Amb. Bente Angell-Hansen, CND Chair: I welcome all attending for joining us in this important work, as well as the panellists on this session. I invite the meeting to adopt the provisional agenda. It is adopted. In order to use our time effectively, I’d like to start this meeting with Agenda Item 2 on the arrangements for the Reconvened and preparation for the 61st session of the Commission.
Agenda Item 2. Arrangements for the reconvened 60th session of the CND and for the 61th session of the CND.
Amb. Bente Angell-Hansen, CND Chair: As you know, the Reconvened will be taking place on the 6, 7 December; and there will not be an UNGASS Segment. The invitations and annotated provisional agenda, including the organisation of work, have been sent/made available on the website. On Policy Directives for the Drug Office and Strengthening the Role of the Directive and the Commission, I would also like to recall the Commission will have before it the report of the Executive Director, which will be discussed at FINGOV. Similar, reports on gender balance and geographical distribution. Contrary to the information I provided in the previous meeting, and due to ongoing discussions in New York, the Secretariat would not be in a position to submit a draft strategic framework for UNODC for the period 2021-2021 for consideration of the Commission in December. The Secretariat will be kept updated. Turning to the composition of the bureau of the 61st session. The officers to be elected go as follow: Chair, from GRULAC; 1st Vice Chair, from African Group; 2nd Vice Chair, from Asia Pacific Group. We have a nomination, the first one, to the Asia Pacific Group, our Excellent colleague, Ambassador from Pakistan. The 3rd Vice Chair, from Eastern European Group. The Rapporteur from WEOG. Meeting of the Expert Group Meeting on Dependence on 6-7 November. The WHO will brief the Commission at the Reconvened if any substances are recommended for scheduling. I have had a set of first brainstorming meetings with all groups from 25 to 29 September on preparations for the 62 Session of the Commission. I thank all those who were there. Another set of brainstorming meetings (13-15 November) to take place; a briefing document will be shared prior to this.
Agenda Item 3. Other Business
Agenda Item 1. Thematic discussion on the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document (Chapters III)
Amb. Pedro Luis Baptista Moitinho de Almeida, Post-UNGASS Facilitator: Welcomes participants and thanks for involvement and commitment to the implementation of the Outcome Document. We will start with a panel and then open discussions will follow. All panellists are encouraged to limit their presentation to 5-7 minutes, focusing on actions that could be taken by the Commission on the implementation of the UNGASS recommendations. If delegations wish to deliver a video message, they can get in touch with the Secretariat. Delegations are encouraged to limit their presentations to 3-5 minutes. I will use my discretion to ensure the flow of discussions. An UNGASS implementation matrix has been shared to all delegations. I encourage delegations to provide information on this matter. A “Good Practice” portal in English is to be produced.
Tofik Murshudlu, UNODC Chief of the Organised Crime and Illicit Trafficking Section: We wat to focus on regional, interregional and international cooperation. We are very often over focused on seizures. More focus should be paid on illicit financial flows and profit made by illegal organisations. Also linkages between different forms of organised crime. We are working with different regions to promote regional cooperation, including the establishment of the South East Asian Intelligence Regional Coordination Centre, promoting exchange of criminal intelligence and multilateral cooperation. Network initiatives, bringing together all law enforcement cooperation structures to make sure there are strong links between them. We are also working on strengthening the ties between Latin American and West African structures on this topic. We are making closer cooperation between country, regional and global programmes. Working closely with the Paris Pact initiative: cross border cooperation, money laundering and precursors. We have a number of law enforcement experts in UNODC that now make up an advising/cooperation Council. We work with external partners (EUROPOL, CEPOL, Frontex, etc.). Unfortunately, until now, we have no funding apart from Turkey’s 56,000. Still, we managed to promote this initiative of networks within networks. We are dealing with a global phenomenon. Using existing capacities is absolutely important. Building networks between law enforcement training institutions to exchange curricula, training methodologies and materials, etc; to avoid duplication. We are focusing on results: thousands of tons of illicit substances seized, millions seized during investigation on illicit financial flows, building links in multilateral operations of seizures, strengthening investigative linkages between firearms and drugs trade, etc.
Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, NDLEA (Nigeria), African Group: Nigeria has continued to improve its control efforts. The Nigerian government has stepped up efforts increasing access to controlled medicines and palliative care. Cannabis is the most used drug in Nigeria. 60% of Nigeria’s population is youth. The illicit diversion of ephedrine and methamphetamine continues to be of great concern. The use of khat is becoming more widespread and worrisome. Also new methamphetamine laboratories in the country. The government has put in place a drug control policy: National Drug Control Masterplan. Far-reaching plan comprising all relevant ministries, departments and agencies. Three strategic pillars: law enforcement, drug demand reduction, access and control of narcotic drugs for medical and scientific purposes. We have enacted a comprehensive anti-drug legislation that is effective and fosters cooperation. Drug control is crucial to crime reduction. The priority of Nigeria is to move from reactive to intelligence led operations. Precursors tend to come from India, Switzerland, UAE, Thailand, others. The seizure of precursors points to the existence of illicit laboratories. 3 used ephedrine as a raw material of precursor. Given stronger controls on precursors, the 4th laboratories used precursors to the precursors for meth manufacturing. Although there are improved efforts destroying cannabis farms, government operations are hazardous and cumbersome. 3 days ago, we raided a farm that covered 900ha. In a previous similar operation, 3 operatives were gunned won. The use of postal services is also worrisome. Law enforcement now working with courier services but difficult because legislative obstacles to intervene packages. Drug related seizures and arrests are increasing. Worries about datura plants, abused as a narcotic; contains scopolamine. Used by criminals for subduing victims. Further research needs to be conducted to isolate the components of the plant and scheduling the plan. Drugs under national control include tramadol, codeine. The drug control masterplan adequately provides for cooperation between law enforcement and drug control structures to facilitate assets tracing, seizures, etc. But also cooperation with regional and international bodies. Importance of terrorism-drugs link in Nigeria; drug paraphernalia always found in camps by Boko Haram. Countries should not be allowed to re-export precursors to other countries. There is a lot of diversion of chemicals, including by companies granted permits to import more than the required. Nigerian meth producers import chemicals from other West African countries; countries that have imported in excess of their limits. CND should look at that. Nigeria committed to combatting the drug menace, cooperation is fundamental.
Q: The Netherlands: You said there were abuses to the postal services for drug trafficking. The Netherlands is developing a new device that can detect drugs in all the postal parcels. This could be a good instrument to fight the abuse of postal services. My question is: Can you explain what are the countries that the drugs from Nigeria are sent to? Or is it just internal?
R: Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, African Group: The biggest problem are shipments sent from outside, mostly meth.
Ali Zulfikli, Narcotic Crime Investigation Malaysia, Asia-Pacific Group: We are facing problems with methamphetamine (we do not produce, but receive and are a transit country), heroin (not a producing country), cannabis, ketamine, a benzodiazepine. These five are major, then there are also other minor ones. In recent years, we have done a lot to contain this problem through arrests and seizures. In terms of current trends, I’ll discuss a bit of history: before 1995, the drug problem was with mostly traditional drugs (cannabis and heroin); then synthetic drugs started coming in (mainly meth). Initially, the problem was containable, but the 1995 new menace caught us off guard; it took us years to manage to contain the problem to a smaller scale. However, the foreign traffickers took advantage of this vacuum. Iranian nationals brought a lot of methamphetamines to Malaysia (2005-2013), then we contained this problem; and then groups from West Africa took over; then Indian and Taiwanese. Most of these are not strongly organised groups but rather loose networks. We are conducting a relentless operation against the illicit drug syndicates. Our Prime Minister formed a unit called STING (Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotic Group). These special forces tasked to tackle the problem of narcotics and syndicates, apart from the NCDI. We conducted a lot of operations and formed a nucleus unit in our border, mainly the border between Malaysia and Thailand, where the drug flow is substantial. We tightened our entry points through the cooperation of AITF and SITF (airports and seaports task-forces). We are doing profiling on the syndicates, on individual couriers. We study their modus operandi. We then also do profiling on parcel services. Close cooperation with local enforcement agencies, regional enforcement agencies, and international. We share intelligence, conduct joint investigations, facilitate trans-national investigations. We have cooperation with ASEAN members. And good cooperation with other foreign law enforcement (DEA, AFP, MCC, from Taiwan, just to name a few). We also conduct extensive training. We enacted a law to detain drug kingpins that do not touch the drugs (previously, the law didn’t allow to judge people for possession or trafficking if they hadn’t touched the drugs). Some may say we misuse our powers, but these laws allow for the Police to collect intelligence, which is then sent to a legal expert of the Ministry, which will then order an order of detention not exceeding two years. Within three months, traffickers can defend themselves to one of the advisory boards. They can appeal their detention, and the advisory board decides. Normally, in Malaysia, the drug problem, by the local syndicates, is by the gangster groups. They control the area, the market. There may be some loose groups, but most traffickers are from organised groups. We work closely with other law enforcement agencies. We also have the forfeiture of property law. Specific to tackle the drug money from the syndicates. The burden of proof is on the accused. It is the beauty of this law. We also investigate suspect money transactions. We have mutual legal assistance treaties between countries. In terms of the challenges, different legal provisions and requirements (between countries). Ex. Capital punishment is not accepted by other countries. We wanted to control deliveries of drugs when sent by parcels. We would like to identify the syndicates involved. To do so, we need to do this controlled delivery. It is not point that we seize a parcel. We can’t detect the originator and the receiver. We must know who they are, nip it from the bud. We need cooperation from all countries. If there are parcels from Malaysia sent to other countries, it is important that law enforcement officers in that particular area do the controlled delivery to know who are the received and give us the information to know what syndicates are involved. In some countries, this is not acceptable; and they don’t work with us because of capital punishment. Also, corruption, as secrecy is important but money can buy information. And technology, as syndicates are always one step ahead. Did we win the war on these drugs? We haven’t. Did we lose? No. We continue to make significant arrests. A commitment by all is necessary to tackle this problem. Tackle it from the root cause. Drugs are number 1 enemy. Drugs destroy human beings.
Janek Pedask, Leading Criminal Officer, Estonia, WEOG: I will focus on our national developments. If you have things organised at home, you are a better partner internationally. Illicit drug markets are among the most profitable criminal activities. Most criminal groups are involved in drug trafficking. It’s one of the biggest challenges for law enforcement agencies because of it. We have had a unique problem in the country for a decade, reaching more deaths than anywhere else in the world. I’m talking about overdose deaths by fentanyl and analogs. Estonia is not the only country dealing with this issue. Since 2001. We do not have heroin in our streets, but fentanyl. The drug can be easily smuggled. People’s lives were at stake, we needed to come up with something different and effective, fast. We need to trust our partners to be successful. We developed a databased to be accessed by all law enforcement and judicial agencies. There are restrictions, but everybody has access to do their work in the best possible way. We also merged the police, border guard and migration structures; to facilitate the exchange of information. We established close cooperation with public health professionals and other partners, including the private sector. As far as there’s demand, there will be supply. We need to find ways to address the problem with stronger cooperation. Thanks to this, we have been able to identify laboratories and plantations. We encourage law enforcement officers to address this issue with an open mind. We also focus on tackling criminal assets and money laundering. The financial investigation unit is within the police. People are willing to spend more time in prison not to lose their money. Money hurts them the most. We should address this, not put people in prison from many many years. Despite our improvements, the problem is still there. We are doing our best.
Q: Austria: How do you ensure the information does not fall in the wrong hands?
R: Yes, of course; one reliable source would be the EUROPE liaison office. If you pass the information from these channels, the person receiving the information will give the information to a trusted stakeholder. It entails some risks, but we cannot stop acting because of that possibility. In general, it works well.
Q: Italy: Could you discuss the cooperation with the private sector?
R: Why should the public sector work with the police? It’s an issue of trust and reputation. For instance, we work closely with the chemical industry who work with legal precursors. They can tell if someone who hasn’t purchased precursors ever, suddenly buys a significant amount…and raise the alarm.
Q: The Netherlands: Regarding pragmatic prevention. Estonia has a problem with fentanyl overdose. Many countries face this growing serious issue. The Netherlands has no fentanyl problem. Not sure why. It might be because cannabis is produced on a large scale because it’s cheap and available. Sold not legally, but allowed. It might be the case that because cannabis is so available, it prevents people from taking harder stuff, including heroin or fentanyl. Would there be thinkable that there is a connection.
R: I have never seen a fentanyl user starting with fentanyl. They move on from cannabis. They seek higher doses and a higher rush. Why is fentanyl in Estonia? When the Soviet Union ended, there was a lot of unemployment and people started to get addicted to heroin. The supply was cut in 2001 and fentanyl came in. In 2004, reintroduction of heroin; but preference for fentanyl. But it’s very unstable in terms of dosage.
Q: Russian Federation: We live in an era when people’s private lives are becoming more “narrow”. Estonia has a strong information resource that can be accessed by a broad range of stakeholders. How do you deal with data protection obligations?
R: We have strong limitations. Only people with clearance can access the data. The last “abuse” of the database was identified 3 years ago, and it was an operative checking themselves in the database…which is forbidden.
Ahmet Yilmaz, Chief Superintendent of the Turkish Narcotics Department, WEOG: In November, 2014, we created two new councils for counter-drug efforts. Turkish policy of supply reduction has a similarity with UNGASS because our policy to fight drugs, NPS and narcoterrorism is effective and productive. We are directly affected by drugs, partially because of geopolitical locations. We are a transit country for drugs sent to Asian countries. Penal code increased sanctions for drug offences: more criminal sanctions on the sell of drugs near schools, hospitals and places of worship. Turkey attaches great importance to international cooperation, training programmes and sharing of information. On narco-terrorism, worth noting the profits associated to the drugs trade, taken advantage by the PKK, although it is not the only one involved in trafficking. We work on a proactive approach fighting NPS, enacting generic legislation. 692 under legal control. We prohibit them before they are identified in the national territory.
Q: Egypt: Concerning drugs and NPS not under international control, but that are under national control. How do you deal with imports from other countries and smuggling of such substances?
R: In the local site on Turkey, we are always at the borders and try to monitor our borders and the system outside of the border. If we see a threat, we inform our health department, which is taken to the Ministry, and they discuss it and the substance will be taken onto the legal path towards control.
Q: European Union: Is the darknet an issue in your country?
R: We have a cybercrime unit department that works on it, following and monitoring as needed.
Q: Russian Federation: On the nature of the drug trafficking from Afghanistan. Does the heroin come into Turkey ready made or a form of heroin that needs further processing?
R: The heroin from Afghanistan is mostly coming in different chemical types to be distributed.
Céline Ruiz, European Union: Underscores the importance of the Outcome Document. Fighting organised crime is an important objective done by the EU on drug control. Multibillion-euro profits for criminal organisations, at the expense of the health and security of citizens, the rule of law, economic health of communities, etc. The online trade and the darknet is a new important challenge. Technical innovation and access to sophisticated equipment have allowed groups to maximise efficiency and profits. More than 75% of criminal groups trafficking more than one drug. Important proportion also involved in other criminal activities. In the EU, as per the European Drug Report released in June, use remains high and overdose deaths are increasing. The renewed EU Strategy and Action Plan complements and contributes to all Member States actions. There are no signs of reduction in supply of drugs, seizures are not increasing, drug-related offences are growing. The reviewed documents have three pillars: supply reduction, demand reduction and cross-cutting issues (coordination; international cooperation; and information, research, monitoring and evaluation). On the supply side, our action focuses on: collection of indicators (with qualitative and contextual information), a new legislation package on NPS (to move quicker to ban them), legislation on precursors, alternatives to coercive sanctions, more emphasis on information and communication technologies and their use in the drugs trade, increase confiscation of financial assets. We want to enhance civil society participation. NGOs are working on the ground. Support international cooperation programmes. Gathering evidence on the drugs trade and terrorism, and migrant smuggling, and trafficking of human beings. Monitoring cannabis legislation in the EU and other countries. Working hard on the implementation of the Action Plan until 2020. (…) Confiscation of criminal assets is an effective way to deter criminal groups as it removed the incentives. We propose a money laundering directive, negotiated between the Parliament and the Council of the EU (to enhance the powers of the EU financial unit, create centralised bank account registers in all member states and tackle the risk of virtual currency and anonymous credit cards). We support the network of member state asset recovery offices. Of course, reinforce international cooperation. I conclude reaffirming the UN Conventions on Transnational Organised Crime (Palermo Convention). We will support a review mechanism. And the UNCAG. We have all the tools to make a difference. Of course, this post-UNGASS work is absolutely key, as well as the SDGs processes; it’s about the eradication of poverty. UN processes need to be linked: health, governance, strong institutions, gender equality, urban areas, etc. All the 17 goals are important for this post-UNGASS work.
Q: Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, African Group: What has the EU done on cryptocurrencies and its impact on money laundering?
R: The new directive on money laundering involves dispositions on cryptocurrencies and anonymous credit cards. We expect it to be voted by the end of the year to address this important challenge.
Q: India: Have you developed the technical expertise to track crypto-drug markets? Can this intelligence be shared?
R: We have experts in EUROPOL working on this issue. By the end of the year, we’ll produce a dedicated report on the matter. We have a new centre working on this issue too. The report will be public.
Comment: Amb. Pedro Luis Baptista Moitinho de Almeida, Post-UNGASS Facilitator: We also invite countries to share these reports on the portal of the UNODC for these discussions.
Q: Turkey: Apart from crypto-drug markets, other aspects of the internet and work with private industry?
R: We organised a recent event with major private players (Facebook, Microsoft, etc.). We have an online forum on matters related to the internet, so this can be debated there. We expect to see this cooperation with private players to evolve and see if there’s a need for a legislative change.
Comment: Estonia: It’s also important for countries to show initiative. In 2015, with the Pompidou Group, all drug units had a training on drug offences committed on the internet. We thank Austria, Netherlands, Belgium and Finland, who provided their best experts to provide this training. They’re more than happy to share their experiences.
Comment: UNODC: When I made my presentation, I mentioned that in Mexico we discussed investigation of darknet and cryptocurrencies. There are very few law enforcement agencies that have this in their curriculum. It is very important because these platforms are used progressively more. UNODC has also training modules on this topic.
R: I will just highlight we have all the tools at our disposal to make a better job. Exchange information, strong states with good administration, we are working on the SDGs; all this works in the same direction. It’s what citizens are expecting. We cannot continue like this.
[Interventions from the floor start]
Amb. Alicia Buenrostro, Mexico: in taking stock of the measures linked to supply reduction, we want to underscore the contribution of the UNGASS of 2016 to place people at the centre. Activities related to supply reduction are now framed in a comprehensive strategy focusing on prevention: violence, crime and social damage. In the framework of these thematic debates, we are pleased to hear from all stakeholders that efforts to combat crime are to a greater degree taking into account the im`pact of the international community on people and the human costs of the illicit economies. We must step up efforts so that efforts prevent negative impact on public health and environmental sustainability. One of the most important lessons from UNGASS 2016, has been a convergence in the many debates that led to the Outcome Document. However, we must still work to bridge the gap between sectors from the crime and justice systems and the health system. We supported Res. 60-6, on cooperation between sectors. That’s why at the national level, our government has integrated all authorities that can have an impact on drugs under a interdepartmental space. The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic works with the department of the environment to ensure that the destruction of precursors do not damage the environment. The Federal Police is carrying out monitoring actions on the NPS market, in the internet and darknet. We launched the Sumate programme, in which the armed forces join preventative programmes; working closely with communities. Activities against drug trafficking whilst working on the structural causes for it. As a result of our efforts, we realise just focusing on punitive responses is not effective. We are convinced that the commitment to the UNGASS is the best way to ensure a comprehensive and balanced response to drugs.
[Interventions from the floor end]
European Union (Represented by Estonia): We would highlight the role of EUROPOL, which supports MS in combatting organised crime and terrorism. As well as EUROJUST, which fosters cooperation within the region. (…) We have tools for data collection, research, analysis and report on drug related matters. The EMCDDA produces multiple resources. A particular challenge concerns synthetic drugs, and ATS. An effective drug precursor control and monitoring system is a cornerstone of the EU drugs strategy. A catch-all provision and fast-track procedure has been worked on to streamline scheduling. The cooperation with industry is another pillar of drug precursor policy. Another aspect is the use of the internet and digital devices for the drugs trade. The EU takes action to address this threat. In April, conference of ministers on the matter. By the end of this year, a report will be published. The new Action Plan commits to identifying strategic responses to address the use of information technologies for the drugs trade. The EU commits to controlling financial flows. Important cooperation between Member States and the work of EUROPE. A recent complex joint investigation of a criminal group operating in different countries led to confiscation of assets worth 5million euros. We are convinced that united efforts can disrupt organised groups facilitating trafficking.
Organised Crime Branch, UNODC: We work on the frontline level and in partnership with the world customs organisation. In some countries, customs units and interagency units. Four pilot countries in 2004, and now 54 countries. Huge growth and interest, and results! We work on cargo. We need to help people on the ground. It’s one of the lessons learnt. We have regional coordinators on the ground working in the UNODC Field Office of the network. Without the local presence, we would not be able to implement. We depend on the field office network and staff there. Important to mention the World Customs Organisation. We have 4-5 trainers. 70million budget. Results: more than 200tons of cocaine, over 1,500tons of precursors (incl. for rocket propellents). When looking at the cocaine seizures, interesting to note that around 100tons had as destination the EU countries. 3 biggest ports in Europe (Valencia, Rotterdam, Antwerp) but also Panama, Ecuador and Brazil providing very good information for our work. All agencies do their data checks. Customs police and other agencies check their records and archives, and together make a decision about physical examination. Global training strategy with the World Customs Organisation (Basic training, advanced level training, etc.). We hook all units to an information-sharing system – ContainerCOM (100 countries); really good results. Last year, we trained 1,800 people through 143 training events in 46 countries.
El Salvador: One of our drug policy pillars is to reduce drug-related crime, and I want to share our experiences as a country of transit. Effective seizure is important to address this problem, as well as tackling circumstances that facilitate the trafficking of drugs. Criminals are transferring drugs and other goods to ships and, to a lesser extent, planes. This can also be seen in neighbouring countries along the transit routes. So this issue cannot be addressed in a unilateral way. The most used route of transit is by speedboats across the ocean, in quantities less than 1kg. Cocaine seizures showed the biggest increase in 2015, but cannabis seizures have decreased. Methamphetamine also seized. We are not a producing country: in 2015, police reports showed that 100% of the marijuana seized had come from other countries and was destined for North America. Since 2016, we have been part of the Airport Coordination Programme and other initiatives, and various projects have been undertaken such as trainings to ensure sustainable programmes based on international best practices. Cooperation has been seen in organisations working judicially and socially on these matters. Associated issues include money laundering, criminal gangs, and the availability of drugs for use by youth. We have held a comprehensive review of our policies. I want to share some of the main challenges. The youth are severely affected – police data tell us that most people involved with drugs are male and young. Our objective is to bolster control of drugs and combatting money laundering, as captured in our national police strategic plan. There are still limits on the analysis of some substances due to lack of facilities and staff to do this. We need to bolster these divisions of natural and synthetic drugs and precursors, to produce the necessary evidence for legal processes. We have a regulatory law on drugs, but this does not contain mechanisms for the destruction of seized drugs.
Italy: Lots of progress made in 2016, when drug operations numbered 24,000 – 23% higher than 2015. Seizures of heroin, cocaine and cannabis were increased. Drug trafficking and dealing are the bread and butter of criminal organisations with international roots – this link is proven. We are committed to raise awareness of how these organisations work. Special investigations have been proven to be effective, such as monitoring of deliveries and undercover work. Italy continues to support African countries on these issues – emphasising how even buying a single dose of drugs is feeding criminal, mafia groups. In line with the operational recommendations on enhancing law enforcement capacity, we have long been committed to this – and have trained hundreds of foreign law enforcement officers from countries around the world, including on issues such as the use of the internet, dismantling clandestine laboratories and new psychoactive substances. Italy has signed an agreement with Colombia for joint investigation teams. Italy considers tackling drug supply to be an essential part of a comprehensive approach, and encourage the adoption of the 1988 Convention.
UNODC Representative – Organised Crime Branch: Introducing the Global Programme against Money Laundering – which focuses on all illicit funds (drugs, but also other sources of criminal income). The Programme has advisers located across the world – to support regional information exchange. It works with all participants in the money laundering cycle: banks, prosecutors, investigators, counter-terrorism units, cyber-crime agencies, etc. In the last year, the programme trained more than 5,000 officers – mainly taking people from foundation to advanced levels in order to be able to do detailed investigations. For example, we have a three-day training on bitcoin, and also do train the trainer events. The trainings cover every necessary step in effective investigations – including a focus on international, online payment systems. All trainings are tailored to the country in question. The impact of the programme has been demonstrated – on South Africa, USD 23 million in criminal proceeds was frozen after trainings, in Kazakhstan, USD 56 million was frozen. All for relatively small investments in the capacities of the anti-money laundering units. The training is delivered to a range of different departments and sectors – not just the financial crime units. Having everyone in one training event together, it improves the understanding of who can do what, and what each agency can contribute.
Q: Nigeria: Bitcoins is one of the many cryptocurrencies available, but does the training also explore others?
R: Bitcoin is traceable, but others are designed so that it cannot be traced. The crucial moment for governments to combat money laundering using cryptocurrencies is in the regulation of these currencies. We use the training to show that this problem is real and large, and to show that this is possible to counter and investigate. Then we make the case for greater regulations and supervision, and the block chain.
China: All member states should combat drug-related crimes and drug production, on the basis of equality and respect we should fully utilise existing international tools to expand coverage and improve effectiveness. China is constantly stepping up its drug law enforcement with innovative mechanisms and close cooperation to effectively tackle the domestic market. We are working with relevant countries on drug law enforcement and other projects. This has improved the cross-border capacity. Since January 2013, the Safe Waterway Operation has become a shining beacon of anti-drug cooperation in the region, and has effectively cracked down on drug crimes in the golden triangle region. This year, it has unravelled 12,000 drug crime cases and also uncovered drug manufacturing cases. From January to May this year, 36 clandestine laboratories were dismantled and 291 suspects were arrested. We are actively combating online drug trafficking, including with technical assistance programmes and greater inline monitoring and control and harmonised responses nationwide to free the cyberspace from drugs. For the control of new psychoactive substances, the threat is growing every day – making law enforcement responses imperative. This March and July, China added carfentanyl and other substances under control – bringing our total NPS under control to 138. China attached great importance to cooperation channels with the Philippines, USA and Russia. And we are achieving tangible results on heroin production.
Canada: Canada supports the UNGASS outcome document, and want to brief the Commission on the ongoing opiate crisis in Canada and the supply reduction measures we have taken. Around 8 people per day are dying in Canada from opiate use. Much of the risk stems from highly toxic, illicitly produced opioids. To address this, the Government passed a law to address critical gaps – for example, enabling customs to open up all packages regardless of weight if there is reasonable suspicion. We also passed new legislation on machines used for illicit drug production, such as pill presses. Every ‘encapsulator’ imported into Canada must now be registered. There are also new powers to the Ministry of Health to quickly schedule new substances, pending a fuller investigation when there is sufficient threat to health. We are committed to this as part of our effective and compassionate response. We are committed to address our opioid crisis with international partners, in line with the UNGASS outcome document.
Guatemala: We guarantee the security of our citizens, which includes combatting the supply and trafficking of drugs. It is difficult to explain why the costs in countries such as ours are greater than in consumer countries. It is important to invest by thinking of prevention – authorities are trying to weaken criminal groups, focused on the storage of crops and the trade in precursors. Bearing in mind the need to work in coherence, we are establishing an Inter-Ministerial Task Force that will prioritise border areas to dismantle and eradicate criminal activities. Nationally, we have a body that comprises different agencies to prevent maritime vessels being used in illicit activities. Sowing illicit crops takes place in some border areas, where we see the vulnerability of populations. The Government is working to promote licit alternatives – so the issue of security goes hand-in-hand with that of development. We are also working to reduce money laundering and the trafficking of firearms. Weapons fuel drug traffickers and violence. Finally, everything that has been approved in the UNGASS outcome document should be linked to health, and technical cooperation and assistance is essential. This is not a problem only for developing countries or developed countries – what we need is coordination on activities that are of benefit of all.
UNODC – Organised Crime Branch: I will overview CRIMJUST, one of our programmes [displayed short video explaining the programme]. We are working with two blocks of countries – one in Africa, and one in Latin America and the Caribbean. The project started around 15 months ago. We have implemented 44 capacity-building activities – mainly with prosecutors and law enforcement officers, and also with civil society organisations (led by Transparency International). With support from the member states, around 55 tonnes of drugs have been seized and 20 production laboratories have been dismantled. Comparing August 2016 with July 2017 – there have been 158% more cases utilising Interpol. We have around 40 ongoing criminal investigations ongoing. I want to acknowledge the support of the 13 member states who are working as part of this project, and for ensuring the national ownership of actions – and also I want to acknowledge the funding from the European Union. We will continue to connect people on key cases, to focus on investigations and prosecutions, and to build synergies with other projects and programmes. We are a demand-driven project, so it is also up to the member states to guide our actions and we tailor our responses accordingly.
Comment: Mexico: The most recent law enforcement workshop was held in Mexico City, and it is very possible that we will broaden the project in Mexico and across the region. We see a clear linkage between drug trafficking and many other forms of organised crime.
Comment: European Commission: The cocaine programme works across the cocaine route, and this is just one part of that. We have other new projects underway too.
Russia: One of the main drug threats facing Russia continues to be international drug trafficking routes, including those originating in Afghanistan. In the last year, we have seized heroin and poppy straw and we know that the routes remain largely unchanged. Most arrive via the ‘Northern Route’ and we are extremely concerned by the increased area of poppy cultivation as documented by UNODC, as well as increased crop yields. This has the potential to exacerbate the situation in Central Asia. We also notice increased activity along the Balkan Route, and our programmes include addressing the economic basis of criminal activity. Across the world, we confiscate just a small portion of the assets from the drug trade. In 2016, we registered 272 offences involving drug proceeds and money laundering in Russia, with a total value exceeding 1.7 billion Russian Rubles. Proceeds are being moved into third countries, known as financial centres, and then moved onto places of investment. It is important to mention one of the channels used for this process – including the creation of political instability in countries. We are primed to step-up our actions on this issue, and want to exchange views and practices on electronic payment systems and criminal uses of cryptocurrencies and dark net fora. We are particularly concerned with the emergence of NPS, and we expect an appearance of around 500 new substances on the market. Drug criminals are also using improved IT resources – super computers, closed communications systems, drones and submarines – and this is not an exhaustive list. This requires close consideration by this Commission and by UNODC.
United Kingdom: We support the Estonian statement on behalf of the EU. Drug trafficking poses a significant threat to security. The best way to tackle this threat is to disrupt the international trade and supply. The UK is committed to spending 1.9 million on cyber security and are creating a dedicated unit to tackle the use of the dark net. We lead on joint operations against cyber criminal operations. Last year, one of the most renowned online criminals was arrested in an international operation tackling venders on ‘Silk Road 2’, and investigations showed extensive online sales. We will continue our capacity building on border checks etc. We are committed to supply reduction as part of a balanced approach, while also driving the vulnerabilities which drive, enable and perpetuate organised crime.
Cyprus: We align with the Estonian statement on behalf of the EU. Our national drugs and alcohol strategy has a supply reduction pillar – focused on reducing criminal activities, the use of precursors and NPS, preventing the use of illicit proceeds, and enhanced international cooperation. We work with EUROPOL and INTERPOL. We have recorded increased seizures of cocaine, cannabis and NPS. We are concerned with the emergence of NPS and the use of the internet for drug supply. Cyprus participated for the first time in activities supporting the European Pact. The Cyprus Anti-Drugs Council is promoting cooperation between parties (police, customs, postal companies, etc), and also between public health and criminal justice agencies to promote the use of alternatives to incarceration for offences of an appropriate nature – particularly young people arrested for the first time. Young people are given the opportunity for brief interventions or treatment, depending on their needs. This is considered a major step forward.
Pakistan: We express our disappointment that UNODC have not shown care in the presentation of the container programme – regarding the debated status of certain states, based on previous international resolutions in this topic (lists them all). We expect that UNODC will use due care and not display incorrect maps of Pakistan.
Supply reduction is a vital pillar of the comprehensive approach in the UNGASS outcome document. We remain of the firm view that supply reduction efforts must continue to be towards the 2009 Political Declaration goals to eliminate or significantly reduce the trade of drugs. We have serious concerns over the recent trends reported by UNODC on the increased production and trafficking of drugs. It is most efficient to promote law enforcement close to the source. Pakistan is one of the most affected transit states. Our law enforcement efforts in this area continue to yield impressive results, working with other countries – including seizing 1867 kg of hashish, and 40 tonnes of illicit drugs in total across 155 successful operations in recent years. Pakistan has a dedicated narcotics control force with thousands of officers, and I am pleased to note their conviction rate of 88-96%. Pakistan introduced its first stand-alone money laundering law in 2007, followed by subsequent legal instruments in 2009 and 2010. For the purpose of promoting judicial cooperation, resolution 60/2 sheds light on the plight of transit states such as Pakistan. Efforts should be enhanced to tackle the challenges faced by such states – including in the area of mutual legal assistance, and on the prosecution of financial crimes. I want to emphasise the importance of regional and sub-regional cooperation.
Response from UNODC: I can reassure that I have taken note of the comments, and these will be brought to the attention of colleagues.
UNODC – Organised Crime Branch (Global Firearms Programme): Illicit drugs trafficking and illicit arms trafficking go hand-in-hand, but there are distinctions. Most illicit firearms are produced legally, and diverted into the criminal market – unlike drugs which most commonly come from an illegal production line. Regulations are the key for both: the two phenomena are not too far away. Both drugs and arms are often trafficked by the same criminal networks, using the same routes, and even the same cargos. Both can also be used as currency along the way. UNGASS included several key recommendations in this regard – on the use of multidisciplinary approaches, enhancing operational cooperation on criminal networks, and on coordinated border management strategies. Target 16.4 of the SDGs includes a specific goal to reduce illicit financial and arms flows and combat organised crime – an important acknowledgement on how organised crime affects development. Drugs may not be specifically mentioned here, but it is still relevant. UNODC’s Global Firearms Programme takes a broad approach – including activities focused on strengthening national legislation, providing technical support, building capacity, building a community of practitioners, and monitoring illicit arms flows. Exploring the linkages between drugs and arms trafficking, and improving the capacity of officers to tackle this, remains very important. We support international cooperation and the sharing of best practices – facilitating exchanges. In many cases, investigations are carried out for a crime in which arms are involved – but no further investigations them focus on the arms themselves, or where they came from. This allows arms trafficking to continue. We aim to create a change in paradigm where prosecutors explore the arms trafficking cases too as part of a wholistic approach. Our monitoring work includes the SDG target mentioned earlier, but also establishing the links between arms trafficking and other types of crime. We hope to roll this out as an annual exercise starting in 2018.
Colombia: To quote the Colombian President: The world has been at war against drugs for 40 years, and the results are unsatisfactory. The world must be in deep thought on how to tackle this task. The social dynamic of supply reduction. The UNGASS outcome document underscores the need to monitor trends and routes of drug trafficking. We want to see the combatting of international commerce in drug trafficking – such as precursor chemicals. The document also invites the international community to make headway in tacking money laundering, and the importance adopting measures to address the link between drugs and corruption. These matters must be part of national strategies. The Colombian President has also said that where demand exists, so will supply. It is utopian to suggest otherwise. The illicit cultivation of poppy, coca bush has continued to increase, and must be addressed in a balanced way. Supply reduction measures adopted must respect human rights and other international law. Colombia regrets the ongoing use of the death penalty. To improve activities against drug supply, the call for better indicators is still relevant on drug production, trafficking and money laundering flows. Another objective is to improve efficiency of law enforcement responses. An update of the UNODC assessment on money laundering would be relevant. This is not about total elimination at the cost of impoverishing communities, which remains an impossible goal. It is about establishing processes to overcome the vicious cycle of drugs and connect people to the licit economy. Our control strategy pertaining to crops, and forced eradication of these crops, our forced eradication strategy has four operational centres to help areas where around 91 percent of illicit crops in the country are grown. We are also seeking to enhance arrangements for substitutions, working with regional cooperation bodies. Our armed forces have identified and closed around 4,900 infrastructures used in drug production in 2016 – one of several significant results achieved to reduce the availability of cocaine. Studies have described new cocaine routes.
Portugal: Portugal’s current national plan on addictive behaviours, has a supply reduction dimension and objective to reduce the availability of drugs and NPS through prevention and dismantling of networks involved in drug supply, and border management. Portugal is not only a final destination for drugs, but also a transit country for the rest of Europe. Cocaine and cannabis have greater importance at the wholesale drug market level. In 2016, 219 cannabis plantations were detected and dismantled. Currently, there is no evidence that other illicit drugs are produced in our country. Our approach seems to be the most effective to tackle a problem that cannot be solved by any one country. We are a part to all relevant international conventions. At the national level, we have been decisively implementing actions against money laundering, including creating the necessary legal mechanisms. We work closely with INTERPOL and the World Customs Organisation to bar the entry of illicit drugs into the European Union. We also support a variety of international projects and programmes to fight organised crime. Cooperation and intelligence sharing are paramount. The Maritime Analysis and Operation Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N) has been established in Lisbon, with support from the EU, to address trafficking over the Atlantic Ocean by air and sea. There have been 10 major cocaine seizures and 3 cannabis seizures. International cooperation is a cornerstone, and we actively support Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa. In a nutshell, international cooperation, information sharing and collaborations work and are part if the UNGASS outcome document recommendations.
USA: The UNGASS stresses the need to combat the illicit cultivation and trade of drugs. The USA believes we must remain as vigilant as ever to reduce supply – exchanging information and best practices and dismantle organised groups. This includes all of those at all stages of the drug trade – including those who traffic precursors and those who launder illicit funds. In terms of international cooperation, we commend the work of INCB as we accelerate the rate at which we add new NPS to the list of scheduled substances. As the next step in reducing the illicit supply of fentanyl, the USA has requested that carfentanyl be reviewed by the WHO ECCD, for a recommendation to the CND in March 2018. The USA is working with partners in the Western Hemisphere, cooperating with Honduras, El Salvador and Belize to support community engagement and law enforcement. We have a partnership with Mexico to disrupt criminal groups and to build strong and resilient communities. Our aim is to expand our border focus beyond contraband. We also collaborate with the Caribbean community. We are working with Afghanistan to build the capacity of counter-narcotics police, who have been successful in operations across the country. Court-ordered surveillance operations have increased the scope and size of drugs cases being brought forward. We know the importance of facilitating cooperation, and commend the regional and international organisations – UNODC included – in facilitating this.
Philippines: Pursuing a balanced and holistic approach, we place a great emphasis on supply reduction – one of the five pillars of our drug strategy (alongside prevention and development). We work on measures to take drugs away from the public. The Philippines has become a target market for drugs, through seaport, airports and mail services due to our porous border and expansive coastline. Authorities are exploring potential import points and to strengthen interdiction efforts, especially for amphetamine-type stimulants. This requires timely cooperation between agencies through task groups. Inter-agency interdiction units have also been established and will be operational soon. The need for international community is greater now than ever due to advances in technology. We welcome the opportunity of this CND meeting. The Philippines recent entry into the UNODC container control programme allows us opportunities to tackle this issue. The drug trade, while highly risky, is highly profitable too – and money laundering plays a crucial role as well. The current proposal in the Philippines will create strict controls on bank accounts linked to drug suppliers. From July 2016, more than 76,000 anti-drug operations conducted, resulting in thousands of arrests and large seizures. The Government understands the importance of raging this campaign against drugs in a way that does not undermine the campaign itself. Human rights enforcers ensure that actions are in line with agreed practices, consistent with the rule of law and the country’s existing obligations under human rights treaties.
UNODC – Chief, Drugs Research Section: Overview based on the latest data published in the World Drug Report. There have been a number of developments that have changed drug-related organised crime. These groups have branched out into other criminal areas – very few are specific to drugs alone, but also human trafficking, arms trafficking and counterfeit goods etc. Yet drugs remain a crucial and widespread area – between one fifth to one third of the total organised crime income comes from drugs. There have also been structural changes – towards looser, more horizontal groups rather than hierarchical ones. Technological changes have also had a role to play – mobile phones, the internet, encrypted networks, etc. Drug trafficking over the dark net remains very small, but has been growing fast (50% increase per year – despite disruptions). Ecstasy, cannabis and NPS are most common drugs online. 60-70% of drug proceeds may be laundered – and represent a major issue for some countries. We also looked at the drug problem and corruption – which are mutually reinforcing. Wealth and power of some drug trafficking organisations can exceed, by far, that of Governments – allowing them to buy protection and influence. There are opportunities for corruption at every stage of the drug market chain – from farmers to drug users. It is important to distinguish between the high-level (political) corruption and the lower-level corruption such as bribery – we know much more about the latter. On the links between drugs and terrorism: some cases are well documented (i.e. Taliban influence on poppy cultivation in Afghanistan; FARC in Colombia), with huge profits to be made from taxing production alone. But broader information is more scarce. Income from drugs is key for some groups, but represents just one of many income streams for these groups.
Algeria: The geographical situation in my country exposes us to drug trafficking, especially for cannabis resin. Our country is being swamped by this drug, especially young people – so we are investing significant resources against this scourge. The Government is raging an implacable fight against drug trafficking, and other related forms of crime – which are all exacerbating the security situation in the Sahel and beyond. Regional cooperation is therefore key, and Algeria is an initiator of AFRIPOL whose first General Assembly was held in 2017. Combating the drug problem requires training law enforcement officers and sharing intelligence and information. Exchange of information in real time. Intensified cooperation with Arab League and INTERPOL. We attach great importance to scientific investigation and forensic services.
Suriname: Suriname has committed in its multi-year development plan (2017-2021) to protect the security of individuals and societies and to cooperate with regional and international efforts to combat drug supply and violence. The Government recognised drug-related crimes and their linkages with other forms of organised crime, needs to be addressed. Suriname follows a multi-sectoral and inter-ministerial approach to these problems. The legislative framework has been modernised to comply with international commitments (such as on firearm offences and prosecutions of money laundering). The policy framework has also been modernised – building on collaborations between Government, private sector and academia. We supplied the boom boxes on party buses to also provide information. Our coastguard have tools to intercept drugs and other illegal goods on boats and fishing vessels, scanning containers and utilising body scans. We cooperate with countries of origin. The autonomy of judicial branches has been assured. This should result in more successful prosecutions. The public prosecutor’s office is also exploring a model to compensate informants in major drug trafficking cases. These actions have already led to several seizures of heroin, cocaine and tablets. A youth programme called ‘Carry You’ is being implemented providing tools to enable young people to remain in the labour market and resist the temptation to get involved with drugs.
Slovenia: We fully support the EU statement. Organised crime is deeply involved in drug production and smuggling, and make a lot of money. Only repressive activities are not enough. We support a multi-faceted approach based on specific data and best practice. We have to offer people treatment in prisons and out of prisons to give people the option of a life without crime and drugs. Online markets are a big challenge, especially for NPS. How to manage this problem is still not clear – we need more research and information. In some countries, you can smoke cannabis on the street, in others you can be imprisoned. This is not a time for a war against drugs, it is time for cooperation. Drug supply reduction is one part of the activities we need to be successful. Addiction is a serious, chronic disease and addicted people need more public health oriented approaches. Drug supply reduction approaches have an important role to play.
Netherlands: We are a production country of drugs, especially cannabis and synthetic drugs. Last year, we dismantled more than 5,000 cannabis plantations. There is a lot of money involved with this activity, and a lot of violence. We developed an integrated approach to tackle this – not just dismantling and prosecuting the perpetuators – but gathering as much information as we could about these individuals to grab the money from the criminals. We have roughly three methods to do that: financial investigations alongside the criminal investigations; the revenue service also looks into these individuals to explore their income and taxes – we call them ‘wind eaters’ if they are making a living seemingly from thin air; and a money laundering law that says that any wealth unaccounted for is deemed to come from crime. If you cannot explain where the money came from, it will be taken from you. This has been very helpful, especially in the south of the Netherlands where this model is used for drugs crime and other kinds of crime: we took 100 million Euros from criminals last year alone. We are not there yet – crime does still pay, but it does really hurt when you grab them in their wallet.
Tanzania: CND, INCB and UNODC have all helped us to shape how we do things back home. We are tackling the drug problem through three pillars – supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction. A few years back, it was hard for us to consider the approaches of harm reduction such as needle and syringe exchanges and sending people to rehabilitation instead of incarceration. The discussions in fora like this have helped us a lot. We are revising our drug policy now back home, and have increased the number of stakeholders who are taking part in this process. It used to be the law enforcement agency developing this policy alone, and it used to be war on drugs and nothing else. Now this has changed. We have submitted the national law for amendments to the ways in which we tackle the drug problem and how we tackle other organised crimes. We align with the statement from Nigeria, and are conducting our activities in the prescribed manner. We really appreciate the effort you are giving in advising our state. We cannot win this war alone, and we align ourselves with international and operational cooperation.
Morocco: We have adopted a multi-dimensional strategy targeting supply and demand of drugs, acknowledging the need for an international and multilateral approach. No country can address the world drug problem alone. Our ambitious policy includes actions at border posts, dismantling criminal groups, special investigative techniques, and controlled deliveries. We are confronted by the world drug problem on a constant basis. We want to draw attention to the worsening security situation in Africa, which calls for greater cooperation and support. These factors create a fertile ground for international crime and terrorism. Morocco are carrying our regular seizures of drugs from terrorist and smuggling groups. We are also swamped by psychotropic substances, regularly seized by police and border guards. This is a significant threat to our young people. We supervise our land, air and sea borders – we have put in place 11,000 specialist agents for this. The drugs problem is not confined to cultivation, but importation too. We seized 2.5 tonnes of raw cocaine last year, which led to the disbanding of a large criminal group. We believe that alternative development is crucial as part of a supply reduction approach. The actions implemented by UNODC in 2016 have allowed us to reduce the area under drug cultivation by 65%. We advocate for responsible, operational cooperation.
Venezuela: We fight against drugs and take measures to seize the capital, and the UNGASS outcome document is aligned with our national policy. We are dedicating significant resources to reduce crime and violence. It is therefore essential to have knowledge of the social and economic factors. We tackle the diversion of drugs and chemical precursors. We monitor national airspace, and are working on the development of a maritime project too. We seek to suppress trafficking by land and also to prevent the emergence of crop production under the so-called balloon effect. We adopted the standards of pertinent international instruments. We undertake a national risk assessment in this field in order to prioritise actions. Our comprehensive policy to protect the security of all citizens defines eight axes for implementation – one of which concerns drugs.
Iran: We have taken action to boost multilateral cooperation, including through the Paris Pact, and initiatives around the Caspian Sea, etc. But the need for even more international cooperation is felt more than ever. We see a potential rise in the production of opiates in the current year – which means we will face more cases of drug-related crimes and sustain even greater economic losses. The continued diversion of precursors and the changing of supply routes. The ways to tackle cartels and mafias in countries of destinations must also be taken into consideration in the fight against money laundering. At the domestic level, we have adopted a balanced strategy for ceaseless efforts – including blocking of borders, installing advanced surveillance equipment at crossing points, and monitoring and cutting off financial flows from criminal proceeds. 682 tonnes of drugs seized in 2016 – a nine percent increase from 2015. In 2017, law enforcement 1,328 operations and dismantled 1,316 drug trafficking networks. 114 drug manufacturing workshops were destroyed and arms seized. Unfortunately, several members of our law enforcement agency were martyred in these interventions.
Concluding Remarks from the Panel:
Nigeria: We should not be ashamed to say that this is a war. This gives it the seriousness that it deserves. Most nations are agreed that the way forward is put out by UNODC.
Malaysia: We can see from the interventions how hard we are fighting against the supply reduction. We need to continue to work closely to fight this together.
Estonia: Implementing tools such as capacity building were stressed throughout the day, which clearly shows we share the same understanding and are facing this challenge together. The UNGASS outcome document is our guideline, and we are supported by UNODC and CND. It is not possible to face this problem only from the supply reduction side, so we need cooperation with other sectors, health care, etc. We need to send out the message that crime does not pay. Today, we have reaffirmed our commitment to the UNGASS outcome document and its operational recommendations.
Turkey: We need stronger cooperation to tackle criminal groups, and reaffirm Turkey’s commitment to the UNGASS outcome document.
European Commission: We are all facing the same problems, and have identified an awful lot of problems that we face together. We have the document to work on now, through the UNGASS, and we also have tools we can use to do this.
Post-UNGASS Facilitator: It is a shame that the NGO representative on the panel was not able to come here, and we only have the one video submitted. I ask civil society to be more committed to participation in these debates. In the last few sessions, we have had some really interesting interventions in previous sessions, and I know many of them are following this on the web-cast – so this is an appeal for increased participation.
Corina Giacomello – EQUIS Justicia para las Mujeres A.C., Mexico: