AT-KABUL: Police arrested three people who were allegedly involved in smuggling of precious stones in Kapisa province, said an official source.
Nazar Kohistani, spokesman for the provincial police headquarters, said that three people were arrested in Hes-e-Awal Kohestan district of the province. He said that the alleged smugglers had skillfully hidden Lapiz Lazuli in a truck which was carrying potatoes and turnips.
He said that the arrested men wanted to smuggle the precious stones from Panjsher province to Kabul.
Illegal extraction and smuggling of precious stones in northern Afghanistan is considered as a big challenge. According to reports, some high-ranking officials and strongmen are involved in smuggling of the stones to neighboring countries.
It is worth mentioning that the untapped minerals of Afghanistan worth at least 3 trillion dollars. Experts believe that natural riches can lead Afghanistan towards development if extracted. Insecurity is one of the main reasons that hamper extraction of mines in Afghanistan. In some cases, illegal extraction of mines is also considered as a source of income for militant groups.