KABUL: The provincial council members and civil society activists of the northeastern Badakhshan provinces on Sunday voiced concern over the dramatically surging revenues of the Taliban from the provincial gold mines, saying the rebels’ earned $50,000 on a daily basis.
Saifuddin Sais, the provincial civil society head, alleged the insurgents had complete dominion over all gold mines of Badakhshan and they made $50,000 every day from this source.
“If the government doesn’t’ take necessary measures, the rebels, with this key economic resource at their disposal, would further equip and swell the ranks of their fighters.”
There are more than 72 mines of precious and gem stones in Badakshan, Sais said, adding “Most of the illegal extraction of gold is carried out in Raghistan and Yaftal districts.”
Bashir Samim, head of the provincial council, said the Taliban had billions of Afghanis of income from gold mines which financed all of their ranks across the country. “There have several factories, hundreds of excavators and digging machines which operate in areas under their writ.”
Meanwhile, Governor Mohammad Zakaria Sawda, while not providing any exact figures regarding the Taliban’s revenues, admitted the insurgent group’s income from gold mines had drastically increased. “We confirm that the Taliban illegally extract gold and thus fund terrorism across the country.”
He said the issue was shared with the central government which would soon devise programs to control the situation.
This comes as the Taliban have control over all the gold mines in the province and according to local officials, they finance and equip their ranks with revenues from 70 extraction factories of gold mines in Raghistan and Kohistan districts.