Viewing cable 05VILNIUS1288

05VILNIUS12882005-12-09 11:37:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A 
¶I. Summary 
In 2005, Lithuania increased the efficiency of law 
enforcement counternarcotics efforts, improved 
drug-consumption research capabilities, and strengthened 
implementation of the National Drug Addiction Prevention and 
Drug Control Program at the federal and municipal levels. 
Lithuania remains a transit route for heroin and other 
illicit drugs from Asia and Russia to Western Europe and 
produces synthetic narcotics for both domestic use and 
export. The most popular drugs for domestic consumption 
include synthetic narcotics, poppy straw extract, heroin, and 
cannabis. Lithuania's domestic drug trade is at least LTL 500 
million (USD 172 million) and growing. The number of 
registered drug addicts and drug-related crimes increased in 
¶2005. Law enforcement cooperation between the U.S. Government 
and the Government of Lithuania is very good. Lithuania is a 
party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. 
II. Status of Country 
Synthetic narcotics, poppy straw extract, heroin, and 
cannabis are the most popular illicit drugs in Lithuania. 
Heroin is smuggled into Lithuania from Central Asia and the 
Balkans. Cocaine imports from South America transit Western 
Europe into Lithuania and then on to neighboring countries. 
Law enforcement authorities estimate that the domestic drug 
trade is over LTL 500 million (USD 172 million) per annum and 
growing. Organized crime groups operating in central and 
western Lithuania smuggle illegal narcotics and 
psychotropics, especially ecstasy, into other Western 
European countries, including Norway, Germany, Ireland, and 
the United Kingdom. 
The number of people seeking initial treatment for drug 
addiction increased from 10.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants 
in 2003 to 12.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004. 
Nearly 73 percent of registered drug addicts are younger than 
35 years old, 90 percent live in cities, and 20 percent are 
women. Lithuania had 943 registered cases of HIV in October 
2005, an increase of 133 from October 2004. Approximately 
eighty percent of those registered with HIV contracted the 
disease through intravenous drug use. 
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005 
Policy Initiatives. Lithuania approved a Drug Prevention 
Action Plan for 2006 under the overall National Drug 
Addiction Prevention and Drug Control Program which the 
Government adopted in 2004. In 2005, the parliament 
designated this program as critical to Lithuania's long-term 
national security. Under the auspices of the program, 54 
municipalities (out of 60) established local drug control 
commissions and approved local programs. 
The national Narcotics Control Department (NCD), established 
in 2004, commissioned its first survey of drug use in 
Lithuania. The study found that 8.2 percent of Lithuania's 
residents had used drugs at least once in their lifetime, 
with those 15-34 years old significantly more likely than 
those 35-64 years old to have tried drugs at least once (14.1 
percent and 3.8 percent respectively.) The NCD, in 
cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers, also 
initiated a drug prevention and education project targeted at 
reducing the sale and use of illicit narcotics in bars and 
Accomplishments. In 2005, Lithuania increased funding to the 
National Drug Prevention and Control Program by twenty 
percent, from LTL 10.2 million (USD 3.51 million) to LTL 12.2 
million (USD 4.21 million) and allocated LTL 15.25 million 
(USD 5.25 million) to the 2006 Action Plan. The national 
police department strengthened prevention and control 
measures at public events including concerts and holiday 
celebrations, arresting several individuals for selling 
illicit drugs. In 2005, the police also organized a "Drug 
Prevention Week" for about 600 school children from around 
the country. 
Law Enforcement Efforts. Lithuanian law enforcement 
registered 1,313 drug-related crimes as of November 2005, a 
slight increase over the 1,290 registered during the same 
period in 2004. In 2004, Lithuanian law enforcement detained 
869 persons for criminal acts related to the possession or 
sale of narcotic and psychotropic substances. In the first 
ten months of 2005, law enforcement detained 845 persons. As 
of November 2005, police and customs had seized 545 kilograms 
of poppy straw, 76 liters of poppy straw extract, 59 
kilograms of cannabis, 48 kilograms of hashish, and 5,500 
ecstasy tablets.  They also impounded small quantities (less 
than five kilograms each) of heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, 
methamphetamines, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, various 
psychotropic drugs, and precursors. 
In 2005, the police shut down a laboratory producing 
high-quality amphetamines. They confiscated 769 grams of 
amphetamine and three kilograms of BMK (1-phenyl-2-propanon), 
an amphetamine and methamphetamine pre-cursor, from the 
laboratory site. The Customs Service initiated fourteen 
pre-trial investigations related to narcotics smuggling in 
In May 2005, law enforcement officials on the Latvian border 
seized 23 kilograms of hashish hidden in a passenger car. 
Swedish and Lithuanian law enforcement cooperated to stop a 
drug smuggling group that included five Lithuanians and had 
attempted to transport 130 kilograms of hashish and 3.5 
kilograms of amphetamine from Lithuania to Sweden. Russian 
and Lithuanian law enforcement officials busted a criminal 
group that transported heroin and amphetamine to Russia, 
arresting three individuals and seizing 30 grams of heroine 
and one kilogram of amphetamine. In October 2005, Norwegian 
law enforcement detained three Lithuanians for transporting 
56 kilograms of rohypnol tablets. In December 2005, 
Lithuanian police participated in a joint operation with 
Ireland and France to arrest a Lithuanian arriving in Ireland 
by car ferry with 113,000 ecstasy pills concealed in his car 
The Lithuanian court system heard 1,111 drug-related cases in 
2005, with a 75 percent conviction rate.  Those convicted of 
trafficking or distribution face prison terms of five to 
eight years. 
Corruption.  Lithuania does not encourage or facilitate 
illicit production of controlled substances or money 
laundering.  Lithuania has established a broad legal and 
institutional anti-corruption framework, but low-level 
corruption and bribery continues to be the basis of frequent 
political scandals. There were no reports involving 
Lithuanian government officials in drug production or sale or 
in the laundering of drug proceeds. 
Cultivation/Production. Illicit laboratories in Lithuania 
produce amphetamines for both local use and export. Lithuania 
is not a major cultivator of illicit narcotics, but law 
enforcement regularly finds and destroys small plots of 
cannabis and opium poppies used to produce opium straw 
extract for local consumption. In 2005, police, in 
cooperation with customs agents, eradicated 10,089 square 
meters of poppies and 286 square meters of cannabis. 
Drug Flow/Transit. Poppy straw is transported through 
Lithuania to Kaliningrad and Latvia. Marijuana and hashish 
arrive in Lithuania from the east and the west, by land and 
sea (e.g., from Morocco). Heroin comes to Lithuania by the 
Silk Road (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, 
Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania) or the Balkan road 
(via the Balkans and Central or Western Europe). From 
Lithuania, heroin leaves by ferry or car to Scandinavian 
countries, Poland, and Kaliningrad. Cocaine arrives in 
Lithuania from Central and South America via Germany, the 
Netherlands, and Belgium. Amphetamines arrive from Poland and 
the Netherlands. Amphetamines from Lithuania are usually 
transported by truck to Sweden and Norway through Poland, 
Germany and Denmark. Most ecstasy tablets come by land or sea 
from the Netherlands. Iceland was a new destination for 
amphetamines and cocaine in 2005. The United States is 
occasionally a destination country for synthetic narcotics, 
primarily ecstasy, from Lithuania. 
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction). Lithuania operates five 
national drug dependence centers and ten regional public 
health centers, and attempts to reduce drug consumption 
through education programs and public outreach, especially in 
schools. In 2005, twenty rehabilitation centers and seventeen 
addict rehabilitation communities operated in Lithuania. The 
Prisons Department operates a rehabilitation center for 
incarcerated drug addicts, and allocated LTL 780,000 (USD 
280,000) in 2005 to purchase equipment and fund activities to 
prevent drug trafficking, train officials, and educate prison. 
Treaties and Agreements. Lithuania is a party to the 1988 UN 
Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention against Psychotropic 
Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by 
the 1972 Protocol. Lithuania also is a party to the UN 
Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its 
protocols against migrant smuggling and trafficking in Women 
and Children. An extradition treaty and mutual legal 
assistance treaty are in force between the U.S. and 
Lithuania. In 2004, Lithuania signed agreements with Belgium 
to increase law enforcement cooperation and with Turkey to 
enhance cooperation in fighting terrorism, organized crime, 
and drug trafficking. 
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs 
Bilateral Cooperation. Law enforcement cooperation between 
the United States and Lithuania is very good. In 2005, the 
United States continued to support Lithuania's efforts to 
strengthen its law enforcement bodies and improve border 
security. To strengthen regional cooperation in the fight 
against HIV/AIDS in the Baltic States and Russia, the United 
States sponsored a conference in Lithuania on drug prevention 
and treatment with participation of speakers from the 
Department of Health and Human Services and the White House 
Office of National Drug Control Policy. Lithuanian Customs 
opened negotiations with a U.S.-based logistics company for 
assistance in narcotics detection and interdiction. 
The Road Ahead. The United States looks forward to continuing 
its close cooperative relationship with Lithuania's law 
enforcement agencies. In 2006, the United States will 
continue to promote increased Lithuanian attention to the 
drug problem and will support activities aimed at preventing 
the production and trafficking of illicit narcotics.  A U.S. 
priority will be to encourage Lithuania to focus on the role 
of communities, parents and schools in drug abuse prevention 
and on strengthening counseling and other services as part of 
drug treatment programs.