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Cablegate: 2006-2007 International Narcotics


DE RUEHTL #0985/01 3061351
R 021351Z NOV 06







E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 155088

1. (U) The following is Embassy Tallinn's submission for
the 2006/2007 (EUR) International Narcotics Control
Strategy Report (INCSR) Part I, Drugs and Chemical Control.


2. (U) The closures of illegal synthetic drug labs,
seizures of drug precursors, and detection of local and
international drug chains indicate drug production and
transit activity in Estonia, but also reflect the
increasing efficiency of counter-narcotics efforts by
Estonian law enforcement agencies. The drug situation in
Estonia does not differ dramatically from that in other
European countries except for the high HIV-infection rates
among intravenous drug users. Estonia is a party to the
main international drug control conventions, including the
UN Convention against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs
and Psychotropic Substances (1988).

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3. (U) Estonia's most popular illegal narcotics include
trimethylphentanyl, or "White Persian," ecstasy,
amphetamine, and cannabis. The closure of illegal
synthetic drug labs, along with seizures of production
equipment and precursors, indicate that synthetic drugs are
produced in Estonia. While some drugs are consumed
locally, production is also exported to neighboring
countries, as evidenced by the frequent arrests of drug
traffickers at the border. Seizures of large quantities of
narcotic substances by Estonian law enforcement agencies
indicate that Estonia is involved in drug transit in the

4. (U) According to Government and NGO estimates, there
are about 14,000 intravenous drug users (IDUs) in Estonia.
Due to its large IDU population, Estonia has the highest
per capita HIV-infection growth rate in Europe. As of
October 2006, a total of 5,567 cases of HIV had been
registered nationwide, 504 of which were registered in 2005
(a slight decline compared to recent years). To date, AIDS
has been diagnosed in a total of 112 people, 12 of whom
were diagnosed in 2006. Male IDUs account for the largest
share of newly registered HIV cases; however, the number of
HIV-positive young women and pregnant women has increased,
indicating that the epidemic is spreading into the general


5. (U) POLICY INIATIVES. In 2006, Estonia continued to
upgrade its anti-narcotics legal framework. On July 17,
2006, the Amendment Law on the Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances Act (ALNDPSA), adopted by
Parliament on June 15, 2005, came into force. The ALNDPSA
harmonizes Estonia's legislation with European Union (EU)
narcotics regulations and brings domestic law into
compliance with the United Nations (UN) Convention against
Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances. The ALNDPSA specifies that, starting from
January 1, 2006, the Estonian Drug Monitoring Center has
the right to collect data on illegal drugs and drug users
and to establish a national drug treatment registry.

6. (U) Also in 2006, Estonia continued to implement its
national 2006-2015 anti-HIV/AIDS strategy. The national
anti-HIV/AIDS strategy was adopted on December 1, 2005.
Its aims are to bring about a steady downward trend in the

spread of HIV as well as to improve the quality of life of
people living with the disease. The strategy pays special
attention to programs for various at-risk groups, including
IDUs. As part of its anti-HIV/AIDS strategy the Government
of Estonia (GOE) formed a high-level committee to
coordinate all HIV and drug abuse prevention activities.
The committee is comprised of representatives from the
Ministries of Social Affairs, Education and Research,
Defense, Internal Affairs, Justice, and Finance, as well as
the UN Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria (UN
Global Fund), local governments, the World Health
Organization, organizations for people living with
HIV/AIDS, and members of the original working groups that
drafted the GOE's anti-HIV/AIDS strategy. The committee
reports directly to the GOE on a biannual basis.

7. (U) LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS. Combating narcotics is a
major priority for Estonian law enforcement agencies. Good
cooperation on counter-narcotics activities are maintained
between police, customs officials, and the border guard.
Currently 92 police officers are working solely on drug
issues. In 2006, the police registered 701 drug-related
criminal cases and successfully carried out several
counter-narcotics operations. In March, the Central
Criminal Police discovered an amphetamine lab in a rural
community outside the capital. Amphetamine, precursors,
and lab equipment were seized. The calculated street value
of the confiscated items was USD $8,400. In May, police
seized 450 grams of fentanyl, or "White Chinese," estimated
at 15,000 doses with at total value of USD $84,000. As a
result of several operations in June and August, Estonian
police eliminated a drug chain, detained five people, and
seized over 20 kilograms of the psychotropic substance
gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB), lab equipment, and 15 kilos of
the precursor gammabutyrolactone (GBL), sufficient to
produce 45 kilograms of GHB.

8. (U) Combating the illicit narcotics trade is also a
high priority for the Estonian Tax and Customs Board
(ETCB). The ETCB has 27 officers solely dedicated to the
fight against drug trafficking, including 17 dog teams
assigned to regional Customs Control Departments. All
customs, investigation, and information officers have
received special training on narcotics control, and all
customs border points are equipped with rapid drug tests.
In 2006, ETCB installed new equipment with the capability
to X-ray truck cargo at the border. The ETCB has further
entered into memoranda of understanding with major courier
companies in an effort to involve them in drug trade
prevention. (For more on international law enforcement
efforts, see Paragraph 12.)

9. (U) CORRUPTION. Estonia is a relatively corruption-
free country, receiving high scores on international
corruption and economic indexes and out-performing all
other new EU member states and some EU-15 countries. The
GOE does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or
distribution of narcotics or psychotropic drugs or the
laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.
There are no reports of any senior official of the GOE
engaging in, encouraging, or facilitating the illicit
production or distribution of narcotic substances.

10. (U) AGREEMENTS AND TREATIES. Estonia is a party to
the main international drug control conventions: the UN
Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), the UN
Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971), the UN
Convention Against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs
and Psychotropic Substances (1988), and the Council of
Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure, and
Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (1990). A 1924
extradition treaty, supplemented in 1934, remains in force
between the United States and Estonia, and a mutual legal
assistance treaty in criminal matters was entered into by
the countries in 2000. On October 18, 2006 the Estonian
Parliament ratified a new Estonian-U.S. extradition

agreement and a revised agreement on mutual legal
assistance in criminal matters. This new agreement, still
pending official enactment, is in compliance with
agreements previously signed between the EU and the United
States as well as a 2002 decision of the EU Council
concerning arrest warrants and transfer procedure. Estonia
is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational
Organized Crime and its three protocols. Estonia's
domestic drug legislation is consistent with international
laws regulating the combat against illicit drugs.

11. (U) CULTIVATION/PRODUCTION. Estonia's cold climate
precludes it from becoming a major drug cultivator;
however, in northeastern Estonia small amounts of poppies
are grown for local consumption. During the past ten years
police have closed 27 drug labs and seized products and
precursors from different regions of Estonia, demonstrating
Estonia's involvement in synthetic narcotics production.
Most of the known labs are small and very mobile, making
them difficult to detect and close. In addition to
production for domestic consumption, Estonia supplies drugs
to neighboring countries, including the Nordic countries
and northwestern Russia.

12. (U) DRUG FLOW/TRANSIT. The geographical position of
Estonia makes it attractive to drug smugglers. Frequent
arrests of drug traffickers and seizures of narcotic
substances at the borders indicate Estonia's involvement in
the international drug trade, but also demonstrate the high
performance level of Estonian law enforcement agencies. In
summer 2006, in cooperation with foreign partners, Estonian
police disrupted an international drug chain. Police
arrested three people within Estonian borders and seized
17,000 tablets of ecstasy and more than 60,000 tablets of
chlorophenylpiperazine in transit from the Netherlands to
Russia. The estimated street value of the seized
substances was about USD $670,000. From the period of
January-October 2006, the ETCB seized a total of 210.2
kilograms of hashish (11 cases), 11.8 kilograms of cannabis
(three cases), 4.5 kilograms of heroin (single seizure),
1.2 kilograms of amphetamines (three cases), and
confiscated lab equipment for synthetic drug production.

Estonia continued to implement its 2004-2012 National
Strategy on the Prevention of Drug Dependency. Combating
the drug trade and reining in domestic consumption continue
to be high priorities for all Estonian law enforcement
agencies and for several government ministries. Emphasis
on the prevention of drug addiction and HIV/AIDS prevention
continued in 2006 with the continued implementation of the
2005 Government Coalition Agreement. There are
approximately 60 governmental, non-governmental, and
private entities in Estonia working with IDUs to provide
services to decrease demand and reduce harm. There are
currently seven voluntary HIV testing and counseling
centers in Estonia funded by the GOE, local governments,
and the UN Global Fund. A needle exchange program is
operational in 27 cites and includes a number of mobile
needle exchange stations. In Tallinn and northeastern
Estonia (the center of the HIV epidemic) methadone
treatment is provided at six centers. Drug rehabilitation
services are available in eight facilities nationwide,
three of which are church-sponsored.

14. (U) CHEMICAL CONTROL. Estonia's principal legislation
on chemical controls - the Act on Narcotic and Psychotropic
Substances and Precursors Thereof (ANPSP) - is in full
compliance with EU legislation on drug precursors (these EU
regulations include: Regulation EC No. 111/2005 of
December 22, 2004, laying down the rules for the monitoring
of trade between the Community and third countries in drug
precursors; Regulation EC No. 273/2004 of the Council and
the European Parliament of February 11, 2004, on drug
precursors; Regulation EC No. 1277/2005 of July 27, 2005,
laying down implementing rules for Regulations EC Nos.

273/2004 and 111/2005). Further, the ANPSP implements the
Vienna Convention of 1988. The ANPSP categorizes chemical
substances into three categories. None of the substances
in any of the three categories is produced in Estonia.
[Note. ANPSP was amended, but not usurped, by the ALNDPSA.
End Note.]

15. (U) The first specified controlled substance category
under the ANPSP includes ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.
Under the law, a license is needed to possess, market,
import, export, or broker these substances. Currently,
only one license has been issued in Estonia to a wholesaler
that imports ephedrine from an EU country and sells it to
drug stores with licenses to produce medicine under a
doctor's prescription. The annual use of ephedrine in
Estonia is about six kilograms. In addition, some imported
medicinal products that contain pseudoephedrine are
authorized for use in Estonia. A pre-export notification
procedure is in place even though Estonia does not produce
medicines that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. The
State Agency of Medicine (SAM) has not issued any licenses
to export ephedrine or pseudoephedrine from Estonia to
third countries.

16. (U) Potassium permanganate and acetic anhydride are
included in the ANPSP's second category of controlled
substances. In order to market, import, or export
potassium permanganate and acetic anhydride, the producing
and marketing venue must be registered with the SAM.
Currently, the SAM registry includes 12 companies that
process potassium permanganate and six companies that
process acetic anhydride. These companies are primarily
involved in importing the substances from the EU or
marketing them within the EU. In order to export potassium
permanganate and acetic anhydride, an export license and a
pre-export notification are required. Neither potassium
permanganate nor acetic anhydride are produced in Estonia,
and the SAM has not issued any licenses to export these
substances to third countries. The third category of drugs
under the ANPSP is not relevant to this report.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

17. (U) In 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
initiated a major project with the Estonian Defense Forces
(EDF) entitled "DOD HIV/AIDS Prevention Program" to raise
awareness of military personnel and to assist in the
creation of a sustainable EDF HIV/AIDS prevention system.
In addition, the GOE continues to implement projects
financed by the State Department on the prevention of HIV
transmission from mother to child in the Russian border
area. The implementation of HIV-related stigma reduction
programs continued in 2006, including a State Department-
sponsored visit by a stigma expert from the United States.
The State Department further financed the printing of
brochures for people living with HIV.

18. (U) In 2006, the Export Control and Border Security
program provided training for customs agents, border
guards, security police, and criminal central police.
While principally designed for anti-proliferation and WMD
detection, many of the techniques in the training are
directly applicable to narcotics searches and seizures.
The following training was provided: International Railroad
Interdiction Training in El Paso, TX (April 3-7);
International Seaport Interdiction Training in Charleston,
SC (September 18-22); International Railroad Interdiction
Training in Narva, Estonia (September 25-29); and the
upcoming International Airport Interdiction Training in New
York City, NY (scheduled for December).


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