2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)
Port Louis, March 8, 2012:
The 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) is an annual report by the Department of State to Congress prepared in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act. It describes the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade in Calendar Year 2011. Volume I covers drug and chemical control activities. Volume II covers money laundering and financial crimes.
Mauritius Country Report: Drug and Chemical Control
Mauritius is not a major producer or exporter of illegal drugs, or a transit route for drug trafficking. While Mauritius is not a significant transshipment location on a global scale, the island state is increasingly seen as a regional hub for heroin distribution, often intended for onward movement into Europe and even the United States. Cannabis is the only illicit drug that is locally cultivated in large quantities, primarily by small groups or individuals for local consumption and is not exported. Other illicit drugs, primarily heroin and the prescription drug, Subutex (a brand name for buprenorphine, an opiate used to treat heroin dependence, which is illegal in Mauritius), are brought into Mauritius for consumption with a small amount going for transshipment to other markets.
Mauritius's Anti Drug Smuggling Unit (ADSU) of the Mauritius Police Force works closely with other law enforcement and health agencies on drug control and treatment programs throughout the country, and cooperates with U.S. Government agencies. The ADSU continues to look for ways to improve its resources and capacity. Mauritius is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Mauritius is also a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
The ADSU appears, to be on track to record a similar level, or slight increase in, seizures and cases involving illegal drugs in 2011 compared to 2010. The ADSU credits the increase in illicit drug seizures and arrests in recent years to its ongoing operations with various intelligence units of the police force and its proactive approach to regional co-operation. The strategic location of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean encourages drug trafficking/transit. The increasing number of shipping containers arriving in Mauritius, and a new wave of synthetic drugs, plus a lack of shared intelligence with other countries has complicated enforcement efforts. Mauritius has limited resources to patrol its shores and territorial waterways.
Mauritius has several agencies working on drug control issues, over the gamut from law enforcement, to public health initiatives. NGOs also are engaged in treatment and prevention efforts. The Mauritian government collaborates with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, and the International Narcotics Control Board.
Based on narcotic seizures, arrests, and drug treatment/rehabilitation program participation, cannabis followed by heroin and Subutex are the most commonly abused drugs in Mauritius. Heroin abuse is a serious problem in Mauritius, with a reported two percent of the population abusing the drug (by far the highest reported prevalence in Africa). Treatment NGO's report approximately 20,000 abusers but the figures are disputed by the police as being nearer 12,000. Neither of these figures can be confirmed, and abuse might be more than either. Mauritius does have dedicated drug treatment facilities and has in recent years introduced methadone maintenance for addicts in treatment and a needle exchange program. NGO's provide counseling and treatment options. Government health facilities, managed by health professionals, are also available for drug treatment cases.
The Government of Mauritius has clearly indicated that drug traffickers and those involved in drug trafficking at all levels will not be tolerated. The present policies have not completely stopped the flow of illegal drugs, but the forfeiture of assets applied to narcotics offenders is beginning to take effect. No evidence has emerged to suggest that any government officials are involved in the production or trafficking of drugs, nor does the government facilitate drug trafficking as a matter of policy.
The U.S. government provides training assistance to Mauritian law enforcement agencies, including the ADSU, through the International Law Enforcement Academies in Botswana, New Mexico, and Africa Command (AFRICOM) efforts, including the efforts of NCIS. It is U.S. policy to help Mauritius increase its capacity to enforce its narcotics laws and to work with Mauritian enforcement to resolve cases where there is a U.S. nexus to drug trafficking. The 1931 UK-U.S. Extradition Treaty is the treaty in force between the United States and Mauritius, but we have no history of extradition cases with Mauritius pursuant to the treaty.
Mauritius Country Report : Money Laundering and Financial Crime
Mauritius is in the list of “Other Jurisdictions Monitored”. While countries in this category do not pose an immediate concern, it is nevertheless important to monitor their money laundering situations because, under certain circumstances, virtually any jurisdiction of any size can develop into a significant money laundering center.