Cablegate: Mozambique 2009-2010 International Narcotics


DE RUEHTO #1277/01 3131302
R 091302Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


I. Summary

Mozambique is a transit country for illegal drugs such as
hashish, herbal cannabis, cocaine, and heroin consumed primarily in
Europe, and for mandrax (methaqualone) consumed primarily in
South Africa. Illicit drug shipments passing through
Mozambique may also find their way to the United States and Canada.
Drug production mostly is limited to herbal cannabis
cultivation and a small but growing number of mandrax laboratories.
Evidence suggests considerable use of herbal cannabis and limited
consumption of "club drugs" (Ecstasy/MDMA),
prescription medicines, and heroin primarily by the
country's urban population. Porous borders, a poorly policed seacoast,
inadequately trained and equipped law enforcement agencies,
and corruption in the police and judiciary hamper Mozambique's
enforcement and interdiction efforts. The United States, the UN Office
on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and other donors have
established only a limited number of cooperation programs
to improve training of drug control officials and provide better
interdiction and laboratory equipment. Mozambique is a party to
the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Mozambique is not a significant producer of illegal drugs
and not a producer of precursor chemicals. Herbal cannabis remains the
most produced and most consumed drug in the country.
Mozambique's role as a transit country for illicit drugs
and precursors continues to grow because of its corrupt and weak law
enforcement capacity at borders, major seaports, and airports.
It is a favored point for transiting to South Africa (the
major regional market for illicit drugs) shipment onward to Europe.
Southwest Asian producers ship cannabis resin (hashish) and synthetic
drugs through Mozambique to South Africa and on to Europe.
Limited quantities of these shipments may also reach the United States
and Canada. Heroin and other opiate derivatives shipped through
Mozambique usually originate in Southeast Asia and typically transit
India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and later Tanzania, before
arriving by small ship or, occasionally, overland to
Mozambique. In 2009, there continued to be reports of cocaine entering
the country via couriers on international flights from Brazil.

III. Country Actions against Drugs in 2008

Policy Initiatives. Mozambique's accomplishments in meeting its goals
under the 1988 UN Drug Convention remain limited. The government
provides few resources for the counter narcotics effort.
The government provides some drug education programs in local schools i
cooperation with bilateral and multilateral donors.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Mozambique's counter narcotics
brigade operates in Maputo and reports to the Chief of the Criminal
Investigation Police in the Ministry of Interior. The brigade suffers
from a general lack of resources and is operating at reduced levels
compared with previous years. The brigade has not received training for
several years. Since 2005, a small, specialized police
unit designed to strengthen efforts to fight organized crime, including
narcotics trafficking, has operated at airports in provincial capitals.
For the first half of 2009 cannabis seizures
were 505 kg, down sharply from the 2008 total of 2,603 kg.
Total cannabis seizures in 2007 were reported at 4,638 kg.
Mozambique officials say the decrease is due to alterations in
trafficking patterns and not to an actual decrease in narcotics
transiting the country. Cocaine seizures for the first half of 2009
were 1.3 kg, and total seizures in 2008 were 5.5 kg. The anti-drug
police report seizing 4,454 kg of hashish in 2009, after reporting
no seizures in 2007 and 2008. No heroin was reported seized in the
first half of 2009. It is widely assumed that illegal drugs
enter the country by sea; the government relies on sporadic port
inspections and under-trained border guards to police this source.

In 2008, 538 Mozambican citizens and 10 foreign nationals
were indicted for drug use or trafficking stemming from 480
investigations. Of the 548 total arrests in 2008 only 71 were found
guilty and of the 71, only 26 were guilty of drug trafficking.

Corruption. Despite strong anti-corruption rhetoric from the
government, corruption is perceived as rampant in Mozambique.
High-level government officials are suspected to be involved in
narcotics-trafficking. As one government official put it,
"Some fish are too big to catch."
Inadequately trained and equipped law enforcement agencies
and corruption in the police and judiciary hampers Mozambique's

interdiction efforts and facilitates the country's use as a
transit point for illegal narcotics. The government does
not as a matter of policy encourage or facilitate the illicit productio
or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, other
controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from
illegal drug transactions.

Agreements and Treaties. Mozambique is a party to the 1961
UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol
the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1988 UN Drug
Convention, and the UN Convention against Transnational
Organized Crime and its three protocols. On April 9, 2008, Mozambique
ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption.

Cultivation/Production. Cannabis is cultivated primarily
in Maputo City, Tete, Manica, Cabo Delgado, Zambozia and Sofala.
Intercropping is the most common method of production. The Mozambican
government has no reliable estimates of crop size. Authorities have
made efforts since 2007 to eradicate cannabis crops through controlled

Drug Flow/Transit. Assessments of drugs transiting Mozambique are base
upon limited seizure data and the observations of Mozambique officials
and UNODC officials. Mozambique increasingly serves as a transit
country for hashish, cannabis resin, heroin, and mandrax originating in
Southwest Asia, owing to its porous borders, long and sparsely patrolle
coastline, lack of resources for interdiction efforts, and improving
transportation links with neighboring countries. Drugs destined for th
South African and European markets arrive in Mozambique by small
ship, mostly in the coastal provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Sofala,
and Inhambane, before being repackaged and sent by land to neighboring

Domestic Program/Demand Reduction. The primary substances
of abuse are alcohol, nicotine, and herbal cannabis. The Mozambican
Office for the Prevention and Fight Against Drugs (GCPCD) maintains an
office in each provincial capital and coordinates a drug
prevention and education program for use in schools and with high risk
families; the program includes plays and lectures in schools, churches,
and other places where youths gather. The GCPCD has also
provided the material to a number of local NGOs for use in their drug
education programs. GCPCD reported a near doubling of anti-drug
activists in 2008, to 27,636. With limited abuse and treatment
options and no treatment programs specifically for drug abusers, those
seeking assistance are often referred to psychiatric hospitals. The
number of drug abusers reported in 2008 was 669, a slight increase
from the 624 drug abusers reported in 2007.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

U.S. Policy Initiatives. The United States plans to
increase dialogue with Mozambican officials regarding counter-narcotics
issues, with the goal of increasing the government's attention to the
issue, to include matters of corruption at the local and senior levels
as well as improve border awareness, interdictions, and prosecutions of
narcotics-traffickers. The U.S. Government will continue to pursue thi
dialogue at higher levels of the Mozambican government over the coming
year, with the goal that engagement with the Mozambicans on
counter-narcotics will prevent Mozambique from becoming an even more
attractive transit location for hashish, cocaine, and heroin.

Bilateral Cooperation. The United States continues to
sponsor Mozambican law enforcement officials and prosecutors to attend
regional training programs at the International Law Enforcement Academy
(ILEA) for Africa in Botswana. Law enforcement officials
have also received training at ILEA in New Mexico. The United States
has supported the police sciences academy near Maputo, through
training and technical assistance in the areas of drug identification
and investigation, as well as other areas of criminal sciences includin
fingerprint identification, forensic photography, and the identificatio
of fraudulent documents. Additionally, in 2007-2008, the USG provided
training to 300 guards and senior officers of the Mozambican Border
Guards in techniques of securing borders and managing border crossing
(document checking, inspections). Inspection materials, vehicles and
alternate transportation options, equipment for distant posts, and
computer equipment were supplied to border guards to assist them in
implem enting the techniques taught in the training courses.

The Road Ahead. U.S. efforts to improve Mozambique's border
security capabilities continue in 2009. To build on the success of the
initial training, the USG will sponsor additional basic
and advanced border security courses for Mozambican border
guards. The U.S. military has continued to provide assistance to the
Mozambican navy relating to the security of its sea border. DOD has
provided shallow draft vessels for limited coastal security work in
conjunction with USCG training on ship/vessel boarding and search and

seizure techniques. DOD will train the Mozambican Navy on search and
seizure techniques using those vessels. Additionally, DOD
will work with the Mozambican Navy to install a sensor network that
provides comprehensive, real time awareness of the sea coast, a
technology that should provide the Mozambican Navy with border awarenes
that previously was lacking.


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