PAN, June 7, 2011
MPs’ brother, friends held with drugs
Last year, about 1,100 hectares of land was cultivated with the illicit plant
By Farid Tanha
U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke, right, listens to Afghan Parliament Member Fawzia Koofi during a panel, April 28, 2007. A family member of Fawzia Koofi was arrested by counternarcotics police with 52.7 kilograms of opium in northeastern Badakhshan province. (Photo: AP)
A family member of two lawmakers has been arrested by counternarcotics police with 52.7 kilograms of opium in northeastern Badakhshan province, an official said on Tuesday.
Hedayatullah, the brother of Mariam Kufi and Fauzia Kufi, two female parliamentarians from the northeastern province, was arrested along with three others companions on Monday for allegedly carrying the opium in a car, the police chief, Abdul Saboor Nasrati, told a joint press conference with Baaz Mohammad Ahmadi, the Deputy Minister of Counternarcotics.
The detainees were taken to an unknown location by the police for interrogation, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahmadi said nearly seven tonnes of narcotics captured last Afghan year were set ablaze during his visit to the province.
Ahmadi, who is on a visit to border areas, which are infamous for drug trafficking, insisted that regional officials should intensify their fight against poppy crops. He asked officials to eradicate all poppy crops until the end of the ongoing month.
Last year, about 1,100 hectares of land was cultivated with the illicit plant and 60.5 hectares of that has so far been eradicated, according to head the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) regional office, Mohammad Hussain Jalili.
This year, he said, 3,500 hectares of land was cultivated with poppy crops. Of the land, 55.5 hectares was eradicated.
Characters Count: 2176