Printer Friendly

Eastern Caribbean.

I. Summary

The seven Eastern Caribbean countries--Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines--are vulnerable to drug trafficking from South America to markets in the U.S. and Europe. Illicit narcotics transit the Eastern Caribbean mostly by sea, in small "go-fast" vessels, larger fishing vessels, yachts and freight carriers. There is little narcotics airdrop activity in the region. Recently there has been the increased trend of using sailing yachts to transport drugs from the Caribbean to Europe. Each of the countries has a bilateral maritime countemarcotics agreement with the U.S. The USG has provided a number of leadership, marine engineering and maintenance, and seamanship training courses to the Eastern Caribbean nations in FY2007. Additionally, the USCG continues to maintain a three-person Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT) to provide technical/logistic support and coordinate all depot-level maintenance for over 40 maritime security vessels in the Eastern Caribbean. The seven Eastern Caribbean states are parties to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Countries and Actions Against Drugs in 2007

Antigua and Barbuda. The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are transit points for cocaine moving from South America to the U.S. and European markets. Narcotics entering Antigua and Barbuda are transferred from go-fast boats, fishing vessels, or yachts to other go-fasts, powerboats or local fishing vessels for further movement. Secluded beaches and uncontrolled marinas provide opportunities to conduct these drug transfer operations. Marijuana cultivation in Antigua and Barbuda is not significant. Marijuana imported for domestic consumption primarily comes from St. Vincent.

According to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB), approximately 60 percent of the cocaine that transits Antigua and Barbuda is destined for the United Kingdom, representing a 15 percent decrease from the previous year, while the amount transited to the United States increased from 15 to 25 percent between 2006 and 2007. Approximately 10 percent of the cocaine transiting Antigua and Barbuda is destined for St. Martin/Sint Maarten. There were no reports of production, transit or consumption of methamphetamines in Antigua and Barbuda. There is also no legislation that imposes specific recordkeeping on precursor chemicals.

Antigua and Barbuda is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GOAB is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the Inter-American Convention on Extradition, and the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (Inter-American Firearms Convention), and the Inter-American Convention on Extradition. The GOAB is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. There was no new narcotics-related legislation in 2007.

Through October 2007, GOAB forces seized 5.7 kilograms (kg) of cocaine and 464 kg of marijuana, arrested 134 persons on drug-related charges, and prosecuted six traffickers. There were five cannabis fields discovered in 2007 and the GOAB eradicated 9,394 plants. Antigua and Barbuda has both conviction-based and civil forfeiture legislation.

The police operate a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, targeting youth between ages 10 and 12, and lecture church groups and other civic organizations on the dangers of drugs. Local organizations such as the Optimist Club and Project Hope conduct their own school programs or assist groups that work with drug addicts. There is one drug rehab center named Cross Roads Centre which offers treatment from two separate locations.

Barbados. Barbados is a transit country for cocaine and marijuana. There has been a general increase in drugs transiting Barbados since 2004. A notable trend encountered in 2007 was the use of employees working in key commercial transportation positions, e.g. baggage handlers, FedEx, DHL to assist with drug trafficking, and the emerging trend of having cocaine soaked into clothing to avoid detection. Most of the cannabis entering Barbados is consumed locally, while local consumption of cocaine represents only five percent of the amount thought to transit the island. There is legislation that imposes recordkeeping on precursor chemicals. There were no reports of production, transit or consumption of methamphetamines in Barbados. In 2007, Government of Barbados (GOB) agencies reported seizing 228.6 kg of cocaine and 4,194 kg of marijuana. There have not been any seizures of Ecstasy since 2005, when Barbados, for the first time, confiscated 2,445 Ecstasy tablets. The GOB brought drug charges against 242 persons during 2007--a two thirds decrease from the number of arrests made in 2006. Four major drug traffickers were arrested during this period. Total reported drug charges in 2007 were significantly lower than the previous year. In 2007, the GOB eliminated 7,194 cannabis plants, almost triple the amount eliminated in 2006.

Barbados is party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Barbados has signed, but not ratified, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, and is a party to the Inter-American Firearms Convention. Barbados has not signed the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters or the Inter-American Convention on Extradition. The Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act allows Barbados to provide mutual legal assistance to countries with which it has a bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty, Commonwealth countries, and states-parties to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Barbados has an asset-sharing agreement with Canada. Barbados has signed but has not yet ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols and the UN Convention against Corruption.

The GOB's National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) and various concerned NGOs, such as the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, are very active and effective. NCSA works closely with NGOs on prevention and education efforts and supports skills-training centers. NCSA sponsored a "Drugs Decisions" program in 45 primary schools and continued sponsoring prison drug and rehabilitation counseling initiatives. Barbados's excellent D.A.R.E. and Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education (P.R.I.D.E.) programs remained active throughout the school system. There is also a drug rehabilitation clinic now in operation.

Commonwealth of Dominica. Marijuana is cultivated in Dominica and the island serves as transshipment point for drugs headed to the U.S. and Europe. The Dominica Police regularly conduct eradication missions in rugged, mountainous areas. During the year, Dominican law enforcement agencies reported seizing 353 kg of cocaine and 181 kg of marijuana--down substantially from 2006. Dominica Police arrested 217 persons on drug-related charges, and prosecuted eight major drug traffickers. According to the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica (GCOD) Police, most of the drugs that transit through Dominica are intended for foreign markets. Marijuana accounts for approximately 90 percent of all drug consumption on the island. There were no reports of production, transit or consumption of methamphetamines in Dominica. The Ministry of Health and its National Drug Abuse Prevention Unit have been successful in establishing a series of community-based drug use prevention programs, including the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program (D.A.R.E.).

Dominica is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Dominica is a party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Inter-American against Trafficking in Illegal Firearms Convention, the Inter-American Convention against Firearms, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, and Inter-American Convention against Terrorism.

Grenada. South American and Caribbean drug trafficker's transit through or stop in Grenada's coastal waters to transship cocaine and marijuana en route to U.S. and other markets. Marijuana remains the most widely used drug among Grenadian users. Marijuana is smuggled through Grenada from both St. Vincent and Jamaica. Local officials estimate about 75 percent remains on the island. The remaining 25 percent is destined for other markets, primarily Barbados and Trinidad. There is a small amount of marijuana cultivation in Grenada, primarily for local consumption. There are no drug processing labs in Grenada. According to the police, there were no signs of other drugs, such as methamphetamines transiting Grenada in 2007. However, the increase in violence and gang activity associated with the drug trade, including armed robbery and kidnapping reported in 2006 continues to cause concern. Petty crimes, including theft and break-ins for cash to pay for drugs, remain a problem.

The police drug squad continues to collaborate closely with Drug Enforcement Administration officials in the targeting and investigation of a local drug trafficking organization associated with South American and other Caribbean traffickers. From January through October 15, 2007, the police arrested 382 people on drug-related charges, 356 men and 26 women. Of those arrested, 375 were Grenadian, 2 were from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I was from Trinidad & Tobago, I was from St. Kitts and Nevis, I was from Guyana, and 2 were from the United Kingdom. Two major drug traffickers were arrested during this period: Micheal (sic) "Sands" Levine, presently serving a three year sentence, and Garvin Patrice, out on bail.

For the year, Grenadian authorities reported seizing approximately 935.8 kg of cocaine, 9,824 marijuana plants, 260 kg of marijuana, and 1,686 marijuana cigarettes. Regular rural patrols contribute significantly to deterring cultivation of marijuana on the island on a major scale. Cultivation usually consists of around 50 or fewer plants in any one plot and is not measured in acreage. Approximately seven acres of marijuana were eradicated during the period.

Legislation was proposed in 2007 to amend the Drug Abuse (Prevention and Control) Act, to prevent the misuse of a controlled drug, to include pseudoephedrine and ephedrine. Still pending action since 2005, is a draft Precursor Chemical Bill to develop an institutional infrastructure to implement controls preventing the diversion of controlled chemical substances.

The Prevention of Corruption Act was passed by both houses of Parliament in March, but has not yet been published in the official gazette. There were no prosecutions of high-level government officials for corruption in 2007.

Grenada is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Grenada also is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, Inter-American Convention against trafficking in Illegal Firearms, the Inter-American Convention against Firearms, the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, and Inter-American Convention against Terrorism. Grenada is a party to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. An extradition treaty and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) are in force between the U.S. and Grenada.

There are a number of drug demand reduction programs available to the public through the National Drug Avoidance Committee. There are specific programs for students from the preprimary level up to the college level, teachers, and adults (community outreach program). There is also a specific program targeting women. The sole drug-rehabilitation clinic in Grenada was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Some repairs were done on the building, but it suffered further structural damage in a major fire in 2006. Presently, the Rathdune Psychiatric Wing of the Mental Hospital provides limited rehabilitation services for "extreme cases". The need for rehabilitation services outstrips capacity.

St. Kitts and Nevis. St. Kitts and Nevis is a transshipment point for cocaine from South America to the United States and the United Kingdom as well as to regional markets. Trafficking organizations operating in St. Kitts are linked directly to South American traffickers, some of whom reportedly are residing in St. Kitts, and to other organized criminal organizations. Marijuana is grown for local consumption.

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis (GOSKN) is party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. St. Kitts and Nevis is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the Inter-American Firearms Convention, but has not signed the Inter-American Convention on Extradition or the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. St. Kitts and Nevis is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols.

St. Kitts' Police Drug Unit has been largely ineffective. Insufficient political will and the lack of complete independence for the police to operate are contributing factors. The GOSKN Defence Force augments police counternarcotics efforts, particularly in marijuana eradication operations. GOSKN officials reported seizing 29 grams of cocaine, and approximately 7.5 kg of marijuana from January through October 2007. There were no reports of production, transit or consumption of methamphetamines in St. Kitts or Nevis.

From January to October 2007, 105 arrests were made--almost double that of 2006. Most significant, however, was the increased eradication of marijuana plants from approximately 6,243 in 2005 and 31,000 in 2006 to 161,500 plants in 2007. According to the GOSKN, this figure does not represent an increase in cultivation, but rather an increase in eradication efforts.

Drug demand reduction programs are available to schools and the public. D.A.R.E., Operation Future and the National Drug Council also have programs to prevent drug abuse in SKN. There are no drug rehabilitation clinics in SKN and persons seeking such treatment are sent to St. Lucia.

St. Lucia. St. Lucia is a well-used transshipment site for cocaine from South America to the U.S. and Europe. Cocaine arrives in St. Lucia in go-fast boats, primarily from Venezuela, and is delivered over the beach or off-loaded to smaller local vessels for delivery along the island's south or southwest coasts. Marijuana is imported from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and grown locally as well. Foreign and local narcotics traffickers are active in St. Lucia and have been known to stockpile cocaine and marijuana for onward shipment.

The Government of St. Lucia (GOSL) Police reported seizing 792.5 kg of cocaine in 2007, up from 50.7 kg in 2006. The GOSL also seized 793 kg of marijuana in 2007, up from 515.8 kg in 2006. The majority of arrests made island-wide are linked to the drug trade. In 2007, there were 376 arrests made for actual drug offences such as possession or trafficking of cannabis, cocaine and other drugs. However, no major drug traffickers were arrested in 2007. The GOSL eradicated approximately 44,588 marijuana plants and 11,751 seedlings in 2007, which more than doubles the 2006 amount.

The USG and the GOSL cooperate extensively on law enforcement matters. St. Lucia law permits asset forfeiture after conviction. The law directs the forfeited proceeds to be applied to treatment, rehabilitation, education and preventive measures related to drug abuse. In 2005, the GOSL adopted wiretap legislation and is considering civil forfeiture legislation. It has also taken steps to strengthen its border controls and plans to automate its immigration control systems

St. Lucia is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GOSL signed a maritime agreement with the USG in 1995 and an over-flight amendment to the maritime agreement in 1996. An MLAT and an extradition treaty are in force between St. Lucia and the United States. St. Lucia is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Trafficking in Illegal Firearms, the Inter-American Convention against Firearms, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the Inter-American Convention on Extradition, and Inter-American Convention against Terrorism. St. Lucia has signed but has not yet ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

St. Lucia has instituted a centralized authority, the Substance Abuse Council Secretariat, to coordinate the government's national counternarcotics and substance abuse strategy. Various community groups, particularly the Police Public Relations Office, continue to be active in drug use prevention efforts, with a special focus on youth. St. Lucia offers drug treatment and rehabilitation at an in-patient facility known as Turning Point, run by the Ministry of Health, but it is currently under renovation. The St. Lucian Police reports that the D.A.R.E. Program has been tremendously successful.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the largest producer of marijuana in the Eastern Caribbean and the source for much of the marijuana used in that region. Extensive tracts are under intensive marijuana cultivation in the inaccessible northern half of St. Vincent. The illegal drug trade has infiltrated the economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, making some segments of the population dependent on marijuana production, trafficking and money laundering. However, total cultivation is not at the level which would designate St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a major drug-producer because it does not significantly affect the United States. Compressed marijuana is sent from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to neighboring islands via private vessels. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has also become a storage and transshipment point for narcotics, mostly cocaine, transferred from Trinidad and Tobago and South America on go-fast and inter-island cargo boats. Boats off-loading cocaine and weapons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will return to their point of origin carrying marijuana.

For the year, Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (GOSVG) officials reported seizing 524.4 kg of cocaine, which doubled last year's figures, 397 cocaine rocks and 1,559.7 kgs of marijuana. GOSVG authorities arrested 335 persons on drug-related charges and convicted 257. There are 53 cases still pending, 3 cases dismissed and 19cases under investigation. In 2007, one major drug (cocaine) trafficker--Charles Constance--was prosecuted and sentenced to prison on money laundering charges. During the year, approximately 614,135 (up from 34,831) marijuana plants on 90 acres were eradicated. More than 11 times the amount reported in 2006. The police, customs, and coast guard try to control the rugged terrain and territorial waters of St. Vincent and the chain of islands making up the Grenadines. There has been an increase in drugs transiting St. Vincent, mainly cocaine from Venezuela, and a prevalence of crack cocaine use in some communities.

The Caribbean market makes up approximately 45 percent of marijuana consumption from SVG, the U.S. 25 percent, UK 20 percent and Canada 10 percent. There is currently legislation on precursor chemicals from various pharmaceuticals. There were no reports of production, transit or consumption of methamphetamines in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The GOSVG is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, and has signed but not ratified the Inter-American against Trafficking in Illegal Firearms, the Inter-American Convention against Firearms, and Inter-American Convention against Terrorism. The GOSVG has signed but not yet ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling. The GOSVG signed a maritime agreement with the USG in 1995, but it has not yet signed an over-flight amendment to the maritime agreement. An extradition treaty and an MLAT are currently in effect between the U.S. and the GOSVG. USG law enforcement officials received good cooperation from the GOSVG in 2006. In the past, St. Vincent Police has been cooperative in executing search warrants pursuant to U.S. MLATs.

A statute-mandated advisory council on drug abuse and prevention has been largely inactive for several years. A draft national counternarcotics plan remains pending. The government mental hospital provides drug detoxification services. The family life curriculum in the schools includes drug prevention education and selected schools continue to receive the excellent police-run D.A.R.E. Program. The OAS is assisting the GOSVG develop a drug demand reduction program for St. Vincent's prison.

Road Ahead. U.S. assistance will continue to focus on enhancing the capacity of Eastern Caribbean law enforcement to counter drug trafficking and related crimes such as money laundering, arms trafficking and corruption.
COPYRIGHT 2008 U.S. Department of State
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:The Caribbean
Publication:International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
Article Type:Country overview
Geographic Code:50CAR
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Words:3360
Previous Article:Dutch Caribbean.
Next Article:French Caribbean.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters