Afghan police burn nearly 10 tons of drugs

The 9.6-ton pile set ablaze today was a small fraction of the amount seized by the elite police forces this year. According to the MoI, Afghan police forces have removed 140 tons of narcotics and 101 tons of chemicals and drug precursors this year from the streets and the hands of drug addicts. The sale of those drugs would have funded the Taliban and other anti-government factions.
7 Dec 2017

KABUL, Afghanistan (Dec. 7, 2017) — Afghan police forces burned nearly 10 tons of narcotics and other illegal chemicals Dec. 6 at the Ministry of Interior’s (MoI) General Command of Police Special Units.

Afghan Minister for the Interior Wais Ahmad Barmak and Minister for Counter Narcotics Salamat Azimi presided over the event, at which officials destroyed drugs that had been used to prosecute cases against Taliban drug traffickers and other criminals. Senior NATO officials also watched the burn, including British Army Major-General Charles Herbert, Resolute Support senior advisor to the MoI.

The 9.6-ton pile set ablaze today was a small fraction of the amount seized by the elite police forces this year. According to the MoI, Afghan police forces have removed 140 tons of narcotics and 101 tons of chemicals and drug precursors this year from the streets and the hands of drug addicts. The sale of those drugs would have funded the Taliban and other anti-government factions.

"I would like to thank the international community for their support and help in combatting illicit drug trafficking,” said Major-General Abdul Khalil Bakhtyar, Deputy Minister for Counter Narcotics. "With the growing statistics in poppy cultivation in insecure and impassable areas, we hope this assistance shall continue.”

U.S. and Afghan forces have recently increased pressure on narcotics networks in Afghanistan. Since Nov. 19, combined airstrikes and raids by special operations forces have targeted Taliban drug-related revenue streams, especially narcotics facilities in Helmand province. These operations are the result of excellent cooperation between Afghan and U.S. forces, as well as the new authorities granted under the U.S. South Asia policy to support counter-narcotics activities.

The U.S. strikes in support of Afghan agencies are just one area of international assistance to the counter narcotics effort. U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and other international counter-drug experts work closely with the MoI, and the Resolute Support train, advise, assist mission is building law enforcement capacity. These initiatives are placing new pressure on the Taliban, and will continue even as winter sets in, when traditionally fighting has slowed and the Taliban has been able to regroup before the spring.

"The Taliban have evolved into a criminal or narco-insurgency,” said General John Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, to a group of Pentagon reporters on Nov. 28. "They have increasingly lost whatever ideological anchor they once had. They fight to preserve and expand their sources of revenue. This includes narcotics trafficking, illegal mining, taxing people throughout Afghanistan, kidnapping and murder-for-hire, all criminal endeavors.”

 

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