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27 tonnes of drugs torched in Helmand

27 tonnes of drugs torched in Helmand

Nov 08, 2013 - 13:59

LASHKARGAH (PANinfo-icon): Twenty-seven tonnes of drugs have been torched in the capital of southern Helmand province, the worldinfo-icon’s largest opium producer, authorities said.

Ministry of Interior official Khalilullah Bakhtiari told reporters in Lashkargah late on Thursday the narcotics had been seized in a series of operations over the past 20 months.

He said the drugs including opium, hashish, heroin and chemical substances had been seized by counternarcotics police and other security agencies. 

As many as 148 individuals held in connection with the contraband  had been prosecuted and punished by judicial organs, the official added.

During the operations, 39 vehicles, six motorbikes and 16 weapons were recovered from smugglers, according to Bakhtiari.

Governor Mohammad Naeem praised the police force for its growing professionalism and efficiency in preventing crimes.

In recent years, he recalled, increasing poppy cultivation and drug smuggling fuelled insecurity in the province. But the problem had gradually been overcome, he explained.

Special plans had been devised to rid Helmand of the drug menace, the governor said, warning opium-cultivating farmers of a deterrent punishment.

Also present on the occasion, the deputy police chief vowed to eradicate poppy cultivation in Helmand, which the UN says accounts for more than 90 percent of the world’s total opium yield.

Maj. Gen. Juma Gul Himmat claimed the security situation had improved as a result of the crackdown on poppy growers and drug smugglers.



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