DEA reach goes global, beyond drugs: Report

Cables say Drug Enforcement Administration`s operations had become expansive.

Washington: The US Drug Enforcement Administration has grown into a global intelligence organisation whose reach extends far beyond international drug trafficking, The New York Times reported.

Citing documents from the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, the newspaper said the DEA`s operations had become so expansive the agency has had to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies.

The documents show that Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli had sent an urgent BlackBerry message to the US ambassador asking the DEA go after his political enemies.

"I need help with tapping phones," the paper quoted the President as saying.

According to the report, in the West African nation of Guinea, the country`s biggest narcotics kingpin turned out to be the President`s son, and diplomats discovered that before the police destroyed a huge narcotics seizure, the drugs had been replaced by flour.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, leaders of the military issued private pleas for closer collaboration with the US drug agency, confessing that they had little faith in their own country`s police forces, the report noted.

In Sierra Leone, the attorney general solicited USD 2.5 million in bribes, a request that threatened a major cocaine-trafficking prosecution, according to The Times.

Cables from Myanmar describe DEA informants reporting both on how the military junta enriches itself with drug money and on the political activities of the junta`s opponents, the paper noted.

US government officials declined to discuss what they said was information that should never have been made public, the report said.

Bureau Report