4 tonnes of opium, chemicals seized in Herat
HERAT CITY (PAN): More than four tonnes of opium, chemicals used in drug processing and alcoholic beverages were seized over the past month in western Herat province, officials said on Wednesday.
The drugs weighing 4.2 tonnes were confiscated near the Iranian border by security personnel, especially police, Baz Muhammad Ahamdi, deputy hea dof the counternarcotics department, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The counternarcotics department said the drugs included 2120 kilograms of opium, 934 kilograms of heroin, 622 kilograms of hashish, 331 kilograms of hashish leaves, 209 kilograms of morphine, 53 kilograms of chemical powder, 14 kilograms of poppy seeds and 349 kilograms of amphetamine.
About 795 liters of acid, one kilogram of raw hashish and more than 66 litres of alcoholic beverages were also captured during the period, the statement said, adding 211 people, including two women, had been arrested. Nearly a dozen guns, 37 cars, seven motorcycles, 168,000 afghanis and 1863,000 Iranian tomans were recovered from their possession.
The deputy director, praising the efforts of the Ministry of Interior, said Afghanistan alone was unable to deal with the menace. Ahmadi said only five percent of the opium produced in Afghanistan was used domestically.
“Drug smuggling is an international phenomenon and we cannot combat it without support from neighbouring countries and the international community,” he said, adding 10 million Afghans were drug addicts.
Governor Daud Shah Saba said the counternarcotics department had taken tough decisions to combat drug smuggling, hoping more measures would help eliminate all opium sources in Herat next year. He promised they would continue to eradicate poppies and support growers with agricultural inputs.
He cited the launch of construction work on a hospital and a road in Shindand district as examples of infrastructure development schemes. Although poppy cultivation in Herat has dropped to zero, local officials confirm the province has been a key smuggling route. On August 6 in 2011, 1,884 kilograms of opium was seized by border police in Herat.
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