Cablegate: Tanzania: 2006-2007 International Narcotics


DE RUEHDR #1788/01 3070944
P 030944Z NOV 06





E.O. 12958: N/A


Tanzania is located along trafficking routes linking Latin
America, the Middle East and Asia as well South Africa,
Europe and, to a lesser extent, the United States. Drugs like
hashish, cocaine, heroin, Mandrax, and opium have found their
way into and through Tanzania's porous borders. In addition,
the domestic production of cannabis is a significant problem,
with cultivation in many regions of Tanzania. As a result,
drug abuse, particularly involving cannabis and, to a lesser
extent, cocaine and heroin, is gradually increasing,
especially among younger people and in tourist areas.
Tanzanian institutions have minimal capacity to combat drug
trafficking; corruption reduces that capacity still further.
Tanzania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and in
conjunction with United Nations Office of Drug Control, is
seeking to address objectives of that convention. END SUMMARY.

II. Status of Country
Until 1989, Tanzania's contact with drugs was largely limited
to the traditional cultivation of cannabis in some parts of
the mainland. Since then, economic liberalization has brought
increased affluence to the expatriate community and some
urban Tanzanians. This affluence has driven demand for new
drugs like cocaine, heroin, Mandrax and opium, which have
found their way through Tanzania's porous borders.
Domestic production of cannabis is growing. Drug abuse among
the youth is also increasing, particularly abuse of the more
affordable substances like cannabis. Hard drugs, like
cocaine and heroin, are used in small quantities primarily
within affluent urban areas. However, domestic use of these
drugs appears to be on the rise. The growth of the tourism
industry, particularly in Zanzibar, has created a larger
demand for narcotics there.

Tanzania is located along trafficking routes with numerous
possible illegal points of entry in its eight land borders
and 600 kilometer coastline. Heroin originates mainly from
Iran, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, while cocaine
originates from South American countries such as Brazil,
Venezuela, Colombia, and Peru. The prime destinations for
these drugs are Europe, South Africa, China and, to a lesser
extent, the U.S. Drugs enter Tanzania by air, sea, roads and
rail. Major points of entry include airports in Dar es
Salaam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro, and seaports at Dar es
Salaam and Zanzibar, as well as smaller ports like Tanga,
Mtwara and Bagamoyo.

It is widely believed that traffickers conduct a significant
amount of narcotics smuggling off-shore in small "dhow" boats
that never stop in ports. Anecdotal evidence suggests
surveillance at the airports has improved, which may have the
effect of driving trafficking to minor ports and unofficial
entry points. During the year, there were reports of "mules"
or "swallowers" carrying hard drugs into and out of Tanzania.
The Anti-Narcotics Unit of the newly created Ministry of
Public Safety and Security reportedly apprehended 8
"swallowers" in 2005 and 16 in 2006. An increasing trend is
the use of Tanzanian land borders to enter neighboring
countries, especially Kenya and Malawi, to catch
international and regional flights.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005-2006

Policy Initiatives:
In 2005, the Drug Control Commission (DCC) finalized a set of
amendments strengthening existing narcotics legislation and
submitted the amendments to the Prime Minister's Office. The
amendments have been passed to the President's Cabinet for
approval and are expected to be read in Parliament in
February 2007. According to both the DCC and the
Anti-Narcotics Unit which provided recommendations for the
amendments, the revised legislation will increase the penalty

for drug traffickers from monetary fines to include both jail
time. The amendments also are aimed at increasing the
mandate of the DCC to include enforcement.

In 2003, the House of Representatives on semi-autonomous
Zanzibar passed its own Prevention of Illicit Traffic and
Drugs Act, which put Zanzibar narcotics law and sentencing in
line with that on the mainland. Amendments to Zanzibar's
narcotics legislation are expected to be tabled in the House
of Representatives only after the Union Parliament passes the
revised narcotics legislation for the mainland. While
Zanzibar does have its own Anti-Narcotics Unit, according to
Zanzibar's constitution, the Unit operates under the
authority of the Mainland's Ministry of Public Safety and

Tanzania's judiciary made four drug related convictions in
2005. Two convictions were made in a case involving the
smuggling of Cannabis Resin in logs shipped from Zambia to
Tanzania and two convictions were made in a case involving a
clandestine laboratory identified in 2001 producing Mandrax
in Dar es Salaam. Both of these convictions involved jail
sentences and a monetary penalties.

Law Enforcement Efforts:
Tanzania has a counternarcotics police force of about 150,
located in three branches: Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and
Moshi. However, because of the still limited training and
operational capabilities of its counternarcotics officers,
Tanzania's efforts are primarily focused on street pushers
and individual "mule-carriers" or "swallowers." To date,
Tanzania's law enforcement efforts have not yet proved
successful in limiting narcotics trafficking. Although the
number of smugglers apprehended has increased, Tanzanian law
enforcement has not yet been able to translate small seizures
into the prosecution of top leaders of organized rings. Top
law enforcement officials are starting to advocate for prison
sentences as opposed to fines to increase the deterrent to
drug trafficking.

While law enforcement officials have increased their efforts
to combat narcotics trafficking, still made only sporadic
seizures were made during 2005. According to the data from
the police force's Anti-Narcotics Unit, the following
seizures of hard drugs were made in 2005: 9,936 grams of
heroin, 78,750 grams of Cannabis Resin, 1,401 grams of
Morphine and 361.5 grams of cocaine.

In 2004, Tanzanian law enforcement engaged in widespread
cannabis eradication efforts, seizing or destroying 964,000
kilograms of cannabis. Due to budget constraints in 2005,
however, the police did not engage in widespread eradication
efforts, seizing only 150,450 kilograms in small cases within
urban areas. In 2005, law enforcement also seized 2,000
grams of Khat.

Senior Tanzanian counternarcotics officials acknowledge that
their officers are under-trained and under-resourced to
monitor Tanzania's eight land borders and long coast line.
For example, the harbor anti-narcotics unit lacks modern
patrol boats and relies on modified traditional wooden dhows
to interdict smugglers. As a result of the lack of training
and resources, Tanzanian officers and police staff are not
able to effectively implement profiling techniques and seize
large amounts of narcotics. Narcotics interdiction seizures
generally result from tip-offs from police informants.
Moreover, low salaries for law enforcement personnel provide
impetus to engage in corrupt behavior.

On the positive side, formal cooperation between
counternarcotics police in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania

is well established, with bi-annual meetings to discuss
regional narcotics issues. This cooperation has resulted in
significant increases in effectiveness in each nation's
narcotics control efforts. Tanzania also cooperates formally
with countries from the Southern Development Community (SADC)
including Zambia and South Africa. In 2005, 40 Tanzanian
officers from Immigration, Customs and Police, received
counternarcotics training with 40 officers from Zambia.

Neither the government nor senior officials encourage or
facilitate the production or distribution of illicit drugs;
however, pervasive corruption continued to be a serious
problem in the Tanzanian Police Force. It is widely believed
that corrupt officials at airports facilitate the
transshipment of narcotics through Tanzania. There is no
specific provision of the anti-corruption laws regarding
narcotics related cases, and few corruption cases are
prosecuted. In June 2006, police prosecuted two police
officers following the disappearance of approximately 80
kilograms of cocaine and heroine from police custody. The
case is still pending in court. Many believe that corruption
in the courts leads to light sentencing of convicted
narcotics offenders. Prosecutors complain that many
"swallowers" arrested at ports of entry will plead "not
guilty" at first until there has been time to pay off the
magistrate. Once confident of the magistrate's help, the
suspect changes his plea to guilty, and the magistrate
sentences with fines only and no jail time.

Agreements and Treaties:
Tanzania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Tanzania
also has signed the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) Protocol on Drug Control, and the Protocol on
Combating Drug Trafficking in the East African Region, which
seeks to strengthen regional counternarcotics cooperation
within the region, and also with Interpol, UNDCP and the
International Narcotics Board. The Southern African
Development Community, of which Tanzania is a member, has
approved an counternarcotics action plan with the following
objectives: 1) acquire information about drug use and
trafficking in the region; 2) inform policy makers about the
drug situation; and 3) develop legal frameworks to counteract
drug use and trafficking. Tanzania also participates in the
Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation (SARPCO),
which has led to at least one joint counternarcotics
operation in Tanzania. The 1931 U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty
is applicable to Tanzania.

Cultivation and Production:
Traditional cultivation of cannabis takes place in remote
parts of the country, mainly for domestic use. It is
estimated that an acre of land can produce up to USD 1,000
worth of cannabis crop as opposed to USD 100 for an acre
producing maize. The Ministry of Public Safety and Security
identified the following eight regions as the primary
production areas for cannabis: Iringa, Tabora, Shinyanga,
Mara, Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya, Tanga. No figures on total
production exist, but police and government officials report
that production continues and has spread to different regions
in response to eradication efforts.

Given the availability of raw materials, and the simplicity
of the process, it is possible that some hashish is also
produced domestically. In 2001, police seized equipment used
to manufacture Mandrax from clandestine laboratories in Dar
es Salaam, suggesting efforts to establish domestic
production. Most other illegal drugs in Tanzania are
probably produced elsewhere.

Drug Flow/Transit:

Due to its location and porous borders, seaports and
airports, Tanzania has become a significant transit country
for narcotics moving in sub-Saharan Africa. Traffickers from
landlocked countries of Southern Africa, including Zambia and
Malawi, use Tanzania for transit. Control at the ports,
especially on Zanzibar, is difficult as sophisticated methods
of forging documents, and concealment, combine with poor
controls and untrained and corrupt officials.

According to the Anti-Narcotics Unit, heroin entering
Tanzania from Iran and Pakistan is being smuggled to the
U.S., China and Australia in small quantities by traffickers
from Nigeria, Tanzania (with a significant number of
traffickers from Zanzibar) and other countries in East
Africa. Cocaine enters Tanzania from Brazil, Colombia, Peru,
Venezuela, and Curacao in transit to South Africa, Europe,
Australia and North America. Cannabis Resin, a drug which is
not known to be consumed in Tanzania, enters Tanzania mainly
by sea from Pakistan and Afghanistan and is often concealed
with local goods such as tea and coffee and smuggled to
Europe, North America and the Seychelles. The port of Dar es
Salaam is also a major point of entry for Mandrax from India,
Nepal and Kenya headed toward South Africa.

Tanzanians continue to be recruited for trafficking. In 2005,
19 Tanzanians were arrested abroad (mostly in East Africa and
Pakistan) for smuggling drugs. Of these 19 cases, 18 were
smuggling heroin while one was smuggling cocaine. From
January to September 2006, 13 Tanzanians were arrested
abroad, 11 trafficking heroin and two trafficking cocaine.

In Tanzania, police forces apprehended 14 "swallowers," in
2005, eight of whom had swallowed heroin; six of whom had
swallowed cocaine. Recently, Tanzanian smugglers have been
arrested coming into Tanzania through the land borders with
Kenya and Malawi, after having arrived at international
airports from Brazil, Iran, Pakistan and the United Arab
Emirates. They are thought to have planned to "unload" the
drugs so another mule could smuggle them to Europe or the
U.S. This trend suggests a growing local trafficking

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction:
Tanzania traditionally was believed to be only a transit
point for narcotics, but signs point to an increase in
consumer use, particularly of the lower cost drugs. Police
reports confirm that cocaine and heroin is available locally
and the tourist industry has brought ecstasy (MDMA) to
Zanzibar. In 2005, the documented number of drug addicts
seeking rehabilitation increased from 541 in 2000 to 1,306 in
2005 on the mainland and on Zanzibar, from 21 in 2000 to 69
in 2005. The spill-over from trafficking and increased
tourism have contributed to this increase in domestic demand.

The Tanzanian government has taken proactive measures to
reduce demand and increase awareness about drug use and drug
trafficking. The Drug Control Commission (DCC), under the
Prime Minister's Office, manages a small demand reduction
program. In 2005, the DCC trained over 200 nurses,
counselors and teachers and organized five awareness
campaigns in different urban centers. Without rehabilitation
hospitals and sufficient capacity in regular hospitals,
addicts are typically placed in psychiatry wards or mental
hospitals. In 2006, the DCC completed an assessment of the
capacity of urban hospitals to receive and treat drug addicts
and found capacity lacking. The police also have a public
sensitization program on the dangers of drug trafficking but
lack funding for significant outreach.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation:
U.S. policy initiatives and programs for addressing narcotics

problems in Tanzania focus on training workshops and seminars
for law enforcement officials. State Department law
enforcement assistance includes funding the establishment of
a forensics lab and training in its use. At the Tanzanian
government's request these facilities will include narcotics
analysis capabilities. The State Department's
counterterrorism bureau is funding the "PISCES" program to
improve interdiction capabilities at major border crossings.
While the program targets terrorist activities, it has
implications for narcotics and other smuggling as well.

The Road Ahead:
U.S.-Tanzanian cooperation is expected to continue, with a
focus on improving Tanzania's capacity to enforce its
counternarcotics laws.

© Scoop Media

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