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1,545 drug traffickers nabbed in past five months: MoI

“Confiscation of 365 tons of narcotics reveals a 233 percent increase”   

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: The Counter Narcotics Department at Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Wednesday said that 1,545 drug runners have been arrested over the past five months – which shows a five percent hike compared to the same period last year – during anti-narcotics crackdowns across the country.

 “The Counter Narcotics Police have conducted 1,303 anti-drug operations leading to the apprehension of 1,545 drug smugglers in different provinces across the country,” speaking at a presser, the MoI Deputy Head for Counter Narcotics, Mohammad Hashem Ortaq, said.

He said that among the detained 1,545 drug runners, two of them were big drug kingpins. “At least 42 women and five foreigners, including one Iranian, one Pakistani and three Turkmen nationals, were among the detained drug smugglers.”

The arrest of smugglers over the past five months of this year revealed a five percent increase as compared to the same period last year, he added.

He elucidated that 31 public servants – including 19 policemen, nine army personnel, two intelligence operatives and one civil staff– being complicit in the trafficking of drugs were among the detained as well.

Ortaq added that 179 drug runners – who had concealed drugs in their abdomens destined for abroad – were arrested at the Hamid Karzai, Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif international airports.

He stated that the Counter Narcotics Police (CNP) discovered and confiscated 356 tons of narcotics in the past five months which indicated a 233 percent increase. “59 drug-processing laboratories and factories have been destroyed in different parts of the country.”

CNP succeeded in eradicating drug cultivation and yields over 435 hectares of land during 44 crackdowns in different provinces, he claimed, adding “206 tons of drugs have been torched by counter narcotics department.”

Referring to CNP’s achievements in Kabul, Ortaq said that 466 operations were conducted by CNP resulting in the capturing of at least 564 drug traffickers. “3.256 tons of narcotics have been seized during operations in Kabul alone.”

“A total of 7,769 addicted people, including 2,220 drug abusers, residing in Kabul have been gathered and hospitalized for treatment during the same period.”

He said that narcotics were still deemed as a threat for Afghans and the main source of funding for terrorists and mafia, adding that CNP operations had inflicted huge losses on them.

Despite many challenges, the counter narcotics police’s crackdowns increased by 32 percent, he continued, saying “The discovery and confiscation of narcotics has risen by 30 percent in one year as compared to the same period in the past.”

Unfortunately, seven CNP personnel were killed and 43 others received injuries during the operations, he acknowledged.

The Counter Narcotics Department of MoI has planned to intensify anti-drug offensives in order to decrease and eliminate this menace from the country, he concluded.

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