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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL STRATEGY REPORT, MARCH 1996: MAJOR CHEMICAL SOURCE COUNTRIES

United States Department of State

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs


ASIA

China. China's status as a major chemical producer and exporter makes it a target for traffickers seeking to illegally procure precursor and essential chemicals; for example, Burmese traffickers seeking chemicals for heroin manufacture. Control of precursor and essential chemicals is also a problem in coastal provinces. In September 1995, police in Fujian Province seized 8.5 kilograms of the synthetic drug ice which required the diversion of precursor chemicals for its manufacture.

China is a party to the 1988 UN Convention and has regulations meeting the Conventions provisions for record keeping and reporting, import/export controls, and seizure of the 22 chemicals listed in the Convention, but mechanisms for detection and enforcement remain weak.

Chinese officials have sought a dialogue with U.S chemical control officials on means to strengthen bilateral cooperation, although there is no formal procedure for making Chinese Government records available to U.S. officials. In May 1995, Chinese officials also agreed to expanded cooperation with the Russian Interior Ministry to fight cross- border crime, including the smuggling of ephedrine.

India. Acetic anhydride is manufactured in India, diverted, and smuggled into Pakistan and Burma for illicit heroin refining. Some of it may reach heroin labs in Afghanistan. India also produces some precursor chemicals used in the local manufacture of synthetic drugs, and exported and diverted abroad to illicit drug manufacture.

India is a party to the 1988 UN Convention, but it does not have implementing laws and legislation covering all the chemicals listed in Annexes 1 and 2 of the Convention. Since 1993, acetic anhydride has been controlled throughout the country, and reports of rising black market prices for this heroin essential chemical in Pakistan indicate the controls are having an impact on diversion and smuggling. As of November 30, 1995, authorities had seized 7,962 liters of acetic anhydride, compared with 23,855 liters in 1994 and 19,758 liters in 1994. Combined with rising black market prices, this would indicate there has been less diversion from domestic production.

Precursor chemicals and synthetic drugs, principally methaqualone, are illegally exported from India, or exported and subsequently diverted to illicit drug manufacture. The Indian Government has placed controls similar to those on acetic anhydride on n-acetylanthranillic acid, the primary precursor for methaqualone. In Bombay at the end of November 1995, Indian authorities seized two tons of mandrax tablets (the street name for tableted methaqualone), 2.8 tons of methaqualone and one ton of their precursor chemicals.

Indian authorities have been extremely cooperative with DEA in monitoring the manufacture and export of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in response to U.S. concerns over its diversion and use in the manufacture of methamphetamine. In November 1994, The Indian Government issued a specific decree that established controls over their export. Indian authorities now notify DEA of every export of these two precursors and DEA is able to advise the authorities of the risk of diversion regardless of the recipient government.

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