Afghan police arrest 13 drug traffickers

Kabul, Dec 7 (IANS) At least 13 persons were detained by the Afghan special counter-narcotic police for alleged drug trafficking in five of the country’s 34 provinces within a week, authorities said on Wednesday.

“Counter-Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) have cracked 10 major drug-trafficking cases and captured 13 drug dealers involved in the cases in Kabul, Herat, Nimroz, Kandahar and Laghman provinces within the last one week,” the Counter-Narcotics Criminal Justice Task Force of Afghanistan (CJTF) said in a statement.

The anti-drug police force also found drugs including 15-kg of heroin, over 530-kg of opium and 370 litres of chemical substance from the detainees, the statement said, adding the CNPA also seized 11 vehicles, 16 mobile phones and 26 rounds of different types of bullets from those arrested, Xinhua news agency reported.

After initial investigation, the CNPA has handed over the cases to the Central Narcotics Tribunal (CNT), a special Afghan court for major drug cases, the statement said.

The vast majority of the world’s opium poppy, the raw element for making heroin, is cultivated in militancy-hit Afghanistan, particularly in the western and southern parts of the country, where security forces have little presence.

Some 4,800 tons of opium has been produced this year in Afghanistan, home to some 1.9 million to 2.4 million adult drug addicts, according to the latest figures released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter-Narcotics.