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Officials involved in gems smuggling: MP

Officials involved in gems smuggling: MP

Dec 10, 2013 - 08:44

KABUL (PAN): Large scale smuggling of precious and semi-precious stones is underway from different mines of the country in connivance with government officials, a Wolesi Jirga or lower house member says.

Gul Bacha Majeedi, also deputy head of the house committee on environment and natural resources protection, told Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview that precious natural resources were being smuggled to foreign countries with active involvement of government officials.

The interior, finance and defense ministries have support with smugglers in illegal digging mines and then exporting them out of the country, he alleged.

Blaming the authorities for awarding contracts to certain companies, Majeedi said established laws and regulations were being violated and trampled in awarding mining contracts.

According to Majeedi, extraction of mines in insecure areas was allowed by the government in a move to keep away investigation teams from launching any kind of probe into the irregularities.

He said contractors were involved in unauthorized digging of mines and subsequently they used to export the materials illegally.

The lower house is yet to pass any law regarding mines, but a draft is under evaluation of the Wolesi Jirga's committee on natural resources and environment protection to prevent illegal digging and smuggling of precious stones.

Mines are the backbone of country’s economy and its legal digging in a professional way would help stabilize Afghanistan nascent economy to a great extent.


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