Viewing cable 08CONAKRY455
Title: GUINEAN GOVERNMENT DESTROYS A REPORTED 34 KILOS OF

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08CONAKRY4552008-08-20 17:04:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Conakry
VZCZCXRO4989
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHRY #0455 2331704
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201704Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2840
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0546
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L CONAKRY 000455

SIPDIS

DEA PARIS FOR HOUSTON, HALEY, HEDRICK
DEA LAGOS FOR GAY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/20/2018
TAGS: SNAR PGOV PREL ASEC GV
SUBJECT: GUINEAN GOVERNMENT DESTROYS A REPORTED 34 KILOS OF
REAL COCAINE

REF: CONAKRY 184

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Kent C. Brokenshire

¶1. (U) On August 20, Guinean security forces torched a
reported 34 kilos of cocaine and 680 kilos of cannabis at a
public burning covered by the press and diplomatic corps.
Security and Civil Protection Minister Mohamed Damba allowed
RSO to take random samples from the packets of cocaine slated
for destruction. RSO field test determined the substance to
be cocaine. The bails of marijuana and packets of cocaine
were reportedly seized in different locations around Guinea
by various security units including the Presidential Guard,
Customs, National Police and the Gendarmes.

¶2. (C) This is the first time the Government of Guinea has
burned verified cocaine in a public setting. During a similar
burning on May 10, Guinea chief of anti-drug police, Thermite
Mara, and police Director General Sekou Bangoura staunchly
refused to allow US officials to take a sample of the alleged
cocaine, calling the request an affront to 'national
sovereignty (Reftel).' A sample later acquired by the Embassy
indicated the white substance that was burned was actually
laundry detergent.

¶3. (U) The burning allowed the Minister of Security and other
officials to denounce the "scourge of cocaine" on national
television, something the government has not previously
pursued. It also demonstrated that the blatant duplicity of
just a few months ago is no longer acceptable in dealing with
the international community. On this occasion, the British
Ambassador as well as Charges from France and Spain attended
the incineration and backed the US request that samples of
the cocaine be made available for testing. The amount burned,
however, represents an insignificant fraction of the overall
tonnage of cocaine that passes through Guinea every year. It
is, however, a modest beginning.