NATO reports `incredible` seizures of Afghan drugs

The NATO-led force in Afghanistan on Monday said it had made "incredible" seizures of drugs in Afghanistan last year.

Last Updated: Jan 02, 2012, 20:19 PM IST

Kabul: The NATO-led force in Afghanistan on Monday said it had made "incredible" seizures of drugs in
Afghanistan last year and dealt a blow to the finances of the
Taliban-led insurgents.

"Narcotics trafficking has been a key generator of
funding for the insurgency, but that source of revenue is
diminishing," Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman
for the International Security Assistance Force, told a news
conference.

"Afghan security forces, together with ISAF partners,
seized an incredible amount of illicit drugs and related
material in 2011 versus 2010."

Opium seizures rose 13 per cent and those of hashish
climbed 59 per cent, while the amount of marijuana and
morphine confiscated soared 1,208 per cent and 10,113 per cent
respectively, according to the figures from ISAF, which did
not give the amounts of drugs seized.

"Counter-narcotics operations are successfully disrupting
the insurgents` ability to process opium into heroin. We will
continue to choke off revenue generated by the sale of illicit
drugs in 2012," Jacobson said.

ISAF`s optimism is in stark contrast to the UN Office on
Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which in October said opium
production in Afghanistan rose 61 percent in 2011 from the
previous year, when the harvest was hit by disease.

The UNODC estimates this year`s output at 5,800 tonnes
against 3,600 tonnes last year, with a slight increase in area
under poppy cultivation to about 324,000 acres in 2011.

PTI