|07CONAKRY1347||2007-12-19 09:03:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Conakry|
VZCZCXRO5529 RR RUEHMA RUEHPA DE RUEHRY #1347 3530903 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 190903Z DEC 07 FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1979 INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS CONAKRY 001347
1. (SBU) In response to reftel request, Embassy provides the
following analysis of drug trafficking in Guinea. In addition,
reftels provide additional background information.
2. (SBU) The Government of Guinea (GoG) is engaged on drug
trafficking issues and has a specialized police unit that focuses
exclusively on drug trafficking cases. A number of GoG contacts
report that drug trafficking in Guinea is increasing and that the
country could be emerging as trafficking hub in the West Africa
region. Other than the specialized police anti-drug unit, which has
existed for decades, the GoG does not have a national counter-drug
strategy or other counter-drug initiatives.
3. (SBU) Embassy is not aware of any other bilateral efforts to
assist Guinea in counter narcotics.
4. (SBU) Guinean law enforcement, and specifically the anti-drug
unit successfully seized 278 kilos of cocaine between January and
October 2007 in a series of raids, but these seizures likely
represents a very small percentage of the total amount of drugs
passing through Guinea. In addition, the GoG's drug seizures and
arrests target the lower end of the trafficking network, basically
the 'mules,' or the people actually moving the drugs, often in small
quantities. Police do not have any defined strategy for pursuing
the leaders of these trafficking rings, some of whom are reportedly
linked to the highest levels of the Guinean government.
Furthermore, the police lack the training and investigative skills
necessary to effectively launch a cohesive counter-narcotics
program. Rampant corruption throughout all levels of government
also hampers anti-narcotics efforts.
5. (SBU) The police anti-drug unit is specifically dedicated to
counter-narcotics. However, its officers have next to no equipment
and lack training on basic policing and investigative techniques,
let alone counter-narcotics strategies.
6. (SBU) Guinea's current legal framework provides minimal support
for counter-drug efforts.
7. (SBU) Drug interdiction at the airports is limited to basic
search and seizure. In some cases, police officials said seizures
resulted when they identified a suspicious individual. Endemic
corruption means that some individuals may pay off police officials
as they transit the country in order to avoid detection. Screening
at the maritime port is virtually nonexistent and it is suspected
that significant quantities of drugs are entering the country via
small boats that can easily slip between the ships and the docks.
Chemical labs for forensic analysis are nonexistent. Safeguarding
of evidence is another problem as seized drugs routinely disappear.