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    Dozens convicted of drug trafficking

    KABUL (PAN): Twenty individuals were jailed from three to 20 years on charges of trafficking drugs, the Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) announced on Monday.

    The accused were convicted by an appellant court at the end of an open trial on the basis of evidence. They had defence lawyers to plead their cases, CJTF spokesman, Ahmad Khalid Mowahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Hailing from Maidan Wardak, Helmand, Nangarhar and Jawzjan, provinces, the men were held with more than 73 kilograms of morphine, 1,500 kg of opium and more than 800 litres of  alcoholic beverages.

    They were convicted by the appeal court that upheld the verdict of a primary court and investigations by prosecutors into their cases, Mowahid said. Under the relevant law, a convict could move the Supreme Court against the appellate court decision.

    CJTF has convicted about 470 people, including foreigners, to short- and long-term imprisonment in a month.

    Based on a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Afghanistan produces 90 percent of world’s opium.

    Over one million Afghans are drug addicts and the ministry of counternarcotics says the government could rehabilitate only one percent of them.