Cablegate: Poland: 2009-10 International Narcotics Control Strategy

Published: Tue 10 Nov 2009 08:19 AM
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O 100819Z NOV 09 ZDK
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1. (SBU) Mission Poland's submission for the 2009-2010 INCSR Part I
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I. Summary
Poland has traditionally been a transit country for drug
trafficking. As economic conditions improve, it is increasingly a
more significant consumer of narcotics and producer of amphetamines.
The Government of Poland has a comprehensive demand reduction
program and integration into the European Union's Schengen zone
appears to have improved law enforcement capabilities against
narcotics trafficking. Poland is a party to the 1988 UN Drug
II. Status of Country
In 2009, the Law on Combating Drug Addition was revised to include
new types of recreational drugs. Compared to 2007, public
expenditures on counternarcotics programs increased in 2008. Polish
law enforcement agencies have succeeded in breaking up organized
crime syndicates involved in drug trafficking, yet trafficking
activities continue to become more sophisticated and global in
nature. According to statistics provided by the Polish National
Police (PNP), the number of drug-related crimes has not changed
significantly as a result of Poland's accession to the European
Union's Schengen zone. However, there have been improvements in
information sharing via the EU's Schengen Information System. Police
officials acknowledge that statistics probably do not reflect the
full scale of narcotics transiting through Poland. Cooperation
between USG officials and Polish law enforcement has been excellent
and Poland's EU accession in 2004 made the GoP more earnest about
enforcing narcotics policy.
III. Country Actions against Drugs in 2008
Policy Initiatives. Budget: The 2008 expenditures on the National
Program for Counteracting Drug Addiction totaled approximately 149
million PLN (50 million USD), compared with 136.5 million PLN
(approx. 58 million USD) in 2007. This figure includes expenditures
of the National Bureau for Drug Prevention, National AIDS Center,
the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Border Guards, the
National Health Fund, provincial and municipal Governments, various
training programs, and many other associated expenses. This figure
excludes Police Headquarters and Central Management Board of Prison
Service expenses.
Legislation. On March 20, 2009 a revision of the Law on Combating
Drug Addiction was adopted to include new types of recreational
drugs (such as Benzylpiperazine, or BZP) to the list of prohibited
substances. The Ministry of Health is currently implementing the
fourth National Plan on HIV and AIDS for the years 2007-2011. The
first National Plan was developed in 1995. In 2008, the Justice
Ministry established a special inter-ministerial group to revise the
2005 Law on Combating Drug Addiction and to encourage alternative
forms of punishment to incarceration for drug addicts or simple
possession offenders. The Justice Ministry completed a resulting
draft bill in July 2009, which is currently under inter-ministerial
review. Although under current law, drug users can be required to
attend specialized therapy and have their cases suspended or dropped
if therapy succeeds, this option is rarely utilized. Polish law
permits the use of informants, telephone taps, and controlled
deliveries to fight international crime, and a witness protection
program is in place. The maximum sentence for narcotics trafficking
is 15 years. All forms of possession are punishable.
Law Enforcement. Administrative controls for programs like demand
reduction and health care are largely decentralized, while law
enforcement efforts remain centralized and hierarchical in nature.
Demand reduction programs are managed by the Health Ministry's
National Bureau for Drug Addiction (NBDA) and provincial and
municipal governments, and are intended to target local populations.
In contrast, regional law enforcement offices are required to
coordinate most activities with Warsaw, which hinders the
development of investigations and evidence collection. Cooperation
between regional law enforcement offices at times is also limited by
the centralized structure. This centralization of power in Warsaw
appears to have strengthened since the November 2007 election of
Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBS), Poland's
December 2007 accession to the EU's Schengen zone has not led to a
significant change in the number of drug-related crimes committed in
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Poland. While tighter border controls along the Eastern border make
it more difficult to traffic drugs from Eastern European countries
such as Ukraine and Russia, it is easier to export narcotics to
Western European countries. Anecdotal information indicates that
Poland's role as a transit nation has remained constant or might
even be on the rise. The PNP reports better access to information
from the Schengen Information System. Poland works with Interpol and
EUROPOL to combat the transnational narcotics trade. Poland also
cooperates with several neighboring countries on counternarcotics
programs, including Project Eagle, a Polish-Swedish project against
trafficking of amphetamines. One sign of the success of local law
enforcement in uncovering amphetamine labs is the relocation of labs
from Warsaw to more remote, rural areas. Between January and
September 2009, the CBS closed down 8 amphetamine labs, compared
with 16 in 2008.
In 2008, 25,971 suspects were identified as being involved in
drug-related crimes, including 2,923 underage suspects, and over
57,382 drug-related crimes were registered. In February 2009, the
Warsaw based office of Drug Enforcement Administration completed a
long-term investigation into a South America-based international
cocaine trafficking organization. The investigation was conducted
together with numerous domestic and foreign DEA offices and several
host national counterparts, including the Polish Internal Security
Agency (ABW). The investigation culminated with the seizure of
approximately 1.2 tons of cocaine and the arrest of several high
ranking members of South American and European drug trafficking
organizations. In July 2009, CBS arrested in Warsaw five members of
an organized criminal group responsible for bringing to Poland more
than 8 kg of cocaine from Brazil. The net worth of the narcotics was
3 million PLN (about 1 million USD). In May 2009, CBS liquidated a
nine-person organized group responsible for trafficking cocaine from
South America to Poland, seizing 11 kg cocaine with a street value
of 4 million PLN (about 1.3 million USD). In April 2009, CBS
arrested three members of a criminal gang on charges of distributing
6 kg of cocaine from South Africa. In February 2009, as part of a
two-year police investigation, CBS arrested 10 members of a
narcotics gang in Poznan, Warsaw and Opole responsible for
trafficking drugs to Sweden and Ireland. To date, a total of 45
people have been arrested. In September 2008, four tons of hashish
worth 120 million PLN (approx. $51 Million) was seized in Germany,
as the result of cooperation between the Polish Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBS) and German and Dutch Police. On the basis of
recent seizures, the Polish CBS assesses that it has managed to
reduce the flow of narcotics from Pakistan to Western Europe.
Corruption. As a matter of policy, the Government of Poland 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.
Agreements and Treaties. Poland has fulfilled requirements to
harmonize its laws with the EU's Drug Policy and closely cooperates
with the EU Monitoring Center on Drugs in Lisbon. Poland is a party
to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on
Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention, as
amended by the 1972 Protocol. Poland is a party to the UN Convention
Against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational
Organized Crime and its three protocols. Poland is also a member of
the Dublin Group. An extradition treaty and a mutual legal
assistance treaty are in force between the U.S. and Poland. Poland
has signed bilateral instruments with the U.S. implementing the 2003
U.S.-EU Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements. The U.S.
and Poland have ratified these instruments. None have entered into
Cultivation and Production. Synthetic drugs, particularly
amphetamines, are manufactured in Poland in small-scale kitchen
operations. The quality of amphetamines in Poland tends to be high
as a result of double distillation, making Polish amphetamines more
attractive to some users than cheaper, large-scale production
amphetamines from Belgium or the Netherlands.
Drug Flow/Transit. A significant percentage of Polish-produced
amphetamines are exported to Scandinavia. Precursors for
amphetamines are not locally available and must be imported from
other countries. The profitability of Poland's small amphetamine
labs remains low. Shipments of heroin, hashish, cocaine, and Ecstasy
frequently transit the country, destined for Western Europe. Ecstasy
prices in Poland in 2009 ranged from 12 to 20 PLN (4 to 7 USD) per
pill, compared with 15 to 40 PLN (or 6.50 to 17 USD) in 2008.
Ecstasy can be bought wholesale for 6-8 PLN (2 to 3 USD). Opium
originating from Afghanistan and Pakistan is also frequently shipped
through Poland to Western Europe.
Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. The NBDA has a comprehensive
plan for reducing drug addiction and programs to discourage new
users. The GoP estimates there are between 100,000 and 120,000 drug
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users in Poland. In 2008, 85 drug-free residential facilities (not
including psychiatric hospitals) were in operation, including 33
facilities that accepted underage drug addicts. The facilities
accommodated up to 2,900 patients. In 2007 (the last year for which
statistics are available) 15,125 patients were treated in
residential facilities, compared with 13,198 in 2006. Apart from
residential facilities, there were 295 outpatient clinics that
provided treatment to drug addicts, experimental users, and their
family members. There were also 30 detoxification centers in
operation. In 2009 there were 17 active substitution treatment
programs offered in outpatient clinics and five programs in
detention facilities; the total number of patients treated in those
facilities was 1,583 (including 71 persons in detention facilities).
Notwithstanding the extensive treatment programs, a gap exists
between prison substitution programs and general programs which can
lead to addict relapse. In 2008, the National Bureau for Drug
Prevention co-financed the implementation of prevention programs for
at-risk children and adolescents, focusing on recreational drug use.
Programs like Monar, which targets discotheques and clubs, and
Parasol, which focuses on commercial sex workers, are two of the
seven demand reduction programs. The National Bureau for Drug
Prevention also launched a "Watch Your Drink" program to combat date
rape drugs like GHB, ketamine, and rohypnol.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Bilateral Cooperation. Bilateral cooperation between U.S. and Polish
counternarcotics agencies remains strong, especially since the
stationing of two DEA officers in Warsaw in 2005. One of the
challenges to cooperation on a policy level remains the high
turnover of senior- and managerial-level Polish police officials.
Differences between the U.S. and Polish judicial systems continue to
make cooperation and investigation of some leads problematic.
Nonetheless, DEA and LEGAT assess that there is good cooperation at
the working level. Cooperation has also been effective in cases
where the USG has been able to supplement Polish resources and
capabilities and to coordinate regional and intercontinental
investigations. In 2009, the PNP cooperated with DEA in several
narcotics investigations targeting criminal organizations that
import controlled substances into and through Poland.
The Road Ahead. Given Poland's predominant role as a transit
country, the USG will continue to promote regional cooperation and
focus on providing training that promotes integrated interdiction
efforts. Additionally, the USG will continue to advocate judicial
reform measures that enable more efficient investigations and ensure
more effective punishment for narcotics traffickers.
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