Europe and the Middle East
The embassy monitors INL-financed commodities by on-site inspections, periodic spot checks, and comparison of records at post with Turkish Government reports. Mission officers conducted two End Use Monitoring visits in 2001 to ensure that equipment provided was properly used and maintained. The Narcotics Coordinator and the Embassy Monitoring Officer, along with in-country drug enforcement agents, stay in close touch with Turkish Government law enforcement officials to monitor the programs supported by INL in Turkey. Embassy officers also remain in close contact with officials at the Ankara headquarters of the Turkish National Police (TNP), Jandarma, Customs, TMO, and with regional clinics.
The Mission used its own computer-based records on equipment provided to Turkish Government agencies together with the inventory records maintained by the Turkish Government as the basis for its on-site inspections. The Mission has complete access to records kept in inventory systems by Turkish Government agencies.
Turkish agencies cooperate closely with the mission in End Use Monitoring. INL-funded equipment comprises up to 80 percent of all equipment coming from international sources. This is often the only technically sophisticated equipment available for smaller regions. The on-site EUM trips have been very useful in obtaining reporting information, building working level relationships between the two governments, and increasing the ability to combat drug smuggling in Turkey.
Post verified that equipment in use in provincial police stations matched both post's records and those of the TNP. Due to sustained USG efforts, almost all of the INL-funded equipment has been distributed to field officers where it most directly benefits interdiction efforts. The TNP and Customs guards place sufficient emphasis on proper storage, maintenance and use of equipment. All equipment inspected appears to be in good condition.
INL has not provided any assistance to Turkey beyond FY-1999, since the Government of Turkey (GOT) did not accept language regarding human rights in the FY-2000 letter of agreement.
Intelligence Gathering Equipment
Equipment provided to the TNP included wire intercept equipment, dialed digital recorders, reel-to-reel tape recorders, headphones, undercover operations equipment (hidden transmitters, miniature tape recorders, binoculars, cameras and vehicle tracking devices), police safety garments, and various detectors. Post verified that the most of this equipment is in good working condition. TNP has been unable to make use of this equipment.
Miscellaneous EquipmentCustoms officials in Mersin use INL-funded actuators, a fiberscope, cameras, night vision goggles and tape recorders frequently. Customs guards in Samsun used the USG-funded fiberscope extensively. The fiberscope enables the guards to search inner compartments and fuel tanks of large TIR trucks, which increases tier effectiveness dramatically. It was particularly helpful in making the recent acetic anhydrite seizures.
The TNP constantly use night vision equipment in investigations. INL-funded equipment accounted for the bulk of specialized equipment in both Customs and TNP's inventories in Mersin. The INL-funded equipment was well maintained and property used.
The TNP are effectively using the briefcase kit and night vision binoculars. Other items used extensively by the Alcohol and Addictive Treatment Center (AMATEM) include data projector, screen, slide projector, video recorder and player. They are used for the drug awareness program in schools.
The Turkish Customs was efficiently using the INL-funded ion scanner at the Istanbul Ataturk airport. Customs officers have made several successful narcotics seizures at the airport using this ion scanner. The scanner has been well maintained and property utilized. The INL-funded ion scanner is the most sophisticated counter-narcotics equipment currently available to Turkish Customs.
Post procured covert cameras and communications radios for the TNP; covert transmitters and micro surveillance recorders for the Jandarma; a pilot facility and a seed processing facility for the Turkish grain board; and test kits and night vision pocketscopes for Turkish Customs.
The Turkish Grain Board (TMO) continues to use the 45 vehicles INL funded between 1989-1993 to conduct monitoring and liaison with Turkey's licensed opium farmers. The TMO also uses these cars to monitor farmers to ensure that there is no illicit opium production. These vehicles included 27 Renaults, 12 Kartals, and six Jeep Cherokees. These cars are used in the following provinces: Afyon (14), Usak (3), Eskisehir (4), Bolvadin (3) Denizli (4), Ankara (2), Burdur (4), Kutahya (1), Konya (4), and Amasya (1), Istanbul (2), Nigde (1), Saamsun (1), and Karaman (1). All are in good condition.
Computers were provided to Turkish Customs as part of an ongoing project to automate Customs border posts. In Canakkale, computers are used for a wide area net shipping database. This enables Customs officials to track suspicious vessels. Customs believes that the smugglers are aware of this, and as a result, have switched to smaller speedboats to carry out their operations. Customs is working to address this problem. However, the smaller boats can only smuggle smaller amounts of drugs. This increases the cost of smuggling operations, prompting smugglers to shift their operations to other areas. While the World Bank is working with Customs to computerize all of Turkey's border gates and several ports, the INL-funded computer remains an important tool in Canakkale.
The TMO continues to use the six INL-funded computers purchased in 1999. They are located in Ankara, Afyon, and Eskisehir. The computers are used for information exchange with foreign and local scientists and for following international literature on poppies and licit morphine production.
The 112 hand-held radiosare now antiquated and have been returned to the TNP's central storage depot in Ankara. As TNP has upgraded its equipment, it has purchased lighter, more advanced radios with longer-range capability which are not compatible with the older INL-funded radios. As the TNP regional offices receive newer radios, several have turned in the older radios. TNP has cannibalized some of the old radios to repair radios still being used by TNP regional offices. TNP reported that they have also sold some of the radios. Post requested a complete list of those radios. The radios were returned to the depot and have been sold.
During EUM, post has noticed a wide disparity among regional TNP offices provided radios. Some, like Istanbul and Mersin, have obtained more advanced radios. TNP officers in these areas are using INL-funded radios as backup. Post is in the process of trying to obtain a complete listing of where the equipment is being used. A series of problems made it impractical to continue to try to use the cell phone intercept equipment.
The dog program assessment funded in September 2000 was very valuable. It provided for Turkish customs an action plan for how it would develop its dog program. Prior to obtaining this action plan, customs developed its dog program in a haphazard way, resulting I problems like dogs being trained in different languages. Customs had three dogs at the time of assessment; today it has nineteen. Due to termination of the INL program after FY-1999, post has not provided additional funds for Customs’ dog program
With the Turkish Government decision that it could not accept language related to human rights in the FY-2000 LOA, post has only received PD&S funds for FY-2000. The Department declined to provide PD&S funds for FY-2001. Without funding to support EUM, post will not be able to conduct spot checks once current PD&S funds are exhausted. As a result, post does not envision being able to complete any EUM trips after the end of FY-2001. Post will attempt to monitor the use of INL-funded equipment through regular contacts with the Ankara headquarters of law enforcement agencies and through mission DEA contacts with Turkish Law enforcement Agencies.
ImpactIn March, TNP made its largest single drug seizure in Mersin, capturing 22 tons of hashish and 639 kilos of morphine base (worth $20 million). This is the second time in the last two years that a large amount of narcotics has been seized in Mersin.
Throughout the year, Embassy DEA agents traveled to Alexandroupolis to observe the five-meter long, shallow-draft riverboat provided to the Greek National Police in 1996. The Greek police freely provide access.
The riverboat was used by the National Police Counternarcotics Unit in Alexandroupolis for use in patrolling the Evros River and the border between Greece and Turkey, a major crossing point for traffickers in narcotics and illegal immigrants. Embassy DEA agents report that the boat is well maintained.
Greece is an increasingly important crossroads for narcotics into Europe. Domestic usage and transnational trafficking have surged in recent years. Greek narcotics police are dedicated and professional; they work closely and well with DEA.
Hungarian Customs provides reports on resources to post.
The five Motorola radios and chargers purchased in 1998 are in operation with the Drug Inspection Unit at one of the Customs outposts. However, despite daily queries from the post, the Customs Service has not yet provided the specific locations of the radios. Post will continue to follow up on the issue. It has relayed to the Customs Service the importance of accounting for these items. The forty bulletproof vests, donated by the FBI, were delivered to the Hungarian National Police (HNP). The HNP determined that the vests were too outdated to be of use and returned them to ILEA.
Special agents from the Cairo country office visit the offices of the Egyptian Anti-narcotics General Administration (ANGA) on a regular basis. These meetings fulfill operational and liaison purposes and provide opportunities to monitor the end use of INL-supplied equipment.
The equipment provided to ANGA in 1998 includes: pentium PC's (4); HP LaserJet printers (4); HP scanjet scanner (1); Jeep Cherokees (4); JHP fax scanners (5); video recorder (1); video printer (1); Arabic/English typewriters (5); Racom 2516 digital recorders (4); Canon auto focus camera and kit (1); dial up slave systems with transmitters (5); photocopy machines (5); single tube night vision goggles (7); Phoenix IR beacons (4); Megellan GPS (2); military compasses (15); TX-923A transmitters (2); TX-0922 one watt body transmitters (2); repeater (1); power amplifier (1); Marantz PMD’s (10); disguised brake light antennas (2); VHF disguised cellular telephone (1); antenna trunk lip mounts (2); foil dipole antenna (1); flat-pack antenna (1); air conditioners (8); rechargeable batteries for hand-held radios (25); lapel mic and ear pieces for handheld radios (5); rechargeable Halogen spotlights (10); projection screen (1); photocopy machines (5); Panasonic video camera; smoke detector audio recorder kit (1); pocket transmitter (2); tactical audio recovery kit (1); BXR-2215A repeater (2); fireflies (10); night vision maxabeam MBP-1207. The equipment is located at ANGA headquarters and at ANGA’s five regional offices throughout Egypt. ANGA personnel maintain it in good working order.
The equipment provided to ANGA is directed at enhancing rural border interdiction efforts as well as being used for opium poppy and cannibis eradication initiatives in the Sinai Peninsula.
The RSO conducted spot checks on the equipment and met with police officials. The RSO also visited the Police Forensic Laboratory.
Computer equipment has been used to upgrade the headquarters Information Bureau and other headquarters offices. One computer was sent to the Organized Crime Section in Valka, Daugavpils Region.
The equipment; fiberscopes; contraband detectors; pinhole cameras; video cameras; analytical software, gas chromatograph, and genetic analyzer.
The equipment is being used. Technical Support Bureau personnel, Information Bureau personnel, and Forensic Laboratory personnel all report the equipment has been extremely valuable and there have been no problems. The Forensic Laboratory personnel would like additional training on the gas chromatograph since they are not exploiting all of its capabilities.
The equipment donated to the Ministry of Interior and to the National Service for Combating Organized Crime (NSBOP) was checked through on-site inspections. Post verified the use of additional equipment distributed to the Prosecutor's Office, and the General Customs Directorate.
The equipment remains in the same location and is being used for the same purposes reflected in last year's report. The equipment is aging and deteriorating.
The thirty (30) Motorola radios provided to the General Customs Directorate have been distributed to the local offices (e.g., 5 to Svilengrad, 3 to ruse, etc.). The fiberscope is being used by Customs "Counter-Narcotics Intelligence and Investigations Unit" in Svilengrad.
The computers and accompanying software donated in 1994 have been retired and useful parts recycled. The Director of the Institute for Forensic Science advised that the nine PC's remain in the lab's possession. The six computers provided to the Minister of Interior are in good working order but have experienced some technical problems. The computers and printers provided to the NSBOP are in good shape with the exception of a surge protector that NSBOP has promised to locate.
All equipment (video camera, video cassette player and monitor, 16 telephones, 4 answering machines) donated in 1993 is located in the offices of the Counternarcotics Division of the Central Service. The video camera plays but can no longer record.
The video camera, video cassette player, telephone (16), answering machine (4) donated to the NSDOP are in use.
ImpactBulgarian officials appreciate the equipment provided; make use of it; and appear to want more, newer and better items. The Government of Bulgaria has formed mobile teams to stop and search vehicles for drugs, anywhere around the country. Continued support will be needed before the Bulgarian criminal justice system is able to undertake successful prosecutions of organized crime, including major drug traffickers.
Post has maintained excellent contacts with the Government of Malta (GOM) police and the Armed Forces of Malta, and monitors the local press where significant drug seizures are generally prominently displayed. In 1999, the first resident Regional Security Officer (RSO) became the focal point to consolidate and expand law enforcement cooperation. The RSO is currently the narcotics reporting officer. Post continues to be satisfied with the cooperation of local authorities in thwarting and reporting on illegal drug activity in Malta.
Malta's Maritime Squadron scrapped two old patrol boats in 1999. However, the Maritime Squadron is still using three old patrol boats to meet a wide range of inshore roles. One of the primary tasks of these boats is to patrol Malta's territorial waters against drug traffickers. One of the vessels broke down while assisting a sinking ship (outside of GOM territorial waters). The GOM has attempted to keep these patrol craft operational. However, due to their age, and lack of spare parts, the boats will probably end their useful lives in the next few years.
Drug seizures, while not comparable to those in major transit countries, have continued at a steady pace. Local drug enforcement authorities have been very grateful for previous USG (law enforcement) training and look for new opportunities. Post continues to believe these training sessions are very helpful in assisting the GOM in the battle against narcotics.
Post made spot checks of the X-ray van equipment while in use at the Central Post Office in Yerevan. Metal detectors were observed when attending meetings with the Government of Armenia (GOAM) counterparts.
In August 1999, INL provided an X-ray van for the Customs Department and provided relevant operation, maintenance and service training. Some repairs were made to the X-ray van in June 2000 and parts were sent back to the dealer for repair or replacement. To date, these parts have not been returned to Armenia. Prior to servicing, there was a period of several months when the van was not in operation due to technical problems; however, the situation has been rectified. The Customs Department has reported that the van is used for mobile border checks, especially on the border with Iran. Due to extreme winter temperatures on the borders and lack of a temperature-regulated warehouse facility, use of the van's cold-weather sensitive equipment can be sporadic during the winter months. High fuel costs remain a consistent problem in operating the van. Following 9/11, the Government of Armenia moved the van to the Central Post Office in Yerevan in response to global anthrax/postal threats.
In October 1999 INL provided sixteen large metal detectors, fourteen hand-held and six walk-through metal detectors to the Office of the President of the Republic of Armenia. This was the initial equipment installation under a larger security assistance program. Post believes that security equipment has been installed and is being used throughout various GOAM buildings as intended. Although the equipment is not officially checked, post staff see walk-through metal detectors in operation regularly when attending meetings with GOAM counterparts.
Although post does not have many tangible results to report on the impact of the X-ray van, post believes that this equipment, combined with relevant training in contraband enforcement and export control, has been beneficial to the Customs Department.
The impact of security assistance in Armenia has evolved over time. In a society that does not readily accept the right of security officers to inspect one's person or belongings, there was initially a negative public reaction. With time, the general public view of security measures has been improving and people are becoming more use to the metal detectors and more familiar with normal operating procedures. Use of metal detectors remains inconsistent from one GOAM building to the next; however, security at key GOAM buildings has decidedly improved both as a result of equipment donations and heightened awareness of security issues following the events of 9/11. Based on informal spot checks at various government buildings, post is satisfied with the progress that security officers have made in this area.