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Cablegate: Drug Certification Report Card for Nigeria

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 002983

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR NI
SUBJECT: DRUG CERTIFICATION REPORT CARD FOR NIGERIA

REF: STATE 189553


1. This responds to reftel's request for a certification
report card showing the Government of Nigeria's
accomplishments in achieving certification benchmarks set out
earlier in the year.


A. Major Traffickers


1) improved effectiveness of the NDLEA/DEA Joint Task Force
leading to international narcotics investigations and
prosecutions involving major Nigeria-based traffickers


--THE JOINT TASK FORCE HAS BEEN REINVIGORATED; IN MID-2001 IT
BEGAN INVESTIGATING A MAJOR TRAFFICKER WITH DEA COOPERATION.


2) Increased GON resources for the NDLEA


--IN JULY 2001 PRESIDENT OBASANJO AUTHORIZED A SUPPLEMENTARY
BUDGET APPROPRIATION OF 250 MILLION NAIRA (EQUIVALENT TO USD
2.3 MILLION), EFFECTIVELY A 200 PERCENT INCREASE IN THE
NDLEA'S BUDGET.


3) Effective use of training and material assistance provided
by the USG


--AIRPORT INTERDICTION TRAINING GIVEN TO NDLEA OFFICERS IN
OCTOBER 2000 AND DRUG DETECTION ITEMISERS TURNED OVER TO THE
NDLEA IN MAY 2001 HAVE LED TO MUCH STRONGER INTERDICTION
EFFORTS AT LAGOS' MURTALA MUHAMMED INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.


4) Efficient GON response to law enforcement requests from
other countries.


--NIGERIA HAS EXPANDED DRUG CONTROL COOPERATION WITH OTHER
COUNTRIES THROUGH A NUMBER OF NEW FORA DURING THE LAST YEAR,
INCLUDING THE SOUTH AFRICA-NIGERIA BILATERAL COMMISSION, THE
DEA-SPONSORED WEST AFRICAN JOINT OPERATIONS INITIATIVE AND
THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES (ECOWAS).


B. Extradition


1) Establishing a special prosecutorial team that works on
extradition cases;
2)Creating a special element in the High Court composed of
one or more judges designated to hear extradition cases;
3) Providing any such judge or judges with the staff and
resources necessary to hear cases expeditiously; and
4) Expeditiously conducting a review of outstanding U.S.
requests for extradition and filing with the High Court
extradition requests that can be pursued.


--DURING THE NOVEMBER 9 MEETING OF THE BILATERAL LAW
ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE BETWEEN NIGERIA AND THE U.S., THE GON
PLEDGED TO BEGIN PROCESSING USG EXTRADITION REQUESTS USING A
DEDICATED PROSECUTORIAL TEAM AND A JUDGE SELECTED TO HANDLE
EXTRADITION CASES EXCLUSIVELY.


C. Interdiction


1) Expanding NDLEA's jurisdiction to Nigeria's sea ports
leading to seizures, arrests and prosecutions;


--IN AUGUST 2001 PRESIDENT OBASANJO ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER
GRANTING THE NDLEA FULL OPERATIONAL ACCESS TO NIGERIA'S SEA
PORTS. THE NDLEA HAS SINCE SET UP FIVE NEW ZONAL COMMANDS
(BRINGING THE TOTAL TO 25) TO INTENSIFY INTERDICTION EFFORTS
AT THE COUNTRY'S FIVE LARGEST PORTS -- CALABAR, PORT
HARCOURT, TIN CAN ISLAND, WARRI AND APAPA.


2) Intensify efforts at the Lagos airport to ensure that any
direct flights to the United States from Nigeria do not
become major conduits for drug trafficking.


--THE NDLEA UNIT AT MURTALA MUHAMMED INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
CONDUCTS 100 PERCENT SCREENING OF CARRY-ON BAGGAGE OF
PASSENGERS EMBARKING ON THE SOUTH AFRICA AIRWAYS/NIGERIA
AIRWAYS DIRECT FLIGHT TO THE U.S. (NEW YORK/JFK). A SIGN OF
AN EFFECTIVE INTERDICTION PROFILE IN NIGERIA IS THE FACT THAT
ONLY ONE DRUG SEIZURE HAS BEEN REPORTED BY U.S. CUSTOMS AT
JFK IN CONNECTION WITH THIS FLIGHT -- COMPARED TO MANY
SEIZURES MADE FROM THE GHANA AIRWAYS FLIGHT FROM ACCRA TO JFK.


D. Money Laundering


1) The GON must make significant progress in establishing a
mechanism for bank monitoring and reporting cross-border and
significant internal financial transactions to a central unit;


--IN OCTOBER 2001 THE GON FINISHED A DRAFT LAW THAT CREATES A
FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION SERVING THE FUNCTION OF A CENTRAL
GON UNIT TO COORDINATE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING ENFORCEMENT
ACTIVITIES AND POLICY WHILE IMPROVING MONITORING OF NIGERIA'S
89 BANKS
2) The GON must make significant progress in enacting new and
enforcing existing money laundering legislation.


--IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED FINANCIAL CRIMES
COMMISSION LAW, THE GON IS DRAFTING A NEW MONEY LAUNDERING
LAW THAT RECOGNIZES THE DEFICIENCIES OF THE 1995 MONEY
LAUNDERING ACT BY EXPANDING COVERAGE BEYOND DRUG MONEY
LAUNDERING TO THE PROCEEDS OF OTHER CRIMES AND IMPROVING
ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS. AT THE NOVEMBER 9 BILATERAL LAW
ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING IN WASHINGTON, THE GON PLEDGED
TO INTRODUCE THE NEW MONEY LAUNDERING LAW BEFORE NIGERIA'S
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BY MARCH 2002.


E. Asset Forfeiture


1) The GON should enact legislation that reduces the
government's standard of proof required for effecting
forfeiture of property; and
2) the GON should auction forfeited assets of substantial
value and using at least 50 percent of the proceeds to
augment the NDLEA or NPF budget.


--DURING THE NOVEMBER 9 BILATERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE
MEETING IN WASHINGTON, THE GON PLEDGED TO INTRODUCE
LEGISLATION ALLOWING FOR CIVIL FORFEITURE OF ASSETS, WITH THE
PROCEEDS OF THOSE ASSETS TO GO LARGELY TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCIES AFFECTING THE SEIZURES,BY MARCH 2002.


F. Corruption


1) The GON should properly staff and fund the Anti-Corruption
Commission; and
2) properly staff and fund both the NDLEA and NPF special
offices of professional responsibility and ensure that they
have the authority to bring criminal charges or to recommend
administrative punishments for lesser offenses.


--THE GON HAS BEGUN HIRING THE FIRST DEDICATED STAFF FOR THE
ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION, WHICH WILL GREATLY EXPAND THE
COMMISSION'S SIZE AND STRENGTHEN ITS CAPACITY. GON OFFICIALS
ALSO CLAIM THAT FUNDING FOR THE COMMISSION, CURRENTLY AT USD
5 MILLION A YEAR, WILL BE ENHANCED IN THE COMING BUDGET
CYCLE.


Jeter

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