Viewing cable 05THEHAGUE3305, 2005 INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL STRATEGY REPORT
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|05THEHAGUE3305||2005-12-12 14:02||2011-01-19 21:09||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy The Hague|
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 THE HAGUE 003305 SIPDIS DEPT FOR INL, INL/T, EUR/ERA, EUR/PGI, EUR/UBI DOJ FOR OIA, AFMLS, NDDS TREASURY FOR FINCIN USEU FOR WAGNER AND DOJ DEA HQS FOR OEE, OIE, AND OFFICE OF CHEMICAL DIVERSION E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: SNAR PREL PGOV KCRM NL SUBJECT: 2005 INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL STRATEGY REPORT (INCSR): THE NETHERLANDS - PART 1, DRUGS AND CHEMICAL DIVERSION CONTROL REF: (A) STATE 209561 ---------- ¶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 - MDMA), and a substantial consumer of most illicit drugs. The current Dutch center-right coalition has made measurable progress in implementing a five-year strategy (2002-2006) against production, trade and consumption of synthetic drugs. According to the public prosecutor's office, the number of Ecstasy tablets seized in the U.S. that could be linked to the Netherlands dropped to 0.2 million in 2004 from 1.1 million in 2003 and 2.5 million in 2002. This number does not take into account the amount of Ecstasy seized in Canada that is destined for the U.S. Operational cooperation between U.S. and Dutch law enforcement agencies is excellent, despite some differences in approach and tactics. In July 2005, ONDCP Director John Walters and Dutch Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst signed an agreement to exchange scientific and demand reduction information. The Netherlands actively participates in DEA's El Paso Information Center (EPIC). The 100% controls at Schiphol airport on inbound flights from the Caribbean and some South American countries have resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of drug couriers. Dutch popular attitudes toward soft drugs remain tolerant to the point of indifference. The Government of the Netherlands (GONL) and the 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, one of 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 Ecstasy and marijuana is significant; there is also production of amphetamines and other synthetic drugs. The Netherlands also has a large (legal) chemical sector, making it an opportune location for criminals to obtain or produce precursor chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs. ------------------------------------------ III. Country actions against drugs in 2005 ------------------------------------------ Policy Initiatives -------------------- ¶3. Major Dutch government policy initiatives in 2005 include: ¶4. The National Crime Squad (Nationale Recherche or NR), which officially started functioning in January 2004, had a very successful year in 2005. Not only did it make the largest cocaine seizure ever in the Netherlands, it also dismantled the largest Ecstasy laboratory ever found in the country (see below for more details). Cannabis -------- ¶5. As announced in the 2004 Cannabis Letter, the Dutch Government has given top priority to discouraging drug tourism and cannabis cultivation, particularly in the southern border regions. In November 2005, Justice Minister Donner sent the Second Chamber an assessment of the government's cannabis policy, highlighting the most important developments: - Maastricht shortly is expected to begin the trial project with special coffeeshop passes for its local residents. If successful, the experiment, which will limit the purchase soft drugs in Dutch coffeeshops to Dutch nationals, will be expanded; - In October 2005, Justice Minister Donner proposed amending the Opium Act to make it easier for local governments to close down premises where drugs are sold illegally. Currently, closure of such drug premises is possible with a judge's order, but only if there is concrete evidence they are causing serious public nuisance; - The public prosecutor's office and the police in the southern provinces of Brabant and Limburg have started a pilot project targeting the criminal organizations behind illegal cannabis cultivation, rather than merely focusing on individual growers; - In anticipation of parliamentary ratification of the bilateral law enforcement cooperation treaties with Germany and Belgium, practical measures have been taken to reduce drug trafficking in border regions. Cross-border surveillance has been intensified and license numbers of drug tourists are being exchanged; - To implement the EU framework decision on illegal drug trafficking of November 2004, the Government currently is drafting a proposal raising the sentence for large-scale cannabis cultivation and illegal cannabis trafficking either or not in organized form from 4 to 6 years' imprisonment; - The 2004 National Drug Monitor, published by the Trimbos Addiction Institute in April 2005, showed that recent (within the last-month) cannabis use among young people aged 12-18 dropped from 11% in 1996 to 9% in 2003. Lifetime prevalence (ever-used) of cannabis in this age group dropped from 22% to 19% over the same period. In 2004, Trimbos began a 3-year mass- media publicity campaign, subsidized by the Health Ministry, to discourage cannabis use among young people; - The average THC content in Dutch-grown cannabis (Nederwiet) was 20% in 2003-2004, and appears to be stabilizing at between 17 and 20%. The State Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM) has been ordered to investigate acute health risks of cannabis with high THC levels. Results of this study are expected in March 2006. ¶6. A July 2005 study estimated the total number of coffeeshops in the Netherlands at 737 at the end of 2004, down from 754 in 2002. Only 22% of the 483 Dutch municipalities allow coffeeshops within their cities - 70% do not allow any at all. Half of all coffeeshops are located in the five largest cities. On average, coffeeshops are controlled four times per year, and criteria for operating such shops usually are well observed. ¶7. In a November 28, 2005 letter to the Second Chamber, Health Minister Hoogervorst stated that legal sales of medicinal cannabis by pharmacies have largely failed. He said the policy to allow medicinal sales in pharmacies could only be effective if an official cannabis-based medicine were registered. Hoogervorst intends to end the experiment if the pharmaceutical industry fails to develop such a medicine within one year. Since March 2003, doctors have been allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis for their chronically ill patients. The Health Ministry's Bureau for Medicinal Cannabis buys the cannabis from two official growers, controls quality and organizes the distribution. Cocaine Trafficking ------------------- ¶8. In July 2005, the Justice Ministry expanded prosecutions of South American and Caribbean cocaine couriers at Schiphol airport. Previously, the government only prosecuted couriers carrying 3 kilos or more of cocaine; couriers carrying smaller quantities were sent home. Under the new policy, couriers carrying 1.5 or more kilos are prosecuted. Government officials expect to prosecute all couriers, regardless of quantity carried, by January 2006. This has become possible because of the dramatic decline in the number of couriers due to the stricter controls. During a Justice Ministry budget debate in November 2005, the Second Chamber questioned the high amount of money spent annually on the 100% controls: 27 million euros by Justice, and 6.5 million euros each by the KMAR military police and Customs. In early 2006, the Justice Ministry will publish an assessment of the Schiphol drug policy, including a long-term plan. ¶9. In September 2005, Justice Minister Donner signed agreements with his Colombian and Venezuelan counterparts on intensified cooperation in combating cocaine trafficking in the regions. ¶10. In June 2005, the Justice Ministry agreed to resume sharing the list of all blacklisted Schiphol couriers with DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) after a two-month hiatus due to Dutch concerns over privacy protections. To date, approximately 5,300 courier names have been provided to EPIC. ¶11. In August 2005, the Rotterdam police seized 4,500 kilos of cocaine - the largest cocaine seizure ever in the Netherlands. The cocaine, hidden inside two large steel cable spools, was worth an estimated 273 million dollars. The investigation involved close cooperation with DEA offices in Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Cooperation among Dutch, German and Spanish police led to the seizure of 1,650 kilos of cocaine at the Port of Rotterdam in November. The cocaine, with an estimated street value of 60 million dollars, was hidden in tins of asparagus and red peppers. Ecstasy --------- ¶12. In July 2005, Justice Minister Donner submitted to the Second Chamber an interim evaluation of the Government's 2002- 2006 Ecstasy action plan. The report, which covers the period up to 2004, indicated positive effects, such as increased seizures, suspects, and completed investigations. (For more details, see para on cultivation/production.) ¶13. On November 29, 2005, the National Crime Squad (NR) and the FIOD-ECD fiscal and economic investigation service dismantled the largest Ecstasy lab ever found in the Netherlands. The professional lab was found in Nederweert (southern Limburg province), and was estimated to have had a production capacity of 20 million Ecstasy tablets. The police also found more than 300 liters of PMK and a small quantity of MDMA powder and amphetamine. In addition, more than 50,000 liters of chemicals were discovered at a different location. Six people were arrested, all of them from Limburg province. The investigation, which began in May 2005, was carried out in close cooperation with German and Belgian authorities. This was the first Ecstasy lab discovered in 2005; previously, only amphetamine laboratories had been found this year. Heroin Experiment ----------------- ¶14. In June 2005, Ministers Donner and Hoogervorst informed the Second Chamber that projects providing free heroin to hard-core drug addicts would be expanded to another 15 municipalities, for which 7 million euros would be made available over the next few years. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Groningen and Heerlen already have such projects, which include a total of 300 addicts. In total, 980 addicts could be treated with the extra money. Accomplishments --------------- ¶15. The new National Crime Squad (NR) has proved very effective in drug investigations, and resulted in closer cooperation with the DEA. In July 2005, the national police (KLPD) assigned a liaison officer to China to work on joint precursor chemical investigations. In addition to working directly with the Chinese, the Netherlands is an active participant in the INCB/PRISM project's taskforce. 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 among 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 dealers are subject to a prison sentence of up to 12 years. When trafficking takes place on an organized scale, the sentence is increased by one-third (up to 16 years). Sales of small amounts of cannabis products (under five grams) 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 not creating a public nuisance). ¶18. The Dutch National Police (KLPD) and the National Prosecutors office continue to give high priority to combating the illegal drug trade. The new National Crime Squad (Nationale Recherche - NR), a branch of the KLPD, became operational on January 1, 2004; two of the NR's primary missions are investigating of smuggling and cross border trade in cocaine and heroin, and investigating the production and trade of synthetic drugs. As part of the bilateral Next Steps law enforcement negotiations, DEA has obtained increased access to the NR office in The Hague, which focuses on cocaine investigations, and is working toward a similar relationship with the NR office in Helmond, which focuses on synthetic drugs. In September 2004, DEA assigned an additional special agent to The Hague Country Office, increasing the office's manpower to six, the largest it has ever been. ¶19. In April 2005, the Dutch participated in the International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) in Santiago, Chile. This conference, involving approximately 50 nations, meets to share drug intelligence, identify joint targets and assist in coordinating international drug trafficking investigations. In July 2005, the KLPD assigned a liaison officer to Beijing, China to facilitate joint cooperation on precursor chemical investigations. In November 2005, the Dutch hosted the Synthetic Drug Enforcement Conference (SYNDEC II), which focused on ways to increase international cooperation on synthetic drug and precursor chemical investigations. ¶20. All foreign law enforcement assistance requests continue to be sent to the DIN (International Network Service), a division of the NR. The DIN has assigned two liaison officers to assist DEA and other U.S. law enforcement agencies. Since the reorganization into the NR, the DIN has allowed DEA and other liaison officers to contact one of the five NR offices directly with requests. In addition, DEA has been allowed to contact regional police offices on a case-by- case basis. This policy has permitted better coordination during ongoing enforcement actions, such as controlled deliveries and undercover operations. Under Dutch law enforcement policy, prosecutors still control most aspects of an investigation. Dutch police officers must get prosecutor concurrence to share police-to-police information directly with foreign liaison officers. This can hamper the quick sharing of information, which could be used proactively in an ongoing investigation. However, the quick sharing of police- to-police information is improving as a result of the increased access for DEA agents with NR units. This improved information sharing led to the seizure of approximately 4,500 kilograms of cocaine and the dismantling of a Colombian cocaine transportation cell operating in the Netherlands and Spain in September 2005. Dutch law enforcement has also become much more willing to undertake controlled delivery operations with DEA. In fiscal year 2004, the Dutch did not accept any requests from DEA for controlled delivery operations. In FY 2005, the Dutch and DEA conducted 10 inbound controlled deliveries of cocaine. This trend is continuing with three controlled delivery operations attempted so far in FY 2006. Most of these controlled deliveries are small amounts of cocaine (less than five kilograms) contained in parcels being sent from South America or the Caribbean. ¶21. The 100% controls on inbound flights from the Caribbean and some South American countries continue at Schiphol Airport. Currently couriers with more than 1.5 kilograms of cocaine are prosecuted. The Dutch Ministry of Justice anticipates prosecuting all cocaine couriers, regardless of quantity, at Schiphol beginning in January 2006. The manpower required to conduct these 100% controls remains a major monetary expense and logistical challenge for the authorities at Schiphol. The program negatively affects the number of flights targeted for outbound checks, and as a result, the number of outbound drug couriers going to the United States arrested at Schiphol remains low. Corruption ---------- ¶22. 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 or systemic. In November 2005, 140 officers of the special Schiphol CargoHarc drug team staged a preventive security control action of the airport's baggage basement, searching for drugs and other potential criminal activities. The action did not result in any arrests. Agreements and Treaties ----------------------- ¶23. The Netherlands is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention. The Netherlands is a member of the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs and the major donors group of the UNODC. The Netherlands is a leading member of the Dublin Group of countries coordinating drug-related assistance. The Netherlands ratified the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime in 2004, and ratified the protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling in ¶2005. Cultivation and Production -------------------------- ¶24. Although commercial (indoor) cultivation of hemp is banned, about 80 percent of the Dutch cannabis market is Dutch-grown marijuana (Nederwiet). A 2004 national police report of the Dutch drug market estimated the Netherlands has between 17,000-22,000 cannabis plantations producing about 68,000-99,000 kilos of Nederwiet. In 2004, 2,261 hemp plantations were dismantled, up from 1,867 in 2003. 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 such cultivation. To end the controversial policy of allowing front-door cannabis sales in coffeeshops but banning back-door deliveries, a Second Chamber majority urged the Government in October 2005 to approve a trial program regulating cannabis cultivation. Proponents, including the Mayors of Amsterdam and Maastricht, argued that the measure would end large-scale home cultivation, in which organized crime plays an important role. Justice Minister Donner and Interior Minister Remkes strongly opposed the experiment on the grounds that it would violate international treaties to which the Netherlands is committed. ¶25. The Netherlands remains one of the largest producers of synthetic drugs, although the National Crime Squad (NR) has noted a production shift to Eastern Europe. According to the NR, there also appears to be a shift from Ecstasy to amphetamine production. According to a July 2005 report by the National Crime Squad (NR), 197 Ecstasy suspects were arrested in 2004, down from 214 in 2003. The NR seized 11,120 liters of chemical precursors compared to 11,453 liters in 2003. The NR completed 60 criminal investigations in 2004 and 40 in 2003. The Fiscal and Economic Investigation Service (FIOD-ECD) completed 23 investigations in 2004 and 19 in 2003. The total number of Ecstasy tablets with an alleged Dutch connection confiscated by U.S. authorities continued to drop from almost 2.3 million tablets in 2002, and 1.1 million in 2003, to about 0.2 million in ¶2004. The number of registered Ecstasy tablets seized in the Netherlands totaled 5.6 million in 2004, compared to 5.4 million in 2003. ¶26. According to the same NR report, 2004 drug seizures around the world that could be related to the Netherlands involved more than 10 million MDMA tablets (2003: 12.9 million) and more than 1,000 kilos (2003: 870 kilos) of MDMA powder. MDMA (powder and paste) seizures in the Netherlands in 2004 dropped to 303 kilos from 435 kilos in 2003. The number of dismantled production sites in the Netherlands for synthetic drugs dropped to 29 in 2004 from 37 in 2003. Of the 29 production sites, 13 were for amphetamine and 11 for Ecstasy production, and 5 were meant for Ecstasy tableting. Drug Flow/Transit ----------------- ¶27. The Netherlands remains an important point of entry for drugs to Europe, especially cocaine. According to a November 2003 report by the National Crime Squad, an estimated 40,000- 50,000 kilos of cocaine are smuggled annually into the Netherlands, of which about 20,000 kilos enter via Schiphol and the remainder via seaports and road from Spain (Dutch cocaine use is estimated at 4,000-8,000 kilos annually). The Dutch government has stepped up border controls to combat the flow of drugs, including the successful Schiphol Action Plan. Cocaine seizures in the Netherlands dropped to 12,387 kilos in 2004, of which about 8,155 kilos were seized at Schiphol. The government has 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 have also been intensified. Money Laundering ---------------- ¶28. The Netherlands participates in the 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. (Septel) Asset Seizures -------------- ¶29. 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 --------------------------------------------- - ¶30. The U.S. and the Netherlands have fully operational extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements (MLAT). Some defense attorneys, however, have argued that suspects who may be accused in the United States of terrorist offences should not be extradited because of the way they may be treated in the U.S. Courts have been receptive to this argument. Demand Reduction ---------------- ¶31. The Netherlands has a wide variety of demand 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; the 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. ¶32. According to the 2004 National Drug Monitor, the out- patient treatment centers registered some 29,173 drug users seeking treatment for their addiction in 2003, compared to 27,768 in 2002. The number of cannabis addicts seeking treatment rose to 4,485 in 2003 from 3,701 in 2002, but the number of opiate addicts seeking treatment dropped from 16,043 in 2002 to 15,195 in 2003. Statistics from drug treatment services show a sharp increase in the number of people seeking help for cocaine addiction, from 6,103 in 2000 to 9,216 in 2003. About 65 percent of addicts seeking help for cocaine problems are crack cocaine users. ¶33. Drug use among students ages 12-18, 1999 and 2003 (percent reporting life-time (ever) use and last-month use) Life-time use Last-month use ------------- -------------- 1999 2003 1999 2003 Cannabis 20.0 19.0 9.0 9.0 Cocaine 2.8 2.2 1.2 0.8 Heroin 0.8 1.1 0.4 0.5 Amphetamine 2.8 2.2 1.1 0.8 Ecstasy 3.9 2.9 1.4 1.2 (Source: National Drug Monitor 2004, Trimbos Institute Prevention ---------- ¶34. 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 2004, the Health Ministry and the Trimbos Institute launched a three-year cannabis information campaign warning young people in the 12-18 age group about the health risks. The 24-hour national Drug Info Line of the Trimbos Institute has become very popular. --------------------------- IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives --------------------------- Bilateral Cooperation --------------------- ¶35. U.S. and Dutch law enforcement agencies maintained excellent operational cooperation, with principal attention given to countering the Netherlands' role as a key source country for MDMA/Ecstasy entering the U.S. The U.S. Embassy in The Hague has made the fight against the Ecstasy threat one of its highest priorities. Dutch law enforcement has dramatically improved its acceptance of controlled delivery operations with the DEA, but continues to resist use of criminal infiltrants in 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 fourth bilateral law enforcement talks, which were held in Washington in April 2005, resulted in additional agreements to the Agreed Steps list of action to enhance law enforcement cooperation in fighting drug trafficking. ¶36. The U.S. and the Netherlands cooperate closely on law enforcement activities throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The U.S. 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. ¶37. Since 1999, the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) has been working with NIDA on joint addiction research projects. The Road Ahead -------------- ¶38. We expect U.S.-Dutch bilateral law enforcement cooperation to intensify in 2006. The bilateral Agreed Steps process will continue to promote closer cooperation in international investigations, including Ecstasy and money laundering cases. In particular, increased access for DEA agents to NR drug units is expected to result in enhanced police-to-police information sharing and coordination. The Dutch government's Ecstasy Action Plan is expected to result in further improvements in Dutch counter narcotics efforts. The Dutch synthetic drug unit, which now is part of the National Crime Squad, will continue to make concrete progress. The stationing of the Dutch liaison officer in China in July 2005 is expected to increase cooperation among the U.S., China and the Netherlands on precursor chemicals. We have also noticed improved and expedited handling of extradition requests. ------------- ¶V. Statistics ------------- ¶37. Drug Seizures 2003 2004 ---- ---- Heroin (kilos) 417 1,244 Cocaine (kilos) 17,560 12,387 Ecstasy (tablets) 5,420,033 5,600,193 Ecstasy (powder and paste)(kilos) 435 303 Ecstasy production sites 37 29 Amphetamine (kilos) 843 533 Amphetamine (tablets) 14,000 10,355 LSD (doses) - 52,000 LSD (tablets) 1,642 - Methadone (tablets) 57,430 13,866 Cannabis resin (kilos) 10,719 16,101 Marijuana (kilos) 7,067 7,491 Nederwiet (kilos) 1,179 2,163 Hemp plants 1,111,855 1,127,174 Dismantled hemp plantations 1,867 2,261 (Source: KLPD National Police Force) Chemical Control ---------------- ¶38. Responses below are keyed to the questions in reftel. -- (a) The Netherlands is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and 1990 European Union Regulations. Trade in precursor chemicals is governed by the 1995 Act to Prevent Abuse of Chemical Substances (WVMC). The law seeks to prevent the diversion of legal chemicals into the illegal sector. Violations of the law can lead to prison sentences (maximum of six years), fines (up to 50,000 Euros), or asset seizures. The Fiscal and Economic Information and Investigation Service (FIOD-ECD) oversees implementation of the law. The NR synthetic drug unit 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 GONL signed an MOU with China concerning chemical precursor investigations. -- 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. The Netherlands is an active participant in the INCB/PRISM project's taskforce. -- (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. -- (d) The Netherlands established such procedures in 1994. -- (e) The Netherlands has efficient national chemical control legislation in place which imposes record keeping and reporting requirements for listed chemicals. -- (f) No, the Netherlands doesn't encourage illicit production of controlled substances or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. -- (g) No. Blakeman