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95 tonnes of heroin smuggled to Central Asia annually

24 May 2012 - 16:19
24 May 2012 - 16:19

KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): The Ministry of Counternarcotics on Thursday said more than 95 tonnes of heroine were annually smuggled into central Asian countries from northern Afghan provinces.

Of the drugs, nine tonnes are transferred through borders in northern Kunduz province to Tajikistan, Deputy Counternarcotics Minister Mohammad Ibrahim Azhar told a press conference in Kunduz city.

Azhar arrived here to launch an anti-poppy drive. Poppy cultivation and drug smuggling remained a key cause behind insurgency, insecurity and law violations in the country, the deputy minister said, adding the drug trade needed harsh action to be prevented.

“Drugs smuggling and poppy growing benefit the armed opposition and mafia groups who don’t care about security and stability in the country,” he said.

In 2011, 92 kilograms of heroin were seized by police in Kunduz, from where more than nine tonnes of heroin were being smuggled into Tajikistan each year, Azhar said, asking residents to cooperate with police in eradication of poppy crops and drugs smuggling.

Russia counternarcotics director says five million people are addicted to drugs in Russia, with 1.5 million of them using drugs smuggled from Afghanistan.

Kunduz council member Mehbobollah Mehboob said though poppy cultivation in the province was zero over the past five years, the situation of farmers was yet to be improved.

A rehab centre in charge, Dr. Abdul Qodus Miankhel said drug addicts in Kunduz lived with poor health condition. “Unfortunately there is only one 20-bed rehabilitation centre for 30,000 addicts,” he said.

Azhar said his ministry had released $1,000,000 in aid to provinces where farmers had abandoned cultivating poppies.



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