Viewing cable 04THEHAGUE4, 2003 INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL STRATEGY REPORT
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|04THEHAGUE4||2004-01-02 14:02||2011-01-19 21:09||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy The Hague|
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 THE HAGUE 000004 SIPDIS DEPT FOR INL, INL/T, EUR/ERA, EUR/UBI DOJ FOR OIA, AFMLS, NDDS TREASURY FOR FINCIN FRANKFURT FOR CUSTOMS USEU FOR WAGNER AND DOJ DEA HQS FOR OFE/DANIELS AND CORLEY ONDCP FOR AGRESTI PASS USAID E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: SNAR PREL PGOV KCRM NL SUBJECT: 2003 INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL STRATEGY REPORT (INCSR): THE NETHERLANDS - PART 1, DRUGS AND CHEMICAL CONTROL REF: STATE 324347 ---------- ¶I. Summary ---------- ¶1. The Netherlands continues to be a significant transit point for drugs entering Europe (especially cocaine), an important producer and exporter of synthetic drugs (particularly Ecstasy and amphetamines), and an important consumer of most illicit drugs. U.S. law enforcement information indicates that the Netherlands still is by far the most significant source country for Ecstasy in the U.S. The current Dutch center-right coalition has made measurable progress in implementing the five-year strategy (2002-2006) against production, trade and consumption of synthetic drugs announced in May 2001. For example, there has been a significant increase in Dutch seizures of Ecstasy pills from 3.6 million in 2001 to six million in 2002 (last year for statistics). In July 2003, the National Criminal Investigation Department (Nationale Recherche) was set up with the key objective of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of criminal investigations and international joint efforts against narcotics trafficking. Operational cooperation between U.S. and Dutch law enforcement agencies is excellent, despite some differences in approach and tactics. Dutch popular attitudes toward soft drugs remain tolerant to the point of indifference. The Dutch government and public view domestic drug use as a public health issue first and a law enforcement issue second. End summary. --------------------- II. Status of Country --------------------- ¶2. The central geographical position of the Netherlands, with its modern transportation and communications infrastructure, the world's busiest container port in Rotterdam and one of Europe's busiest airports, makes the country an attractive operational area for international drug traffickers and money launderers. Production of amphetamines, Ecstasy and other synthetic drugs, and marijuana is significant. The Netherlands also has a large chemical sector, making it a convenient location for criminals to obtain or produce precursor chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs. ------------------------------------------- III. Country actions against drugs in 2003 ------------------------------------------- ------------------ Policy Initiatives ------------------ ¶3. Major Dutch government policy initiatives in 2003 include: New Government Stricter on Drugs -------------------------------- ¶4. The current Dutch center-right coalition government, formed in May 2003, announced a tougher approach to the production of and trafficking in hard drugs, Ecstasy in particular. The coalition accord of May 16, 2003, outlining the government's intentions for the next four years, stated that airlines will be made responsible for carrying out controls so that drug smugglers can no longer make use of their flights. If airlines fail to do so, sanctions will be imposed, including withdrawal of landing rights. It also announced that the heroin distribution program, under which heroin is prescribed under strict medical guidance to serious drug addicts, for whom all other treatment options have failed, will be continued at the current level, meaning that the program will not be expanded for the time being, as had been advocated. In addition, the new Cabinet announced consultations with local authorities about closure of soft drug coffeeshops near schools and in border regions. Justice Minister Donner is also investigating the possibility of banning foreigners from coffeeshops, in order to fight drug tourism. ¶5. In the summer of 2003, the national criminal investigation department (Nationale Recherche or NR) became operational. The new department combines the current five core police teams, the national criminal investigation team, the Unit Synthetic Drugs (USD), the Trafficking in People Unit, and the five Ecstasy teams. The NR, which is part of the National Police Services (KLPD) and which comes under the authority of the National Public Prosecutors' Office, gives top priority to international cooperation in the fight against organized crime, in particular the production of and trafficking in synthetic drugs. Cocaine Couriers ---------------- ¶6. Despite fierce political opposition, the Dutch Parliament approved Justice Minister Donner's plan to close down Schiphol airport to cocaine smuggling from the Caribbean on December 10, 2003. An estimated 20,000-40,000 kilos of cocaine, destined primarily for the European market, are smuggled annually through Schiphol (Dutch cocaine use is estimated at 4,000-8,000 kilos annually - in 2001 and 2002, more than 3,500 drug couriers were arrested and some 10,000 kilos of cocaine seized at the airport). Donner hopes to achieve 100% interdiction of the drugs coming into Schiphol on targeted high-risk flights from the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba and Suriname. He told the Second Chamber of Parliament on December 3, 2003, that, as a result of the 100% controls of passengers, luggage, freight and aircraft, the number of drug couriers is expected to rise significantly, fearing inadequate law enforcement capacity to handle the number of arrests. According to Donner, this justifies a temporary adjustment in prosecution policy - a certain category of drug couriers will not be prosecuted. He explained that criteria would be drawn up, which will not be made public in the interest of criminal procedures. However, couriers failing to meet these criteria will be prosecuted. (Unconfirmed reports suggested that only smugglers caught with 3 kilos or more are prosecuted.) Donner stated that summoning drug couriers in court at a later date would not be a solution, because this would also put a heavy burden on the Dutch judiciary. He did pledge the Chamber an early assessment of his proposals. Relevant data of drug couriers will be made available to airlines, which will be responsible for taking special measures against these persons, including an indefinite flight ban. Despite opposition within Donner's own Christian-Democratic Party (CDA), the Second Chamber adopted his proposals on December 10, 2003. ¶7. The plan went into effect on December 11, and, during the first five days, 120 couriers were arrested on flights from the Netherlands Antilles, of whom 31 were released without a summons after drugs were recovered. The remaining 89 cases are being investigated or prosecuted. In addition, 104 potential passengers were turned away by the airlines and 375 passengers did not turn up. About 120 kilos of drugs were seized. During routine checks on flights from Suriname, 22 couriers were arrested, one of whom carried 14.5 kilos of cocaine. Ecstasy Offensive ----------------- ¶8. In July 2003, Justice Minister Donner published a progress report on the implementation of the five-year (2002- 2006) action plan against production, trade, and consumption of synthetic drugs. According to the report, six million Ecstasy pills were seized in 2002 compared to 3.6 million in 2001, and the number of dismantled Ecstasy laboratories rose to 43 in 2002 from 35 in 2001. The increase in Ecstasy seizures was attributed to intensified controls at Schiphol airport by the special team of Dutch customs and the military police (more than one million pills seized there in 2002), the introduction of five special police Ecstasy teams (total manpower: 90), and increased staffing at the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service-Economic Control Service (FIOD-ECD). The progress report shows that the measures announced in the action plan are well underway. According to the 2002 annual report of the Unit Synthetic Drugs (USD), the five XTC teams conducted 36 investigations in 2002 and arrested some 76 suspects. ¶9. The chemical precursor PPK is the principal precursor used by Dutch Ecstasy laboratories. It comes mainly by sea from China through Rotterdam port. Due to human rights concerns, the Dutch government shares only limited information of an administrative nature with China. A Memorandum of Understanding formalizing this information- sharing arrangement was submitted to the Chinese in October ¶2003. No response has yet been received. The MOU states that China will keep the Netherlands informed regarding the progress and results of investigations that have been instigated on the basis of this administrative information. In addition to working directly with the Chinese, the Netherlands is an active participant in the INCB/PRISM project's taskforce Cannabis -------- ¶10. According to the fourth survey on coffeeshops in the Netherlands, published in October 2003, there were 782 officially tolerated coffeeshops at the end of 2002, which is a 3 percent drop over 2001, principally in the four major cities. About 73 percent of Dutch municipalities do not tolerate any shops at all, according to the study. In early 2004, Justice Minister Donner, whose CDA party has advocated closing of coffeeshops, is expected to publish a Cannabis Policy Paper, which should discourage cannabis use. ¶11. The 2002 National Drug Monitor shows that the number of recent (last-month) cannabis users in the Dutch population over the period 1997-2001 rose from some 326,000 to 408,000, or 3 percent of the Dutch population of 12 years and older (of a total population of 16 million). The largest increase is reported among young people aged 20-24, while use among the 12-15 year-old age group remained limited and hardly changed from 1997. Life-time prevalence (ever-use) of cannabis among the population of 12 years and older rose from 15.6 percent in 1997 to 17 percent in 2001. The average age of recent cannabis users is 28 years. ¶12. On November 27, 2003, the Netherlands agreed on an EU framework decision on harmonized sentencing of drug traffickers. Under the agreement, the maximum penalty for possessing a small quantity of cannabis will be raised from one month to one year imprisonment. The agreement, if ratified by Dutch parliament, would allow the Netherlands to maintain its coffeeshops. Medicinal Cannabis ------------------ ¶13. Since March 17, 2003, doctors are allowed to prescribe their patients medicinal cannabis. Two suitable government- controlled cannabis growers have been contracted, and, as of September 2003, the drug can be bought from pharmacies. The Health Ministry's Bureau for Medicinal Cannabis controls quality and organizes the distribution. According to the Health Ministry, cannabis may have a favorable effect on seriously ill patients but the government recognizes the therapeutic effects of medicinal cannabis have not been proved and research continues. Heroin Experiment ----------------- ¶14. The Cabinet decided in December 2003 not to expand the so-called heroin experiment, under which heroin is medically prescribed to a limited group of heroin users for whom all other forms of treatment have failed. The current capacity for 300 participating addicts will be continued with a Spring 2004 decision on a possible expansion. Accomplishments --------------- ¶15. A major accomplishment was the establishment of the national criminal investigation department (Nationale Recherche or NR) in July 2003. The NR with 800 employees will hopefully end the fragmented investigation capacity of the Dutch enforcement organization. In addition, considerable progress has been made in implementing the five- year strategy against synthetic drugs (see above). The government has also stepped up controls on chemical precursors, sought an MOU on chemical precursors with the Chinese, and taken additional measures to fight cocaine trafficking through Schiphol. ----------------------- Law Enforcement Efforts ----------------------- ¶16. Overall the Health Ministry coordinates drug policy, while the Ministry of Justice is responsible for law enforcement. Matters relating to local government and the police are the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior. At the municipal level, policy is coordinated in tripartite consultations between the mayor, the chief public prosecutor and the police. ¶17. The Dutch Opium Act punishes possession, commercial distribution, production, import, and export of all illicit drugs. Drug use, however, is not an offense. The act distinguishes between hard drugs that have unacceptable risks (e.g. heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy), and soft drugs (cannabis products). Trafficking in hard drugs is prosecuted vigorously and their dealers are subject to a prison sentence of 12 years. When this takes place on an organized scale, another one-third of the sentence is added (16 years). Sales of small amounts (under five grams) of cannabis products are tolerated (i.e., not prosecuted, even though technically illegal) in coffeeshops operating under regulated conditions (no minors on premises, no alcohol sales, no hard drug sales, no advertising, and no public nuisance). One of the aims of this controversial policy is to separate the markets for soft and hard drugs so that soft drug users are less likely to come into contact with hard drugs. Another goal - we believe less successful - has been to separate revenue streams so that hard drug dealers do not use soft drug dealing as a source of capital. ¶18. Dutch police inter-regional core (IRT Kern) teams and National Prosecutors give high priority to combating drug trafficking. DEA agents stationed with Embassy The Hague have close contacts with their counterparts in the Netherlands. On a global scale, the DEA in The Hague have a close relationship with its foreign liaison counterparts on combating drug trafficking. Beginning in FY 2002, the Dutch assigned Dutch liaison agents to Miami, Florida and Washington, D.C. to improve coordination with U.S. law enforcement agencies. During September 2003, the Dutch Unit Synthetic Drugs held its first Syndec conference, attended by representatives from the United States, Colombia and the Far East, and from throughout Europe. During April and July 2003, the Dutch hosted bilateral talks on law enforcement cooperation, extradition, and the United States judicial system with local prosecutors, judges and police and representatives from all the major U.S. law enforcement authorities, and representatives from the DoJ. ¶19. Coordination of foreign law enforcement information requests would benefit from greater centralization. The internationalization of the synthetic drug problem has led to increases in U.S. and other countries' requests for information from Dutch law enforcement. All foreign requests are sent to the regional intelligence department, previous called DIN (Dienst Internationale Netwerk). Cooperation regarding the turn around time for requests and obtaining teams to work U.S. cases has been excellent. Problems remain with the exchange of intelligence on major organizations, with or without a U.S. nexus. In addition, it is often difficult for foreign authorities to find a police region with clear-cut responsibility for handling a specific case because precursor chemicals have their origins outside of Dutch territory and numerous separate production sites are scattered throughout the Netherlands. The formation of the National Criminal Investigation Department (Nationale Recherche, also known as the National Crime Squad) in Driebergen (in July 2003) should eliminate the need for foreign liaison officers to shop around to obtain a team to work a U.S. case. The new department's policies and procedures will not be implemented until January 2004. During November 2003, a meeting was held between U.S. law enforcement officials and the Nationale Recherche/National Crime Squad to ascertain any new procedures. It appears few procedures will change because foreign offices and liaison officers will still have to go through DIN. The Dutch officials also indicated they would try to work 200 cases a year, with only 5% to 10% dedicated to foreign requests, meaning they will only assist in approximately 20 cases for all the foreign offices having status in the Netherlands. ---------- Corruption ---------- ¶20. The Dutch government is committed to fighting national and international corruption. It does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior official of the Dutch government engages in, encourages, or facilitates the illicit production or distribution of such drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Press reports of low-level law enforcement corruption appear from time to time but the problem is not believed to be widespread. At year's end, the Royal Marechaussee (military police with responsibility for Schiphol Airport and border control generally) admitted it had been investigating credible allegations of drug trafficking and corruption involving ground service personnel, Dutch Customs and military police at Schiphol. In order to remove any conflict of interest, the investigation has been turned over to Ministry of Defense inspectors. ----------------------- Agreements and Treaties ----------------------- ¶21. The Netherlands is party to the 1988 UN convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention. It has ratified the 1990 Strasbourg convention on money laundering and confiscation. The U.S. and the Netherlands have agreements on extradition, mutual legal assistance, and asset sharing. The Netherlands has enacted legislation on money laundering and controls on chemical precursors. The Netherlands is a member of the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs and the major donors group of the UNDCP. It participates in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Caribbean Action Task Force (CATF). The Netherlands is a leading member of the Dublin Group and chairs its Central European regional group. It is member of the daily management of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC). It is actively implementing the Schengen agreement, the Benelux agreement on extradition, and the European convention on extradition and mutual assistance. The Dutch also participate in the Pompidou group. Dutch police, justice and customs officials have close contacts with their colleagues in Belgium, France, Germany and the UK. The Netherlands has police liaison officers in the U.S., Thailand, Pakistan, Venezuela, Colombia, France, the Netherlands Antilles, Turkey, Poland and Spain. Europol is headquartered in The Hague and EUROJUST will also move from Paris to The Hague. -------------------------- Cultivation and Production -------------------------- ¶22. About 75 percent of the Dutch cannabis market is Dutch- grown marijuana (Nederwiet), although indoor cultivation of hemp is banned, even for agricultural purposes. Amsterdam University researchers estimate that the Netherlands has at least 100,000 illegal home growers of hashish and marijuana, with the number increasing. Together they produce more than 100,000 kilos of soft drugs and are the largest suppliers of coffeeshops, according to the study. The estimates are based on a significant rise in the number of lawsuits and police raids. Although the Dutch government has given top priority to the investigation and prosecution of large-scale commercial cultivation of Nederwiet, tolerated coffeeshops appear to create the demand for large-scale commercial cultivation. ¶23. The Netherlands remains one of the world's largest producers of synthetic drugs. In 2002, the USD registered a total of 740 seizures of synthetic drugs around the world, of which 205 (some 30 percent) took place in the Netherlands. Of the remaining seizures registered in 35 other countries, some 70 percent could be related to Dutch criminal organizations. Of the 205 Dutch seizures, 141 involved synthetic drugs that were intended to be exported. The seizures of drugs around the world that could be related to the Netherlands involved some 24.6 million MDMA tablets and over 910 kilos of MDMA power. Of this total, the largest amount was seized in the Netherlands (6.1 million pills), Belgium (more than 5 million pills), followed by Germany (almost 3 million), the U.S. (2.5 million), France (2 million) and the UK (1.8 million). The USD reported lower amphetamine seizures in 2002 than in 2001, but the quantity of Dutch-related amphetamine seized in other countries went up. In 2002, the USD dismantled 43 production sites for synthetic drugs, of which 26 were situated in residential areas. Most production sites were MDMA laboratories. According to the USD, the production of synthetic drugs in residential areas is an alarming development. The FIOD-ECD, which is primarily responsible for intercepting chemical precursors, seized some 318 liters and 9,255 kilos of PMK and 1,228 liters of BMK in 2002. ----------------- Drug Flow/Transit ----------------- ¶24. The Dutch government has stepped up border controls to combat the flow of drugs. Confronted with an explosive growth in the number of drug couriers at Schiphol, the government announced in January 2002 a special counter- narcotics offensive - the Schiphol Action Plan. Cocaine seizures at Schiphol airport rose from 3,341 kilos in 2001 to 6,233 kilos in 2002. This did not stop the cocaine flow, so the government initiated in December 2003 steps to interdict 100% of the cocaine coming in to Schiphol from certain Caribbean flights (see paras 6-7). The government has also expanded the number of container scanners in the port of Rotterdam and at Schiphol airport. Controls of highways and international trains connecting the Netherlands to neighboring countries were also intensified. ---------------- Money Laundering ---------------- ¶25. The Netherlands participates in the financial action task force (FATF). Forty separate anti-money laundering measures recommended by FATF have been integrated in the financial sector. Additionally, legislation making money laundering a separate, stand-alone, offense became effective in 2002. See septel. -------------- Asset Seizures -------------- ¶26. The Dutch have signed the Strasbourg Convention and have drawn up national legislation to enable courts to confiscate the proceeds of drug-related crime. The U.S. and the Netherlands have an asset seizure agreement. --------------------------------------------- - Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty --------------------------------------------- - ¶27. The U.S. and the Netherlands have fully operational extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements. Some defense attorneys, however, have argued successfully to judges that U.S. judicial protections are inadequate, slowing the pace of extradition in cases involving Ecstasy dealers. Using differences in our legal systems and misconceptions about the American criminal justice system, they criticize (1) the U.S. plea bargaining system which they argue puts pressure on innocent suspects to confess; and (2) delays in repatriation to the Netherlands of previously extradited Dutch citizens who were then convicted in the U.S. and are now seeking to serve their terms in the Netherlands. ---------------- Demand Reduction ---------------- ¶28. The Netherlands has a wide variety of demand-reduction and harm-reduction programs, reaching about 80 percent of the country's 26,000-30,000 opiate addicts. The number of opiate addicts is low compared to other EU countries (2.6 per 1,000 inhabitants); the number has stabilized over the past few years, their average age has risen to 40, and the number of overdose deaths related to opiates has stabilized at between 30 and 50 per year. Needle supply and exchange programs have kept the incidence of HIV infection among intravenous drug users relatively low. Of the addicts known to the addiction care organizations, 75 percent regularly use methadone. ¶29. According to the 2002 National Drug Monitor, the out- patient treatment centers registered some 26,605 drug users seeking treatment for their addiction in 2000, compared to 26,333. The number of cannabis and opiate addicts seeking treatment has stabilized at 3,443 and almost 15,544, respectively. Statistics from drug treatment services show a sharp increase in the number of people seeking help for cocaine problems (representing an increase of 49 percent between 1994 and 2000). Two out of three people seeking help for cocaine problems are crack cocaine users. The average age of drug clients was 39 years. Total costs of drug treatment programs are put at 100 million dollars. ¶30. Although more recent data about drug use are unavailable, drug experts have noted a significant drop in Ecstasy use, while cocaine use appears to be going up. Drug use among the general population of 12 years and older, 1997 and 2001 (life-time (ever) use and last-month use) Life-time use Last-month use 1997 2001 1997 2001 Cannabis 15.6 17.0 2.5 3.0 Cocaine 2.1 2.9 0.2 0.4 Amphetamine 1.9 2.6 0.1 0.2 Ecstasy 1.9 2.9 0.3 0.5 Hallucinogens 1.8 1.3 0.0 0.0 -of which LSD 1.2 1.0 -- -- Mushrooms 1.6 2.6 0.1 0.1 Heroin 0.3 0.4 0.0 0.1 (Source: National Prevalence Survey, Center for Drug Research (Cedro), University of Amsterdam) ---------- Prevention ---------- ¶31. Drug prevention programs are organized through a network of local, regional and national institutions. Schools are targeted in efforts to discourage drug use, while national campaigns are conducted in the mass media to reach the broader public. The Netherlands requires school instruction on the dangers of alcohol and drugs as part of the health education curriculum. The Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (the Trimbos Institute) has developed a project in the field of alcohol and drugs in the context of teaching healthy living in classrooms. About 75 percent of Dutch secondary schools participate in the project. In October 2002, the Health Ministry and the Trimbos Institute launched the new mass media campaign Drugs, Don't Kid Yourself, providing drug information to parents, teachers and students. The 24-hour national Drug Info Line of the Trimbos Institute has become very popular. --------------------------- IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives --------------------------- --------------------- Bilateral Cooperation --------------------- ¶32. Despite excellent operational cooperation between U.S. and Dutch law enforcement agencies, concern remains over the Netherlands' role as the key source country for MDMA/Ecstasy entering the U.S. Embassy The Hague continues to make the fight against the Ecstasy threat one of its highest priorities. Although we agree on the goal, we differ over which law enforcement methodology will be most effective in achieving it. The Dutch continue to resist use of controlled deliveries and criminal infiltrants in their investigations of drug traffickers. They are also reluctant to admit the involvement of large, international drug organizations in the local drug trade and do not use their asset forfeiture rules often. The second bilateral law enforcement talks, held in The Hague in March 2003, resulted in an Agreed Steps list of action to enhance law enforcement cooperation in fighting drug trafficking. ¶33. The U.S. and the Netherlands cooperate closely on law enforcement activities throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The USG is also working with the Kingdom to assist Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles in countering narcotics trafficking. The 10-year FOL agreement between the U.S. and the Kingdom for the establishment of forward operating locations on Aruba and Curacao became effective in October 2001. ¶34. In 1999, the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) has a cooperation agreement with NIDA on joint addiction research. Since then, the two have organized various workshops and have financed joint research projects on addiction. The last bilateral workshop was held in the Netherlands in September 2003. -------------- The Road Ahead -------------- ¶35. We expect U.S.-Dutch bilateral law enforcement cooperation to intensify. The Dutch government's Ecstasy Action Plan should further counter narcotics efforts. The Dutch synthetic drug unit will also continue to make concrete progress. The establishment of a central police investigative body in the Spring of 2003 will certainly boost cooperation on international investigations, including Ecstasy cases. ------------- ¶V. Statistics ------------- ¶36. Drug Seizures 2001 2002 ------------------ ---- ---- Heroin (kilos) 739 1,122 Cocaine (kilos) 8,389 7,968 Cannabis resin (kilos) 10,972 32,717 Herbal cannabis (kilos) 22,447 9,958 Ecstasy (tablets) 3,684,505 6,878,167 Amphetamine (kilos) 579 481 LSD (doses) 28,731 355 Source: Europol data --------------- Chemical Control ---------------- ¶37. (a) The Netherlands is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and 1990 European Union Regulations. Trade in precursors is governed by the 1995 Act to Prevent Abuse of Chemical Substances (WVMC). The law seeks to prevent the disappearance of legal chemicals into the illegal circuit. Violations of the law can lead to prison sentences (maximum of six years), fines (up to 50,000 dollars), or asset seizures. The Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) and the Economic Control Service (ECD) oversee implementation of the law. ¶38. The USD and the Public Prosecutor's Office have strengthened cooperation with countries playing an important role in Ecstasy production, in particular with countries exporting chemical precursors. The government has decided to provide the INCB as well as the exporting country (mostly China) with administrative data about precursor seizures. However, in view of the human rights situation, the Netherlands will not enter into a mutual legal assistance treaty with China. ¶39. (b) The Dutch continue to work closely with the U.S. on precursor chemical controls and investigations. This cooperation includes formal and informal agreements on the exchange of intelligence. ¶40. (c) Yes, the Netherlands is a party to agreements on a method of maintaining records of transactions of an established list of precursor and essential chemicals. ¶41. (d) The Netherlands established such procedures in 1994. ¶42. (e) The Netherlands has efficient national chemical control legislation in place which imposes record keeping and reporting requirements for listed chemicals. ¶43. (f) No, the Netherlands doesn't encourage illicit production of controlled substances or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. ¶44. (g) No. ------------ Dublin Group ------------ ¶45. The Netherlands is a member of the Dublin Group and chairs its Central European (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia) regional Group. ¶46. The Netherlands is a member of the major donors group of the UNDCP. ¶47. The Netherlands does not have a fixed counternarcotics budget. The funds are disbursed through several distinct programs and organs of the government. Russel