172 arrested for drug smuggling in 2 months
KABUL (PAN): More than 172 people, including seven foreigners, have been arrested in connection with smuggling narcotics over the past two months, when 43 tonnes of drugs were seized, an official said on Wednesday.
Most of the traffickers were detained in Herat, Helmand, Kabul, Badakhshan and Nimroz provinces during the period, said Counter Narcotics Deputy Minister Baz Mohammad Ahmadi.
Sixteen tones of drugs were captured during a joint operation by police and International Security Assistance force (ISAF) troops in the Baghran district of southern Helmand province, he said.
However, he said no arrest could be made in connection with the drugs.
Since the Baghran district has been controlled by militants, counternarcotics police reached the area by helicopters, he said.
Counternarcotics police seized 90 kilograms of heroin and arrested an Iranian national in Nimroz province, Ahmadi said.
A special base for counternarcotics police had been established on the cost of $11 million in western Herat province. With the inauguration of the base, counter narcotics operations were extended in to other western provinces, the official said, adding the base was an American-funded project and equipped with modern facilities and two helicopters.
Ahmadi said that more than 700 weapons were seized in Kabul, Baghlan and Balkh provinces over the past one month.
"The capture of arms shows that smugglers and the drug mafia also smuggle weapons under the pretext of drug smuggling," he said, adding some drug smugglers might be linked to the Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.
Three heroin processing laboratories, 14 mobile phone sets, 2868 bottles of alcohol and 24 vehicles were captured by police over the past two months in various parts of the country, he said.
Also, 867 acres of land were cleared of poppies last month y, with more than 12 tonnes of drugs torched.
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