Cablegate: France Caribbean Inscr for 2007-2008


DE RUEHFR #4696/01 3471000
R 131000Z DEC 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 136780

1. (U) Following is post's draft of the France Caribbean
INSCR for 2007-2008.

2. (SBU) Begin Text:

France Caribbean

I. Summary

French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, the French side of
Saint Martin and St. Barthelemy are all overseas departments
of France and therefore subject to French law, including all
international conventions signed by France. With the
resources of France behind them, the French Caribbean
departments and French Guiana are meeting the goals and
objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. The French
Judiciary Police, Gendarmerie, and Customs Service play a
major role in narcotics law enforcement in France's overseas
departments, just as they do in the rest of France. Cocaine
moves through the French Caribbean and from French Guiana to
Europe and to a lesser extent, to the United States.

II. Status

French officials have observed an increase in cocaine coming
directly to France from the French Caribbean, and created the
Martinique Task Force in response. The USG is concerned that
some of this increased trafficking could flow in to the
United States. French Customs also takes an active part in
the undertakings of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement
Council (C.C.L.E.C), which was established in the early 1970s
to improve the level of cooperation and exchange of
information between its members in the Caribbean. C.C.L.E.C.
has broadened its scope to include training programs,
technical assistance and other projects.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs
In 2007, there were some 7,600 French troops in the Caribbean
area and Guiana who played a major role in countering drug
trafficking alongside the U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force
South. During the year important drug seizures included the
April 20, 2007 operation led by the Gendarmerie and police
officials in Saint Martin which led to the discovery of 574
cannabis plants. Four people were arrested and the plants
were destroyed shortly after by the Gendarmerie. On August 8,
2007, French customs officials seized close to 900 kg of
cocaine on board a sailing ship in the south of Martinique
estimated to be worth approximately 35 million euros (approx.
$48.2 million). After initially locating the boat, French
coastal authorities escorted it to port in southern
Martinique where customs officials found the cocaine
concealed in sports bags. The two occupants on board the boat
were arrested.

Agreements and Treaties. In addition to the agreements and
treaties discussed in the report on France, USG and
Government of France (GOF) counternarcotics cooperation in
the Caribbean is enhanced by a 1997 multilateral Caribbean
customs mutual assistance agreement that provides for
information sharing to enforce customs laws and prevent
smuggling, including those relating to drug trafficking. The
assignment of a French Navy liaison officer to the U.S. Joint
Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) at Key West Florida
has also enhanced law enforcement cooperation in the
Caribbean. In October 2005, the French Parliament approved
the "Aruba Accord" (formally the "Accord Concerning the
Cooperation in Suppressing Illicit Maritime and Aeronautical
Trafficking in Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in the
Caribbean Region") and in February 2006, France deposited its
instrument of ratification in Costa Rica, completing action
on the French side. In October 2006, France, along with 11
other nations signed the "Paramaribo Declaration" at a
conference in Suriname, which is an agreement to establish an
intelligence sharing network, to coordinate and execute drug
sting operations among countries and to address money

The French Customs and Excise Service operates, together with
the French National Police and French National Mounted
Police, the Inter-ministerial Drug Control Training Center
(CIFAD) in Fort-de-France, Martinique. CIFAD offers training
in French, Spanish and English to law enforcement officials
in the Caribbean and Central and South America, covering
subjects as money laundering, precursor chemicals, mutual
legal assistance, international legal cooperation, coast
guard training, customs valuation and drug control in
airports. CIFAD coordinates its training activities with the
UNDOC, the Organization of American States/CICAD, and
individual donor nations. U.S. Customs officials periodically

teach at the CIFAD. French Customs is also co-funding with
the Organization of American States (OAS), on a regular
basis, training seminars aimed at Customs and Coast Guard
Officers from O.A.S. member states.

France supports European Union initiatives to increase
counternarcotics assistance to the Caribbean. The EU and its
member-states, the United States and other individual and
multilateral donors are coordinating their assistance
programs closely in the region through bilateral and
multilateral discussions. The GOF participates actively in
the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) as a
cooperating and support nation (COSUN).


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