Viewing cable 06LISBON1937
Title: PORTUGUESE DISCUSS COCAINE TRENDS WITH STAFFDEL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06LISBON19372006-09-11 14:03:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Lisbon
VZCZCXRO6970
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ
DE RUEHLI #1937/01 2541403
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111403Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5134
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0058
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0309
RUEHPA/AMEMBASSY PRAIA 0219
RHEHOND/DIR ONDCP WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 001937 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR H AND INL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OREP SNAR ASEC PO
SUBJECT: PORTUGUESE DISCUSS COCAINE TRENDS WITH STAFFDEL 
BRENNAN 
 
REF: LISBON 1262 
 
LISBON 00001937  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
¶1. (U) Summary: Staffdel Brennan, a delegation made up of 
House International Relations Committee (HIRC) and House 
Judiciary Committee staffers, visited Portugal from August 30 
- September 2 to meet with local law enforcement and 
politicians to discuss narcotrafficking trends from Latin 
America to Europe.  The delegation visited in preparation for 
a committee hearing on drug flows to Europe later in 
September.  Law enforcement officials highlighted Portugal's 
cocaine seizures, which already exceed 30 metric tons (MT) in 
2006 as well as international counternarcotics cooperation 
plans.  End summary. 
 
More Drugs Seized, Use Reportedly Stable 
---------------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (U) Judicial Police (PJ) Director for Counternarcotics 
Jose Braz, the main law enforcement agency involved in 
counternarcotics efforts, told the Staffdel that Portugal has 
seen a significant increase in cocaine seizures thus far in 
¶2006.  Portugal has seized more than 30 MT of cocaine in the 
first six months of this year accounting for over 50% of the 
total cocaine entering the European Union.  Braz reiterated 
his request for a U.S. law enforcement interlocutor here in 
Lisbon (reftel) and commented that such a presence would 
significantly help in the international efforts to stem 
narcotics trafficking. 
 
¶3. (SBU) In response to the Staffdel's questions about 
cocaine seizures, Braz told the delegation that Portuguese PJ 
undercover operations had led to significant finds in 2006 
including: "Operation Atlantico" in February which found 2.8 
MT of cocaine, "Operation Portuguese Soul" also in February 
which netted 8.2 tons, "Cyclone" which located another 2.8 
tons and "Tornado" in mid August which discovered 6 MT of 
cocaine and 3 million Euros.  According to Braz, most of the 
deliveries were made in international waters when traffickers 
unwittingly moved shipments onto  GOP-controlled vessels 
during undercover missions.  Braz said Portuguese law 
recently changed to allow such undercover missions. 
 
¶4. (SBU) Despite the increased police captures, several 
interlocutors including Ministry of Justice Advisor Filipe 
Costa underscored that Portugal is primarily a transit nation 
and Portugal's cocaine consumption remains among the lowest 
in Europe.  Members of the Staffdel responded that other 
transit nations soon found themselves consuming and offered 
the examples of Brazil and Pakistan. 
 
International Response 
---------------------- 
 
¶5. (U) Portugal's PJ is currently coordinating an effort with 
Spain, the UK, France, and Germany to form an Atlantic nation 
police liaison monitoring center along the lines of JIATF 
East (Joint Inter-Agency Task Force) in Key West.  The PJ 
sent several members to do a case study on "lessons learned" 
from JIATF East and will participate in a September meeting 
to discuss recommendations.  The Atlantic nation group hopes 
to  have an information sharing agreement in place by the end 
of this year and plans to establish an office based in 
Portugal staffed with representation from each member nation 
by 2007.  During a meeting with Colombian DCM Rodrigo Pinzon, 
the Staffdel encouraged Colombia to become involved with the 
European interagency group to increase the information 
available overall. 
 
Monitoring the Problem 
---------------------- 
 
¶6. (U) The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug 
Addiction statisticians stressed that their information on 
supply was limited because the EU is more focused on demand 
reduction overall.  Nevertheless, they noted that drug users 
in Portugal and the rest of Europe in general preferred 
heroin over cocaine.  However, they acknowledged that the 
center only has information on admitted cocaine users 
(usually addicts) and that given the usual drug trajectory, 
they would not have a full picture of current cocaine use for 
years to come. 
 
Conclusions for the HIRC Meeting 
 
LISBON 00001937  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶7. (SBU) Staffdel members said they plan to relay the 
following observations and recommendations from their visit 
to the HIRC in the meeting scheduled for September 21: 
 
OBSERVATION 
 
-- The USG and EU should play a more significant role in 
stemming the flow of cocaine into Europe.  The European drug 
trade may be undercutting US counterterrorism goals in 
Colombia by providing a cocaine profit margin two to three 
times higher than in the U.S. money that finds its way into 
the coffers of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). 
 
RECOMMENDATIONS 
 
-- Encourage Embassy Lisbon's assistance to and operational 
support for the new international police liaison center 
modeled on JIATF East through a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) 
presence in country along with Portuguese, Spanish, UK, 
German, French, Colombian, and Brazilian counterdrug police. 
 
-- That DEA officials conduct a laboratory analysis of 
cocaine seized in recent major seizures to ascertain the 
origin of the illicit drugs. 
 
-- Based upon DEA "signature analysis," origin country police 
officials should be approached to participate in the liaison 
center. 
 
-- An Embassy Lisbon law enforcement liaison (DEA or other) 
should consider establishing mechanisms to monitor cocaine 
trafficking, seizures and arrests more closely and in a 
timelier manner. 
 
 
Police Respond to Threat, Politicians Less Interested 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
¶8. (SBU) Comment: Portuguese officials are keen to reach out, 
both to EU neighbors and to the United States to close the 
net on drug traffickers.  The new JIATF East-like liaison 
center promises to be a useful tool in coordinating a 
European response to the trans-Atlantic drug supply. 
Nevertheless, Portuguese politicians appear only vaguely 
aware of the dangers that being "Europe's drug gateway" could 
pose in the future.  We believe that the media attention on 
these large cocaine seizures will help highlight the issue 
beyond law enforcement circles.  End comment. 
O'Neal