Browse through our Interesting Nodes of Greek News Agencies Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 21 March 2023
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

1998 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report

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


I. Summary

Once part of the famous Balkan route for smuggling of heroin and other drugs from Turkey and the Middle East to western Europe, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) remains a transit country for narcotics smuggling. During the breakup of Yugoslavia, the emergent Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was subject to UN trade sanctions, which greatly reduced the opportunities for narcotics trafficking through the country. While difficult to determine its extent, narcotics trafficking through the SSFRY appears to have increased since UN trade sanctions were suspended after the signing of the Dayton accords. The "outer wall" of sanctions bars the SFRY from international organizations and financial institutions, and prevents normalization of US- diplomatic relations. The SFRY holds itself responsible for meeting the standards of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. SFRY enforcement officials claim that international isolation has reduced their effectiveness in fighting drug trafficking and have requested greater cooperation with U.S. and international agencies. No U.S. counternarcotics assistance is provided to the SFRY .

II. Status of Country

The SFRY was an important part of the primary corridor for drug trafficking from Turkey and the Middle East to western Europe during the 1970's and 1980's. The events that led to international isolation for the SFRY--the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and the resultant UN trade sanctions--disrupted trafficking along this route. While information remains difficult to obtain, the SFRY does not appear to have major problems with drug production, money laundering or precursor chemicals. The climate is not suitable for the production of drugs with the possible exception of marijuana. The underdeveloped banking sector deters money laundering.

Drug transit is the main problem area. SFRY authorities admit that heroin trafficking has increased since the lifting UN trade sanctions. SFRY customs officials noted that marijuana and even cocaine were intercepted in 1998. Officials point to the Kosovar Albanian community as primarily responsible for drug smuggling activities in the SFRY--noting in evidence the frequent drug-related arrests of members of this community in western Europe and in neighboring countries. The officials also pointed to the difficulty in maintaining control of portions of the border separating Kosovo from Macedonia and Albania. SFRY authorities are concerned by evidence of growing drug use within the country.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1998

Policy Initiatives. The SFRY launched no new policy initiatives in 1998.

Accomplishments. The SFRY 's most significant accomplishment was to secure a customs agreement with Hungary.

Law Enforcement Efforts. SFRY customs authorities report that 117 kilograms of cocaine, 26 kilograms of marijuana, and 17 kilograms of heroin were seized through the first ten months of 1998. In all cases the drugs were tracked to their internal destinations, arrests were made, and convictions obtained, according to customs officials. Police, the only agency with authority to make arrests in the SFRY , and customs work jointly to combat drug smuggling.

Corruption. No incidences of official involvement in narcotics smuggling activities have surfaced in the press.

Agreements and Treaties. The SFRY has customs agreements Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Macedonia. Customs officials anticipate the completion of a similar agreement with Slovakia in the near future. Negotiations are also ongoing with Greece and Cyprus. Austria recognizes the old Austria-Yugoslavia customs agreement. The SFRY adheres to the 1902 US-Yugoslavia extradition treaty.

Cultivation/Production. Little cultivation or production of narcotics is believed to occur in the SFRY.

Drug Flow/Transit. SFRY customs authorities claim that marijuana has entered the SFRY via smuggling boats that operate on Lake Skadar between Albania and Montenegro. These boats smuggle a wide variety of consumer goods into the SFRY , but customs officials contend the cargoes often contain small quantities of marijuana. The two 1998 seizures of cocaine led SFRY customs to believe that cocaine has for several years been entering the country in small quantities via mail or in larger quantities through via trucks or ships. The same officials claimed that heroin interdiction was becoming more difficult given the entry of small quantities smuggled across the inadequately controlled Kosovo-Albania and Kosovo-Macedonia borders. The small quantities are collected in Kosovo for movement forward by any means except airplane--a means of conveyance not favored by traffickers in the SFRY.

Demand Reduction. A hard-hitting anti-drug abuse campaign in 1998 has featured television ads, billboards, and other advertisements intended to reduce demand.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

The United States does currently not have any bilateral programs with the SFRY. SFRY enforcement authorities complain that the SFRY 's international isolation is debilitating and have requested restoration of at least some customs/law enforcement consultations.

Back to Top
Copyright © 1995-2023 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
All Rights Reserved.

HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
Saturday, 27 February 1999