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Cablegate: Namibia: 2009-2010 Incsr Part I


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E.O. 12958: N/A


I. Summary


1. (SBU) While occasionally used as a drug transit point, Namibia
is not a major drug producer or exporter. Statistics for 2009
showed a marked decrease in illegal drug seizures compared to
previous years, with approximately $300,000 worth of drugs (589
kilograms of marijuana, plus extremely small quantities of Mandrax
(methaqualone), cocaine, and Ecstasy) seized between April 2008 and
March 2009. Drug abuse remains an issue of concern, especially
among economically disadvantaged groups. Narcotics enforcement is
the responsibility of the Namibian Police's Drug Law Enforcement
Unit (DLEU), which still lacks the manpower, resources and
equipment required to fully address the domestic drug trade and
transshipment issues. Namibia ratified the 1988 UN Drug Convention
in March 2009. End Summary.


II. Status of Country


2. (SBU) Namibia is not a significant producer of drugs or
precursor chemicals. No drug production facilities were discovered
in Namibia in 2009.

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III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2009


Policy Initiatives.

3. (SBU) Namibia has requested United Nations (UNODC) assistance in
reviewing the 2003-2008 National Drug Master Plan. The 1988 UN
Drug Convention requirements are reflected in Namibian law, which
criminalizes cultivation, production, distribution, sale, transport
and financing of illicit narcotics. Namibia's Parliament passed
the Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA), designed to combat
organized crime and money laundering, in 2004, and it entered into
force in May 2009. In July 2007, Parliament passed the Financial
Intelligence Act (FIA) and the law entered into force in May 2009.
The Combating of the Abuse of Drugs Bill was tabled in Parliament
in 2006. However due to non compliance with certain provisions of
the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the Bill was withdrawn from parliament
and is currently under review with the Namibian Legal Drafting
Directorate in the Ministry of Justice. If passed, it would ban
the consumption, trafficking, sale and possession of dangerous,
undesirable and dependence-inducing substances. Namibia is also a
signatory to the International Convention for the Suppression of
the Financing of Terrorism. The Namibian Anti-Terrorism Activities
Bill and Drugs Control Bill are still under consideration. Once
dully implemented and harmonized, the new legislation will allow
for asset forfeiture and other narcotics-related prosecution tools.

Law Enforcement Efforts.

4. (SBU) Namibia fully participates in regional law enforcement
cooperation efforts against narcotics trafficking, especially
through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the
Southern African Regional Police Chief's Cooperative Organization
(SARPCCO). The Minister of Safety and Security and working level
officials meet regularly with counterparts from neighboring
countries to discuss efforts to combat cross border contraband
shipments (including narcotics trafficking).

5. (SBU) According to official statistics (published in April every
year), police made the following seizures:

2009* 2008**


Cannabis 589 1383 kilograms

Cocaine powder 9.284 32 kilograms

Crack cocaine 410 528 dosage units

Ecstasy 92 394 tablets

Methaqualone 800 381 tablets

* Statistics collected April 2008 to March 2009

** Statistics collected April 2007 to March 2008

6. (SBU) The Namibian Police's Drug Law Enforcement Unit (DLEU),
continues to lack the manpower, resources and equipment required to
fully address the domestic drug trade and transshipment issues.
For example, the DLEU only has drug detection dogs in Windhoek to
carry out its enforcement activities, while other transit points
lack coverage.

7. (SBU) The Nineteenth Meeting of Heads of National Drug Law
Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA), Africa, organized by the United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was hosted by the
Government of Namibia, in Windhoek, Namibia, October 12 through 16,


8. (SBU) As s matter of government policy, the Government of
Namibia does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or
distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled
substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug
transactions. Similarly, no senior government official is alleged
to have participated in such activities.

Agreements and Treaties.

9. (SBU) In March 2009 Namibia ratified the 1988 UN Drug
Convention. In addition it is a party to the 1961 UN Single
Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN
Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Namibia also is a party to
the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its
protocols against migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons, and
to the UN Convention against Corruption. The United States and
Namibia do not have a bi-lateral extradition or mutual legal
assistance treaty. In 2006, however, Namibia designated the United
States as a country to which Namibia could extradite persons. In
addition, there has been excellent cooperation regarding legal
assistance between both countries.

Drug and Flow/Transit

10. (SBU) Namibia's excellent port facilities and road network,
combined with weak border enforcement, make it a likely
transshipment point for drugs en route to the larger and more
lucrative South African market. DLEU personnel believe much of the
transshipment takes place via shipping containers either off-loaded

at the port of Walvis Bay or entering overland from Angola and
transported via truck to Botswana, Zambia and South Africa.
Inadequate staffing and training, inadequate screening equipment,
and varying levels of motivation among working-level customs and
immigration officers at Namibia's land border posts all prevent
adequate container inspection and interception of contraband.
However, during 2009 the Namibian Customs Directorate in the
Ministry of Finance procured scanning equipment, which will be
commissioned at major ports and land borders to enhance the
capacity of border interdiction for illegal drugs and other
contraband. Inconsistently applied immigration controls also make
Namibia an attractive transit point for Africans en route to or
from Latin America for illicit purposes. The current maritime
security posture does not allow the Namibian police, naval, and
port authorities to monitor maritime activities outside the 5 km
outer anchorage area of Namibia's major ports in Walvis Bay and
Luderitz. It has been reported that drug traffickers have been
able to exploit this weakness by using small crafts to meet larger
vessels outside these controlled areas. The Namibian Navy assists
the police and customs officials with better patrolling of
Namibia's Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). Six additional patrol
ships have been procured from Brazil. Only one ship "Brendan
Simbwaye" has been received and is currently in use. It is
uncertain when the other five ships will be delivered to the
Namibian Navy.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction.

11. (SBU) Drug treatment programs are available from private
clinics, and to a lesser extent from public facilities. The vast
majority of treatment cases in Namibia are for alcohol abuse, with
the remainder divided evenly between cannabis and Mandrax
(methaqualone). There is also increasing evidence of the problem
of cocaine use in Namibia.


IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs


12. (SBU) The USG continues to support Namibian participation in
law enforcement training programs at the International Law
Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana. Many of these
training programs include counternarcotics modules.
Representatives of several Namibian law enforcement agencies
(Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, Prison Service, the Namibian Police, and the
Anti-Corruption Commission) and prosecutors have participated in
ILEA training. The police have repeatedly state their willingness
to cooperate with the USG on any future narcotics-related
investigations. In July 2007 the Financial Intelligence Act (FIA)
was passed. Both POCA and the FIA entered into force in May 2009.
The FIA serves as the cornerstone of Namibia's anti-money
laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) regime in
concert with the POCA. FIA requires both bank and non-bank
financial institutions, called accountable institutions, to
identify customers and to report suspicious transactions to the
Bank of Namibia (BoN), as well as to provide relevant documents and
other investigations. The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has established
the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) to carry out the FIA. The
U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance
provided assistance in implementation of FIA and the establishment
of the FIC.

The Road Ahead.

13. (SBU The USG will continue to coordinate with relevant law
enforcement bodies to allow them to take advantage of training
opportunities at ILEA Botswana and elsewhere, and will assist the
Government of Namibia in any narcotics investigation with a U.S.

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