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Monday, 13 September 2010

UK: Probe into Afghanistan troops' heroin trafficking claims

Probe into Afghanistan troops' heroin trafficking claims - Asia, World - The Independent:
 "Military police are investigating claims that British soldiers may have been involved in heroin trafficking in Afghanistan.
Officials said they were aware of 'unsubstantiated' claims that troops were buying the illegal drug from dealers and using military aircraft to ship it out the country.
An inquiry has been launched focusing on British and Canadian service personnel at airports in Camp Bastion and Kandahar.
Meanwhile security has been tightened, with additional sniffer dogs being used as part of the crackdown at the bases.
Afghanistan is the source of 90% of the world's opium.
Some drug bosses in the war-ravaged country have implicated soldiers in the trade.
Last year the Sunday Times spoke to one dealer who said members of the military were the second largest buyers of heroin after foreign drug lords.
The newspaper was told: 'The soldiers whose term of duty is about to finish, they give an order to our boss.'
The dealer, named only as Aziz, added: 'They are carrying these drugs in the military airlines and they can't be reached because they are military. They can take it to the USA or England.'"
This is of course, not surprising, specially considering the boost in heroin production since the NATO coalition entered the country (see here, here, here and here). Of course, that doesn't mean that all military and civil personnel in Afghanistan are drug traffickers, but certainly some of them are benefiting from the trade). The Taliban fall (good altogether) brought to power several of the warlords who were in charge of the drug trade. But certainly the plants should have been destroyed the minute they were planted. Why they weren't? Well, that's a very difficult question to answer...

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