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
SOUTHEAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC 237
Hong Kong 256
New Zealand 277
Although Australia is primarily a drug consuming country, it does have potential significance as a transit point. Some heroin bound for the US market may transit Australia and Australia also may serve as a transshipment point for South American cocaine destined for Southeast Asia. Australia is a party to the UN 1988 Convention and an active participant in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Dublin Group.
II. Status of Country
Illicit drug use is recognized as a growing problem in Australia. Marijuana and amphetamines, which are produced locally, are the principal illegal drugs. Some amphetamines are smuggled from Australia into New Zealand. Evidence suggests that cocaine, smuggled in from South America and the US, is a growing concern. Heroin consumption remains a significant problem. There is a licit opium poppy industry in Tasmania, but there are effective controls to prevent diversion of the licit opium crop.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs
Policy initiatives. Australia actively supports a vigorous international anti-drug policy. The 1993-97 national drug strategy plan, part of the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NCADA), sets out detailed domestic policies on drugs. This plan places primary emphasis on the problems of alcohol and tobacco abuse. Nevertheless, Government of Australia (GOA) policies recognize that drug use is a significant cause of social disruption, and a growing concern to the community. As a result, GOA law enforcement agencies strongly pursue anti-drug efforts. Australia is an active participant in international drug control forums such as the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Dublin Group.
Accomplishments. The GOA is conducting a strong counter-drug campaign and is a party to the 1988 UN Convention. Six state and three GOA federal agencies devote considerable resources toward combatting the drug problem. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and DEA maintain representatives in each others' countries to coordinate their efforts against drug trafficking. Such cooperation led to the January 1994 seizure of 270 kilograms of cocaine during two coordinated raids in Sydney. This is the largest single seizure of cocaine ever recorded in Australia.
Corruption. Political and police corruption are routinely reported in the press. The authorities respond strongly to all instances of official corruption, and prosecute cases involving criminal behavior. The USG has no evidence that the GOA facilitates the illicit production or distribution of illegal drugs, or engages in drug trafficking or the laundering of drug proceeds.
Agreements and Treaties. A mutual legal assistance treaty with the US is under negotiation. A US-Australia extradition protocol is in effect. Australia cooperates closely with the US and third countries to counter money laundering, and is active in the Financial Action Task Force.
Cultivation/production. Cannabis is the only illicit drug known to be cultivated in Australia. Crop size has not decreased in recent years despite vigorous eradication efforts. GOA law enforcement authorities report an increase in the use of sophisticated indoor and hydroponic cannabis growing operations. There is some manufacturing of amphetamine and methamphetamine as well as small quantities of synthetic heroin known as "homebake."
Drug flow/transit. According to DEA reporting, Australia continues to be an attractive target for South American cocaine trafficking organizations and serves as a transit point for narcotics destined for the Asian market.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs:
US Policy Initiatives. The primary USG goals remain the assessment of US-Australia trafficking trends, and assistance in gathering intelligence on drug trafficking groups and their effects on international markets. Cooperation between GOA and USG authorities is excellent, with the exchange of narcotics intelligence proceeding without any difficulty. There have been no problems regarding the extradition of narcotics criminals between the two countries. DEA makes USG counternarcotics training available to GOA law enforcement authorities.
The Road Ahead. In general, the US will continue to address transshipment issues with the GOA, particularly those relating to trafficking trends between the US and Australia. The USG will undertake efforts to assist the GOA in dealing with the increasing problem of cocaine traffic.
Burma remains the world's largest producer of illicit opium and heroin, and the Government of Burma continues to treat counternarcotics efforts as a matter of secondary importance. The USG estimated 1994 potential opium production at 2,030 metric tons from 146,600 hectares of illicit poppy cultivation. Opium production fell by 21 percent due principally to poor weather. There were some modest signs of greater government efforts in counternarcotics. One of the results of a Burmese Army campaign against the Shan United Army (SUA) of Khun Sa was to restrict the opium supply and drug trafficking routes of the SUA. The GOB has also begun to show signs of willingness to cooperate in counternarcotics efforts and has agreed to facilitate an opium yield survey in 1995. Domestic enforcement efforts have also show some marginal improvement with regional task forces under the Burmese police becoming more active in drug enforcement. These efforts however, fall far short of what is required to address seriously the drug problem in Burma.
The government's ability to suppress Burma's opium and heroin trade is severely limited by lack of access to and control over the areas in which most opium is grown and heroin processed. This is to some extent a situation the government itself has created. Well-equipped ethnic armies sheltered in remote mountainous regions have been permitted wide-ranging, local autonomy in exchange for halting their active insurgencies against Rangoon. At the same time opium poppy cultivation has soared in the base areas of the insurgent groups, especially in the Wa hills, despite nominal commitments by insurgents and the government alike that efforts would be made to reduce opium growing.
II. Status of Country
Since 1989, Burma has become the world's largest producer of opium and heroin. Drug trafficking armies protected in ethnic enclaves at the periphery of central government control are the main forces behind the massive expansion in the Burmese drug trade. These armies, comprised mainly of ethnic minorities, are controlled by ethnically Chinese or Sino-Burmese drug traffickers who use their forces to protect heroin refineries and drug caravans. Through the political control exercised by these large, standing drug armies, traffickers are able to oversee the production of most of Burma's 2,030 metric tons of opium gum. Essential chemicals used for the processing of this gum into heroin are obtained from China, Thailand and India.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs
Since the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) signed peace agreements with Burma's largest drug trafficking insurgent groups in 1989, it has espoused a policy that emphasizes economic development in the ethnic areas inhabited by these trafficking armies rather than attempting to take drug enforcement measures in these same areas. Reduction in opium cultivation was supposed to follow economic development.
Unfortunately neither development nor a reduction in opium cultivation has occurred. In areas under SLORC control, the government has expanded drug enforcement operations by the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) narcotics task forces. Two new task forces were established in 1994, bringing the total number of such units to 17. There has been no aerial eradication in Burma since the end of a Department of State-funded effort, which ceased when the SLORC assumed power in 1988. The government claims it undertakes some minor manual eradication efforts.
Policy Initiatives. In September, the SLORC unveiled its eleven-year "Master Plan for the Development of Border Areas and National Races." This sets as a goal "to eradicate totally the cultivation of poppy plants by establishing economic enterprises." Economic development efforts in the so-called border areas largely remain in the planning stage and there have been no results as yet in the counternarcotics aspect of this initiative.
The government continues to rely on UNDCP and UNDP assistance for limited drug-related development aid in the Shan state. UNDCP, under the umbrella of its two subregional strategies -- Thailand/Burma and China/Burma -- manages a number of pilot crop substitution projects in the eastern Shan state and Wa areas as well as demand reduction and law enforcement projects in a few towns close to the Thai and Chinese borders. New CCDAC task forces in Muse (on the Chinese border) and Tachilek (on the Thai border) established in early 1994 have received modest equipment assistance and training from UNDCP.
Accomplishments. During 1994, the Burmese government undertook some efforts to counter the narcotics threat. However, these have had no major impact on the thriving Burmese drug economy. The SLORC has yet to introduce meaningful eradication or drug enforcement measures in the ethnic Wa and Kokang strongholds of the Shan state where the bulk of Burma's drug trade is based. The government is primarily concerned with keeping border area insurgencies quiescent and does not take counternarcotics as a priority in these regions. Burma has modest anti-drug cooperation with neighboring countries. Late in 1994, Burma and Bangladesh formally signed a drug cooperation agreement calling for information sharing and coordination of enforcement activities along the two countries' mutual border. Building on previously established agreements or memoranda of understanding with China, Thailand, India and Laos, the Burmese government held periodic meetings with counternarcotics representatives from these countries in 1994.
By enacting the 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, the SLORC formally brought its legal code into compliance with the main provisions of the 1988 UN Convention. The 1993 law contains provisions for attacking drug-related money laundering, the confiscation of drug-related assets, the prosecution of conspiracy cases, the seizure of precursor chemicals and arrests of those trafficking in these chemicals, and the prosecution of major traffickers. Although the legal framework for compliance with the goals and objectives of the 1998 UN Convention exists, the government has not embarked on a program to implement these laws vigorously. Enforcement and legal authorities also lack the expertise and training required to make this legislation effective. The government is now starting to take steps to train appropriate officials in the effective use of the law. UNDCP and the Australian government have assisted in this regard, by funding a study tour for several senior Burmese drug enforcement and judicial officers to Singapore and Australia to study the implementation of related legal statutes in other countries. In part due to limited assistance and training from DEA and UNDP, Burmese police units are improving their limited capability to arrest traffickers and seize narcotics. For example, five traffickers who had been arrested in connection with a 21 kilogram heroin seizure by the Lashio Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC), were tried and sentenced on November 30 by the Lashio District Court to prison sentences ranging from 25 to 30 years.
Burmese eradication remains so limited it has no impact on the massive opium cultivation. Government reports claim slightly over 1,000 hectares of opium were eradicated manually in 1994, a slight increase over 1993, but still far below 1 percent of estimated total cultivation.
The Burmese government continued to advance cooperation with the UNDCP throughout 1994. In September it approved the implementation of the new UNDCP pilot project in the southern Wa region, which has since started. The government provides some support through in-kind contributions (services and personnel) to ongoing UNDCP crop substitution projects in the Mong Yang and Tachilek townships of the eastern Shan state. The Tachilek project, however, has been slowed and reduced in scope due to fighting in the region between the Burmese army and Khun Sa's forces.
Law Enforcement Efforts. In 1994 the Burmese Army (BA) stepped up its military effort against Khun Sa's Shan United Army (SUA). Narcotic control is not a principal objective of the BA's actions against insurgent groups, but the campaign against Khun Sa did have some adverse impact on the heroin trade in the Golden Triangle. In May and June large scale military operations were launched against SUA strongholds in the southern Shan state region near the Thai border. This fighting was ultimately successful in capturing several strategic areas previously under SUA control. Burmese authorities reported casualties of over 200 killed and more than 390 wounded. This military campaign forced the closure of many SUA heroin refineries, disrupted drug caravan movements, and cut off the SUA's southern Shan state headquarters from northern elements that traditionally supply much of the group's opium. In the course of the fighting several large acetic anhydride seizures were made by Burmese army personnel.
The bulk of Burma's drug enforcement effort in areas controlled by the government falls under the domain of the CCDAC, a coordinating and implementing agency comprised of representatives from the police, military, and several ministries with peripheral drug control interests. In 1994, the CCDAC established two additional drug enforcement task forces. The CCDAC's drug enforcement task forces, stationed in major urban areas and at strategic border and road crossings, together with other Burmese drug control entities seized 334 kilograms of heroin between January and October. Also, 2,136 kilograms of opium and 1,191 gallons of acetic anhydride were seized in the same 10 month period.
Corruption. Despite widespread rumors, there is no strong evidence that the Burmese government is directly involved in or directly profits from the drug trade. Most of the country's drug production and trafficking is under the control of insurgent armies. The government has no direct control over the activities of these armies, but it has both political and economic leverage with these groups. It has failed to use this leverage on these groups to reduce drug production and trafficking.
While direct government complicity in the drug trade does not appear to be a problem among senior officials, narcotics corruption is a problem among lower level officials. It is widely believed that lower level Burmese officials in the field, particularly in the Shan state, profit from drug trafficking for personal gains. This often takes the form of taking bribes for looking the other way.
Agreements and Treaties. Burma is a party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and in 1994 became a party to the 1988 UN Convention. However, the current government has expressed reservations on two of the Convention's articles -- extradition of Burma's nationals to third countries and the use of the International Court of Justice to resolve disputes relating to the Convention (articles 6 and 32, respectively). In 1993 the government enacted a new comprehensive narcotics law which brings Burma's legal framework formally into compliance with the Convention's requirements. The SLORC has continued to refuse to recognize the applicability of an existing US-Burmese extradition treaty, which dates from British colonial times and was accepted as valid by the post-independence government in 1948.
Cultivation/production. Burma remains the undisputed leader in world illicit opium output, providing over 50 percent of known global illicit production. Even with a 21 percent decline in net production this year, primarily due to poor weather conditions during the 1993/94 crop season, Burma remained the world's largest producer of illicit opiates. Area under opium cultivation was 146,600 hectares, a decline of 11.6 percent from the 1992/93 growing season (again as a result of poor weather). Net opium production yielded an estimated 2,030 metric tons in 1994, down from 2,575 tons in 1993. The vast bulk of this annual crop, grown in the September-February dry season, is found in the mountainous areas of the Shan plateau, which extends almost the entire length of the Shan state, from the Chinese border to the Thai border. Opium poppy fields average half a hectar in size. Poppy fields are found to a lesser extent in the Kachin, Chin and Kayah states and in the Saggaing Division.
Drug Flow/transit. Most of Burma's opium and heroin output leaves the Shan state through unmarked crossings of the porous Chinese and Thai borders. Drug trafficking ethnic groups like the Wa and Kokang control most of this territory along the rugged frontiers with China and northern Thailand. The Burmese government controls major towns at the principal entry points to China and Thailand, but has no presence along much of the border. Increasingly effective Chinese enforcement efforts, however, appear to have persuaded traffickers such as the Kokang and Wa, to send more of their processed heroin to international markets through Thailand, Laos and India rather than through southern China.
Central Burmese transportation arteries linking Lashio and Mandalay with Rangoon appear to be increasingly used by heroin traffickers seeking to export maritime shipments from Rangoon and nearby ports to Singapore, southern Thailand and Malaysia. Trafficking routes leading from northern Burma to the Indian and Bangladeshi borders are used to a lesser extent for moving heroin to western markets but serve as key channels to supply growing addict populations in Bangladesh and eastern India. They also are used for the large-scale import of Indian-produced acetic anhydride into Burma.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Burma's demand reduction efforts are overwhelmed by the growing dimensions of Burma's drug abuse and related AIDS problems. Though government statistics continue to show a relatively small number of registered opium and heroin addicts (those who check in to a government-run treatment facility), outside observers estimate the size of Burma's addict population at 200,000 to 300,000. Government resources devoted to countering this growing domestic problem remain woefully inadequate. The entire country has only six major drug treatment centers with a total of 220 beds, and additional outpatient facilities at 24 smaller centers. The Ministry of Health has the lead responsibility for Burma's drug treatment and rehabilitation efforts, though the Ministries of Education and Information contribute to the government's demand reduction program through preventive education efforts. Since 1974, government treatment centers have registered 14,893 heroin addicts, 34,453 opium addicts and 4,640 persons addicted to other substances. However, a trend noted throughout the 1980s has been the shift from opium to heroin abuse among Burmese drug addicts. According to Burmese government statistics, some 84 percent of new addicts registered in 1993 were addicted to heroin versus only 20 percent in 1983. A very high percentage of intravenous heroin users who have registered with government treatment programs are infected with HIV. In a recent UNDCP-funded survey, a nationwide average of 60 to 70 percent of all IV heroin users tested positive for HIV. In the major heroin using centers of Mandalay and Myitkyina, rates of 84 and 91 percent were noted, respectively. Though NGOs and UN agencies are attempting to help the Burmese government cope with the closely linked social and health crises of heroin abuse and HIV infection, resources remain inadequate.
USG Policy Initiatives and Programs.
Policy Initiatives. The USG suspended bilateral aid to Burma, including funding for major counternarcotics programs, in September 1988 following the Burmese military's violent suppression of Burma's pro-democracy movement. The Burmese government has not replaced previous US-funded drug enforcement programs with its own unilateral efforts. The USG continues to encourage the SLORC to undertake more aggressive drug enforcement and opium eradication measures on its own. The Burmese government has agreed to a second US-Burmese survey of opium growing areas in the Shan state to be conducted in February 1995. Results from the scientific survey will give both governments a more accurate understanding of the magnitude of Burma's opium crop.
Bilateral Cooperation. In view of the Burmese government's continuing human rights abuses and failure to institute political reform, the United States has continued to maintain only a restricted level of counternarcotics cooperation with Burma. Current USG cooperation with the SLORC is confined largely to a limited relationship between DEA agents stationed in Rangoon and their Burmese counterparts. Through this liaison relationship, DEA shares information with and provides training to the Burmese police. In early December, DEA trainers conducted a six-day course in basic drug enforcement techniques for Burmese law enforcement personnel. Also, DEA has helped police working under CCDAC auspices to develop and conclude successfully two drug trafficking investigations in 1994. These cases led to the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of several heroin traffickers.
The Road Ahead. The future of bilateral cooperation hinges largely on the SLORC's progress on human rights and democratization, as well as improvements in Burma's unilateral drug control efforts. For the time being steps can be taken, consistent with USG policy aims regarding Burma, to provide training and other limited assistance to improve enforcement effectiveness and demand reduction and rehabilitation programs.
[CHART: BURMA STATISTICAL TABLES]
Cambodia made initial steps to counter potential drug trafficking and money laundering problems during 1994. The Royal Cambodian Government completed a draft of a drug control law in May 1994. It continues to refine the draft and has turned the money laundering sections of the original draft into a separate proposed law. The government has asked for assistance to build up its drug enforcement and financial drug-related enforcement capabilities. Foreign governments, primarily the US and France, have responded with police training expertise and training in combatting money laundering. The government appears to be committed to building an effective legislative basis for drug enforcement and to improving its modest law enforcement capabilities. Accurate statistics about the extent of the drug trafficking problem are unavailable. There is trafficking through Cambodia, but it does not appear to be a major route for Southeast Asian heroin at this time.
II. Status of Country
Cambodia shares borders with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It lies near the major trafficking routes for Southeast Asia heroin. Cambodia has a relatively new government installed after elections in 1993, which still faces an active insurgency by the Khmer Rouge. Laws and legal institutions are still in the process of development. Enforcement agencies are also just in initial stages of operation. Basic enforcement equipment and facilities are inadequate. Cambodia has no drug identification laboratory and enforcement personnel lack basic training in drug control techniques. Banks have proliferated rapidly, but the regime to regulate financial transactions is just being created. Geography and the relative newness of legal, financial, and enforcement institutions combine to make Cambodia a vulnerable target for drug traffickers and money launderers operating in Southeast Asia. There are no good data about the current extent of drug trafficking and money laundering in Cambodia, but anecdotal evidence indicates they are small but growing problems. In 1994 there were a few reports of arrests of traffickers and seizures of heroin. West African trafficking groups may be using Cambodia as a link in heroin smuggling routes. Drug use is not known to be a significant public health problem, but systematic information on drug abuse is not available.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiative/Accomplishments: Since the elections of 1993 the government has worked to develop a comprehensive drug control strategy. The government of Cambodia recognizes that it is vulnerable to the illegal activities of drug traffickers and money launderers. This recognition can be found in the statements of public officials, including First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh and principal members of his cabinet, and is embodied in draft drug control legislation. In 1994, the government completed an initial draft drug control law and actively solicited foreign expertise and comment on the law. On the basis of comments from the US, the Cambodian government decided to expand provisions regarding money laundering and to propose a separate money laundering statute. Draft drug control legislation commits the government to becoming a party to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Convention.
Law Enforcement Efforts: With assistance from France, the Ministry of the Interior formed a special drug enforcement unit, which was operational in 1994 and made some drug arrests. In December 1994 three Africans were arrested as they prepared to smuggle one kilogram of heroin out of Cambodia. In April a Cambodian national was arrested in an attempt to smuggle five kilograms of heroin into Cambodia from Thailand. Officials from the police, customs, and military were recently given money laundering enforcement training by the US Customs Service and DEA. The government has actively sought foreign assistance to overcome the resource constraints that continue to limit basic enforcement capabilities.
Corruption: Corruption among some elements in the military is recognized by government officials as a potential problem, but the comparative strength of the military power base will make it difficult for the government to address. There are credible allegations of narcotics trafficking. Involvement of some leading businessmen with access to the highest levels of government is a known concern. We are not aware of any prosecutions for narcotics-related corruption. There are indications that some high-level military officials and powerful businessmen who give financial support to politicians are involved in heroin smuggling.
Cultivation/Production: Cannabis is cultivated in Cambodia, primarily in areas near the Thai border. No survey of the extent of cultivation has yet been done and no good data have been developed on which to base an estimate. There are occasional unsubstantiated rumors of opium cultivation, but no evidence of cultivation has been found to date, nor is there any evidence that heroin labs exist in Cambodia.
Drug Flow/Transit: Opium is believed to transit Cambodia from Laos to Thailand. Cannabis grown in Cambodia is believed to enter Thailand. Heroin in small amounts is known to transit Cambodia on its way to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and the US A comprehensive or detailed picture of trafficking activity is not possible until better information is collected on the drug trade in Cambodia. Current information suggests that the heroin trafficking problem, though limited at this time, is potentially a serious concern due to the vulnerability of Cambodian institutions and the physical proximity of the region to major trafficking routes.
Demand Reduction: Government authorities do not believe that domestic opiate use is a major problem. Cannabis use in food preparation is widespread and there is some indication that the smoking of cannabis may be on the increase. One of the greatest problems is abuse of pharmaceutical drugs, which are not regulated in any effective manner. Abusers of licit drugs often inject them, creating a higher HIV/AIDS risk among this group. There are no government demand reduction programs in place in Cambodia.
Bilateral Cooperation/The Road Ahead: Currently there is no bilateral US-Cambodian counternarcotics agreement. Bilateral cooperation to date has consisted of training provided by US Customs and DEA; drug identification assistance provided by DEA; and expert assistance provided by the Treasury Department regarding proposed money laundering legislation. US efforts will continue to assist Cambodia in creating comprehensive and effective drug control and money laundering legislation. We will encourage the government of Cambodia to work towards its stated goal of becoming a party to the 1988 UN Convention, the 1961 Single Convention and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Possibilities are being explored to provided modest assistance to Cambodian drug enforcement agencies to facilitate drug identification.
The Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is committed to combatting narcotics trafficking and use. China is a major transit route for heroin from neighboring Burma, Laos and Vietnam to the US and other overseas markets. Drug addiction, which was effectively stamped out following the founding of the PRC in 1949, is once again on the rise. Thanks to China's expanding economy and increasing openness to the outside world, narcotics consumption within the PRC is growing. In addition, opportunities for investment in China provide greater potential for money laundering.
Narcotics trafficking in Yunnan province, which borders Burma, decreased in the latter part of 1994 due in part to the arrest, conviction, and execution of Kokang leader Yang Maoliang's younger brother Yang Maoxian. Authorities in Yunnan also arrested 30 Chinese who were involved with Yang Maoxian's gang, and, in separate cases, tried and executed several corrupt police narcotics agents. Better surveillance of the Burmese border, improved intelligence work, and better control of precursor chemicals have also contributed to at least a temporary decrease in trafficking in Yunnan. China has met, or is actively seeking to meet, the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention by continuing its efforts to enhance law enforcement measures, public education, and international cooperation. Despite continued official displeasure with a 1993 US court decision blocking the return to China of a Chinese drug trafficker (the "Goldfish Case"), Chinese officials have indicated that they wish to expand bilateral cooperation in the future. There are contacts between the DEA and Chinese counternarcotics authorities, but bilateral enforcement cooperation remains very limited at present.
II. Status of Country
China's geographic position offers a tempting route to the West for heroin and other opiates from the narcotics-producing countries of the Golden Triangle. As a result, China has become a major drug transit country. Its transport and communication links, which are improving thanks to economic development, facilitate movement of narcotics as well as legitimate goods. Burma remains the source of most heroin transiting China. While the flow of drugs shipped by road from Burma through Yunnan, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces for overseas distribution continues, air and rail routes are used increasingly, which continues the spread, noted in prior reports, of narcotics trafficking and use into the interior provinces. Indications are that US and Asian trafficking networks are expanding their operations onto Chinese soil. Although heroin production in China appears to be limited, China nevertheless produces a modest amount of opium, mostly for domestic consumption. China's fertile investment climate provides potential for money laundering.
Although the official PRC estimate of 250,000 registered drug addicts remains unchanged since 1992, counternarcotics officials believe the actual number is much higher. China's National Narcotics Control Commission is working to arrive at a more accurate figure for the number of drug addicts in China. Most drug addicts are teenagers. Drugs used range from opium to refined heroin and synthetic painkillers. Crimes resulting from drug addiction continues to rise. Addiction is highest in Yunnan province, which borders Burma, but is also rising in Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Gansu, Shanxi, and Sichuan provinces. The number of AIDS and HIV positive cases has increased, particularly in Yunnan province. According to official PRC estimates, seventy-five percent of AIDS cases are due to intravenous heroin injection.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. China's narcotics control program indicates that the PRC has met, or is actively seeking to meet, the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention. The National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC) directs the PRC's counternarcotics efforts. The NNCC oversees 16 government ministries and agencies, including Public Security, Health, Customs, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and the Drug Administration Bureau (which is responsible for the production of medicines), and directs policy, enforcement, research and international cooperation. The NNCC's responsibilities have expanded to include demand reduction, public awareness, and community outreach and prevention programs.
China is involved in a UN Drug Control Program (UNDCP) sponsored subregional drug eradication project with Laos, Burma, and Thailand.
Accomplishments. According to official PRC figures, Chinese authorities seized 1.324 metric tons of opium and 3.172 metric tons of heroin during the first nine months of 1994. During the first half of 1994, there were 22,350 total drug criminal investigations, which included 1,926 opium smuggling cases, 12,929 heroin smuggling cases, 5 methamphetamine cases, and 92 cases of trafficking in precursor chemicals. Figures for the entire year are not yet available. However, PRC officials project figures for 1994 will show no increase in trafficking and seizures over 1993 levels.
Law Enforcement Efforts. PRC counternarcotics officials scored a number of major successes in 1994, the most notable of which was the arrest and conviction of drug kingpin Yang Maoxian. Yang Maoxian, the younger brother of Kokang leader Yang Maolian, was arrested, tried and convicted in May and executed in October in Yunnan. Approximately 30 of his Chinese gang members have also been arrested. Shanghai courts recently sentenced 25 persons involved in seven narcotics cases. Seven received the death penalty; five received life imprisonment; and the rest were given fixed terms. Chinese authorities also arrested the son of the leader of the United Wa Party. The Wa is one of the principal opium growing and heroin trafficking groups in Burma. Movement by Chinese enforcement authorities against important Kokang and Wa figures is a major step forward in PRC efforts to stem the flow of narcotics from Burma into China.
Corruption. China's rapid economic growth and liberalization in many areas of daily life have spawned an atmosphere of corruption and greed. The PRC has taken a strong stand against official corruption, and has laws dealing specifically with government officials who are found guilty of the use, manufacture or delivery of narcotics. There is no evidence of high-level official corruption or involvement in narcotics trafficking. However, Yunnan officials acknowledge that policemen have been tried, convicted, and executed this year for taking bribes from traffickers in return for not arresting the traffickers. These are reportedly the first ever cases in Yunnan's anti-drug efforts involving corrupt officials. According to National Narcotics Control Commission officials, the PRC government maintains a list of major foreign drug traffickers and forbids them entry to China.
Agreements and Treaties. The PRC is a party to the 1988 UN Convention, as well as the 1961 Single Convention, its 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Cultivation/production. Although heroin production in China appears to be limited, China produces modest amounts of opium, mostly for domestic consumption. A survey of the 1993/4 growing season showed 1,965 hectares of opium poppy cultivation in Yunnan province. Most cultivation was in remote, ethnic minority areas near the Burma and Vietnam borders. Scattered illicit cultivation in other provinces is also suspected. Most opium cultivated in China seems to be for domestic consumption and the authorities have undertaken eradication efforts when illegal cultivation has been detected. PRC officials estimate that most of the illicit opium seized last year in China was smuggled in from Vietnam and Burma, while only about 10 percent originated in China. China is also a major manufacturer of crystal methamphetamine and a supplier of chemicals used for heroin and methamphetamine production.
Drug Flow/transit. Most heroin entering China is produced in Burma, near the Chinese border. However, a significant amount of the opium smuggled into China comes from Vietnam. Traffickers usually bring in heroin through Yunnan province. Some shipments move directly across the Sino-Burmese border, and some enter southeastern Yunnan from Vietnam. A portion of the Golden Triangle heroin of uncertain origin flows into Guangxi province from Vietnam. Chinese provincial and central government counternarcotics officials report no increase in transit and trafficking.
National Narcotics Control Commission officials claim that opium smuggling into China from Burma stopped for a period of time following the arrest of Yang Maoxian. In addition to the capture of Yang Maoxian, Yunnan counternarcotics officials credit better surveillance of the Burmese border and improved intelligence work for the slowdown in trafficking.
Domestic Programs. The PRC encourages citizens to report on possible cases of drug smuggling and use. In Yunnan, where local efforts at demand reduction are most organized, anti-drug organizations are involved in identifying drug users, providing treatment and trying to prevent addicts from backsliding.
Drug addicts in China are encouraged to register and receive treatment at government treatment centers. Officials claim addicts who have been arrested for criminal acts can receive treatment in re-education facilities. The Ministry of Health has continued to pursue the integration of customary detoxification methods with traditional medicines, acupuncture, and other Chinese-developed treatments, and also has sought assistance from rehabilitation organizations, such as Daytop Village, which provides training funded by the Department of State. Public health officials have established a drug treatment center in Kunming, using Daytop's therapeutic community approach to rehabilitation.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The USG continues: 1) to seek a closer dialogue with China on the international and regional narcotics situation; 2) to encourage an exchange of information with Chinese counternarcotics officials on international trafficking networks and narcotics-related cases, and demand reduction initiatives in China; 3) to enhance the presence of US law enforcement agencies in China; and 4) to encourage regional cooperation and counternarcotics projects.
Bilateral cooperation. Chinese counternarcotics officials have repeatedly expressed a strong interest in expanded international cooperation, including with the US They have specifically asked for training on interdiction at sea,
forensic testing, and countering money laundering. In 1994, US information-sharing efforts started to bear fruit, though there are still problems with the timely passing of information to operational enforcement units. Sometime there is no response to the information provided. A 1993 US district court ruling on the "Goldfish Case," which stated that Chinese drug trafficker Wang Zongxiao could not be returned to China, is now on appeal but the adverse district court ruling has continued to hamper US-Chinese cooperation on narcotics.
In 1994, Chinese officials participated in Department of State-funded seminars, including a two-week training seminar conducted by DEA in Xiamen attended by 46 law enforcement officers from 23 provinces, an international asset forfeiture training seminar in Seoul, and international narcotics management training for Chinese customs training administrators, conducted by US Customs in Guangzhou..
The Road Ahead. PRC officials are well aware that China's narcotics problem is growing and that many western nations, including the US, have considerable expertise in combatting this menace.
For those reasons, they are seeking expanded international cooperation and the USG will continue to press for improved cooperation in the future. The USG will continue to provide information on narcotics trafficking and narcotics-related cases to Chinese authorities and will encourage a timely return flow of information. We look to establish a strong presence of US law enforcement agencies in China to promote counternarcotics cooperation.
The USG also will amplify training programs and encourage more exchange visits between US and PRC law enforcement officials.
[CHART: CHINA STATISTICAL TABLES]
[GRAPHIC: CHINA HEROIN SEIZURES 1989-1994]
Hong Kong remains an important transshipment center for heroin from Southeast Asia, but the volume of the drug passing through Hong Kong may be dropping. The amount of heroin detected transiting Hong Kong for Taiwan, Japan, and the US fell during 1994 and heroin arriving in Hong Kong is increasingly intended for domestic consumption. Hong Kong continues to serve as a major center of money laundering of drug proceeds by local and regional groups trafficking in heroin. Passage of the new Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO) improves the Hong Kong Government's (HKG) ability to prosecute money launderers. Hong Kong is not a party to the 1988 UN Convention, but the territory's counternarcotics efforts effectively comply with most of the goals and objectives of the agreement. The HKG is in the final stages of drafting amendments to the Financial Recovery of Proceeds Act to conform more fully with the Financial Action Task Force recommendations and the 1988 UN Convention.
II. Status of Country
Given its extensive international shipping and transportation facilities and relative proximity to the heroin production region of the golden triangle, Hong Kong continues to play an important role in the international heroin trade. However, that role appears to be declining as traffickers based in southern China increasingly favor direct shipment from Chinese ports to Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and the US. During recent months, most heroin confiscated while entering Hong Kong seems to have been intended for local consumption.
In contrast to the apparent decline of heroin transshipment, the transshipment through Hong Kong of crystal methamphetamine produced in China for sale in Japan, the Philippines, and the US is rising. Hong Kong-based traffickers figure prominently in the financing and supervising of large factories for methamphetamine production in China's Guangdong and Fujian provinces.
As one of the world's most developed financial centers, Hong Kong is an attractive base for money laundering. Regional and local drug traffickers use Hong Kong's extensive banking system and largely unregulated non-banking sector (money changers/lenders and pawn shops) for laundering of drug trafficking proceeds. Hong Kong's free port status contributes to a large flow of essential and precursor chemicals through the territory.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs
Policy initiatives. Although Hong Kong is not a party to the 1988 UN Convention, the territory's laws and counternarcotics efforts substantially comply with the Convention's goals and objectives. Under Hong Kong's Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, persons convicted of trafficking in or manufacture of narcotics face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a hefty fine. The territory's Drug Trafficking Ordinance authorizes the government to trace, freeze, and confiscate drug trafficking proceeds from convicted persons and provides for the prosecution of those who assist with the laundering of drug proceeds. Hong Kong is an active participant in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It is also subscribes to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
In October 1994 Hong Kong's Legislative Council passed the government's Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO), providing new legal authority and stronger provisions for combatting organized crime activity. OSCO provides Hong Kong law enforcement authorities with several new tools to aid counternarcotics efforts related to organized crime, including the following: establishment of money laundering as a statutory offense; granting of authority to investigative agencies to target the financial dealings associated with organized crime activity; and authority to investigate relevant records (such as bank, real estate, and phone records).
Reliance on voluntary rather than mandatory reporting requirements for financial transactions limits the effectiveness of OSCO as a deterrent to money laundering. Hong Kong is not a center for the cultivation or production of narcotics and therefore does not focus on this aspect of illicit drugs.
Law Enforcement Efforts and Accomplishments. The narcotics branch of the Royal Hong Kong police and the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department are highly professional and proactive enforcement organizations. Insofar as the trend of drug trafficking has been to move away from Hong Kong to less regulated mainland Chinese ports, this can be credited largely to the effectiveness of Hong Kong authorities. In the first nine months of 1994, the total weight of heroin seized in Hong Kong rose 57 percent over last year's figure; over 2200 kilograms of marijuana were seized through September. Total arrests for drug possession as of September 1994 (12,689 arrests) equalled arrests for all of 1993.
Cooperation between US and Hong Kong law enforcement agencies is superb. Well-publicized extraditions resulting from bilateral cooperation have also contributed to the overall decline in transshipment through Hong Kong. The new Organized Crime Bill established a Financial Investigation Group, which has been staffed by 38 Royal Hong Kong Police officers. In response to the growing incidence of drug abuse among Hong Kong residents, the HKG recently announced that the Department of Health is increasing the number of pharmacy inspectors to bolster inspection of local drug retail outlets. The HKG also announced plans to establish a special task force to help in the prosecution of offending drug retailers and reported that attention was being given to strengthening community policing efforts.
Corruption. The USG is not aware of any narcotics-related corruption among senior government or law enforcement officials in Hong Kong. The HKG does not as a matter of policy encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of controlled substances or the laundering of drug proceeds. Hong Kong has a comprehensive anti-corruption ordinance that is effectively enforced by an independent commission that reports directly to the Governor.
Agreements and Treaties. The HKG is currently negotiating agreements with several countries on extradition and mutual legal assistance that will continue in effect after the transition to PRC sovereignty in 1997. The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group (JLG) in 1994 approved a model text for the HKG to use in negotiating bilateral mutual legal assistance agreements, but has not yet approved negotiations with the US A US-Hong Kong bilateral extradition agreement was negotiated and initialed in 1994 and is currently awaiting JLG approval. In July 1994, the US and Hong Kong renewed until 1996 the existing bilateral narcotics agreement, which facilitates mutual recognition by the two judicial systems of court orders to confiscate and forfeit the proceeds of drug trafficking.
Demand Reduction. Despite an extensive government-sponsored drug abuse preventive education and publicity program, drug abuse, particularly heroin use, continues to rise, most notably among Hong Kong youth. The number of reported drug abusers under the age of 21 increased by 147 percent between 1989 and 1993 to over 3,000. The increase in the overall number of reported drug abusers during the same time period was 15%. In response to this growing domestic problem, the HKG recently announced a comprehensive plan for additional anti-drug abuse efforts, including: a request to the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers (SARDA) to establish separate treatment facilities for young drug abusers; expansion of the Government Hospital Authority's treatment services for substance abusers; establishment of a new counselling center specifically aimed at youth; and establishment of two additional residential treatment centers for young opiate abusers.
The Hong Kong Government maintains three major drug treatment and rehabilitation programs: mandatory treatment conducted by the Correctional Services Department, outpatient methadone maintenance under the direction of the Department of Health, and a voluntary inpatient program operated by SARDA. Various volunteer agencies supplement these programs through their own treatment, counselling, and public education programs.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
The USG continues to focus on preserving and broadening the outstanding cooperative relationship with Hong Kong authorities, particularly through conclusion of key law enforcement bilateral agreements that will have effect after the transition to PRC sovereignty in 1997. Efforts will continue to conclude and bring into force an extradition treaty. The USG will also continue to urge the HKG to strengthen its ability to deter money laundering by adopting mandatory rather than voluntary financial transaction reporting requirements.
[CHART: HONG KONG STATISTICAL TABLES]
Indonesia is not a major narcotics processing country or a narcotics money laundering center, but serves increasingly as a transit point for Southeast Asian heroin, including transshipment to the United States. Marijuana is produced in large quantities primarily for domestic consumption. Except for marijuana, domestic drug abuse does not seem to be a serious problem. Nevertheless, the government of Indonesia (GOI) considers drug abuse and narcotics trafficking to be major long-term threats to social stability. Legislation to strengthen narcotics and money laundering laws has been drafted and awaits adoption by the Indonesian Parliament. US-Indonesian cooperation on narcotics matters continues to be good. The USG provided funding in 1994 for training and equipment procurement. GOI cooperation with counterparts in the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) resulted in an increase in heroin seizures in 1994. Indonesia has signed, but is not yet a party to, the 1988 UN Convention.
II. Status of Country
The only illicit drug produced in significant amounts in Indonesia is marijuana. There are no accurate estimates on the amount of land committed to marijuana production. The GOI has active programs to destroy or seize marijuana crops. There is no evidence that marijuana from Indonesia enters the US. Indonesia's millions of square miles of territorial sea and archipelagic waters include some of the world's busiest international straits and provide countless opportunities for smuggling of narcotics and other items. Indonesia's maritime authorities lack the resources to adequately interdict narcotics smuggling via sea. While Indonesia is not now a major drug transit country, in 1994, a rise in cases of heroin smuggling indicates that narcotics traffickers from Thailand, Nepal, Burma, and Nigeria are increasingly utilizing Indonesia for transshipment of heroin to the US, in particular to Los Angeles. 1994 saw the largest single heroin seizure ever in Indonesia - 29 kgs - which was larger than the total quantity of heroin seized in 1993. Psychotropic substances are also being seized in Indonesia, but these items are being sold to Indonesians, resident expatriates, and tourists rather than being smuggled to other countries.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. The GOI continues to provide support and impetus for the active interdiction efforts of the Indonesian National Police (INP), in particular the narcotics sub-directorate, and Indonesian Customs. The GOI has also supported increased cooperation between its enforcment agencies and DEA. Through joint efforts and positive cooperation with US authorities, the amount of heroin seized in 1994 increased from previous years. The GOI continues to review draft legislation on money laundering, conspiracy and asset forfeiture. However, these laws still await action.
Accomplishments. The number of successful cases of narcotics interdiction and the quantity of heroin seized increased in 1994. For example:
-- Police in Medan seized 12.19 kgs of heroin on February 21 which was to be shipped to Los Angeles via Amsterdam. INP believe that two Nigerians resident in Bangkok were the traffickers. Thai and Indian nationals brought the heroin from Thailand to Indonesia.
-- In a case in which DEA officers from Thailand and Singapore worked closely with the INP, 29 kgs of heroin were seized and three individuals arrested in Jakarta in June 1994. This was the largest ever seizure of heroin in Indonesia. This case was successful due to close cooperation between the DEA and INP. The heroin, which came from Thailand, entered Indonesia via fishing boat.
-- In September 1994, a Nepalese citizen arriving from Bangkok was arrested at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta after becoming ill. It was found that he had swallowed approximately one kilogram of heroin in condoms.
-- INP officers arrested two US Air Force personnel in Jakarta for distribution and possession of "ecstasy" (an amphetamine
derivative). One individual was court martialed and received a seven-year sentence; the case of the second individual is still pending.
-- In July 1994 fifty-nine tons of marijuana were seized in Aceh, Sumatra, during a week-long operation by the military. According to press reports, this was the largest seizure in five years.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Indonesia is not a signatory of the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances nor does Indonesia's 1976 narcotics law cover psychotropic drugs. While these drugs are regulated and trafficking in them is illegal, the lack of specific legislation covering these substances as narcotics can complicate Indonesian police efforts to curb the growing problem of psychotropic drug use by Indonesians. INP's narcotics sub-directorate continues to encourage legislative approval for a new draft law on psychotropic substances. There is no evidence that psychotropic drugs are being smuggled to the US from Indonesia.
Corruption. There is no evidence that corruption by government officials encouraged or facilitated illicit drug production in 1994. The USG has no evidence of senior government official involvement in the production or distribution of drugs or in money laundering. However, as elsewhere in the region, police, military officers and civil servants earn relatively low salaries, which encourages corruption.
Agreements and Treaties. Indonesia has signed, but is not yet a party to, the 1988 UN Convention. It also is not a signatory of the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Indonesia has extradition agreements with Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Indonesia's domestic law also allows fugitives to be extradited to other countries to stand trial on drug charges. Indonesia actively participates in international narcotics control efforts and is a member of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
Cultivation/Production. Cannabis is grown on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, and Sulawesi. However, the majority of production of cannabis occurs in Aceh province in northern Sumatra, where it grows wild and under cultivation. GOI authorities believe that the heroin, opium, morphine and cocaine available in Indonesia are all smuggled into the country. GOI marijuana eradication programs have had only limited impact on domestic production because of the small amount of resources the GOI is able to allocate to drug eradication, the remoteness of jungle locations where cannabis is cultivated, and the practice of planting cannabis among other crops, which makes detection from the air extremely difficult. There is no evidence that opium poppies are cultivated in Indonesia. Police have not found heroin or cocaine laboratories in the country.
Domestic Programs. Except for marijuana use, domestic drug abuse is reportedly limited. The majority of the Indonesian population does not have a sizeable disposable income, which limits the demand for narcotics. However, as the size of the Indonesian middle class grows, there is likely to be a corresponding increase in the demand for narcotics. Drug abuse is spreading from upper class youth to middle and lower class youth, though this seems limited to consumption of alcohol, sedatives and marijuana. There continue to be reports of street children and urban poor abusing paint thinner, gasoline, and glue. However, information on substance abuse remains essentially anecdotal. There is no registry of drug abusers, nor statistics of indirect indicators of substance abuse. The Indonesian government believes that substance abuse and narcotics trafficking are major long-term threats to social stability. Public education efforts regarding the risks of substance abuse are coordinated through the Departments of Health, Education and Culture, Religion, and Information. Youth and women's organizations are also active in public education campaigns, and religious organizations are active in prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
US Policy Initiatives. The US continues to urge the GOI to ratify the 1971 and 1988 UN Conventions on illicit drugs and encourages increased cooperation among ASEAN nations to control production and trafficking. The USG also supports modification of existing narcotics laws and adoption of new legislation on money laundering to bring the GOI into compliance with the 1988 UN Convention. The USG conducts training for GOI officials on these legal issues. The US Embassy in Jakarta, the DEA office in Singapore, and the Customs Attache in Singapore coordinate cooperation with the GOI on narcotics matters (the DEA office in Jakarta was closed in 1987.)
Bilateral Cooperation. During 1994, the DEA organized an in-country training program for Indonesian police, customs, immigration officers as well as representatives from the Attorney General's office. The US Customs Service organized an in-country narcotics interdiction training program for Indonesian customs officers. The US Coast Guard organized an in-country maritime safety program for Sea Communication officers (equivalent of the US Coast Guard) which included narcotics interdiction. The officers trained in these programs were from throughout Indonesia's islands. Officials of the INP, Customs and Ministry of Health were sent to the US and to regional programs for training. The tangible benefits of these programs were increased interdiction efforts by both the INP and Customs, which have already resulted in higher seizures.
The Road Ahead. In 1995, Indonesia is slated to have a jointly coordinated Customs and DEA in-country enforcement training program for Indonesian Customs and narcotics sub-directorate officers, and a US Coast Guard run port security and safety course. In addition, Indonesian officials will be sent to a forensic chemists' seminar, regional executive leadership program and a regional advanced drug interdiction program.
Japan is neither a significant producer nor consumer of class 1 narcotics, but it has a sizeable population of methamphetamine users. Japan is a party to the 1988 UN Convention and has enacted several laws in recent years to bring its legal system into conformity with the treaty. However, room for modernization exists in several areas of enforcement and prosecution, and until this is accomplished Japan is vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers. Bank secrecy laws make Japan attractive for money laundering schemes, but hard data on this activity are unavailable. In 1994 the US and Japan held the first Counter-narcotics Working Group meeting under the Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective.
II. Status of Country
Compared with other industrialized countries, Japan's drug problem is very small. However, the Japanese are the largest consumers in Asia of illicit methamphetamines. Japanese organized crime groups have a leading role in the regional trafficking of illicit amphetamines. In 1994, several suspected narcotics traffickers from third countries, including a member of Colombia's Cali cartel, visited Japan. In 1994, Nigerian traffickers were discovered using Osaka and Okinawa as points for transshipment of heroin, indicating that Japan may become more frequently used transit point of narcotics shipments.
In 1992 the Government of Japan (GOJ) enacted legislation to bring its legal system into compliance with the Vienna Convention. The new laws, which have still not been used extensively, are meant to tighten controls on money laundering, organized crime, and precursor chemicals. They also authorize use of controlled deliveries and undercover activities in anti-narcotics operations, but enforcement authorities have used these techniques infrequently..
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1994
Accomplishments. On November 28 in Tokyo, Japan hosted the first US-Japan Counternarcotics Working Group meeting. Proposals discussed at the meeting included standardizing procedures for maritime enforcement on the high seas; sending US experts to Japan for a maritime enforcement workshop; inviting Japanese prosecutors to the US to discuss money laundering prosecution; establishing a data base for the comparison of financial information; supporting the Colombo Plan's demand reduction programs; and opening a joint dialogue with the World Bank and other international financial institutions on incorporating counternarcotics alternative development priorities in project evaluation. A second working group is planned for the spring of 1995 in Washington.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Due largely to the lack of a widespread drug problem, legislation granting law enforcement authorities the kind of powers enjoyed by counterparts in the US are relatively new and remain underutilized. For example, DEA reports that although asset seizure laws are in place, in 1994 the Japanese did not seize any drug-related property and assets. Money laundering laws have been enacted but the Japanese have been slow to use them. Japan's anti-organized crime law is unlikely to be a significant deterrent to drug trafficking since the penalty for violating it is less than one year in jail.
Drug Flow/Transit. In February 1994 an alleged member of Colombia's Cali cartel was spotted in Tokyo. In November he was arrested in Brazil in connection with a 510 kilo seizure of cocaine. In 1994 it was reported that Nigerians using Japanese females as couriers were importing heroin into Naha and Osaka, repackaging the drugs and shipping the heroin onward to Europe and the United States. There are continuing reports of Thai and Chinese nationals trying to transship heroin through Japan.
Demand Reduction Programs. As Japan continues to categorize its domestic drug problem as being relatively insignificant, prevention programs remain limited.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The GOJ is very willing to cooperate with the US on counternarcotics efforts under the Common Agenda. With this in mind, future dialogue between the US and Japan will focus on pressing the GOJ to share more criminal intelligence, including criminal record information, in a speedy manner and to afford US law enforcement agents the same opportunities to interview witnesses, suspects, and defendants that the US currently extends to Japanese law enforcement authorities. The US also will encourage the GOJ to enforce its asset seizure laws more zealously and to change its bank secrecy laws to permit effective action against money launderers. Efforts will also be made to enhance drug enforcement and maritime enforcement cooperation, including information sharing and the sharing of expertise that would encourage the Japanese to more fully utilize investigative techniques already embodied in current Japanese law.
Based on USG estimates, Laos is the world's fourth largest producer of illicit opium. Nevertheless, opium poppy cultivation in Laos has been on a declining trend since 1990. USG estimates for the 1994 crop show a decrease, due primarily to poor weather, of approximately 29 percent, from 26,040 hectares in 1993 to 18,520 in 1994. Opium production dropped even more significantly, from about 180 metric tons in 1993 to only 85 metric tons in 1994, a decline of 53 percent.
In the past year, the Lao government has made significant strides in its anti-narcotics efforts through continuation of both bilateral and multilateral programs. The Lao Comprehensive Drug Control Program, an anti-narcotics action plan through the year 2000, was published in 1994. Reduction of opium production, improvement of counternarcotics law enforcement, and reduction of addiction are key elements of the master plan. Laos is not a party to the 1988 UN Convention, but accession to the Convention is one of the recommendations of the Comprehensive Drug Control Program.
Bilateral agreements were signed with the USG which continued crop control and law enforcement projects. An additional crop control project has been approved, which will be implemented by Norwegian Church Aid/UNDCP. The Lao special counternarcotics unit, which was formed as a result of the 1992 bilateral USG-Lao law enforcement project, is now functioning and participated in several heroin seizures in 1994. Lao Customs has worked closely and effectively with the special unit in several significant seizures of illicit drugs and follow-on investigations.
During the past year, Laos has actively participated in and pursued regional cooperation in counternarcotics efforts. Working-level meetings have been held to develop a methodology for implementation of the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding signed with China, Burma, Thailand, and the UNDCP for regional counternarcotics efforts. A regional ministerial-level meeting is now planned for early 1995. In addition, Laos and Vietnam initiated bilateral consultations on counternarcotics issues during 1994.
II. Status of Country
The Lao Government is addressing the problem of opium production through integrated rural development projects, educational outreach efforts, and counternarcotics law enforcement. It remains highly reliant on foreign assistance for all these efforts. Fiscal, organizational, and infrastructure limitations in the country place a ceiling on the effectiveness of assistance in meeting counternarcotics objectives. Additional assistance will be required for some time to maintain current efforts and to allow new initiatives to begin.
Current bilateral and multilateral projects have had a positive impact on the Lao narcotics situation. Prior to 1990, according to USG estimates, opium cultivation in Houaphan province, the site of the USG-funded rural development project, was approximately 10,000 hectares. By 1993, the cultivated area had been reduced to around 5,000 hectares. 1994 saw that figure further reduced to 4,050 hectares.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs
Policy Initiatives. One of the most significant steps taken by the Lao during 1994 was the publication of the Comprehensive Drug Control Plan through the year 2000. The Plan was developed under a UNDCP-funded project and addresses all aspects of the drug problem in Laos, including crop control, law enforcement, legislative development, demand reduction, and facilitation of international cooperation. It will require $35 million in donor support for full implementation. The Plan sets out specific goals and establishes milestones by which progress can be measured. These include: reduction of opium cultivation to less than 70 metric tons by the year 2000 (an amount believed sufficient only for internal consumption); no further increase in opium addiction between 1996 and 2000; comprehensive drug legislation adopted between 1996 and 2000; and ratification of the UN conventions of 1971 and 1988 between 1996 and 2000. Following formal adoption by the Lao Government of the Plan in early 1994, the Lao National Commission for Drug Control (LCDC) has actively promoted plan goals through presentations to the international community, in meetings with provincial governors, and with visiting officials from various countries.
Accomplishments. The Lao Counter Narcotics Unit (CNU) became fully operational during 1994 and has had some success in enforcement operations. These include CNU participation in three seizures of large amounts of heroin at Vientiane's Wattay International Airport and several seizures of small amounts of heroin and other narcotic substances. In September, all 22 members of the unit travelled to Udorn, Thailand, where they participated in a basic training program jointly conducted by the Thai police Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), DEA's Office of International Training, and the Bangkok DEA country office. The intensive training program included joint field exercises with Thai police. Customs officials underwent baggage inspection training provided by the British government.
Progress continued at a slow pace in the Houaphan crop control project. Due to the discovery of unexploded ordnance at the dam construction sites, unexpected delays and added expenses were incurred that resulted in a reduction in the scope of the hydroelectric/irrigation portion of the project from three to two dams. Unexploded ordnance removal has been completed in the two remaining sites and dam construction is now progressing. Despite the delays in the project, the government and residents in the project area remain enthusiastic. The government continues to urge area farmers not to cultivate opium in anticipation of expected project benefits to the region. Local farmers seem to be heeding this call.
Laos hosted the first subregional senior officials meeting for drug control strategy in mid-1994. The subregional group is based on a 1993 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among Laos, Thailand, Burma, and China for strengthening cooperation in fighting illicit drugs in the "Golden Triangle" area of Southeast Asia. Participants included representatives from the signatory countries and the UNDCP, which is also a signatory to the MOU. Discussions focused on development of guidelines for cooperation and exchange of information on the drug trade in the area, traffickers, and routes of drug shipment. In October, Laos and Vietnam began bilateral consultations on increasing counternarcotics cooperation.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Coordination between the CNU and DEA's Udorn and Bangkok offices has been steadily improving. DEA/Udorn has provided assistance in development of investigative and administrative files for the CNU office and coordinates with the CNU regarding investigative matters on a regular basis. Approximately 90 percent of the USG-funded equipment for the CNU has been delivered and is in use. Motor vehicles for the CNU were delivered in December. Radios have been installed in Vientiane and Bokeo provinces. One more installations was completed in December in Oudomsay province and installation was begun in Savannakhet province. The Lao and USG signed a third law enforcement project agreement in July 1994 for support of this activity.
Now that the CNU is operational, it is beginning to participate in arrests and seizures. Major heroin seizures were made at Vientiane's Wattay International Airport by joint Customs/CNU teams. Four foreign traffickers were arrested and approximately 48 kilograms of heroin were seized (only 0.8 kilograms of heroin were seized by Lao authorities in all of 1993). Statistics provided by the LCDC (which are not comprehensive) and from local press reports indicate 103 arrests in 1994 through November 30 and the seizure of 62 kilograms of heroin, 504 kilograms of opium, and 6,166 kilograms of marijuana. Additionally, recent eradication efforts against marijuana plantations in the south of Laos by provincial forces have resulted in destruction of over 125,182 plants -- an estimated 10.3 metric tons -- being grown in seven areas of Savannakhet province. While there is substantial room for additional Lao law wnforcement efforts, adequate progress was made in 1994 toward meeting the goals of the 1988 UN Convention in this area.
Corruption. USG counternarcotics sources continue to report instances of military and official collusion in narcotics production and trafficking, but there is no solid evidence of official corruption. It is possible that senior civil and military officials may have knowledge of drug trafficking activities and low level corruption is assumed to exist. Government anti-corruption efforts are limited, making it difficult to ascertain the extent of drug-related corruption. Lao government employees receive low pay and the economy offers limited opportunities for financial reward. In this environment the availability of money from drug traffickers is likely to fuel corruption. There is no clear evidence that the Lao government as a matter of policy encourages or facilitates the illicit production or distribution of drugs or the laundering of drug money.
Agreements and Treaties. The US and Lao governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Counternarcotics Cooperation in 1989 and have signed a project agreement for the Houaphan crop control project in each subsequent year. The GOL signed the first law enforcement project agreement in 1992 and has signed two subsequent agreements since that time. Although the Government of Laos does not have a mutual legal assistance or extradition treaty with the United States, it has agreed informally to cooperate in deporting drug traffickers. The GOL demonstrated its willingness to cooperate in this manner in 1992 when it deported a US narcotics fugitive into USG custody to face criminal charges. Laos is not a party to the 1971 and 1988 UN Conventions, but senior GOL officials have stated that they accept the agreements in principle and are committed to ratification under their master plan as discussed above.
Cultivation/Production. Opium is produced in the 10 northern provinces of Laos. It is grown primarily by ethnic minority groups who have cultivated it traditionally. USG estimates for Laos for the 1994 growing season show 85 metric tons of opium on 18,520 hectares of cultivated land. This represents a reduction of 29 percent from area cultivated in 1993 and a reduction of 53 percent in opium production for the same period. The large drop in the 1993/4 growing season was due primarily to poor weather. Development efforts in opium growing regions also appear to have helped lower cultivation.
Drug Flow/Transit. Although progress was made in 1994, Laos' ability to control the flow of narcotics within and across its lengthy borders is severely constrained by lack of personnel, resources, expertise, and ready access to many parts of its border areas. Effective control over its borders with Thailand, Burma, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia exists only in the vicinity of major population centers, along principal land routes and at established river crossings. There are indications of a increasing use of Laos as a transit point for major traffickers moving heroin from Burma to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China. The recent arrests of foreign heroin couriers in Vientiane's international airport are a strong indication of the use of Laos by traffickers attempting to circumvent more effective counternarcotics controls elsewhere in the region.
Intelligence is sparse on narcotics trafficking through Laos but it is believed that diverse routes are used. Some drugs appear to move north through Luang Namtha to China, while Bokeo and Oudomsay provinces on the Thai border serve as entrance/exit transit areas in northwest Laos. There is no estimate of the extent of trafficking through Vietnam but officials of both countries believe it is occurring and are increasingly concerned. Until better intelligence is provided, identification of trafficking patterns and routes in Laos will continue to be sketchy.
Demand Reduction Programs. Heroin addiction is not yet a problem in Laos but opium addiction is widespread in the rural areas of the northern portion of the country. It is estimated that there are 42,000 opium addicts who consume approximately 60 metric tons of opium annually. The Lao government has undertaken a public awareness program to emphasize the dangers of narcotics usage and trafficking. With the help of the USG and UNDCP, it has established integrated rural development projects that address opium poppy cultivation and opium use through programs aimed at the development of local agriculture and the provision of health, education, addict treatment and rehabilitation, and other government services. Two village-based detoxification and rehabilitation programs were conducted during the year in the UNDCP project area of Palavek with notable success. Similar activities are planned in the future for other areas, including the USG-Lao Houaphan project.
IV. US Policy and Initiatives
Policy Initiatives. The USG has two primary counter- narcotics objectives in Laos: to help the GOL eliminate opium poppy cultivation, and to suppress illicit trafficking of narcotics. The Houaphan crop control project has been the primary vehicle for accomplishment of the first objective. The second is being pursued under a series of project agreements to support development of law enforcement and customs capabilities in Laos. Additionally, some support is provided under these project agreements to support the LNCDC, which has overall policy direction for anti-narcotics activities under the office of the Prime Minister.
Bilateral Cooperation. The Houaphan project, also known as the Lao-American project, is the main aspect of our bilateral cooperation in drug control. As noted above, it includes development assistance to reduce opium cultivation and social and health care aspects to address the problem of drug rehabilitation. Substantial progress has been made on the major components of the project such as roads, dams, health care facilities, and agricultural development. A bilateral enforcement project, also described above, has been the main support for the Lao special Counter Narcotics Unit since it became operational in 1994.
The Road Ahead. The USG will continue its efforts to persuade the Lao government to act more aggressively on narcotics matters and will encourage ongoing efforts in enforcement and rural development. The USG will continue to work with the Lao Government to bring current projects to a successful conclusion. The USG will also encourage other donor countries to support projects proposed under the Lao drug control plan. US Customs will offer an overseas encorcement training program to counternarcotics officers in Laos in 1995.
The USG will also continue to press the Lao government to take strong action against narcotics-related corruption and collusion wherever it may exist.
[CHART: LAOS STATISTICAL TABELS]
[GRAPHIC: LAOS OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION 1989-1994]
Heroin trafficking and a growing addict population continue to be serious problems in Malaysia. Malaysia remains a transit point for heroin No. 4 from Burma and Thailand to markets in the United States, Australia, and Europe. The Government of Malaysia (GOM) considers the narcotics problem a priority issue. Under the Prime Minister's directive, law enforcement agencies are examining ways to improve the counternarcotics program, which is already a well-funded and well-administered effort.
The USG and GOM continue strong antinarcotics cooperation. Several important steps forward in bilateral cooperation were made this year. The two governments renewed efforts to collect and analyze intelligence on international drug trafficking, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) restored their cooperative relations. Negotiations for a new US-Malaysia extradition treaty are proceeding. Malaysia is a party to the 1988 UN Convention.
II. Status of Country
Illicit heroin processing, heroin trafficking, and growing addiction continue to be serious problems. No opium poppy is grown in Malaysia, however. Traffickers smuggle heroin base into Malaysia from Thailand and Burma and convert it to heroin No. 3 in local facilities. Most of this production is consumed locally via intravenous injection, and has no apparent impact on US addiction. Heroin no. 4 continues to transit Malaysia en route to the US and other western markets.
Despite severe legal penalties for both drug use and trafficking, drug trafficking remains a major problem. Illicit narcotics generally continue to be available at stable prices for the local addict population.
There is no evidence that Malaysia is a significant center for money laundering now, but the GOM is concerned that the offshore financial center Labuan may be vulnerable to money laundering activities and is looking for ways to head off this threat.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. In response to a worsening narcotics situation, the Prime Minister, who takes personal interest in counternarcotics developments, ordered the GOM's Anti-Narcotics Committee to devise a new plan to battle narcotics use/trafficking. Although the plan is still being drafted, the GOM took several interim initiatives during 1994.
The law enforcement agencies enhanced their efforts to reduce the addict population. Several large scale police operations resulted in hundreds of addicts being taken off the streets to be placed in rehabilitation centers. To complement the all out effort to reduce the number of addicts, the GOM is in the process of building additional rehabilitation centers. The GOM is also emphasizing an active role for various NGOs working on narcotics issues. NGOs specializing in demand reduction are receiving particularly strong GOM support. As a part of its new plan, the GOM is also focusing on improving international cooperation and coordination. The GOM's work on negotiations for a new extradition treaty with the US and enhanced intelligence gathering are key components of this initiative to improve international cooperation.
Accomplishments. Highlighting a growing awareness of the money laundering problem, the GOM in cooperation with an international body hosted a money laundering seminar in Kuala Lumpur. The GOM acknowledged weaknesses in its asset seizure regime and vowed to strengthen it. The GOM edged closer to a new extradition treaty with the US, which is expected to improve law enforcement cooperation.
The 1988 UN Convention has been ratified and has entered into force, but the GOM has not yet completely met all the objectives of the Convention. Malaysia has continued to work on achieving Convention goals, specifically in the areas of: production, distribution, transportation, and sale of narcotics, as well as considering new legislation to combat money laundering.
Law Enforcement. Malaysia's drug laws prescribe severe penalties and mandate the death sentence for narcotics trafficking. Possession of relatively small quantities of narcotics drugs creates a legal presumption of intent to traffic. Over 150 traffickers have been executed in recent years under the provision of the Dangerous Drugs Act and over 200 convicted traffickers currently await execution.
The GOM's chief law enforcement body, the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP), continues to emphasize counternarcotics activities. The RMP's battle against traffickers is hampered by a lack of an effective conspiracy law and a limited asset seizure law.
From January to September 1994, the RMP arrested 610 suspected traffickers under the Dangerous Drugs Act. The RMP continued to use the special preventive measures section of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which permits detention without trial of suspected traffickers. Almost 4,000 suspected drug traffickers are currently under detention. During the first nine months of the year, 1,479 were arrested for drug possession and 5,726 were arrested for miscellaneous drug offenses. The Dangerous Drugs Act mandates the death penalty for drug trafficking.
An all out effort by the RMP during the last quarter of 1994 yielded positive results. Hundreds of addicts were rounded up and sent to rehabilitation centers. RMP also concluded several investigations which resulted in arrests of several significant trafficking suspects and seizure of narcotics.
Lack of proper coordination among agencies involved in the narcotics battle has been a problem in the past. Under the Prime Minister's directive, the new counternarcotics plan currently being devised examines structure, centralization, and responsibilities of law enforcement agencies.
Drug Flow/transit. Heroin smuggling into Malaysia is believed to be centered in northwest Malaysia, chiefly on the islands of Penang and Langkawi, and across the land border with Thailand. Increased controls along this land border have resulted in more smuggling by sea. There is speculation that narcotics are being shipped directly to Malaysia from Burma, but evidence is scarce. The GOM continues to actively cooperate with Thailand and Singapore on drug transit cases.
Demand Reduction. Community rehabilitation centers continue to provide effective treatment, and efforts are being made to develop therapeutic programs in prisons and NGO facilities. As Malaysia's addict population increases, the GOM has plans to build more rehabilitation centers. Approximately 60 percent of the GOM's annual antinarcotics budget is allocated to enforcement, education, and prevention programs.
Bilateral Narcotics Agreement. The US and Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding in 1989 on bilateral narcotics cooperation. Malaysia has generally met the goals and objectives of this MOU.
Corruption. Corruption continued to be a concern among law enforcement agencies. During 1994, there were no notable cases of corruption involving narcotics, however. Penang, where Chinese triad gangs control most narcotics trafficking, is still considered to be vulnerable to corruption. Chinese triad gangs are believed to be involved in attempts to engage law enforcement officials in various forms of corruption.
RMP continued to take precautions against potential corruption by a careful selection of officers for its anti-narcotics unit and frequent transfers within the unit. Although some law enforcement officials have been charged with corruption in the past, there has been no evidence of corruption among senior officials.
Agreements and treaties. An original signatory of the 1988 UN Convention, Malaysia ratified the pact in May 1993; the Convention entered into force for Malaysia in September 1993. The GOM continues to work on bringing domestic legislation in line with the Convention.
Malaysia is also a party to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1972 Protocol to the Convention and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Malaysian and US officials continue to negotiate a new extradition treaty. Discussions have progressed well. A modern extradition treaty will improve the two countries' counternarcotics cooperation. US-Malaysia counternarcotics cooperation operates effectively under the 1989 Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Malaysia. Subsequent to the 1989 MOU, the two governments have signed letters of agreement concerning specific areas of cooperation.
Cultivation/production. Small quantities of marijuana are cultivated in Malaysia. Information on total yields is not available, but government officials and private experts believe yields to be small.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Objectives. US anti-narcotics cooperation with the GOM seeks to: (1) improve GOM capabilities and success in detection and interdiction of heroin and opium from the Golden Triangle transiting Malaysia to North America; (2) increase GOM narcotics law enforcement efficiency through cooperative efforts and appropriate grants for law enforcement training; (3) enhance GOM ability to gather and analyze intelligence; (4) assist the GOM to identify and eliminate narcotics money laundering operations in Malaysia; and (5) enhance cooperation with the GOM in domestic drug prevention and rehabilitation efforts.
Bilateral Cooperation. Training played a key role in cooperation between Malaysia and the US in 1994. The State Department's International Narcotics Matters Bureau coordinated and funded key demand reduction and law enforcement training for Malaysia. Other USG agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, US Coast Guard, and US Customs also actively participated. Customs an Overseas Enforcement Training Program to the Anti-smuggling Border Unit, as well as a Contraband Enforcement Team training program to Malaysian Customs. Malaysian and US officials renewed efforts to collect and analyze intelligence on international trafficking. The cooperative efforts are expected to greatly improve the law enforcement agencies' ability to battle drug traffickers.
The Road Ahead. The USG will build on 1994's important steps forward in bilateral cooperation to improve Malaysia's battle against narcotics use/trafficking. Restoration of DEA-RMP relations is expected to enhance RMP's ability to fight international traffickers. Renewal of the two governments' efforts to collect and analyze intelligence will also be a positive factor. Conclusion and entry into force of a new extradition treaty will make US-Malaysian coordination smoother. The USG will continue to provide important training in enforcement as well as demand reduction areas.
The battle against narcotics use/trafficking will remain a top GOM priority as long as the narcotics situation persists in Malaysia. The GOM will continue to devote considerable resources to try to stem the growth of its addict population.
In the coming year, the USG will assist the GOM address the following key areas of weakness in the GOM's fight against drugs:
-- encourage the GOM to adopt a conspiracy law
-- encourage the GOM to adopt a more effective money laundering regime; and
-- insofar as feasible, provide much-needed training for law enforcement agencies.
[CHART: MALAYSIA STATISTICAL TABLES]
New Zealand is not a major narcotics trafficking and/or producing country. The Government of New Zealand (GNZ) expends considerable effort and resources to keep narcotics problems in check. The main drug enforcement effort is directed against indigenous cannabis production and consumption. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) consumption continues to rise.
The National Drug Intelligence Bureau (NDIB) is the lead agency in suppression activity, using limited resources to maximum effect. The 1993 Asset Seizure Law is currently being tested in two cases in the appeals court. Draft money-laundering legislation, when enacted, will move the GNZ towards full compliance with the 1988 UN Convention, to which it is a signatory.
II. Status of Country
Due to its relative isolation and given the current attention paid by the NDIB, police, customs, and health authorities, New Zealand is not likely to become a major producing, trafficking, or money laundering country or a source of precursor chemicals.
Rehabilitation as well as enforcement is stressed and, while drug usage is on the rise, so are seizures.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. There were no new policy initiatives in 1994.
Bilateral cooperation. New Zealand has very close bilateral and multilateral cooperation with foreign law enforcement agencies, including those of the US.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Narcotics eradication is taken seriously at all levels of the GNZ and law enforcement is vigorous. There are now two cases in the appeals courts testing asset forfeiture legislation. Money laundering legislation is still in the early drafting stage.
Corruption. There are no known instances of official corruption in New Zealand involving illicit drugs.
Agreements and Treaties. New Zealand has no formal bilateral narcotics agreements with other countries. Existing customs, police, and INTERPOL arrangements, and informal government relationships are used instead. Strict adherence to and interpretation of New Zealand's laws, especially its evidentiary rules, occasionally delay or prevent extradition.
Cultivation/production. The main drug crop grown in New Zealand is cannabis. In 1994 the seizure of cannabis plants reached 300,000, a new record. Nonetheless, increasing amounts of cannabis are reaching the streets. With the exception of methamphetamines and LSD, New Zealand is able to produce most of the illegal drugs consumed within the country. Synthetic heroin known as "homebake" is manufactured for local consumption.
Cannabis growers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, complicating already-strained enforcement capabilities. Aerial spraying for narcotics eradication is not used in New Zealand but is being considered.
Drug flow/transit. Drug transit traffic does not appear to be a significant problem. From time to time an airport arrest is made of someone carrying heroin in transit to a third country.
Demand Reduction. New Zealand health officials are an integral part of NDIB and considerable effort and resources are given to education and rehabilitation. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program (DARE) is used throughout New Zealand.
IV. US Policy Initiatives
USG goals and objectives remain unchanged, i.e., to encourage New Zealand enforcement authorities to enact money-laundering legislation, eliminate drug production and control drug transit, as well as to provide training.
The Road Ahead. The USG will assist in the provision of training and will provide information on narcotics trafficking through appropriate channels.
Marijuana, hasish, crystal methamphetamine, and heroin are the main illegal drugs affecting the Philippines. The Philippines is a transit point for heroin and crystal methamphetamine destined for points in East Asia, the Pacific, Europe, and the United States. In addition to these drugs, the Philippine authorities have made several small cocaine seizures over the last few years. The lack of money laundering and asset forfeiture laws is a major weakness in the Philippines anti-narcotics law enforcement efforts. In 1994, the Philippines continued to cooperate with the USG in its efforts to reduce marijuana cultivation and interrupt the flow of heroin through the country. Also in 1994 the US and the Government of the Philippines (GOP) negotiated and signed extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties. The Philippines has signed the 1988 UN Convention, but has yet to ratify it.
II. Status of Country
Ideal growing conditions in remote mountain areas, combined with weak law enforcement and official corruption, make the Philippines a major producer and exporter of marijuana. Most of the marijuana produced in the Philippines is exported to Australia and Japan. Hashish is also produced for export to Europe, Australia, and Japan.
Crystal methamphetamine (shabu) is popular among Filipino drug users, especially in urban areas. Shabu is imported from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. However, in 1994 there was increasing evidence that the Philippines is becoming a producer and exporter of crystal methamphetamine, with the product being shipped to Guam, Hawaii, and some East Asian countries.
In July the seizure of five tons of clandestinely-produced methaqualone established the fact that the Philippines has become a base for the illicit manufacture of pharmaceutical products that are also used as street drugs.
Owing to inadequate customs controls, the international airports in Manila and Cebu are first-stop transit points for heroin coming from the Golden Triangle destined for the US, Canada, and Europe. According to DEA, during June and July approximately 150 kilograms of southeast Asian heroin was seized from 16 couriers who arrived in the US via commercial airlines from Manila. Of the 16, more than half had onloaded their heroin shipment at Cebu. In early September, authorities seized ten kilograms of Southeast Asian heroin at the Manila airport from British and Burmese couriers.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. The GOP is committed to narcotics eradication, prevention of drug abuse and combatting drug trafficking, but it faces problems resulting from budgetary constraints, inadequate training of personnel, and corrupt officials.
The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is active regionally and internationally in counternarcotics and rehabilitation efforts. The DDB monitors the import and export of precursor chemicals listed in the 1988 UN Convention. The Police Narcotics Command (NARCOM), the law enforcement arm of the DDB, works closely with the US and other foreign governments in counternarcotics operations.
In an effort to combat increasing drug trafficking, the GOP has included drug trafficking as one of the crimes subject to the death penalty under the new law on heinous crimes which took effect on January 1.
Accomplishments. The GOP is attempting to control the cultivation of marijuana through eradication campaigns. It is also trying to identify the leaders of major drug trafficking syndicates. The GOP cooperates with US and other international authorities in law enforcement efforts, readily sharing intelligence information.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Philippine law enforcement authorities have made some progress, including several successful marijuana
eradication campaigns and a few large seizures of heroin, crystal methamphetamine, and methaqualone; however, larger success is hampered by the close ties between drug organizations and some law enforcement or other official personnel and the resources controlled by crime syndicates. Lack of money laundering and asset forfeiture laws also hinders law enforcement efforts.
Corruption. Anti-corruption laws exist but are not stringently enforced. As a matter of policy, the GOP does not encourage or facilitate any illegal narcotics activities. During the year, several police officers were arrested in anti-narcotics operations.
The police leadership has also fired several officers for drug possession and/or suspected involvement in drug trafficking. However, in spite of speculation that top police or other government officials were involved in drug trafficking, no arrests or indictments have been made at that level. GOP law enforcement authorities also point to bribery of judges and lawyers as a common method for arrested drug traffickers to gain their freedom.
Agreements and Treaties. In 1994, the US and the GOP negotiated and signed extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties. Both governments will seek expeditious ratification so that they can enter into force promptly in 1995. The Philippines has signed, but not yet ratified, the 1988 UN Convention.
Cultivation/Production. Marijuana is grown throughout the Philippines, although the major areas of production are in the mountainous regions of Mindanao and northern Luzon. Most of this production appears to go to domestic or regional markets, such as Australia.
Drug Flow/Transit. The transit of heroin by couriers occurs in all of the Philippines' international airports. DEA estimates that 600-1000 kilograms of southeast Asian heroin transit the Philippines annually carried by drug couriers using commercial airlines. Marijuana and hashish leave the country by private boats and in shipping containers. Other than the large seizure of methaqualone, there was no notable change from 1993 in the level of drug flow in 1994.
Demand Reduction. The government demand reduction effort, under the direction of the DDB and the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), consists of drug abuse education and activity programs in schools and communities and a network of drug treatment centers throughout the country. The ASEAN training center for preventive drug education is located in the Philippines. In November 1994 the DDB sponsored a high-profile drug abuse prevention and control week, and DECS includes anti-drug lessons in its curriculum. The Philippine Drug Abuse Resistance Education Foundation (Phil-DARE) is expanding its work with school children in Manila and selected provinces.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs.
US Policy Initiatives. The USG's primary objective is to halt the flow of drugs to the US from and through the Philippines. To meet this objective, DEA works closely with Philippine law enforcement officials to improve counternarcotics efforts. The GOP carried out several marijuana eradication campaigns in 1994, with US encouragement and support.
Bilateral Cooperation. In September 1994, US and GOP officials signed a letter of agreement under which the US will provide $50,000 to upgrade the NARCOM narcotics traffickers database and set up an 800 megahertz radio network in Mainla. In February, NARCOM and the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service carried out a US Navy-funded marijuana eradication program in northern Luzon to stem the flow to US military personnel in the Asian region. The US also supported a number of training programs, including an airport interdiction seminar, a Coast Guard boarding officers course, and a series on demand reduction. DEA carries out institution-building programs to improve the GOP's narcotics investigative and interdiction capabilities. US Customs will conduct a narcotics interdiction training program in the Philippines in 1995.
The Road Ahead. USG anti-drug efforts in the Philippines aim to improve the GOP capability to reduce the transit of heroin, the production and export of crystal methamphetamine, and the cultivation and export of cannabis. The narcotics traffickers database, radio network, training programs, and extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties all aim to enhance that effort. The US will continue to urge the GOP to become party to the 1988 UN Convention.
Singapore neither produces nor processes narcotics. Due to its preeminent role in regional shipping and finance, international traffickers continue to use Singapore for storage and transit of narcotics and, it appears, the laundering of drug proceeds as well. Enforcement efforts are directed against local consumption and sale of narcotics and are highly effective. Singapore authorities continue to track traffickers, and are cooperative in sharing intelligence with other countries in the region. Working relations with USG counterparts are excellent. Singapore is not a party to the 1988 UN Convention.
II. Status of Country
Singapore does not produce or process narcotics and is unlikely to become involved in such activities in the future. Singapore's strict and well publicized enforcement of the death penalty for drug traffickers helps discourage narcotics use. To date, 128 traffickers have been sentenced to death in Singapore, 47 in 1994 alone. The GOS has mustered extensive resources for treatment of drug users; nevertheless, the number of addicts is on the rise. Private rehabilitation programs are also active, and can receive government financing in support of their efforts.
Transshipment of narcotics through Singapore continues to be the greatest deficiency in GOS enforcement efforts. GOS officials are reluctant to stiffen enforcement measures at the risk of slowing trade through Singapore's efficient port. However, GOS officials are very willing to share specific enforcement information with their USG counterparts. In extradition matters, Singapore has long cooperated with the USG, although the USG made no extradition requests in 1994.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs
Policy Initiatives: GOS officials have indicated informally their interest in a so-called "designation agreement" with the USG to enable further information sharing in drug-related money laundering cases. Such agreements are sontemolated by Singapore's Forfeiture of Benefits Act of 1992. The GOS has suggested that such an agreement if entered into with the USG could serve as a model for future GOS agreements with other countries.
Accomplishments. Singapore does not cultivate or produce narcotics or precursor chemicals. Monitoring of the distribution and sale of chemicals could be improved. The GOS has authority to seize assets, and we anticipate continue outstanding cooperation regarding USG extradition requests. The GOS is interested in concluding a bilateral agreement with the US with respect to information sharing in money laundering cases. Demand reduction efforts are focused on drug rehabilitation, which received increased funding and press attention in 1994.
Law Enforcement Efforts. Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) is effective and substantially free from corruption.
Agreement and Treaties. Singapore is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and adheres to the extradition treaty between the US and the UK signed prior to independence. Singapore is not a signatory to the 1988 UN Convention.
Drug Flow/Transit. Drugs enter Singapore by land, air and sea, by courier and automobile, from Burma Thailand and Malaysia. Singapore has not yet been designated a major drug transit country, but it is increasingly becoming a significant transshipment point. To illustrate, there were several cases where No. 4 Heroin was put into containers in Thailand, shipped to Singapore, and then re-labeled "Product of Singapore" and given a new termination bill of lading. Drugs transit Singapore en route to the US, Europe, Australia and other destinations.
Domestic Programs. Singapore is expanding its drug rehabilitation programs for addicts. There are more than 7700 patients in drug rehabilitation centers, representing a thirty percent increase since 1990. GOS officials espouse a tougher program for these centers, and plan to cane first-time offenders as a part of their rehabilitation. There are a variety of community-based organizations active in drug rehabilitation, notably the Muslim Joint Anti-drug Abuse Coordination Committee, which seeks to address drug abuse issues in the minority Malay community. Malays account for 55 percent of the population in drug rehabilitation but only 10 percent of the general population.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs.
The USG will soon respond to informal GOS overtures with respect to an agreement to enable greater information sharing in money laundering cases, and hopes to commence negotiations shortly.
The Road Ahead: The USG will press Singapore to become a party to the 1988 UN Convention and obtain cooperation in monitoring distribution and diversion of essential and precursor chemicals. Efforts will continue to enhance enforcement cooperation to combat the transshipment of heroin through Singapore.
Taiwan is being used by international narcotics traffickers as a transshipment point and is playing a larger role in money laundering. Taiwan has a significant heroin abuse problem. The Taiwan authorities have mounted a concerted effort to attack the heroin trafficking problem and seizures of heroin have increased rapidly in the past few years, peaking in 1993 with seizures totalling over one metric ton. Seizures fell slightly in 1994. It is believed that the reduction in seizures was due in part to the success of the drug enforcement campaign of the Taiwan authorities. Law enforcement authorities in Taiwan are beginning to work more closely with the international community in joint efforts to investigate and prosecute narcotics traffickers.
Taiwan is not a producer of heroin. However, it is a consumer of heroin and methamphetamines, both of which are problems in Taiwan society. As a result of aggressive police activities against Taiwan amphetamine labs, indications are that drug labs in mainland China, financed by traffickers from Taiwan and Hong Kong, are taking the place of Taiwan-based labs.
Heroin, while not produced in Taiwan, is transshipped to and through Taiwan. Numerous smugglers have been arrested while attempting to smuggle drugs into Taiwan concealed in a variety of products and material. A few seizures of heroin shipments in the US and Canada have been traced to Taiwan as a transit point.
III. Action Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. The Taiwan authorities have undertaken a high profile anti-drug stance which has included: a declaration of war against drugs; harsher jail terms for drug traffickers; island-wide anti-drug programs; and the introduction of legislation in conformity with the 1988 UN Convention in the areas of money laundering, precursor chemical controls and "illegal drug" schedules.
Accomplishments. In the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau (MJIB) formed a new drug center to coordinate better its drug efforts. The National Police Administration's (NPA) Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) continued to cooperate well with DEA. The number of methamphetamine labs located on Taiwan was reduced and the Ministry of Justice reports a decline in drug prosecutions, which it attributes to a decline in drug-trafficking. A series of new anti-drug legislative measures was introduced. Discussions are underway to explore the possibility of a bilateral counternarcotics agreement between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and its Taiwan counterpart (see Agreements and Treaties, below).
Law Enforcement Efforts/Corruption. Both the MJIB and NPA enforce and investigate illegal drug activities in Taiwan. Taiwan's Ministry of Justice has been in the forefront of drug enforcement activities, recommending new legal and law enforcement measures designed to punish severely traffickers and provide medical help for drug users. There were no reported incidents of public corruption involving drugs. There is no evidence of senior Taiwan officials being involved with the illegal drug trade in Taiwan. Taiwan policy and practices do not support illicit production or distribution of drugs.
Agreements and Treaties. Taiwan does not have any formal bilateral counternarcotics agreements and, as a non-member of the United Nations, has not been included in any
UN-sponsored counternarcotics efforts. The US does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. US interests are represented through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). In 1993 AIT and its Taiwan counterpart, the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that allowed for the testimony of US officials and official of the Taiwan authorities in one another's courts. Since Taiwan is not a member of the UN, its status has precluded ratification of the 1988 UN Convention. The Taiwan authorities, nevertheless, have taken unilateral action to adopt legislation in conformity with the goals and objectives of the Convention.
Cultivation/Production. There is no known cultivation of poppy or cannabis in Taiwan. Six methamphetamine labs were raided by Taiwan law enforcement authorities in 1994. Efforts by local law enforcement appear to be causing some illicit methamphetamine production to move to underground labs in mainland China financed in part by Taiwan traffickers.
Drug flow/Transit. Heroin flow into Taiwan appears to be predominantly by ship. The heroin is concealed in shipments of various products, including labelled canned goods, machinery or lumber brought into Taiwan. A portion of the heroin seized is for domestic use, but the amounts seized suggest much is also transshipped to other destinations. There were several instances in 1994 of heroin being smuggled by airline passengers. Smuggled amphetamines usually enter the island via fishing boats. Many of these fishing boats carry drugs originating in mainland China.
The transit of drugs through Taiwan is principally confined to heroin, although US information indicates that amphetamines are also sent to Japan and the Philippines either from or via Taiwan. The transshipment of heroin through Taiwan appears to be primarily by container shipment and is difficult to detect due to the large number of containers passing through Taiwan. MJIB estimates that Taiwan customs personnel have the capability of inspecting a maximum of 13 percent of the containers that pass through Taiwan destined for other countries.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). The Taiwan authorities estimate there are 30-40,000 heroin addicts in Taiwan. Based upon the amount of heroin seized and Taiwan authorities' statements that heroin seized in Taiwan is for domestic consumption, this figure would appear to be low. In fact, the authorities have stated that the true number may be much higher. Taiwan readily admits that amphetamine usage is a growing problem among students, farmers and laborers in Taiwan's fast-paced society. Taiwan has a "say no" program in which public service radio, television, posters and public events are used to describe the pitfalls of drug usage. These messages are widely spread throughout Taiwan society. The Taiwan authorities have placed a great deal of emphasis on drug education and rehabilitation of first time offenders.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
Bilateral Cooperation. Efforts will continue to increase further Taiwan's cooperation in counternarcotics enforcement efforts. This can best be accomplished by: a) urging Taiwan to develop information/intelligence exchanges with concerned US law enforcement agencies (and like-minded authorities in other countries); b) encouraging the Taiwan authorities to enact draft legislation that would require the investigation of questionable financial practices that are a cloak for money laundering; and c) having Taiwan tighten requirements in its Nationality Act to prevent fugitives from using Taiwan as a safe haven from prosecution elsewhere.
Efforts will be made to support Taiwan participation in international organizations concerned with counternarcotics efforts accepting membership by non-states. Discussions are planned on the possibility of a bilateral counternarcotics agreement.
[CHART: TAIWAN STATISTICAL TABLES]
Thailand is a main transit route for the illicit drug production from the Golden Triangle. Due to successful eradication and development efforts Thailand is no longer a significant producer of opium poppy. 1994 cultivation of opium was only 2,110 hectares yielding 17 metric tons of opium.
Thailand remains vulnerable to money laundering due to the relatively low level of sophistication of the Thai banking system and the presence of an active quasi-legal non-bank financial system. Thailand is now in the process of drafting money laundering legislation.
Drug enforcement cooperation is very good and improved even further in 1994. In a precedent-setting cooperative law enforcement operation, the Royal Thai government arrested ten major traffickers under indictment in the US who form part of drug lord Khun Sa's Shan United Army (SUA) infrastructure. The USG's requests for their extradition are now pending in Thai courts. Thailand's commitment to combat drug trafficking and production was also evidenced by new government policies which led the army and security forces to blockade the northern border, hampering the flow of supplies to the SUA and making the transit of drugs from Burma more difficult. Efforts continue to enhance judicial cooperation, and in December the Thai cabinet agreed to permit the courts to consider the extradition of a former MP under indictment in the US on marijuana smuggling charges.
Thailand is a leader in regional drug control programs and shares its expertise through agreements with neighboring countries and the United Nations and through training and cooperative enforcement activities.
Thailand is not a party to the 1988 UN Convention, but is a party to the 1961 Single Convention, including the 1972 Protocol thereto, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
II. Status of Country
Although Thailand, along with Laos and Burma, is considered one of the Golden Triangle countries, illicit opium cultivation is no longer a serious problem in Thailand. There were no reports in 1994 of large-scale heroin refining activities and such operations appear to be virtually non-existent in Thailand today. Owing, however, to its relatively advanced economy and highly developed infrastructure, Thailand remains a primary export transit route for much of the illicit drug production from the Golden Triangle. Road building and other development projects undertaken in north Thailand, which have been part of the (largely successful) Royal Thai government strategy to influence northern farmers to reduce or eliminate poppy cultivation, have at the same time increased the ease of access to Thailand's transportation infrastructure by international trafficking organizations, especially those with ties to producers in neighboring Burma.
These same roads have also made it possible for insurgent ethnic groups in Burma (many of which are engaged in the drug trade) to import commodities from Thailand and from the outside world through Thailand. These materials include the required essential chemicals used in heroin processing, staples necessary to sustain the insurgent groups' existence as well as the weapons needed to continue resistance against the Burmese government and to protect their production and trafficking empires. Northeast Thailand grows and exports high-quality marijuana. In recent years additional cultivation has been noted in both the northern and southern sections of the country as well. The level of sophistication of the Thai banking system (in comparison to that of other countries in the region) and the presence of an active quasi-legal non-bank financial system within Thailand, in addition to the absence of effective anti-money laundering legislation, makes Thailand an attractive center for the capitalization of illicit drug enterprises and for the laundering of illicit profits.
The dramatic increase in heroin production in the Golden Triangle is now being used to fill an increasing demand in Thailand where a booming economy creates an ideal marketing structure for traffickers who sell drugs locally. Evidence indicates that after decades of opium use, heroin is replacing opium as the drug of choice among Thailand's hill tribes. Hill tribe heroin addicts include both older people formerly addicted to opium and previously unaddicted youth. Widespread heroin use is further entrenching drug trafficking networks throughout northern Thailand. Intravenous heroin use among southern Thai fishermen has also emerged as a major social problem with up to 90 percent of some crews reportedly abusing the drug.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1994:
Policy Initiatives. In addition to continuation of its five-year narcotics control plan (1992 - 1996), the Royal Thai Government undertook two significant policy initiatives designed to enhance the country's stance against drugs. The Thai government, in an attempt to reduce the flow of illicit drugs from Burma and to reduce outside logistical support for Burma-based insurgent groups engaged in trafficking, introduced a new border policy that led to the closure of northern border areas adjacent to insurgent-held sections of Burma. The policy was put into effect in July 1994 by the army and security/police organizations. US mission officials have personally verified the border closure and have gathered first-hand evidence of a reduction in the flow of goods from Thailand into Burma over the major transportation routes in the north. Due to the difficulty of the terrain and the impossibility of completely sealing the border in this remote area, more primitive, secondary pack-and-mule trails connecting the insurgent-held areas with Thailand continue in use. Resorting to the use of these less efficient delivery routes, however, has notably decreased the ability of the Burmese traffickers to resupply themselves. Sensitive to long-standing charges of unofficial relationships between the Thai organizations charged with border enforcement and the insurgent groups, in 1994 the government transferred responsibility for the border closure to military units with fewer traditional ties to the insurgents.
Also in 1994, in response to concerns from both international and domestic sources regarding the effects of the influx of large amounts of illicit drug profits on the economy and on the nation's financial institutions, the Deputy Prime Minister, who chairs the Narcotics Control Board, directed the creation of a committee to draft specific anti-money laundering legislation for presentation to Parliament. The committee, which includes anti-narcotics, finance, and police officials as well as representatives of the financial sector, expects to have a bill ready for submission to the cabinet by spring 1995.
Accomplishments. With the exception of anti-money laundering legislation -- work on which is currently being actively undertaken by the drafting committee referred to above -- the Royal Thai Government is in compliance with the 1988 Convention. It has -- and enforces -- laws against the cultivation, production, distribution, sale, transport, and financing of illicit drugs. An asset seizure and conspiracy law passed in 1991 and implemented beginning in mid-1992 produced more results during 1994. The number of cases brought for prosecution under the law increased by 160 percent over 1993 (from 32 to 84 cases opened). The US-Thai mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) that entered into force in 1993 has been employed by the USG in several criminal cases, and the Thai have cooperated well in processing USG requests under the extradition treaty. Appropriate legal controls exist on all essential chemicals delineated in the 1988 UN Convention, and various Thai government and non-governmental agencies are involved in demand reduction activities at both the national and local level. Thailand is a current member of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). During 1994 Thailand hosted a visit by a high-level delegation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which preceded the late-1994 FATF Asian conference in Kuala Lumpur. Thailand also co-hosted an International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) regional working group on chemical controls and regularly participated in various regional forums on drug control issues. Bangkok was the site of the UN-sponsored World NGO Forum in December 1994.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) and the Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau (PNSB) are the two organizations that have primary responsibility for the development and implementation of anti-narcotics law enforcement programs. Both organizations have a presence throughout the country, and both cooperate with local police and law enforcement bodies (e.g., Border Patrol Police, provincial police, Customs, etc.) in narcotics cases. In order to foster closer cooperation between these two key organizations, the Thai are in the process of organizing a narcotics task force in northern Thailand. This new organization is designed to eliminate areas of overlapping effort in narcotics crime information processing and to permit faster and more accurate dissemination of investigative information to enforcement units. The USG DEA country office in Bangkok has assisted in the planning and start-up phase of the new unit, which should be operational by the first quarter of 1995. The USG has also provided additional logistical and training support to assist the Thai with building this institution.
The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has clearly recognized the drug trafficking role of some Burma-based insurgent armies, and has taken the lead on a surprisingly effective closure of the northern Thai border with Burma. The RTA has re-organized some units to reduce corruption and to try to increase its effectiveness in narcotics control as well as continuing to supply the majority of the manpower involved in opium poppy eradication. According to ONCB figures, over 900 kilograms of heroin were seized in the period January through October 1994. Drug-related arrest cases totaled over 85,000 during the same period. As of November 30, 1994, cases brought under the narcotics crimes related asset seizure laws involve over $8 million worth of assets.
Corruption. While allegations of narcotics trafficking involvement continue to plague both elected and appointed Thai officials, as a matter of policy the Royal Thai Government does not countenance the cultivation, production, sale, or financing of illicit narcotics. The government's Counter Corruption Office (CCO) is charged with ferreting out corruption in government in all areas, including official involvement in narcotics trafficking. While the Royal Thai Police have a reputation for corruption, the Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau (PNSB) is known to be a very clean outfit, as is ONCB. Twenty-eight years of institution building by the foreign anti-narcotics community -- especially USG organizations -- has contributed to the integrity of these enforcement institutions. USG indictments against twenty highly placed individuals in the Shan United Army (SUA) trafficking organization headed by Khun Sa were produced and provisional arrest warrants delivered to RTG authorities under the extradition treaty this year. The government approved the arrest of these traffickers in an operation that took place in late November. Cooperation throughout this operation was exemplary. Ten of the targeted traffickers, who comprise a large percentage of Khun Sa's senior cadre and infrastructure managers, were provisionally arrested at US request and extradition proceedings are now pending in the Thai courts.
Public revelations during 1994 of drug-related pending USG legal action against the property of a member of Parliament led eventually to that MP's resignation. The publicity surrounding the denial of USG visas to two other prominent politicians produced major media and public interest. To date no charges have been brought against those individuals.
Agreements and Treaties. Thailand is working on the passage of anti-money laundering legislation. This is the last item required to permit Thailand's accession to the 1988 UN Convention. An extradition treaty with the US, in force since 1991, has been used regularly by the USG to obtain the extradition of non-Thais. The Thai cabinet has recently paved the way for the Thai courts to consider its use to extradite Thai citizens under indictment in the US In 1994 the USG filed its first request for extradition of a Thai citizen; the Thai courts are expected to determine the legality of such an extradition in 1995.
Cultivation/production. The section of northern Thailand bordering Burma and Laos (the Golden Triangle) is the primary location for opium poppy cultivation. Poppy cultivation in the area has a long history. The Royal Thai Government's crop control efforts have combined eradication of the crop with development efforts designed to offer growers an alternative to poppy cultivation. The government's efforts have resulted in a reduction of the amount of poppy annually grown in the north from a high in the 1970s, estimated to have been as much as 200 metric tons, to 17 metric tons in 1994. The 1994 figure represents a reduction of some 25 metric tons from the 1993 total and is the lowest on record. A well-executed eradication campaign by the Army, ONCB and police, as well as poor weather for opium production throughout the region and the government's expanding development efforts, all combined to produce this low opium harvest during the 1993/94 growing season. The USG estimates opium yield is 8.05 kg/ha. The RTG publishes its own estimate which was 6.75 kg/ha for the 1993/4 growing season.
Drug Flow/Transit. The reduction of Thailand's opium poppy crop has resulted in the country becoming a net importer of opiates. Drugs are imported to service the country's domestic addict population, but it is also estimated that more than 50 percent of the heroin from the Golden Triangle that eventually enters the US has transited Thailand. While there has been an increase in the use of alternate routes (e.g., through China), Thailand's well established drug trafficking groups with its contacts in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China and Thailand's superior transportation infrastructure and international cargo-handling facilities -- both sea and air -- are factors that will cause major traffickers to continue to use Thailand as a principal transit route.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Drug abuse prevention programs are sponsored by various organs of the Royal Thai Government. The Ministry of Education has programs in place for schools and all Thai teachers must take a minimum amount of training in drug abuse prevention. The demand reduction activities of the ONCB include sponsorship of programs designed to reduce drug abuse in specifically-targeted sectors of the population (e.g. fishermen, laborers, long-haul truck drivers, etc.). In addition, both the government and numerous NGOs have undertaken studies of drug abuse patterns in various population sectors.
IV. USG Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives. The USG will continue to assist Thailand to counter the threat of drug trafficking and support actions targeted at the arrest and prosecution of key drug traffickers. In the area of legislation we will support the Royal Thai Government's efforts to complete the requirements for accession to the 1988 UN Convention by passing anti-money laundering legislation. Efforts to expand and enhance enforcement cooperation will continue. The USG will continue to support opium eradication efforts and will also assist Thailand in its efforts to maintain and expand its drug abuse awareness and demand reduction activities. The USG will also encourage the RTG to take a leading role in regional counternarcotics efforts, using its experience and expertise to assist drug control efforts of other nations in the region.
Bilateral Cooperation. Thailand's cooperative efforts with the USG date back many years. In addition to the mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) and the extradition treaty three Department of State-funded bilateral project agreements between the RTG and the USG were in force during 1994. These projects, described below, were for enforcement assistance, opium eradication support, and demand reduction/drug awareness.
- Narcotics Law Enforcement - Aimed at improving the ability of narcotics law enforcement agencies in Thailand to respond to the threat posed by powerful trafficking organizations, this project agreement provided commodity and training support for ONCB, PNSB, and other Thai law enforcement organizations. Under this agreement, funding was provided to assist the special anti-money laundering legislation drafting committee to study USG and third-country model legislation. Funding was provided to support specific-target law enforcement operations by Thai enforcement agencies such as the operation that led to the arrest of ten SUA traffickers. Additionally, funding has been employed for institutional development (Drug Task Force Concept), to support operations targeting trafficking through airports, drug transit in the south, and West African trafficking groups. Law enforcement assistance also is used to support in-country training programs.
- Opium Crop Control - Funding under this agreement is provided to the Third Royal Thai Army, the ONCB, Border Patrol Police and provincial police to assist the Royal Thai government in surveying, locating, and eradicating the illicit opium poppy crop in north Thailand. Despite a significant decrease in US-provided funding for this activity over the past several years, Thai efforts improved last year resulting in a decrease in the estimated acreage under cultivation.
- Demand Reduction - Funding provided under this agreement has permitted the Thai authorities to enlarge the involvement of NGOs in the national drug abuse awareness effort. Major reductions in USG funding for these programs occurred this year.
Cooperation between the USG and Thailand in a number of areas not specifically covered by formal agreements is close and productive. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enjoys a high degree of cooperation from Thai drug enforcement agencies. The US Customs Service and Department of Defense have cooperated with various Thai police and military units on anti-smuggling projects. Other agencies and sections of the USG mission to Thailand cooperate on a variety of law enforcement and security-related activities.
The Road Ahead. Building on the achievements of 1994, the USG will continue to press for additional arrests of key drug trafficking suspects in Thailand and will continue its efforts to extradite individuals from Thailand to face drug charges in the US During 1995, the USG will continue to support Royal Thai Government efforts to pass and implement anti-money laundering legislation allowing Thailand to come into full compliance with the 1988 UN Convention. 1995 will see the operational start-up of the RTG counternarcotics task force in northern Thailand, which, if successful, will form the model for the creation of additional centers in other sections of the country. The USG will also continue efforts to encourage the RTG to share its counternarcotics experience and expertise with other countries in the region. Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, China, Laos, and Vietnam are parties to agreements on drug control cooperation, and we will encourage the RTG to enhance regional efforts under these agreements. The USG will also support efforts to increase public awareness of the corrosive impact of drug trafficking and drug-related corruption on the growth of democratic institutions.
[CHART: THAILAND STATISTICAL TABLES]
[GRAPHIC: THAI HEROIN SEIZURES 1989-1944]
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has serious opiate abuse problems and is emerging as a significant location for No. 4 heroin trafficking. Illicit opium cultivation exceeds 1000 hectares, but the precise extent of cultivation remains unclear. Estimates have ranged as high as 14,000 hectares during the 1992/3 growing season to 3,700 hectares during the 1993/4 season. The Government of Vietnam is undertaking a serious eradication effort and has pledged to eliminate opium cultivation, which exists primarily in relatively inaccessible regions of the north.
The use of injectable opium is a serious concern in urban areas. Opium addiction also exists in some areas of the countryside, particularly in ethnic minority regions of the north. The Vietnamese Government, with the aid of UNDCP, is formulating a drug control plan to combat both production and consumption in Vietnam. Economic reforms, and the growing overall volume of the Southeast Asian heroin trade have made Vietnam an emerging transit point for heroin destined for the United States and other locations.
Vietnam is not a party to the 1988 UN Convention.
II. Status of Country
Vietnam has a serious domestic opiate abuse problem with an addict population of 200,000 according to Vietnamese Government sources. Intravenous use of opiates is believed to account for about half of the addict population. The spread of HIV/AIDS is becoming a concern and 80 to 90 percent of the known HIV-infected population is involved in drug use.
Scattered opium cultivation is found throughout the northern provinces of Vietnam. Precise estimates of the extent of cultivation remain unavailable, but Government of Vietnam and UN sources indicate cultivation of several thousand hectares of opium, which is found primarily in mountainous regions inhabited by ethnic minorities.
Government policies promoting economic reform and increased trade have created a relatively open environment that has made Vietnam more vulnerable to international heroin trafficking. Economic growth and a lack of appropriate legislation also will make Vietnam an attractive target for future money laundering operations.
The Vietnamese Government recognizes the existence of significant problems in trafficking, use and production of drugs and has taken initial steps to combat these problems. A comprehensive drug control program is being drafted with the help of UNDCP to address all aspects of the narcotics problem in Vietnam. The government has shown a desire to be cooperative in multilateral and bilateral drug control efforts. Informal cooperation with DEA through INTERPOL has already yielded results. Preliminary informal discussions on drug control have also been held between USG and Vietnamese officials.
Vietnam has expressed a desire to become a party to the UN narcotics conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988, but needs to resolve certain technical, financial and domestic legislative requirements before it can do so.
III. Country Action Against Drugs in 1994
Policy Initiatives. Vietnam recognizes that domestic drug abuse and related public health problems are serious concerns. The Government of Vietnam has also shown a willingness to undertake action against trafficking and drug cultivation. Only in the past few years has there been contact with other governments and international organizations concerning drug control. Contact with UNDCP began in 1991. Vietnam's Management Committee of the National Program on Drug Abuse Control, a coordinating body for drug control that includes membership from a number of ministries, was set up in 1993. This committee is working with UNDCP to draft a counternarcotics master plan for Vietnam. Work on the plan was well-advanced by the end of 1994 and a final draft is expected sometime in the first half of 1995.
In 1994 Vietnam reached a number of milestones in its efforts to participate in regional and international coordination of drug control efforts. An ad hoc mini-Dublin Group had its first meeting in Hanoi on November 9, 1994. Vietnam also began bilateral consultations with Laos on drug control. The Government of Vietnam has expressed interest in the "subregional" drug control program conducted under UNDCP. The program includes China, Laos, Thailand and Burma. Vietnam has indicated an interest in joining the memorandum of understanding among these governments and UNDCP that serves as a framework for area projects.
Accomplishments. Vietnam has undertaken opium eradication efforts in its northern provinces against illicit opium cultivation. Government of Vietnam sources claim that cultivation for the 1993/4 growing season was in the range of 3,000 - 4,000 hectares, down from 12,000 to 13,000 hectares in 1992/3. The government has pledged to continue eradication efforts until all illicit cultivation is eliminated.
Government media in Vietnam stated that $10 million was allocated for projects on drug abuse prevention, HIV/AIDS and related problems in 1994.
Law Enforcement Efforts. The People's Police and the Department of Customs share the primary responsibility for drug enforcement. Current drug control laws are based on the 1992 Constitution and the 1985 Penal code as augmented by resolutions passed by the National Assembly. The resulting body of law is vague and open to differing interpretations.
All penalties for trafficking are based on quantities of opium involved. Offenses involving drugs other than opium are assessed in terms of equivalent quantities of opium. Law enforcement efforts seem focused primarily on stopping domestic trafficking in opium. In-country sources indicate enforcement efforts are becoming more active and arrests and seizures are rising, but accurate data remain unavailable. Limited manpower, inadequate training and lack of equipment hamper the operations of law enforcement units responsible for drug control. The government has expressed a desire to improve the training and acquire new equipment for drug enforcement and has indicated the assistance of foreign countries in meeting these needs would be welcome.
Corruption. Corruption among lower level military and police officials is a problem. Officials in border areas have been reported as taking bribes to facilitate smuggling. General problems with corruption in law enforcement, security, customs and the courts will make drug enforcement efforts more difficult. Some government officials have voiced concern about the extent of corruption in government agencies, but systematic controls to prevent corruption are lacking. Corruption may be a complicating factor in enforcement efforts, but there is no evidence that the government tolerates, condones or profits from drug trafficking activity or drug-related money laundering.
Agreements and Treaties. Vietnam is not a party to the 1988 UN Convention, but in coordination with the UNDCP is already drafting legislation in conformity with the goals and objectives of the Convention. Vietnam has no bilateral drug control agreements. In 1994, Vietnamese and Thai authorities agreed to exchange information on narcotics trafficking, and bilateral consultations with Laos on the drug trade were initiated.
Cultivation/Production. Precise estimates of opium cultivation and production are not available. Informal estimates indicate that opium cultivation from 1985 to 1990 was in the range of 15,000 to 19,000 hectares. A UNDCP survey of opium cultivation in 1992/3 showed over 14,000 hectares planted. The government claims to have eradicated 10,000 hectares, leaving only 4,000 hectares that could be harvested. Opium cultivation seems to be heaviest in Nghe An, Son La, Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces, but scattered cultivation can be found throughout the north and northwest.
Drug Flow/Transit. Information about drug trafficking through Vietnam remains sketchy. Available reports indicate, however, that Vietnam is increasingly being used as a transit point for Southeast Asian heroin. This has been confirmed by seizures of Golden Triangle heroin on its way to Vietnam from Thailand and by seizures of onward shipments from Vietnam to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and southern China -- all principal transit points for Southeast Asian heroin en route to the United States and other Western markets. Heroin shipped from Vietnam has been seized in Australia. There are also suggestions that heroin may be entering or leaving Vietnam across the northern border with China. Better collection of information on trafficking in Vietnam is needed to develop a clearer picture on the extent and pattern of drug flows through the country.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Current statistics on drug abuse in Vietnam are largely based on guesswork, but the problem is acknowledged by both government sources and foreign experts as a serious concern. Efforts are underway to develop more reliable data. Vietnamese government sources have said there are 200,000 drug addicts nationwide, but other sources believe the total may be higher. Liquid opium, synthetic opiates (Dolargen) and morphine are the major drugs used by addicts. A project has been prepared by UNDCP to increase drug awareness among urban youth -- the principal at-risk population. The Government of Vietnam supports demand reduction efforts and is working closely with UNDCP to develop projects. Drug awareness education is part of a $10 million government effort to warn the public about the damage to society done by drug abuse, prostitution and other problems.
IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs
Bilateral Cooperation/The Road Ahead. There were no bilateral programs with the United States in 1994. There has been informal enforcement cooperation through INTERPOL with DEA. Informal discussions between Vietnamese and USG officials about counternarcotics cooperation have been held during 1994 and continue. The Vietnamese have been receptive to USG suggestions that cooperation in this area would be in our mutual interests. Discussions with Vietnamese officials about possible drug control cooperation will continue in 1995. The USG will support the efforts of the UNDCP to assist Vietnam in drafting a drug control master plan and will also support all efforts by the Government of Vietnam to create legislation in compliance with the goals of the 1988 UN Convention. Informal cooperation with DEA will continue on a case-by-case basis. The USG has also indicated that drug enforcement training and other forms of assistance may be available at some time in the near future.
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