Printer Friendly


I. Summary

Poland has traditionally been a transit country for drug trafficking. However, improving economic conditions and increased ease of travel to Western Europe have increased its significance as a consumer market and a producer of amphetamines. Illicit drug production and trafficking are closely tied to organized crime. Poland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Traditionally Poland has been a transit country for drug trafficking. Improved economic conditions and increased ease of travel to Western Europe have increased Poland's significance as a consumer market and a producer of amphetamines. Illicit drug production and trafficking are closely tied to organized crime, and while Polish law enforcement agencies have been successful in breaking up organized crime syndicates involved in drug trafficking, criminal activities continue to become more sophisticated and global in nature. Poland finalized a National Program for Counteracting Drug Addiction in July 2002, and in 2004 allocated a budget for its implementation. Cooperation between USG officials and Polish law enforcement has been consistent and outstanding, and Poland's EU accession has accelerated the process of GOP diligence on narcotics policy.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2006

Policy Initiatives. The total 2006 budget for state institutions is estimated at over $38 million. The complete information on the costs of the antidrug program, called the "National Plan," which will include both national and local government funding, will be available in mid-2007. By comparison, in 2005 the total costs of implementing the National Plan amounted to over $90 million, which was an increase of approximately 30 percent. In addition, the National Bureau for Combating Drug Addiction has a 2006 budget of $3.4 million, up slightly from $3.2 million in 2005.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Polish National Police cooperated with DEA in numerous narcotics investigations targeting drug trafficking organizations that import controlled substances into Poland, as well as those that export controlled substances to the United States. The National Bureau for Drug Addiction is well-known for its openness and cooperation in discussing drug-related issues. To fight international crime, the use of informants, telephone taps, and controlled deliveries are now all permitted by Polish law, and a witness protection program is in place. Poland continues to strengthen its relationship with Interpol in international policing efforts. Additionally, it works closely with the European Police Office (Europol) and has signed a border crossing agreement to monitor its eastern border. Police law enforcement officers go to Brussels for training.

On October 27, customs officers from Bialystok made the largest drug bust of the year at the Lithuanian border. They inspected a Lithuanian truck and found 570 liters of BMK--a precursor for the production of amphetamines. This amount of BMK could have produced 500 kg of amphetamines, with a market value of $8.3 million (25 million PLN). Each customs officer received a bonus of $3,300 (10,000 PLN).

The Paprocki case was another notable drug bust. The investigation involved cooperation between DEA's Warsaw and Tampa, FL District Offices and Polish police's Warsaw and Gdansk offices. Cooperation on this case led to the seizure in Poland of large quantities of MDMA (Ecstasy), amphetamines, and $112,000 in counterfeit U.S. currency, as well as leading to the dismantling of the amphetamine laboratory.

Corruption. A comprehensive inter-ministerial anticorruption plan contains strict timelines for legislative action and for the implementation of strict and transparent anticorruption procedures within each individual ministry. Instances of small-scale corruption (bribery, smuggling, etc.) are prevalent at all levels within the Customs Service and among police. The number of cases investigated and successfully prosecuted relative to the number of reported incidents, however, remains low. The U.S. Government has worked closely with the Polish National Police to improve police training on ethics and corruption, and has presented several training courses on the subject under a Law Enforcement Assistance Agreement.

Agreements and Treaties. Poland has fulfilled requirements to harmonize its laws with the EU's Drug Policy. Poland is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, and illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms. In September 2006, Poland ratified the UN Corruption Convention. Poland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. An extradition treaty and MLAT are in force between the U.S. and Poland. In May 2004, Poland became a full member of the Dublin Group of countries coordinating narcotics assistance.

Drug Flow/Transit. While synthetic drugs are manufactured in Poland (the precursors are usually imported from other countries), heroin, hashish, cocaine, and Ecstasy frequently transit the country, as does opium in all forms originating from Afghanistan. Poland produces a large amount of high quality amphetamines in clandestine laboratories located throughout the country. Polish organized crime syndicates then distribute the amphetamines throughout the European community, especially in Russia, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries. Destinations for these drugs are primarily Western Europe and the United States. There are also North-South routes transiting or leading to Poland. Polish police believe that most of the drugs transiting Poland are headed to Germany and the United Kingdom. Sea-based shipping routes are also utilized; some of the largest seizures in Poland have taken place at the Baltic port of Gdansk. Police, however, report that they lack a basis to estimate with any precision the amount of illegal drugs transiting through Poland.

Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Demand reduction objectives of the National Plan include reducing the spread of drug use, limiting the spread of HIV infections connected with drug use, and improving the quality and effectiveness of treatment. The Plan also seeks to improve training and coordination between various Polish law enforcement authorities, including the CBS and the border guards. The CBS has made the controlling and monitoring of precursors their top priority. The Law on Counteracting Drug Addiction also requires the Ministry of Education to provide a drug prevention curriculum for schools and to provide support for demand reduction projects based on a community approach. The Ministry of Education requires all schools to incorporate a drug prevention curriculum in their programs, however, schools are able to modify and tailor their drug prevention curriculum to meet individual school needs. To assist teachers with this task, the Ministry has a Center for Psychological and Didactic Assistance, which offers professional training and programs to develop drug prevention curriculum.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. Training under the State Department-funded narcotics assistance program from 2002 through 2005 was highly successful, but this program has expired and will not be renewed. Operational cooperation through joint investigations will continue and should be enhanced by the new DEA office (see below).

Bilateral Cooperation. In August, DEA opened its office in the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw. In past years, Poland was handled from Berlin, Germany. DEA maintains close contact and holds numerous operational liaison meetings with Polish law enforcement officials. The highly successful 2002 Letter of Agreement between Poland the United States under the International Criminal Investigative Training and Assistance Program (ICITAP) expired in 2005 and has not been renewed. In 2006 DEA sent a member of the Polish National Police to the United States for training.

The Road Ahead. Poland's accession to EU membership on May 1, 2004 played a key role in sharpening the GOP's attention to narcotics policy. The EU is by far the largest donor to Poland's counter narcotics activities, facilitating even closer collaboration between Poland and its neighbors to the East and the West. GOP priorities for 2007 will continue to include better educational campaigns addressed to specific target groups (including media campaigns, and a 'peer campaign' for children and students) and continuing the pilot program for the assessment of the quality of medical, rehabilitation, and health harm reduction treatments provided by various institutions. Authorities will also continue to focus on the creation of a strategy for counteracting drug addiction at the local (township) level.
Drug Seizures:

 2004 2005 Jan-Jun 2006

Heroin (kg) 65.6 41.1 53.16
Cannabis (plants) 15,440 34,916 5,899
Marijuana (kg) 207.5 201.4 103.9
Amphetamines (kg) 236.5 308.6 214.6
Hashish (kg) 41 18.5 9.5
Cocaine (kg) 21.7 12.8 10.99
Ecstasy (tablets) 269,377 487,268 77,321
LSD (strips) 3,428 2,157 620
BMK (liters) 4,970 716 411
COPYRIGHT 2007 U.S. Department of State
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Europe and Central Asia
Publication:International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
Geographic Code:4EXPO
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Previous Article:Norway.
Next Article:Portugal.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters