Biggest Cannabis Raid Ever on Afghan Border
- Afghan commandos discover 230 tonnes of cannabis in the desert
By Jerome Starkey in Kabul
Thursday, 12 June 2008
Afghan officials have announced a world record in the war on drugs
after they unearthed more than 200 tonnes of cannabis buried in
Two RAF Harrier jets were called in to bomb the 236.8-tonne cache,
with a minimum street value of £225m. It was found by Afghan
commandos who work with Britain's Special Boat Service. Hundreds of
grain sacks, stuffed full of hash were hidden deep inside six
trenches. The entrances to the trenches were concealed with branches.
The soldiers arrested three people at the site and seized
binoculars, a satellite phone and a Kalashnikov assault rifle.
The trenches, which appeared to have been made by mechanical
diggers, were spread in pairs, close to a major border crossing at
Spin Boldak, which links Kandahar, in Afghanistan, with Quetta, the
Taliban's capital-in-exile, in Pakistan.
The raid was one in a series of strikes against narcotics
laboratories across southern Afghanistan last week. In a separate
operation, commandos arrested 13 smugglers, and seized more than 2.5
tonnes of opium, worth £15m.
The cannabis haul came on the eve of a donors conference in Paris at
which Hamid Karzai's government is seeking support for a $50bn
(£25bn) five-year development plan.
Afghan police seize drug haul worth $450 mln
By Abdul Haleem, Zhang Yunlong
KABUL, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The Afghan government in its counter-
narcotics war has seized 450 million U.S. dollars worth of illicit
drug, the biggest ever amount in years, from the country's poppy
growing southern region, an official said Wednesday.
"The Counter-Narcotics police in its achievements against drug
have seized 241 tons of contraband from southern region and arrested
16 drug traffickers," deputy to the interior ministry Abdul Hadi
Khalid told a press conference here.
More than five tons of opium poppy was found from Baramcha area
of southern Helmand province and 13 smugglers including seven
Pakistanis and four Iranians have been detained in the regard,
Some 236 tons of illegal drug including hashish were confiscated
from Spinboldak area of neighboring Kandahar and three traffickers
have been taken into custody, the official said.
He added the huge amount of drug was seized over the past 10
days in different operations.
Moreover, Afghan police foiled an attempt of taking 5.2 kg of
heroin from Kabul to New Delhi and arrested a passenger at the Kabul
Airport, a press release of the interior ministry said Wednesday.
Afghanistan, with an output of 8,200 tons of opium poppy in
2007, is the largest poppy growing nation in the world.
Widespread poppy cultivation and drug smuggling in the post-
Taliban nation especially in its remote southern regions has
reportedly financed much of the Taliban-led insurgency and sparked
mounting worry and criticism among the United States and the western
The Taliban, fighting the Afghan government and international
forces since being ousted from power in 2001, has since waged a
years-long insurgency and militancy-related violence and conflicts
left as many as 8,000 people dead last year, a record high since
Afghan officials optimistically predicted that poppy products
would drop this year as 21 out of the country's 34 provinces have
been made free of poppy and the effort to eradicate the menace in
the remaining regions is going on.
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