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United States Department of State

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs


Burma. Burma is a party to the 1988 UN Convention and has laws implementing the Convention's major provisions dealing with chemical control, including provisions for the seizure of illicit chemicals and the arrest of those trafficking in them. The fact that Burma is the world's largest producer of illicit heroin indicates that despite the laws, traffickers have little difficulty obtaining the chemicals they require.

Burma's geography and geographic location facilitates this. Most of the chemicals are smuggled across the borders with China and India and, to a lesser extent Thailand, into to remote heroin producing areas. Laws and regulations over chemical commerce will not stop the clandestine smuggling. Border controls will; in one operation in May 1995, the military intelligence and police seized 721.5 gallons of acetic anhydride entering Burma from China's Yunnan Province.

Pakistan. Heroin is manufactured in Pakistan using essential chemicals smuggling in relatively small lots from India via train and cross-desert caravans. Larger quantities come through the port of Karachi and significant shipments of acetic anhydride reportedly have been intercepted recently in Central Asia destined for Afghanistan, possibly for use in heroin refineries along the Pakistani border.

Pakistan is a party to the 1988 UN Convention but does not have a chemical control regime fulfilling all the chemical control provisions of the Convention. The emphasis is on acetic anhydride, a key heroin essential chemical. Controls over the single licit manufacturer of acetic anhydride are good and progress is being made in controlling smuggling from India, but the government has difficulty identifying illegal shipments through the port of Karachi and smuggling from Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, acetic anhydride seizures were up to 5496 liters (the amount required to produce approximately 5500 kilos of heroin) through the first nine months of 1995. This is an increase of 110 percent over the final figures for 1995.

Turkey. Smuggled morphine base is illegally processed in Turkey into heroin for internal and export markets. A dramatic surge in 1995 of seizures of smuggled acetic anhydride, a key heroin essential chemical, and the discovery and destruction of eight heroin labs, indicates traffickers have increased processing activity.

The Turkish Parliament ratified the 1988 UN Convention in 1995, but implementing legislation for the Convention's chemical control provisions has not been adopted. Current law imposes control on acetic anhydride and Turkish authorities enforce it vigorously. In 1995, about 53 tons of acetic anhydride were seized, including a seizure of 12.8 tons from a Dutch registered truck at the Bulgarian border. (The customs guards had received INL-funded training.)

US/Turkish cooperation in narcotics law is good. With specific regard to chemicals, the Turkish Government strongly supported a regional chemical control conference hosted by DEA/Turkey in Istanbul in September 1995. Officials responsible for chemical control from 22 European, Middle Eastern, and Central and South Asian countries attended. It was funded and conducted by DEA's Office of Diversion Control and the European Commission.

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