The Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau of the Arab States League

Abstract

The Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau of the Arab States League was established in August 1950. It began its functions on 6 November 1950 and has met with a large measure of success.

Details

Author: Lewa Abd-el-Aziz Safwat
Pages: 15 to 16
Creation Date: 1955/01/01

The Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau of the Arab States League

Lewa Abd-el-Aziz Safwat Director, Permanent Anti.Narcotics Bureau of the Arab States League

The Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau of the Arab States League was established in August 1950. It began its functions on 6 November 1950 and has met with a large measure of success.

The principal aims of this organization are: to suppress the cultivation of the opium poppy and cannabis plant, the illicit manufacture of and traffic, in narcotic drugs and addiction thereto through the Arab States, and to prevent the smuggling of narcotic drugs from and into these States. It was decided that every State represented in the Bureau should create an anti-narcotics administration or service similar to the Egyptian Anti-Narcotics Administration and that these services should co-operate with one another and with the Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau of the Arab States League. It is the function also of the Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau to supervise the measures adopted in each State of the Arab League against the cultivation, manufacture and traffic in narcotics and against drug addiction.

Since the establishment of the Bureau the Director has paid visits at various intervals to chiefs of the Arab States, and to the Ministers and high officials concerned with anti-narcotics work, with the object of advising the competent authorities of the best means for combating these poisons.

The Bureau has gained noticeable success in the execution of its task. Thus Syria stopped the cultivation of hashish and poppy plants; Lebanon destroys annually as much as possible of the hashish cultivation; the Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan prevents the smuggling of narcotics into and out of its territory; Iraq has issued instructions for the arrest of narcotic traffikers and addicts; Saudi Arabia and the Yemen Motawakilia Kingdom are clearing their territories of the epidemic of narcotics.

Egypt has always been to the fore in the campaign against narcotic drugs and so has become an international example. It promulgated last year a severe antinarcotics law under which penal servitude for life and fines up to ?E10,000 can be inflicted on smugglers and traffickers.

In spite of these indefatigable efforts, the Arab countries in general and Syria and Lebanon in particular are invaded by a flow of white poisons (cocaine and heroin) the original sources of which, it has been confirmed, are certain countries of the Middle East. In these countries small clandestine factories have been established for the manufacture of white drugs which are smuggled into the Arab countries by sea, land and air. The Director of the Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau has agreed with the competent authorities of the Arab States that efforts should be doubled with a view to exercising watertight supervision over traffickers and smugglers in order to suppress this hateful traffic, which is a serious danger to their health and economy since it menaces the very existence of the Arab nations.

In September 1954 the Director of the Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau visited Turkey and held conversations with the competent officials. He drew their attention to the rumours concerning the manufacture of white drugs and the cultivation of the poppy in Turkish territory and the smuggling of the drugs into Arab States. These officials readily promised their active co-operation with the Arab States, promised the Director to give the matter their special care and attention and to double their efforts for the arrest of the persons involved in the manufacture of or illicit traffic in these drugs. It is expected that these promises will produce a satisfactory result.

The Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau supplies the Member States with nominal rolls showing places of residence of narcotics smugglers and big traffickers, with a view to having them closely watched in order to put an end to their activities and to prevent their movement from one country to another.

The Bureau reports all important narcotics cases to the Secretariat of the United Nations and supplies it with international information of importance for co-operation in the arrest of international gangs engaged in smuggling narcotics to various countries. It is also in touch with all narcotics bureaux in Europe and America.

The Governments of Syria and Lebanon have each created an anti-narcotics bureau; these have started their duties satisfactorily.

Upon information received by the Permanent Anti-Narcotics Bureau from its agents, 10 kilogrammes of cocaine and 15 kilogrammes of heroin were seized at Genoa from a Turkish steamer which was on its way to Beyrouth. According to the information, some snmgglers in Lebanon made arrangements for the import of these narcotics from Turkey for trafficking in Lebanon and Syria.

In view of its great responsibilities this organization deserves every consideration and encouragement and it is hoped that next year's budget will include the appropriations necessary to enable it to perform its duties even more satisfactorily.