Dole Chadee and his associates began. The trial will be closely watched as a test of GOTT resolve to successfully prosecute major narcotics figures.
Responding to public demands that the upsurge in violent crime be checked, the GOTT increased funding to strengthen law enforcement capability. These measures were directed against violent crime, much of which related to the drug trade. Several improvements, such as provision of safe police stations and operational patrol cars, were intended to meet minimal standards.
Corruption. Unsubstantiated rumors regarding corruption have mentioned ministers, politicians, judicial and law enforcement personnel at every level; however, no investigations have been initiated. Structures to deal with corruption issues are either not in place or non-functional. News reports uncover questionable occurrences but rarely extend to in-depth follow-up. Alleged police drug pay-offs identified by a 1993 Scotland Yard team have not been pursued by police management because of jurisdictional questions. Scotland Yard's report did not include fully developed cases because of non-cooperation from police management. Lower-level law enforcement personnel have been convicted of stealing weapons and ammunition. One soldier was arrested for his participation in an attempt to poison a key trial witness.
Agreements and Treaties. Extradition is covered by a 1931 U.S./UK agreement, the validity of which has been challenged in a current extradition case involving an accused drug trafficker. This case has been pending for years and until it is resolved, T&T appears unwilling to move forward on any other extradition matters, some of which have been pending for several years. T&T has no agreements on mutual legal assistance, precursor chemicals, or money laundering. T&T signed the 1988 UN Convention but is not expected to ratify it until early 1995. The GOTT has received funding for counternarcotics programs from the UK, Canada, France, and the UN in addition to its INM-funded programs.
Cultivation and Production. Rocks of crack cocaine are produced in T&T for domestic consumption using imported cocaine. No coca or opium is cultivated. Marijuana is grown in the rural areas of Tobago and in north, east and south Trinidad.
Drug Flow and Transit. There was an increase in the amount of drugs seized in 1994, which, along with seizures in other countries resulting from information originating in T&T, indicates a parallel increase in drug transshipments. Although law enforcement efforts were not concentrated on interdiction of drugs entering the country by sea and air, airport inspections of departing passengers and baggage resulted in routine arrests and drug confiscations. In 1995, T&T Customs Service will begin to operate a container stripping station.
Demand Reduction. With limited funding, the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program (NADAPP) operates a national resource and information center, conducts training, and provides matching funds to community-based demand reduction programs. NADAPP has been working with UNDCP on a three-year demand reduction program to begin in 1995. USG funds support a prevention program for selected schools and communities.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. USG objectives are to encourage ratification of the 1988 UN Convention, provide counternarcotics training for T&T police and coast guard, provide computer upgrades for the Joint Intelligence Coordinating Center (JICC), promote demand reduction/prevention program for school children, and to make the extradition process more effective. INM programs include procurement of equipment and training for counternarcotics units.
The Road Ahead. T&T is not equipped to control or contain its potential infiltration by high-tech, sophisticated international drug cartels. If drug activity increases in Venezuela, T&T is likely to experience a corresponding increase because of its geographic proximity. Demand reduction, coupled with aggressive prosecution, punishment and in appropriate cases extradition of local drug traffickers, remain major objectives to prevent these small islands from being overwhelmed by massive escalation of drug activity. The USG will continue to assist the GOTT's interdiction and eradication efforts and will assist GOTT efforts to build strong law enforcement and judicial systems.
I. Regional Summary
In 1994, the Eastern Caribbean region experienced increased use as a transit corridor for marijuana and cocaine into the U.S., and drug trafficking emerged as a threat to the political stability of this region. Trafficker organizations' increasing influence was exposed in a burst of violence on the island of St. Kitts. In St. Kitts and elsewhere, the increased pursuit of political power by drug traffickers threatens the stability of the Eastern Caribbean democracies.
The most significant developments were in St. Kitts, where a deputy prime minister resigned after one son was killed and two other sons were arrested for involvement in drug trafficking. The principal police investigator of the case was assassinated. In Barbados, a first-ever interception of an airdrop yielded a major cocaine haul. There is increasing concern that marijuana exports may supplant declining banana exports as the leading hard-currency earner, especially for St. Vincent, and, to a lesser extent, for Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia.
In 1994, law enforcement officials throughout the islands reported an escalation in airdrops and other trafficker activities, principally involving cocaine. Cocaine and crack cocaine use continues to increase, resulting in a rise in the overall crime rate. The incidence of violent crimes has also increased, linked to the drug trade. Marijuana continues to be widely used and cultivated on most of the islands. There were indications that the region is being used increasingly as a transit point for small amounts of heroin and morphine.
The success of U.S. interdiction efforts in The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands and U.S. military activity around Hispaniola contributed to increased drug trafficker use of the Eastern Caribbean, which is a gateway region for drugs entering Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1994, 26 percent of documented cocaine smuggling attempts into the U.S. came through these Caribbean portals. The Eastern Caribbean, which includes territories still linked to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France, is also increasingly a transit route to western Europe.
Traffickers exploit the Eastern Caribbean's traditional advantages as a transit route: geographic location, easy navigation, inadequately patrolled coastlines and waters, many tourists, ample airline and cruise ship connections, local drug subcultures, and governments and political parties vulnerable to corruption. Local governments are not able to finance their law enforcement operations at a level commensurate with the trafficker threat.
South American trafficker rings appear to control most of the volume of drugs passing through the region, often working in alliance with local traffickers. Another affiliation combines trafficker organizations from Trinidad, St. Lucia, and Dominica which traffic hundred-kilogram lots of cocaine to the northern Caribbean U.S. gateways.
The security forces 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). The RSS is beginning to grapple with the narcotics issue, but has not yet defined its role in the counternarcotics effort. Regional governments, working with the U.S. and other donors, have undertaken several initiatives to improve collection and exchange of drug-related intelligence, including establishment of the Regional Maritime Movement Information System (RMMIS) and a Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC) in Barbados. Interdiction and enforcement capabilities, however, are likely to decrease in coming years as a result of significant cuts in U.S., UK and Canadian funding.
The region's governments generally recognize the seriousness of their drug problems and the threat posed by traffickers. Most countries seized more drugs in 1994. The prime ministers frequently express their frustration at legal and other limitations which impede a strong approach to the drug problem and effective prosecution of drug criminals. Problems persist in the collection and presentation of evidence, the prosecution of cases, effective use of conspiracy laws against drug ring leaders, and in uniform sentencing guidelines.
These governments generally welcome outside assistance, and cooperation with U.S. authorities and agencies is generally excellent. In April, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter equipped with a helicopter conducted a training exercise with several Eastern Caribbean nations, which provided hands-on law enforcement experience. The U.S. is an active participant in the Bridgetown Group of international donors, a mini-Dublin group, which coordinates regional assistance.
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (the latter in 1994) have acceded to the 1988 UN Convention, while St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia, parties to the 1961 Convention and the 1972 Protocol, have received USG and UN assistance to prepare for their accession. Implementation of the Convention generally remains hampered in the Eastern Caribbean by limited understanding of the required legislation.
The U.S. has bilateral extradition treaties with each of these nations, dating from the period of British dependency. All the Commonwealth Caribbean jurisdictions make some provision for the forfeiture/confiscation of property or proceeds obtained from drug trafficking, either under a proceeds of crime act (Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts, St. Lucia--which also can act on orders made by courts in other countries) or under the drug laws. In 1994, St. Vincent accomplished its first major asset seizure. Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, and St. Vincent have on their books mutual legal assistance acts, which could provide a statutory precedent for mutual legal assistance treaties.
In the Eastern Caribbean, corruption among public officials is rarely met with strong counter-measures. There are continuing allegations (which have not been substantiated) that senior officials in Antigua, St. Kitts and St. Vincent participate in, are knowledgeable of, or allow drug activities to continue, regardless of official policy. No government publicly condones corruption.
(See separate INCSR sections on the Caribbean Dependent Territories of the UK for reports on Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands; 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
(Note: U.S. counternarcotics activities in the Eastern Caribbean region have intensified in recent years, achieving some important gains. This focus has also improved reporting which would produce higher, but more accurate, statistics on trafficking and production compared to previous years.)
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA. This two-island nation has long been a drug transit country. The Antigua airport is one of the busiest in the region and continues to be used for smuggling to the U.S. and Europe. Major Colombia-based trafficking organizations, including the Cali cartel, use both islands as a staging area and cache site. Significant amounts of narcotics are airdropped off the islands, then picked up by fast boat for onward delivery to Puerto Rico and both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. There is evidence of heroin shipments originating in Europe and transiting Antigua en route to the U.S. There is no significant cultivation of cannabis, but some local use. A change in leadership in 1994 raised as yet unfulfilled hopes for a stronger government antidrug policy. Individuals with close ties to the current regime are believed to be engaged in narcotics trafficking. In 1994, authorities reported processing 148 cases involving 152 defendants. They seized about 130 kgs cocaine, 3,380 kgs marijuana, 169 pieces of crack, and eradicated 92 marijuana plants.
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB) has acceded to the 1988 UN Convention. Its enforcement efforts, cooperation with U.S. agencies and drug-control legislation are all consistent with the goals and objectives of the Convention. Of increasing concern is growth in domestic use of crack cocaine. The GOAB continued drug interdiction, demand reduction and awareness efforts, and has sought to establish a drug rehabilitation center. Local non-government organizations have also tried independently to found a treatment facility. Demand reduction programs are administered by the National Drug Council.
BARBADOS. The drug issue had a significantly higher profile in Barbados in 1994. In the face of intensified enforcement, tougher court action, and strong public apprehension about damage to the vital tourist industry, crime in general dropped. In September, the new government declared it would undertake major efforts to address the drug problem. There is virtually no cannabis grown on the island, but it is imported from neighboring islands for the domestic and tourist markets. Cocaine for the local market principally arrives via courier. An independent survey done in late 1992 indicated that drug use among youth was more widespread than previously believed.
There are indications of increased efforts by traffickers to use Barbados as a transit point to both North America and Europe. Police, in cooperation with DEA, foiled an attempted airdrop of 172 kgs of cocaine, a record seizure. (Subsequently, in January 1995, the two Colombians arrested in connection with this case were convicted and sentenced, one to life, and the other to 30 years.) Authorities report that in 1994 Barbados seized about 240 kgs of cocaine and 464 kgs of marijuana, eradicated 490 marijuana plants, and 180 persons were arrested for drug offenses.
Officials expressed considerable concern about the growing number of firearms on the island, which they directly traced to the drug trade. Barbados hosted the first Caribbean conference of drug squad commanders. The Barbados-based RSS established a drug intelligence center.
There were important developments on the judicial front, as well, during the latter part of 1994, as the courts conveyed the national consensus to "get tough" on drugs. As part of the infamous "Eddie's Snackette" case, a convicted trafficker with ties to Colombian organizations received an unprecedented life sentence. In a separate case, a trafficker received a 25-year sentence. Both of these cases benefited from cooperation with U.S. authorities. A major U.S.-funded effort to improve court reporting and management is in process. The National Drug Council was reorganized following the elections, which set back some demand reduction efforts.
As the offshore financial services industry continues to develop in Barbados, with accompanying liberalizing of regulation, the potential for money laundering activities is likely to increase.
DOMINICA. This large but underpopulated island is a minor cannabis producer, but it is an increasingly exploited transit route for both marijuana and cocaine. Some Dominicans engage in regional trafficking, including to Antigua, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Martin. Due to comparatively limited air connections, transit via Dominica for drugs traveling from South America and to the U.S. is mostly via small boats. Cannabis is cultivated on the island, and there is concern that economic difficulties affecting the banana industry could prompt an increase in production. Police expend significant resources, sometimes in cooperation with U.S. agencies, to locate and destroy marijuana plots. Much of the cannabis is consumed locally, and the use of crack cocaine is growing. Dominican authorities report 1994 seizures of 3.34 kgs of cocaine, 741 kgs of marijuana, eradication of 48,855 marijuana plants, and the arrest of 384 persons on drug charges.
Dominica has acceded to the UN Convention. Implementation remains limited, in part due to limitations in judicial capacity to handle the burgeoning number of cases. The Government of Dominica (GOD) cooperates fully with U.S. law enforcement agencies and under the terms of our bilateral counternarcotics agreement. U.S. Customs conducted a counternarcotics training program in Dominica in 1994. Dominica has requested further U.S. assistance in establishing a drug squad and coast guard presence in one of the main drug trafficking areas. Two Dominican customs officials were arrested in 1994 in connection with drug trafficking. Dominica strongly supports demand-reduction projects, and materials produced in cooperation with the U.S. are displayed throughout the country. In 1994, demand-reduction projects were assisted by the USG and UNDCP.
GRENADA. Both cocaine and marijuana remained readily available in Grenada. Domestic consumption (including crack cocaine) continued to grow despite tough penalties for users and active demand reduction programs. Cannabis is cultivated locally in significant quantities and is also imported by small boats from South America and Trinidad, both for domestic use and transshipment, generally by air cargo. Trinidad-based cocaine trafficking networks have used Grenada as a transshipment point. Official sources reported that about 10 kgs of cocaine and 250 kgs of marijuana were seized in 1994 and about 20,000 marijuana plants were eradicated.
Grenada has acceded to the UN Convention and strives to carry out its goals and objectives. Grenada generally fulfills the terms of its bilateral counternarcotics agreement with the U.S. Government of Grenada (GOG) officials cooperate openly with U.S. agencies. Grenadan officials have effectively used the country's drug laws to prosecute cases. It has a strong asset seizure law, but adjudicated no cases in 1994. Grenada police apprehended traffickers with about 175,000 U.S. dollar equivalent in proceeds of a drug transaction. Forfeiture proceedings were underway at the end of 1994.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS. This two-island nation in the northeast corner of the Caribbean is a jumping off point for the transit of drugs into the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, a smuggling route of increasing importance into the U.S. Seizures and other information indicate that trafficking through and around St. Kitts continued to expand in 1994. Much of the considerable transit of narcotics through the area is by airdrop off the coasts of St. Kitts and Nevis. The beaches on St. Kitts continue to be used as overnight cache sites by international cocaine trafficking organizations. Local Kittitian trafficking organizations have well-established ties to Colombian trafficking organizations. There is some cultivation of cannabis for local consumption. St. Kitts authorities report that in 1994 they seized 58 kgs of cocaine, 15 pieces of crack, and 5.7 kgs of marijuana. About 25,000 marijuana plants were eradicated.
Violence involving politics and drugs plagued St. Kitts in 1994, severely threatening the stability of its minority coalition government. Both Colombian and local traffickers have attempted to exploit a tense domestic political environment. In 1994, a private pleasure craft disappeared with the former St. Kitts ambassador to the UN and family abroad; there were strong suspicions of foul play involving drug traffickers. In September, a son of the deputy prime minister and a companion disappeared and were later found murdered. A senior police superintendent, an important contact for U.S. and foreign law enforcement officials, was assassinated while leading the investigation of the case. When two other of his sons were arrested on drug related charges, the deputy prime minister was forced to resign. The sons were released from prison shortly thereafter, sparking a protest riot and fire that left the prison gutted. St. Kitts had to call for military assistance from neighboring governments to stabilize the situation. The U.S. provided emergency supplies and assistance to the St. Kitts police. U.S. cooperation with St. Kitts authorities is excellent.
The UN Convention is not in force in St. Kitts. Legislation to allow for accession has been passed by Parliament but not yet signed into law.
ST. LUCIA. St. Lucia remains a transshipment point for cocaine to other Eastern Caribbean countries, the U.S. and Europe. Marijuana is cultivated for local use, with small amounts exported to the U.S. or Europe. Cocaine traffickers still principally utilize small fishing boats to transport their shipments; but smugglers use airplanes and cruise ships as well as private pleasure craft. Officials are concerned about the high rate of drug-related crime and have requested U.S. assistance in strengthening counternarcotics laws. In 1994, authorities reported the seizure of about 17 kgs cocaine and 182 kgs of marijuana. A major effort at the close of the year led to the eradication of over 81,923 marijuana plants. A total of 374 people were arrested on drug charges.
St. Lucia has not yet acceded to the UN Convention, but generally is able to carry out its goals and objectives. Although asset seizure legislation is in place, no asset seizures have been carried out. Cooperation between St. Lucia authorities and U.S. agencies is good; similarly, there is good cooperation with British and French agencies. A U.S. Customs enforcement training program was presented to St. Lucian Customs and Excise officers in 1994.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES. This multi-island country remains plagued by problems of production, consumption, and transshipment of drugs. There is widespread use of its relatively high-grade domestically grown marijuana, and cultivation and export to neighboring islands increased in 1994. Among the Caribbean islands, St. Vincent is second only to Jamaica in marijuana production; marijuana is probably St. Vincent's largest export earner. The use of both cocaine and crack continues to increase. Official sources report only about 2.5 kgs of cocaine and 881 kgs of marijuana seized in 1994. A total of 433 people were arrested on drug charges. Eradication was virtually negligible. The government agreed, however, to proposed U.S. helicopter support for eradication in 1995.
The inaccessible terrain of St. Vincent and the more than 20 islands of the Grenadines offer ideal conditions for drug smugglers and severely complicate police efforts. The Grenadines have long been a pipeline for drugs transiting to the U.S. and French Islands. Substantial local trafficking organizations engaged in large scale acquisition, storage, and transshipment of cocaine, often in ton lots. St. Vincent has become a commonly used flag of convenience, as regulations permit vessels to be registered without positive identification of owners. Demand reduction programs, including those supported by UNDCP and the U.S., have had little success.
Allegations persist that narcotics traffickers provide funds for political campaigns for both opposition and government candidates. Unsubstantiated reports persist of narcotics-related corruption in senior levels of government.
In 1994, St. Vincent acceded to the 1988 UN Convention. Laws are in place to satisfy many of its provisions including asset forfeiture procedures for drug trafficking-related offenses, including both conspiracy and money laundering. In late 1994, a court in St. Vincent seized a large sum of cash ($347,000) associated with a 1993 drug case, in the first such major asset seizure in the Eastern Caribbean. Security forces and police continue to make numerous arrests and some significant seizures, but there are few convictions for large-scale trafficking. Convicted major traffickers have been able to avoid long incarceration by paying substantial fines, a practice not unknown elsewhere in the region. Implementation of the government's stated commitment to eradicate cannabis and control corruption are necessary if St. Vincent is fully to 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.
The governments of these territories are able to apply the resources of France to meet 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 departement of Guadeloupe). St. Martin's 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 vulnerable to the traffickers. 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 totaled 1.2 mt, 990 kgs of which were seized on St. Martin. As a result, the French Judicial Police opened an office on the island. By 1994, seizures had risen to at least two mt, most of which was discovered on or near St. Martin. This increase in the trafficking of cocaine -- most of which is destined for the United States -- is illustrative of the overall increase in drug shipments through the eastern Caribbean, by traffickers who use its easy access to send drugs to U.S. and European destinations. Increased counternarcotics actions against other Caribbean trafficking routes have also contributed to the increase in the eastern Caribbean. Traffickers also have begun using French Guiana to smuggle cocaine directly to Europe.
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 Gendarmerie actively cooperate with the U.S. to deter drug smuggling via container shipments to Europe and pleasure craft visiting the islands. The USG is in the process of negotiating an agreement with the French government to formalize our ongoing maritime cooperation in the Caribbean.
To date, we have no evidence of French seizures of containerized cocaine having originated in the French Caribbean. French authorities are handicapped by a shortage of marine assets, but they share information with their neighboring English-speaking counterparts. In 1994, French Caribbean law enforcement personnel received some USG-funded training in regional seminars. Civil servants, drawn from the French civil service, have not been accused of any narcotics-related corruption. U.S. Customs officers have provided training at Martinique's regional training center.
DEPENDENT TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
ANGUILLA, THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS (BVI), CAYMAN ISLANDS, MONTSERRAT, and TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (TCI) comprise the UK's Caribbean Dependent Territories. These Territories are not significant drug producing countries, but are drug transshipment points. As home to offshore financial institutions, the Territories have become enticing locales for drug traffickers to launder money. With strict secrecy laws and a large offshore banking sector, the Cayman Islands is especially vulnerable to money launderers.
In 1994, legislation enabling the Dependent Territories to comply with the requirements of the 1988 UN Convention, including asset seizure and forfeiture and control of precursor and essential chemicals, was completed, and the UK plans to extend the Convention to the Territories in 1995. (In fact, the UK extended the Convention to the Caribbean Dependent Territories and Bermuda on February 8, 1995.) The Territories' counternarcotics efforts are consistent with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention in most areas, with the notable exception of money laundering in the Cayman Islands, and to a lesser extent, Anguilla. The Territories are subject to the U.S.-UK mutual legal assistance treaty concerning the Cayman Islands (which has been extended to the other jurisdictions). The 1972 U.S.-UK extradition treaty has been extended to include the Dependent Territories. Cooperation with the U.S. under these various bilateral agreements is excellent.
The U.S. Coast Guard signed a reciprocal shiprider agreement with BVI in 1990, which was extended in 1992 to include the U.S. Customs Service. The U.S. and UK have initiated discussions on extending the BVI reciprocal shiprider agreement to the Cayman Islands. U.S. Coast Guard aircraft involved in air interception operations in the western Caribbean use facilities in the Cayman Islands, with the cooperation of Cayman officials. Operational contact between the USG and the governments of the Territories is close and effective. We are aware of no evidence of official corruption among senior police and customs officials.
TCI, located in the southeast end of The Bahamas archipelago, is a participant in Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), a trilateral cooperative effort of the U.S., 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 also have been provided. In 1994, the USG supplied handler training and a narcotics detector dog to TCI, resulting almost immediately in a seizure of 5.4 kgs of cannabis on a Haitian sloop.
Joint Information Coordination Centers (JICCs), located in Anguilla, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and TCI, gather drug-trafficking information and feed it into the Tortola, BVI JICC, which in turn feeds the data to the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC). The centralized data base in Tortola thus provides a mechanism for analysis of information coming from all the Dependent Territories, although the islands continue to cite a lack of feedback from EPIC as a problem. The UK carried out a review of the regional Drugs Intelligence Unit based in BVI in order to enhance its ability to contribute to the anti-narcotics effort in the region.
A Caribbean Basin Radar Network (CBRN) site in the Cayman Islands, which became operational in late 1992 to monitor narcotics air traffic transiting the central Caribbean, will cease operations in 1995 due to USG budget limitations.
In 1994, Anguilla seized 28 kgs of marijuana, 832 kgs of cocaine, and 75 rocks of crack. BVI seized one mt of marijuana and 450 kgs of cocaine. The Cayman Islands seized 1.8 mt of marijuana, 5 kgs of cocaine, and 25 kgs of hashish oil. Montserrat seized 3 kgs of marijuana, 38 rocks of crack, and destroyed 240,600 cannabis plants. TCI seized 15 kgs of marijuana, 45 kgs of cocaine, and 160 rocks of crack. British officials have noted an increase in airdropped shipments in the waters around Montserrat, Anguilla and the BVI.
The Cayman Islands, one of the largest offshore financial services centers in the world, is the only British Caribbean Dependent Territory in which money laundering is a significant threat. Legislation has recently been amended to better enable bank regulators to exchange information with their counterparts in other countries. Efforts continue to enhance the capability of the police to investigate cases of money laundering and commercial crime. Increased regulation in the insurance sector and of mutual funds has recently been put into effect, but confidentiality legislation, the immense size of the offshore financial community and easy formation of shell companies continue to make the Cayman Islands attractive to money launderers.
Under the code name "Dinero," U.S. and UK authorities mounted an operation against the Colombian Cali cartel designed to penetrate their cocaine trafficking and money laundering procedures. The operation used a bank established solely for this purpose in the British Dependent Territory of Anguilla. This was the first occasion in which a such a sophisticated investigative probe had been used. The operation revealed links to Italy and Spain as well as Canada. More than $90 million in currency and property were seized together with more than 8,000 kgs of cocaine, and 116 individuals were arrested. The techniques used by the Cali cartel to launder their proceeds were clearly exposed, and considerable intelligence on their operations was obtained.
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