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Cablegate: Ethiopia: Increased Heroin Trafficking Originating

VZCZCXRO9692
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2301/01 2041059
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231059Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7095
INFO RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0190
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA PRIORITY 0380
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0682
RUEHLG/AMEMBASSY LILONGWE PRIORITY 0869
RUEHPC/AMEMBASSY LOME PRIORITY 0483
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 002301

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E AND INL/ENT
CAIRO FOR DEA
LAGOS FOR LEGATT
JUSTICE FOR OIA, AFMLA AND NDDS
TREASURY FOR FINCEN
CJTF-HOA AND USCENTCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM ET GH KE TO IR
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: INCREASED HEROIN TRAFFICKING ORIGINATING
IN IRAN OR DUBAI

REF: A. ADDIS ABABA 1000 (NOTAL)
B. ADDIS ABABA 3006 (NOTAL)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Since the March arrest of a Ghanaian
national who had ingested nearly one kilogram of heroin from
Iran, Ethiopian federal authorities have arrested 4 other
Africans transiting Addis Ababa from Dubai with ingested
heroin, and are randomly searching West Africans on suspect
flights. The suspected smugglers claimed to have purchased
the heroin pellets in Iran or Dubai. While Ethiopia is not a
significant producer, trafficker, or consumer of narcotic
drugs, its location among the major narcotics routes--linking
Southeast/Southwest Asian heroin production, European
markets, and West African trafficking networks--make it a
prime candidate for continued drug trafficking. END SUMMARY.


2. (SBU) Ethiopian Federal Police Illicit Drug Control
Service Deputy Commander Tsegaye Weldhiwot reported that
Ghanaian National Francis Antwi (DOB 12 March 1979) was
arrested at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on June
16. Mr. Antwi swallowed 30 pellets of heroin, weighing
391.15 grams. Mr. Antwi, who traveled from Tehran to Dubai,
claimed that he purchased the drugs in Iran for USD7,500 from
Mr. Farmod, an Emirati citizen. Mr. Antwi claimed that he
did not know the identity of the final purchaser of the
heroin; however, his destination was Lome, Togo. Ten days
later, on June 26, a second Ghanaian citizen, Godstime Vinson
Badasu (DOB 03 April 1957) was arrested for trafficking of
heroin, also in the form of swallowed pellets. Mr. Badasu
expelled 16 pellets, obtained the drugs in Dubai, and was
also traveling to a final destination of Lome, Togo.

--------------------------------------------- ----------------
KENYAN AND TANZANIAN CITIZENS ARRESTED FOR TRAFFICKING HEROIN
--------------------------------------------- ----------------

3. (SBU) In addition to the Ghanaian citizens, on June 29,
Ethiopian Federal Police Illicit Drug Control Service
officers arrested Kenyan citizen Adamal Harun Mansur (DOB 03
February 1984). Mr. Mansur was found carrying 17 capsules of
heroin internally, and was traveling from Dubai to Lilongwe,
Malawi, transiting Bole International Airport. On July 1,
the Ethiopian Federal Police arrested Tanzanian citizen Johar
Saleh Athumani (DOB 17 April 1973). Mr. Athumani was
traveling from Dubai to Kilimanjaro International Airport in
Tanzania, also transiting through Addis Ababa. Mr. Athumani
expelled six capsules of heroin.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
FEDERAL POLICE SEARCHING SUSPECTED WEST AFRICAN NATIONALS
--------------------------------------------- ------------

4. (SBU) These instances of trafficking follow close on the
heels of the March 23 arrest of Ghanaian national Abubakari
Yakubu (DOB: 23 January 1972) for possession of heroin at
Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa (ref A). The
Ethiopian Federal Police responded to this apparent increase
of narcotics trafficking by West African nationals by
randomly searching a West African citizen on every suspect
flight. With regard to narcotics trafficking by all
nationalities, the penalty for narcotics trafficking in
Ethiopia increased one year ago from a maximum of three years
to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. Thus far, the average
sentence has been 3-4 years. The authorities in Dubai did
not arrest the suspected traffickers passing through their
airports; however, Emirati officials notified Ethiopian
authorities of the alleged traffickers once they departed

ADDIS ABAB 00002301 002 OF 002


Dubai and were en route to Addis Ababa.

--------------------------------------------- -----------
ETHIOPIA NOT LIKELY A HUB FOR EXCESSIVE DRUG TRAFFICKING
--------------------------------------------- -----------

5. (SBU) COMMENT: It was unclear whether the Ethiopian
police had made contact with the respective embassies of
those arrested, in order to ensure consular access. As noted
in Ethiopia's 2006 International Narcotics Control Strategy
Report (INCSR) (ref B), Post assesses that Ethiopia is not,
nor is it likely to become, a significant producer,
trafficker, or consumer of narcotic drugs. However, its
location among the major narcotics routes between
Southeast/Southwest Asian heroin production, European
markets, and West African trafficking networks, make it a
prime candidate for continued drug trafficking. For example,
Ethiopian Federal Police report having confiscated 11 kg,
312.76 grams of heroin from 14 individuals in 2005, and 16
kg, 165.98 grams of heroin from 22 individuals in 2004. END
COMMENT.
YAMAMOTO

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