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1998 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
United States Department of State
February 26, 1999


I. Summary

The Government of Slovenia is, as a successor state to the Socialist Federal Republic Of Yugoslavia, a party to the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Since independence in 1991, Slovenia has actively sought to meet the Convention's goals.

II. Status of Country

Due to its location between the Balkans and Central and Western Europe, Slovenia has the potential to develop into a major drug trafficking route. Militating against this, however, is a high standard of living and a professional police organization. Nevertheless, heroin from Turkey is smuggled through Slovenia to Western Europe. Slovenia is also being used as a transit country for the smuggling of cocaine from South America to Europe, taking advantage of the harbors along the North Adriatic coast (Rijeka, Koper and the Italian port of Trieste).

Cannabis is transported from Morocco via Spain, France and Italy to Slovenia, where some is consumed locally and the rest goes to Austria and Northern Eastern Europe. Slovenian citizens are transporters and financiers in cannabis trafficking. Certain hallucinogenic drugs, such as "ecstasy" (MDMA) and LSD are shipped to Slovenia from Western Europe, most commonly from the Netherlands.

While the amounts are not significant on an international level, there is an increase in the domestic cultivation and availability of marijuana. Marijuana can be grown easily all over Slovenia and there are many rural areas where cannabis can be grown without fear of detection by law enforcement entities.

Drug abuse is not a major problem in Slovenia - only 309 drug-related convictions were recorded in 1996, or about 0.02 percent of the 15-or-over population. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis use is fairly common among university-aged Slovenes, but use of cocaine, opiate derivatives, amphetamines, barbiturates and designer drugs appears to be extremely limited.

Slovenia's economic stability and strategic location on the Balkan drug route make it an attractive venue for money laundering. The major sources of illegal proceeds include, in addition to narcotics trafficking, organized crime-related auto theft, fraud, tax evasion, alien smuggling and the smuggling of goods. Organized crime activity is a problem, but to a lesser extent than in neighboring countries.

Slovenia participates in the Southeastern Europe Cooperative Initiative (SECI), which has among its goals control over the increasing flow of narcotics trafficking across borders and closing links to transborder organized crime. Cooperation with SECI member states will assist Slovenia's efforts to combat the offenses that generate illegal proceeds laundered in Slovenia.

III. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. In FY1998, Slovene police officers participated in police management training at the State Department-funded International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest, as well as in specialized training offered there by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The Road Ahead. In early 1999 the USG will conduct a needs assessment mission to Slovenia to help determine how best to target U.S. law enforcement assistance.

Note. No statistics are currently available on cultivation, production, distribution, sale, transport, financing, or demand reduction for narcotics in Slovenia.

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Saturday, 27 February 1999