Sunday March 06, 2011 >
WANTED SA has been informed this morning that The Department of State submitted the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) to the US Congress. The document identifies Venezuela as one of the main drug-transit countries in the hemisphere.
President Barack Obama's administration on Thursday submitted to the US Congress an annual report on the cooperation of more than 125 countries with the United States in the fight against illicit drug production, smuggling and distribution.
The 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) is used by the US Congress to assess the aid that it will provide to countries in the following year, Efe reported.
According to the INCSR country reports, "Venezuela is one of the principal drug-transit countries in the Western Hemisphere." The document added that "in 2010, Mexican drug trafficking organizations gained an increased presence in Venezuela."
The report prepared by the US Department of State notes that "Venezuela's proximity to drug producing countries, weaknesses in its anti-money laundering regime, limited bilateral cooperation, and alleged substantial corruption in law enforcement and other relevant sectors continue to make Venezuela vulnerable to money laundering."
The INCSR lists the countries that are major producers of illicit drugs, those which are transit countries for smuggling drugs and those which are the largest suppliers of chemical compounds, known as precursor chemicals, which are used in the production of illegal drugs.
The report also assessed enforcement and implementation issues in Venezuela: "There is little evidence the Government of Venezuela has made enforcement of anti-money laundering laws and regulations a priority."
According to the document the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identified Venezuela "as a country with strategic anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing deficiencies."
The annual report prepared by the Department of State describes the conditions in principal countries where "money laundering" is obtained from illegal drug smuggling.
In the report, President Obama reported to US Congress last September that his government identified Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela as the major countries in the production and transit of drugs.
"Corruption is a very serious problem in Venezuela and appears to be worsening," stressed the document.
Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index for 2010 ranks Venezuela at 164 of 178 countries on the index. "Venezuela has laws to prevent and prosecute corruption, and accepting a bribe is a criminal act. However, the judicial system has been ineffective historically and is accused of being overtly politicized."
According to the INCSR, "the current regime of price and foreign exchange controls also has provided opportunities for corruption. Trade-based money laundering and value transfer is a significant problem in Venezuela."
Venezuela and the United States signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in 1997. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) suspended the exchange of information with Venezuela's National Financial Intelligence Unit (UNIF) in January 2007 due to the unauthorized disclosure of information provided by FinCEN, and the relationship has not resumed to date. "In 2009 and 2010, there was no money laundering information exchange between Venezuela and the United State
WANTED SA kindly thanks Westlaw, Arutz Sheva, Associated Press, and all the Parties, Press, Journalists, Law Enforcement and Securities forces who have contributed to this article and their sincere opinions and statements.
WANTED SA states that the facts and opinions stated in this article are those of the author and not those of WANTED SA. We do not warrant the accuracy of any of the facts and opinions stated in this article nor do we endorse them or accept any form of responsibility for the articles.