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I. Summary

Cyprus' location, together with its well-developed commercial and 
tourism facilities, makes it an attractive meeting point for 
traffickers.  Heroin transits Cyprus by container cargo and air to 
and from Europe.  The Government of Cyprus (GOC) continues to 
adopt and strictly enforce strong laws in accordance with the 1988 
UN Convention.

II. Status of Country

Cyprus is not a producer or significant consumer of narcotics, but 
its location and its status as the gateway to and from Lebanon 
make it a convenient transit point for traffickers, especially 
from Lebanon and Turkey.  The island's highly developed business 
and tourism infrastructure attracts traffickers who negotiate 
deals, conceal heroin and cannabis products in the substantial 
container traffic transshipped through Cyprus, and take advantage 
of air connections to move currency and bullion to and from 

Cyprus is neither a significant producer nor importer of precursor 
or essential chemicals but it has a system of voluntary chemical 

Cyprus' system of controls on the movement of gold and currency 
discourages the development of a financial haven.  The Central 
Bank's monitoring of monetary activities helps prevent widespread 
drug-related money laundering.  Cypriot officials do not have any 
evidence that such operations are taking place.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 1992

Policy Initiatives.  The GOC passed stricter laws in accordance 
with the 1988 UN Convention, which was ratified in 1990.  In 
March, the GOC amended the law on narcotic and psychedelic 
substances, establishing criminal penalties for drug users, and 
providing stiffer sentences for drug traffickers.  In May, the 
Parliament passed a bill allowing for the confiscation of drug-
related profits and the freezing of profits or a special 
investigation of the suspect's financial records.

Cyprus signed a bilateral narcotics control agreement with 
Czechoslovakia to combat organized crime and illegal drug 

Accomplishments.  In January, President Vassiliou gave the opening 
address at a GOC-sponsored workshop on the prevention of drug 
abuse.  At the close of the conference, the GOC elected to form a 
council to promote drug prevention in Cyprus.

Law Enforcement Efforts.  Narcotics laws are strictly enforced.  
In most cases, the judicial process operates effectively.  
Authorities closely cooperate with the USG and other law 
enforcement authorities in the exchange of law enforcement 
information and maritime enforcement activities.  In September, 
Cypriot authorities assented to the USG's request to search a 
Cypriot-registry vessel boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard in 
international waters.

Drug use and trafficking are illegal in Cyprus.  Although drug-
related sentences were relatively light in the past, mainly 
consisting of fines, the majority of current sentences consist of 
prison terms, ranging from several months to eight years, 
depending on the quantity of drugs involved.

Narcotics control is the responsibility of the Cyprus Police Force 
and the Cyprus Customs and Excise Department.  The level of 
cooperation between these GOC agencies and the fourteen foreign 
narcotics enforcement representatives in Cyprus is good.

Cyprus law enforcement authorities' efforts to prevent the 
transshipment of heroin and cannabis products through Cyprus 
involve stricter checks at all points of entry, including the use 
of drug detector dogs and better surveillance.

International enforcement cooperation is limited by the de facto 
division of the island into a government-controlled area and a 
northern Turkish-speaking area.  The Cypriot enforcement 
authorities have no direct working relations with Turkish-Cypriot 
enforcement authorities or with Turkey.

Corruption.  Corruption is not considered to be a major problem in 

Cultivation and Production.  The only known production is the 
occasional cultivation of cannabis for individual use.

 Agreements and Treaties.  The GOC is a party to the 1988 UN 
Convention.  By the actions described above, it is generally 
meeting the goals and objectives of the Convention.  Cyprus is 
also a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 
Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.  
The U.S. and Cyprus have a mutual assistance agreement between 
their customs services dating from 1987.

Demand Reduction Programs.  The GOC encourages demand reduction 
and drug abuse prevention.  The Cyprus Rotary Clubs, supported by 
the GOC, police, and local businesses, maintain a drug-awareness 
campaign aimed at Cypriot youth.  In May, the U.S. Ambassador 
conducted the opening ceremony for a new branch of PRIDE in 

IV. USG Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives.  The USG encourages Cypriot officials to 
enhance or implement laws relating to undercover operations, 
electronic surveillance, controlled deliveries, and asset 
seizures.  Officials have made progress in this area, such as the 
new law allowing the confiscation of drug-related profits, and 
better use of surveillance at points of entry into the country.  
Recently, the GOC has drafted legislation related to controlled 
deliveries in undercover operations.

Bilateral Cooperation.  GOC authorities honor a 1931 extradition 
treaty with the U.S. which remained in force after Cypriot 
independence.  In March, a Lebanese sought on trafficking charges 
was extradited to the U.S. 

The 1987 U.S./Cyprus Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement has 
promoted excellent cooperation between the two countries' customs 
and excise authorities.  The USG initiated bilateral discussions 
in 1991 to further amend the agreement to facilitate the sharing 
of assets resulting from customs seizures.  Several GOC ministries 
are now reviewing the proposed amendments. 

The Road Ahead.  The USG looks to continued cooperation from 
Cypriot enforcement officials and will encourage the GOC to enact 
legislation that will enhance Cypriot law enforcement efforts. 

[Chart - Cyprus 1993 Statistical Tables]