Lesson One: Introduction. World narco-situation and overview of
"Balkan narco - route" consideration.
Overview of the Kosovo Police efforts in combating
illicit drugs and the turnover of psychotropic Substances in 2001.
Duration of Instruction
Six (6) hours
Material, Equipment, and Logistics
World wide map, map of the Balkans, white board, flip chart, lap top computer, Power Point projector, Student Handouts
The purpose of this lesson is to give an overview of the history of the drugs problem. An emphasis will be made on a detailed explanation of the reasons why the task of combating against the narco-business today has such a great social importance.
The listeners will be informed about drugs-linked problems within the Balkans region and about the world-wide known "Balkan route" of drug-trafficking to Western Europe and the United States. We are also going to focus on the results of the Kosovo Police Forces anti-drugs activity in 2001. We will also concentrate on the issues and new tasks, that have arisen on the basis of these results.
At the conclusion of this lesson, participants will be able to:
Know the basic historical data about drugs and the links to drugs problems.
Understand the mechanisms of how the narco-business affects social and political development within society.
Describe the narco-situation in countries of drugs transit to the Western Europe along the "Balkan route".
Describe the control measures, taken by the Kosovo Police Forces in 2001, for drugs consumption reduction and narco-business eradication.
List no less than 6 objectives, raised up as a result of law-enforcement anti-drug activity during 2001.
A drug is best defined as a chemical that can cause an alteration in the structure of living tissue. The accepted use of drugs is medicinal, but drugs that soothe, cheer, depress, stupefy, or excite by acting on the central nervous system are widely abused. The healing, mind-altering, or intoxicating effects of drugs have been known, used, and abused by humankind for thousands of years and this abuse continues to this day.
Coca leafs, opium poppy, cannabis and their derivates, cocaine, heroine, and LSD - these are some of the most familiar drugs known to society.
Learning objective #1: The brief historical overview.
A. The ancient history.
From as far back as 5000 BC, drugs have been a part of civilization's progress and decline. More than 7 000 years ago, the Sumerians, a highly developed civilization located in Iraq, left records of their existence on thousand of clay tablets. One tablet referred to the "joy plant", or opium.
Five hundred years later, in Egypt, a palliative administered to stop children's crying contained opium poppy seeds. Homer's Odyssey and Virgil's Aenead refer to opium, and Hippocrates was said to have used it in his medicines. In fact, for almost seventy centuries, the opium poppy has enjoyed an exclusive reputation for alleviating pain and restoring health.
An early Greek physician wrote that opium "resists poison and venomous bites, cures chronic headache, vertigo, deafness, epilepsy, apoplexy, dimness of sight, loss of voice, asthma, coughs of all kinds, spitting of blood, tightness of breath, colic, the iliac poison, jaundice, hardness of the spleen, stone, urinary complaints, fevers, dropsies, leprosies, the troubles to which women are subject, melancholy, and all pestilences".
A cure-all if there ever was one! No wonder that over time, opium became known as "God's Own Medicine".
The use of the coca leaf as a "cureall Substance" can be found as early as 500 AD in Peru. Then, as now, Indians in the Andes chew coca to ward off pain, cold, and hunger.
Cannabis was known to be abused in China and the Middle East before 2500 BC. In fact there are reports of its abuse as early as the year 430 BC.
The most publicized hallucinogenic drug today is LSD (lysergic acid diethyl amide), which is derived from a chemical found in morning glory seeds. It is but one of many drugs that distort the perception of objective reality. The peyote cactus, with its potent ingredient, mescaline, has long been used by Indians in Northern Mexico - as have the "magic mushrooms", or teonanacatal. Literally translated, teonanacatal means "God's flesh", an indication of its revered status in Indian culture. Even today it is still used in some religions ceremonies.
Use of opium spread from the Middle East and then to India and China. Arab traders also trafficked in opium poppy seeds. The use of opium flourished and reportedly reached China as early as the tenth century.
B. The Opium Wars
In China, opium use was at first confined to the elite. It was swallowed raw as a medicine. Later, smoking became the preferred method of taking the drug.
The spread of opium in China was greatly facilitated by the arrival of Portuguese traders, in 1514, and by that of the British more than a hundred years later, in 1626. The Chinese believed the Europeans to be barbarians from whom they need nothing. As a result, they limited trade to the coastal city of Canton and effectively barred foreign access to the rest of the country. At the same time, in England, there was an increasing demand for Chinese goods, especially tea. In 1785, the British East India Company, chartered by the British Parliament, had bought and sold thirteen millions pounds of tea. By 1830, the volume had risen to thirty millions pounds.
The British paid for these goods with silver, ginseng, sealskins, clocks, and other commodities. When silver became scarce, partly because of the American Revolutionary War, the East India Company began to ship opium from India to China to pay for its trade. At one time, historians estimated that to supply one tea drinker in Great Britain required the creation of two opium addicts in China. There were, in fact, very few Chinese opium addicts in 1782, but by 1835 there were some two million! Chinese leaders naturally viewed the foreigner's activities as deplorable.
The decisions of the Chinese Imperator to cut off further opium trading caused the dramatic loss of British narco-bargainers benefits, this resulted in the First Opium War.
Many people wrongly believe that the British fought the Opium Wars against the Chinese to prevent the spread of opium use. The opposite is true. The British went to war from 1839 to 1842, and again from 1856 to 1858, to impose their opium trade. The Chinese were easily defeated. It is worth adding that as a result of the Opium Wars "The Pearl of China" - Hong Kong had been separated from China for many, many years. Only in 1997 did Hong Kong again became the part of the country.
C. History of the present days.
Drugs' trafficking is a death-dealing but fabulously profitable business. According to international experts, $1USD invested into narco-business gains...$12.240USD! In order to sustain these profits, a broad criminal network had been developed by the organized criminal syndicates.
Today there are two main recognized centers of opium harvesting and it's processing into heroin: "Golden Triangle" - on the Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Laos borders junction and "Golden Crescent" - the vast mountain territory in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Afghanistan is the leading heroin supplier on the European black-markets. According to UN experts, the "white death" (heroin) production had been increasing steadily from year to year since the mid eighties and in 2000 was estimated at 4800 metric tons - more than 75% of the world illicit production! Almost 500 tons of heroin could be produced from this raw material! The drugs had been transported to Turkey via the territory of neighboring Iran and Pakistan, and then directed from Turkey to Europe and USA by the "world-famous" "Balkan narco-route".
The main source of supply of the cocaine European and US black-markets is Latin America i.e. Columbia, Bolivia and Peru. 287 tons of this drug was produced there in 1999. Numerous anti-drugs initiatives sponsored by the United States and UN programs of illicit coca crops substitution with cereals, illicit crops such as eradication with napalm and air-forces failed or brought a minimal result. A large number of secret actions and army field operations against narco-cartels did not result in the desired success.
The synthetic drug's production (amphetamines, ecstasy, stimulants, barbiturates) is well developed in Europe with its advanced chemical industry. Lately, China, the Middle East and Western Africa are very actively involved in this process.
There is a multiple variety of ways of transporting drugs from the place of production to the consumers-countries. From the "mules"- "swallowers" - the individual couriers, mainly citizens of countries with a very low level of income and living standards (Zimbabwe, Nigeria). The "swallowers" swallow condoms with "white powder". There are air-craft operations and ocean liners with hundreds of thousand of tons displacement used.
The narco-business is under the control of organized crime. As a result of a number of changes, the structure of organized crime recently obtained a markedly ethnic type: Medelin and Kali cartels (Latin America), Russian, Nigerian and Chechen Mafia, Gipsy and Kurd teams of pushers. Representatives of the Central Asian republics get very actively integrated into this "international criminal syndicate". Albanian organized criminal groups are in the process of taking the "Balkan route" under their full control. The situation is getting more dangerous because a very hard attainability of ethnically homogenous organized criminal groups is proved by practice. This hampers all kinds of "inside" operative activity and investigation
Learning objective #2: affect of narco-business on the social and political development.
А. Drug abusing.
The illicit drug trade touches millions of lives in both developed and developing countries. Its most negative impact is concentrated amongst the vulnerable and marginalized of our societies. The UN estimates that some 180 million people worldwide - 4.2 percent of people aged 15 years and above - were consuming drugs in the late 1990s (some experts expressed their strong opinion that the real figure is much higher). This figure includes 144 million consuming cannabis, 29 million people consuming amphetamine type stimulants, 14 million people taking cocaine and 13 million people abusing opiates and 9 million of whom were addicted to heroin.
Consideration must be give to the medical problems. Consumption of drugs by injection drugs consumption is strongly associated with the wide and rapid spreading of hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases, especially AIDS.
Economic reliance on the drug trade, and drug addiction, leaves many individuals open to exploitation by criminals and criminal organizations; threatening the health of men, women and children, the rule of law, and ultimately, the vitality and strength of all our community.
B. Destabilizing influence of the narco-business.
The narco-business possesses and will never hesitate to use it's powerful financial tools to hamper any strong government and it's drug-control efforts.
According to the expert's opinion, the governments of 24 states in the world are under the real control of narco-business! The level of corruption in the countries - producers is traditionally high, the mechanisms of the governmental power are very weak and unstable. In some countries where the destructive regimes have a leading position (as it occurred in Afghanistan lead by the Taliban), the drug trading is used as a source of funds for the governmental budget, i.e. for the supply of with firearms and ammunition, for the armed forces etc.
In countries with a strong governmental power, who undertake active drug-control measures, the narco-business uses tools of the ethnical breakage and separation and local separatists trends. Narco-cartels have formed their own military forces and wage a real war against the legitimate country governments, e.g. war it lasted for years in the "Golden Triangle" area. The puppet separatist's army had been formed in that area, armed and supplied on the narco-money with an only one aim - to keep under their control the drug-harvesting regions. It is well known that Salvador and Nicaragua rebels had been supported with narco-money.
In one case, a legitimate government had launched productive negotiations. However the same scenario of the serial provocations undermined the peace process for a long time. This happened during the sanguinary civil war in Tajikistan in nineties. The local gangs in the neutral territory had burned the governmental humanitarian convoys for the starving population controlled by the opposition regions. The bandits raids had been paid by the narco-mafia. These incidents had a lot of victims.
C. Narco-business and terrorism.
It is well known that the narco-business and terrorism are strongly linked to each other. The "world criminal N1" - Osama-bin-Laden used opium and heroin as a source of funds to pay for the bloody actions of "Al-Kaida". The recognized fact that this control by Osama terrorist groups had been continuously supplying millions of narco-dollars and tons of drugs for further transporting to Europe is proved by numerous evidences.
A number of real wars had been initiated with the only aim to get control over the narco-smuggling corridors, e.g. the bloody armed clashes in the South Kyrgyzstan in 1998-2000. The terrorist groups of rebels - up to 3000 members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, attacked the governmental military forces of the Kyrgyz Republic with the aim to get a narco-path via this territory. This local war resulted in dozens of victims from both sides and the loss of millions dollars.
Iran had been forced to raise the mighty fortification structures along the country northern borders to protect its territory from narco-smuggling from neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan. The bloody clashes with armed gangs and narco-caravans every year cut short the lives of dozens of Iranian officers.
In order to suppress narco-traffic, the countries of Latin America, Central Asia, Western Europe and United States invest dozens of millions of dollars per year in drug-control measures. The effectiveness of this policy is proven, e.g. one of these operations, conducted by the law-enforcement agencies of some European countries in cooperation with Interpol, resulted in 11 tons of cocaine, withdrawn from this illicit turnover. The proposed point of destination of this drug-transport, started from the Caribbean, was the Netherlands.
Learning objective #3:"BALKAN ROUTE"
One of the main illicit drug trafficking routes according to the types of narcotic substances is the "Balkan Route", identified as the transit route for 80 % of heroin seized in Europe in 1999, for example.
А. The main branches
The "Balkan Route" appears split into two main branches, the North and South branches, namely.
South Branch appears to be evolved from three sub branches, through various alterations in itself. Such branches are defined as follows:
Golden Crescent (Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran) - Turkey, Greece, Italy - Western Europe
Golden Crescent - Turkey, Greece, Albania, Italy - Western Europe
Golden Crescent - Turkey, Italy - Western Europe
North Branch, however appears to be:
Golden Crescent - Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany - Western Europe
Golden Crescent -Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Germany - Western Europe
Golden Crescent -Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany - Western Europe
Golden Crescent - Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy - Western Europe
According to the latest statistics of seizures, the "Balkan route" temporary lost its importance in the period of the military conflicts but is now steadily gaining back the leading position in the regional narco-traffic.
В. "The Balkan route" and Kosovo
There are 3 main directions of "narco-import" into Kosovo:
The estimated number of drug-addicts before 1989 was relatively low. But these figures went up dramatically along with the increased flow of working immigrants of the local inhabitants to Europe. No preventive measures had been taken.
The huge world-wide flow of heroin and it's easy availability during the past few months cut off the price from 100DM per gram to 60DM, or 15-20 DM per each fix. Police agencies have been receiving a lot of claims and requests from parents to save their children from drug abuse, but there are no special preventive programs in Kosovo now.
Along with the traditional factors (involvement into "The Balkan Route", leading to the easy accessibility of drugs), a number of socio-economic problems, raised in the post-conflict period, support the wide spreading of drugs consumption in Kosovo (e.g., a high level of joblessness, etc.)
The mostly common drugs in the region are marihuana, hashish and heroin.
The drug-addiction and narco-business are especially wide-spread in the following three cities in Kosovo: Gnjilane, Prizren and Prishtina.
Learning objective#4: analysis of the Kosovo Police Forces drug-control activity in 2001
During the last year Kosovo Police Forces had investigated 180 criminal cases, involving drugs seizures. They numbed - 49 in Prishtina, 57 - in Gnjilane and 34 - in Prizren (140 or 77 %).
In 74 cases (about 41%) hashish and marihuana had been confiscated, in 58 cases (about 32%) - heroin.
Mostly "productive" appeared to be September (32 cases) and October (27 cases) - more than two third from the whole weight of drugs seized during the year.
It seems to be necessary to stress that the majority of these confiscations were carried out by patrol officers and by check-points staff, and also that the number of the large-scale confiscations in consideration of the whole number of reported drug seizures was minimal. This leads to the conclusion that the specialized operative activity, focused on the drug-dealers almost has no place in the Police Strategy at the moment.
The large number of pickpockets arrested with small amounts of drugs should be marked also. Being drug-abusers, they are forced by their addiction to get money to pay for the next dose i.e. by committing thefts. In some Central Asian regions, for example, 70% of reported crimes, associated with property misappropriation are committed by drug-abusers. Thus drug-addiction is one of the main factors, increasing the incidence of criminal offences.
Drug seizures are very often associated with small arms confiscations; this fact also stresses the very real social danger of drug-addiction.
The attempts of inmates in the concealed drugs hand over have been repeatedly reported in prisons. This causes destabilization, internal regimen infringements, riots and acts of disobedience.
The attempts of the local pushers to sell drugs to the KFOR staff have also been reported.
Learning objective#5: "first line" objectives for the anti-drug law-enforcement activity improvement
Legislative base revising and improvement. The stagnancy of the existing legislative norms makes a barrier for the new forms and methods of drug-control activity implementation. It also considerably hampers the effectiveness of the police anti-drug efforts.
To call the international organizations to initiate and support the anti-drug programs aimed on the demand reduction (task for Community Policing).
Specialized police staff training in forms and methods of drug control activity, focused on the problem and modified in accordance with the trainee's specific job description. In this consideration, their learning ability and willingness. The trainees of this 3-weeks specialized training course will demonstrate these skills. The expected feedback becomes the factor of great importance.
Specialized training in drug-search methods and techniques for the prisons and other penitentiary facilities staff members. The officers - attendees of this training course should have close working contacts with staff located in their service area penitentiary facilities, and to help address these staff members training needs.
To improve the technical capability of police forces.
To establish close working contacts with neighboring countries police forces to plan and realize the joint anti-narco-traffic activity.
To address the majority of these objectives is not "a one day task" and not only the police forces responsibility. However, the police officers, devoting themselves to the anti-drug activity, should always keep in mind the long-term development and to practice "the forestall tactics", already proved effective in other countries.
The problem of drug consumption has a very old history, compatible with the history of the human civilization. Started in the ancient times, for the medical purposes solely. In modern history the drug consumption transformed into widespread drug abuse. According to the official data, at the moment 180 million drug abusers are registered in the world. Some experts expressed their strong opinion that the real figure is much higher.
Consideration of the medical problems, - drugs consumption by injection is strongly associated with the wide and rapid spreading of hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases, especially AIDS.
The fabulous drug-business profits have been "invested" into political destabilization in different parts of the world. All available ways and means have been used and supported by narco-mafia - corruption, organized crime, terrorism, armed gangs and rebels.
The widespread drug-trafficking network involves the Balkan region - the so-called "Balkan route" is one of the main international routes of narco-smuggling. "The Balkan Route" involves different branch routes, some of them - via the Kosovo territory.
This influence, along with some other negative factors of socio-economic origin, resulted in the rapid increase of the number of drug-addicted Kosovo inhabitants. In the dramatic increase in crime, especially its mostly dangerous type - organized crime.
In this situation the insufficiency of the anti-drug efforts of police forces becomes more noticeable. Absence of the appropriate legislative base, lack of the well-trained staff and technical equipment are hampering the effectiveness of the law-enforcement drug-control measures. The number of disclosed drug-tailored offences is short-limited, the drug seizures are mainly accidental, and the large-scale confiscations are very rare.
In these circumstances the Kosovo Police Forces to need address urgently number of objectives, focused on the drug-control law enforcement efforts improvement. The main need and the main task is the police staff training. This training course, has gained a symbolic title "The Balkan Barrier" it is set to address this particular need.