149. Minutes of the Working Group of the Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Control1 2

Ambassador William J. Handley, Executive Director of the Cabinet Committee on international Narcotics Control, called the meeting of the Working Group to order at 11:05 a.m.

All principals and ex-officio members were in attendance except Dr. Robert DuPont who was testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Opium Stockpile Release and Mr. Guy Wiggins of the U.S. Mission to the U.N.

The Chairman thanked the group for their participation and, noting the paucity of meetings in the past, stated his intention to meet every two or three months.

The Chairman moved to the first item on the agenda (Tab A). He suggested that the purpose of the Working Group and the CCINC structure was to facilitate interagency decision making. The regional committees seldom delay a decision while waiting for new information. Rather, delays are a function of internal agency staffing snafus. The Chairman suggested that the Working Group and Coordinating Subcommittee should move to handle disputed programs rapidly, not allowing weeks of indecision to pass. The windows for successful diplomatic initiative are often short. In the same view, the Chairman suggested that the Working Group should discuss issues informally amongst themselves before passing them up to Cabinet members. He cited Burma as an example of an issue where early Working Group consultation might have avoided delays which followed locked-in statements of position by several Cabinet officers. The group concurred.

Documents pertaining to the current CCINC structure were distributed (Tab B).

The Chairman mentioned that working level meetings in the major regions (Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, the Near East) would be scheduled over the next six months.

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The Chairman indicated that a joint Cabinet Committee meeting (Domestic Council drug committees and the International committee) with the President attending would probably be held on October 23. The agenda item or items dealing with the international program will be circulated to Coordinating Subcommittee members in early October. A program review focusing on new trafficking routes (Mexico, Southeast Asia) will probably be the subject for CCINC review.

The Chairman then discussed current attitudes on the Hill. He mentioned that he was engaging in consultations on the approved Burma assistance package. He also mentioned that efforts were ongoing to defeat the Wolff amendment for the trade bill and the Hartke amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act. The latter would require a Presidential determination of all those countries making satisfactory progress on narcotics control. Such a determination would tie the hands of our negotiators who subsequently attempt to apply pressure for improvement to the countries.

While discussing Congressional relations, the Chairman mentioned the general displeasure on the Hill, particularly in the House, on the inability of CCINC programs to utilize the relatively small amount of funds allotted by Congress. The Chairman indicated that first quarter FY 74 expenditures were very low. He expressed the hope that all agencies would move expeditiously to implement approved programs. This is particularly true for new programs such as those in Pakistan, Mexico and Thailand where public and Congressional attention is frequent.

The Chairman next moved to a review of 20 priority countries (Tab C). He especially emphasized programs in Mexico, Burma, Thailand and Pakistan. Mexico, it was stated, is the top priority country. New DEA statistics indicate that nearly 40 percent of heroin seizures in the U.S. are of Mexican origin. Concerning Mexico, the Chairman stated that he believed that his and Mr. Bartels participation in the upcoming meeting between Attorneys General Richardson and Ojeda Paullada (Mexico) was critical to implementation of proposals presented to Mexican President Echeverria on September 11.

Mr. Bartels also emphasized the criticality of Mexico. He stated that other nations further away often point to Mexico and suggest that we should pay attention to our close neighbors before wielding a heavy stick half-way around the globe.

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In reviewing the priority countries, the Chairman indicated that new trafficking and production centers were consistently located in areas uncontrolled by local civil authorities. Thus there is almost always a need to provide assistance to military units (ea. Mexico, Burma, Thailand). Second, for the same reasons, it is almost always necessary to provide economic alternatives to small hillside farmers who are forced to give up their sole source of cash income when forced from opium production.

The members concurred with the top priority country designation and the basic program approach outlined by the Chairman.

Mr. Bolten recommended that the 20 priority countries might better be grouped into regional configurations. The Chairman referred this suggestion to Mr. Peters, Chairman of the Coordinating Subcommittee.

The Chairman then proceeded to the third agenda item, program-and drug priorities.

He stated that the priorities established by the CCINC on March 20, 1972, were still valid, namely:

  • “1) interdiction at the U.S. border
  • 2) improved overseas law enforcement and intelligence
  • 3) overseas crop substitution, crop eradication, treatment, rehabilitation, education and research.”

However, the Chairman, added that three caveats were in order based upon accumulating experience:

Country priorities are the determinants of program actions. First, attention must be paid to critical nations; secondarily, the mix of enforcement/agricultural programs is developed.
It is seldom possible to separate number two (enforcement and intelligence) and number three (substitution/eradication) priorities, particularly when the focus of trafficking shifts into lesser developed countries. Strong enforcement is seldom palatable to a government unless some economic alternative for displaced farmers is provided.
“Intelligence” as listed in priority two should be expanded and clarified to indicate a focus on major international targeting. As soon as possible, local narcotics enforcement efforts and U.S. agent resources should be turned from street-level efforts to international conspiracies.

The members concurred with the Chairman’s expanded delineation of priorities.

Mr. Bartels and Ms. Cowan (Dr. DuPont’s representative) next addressed the issue of drug priorities for international enforcement.

Mr. Bartels indicated that domestic priorities were shifting to reflect the rise in polydrug abuse. He stated, however, that heroin should remain as the top priority overseas. Mr. Bartels also pointed out that DEA was studying the methods of effective international enforcement against pill diversion.

Ms. Cowan similarly stated that heroin remained the number one priority of the treatment community. She indicated that, at this point, priority two for international enforcement purposes was not clear. Based on SAODAP experiences, one cannot single out cocaine as a clear number two priority over pills.

Mr. Minnick pointed out that it would be desirable and reasonable to keep domestic and international priorities reasonably consistent. Thus he recommended that amphetamines and barbiturates be accorded a priority equal to that of cocaine.

Mr. Bolten then mentioned the increased incidence of liquid hash oil coming from the Near East and South Asia. The effect of this substance on the demanding population is not well known according to Ms. Cowan.

Ms. Cowan discussed the new SAODAP emphasis on international treatment. She indicated that increasingly nations were becoming aware of their internal drug problem, particularly as it predictably spreads to middle class youth. She noted that a forthcoming U.S. position on exporting treatment was imperative because (1) the U.S. is viewed as the leader in treatment and (2) treatment assistance often provides a wedge to induce enforcement cooperation of direct benefit to the U.S.

The members concurred with this assessment.

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Before moving to the fourth item, the Chairman briefly reviewed the debate on shortages of opium for legitimate medicinal purposes. He stated that so far only the U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers had complained of a shortage. The Administration is moving to release opium from the strategic stockpile to be prepared to meet potential short-term needs (next three years). In the long term, the U.S. will work on research and other solutions bilaterally and in consultation with multilateral organizations (INCB, etc.). For example, the U.S. is exploring tentatively with India the possibility of increased opium straw production.

The Chairman mentioned that there was some concern over the play given in Turkey to the shortage attendant to their November 1973 election campaign. At this point, however, it is the State Department assessment that Turkey will maintain the ban. Among the major reasons for this expected steadfastness, the Chairman stated, is the success of crop substitution programs which are providing viable economic alternatives for farmers forced out of the legitimate opium business. Assistant Secretary Long stated that he concurred with the Chairman’s optimistic evaluation of the agricultural program.

The Chairman moved to item four, enforcement priorities, and called on Mr. Bartels, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Mr. Bartels distributed the organization chart for the new DEA (Tab D). He indicated that the new organization emphasized the institutionalization of the international program. Both the intelligence and enforcement components provide for distinct and co-equal status (along with domestic) of the international effort.

Mr. Bartels stated that DEA international priorities were as follows:

Upgrade local enforcement capabilities. First a capable narcotics unit must be established in the national enforcement apparatus. This first step, now well underway, is usually accompanied by emphasis on (a) organization and (b) smaller case-making which provides the taste of success to the units. The second step—now the dominant focus of DEA overseas efforts—is to move other governments toward effective action against major traffickers. This requires concentrating on information collection and development by local units of good informant nets.
Going hand-in-glove with the emerging emphasis stated above are DEA agent efforts aimed (with CIA, IRS cooperation) at making international conspiracy cases in the U.S.
Finally, DEA should provide technical advice to national narcotics enforcement units. Mr. Bartels pointed out, citing his recent trip to Mexico, that this assistance is often rudimentary (cameras, etc). On the other hand, as narcotics smuggling becomes more concentrated in areas not under civil control (Burma, Thailand, parts of western Mexico), heavy equipment assistance (aircraft and arms) becomes necessary.

Mr. Bartels then stated some of the organizational goals of DEA’s international program in the immediate future. These include working toward an established overseas agent force, upgrading one man offices and increasing field operational intelligence analysis capability.

The Chairman next called upon Mr. Bolten to discuss the Major International Narcotics Traffickers List being prepared under the auspices of the CCINC intelligence Subcommittee.

Mr. Bolten stated that his subcommittee’s goals were entirely consistent with the priorities outlined by Mr. Bartels. He said that experience of the past year indicates that the greatest impact on international narcotics traffic has resulted from the arrest and conviction of a relatively small number of major syndicate leaders. (This group includes persons such as Sarti, Ricord, David, Pastou, Micoli, etc.) During this period considerable progress has been made by American law enforcement officers abroad in establishing working relationships with local foreign enforcement agencies for the purpose of dealing with low and middle level cases as they arise. At the same time, unilateral narcotics intelligence collection capabilities have been developed in critical areas of the world.

The time has now come, he stated, to place greater emphasis on those major traffickers who control the syndicates capable of moving bulk quantities of morphine base, heroin, and cocaine. This means turning over to local foreign enforcement agencies the routine cases while American law enforcement and intelligence personnel abroad concentrate on the major traffickers. The implementation of this approach is a significant sign of the growing maturity of the agencies concerned.

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DEA and CIA were requested by the CCINC Intelligence Subcommittee to identify the major international narcotics traffickers and to compile basic biographic data on each individual. This list (MITL) is now completed and contains approximately 225 names of persons regarded as principal active traffickers. After final checking, the list will be sent to DEA and CIA representatives abroad with instructions to collaborate and coordinate on efforts against these target personalities, first as intelligence collection targets and then for ultimate enforcement action.

The Working Group concurred with the priorities and programs outlined by Mr. Bartels and Mr. Bolten.

Assistant Secretary Morgan stated that Treasury, while moving from Customs overseas activities (other than Custom training and Customs Cooperation Council participation), would emphasize financial enforcement through IRS programs. An enclosure from a letter from Secretary Shultz to Secretary Rogers on Treasury responsibilities is at Tab E.

The Chairman thanked the members for their participation. The meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m.

[Organization of the Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Control chart]

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Tab C
Memorandum From Executive Director of the Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Matters (Handley)



There are Narcotics Control Action Plans for fifty-nine countries. The Coordinating Subcommittee has tentatively identified a list of twenty countries which are or should be receiving priority attention in the coming months.

The list of countries and a précis of current program status are attached as Tab “A.”

William J. Handley
Executive Director
Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Control
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Hong Kong

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Tab B




The three countries in category one reflect the changing emphasis of the international program. As effective enforcement and cultivation ban efforts close traditional trafficking routes, new ones quickly emerge.



DEA reports that 38 percent of FY 73 heroin seized in the United States was of Mexican origin, up from eight percent in FY 72. In addition, there are some indications that white heroin traffickers displaced by other Latin American enforcement efforts are moving toward Mexico. Approximately 90 percent of marihuana smuggled into the U.S. is of Mexican origin.

On September 11, Ambassador Robert McBride conducted a major program review with Mexican President Echeverria. This review was the outcome of efforts by a special CCINC Task Force. McBride focused on the brown (Mexican) heroin problem and proposed (1) increased intelligence collection efforts and (2) equipment support (helicopters and logistics at approximately $5 million per year) for Mexican Army eradication efforts. Echeverria indicated he would seriously consider the U.S. overtures. Implementation will be a sensitive and’ time consuming task. A meeting in late October between Attorney General Richardson and Mexican Attorney General Ojeda Panllada will be important to program progress.



Thailand is a major opium producer and the major transit country for heroin smuggled from the Golden Triangle to the United States.

The Thais are moving on many fronts in support of anti-narcotics efforts, yet much remains to be done.

The Golden Triangle caravan routes are policed by Special Narcotics Operations (SNO) Units extensively supported by the CCINC and advised by DEA. The Border Patrol Police have a greater capability than SNO to move against major caravans. The CCINC has just approved helicopter support to the BPP. The major problem in the insurgent area is the continued trafficking of CIF Generals Li and Tuan.

Both multilateral and bilateral efforts are underway in support of crop substitution. The CCINC has just approved ale first extensive bilateral effort to provide substitute crops for Thai hill tribes.

After caravans disperse and heroin/opium is divided into small loads in central Thailand, enforcement effectiveness diminishes. DEA is developing an extensive program of intelligence collection and enforcement support to Thai National Police Units operating in the trafficking areas. The program will also include beefing up of efforts to interdict Thai trawlers smuggling heroin and opium out of the Gulf of Siam.



Burma is the source of over half of the illicit opium cultivated in the Golden Triangle. Efforts to solicit Burmese support for narcotics control operations founded in 1972.

In the Spring and Summer of 1973 the Burmese have made extraordinary efforts to begin to move against heroin and opium traffickers. The capture of Lo-Hsing Han (driven across the border into Thailand by the Burmese Army) was perhaps the most significant single event in the U.S. motivated enforcement program in Southeast Asia.

The Burmese have requested aircraft support for major moves against narcotics trafficking insurgents. The CCINC has approved Ambassador Martin’s request for 18 helicopters Congressional consultation on the package is taking place now.





The opium ban in Turkey is effective to the best of our knowledge. Nonetheless, stockpiles of illicit Turkish opium are still the base for close to half of all U.S. heroin.

This is the last year (FY74) of subsistence payments to Turkey. No new initiatives are contemplated at this time.

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DEA enforcement [less than 1 line not declassified] collection efforts in Turkey remain of the utmost importance to the CCINC program.

An extreme shortage of morphine base is reported in Marseille. Joint DEA-French enforcement efforts are largely responsible for this state of affairs. France remains a key trafficking country, and many targets continue to operate in France.



As pressure on traditional Near East routes increases, Pakistan becomes an increasingly likely target for major traffickers. Approximately 275 tons of illicit opium is produced in Pakistan.

The CCINC has approved a-major enforcement program (support of 25 Field Investigative Units) in Pakistan.

Parallel consideration is being given to crop substitution efforts. Pakistan has suggested that $25-35 million in economic assistance is required. The preliminary U.S. estimate of reasonable substitution program is approximately $10 million.



Colombia is a key trafficking country for cocaine.

Efforts of the Colombian Government to complement U.S. enforcement programs and unilateral moves against corrupt officials have been satisfactory.

Colombia continues, however, to be a hub of cocaine trafficking. Enforcement and diplomatic initiative maintain high priority.





Afghanistan is a major producer of illicit opium. Much evidence of international trafficking is available, but ties to U.S. heroin markets are not yet established. The Afghan situation is parallel to, but not considered as serious as, the Pak problem. Potential, however, is great.

UN program for enforcement and substitution have gotten started, but have been seriously delayed by the recent governmental change. The CCINC at the working level has given favorable consideration to a bilateral program for enforcement assistance.



Hong Kong undoubtedly plays a major role in the transit/trafficking of Southeast Asian heroin.

The physical and ethnic complexity of Hong Kong is not very conducive to enforcement efforts.

However, the seriousness of the trafficking problem demands increasing CCINC attention to enforcement efforts in Hong Kong.



Laos is a potential problem country. The U.S. supported enforcement effort in Laos has apparently been quite effective. Pressure on Thailand, however, may begin to divert substantial trafficking, once again, through Laos.

No major new U.S. initiative are contemplated in the short run.



Argentine networks were crippled by the destruction of the Ricord network.

Recently, however, there had been indications that old and new traffickers are regrouping. A degree of laxness in the approach of the Campora government to traffickers was noted.

Potentially strong diplomatic initiative and perhaps increased support programs will have to be considered to prevent renewal of interest in Argentina as a trafficking center.



Panama is a major cocaine transit center and probably financial center for all Latin American drug activities. Evidence of white heroin transit is minimal.

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Basic initiatives by the U.S. and the Panamanian government have been effective, but much remains to be done.



India continues as the world’s sole licit opium export nation.

As enforcement pressure on various nations increase, pressure on India for illicit diversion increases.

U.S. information collections effort will be increasingly directed to the Indian system.

Bilateral or multi-lateral assessment and improvement of control system will be considered if deemed necessary.


Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain

As long as Turkish (and perhaps Near Eastern) opium is available, European traffickers will attempt to ply their well-honed skills as producers and traffickers for U.S. markets.

The effectiveness of French-U.S. enforcement has forced European traffickers to turn to new routes. Italy, Spain, and Germany have been the scene of apparent increased activity. The Netherlands is receiving some heroin from Southeast Asia.

DEA plans major resource reallocations in Europe to meet these new trends. Diplomatically; State and the CCINC must continue to apply appropriate pressure to Europe on a priority basis.


Category Four

Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia are major production and transit centers for cocaine. If cocaine enforcement continues to be considered as a priority goal of the CCINC program, then programs in these three countries must be strengthened.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 59, INM/P Files, Lot 84 D 147, CCINC–Working Group (previous). Administratively Confidential. The meeting took place in the Deputy Secretary’s Conference Room. The undated Tab B, confidential, with the exception of those pages listing the CCINC membership rosters, is published here. Attached but not published at Tab A is a September 17 agenda for Working Group members. Tabs D and E are not attached. The Wolff Amendment, introduced on May 30, made it the sense of Congress that the President should: (1) immediately initiate negotiations at the highest level of the Turkish Government to (a) prevent the resumption of opium production; or (b) assure that adequate control measures have been developed and implemented which would effectively safeguard the United States from a renewed flow of illicit opium and its derivatives originating in Turkey; and (2) if such negotiations proved unfruitful, exercise the authority provided by the Congress under the Foreign Assistance Act to suspend all assistance to the government of Turkey. The Hartke Amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act were introduced on May 1.
  2. The Working Group discussed interagency decision making procedures, Congressional positions on drug-related issues, program initiatives for priority countries, general drug abuse control program priorities, a potential licit opium shortage, and enforcement issues.