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Cablegate: Netherlands: Narcotics Certification Update

VZCZCXRO1927
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHTC #1510/01 1881216
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071216Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6262
INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 0338
RUEAWJB/DOJ WASHDC
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1944
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIR ONDCP WASHDC

06THEHAGUE1510

Embassy The Hague

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

06STATE78495

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 THE HAGUE 001510

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR INL/PC - LMCKECHNIE, INL/T
DEPT ALSO FOR EUR/ERA, EUR/PGI, EUR/UBI
ONDCP FOR CHARLOTTE SISSON
DOJ FOR OIA
USEU FOR WAGNER AND DOJ
DEA HQS FOR OEE, OIE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM PINS PREL NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: NARCOTICS CERTIFICATION UPDATE

REF: A. STATE 78495

B. THE HAGUE 814
C. THE HAGUE 1415

THE HAGUE 00001510 001.2 OF 003


1. (U) Summary. In preparation for this year's interagency
review for narcotics certification, Post submits the
following update on Dutch anti-narcotics efforts and police-
to-police cooperation. The Dutch remain focused on stemming
the production and trade of ecstasy and are developing a
second five year plan to deal with ecstasy. Police-to-
police cooperation has continued to improve. End Summary.

Recent Counter-Narcotics Developments
-------------------------------------

2. (SBU) According to an unpublished report by the Dutch
National Crime Squad, Dutch police seized 1.85 million
ecstasy (MDMA) tablets and 220 kilograms of MDMA powder in
the Netherlands in 2005, a major decrease from the 5.6
million tablets and 303 kilograms of powder seized in 2004.
Dutch police estimate that 1 kilogram of powder can be used
to produce 10,000 MDMA tablets.

3. (U) Tom Driessen, head of the National Crime Squad told
ONDCP Director John Walters during Walters' April visit to
The Hague that the establishment of the National Crime
Squad, which is responsible for the investigation of
organized crime, in early 2004 had significantly improved
the effectiveness of the Dutch police against international
criminal groups involved in narcotics production and
trafficking. He said this was due in large part to the
enhanced ability of the police to cooperate with the U.S.
and other international partners; effective cooperation had
been more difficult previously, when investigation of
serious crime was decentralized among 25 police regions.
Driessen credited improved intelligence and investigations
of money and trade flows for the Dutch ability to better
combat ecstasy production and trade. He acknowledged that
resource limitations continued to hamper their efforts to
track and interdict illicit money flows. Walters commended
the Dutch for their successful efforts to curb the ecstasy
trade.

4. (U) Encouraged by the success of the initial GONL five-
year plan (2002-2006) to combat ecstasy production and
distribution, the Justice Ministry is currently developing a
follow-on five-year ecstasy plan. The interagency plan will
also involve the Interior, Finance, Defense and Health
ministries. A June 6 EUROPOL Organized Crime Threat
Analysis identified the production and distribution of
synthetic drugs by organized crime groups based in Belgium
and the Netherlands as the top law enforcement priority for
the Dutch. Justice Ministry officials welcomed the EUROPOL
appraisal as helpful to their efforts to ensure that
combating the ecstasy trade will remain a top law
enforcement priority.

Police-to-Police Cooperation
-----------------------------

5. (SBU) While Dutch judicial system and privacy
restrictions continue to hamper direct police-to-police
intelligence sharing in the absence of a formal Mutual Legal
Assistance Treaty (MLAT) request, progress is being made on
effective operational cooperation. As a result of the April
2005 Next Steps bilateral law enforcement discussions,
since October 2005 two DEA agents have been co-located
with the National Crime Squad cocaine unit in The Hague,
which specializes in South American and Caribbean narcotics
investigation. Under the co-location arrangement, DEA
agents have access to the unit's intelligence and tactical
officers, and are able to pass and receive police-to-police
information in an expeditious manner. Since the co-location
began, joint investigations have led to the seizure of
roughly 6,200 kilograms of cocaine and the arrest of 32
defendants. DEA reached agreement in June 2006 to co-locate
a third agent with the National Crime Squad's Helmond unit
in the southern Netherlands. Co-location with the Helmond

THE HAGUE 00001510 002.2 OF 003


unit, which is expected to begin this summer, was a top
objective of DEA because the Helmond unit specializes in
ecstasy and precursor chemical investigations.

6. (SBU) Since late 2005, Dutch police have also responded
positively to DEA requests to conduct controlled deliveries
without an MLAT request; previously, they had turned down
all such informal requests. In the first six months of
2006, the Dutch have conducted six controlled deliveries of
cocaine at the request of DEA on a police-to-police basis.
U.S. police conducted one controlled delivery of 3,700
ecstasy tablets at the request of the Dutch. This was the
only request presented by the Dutch in the past seven
months, but illustrates their interest in expanding law
enforcement cooperation.

7. (SBU) DEA credits the ongoing successful information
sharing between Dutch police and the El Paso Intelligence
Center (EPIC) for improving police-to-police cooperation in
the Netherlands. Over 6,000 names have been shared in the
Schiphol Blacklist program in which EPIC and Dutch police
share names of known or suspected drug traffickers for entry
in the other's database. During a June 29 meeting to review
the Blacklist program, DEA, Dutch police and Justice
Ministry officials all agreed that drug trafficker data is
flowing smoothly and that the program is working well.

8. (SBU) Improved coordination between DEA The Hague and
Dutch police has led to several recent major busts,
including the seizure of 46 kilograms of cocaine at Schiphol
airport on June 19, 2006. In the Schiphol case, the Dutch
Royal Military Police (KMAR), which is responsible for
border control, acted on a DEA tip to intercept two arriving
couriers, who will be prosecuted in the Netherlands on
charges of importation of a controlled substance.

9. (SBU) On May 31 and June 1, 2006, the DEA office in The
Hague, in conjunction with other DEA offices and the Royal
Dutch National Police (KLPD) executed international arrest
and search warrants against an international ecstasy trade
and money laundering ring. Of the ten suspects arrested,
eight will be prosecuted in the United States and two will
be prosecuted in the Netherlands. The KLPD National Crime
Squad unit in Helmond provided DEA with outstanding support
throughout the two year investigation.

10. (U) Dutch authorities attended a DEA-sponsored precursor
chemical strategy conference in Hong Kong in February 2006
and took part in DEA's International Drug Enforcement
Conference (IDEC) in Montreal in May 2006.

International Cooperation
-------------------------

11. (U) Bilateral cooperation on demand reduction research
has continued in the past year, with scientific exchanges
between the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and
Development (ZonMW) and the Trimbos Institute and U.S.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). ONDCP Director
Walters and Health Minister Hoogervorst agreed to consider
expanding joint research to include studies on long-term
drug consumption during Walters's April 2006 visit.

12. (SBU) The Dutch Justice Ministry signed a MOU with the
Chinese government to expedite the sharing of customs
information and better track shipments of precursor
chemicals in 2004. The Dutch continue to negotiate a MOU
with the Chinese that would cover direct police-to-police
operational cooperation in tracking precursor chemicals.
Justice Ministry officials acknowledge that the negotiations
are proceeding very slowly. The Dutch are also debating
internally how extensive the MOU should be, due to concerns
about entering into a broad cooperative police agreement
with a country that has a poor human rights record.

13. (U) The Dutch government hosted a conference on
enhancing EU anti-drug cooperation in the Caribbean in
February 2006. The GONL is pressing the European Commission

THE HAGUE 00001510 003.2 OF 003


and member states to increase their financial commitments to
counter-narcotics efforts in the Caribbean region.

Comment
-------

14. (U) The Dutch government has continued to make
substantial progress in the last year against ecstasy
production and trafficking. In particular, they are more
effectively targeting international criminal organizations
involved in the trade. Police-to-police cooperation and
information sharing has also improved significantly; the
recent agreement on the co-location of DEA agents in a
second key National Crime Squad drug unit is expected to
result in additional successful joint investigations. End
Comment.

ARNALL

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