«United States Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs International Narcotics Control Strategy Report ...»
India India is the world's third-largest manufacturer of precursor chemicals and specifically, one of the top producers of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. 2009 data from the Global Trade Atlas indicate that India is the top exporter of ephedrine (kilograms) and pseudoephedrine ( kilograms). India has implemented legislation and a system to prevent diversion of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. However, information from Operation Ice Block indicates that traffickers are now targeting India as the key source of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine for methamphetamine processing. Further, follow-up reports in 2009 from seizures in South and Central America indicate traffickers are targeting India. India was the source of several large shipments of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine tablets ultimately destined for Mexico. In another series of law enforcement reports large shipments of tablets pseudoephedrine from India was formed into tablets in Bangladesh and sent to countries in Central America and the Caribbean.
India is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but it does not have controls on all the chemicals listed in the Convention. The Government of India (GOI) controls acetic anhydride, N-acetylanthranilic acid, anthranilic acid, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, potassium permanganate, ergotamine, 3, 4methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone, 1-phenyl-2propanone, piperonal, and methyl ethyl ketone, all chemicals listed in the convention. Indian law allows the government to place other chemicals under control. Violation of any order regulating controlled substance precursors is an offense under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the key law controlling trafficking, and is punishable with imprisonment of up to ten years. Intentional diversion of any substance, whether controlled or not, to illicit drug manufacture is also punishable under the Act.
The Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act requires that every manufacturer, importer, exporter, seller and user of controlled substances maintain records and file returns with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). Each loss or disappearance of a controlled substance must be reported to the Director General of the NCB. Exports of the precursors ephedrine and pseudoephedrine require a ―No Objection‖ Certificate from the Narcotics Commissioner, who issues a Pre-Export Notification to the Competent Authority in the importing country as well as the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). India has also been an active participant in operations like Project Prism, which targeted precursors to manufacture amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). However, despite its vigorous efforts to control precursor chemicals, India has been identified in a number of cases as the source of diverted precursor chemicals for a range of narcotic drugs, including methamphetamine and heroin. It is likely that in many INCSR 2011 Volume 1 Chemical Controls cases, India‘s elaborate control regimes have been undermined by corruption at the officer level.
Nevertheless, each case investigated and prosecuted provides helpful information to authorities which they apply going forward to reduce opportunities for diversion.
Singapore In 2009, Singapore‘s exports and imports of both ephedrine and pseudoephedrine increased. In 2009, Singapore was ranked the fourth largest (ranked fifth in 2008) importer of Ephedrine, a precursor for Methamphetamine, and moved up the ranks to become the third largest exporter of ephedrine (ranked fourth in 2008). For pseudoephedrine, another pre-cursor to Methamphetamine, Singapore was the number one importers in 2009 (ranked third in 2008) and moved to third from sixth place in 2008. The quantities not re-exported are used primarily by the domestic pharmaceutical industry and by the large number of regional pharmaceutical manufacturers located in Singapore. Singapore is one of the largest distributors of acetic anhydride in Asia. Used in film processing and the manufacture of plastics, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals, acetic anhydride is also the primary acetylating agent for heroin.
Singapore participates in multilateral precursor chemical control programs, including Operation Cohesion, and Operation Prism, and is involved in law enforcement initiatives developed under these projects to halt worldwide diversion of precursors to illicit chemical trafficking and drug manufacturing organizations. The CNB works closely with the DEA office in Singapore to track the import of precursor chemicals for legitimate processing and use in Singapore. CNB's precursor unit monitors and investigates any suspected domestic diversion of precursors for illicit use.
Singapore controls precursor chemicals, including pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, in accordance with the 1988 UN Drug Convention provisions. It will not authorize imports of precursors until it has issued a "No Objection" letter in response to the exporting country‘s pre-export notification. Pre-export notifications are issued on all exports; transshipment cases are treated as an import followed by an export.
The GOS conducts rigorous site visits on companies dealing with controlled chemicals to ensure awareness of the requirements and overall compliance.
The Republic of Korea (ROK) With one of the most developed commercial infrastructures in the region, the Republic of Korea (ROK) is an attractive location for criminals to obtain precursor chemicals. As of 2010, 25 precursor chemicals are controlled by Korean authorities. Both the Korean Customs Service (KCS) and the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) participate in Projects Cohesion and Prism. In addition, the KCS, KFDA, and other Korean law enforcement agencies, such as the Korean National Police, participate in subprograms of those projects, such as Data and Intelligence Collection (DICE) and the Information Sharing System (ISS). KFDA closely monitors imports and exports of precursor chemicals, particularly acetic anhydride, and investigates shipments suspected of being diverted for illicit purposes. Permits must be obtained for such shipments and records of transactions are maintained for a minimum of two years.
KFDA works with governments of several Southeast Asian nations to verify documents and confirm the existence of importing businesses and sends representatives to the region to investigate. A draft bill proposed in the National Assembly will require manufacturers and exporters of precursor chemicals to register with the government and will also provide education to Korean businesses to prevent them from unknowingly exporting such chemicals to bogus importers.
The South Korean authorities have jointly investigated numerous shipments, constituting multiple tons of acetic anhydride manufactured and imported from the U.S. that have been illegally diverted. Other precursor chemicals, including acetone, toluene, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid, are produced in large quantities within South Korea for in-country use and for export. In a recent notable case from May 2010, Korean prosecutors and customs officials arrested an Afghan national, who allegedly smuggled large quantities of acetic anhydride from South Korea to Afghanistan through Pakistani agents. Korean INCSR 2011 Volume 1 Chemical Controls authorities, working in conjunction with DEA and United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities, successfully seized 420 liters of acetic anhydride allegedly connected to the arrested Afghan national from a sea container in UAE, according to a press release published by the Cheon An District Prosecutors' Office.
Taiwan Taiwan's chemical industry has long been a driving force in boosting Taiwan‘s economic development.
Globally, Taiwan is the fourth largest exporter of ephedrine and third largest exporter of pseudoephedrine and second largest importer of ephedrine. Aided by both public and private sector investment, the industry has become competitive globally, exporting specialty industrial chemicals and resins for plastics production as well as importing solvents and cleaning materials for the high-tech electronics sector.
Taiwan law enforcement has long recognized that certain Taiwan-based chemical companies engage in the diversion of chemicals, which may be used to manufacture illicit substances in countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Mexico, Honduras, and Belize. In order to combat the diversion of these chemicals, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industrial Development Bureau serves as the regulatory agency for chemicals such as acetic anhydride, piperonal, safrole, piperidine, hydrogen chloride, and potassium permanganate, among others. While licensing is not required for the importation or exportation of these substances, any company that imports, manufactures, sells, stores, or otherwise utilizes these chemicals must report to the Industrial Development Bureau. The Bureau may inspect the company‘s records to ensure that there is no diversion activity.
Taiwan does not control the importation and exportation of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine combination overthe-counter pharmaceutical preparations; however, companies engaging in their import/export must register their transactions with the Department of Health, who may elect to examine relevant shipping records. Of the twenty-three chemical precursors listed in the 1988 UN Drug Convention, five chemicals to include ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine fall under the scope of the Executive Yuan's (EY) Department of Health. The other seventeen precursor chemicals including acetic anhydride and potassium permanganate are considered industrial raw materials, and are controlled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' (MOEA), Industrial Development Bureau.
Taiwanese law enforcement agencies worked with USG agencies and received training from USG agencies. On an international level, since Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, Taiwan is unable to access the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)'s on-line Pre-Export Notification (PEN) system to report import and export shipments of precursor chemicals and pharmaceutical preparations. However, Taiwan unilaterally adheres to the UN convention on controls of such material.
Thailand Thailand is a transshipment point and a net importer of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and was the fifth largest importer of pseudoephedrine in 2009. Methamphetamine is smuggled from Burma across Thailand's northern border for domestic consumption, as well as for export to regional and international markets. Additionally, traffickers move methamphetamine and some heroin from Burma through Laos and across the Mekong River into Thailand's northeastern border provinces.
Drug smugglers travel south through Laos into Cambodia where they enter Thailand across the ThaiCambodian border. Drugs are also transported from Burma through Laos to Vietnam and Cambodia for regional export. Thailand is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
The emergence of crystal methamphetamine or "ice" production in the Shan State of Burma is a serious concern to the Thai authorities. MDMA (ecstasy) trafficking is more common in Thailand. Ecstasy typically is smuggled into Thailand via commercial air carriers from Europe; the drug also is smuggled overland from Malaysia. Most ketamine is believed to transit from neighboring countries, especially Malaysia and Singapore. It is also smuggled into Thailand across the Thai-Cambodian border.
INCSR 2011 Volume 1 Chemical Controls Thailand's chemical control policy is established in the Emergency Decree on Controlling the use of Volatile Substances B.E. 2533 (1990).‖ Government agencies responsible for chemical controls are the Thai Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) and the Food and Drug Administration, which closely monitor the importation of precursor chemicals. Regular inspections are conducted of companies that import such substances, and every chemical shipment into Thailand is subject to review and selective unloading and search. Thai law provides for a maximum three-year jail term for individuals not complying with required reporting and tracking processes. Thai authorities are vigilant in monitoring imports and the licit use of precursors, but despite strong efforts by the Royal Thai Government, limited quantities of certain chemicals--especially acetic anhydride, and ephedrine--transit Thailand to laboratories in Burma. Most precursor chemicals and substances that transit Thailand originate in Indonesia or Malaysia. Some of the chemicals, like acetic anhydride, are produced in Indonesia while others are brokered through Indonesian chemical houses and transported through Malaysia into Thailand and northward to Thai chemical houses in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. ONCB has the responsibility for detecting chemical and precursor diversion, interdicting illicit shipments and monitoring the activities of the chemical trading houses.
Europe Chemical diversion control within the European Union (EU) is regulated by EU regulations binding on all member states. The regulations are updated regularly, most recently in 2005. The EU regulations meet the chemical control provisions of the 1988 UN Drug Convention, including provisions for record keeping on transactions in controlled chemicals, a system of permits or declarations for exports and imports of regulated chemicals, and authority for governments to suspend chemical shipments. The EU regulations are directly applicable in all 27 of its member States. Only a few aspects require further implementation through national legislation, such as law enforcement powers and sanctions.
The EU regulations govern the regulatory aspects of chemical diversion control and set up common risk management rules to counter diversion at the EU‘s borders. Member states are responsible for the criminal aspects, investigating and prosecuting violators of the national laws and regulations necessary for implementing the EU regulations.
The U.S.-EU Chemical Control Agreement, signed May 28, 1997, is the formal basis for U.S. cooperation with the European Commission and EU Member States in chemical control through enhanced regulatory co-operation and mutual assistance. The agreement calls for annual meetings of a Joint Chemical Working Group to review implementation of the agreement and to coordinate positions in other areas.
The annual meeting has been particularly useful in coordinating national or joint initiatives such as resolutions at the annual UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the review of the ten year commitments made at the 1998 UNGA Special Session on narcotics issues.