1998 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
United States Department of State
February 26, 1999
BOSNIA AND HERZOGOVINA
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has a small drug problem compared to other
European countries but it is growing. This is due to its recent war and
poor economic conditions. However, Bosnia's two entities (Federation and
the Republika Srpska) have entered into a cooperative agreement to face the
threat of future drug problems as the economy strengthens. BiH is a party
to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. However, drug legislation needs reform.
The current laws are old Yugoslavian drug laws which are antiquated
and poorly written. The Office of the High Representative (OHR) is drafting
new drug laws for the Federation. The entities laws have not yet been
integrated for consistency.
II. Status of Country
As the economic conditions in BiH improve, there is potential for increased
criminal activity in drug production (synthetic drugs and marijuana),
transit, money laundering and possibly precursor chemicals. BiH's close
proximity to the Adriatic sea and surrounding European countries make it a
viable hub for criminal activity. Historically, BiH was on the Balkan drug
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1998
Policy Initiatives. In June 1998, the Federation and the Republika Srpska
entered into a cooperative agreement to work closely together on national
and international criminal issues. Each entity's police forces receive drug
training by various international programs including the United Nations
Drug Control Program (UNDCP), the international police task force and DEA.
The USG will offer advanced narcotics and task force training courses in
1999. Both entities are cooperating in this regard. However, the
implementation of a counternarcotics master plan is several years away.
Recently, the Federation passed new money laundering legislation. The
current drug laws are not in line with the 1988 UN Drug Convention. However,
the international community is assisting the two entities in drafting new
Accomplishments. UNDCP began working with both entities to set up a record
keeping system for narcotics arrests and seizures in mid-December 1998. In
August 1998, a task force comprising police officers from the Federation,
Croatia and Slovenia seized 38 kilograms of heroin in northern Bosnia.
UNDCP has assisted the Federation in opening three drug identification
laboratories. They are helping the Republika Srpska (RS) establish similar
laboratories. Since June 1998, inter-entity cooperation has increased
Law Enforcement Efforts. An inter-entity task force and local law
enforcement efforts in counternarcotics are just beginning. However, in May
1998, 600 grams of heroin was seized in the RS. In July, 4.5 kilograms of
heroin was seized in the Federation. In the latter case, 1 man was arrested
and sentenced to 18 months in jail. The presiding judge decided it was a
misdemeanor because it was for "personal use." This inappropriate
sentence highlights the need for judicial reform. Law enforcement
authorities will remain at a disadvantage until appropriate drug laws
Corruption. The police and judicial systems of BiH are in transition.
Currently there is no legislation specifically addressing corruption. OHR
has an anti-corruption working group which is addressing corruption issues.
Agreements and Treaties. BiH has no counternarcotics agreements with the
USG. Bilateral agreements regarding police training do exist. Both entities
in BiH have honored a cooperative agreement by working closely together on
illegal narcotics issues.
Drug Flow and Transit. There are no reported incidents of major drug
transiting cases for 1998.
Domestic Programs. Community policing programs and police resource programs
in the schools contain anti-drug segments. There are no drug treatment
programs to date.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Bilateral Cooperation. U.S. goals and objectives are to provide the
necessary counternarcotics training and support to move BiH police forces
from operational dependence on the IC to independence in the fight against
drugs. The USG also gives funds to UNDCP.
Other Efforts. The USG donated 1.6 million dollars to the United Nations
Drug Control Program (UNDCP) for counternarcotics training with Federation
and RS police forces. UNDCP established three Federation drug
identification laboratories and is establishing the same for the RS. UNDCP
will bring regional drug commanders together from Macedonia, Croatia and
BiH, to offer a practical exercise in international narcotics smuggling.
The Road Ahead
Task force training, organized crime courses, narcotics identification
courses and money laundering courses are just a few of many courses that
BiH police officers will receive throughout 1999. The USG and UNDCP are
working to provide a central standardized information management system
throughout BiH. This will enhance the ability to receive and disseminate
vital investigative information through inter-entity and international