Pajhwok Afghan News, August 22, 2007

More than 100,000 Drug Dealers Identified in Afghanistan

3 million people are involved in the cultivation and 110 thousands others are occupied with smuggling and trafficking of drugs in the country.

Translated by RAWA)

Kabul - In last four years, more than one hundred thousand drug smugglers were identified in the country but only four of them were booked and arrested as drug producers and traffickers.

Bashir Ahmad Fazil Barakzai, director of Special Prosecutor's Team against Drugs, stated in a press conference on 22nd August in Kabul. He said that since 2004 his department had received 1,275 cases that would be to be dealt by the courts from all around the country.

He added that out of these criminal records only 21 cases have been in process in court and 1,255 cases have been legally prosecuted by the Special Prosecutors' Team and as a result so far 1,840 accused had been detained.

In 2007, Afghanistan cultivated 193,000 hectares of opium poppies, an increase of 17% over last year. The amount of Afghan land used for opium is now larger than the corresponding total for coca cultivation in Latin America (Colombia, Peru and Bolivia combined). Favourable weather conditions produced opium yields (42.5 kg per hectare) higher than last year (37.0 kg/ha). As a result, in 2007 Afghanistan produced anextraordinary 8,200 tons of opium (34% more than in 2006) becoming practically the exclusive supplier of the world's deadliest drug (93% of the global opiates market)
Council on Foreign Relations, September 19, 2007

According to Barakzai, after four years' work and activities of the special prosecutors, Misri khan, Noor Mohammad, Abdulrahim and Habib Allah were sent to Policharkhi prison as drug dealers each for 10 years.

He added that during theses arrests and prosecutions they found around 10 tons drugs including heroine, hashish, chars, morphine in the custody of accused and ‘all this is happening while there has been increase in production and trafficking of drugs in last three years in Afghanistan'. According to a UN survey last year, Afghanistan produced 93 percent of the global drugs and this year too UNO is concerned about the possible increase in the cultivation of hashish in the country.

General Hafiz Allah Rahjo, assistant director of Anti-drugs Massive Police Operations (CPA), who was also present in the News Conference, said that their forces started working since 2004.

He added that since 2004 up till a month ago their forces had made more than 2200 arrests out of which 2268 persons were accused of producing and trafficking drugs. According to him, 24 of these accusers were foreign nationals who were arrested at Kabul International Airport. He informed that currently around 3 million people are involved in the cultivation and 110 thousands others are occupied with smuggling and trafficking of drugs in the country.

Addressing the press conference, Bashir Ahmad Fazli Barakzi said that conducting operation against the accused people were legal.

He also added that they could not arrest any drug smuggler working in high ranking government departments without any proof and evidence which proved their involvement.

According to the UN Anti Crime and Drug Office (UNODC) director, beside insecurity, corruption in the government offices and bribe by police from the smugglers is another main reason behind increase in cultivation.

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