Viewing cable 09VILNIUS579

09VILNIUS5792009-11-03 14:26:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
DE RUEHVL #0579/01 3071426
P 031426Z NOV 09
E.O. 12958: N/A 
¶1.  Below, in the format requested in the instructions, is the 2010 
International Narcotics Control Strategy Report for Lithuania, Part 
I: Drugs and Chemical Control: 
¶I. Summary 
Synthetic drugs and cannabis are the most popular illicit narcotics 
in Lithuania. Lithuania remains a source country for synthetic 
drugs, as well as a transit route for heroin and other illicit 
drugs. The Government of Lithuania continued to strengthen efforts 
to deal with drug trafficking. Seizures of cocaine and heroin 
significantly increased. The number of people who tried drugs at 
least once in their lives increased by 67 percent compared to 2004. 
The number of drug-related crimes increased by 11 percent. Lithuania 
is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. 
II. Status of Country 
According to the 2008 general population survey on the prevalence of 
drug use in Lithuania, carried out by the Narcotics Control 
Department (NCD) every four years, about 12.5 percent of Lithuanians 
of 15-64 years of age said they had tried drugs at least once in 
their lifetime compared to 7.5 percent in 2004.  While the same 
percentage (11.9 percent) of Lithuanians said they tried cannabis at 
least once in their lifetime in 2008 as in 2004, consumption of 
Ecstasy has increased -- in 2008, 2.1 percent of Lithuanians said 
they had tried Ecstasy at least once in their lives in comparison to 
one percent in 2004. The relatively low price of these synthetic 
drugs is one of the main reasons for their popularity. Most drug 
abuse takes place in nightclubs and discos. Lithuanian enforcement 
officers also consider prescription tranquilizers a problem -- the 
NCD estimates that about 20 percent of the adult population is 
misusing or abusing them. 
According to the Lithuanian Statistics Department, 60 people died of 
narcotic or psychotropic substances in 2008, down from 72 people in 
¶2007. Two-thirds of the casualties were accidental overdoses. Nearly 
all drug victims (92 percent) were male. 
In 2008, 273 persons applied to medical institutions for treatment 
of drug addictions. The number of patients overall was 5,800 at the 
end of 2008 (compared to 5,700 in 2007), and approximately 80 
percent of these patients were men. Of those getting treatment, 80 
percent had been abusing opiates. 
Country Actions Against Drugs in 2009 
Policy Initiatives. Lithuania's Ministry of Interior, Ministry of 
Education and Science, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, 
Ministry of Social Security and Labor, NCD, police, and other 
institutions implemented a National Program on Drug Control and 
Prevention of Drug Addiction for 2004-2008.  In July, the Government 
submitted to the Parliament a new National Programme on Drug Control 
and Prevention of Drug Addiction for 2009-2016, but as of November 1 
it had not been approved nor had any budget been allocated. 
Lithuania has tightened the control of precursors, chemical 
substances that can be used in the production of narcotics.  In 
July, the Parliament amended the Code of Administrative Violations 
to impose fines on persons or organizations that do not cooperate 
with state-authorized officials checking on proper use and handling 
of precursors.  Lithuania increased funding to the National Drug 
Prevention and Control Program from 14.6 million LTL (USD 5.4 
million) in 2007 to 19.1 million LTL (USD 7 million) in 2008. 
Law Enforcement Efforts.  As of October 2009, Lithuanian law 
enforcement officials had recorded 1,557 drug related crimes, 
compared to 1,391 in 2008, 1,198 in 2007 and 1,393 in 2006.  As of 
October 2009, police and customs in cooperation with other 
countries' law enforcement agencies had seized 57.3 kg of cannabis 
seeds, 1.2kg of heroin, 5.8 kg of Ecstasy, 10.2 kg of hashish, 5.8 
kg of cocaine and 64.7 kg of methamphetamines. Lithuanian 
authorities also seized small quantities (less than five kilograms 
each) of LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, various psychotropic drugs, 
and various precursors. 
Lithuania worked effectively with international partners to break up 
drug smuggling operations in 2009, making important seizures in 
cooperation with Belarusian, French, Norwegian, Swedish, Estonian, 
Latvian, Russian and Polish law enforcement partners.  For example: 
In 2009, police seized 14 kg of methamphetamines in Norway and 32 kg 
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in Sweden, resulting in the arrest of six Lithuanians and three 
Norwegian citizens who had been trafficking drugs into Lithuania. In 
cooperation with Russian counterparts, police seized 27 kg of 
hashish in Russia and arrested four Lithuanians. 
In 2009, police shut down one laboratory producing high-quality 
methamphetamines, confiscating 50 kg of the drug in the process. 
As of October 1, 2009, the Lithuanian court system adjudicated 866 
drug-related cases and convicted 904 persons. Sentences for 
trafficking or distribution of drugs range from fines to 12 years of 
Corruption. The Special Investigation Service (STT) established in 
1997, has coordinated the Government of Lithuania's national 
anti-corruption program since 2002. The task of the STT is to 
collect and use intelligence about criminal associations and corrupt 
public officials as well as carry out anti-corruption prevention 
activities. There were no reports of drug-related corruption 
involving Lithuanian government officials. The Government of 
Lithuania does not, as a matter of policy, encourage or facilitate 
illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs 
or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from 
illegal drug transactions. No senior official is known to engage in, 
encourage, or facilitate narcotics production or trafficking, or the 
laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. 
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 Corruption, 
and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its 
protocols against trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling, and 
illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms. In addition, 
Lithuania and the United States have concluded protocols to the 
extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties pursuant to the 
2003 U.S.-EU extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements. The 
protocols are pending entry into force. An extradition treaty and 
mutual legal assistance treaty are in force between the United 
States and Lithuania. 
Cultivation/Production. Laboratories in Lithuania illegally produce 
amphetamines for both domestic use and export, according to the 
Lithuanian Ministry of Interior. Law enforcement agencies regularly 
find and destroy small plots of cannabis and opium poppies used to 
produce opium straw extract for local consumption. 
Drug Flow/Transit. According to Lithuanian law enforcement agencies, 
Lithuanian-produced synthetic drugs have been intercepted in 
Germany, Poland, and Denmark and also en route to Sweden and Norway. 
Customs agents have seized drugs entering Lithuania from all 
frontiers - cocaine and ecstasy enter the country via Western 
Europe; amphetamines and other synthetic drugs are produced in 
country, in the neighboring Baltic States, or in Poland; and heroin 
typically arrives from Central Asia via Russia and Belarus. 
Domestically grown poppy straw satisfies local demand and is also 
exported to Russia's Kaliningrad region and to Latvia. 
Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. Lithuania operates five national 
drug dependence centers and ten regional public health centers. In 
2008 the Government allocated to NGOs approximately $220,000 
(521,000 Litas) for implementation of 78 prevention and 
supply-and-demand reduction projects targeted toward "at-risk" youth 
and their parents. The Government has also continued implementation 
of a drug prevention teaching program for parents and the prevention 
project "Entertainment Without Narcotics," targeted at public discos 
and nightclubs.  The Government continued implementing 
demand-reduction programs and developed a classified information 
database about persons who received these services. In 2008-2009, 
about 3,000 persons used the services of 11 Government-financed 
harm-reduction centers that provided needle exchanges, methadone, 
medical exams and other services. 
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs 
Bilateral Cooperation. Law enforcement cooperation continues to be 
an area of great success, a result of several years of legal reform 
and law enforcement training. In 2008 and 2009, four Lithuanian 
police officers participated in U.S. Government-sponsored training 
in the United States, geared toward criminal investigation. In 
October 2008 the United States and Lithuania signed a cooperation 
agreement on crime prevention. In 2008 Lithuania was accepted into 
the U.S. Visa Waiver Program in part because of the level of law 
enforcement cooperation between the two countries. The United States 
has successfully cooperated with the Lithuanian authorities in 
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numerous investigations involving fraud, narcotics trafficking, 
money laundering, and other crimes. 
The Road Ahead. The United States will continue cooperating with 
Lithuanian institutions to support drug prevention activities and 
fight against narcotics trafficking.