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Taliban earns $100m from Opium Trade

By FuBai, Jun 24, 2008 | Updated: Jun 24, 2008 | | |
  1. FuBai
    Taleban's '$100m opium takings'
    BBC News, Afganistan

    _44771917_poppies226.jpg

    The Taleban made an estimated $100m (£50m) in 2007 from Afghan farmers growing poppy for the opium trade, the United Nations says.
    Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said the money was raised by a 10% tax on farmers in Taleban-controlled areas.
    The UN estimates last year's poppy harvest was worth $1bn (£500m).
    Mr Costa said the Taleban made even more money from other activities related to the opium trade.
    "One is protection to laboratories and the other is that the insurgents offer protection to cargo, moving opium across the border," Mr Costa told the BBC's File on 4 programme.
    The final figures for this year's harvest have yet to be released but yield and proceeds are likely to be down due to drought, infestation and a poppy ban enforced in the north and east of Afghanistan.
    This would lower revenue, "but not enormously", Mr Costa said.

    Stockpiles

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    The past few years have seen abundant yields from poppy farming, with Afghan farmers cultivating more than the global demand.
    "Last year Afghanistan produced about 8,000 tonnes of opium," Mr Costa said.
    "The world in the past few years has consumed about 4,000 tonnes in opium, this leaves a surplus.
    "It is stored somewhere and not with the farmers," he added.
    The stockpiles represent hundreds of millions of dollars and it is not known whether they are possessed by traffickers, corrupt Afghan officials and politicians or the Taleban.
    British officials say that drugs money funds the Taleban's military operations.
    "The closer we look at it, the closer we see the insurgents [are] to the drugs trade," said David Belgrove, head of counter narcotics at the British embassy in Kabul.
    "We can say that a lot of their arms and ammunition are being funded directly by the drugs trade."

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Comments

  1. Lunar Loops
    Iran nabbed 900 tonnes of Afghan drugs in 2007

    And related to the above is this from AFP:

    Iran nabbed 900 tonnes of Afghan drugs in 2007

    TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran seized just over one third of the 2,500 tonnes of drugs that entered the country from its eastern neighbour Afghanistan in 2007, a top police commander said on Monday.
    "Around 900 tonnes of drugs out of the 2,500 tonnes of drugs that entered the country from Afghanistan were seized in 2007," Iran's police chief and anti-drug trafficking supremo Esmaeel Ahmadi Moghadam told reporters.
    Iran lies on a major transit route for smuggling illegal drugs from Afghanistan towards European markets.
    It has lost hundreds of police killed in clashes with drug smugglers in recent years and has repeatedly lamented a lack of funding and support from the West to combat the traffickers.
    The proportion of the total volume of Afghan drugs transiting through Iran fell to 31 percent in 2007 from 42 percent in 2006, Ahmadi Moghadam said, adding that the volume itself was unchanged due to a major rise in Afghan production.
    The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has said that Afghanistan's opium production increased from 6,100 tonnes in 2006 to 8,200 tonnes in 2007, accounting for 93 percent of global production.
    Around a third of the drugs from Afghanistan that are not seized by Iranian police are consumed in Iran itself, creating a serious domestic drug abuse problem.
    Opium use has long been a problem in Iran but crack and heroin consumption is on the up with the latter available at 3.5 dollars (2.4 euros) per gram, according to the United Nations.
    "According to our latest analysis, there are 1.16 million drug addicts in Iran and around 700,000 occasional users," said Ahmadi Moghadam.
  2. Panthers007
    My goodness! It sure is nice to see the Bush administration is sharing! Just when I thought they were completely, morally, bankrupt!

    All the Way With the USA!
  3. welshmick
    Crazy - I read somewhere that the UK is currently growing opium in Essex, renting field from farmers. This is to combat the WW morphine shortage .
  4. Lunar Loops
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