Monday, June 19, 2006


Running drugs from Afghanistan

Now that the Taliban have begun to set up a shadow government1 in southern Afghanistan, and heroin is again in good supply,2 you may have wondered who's handling drug export. Here's an Indian view—

According to Archis Mohan out of New Delhi, it's the Nigerians who are running the heroin out of Afghanistan, who then use the proceeds to pay for "terrorism," with a tip for the prostitutes. Specifically,

“The source of heroin is Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. West Asia3 figures for money laundering. The proceeds from these go to finance terrorist outfits. We believe it to be a network of Nigerians and many prostitutes,” a Narcotics Control Bureau official said.

Nigerians and these prostitutes have also been found to pump counterfeit Indian and US currency into the country — most of fake currency comes from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Then there are the Israelis, who just want to get stoned—

A senior NCB officer said some Israelis were also under watch for illegal cannabis trade.

“But their involvement is limited to smuggling cannabis for consumption. Unlike Nigerians, the Israelis have not been found to indulge in other crimes,” said the officer.

I'm hopeful but skeptical that the Israelis are behaving better than usual.



1James Rupert reports,

Because of the Taliban's spread, UN agencies, which a few years ago operated freely over 60 percent to 70 percent of southernmost Afghanistan, now can work readily in only six of the region's 50 districts, or counties, said UN regional director Talatbek Masadykov. The Taliban have established parallel authorities, including courts, in wide areas of the south -- and people are turning to them to solve conflicts, say Afghan press reports and UN officials.

2Tom Coghlan on May 11 reported from Helmland province—

Two hours' drive from the Afghan city of Kandahar, "the perfect storm" is about to break in the fields of Helmand province.

Here, in the place where British troops are to spend the next three years, a combination of factors have conspired to produce what is probably the biggest opium harvest in the history of a province that, last year, produced more than 20 per cent of the world's heroin on its own.


3When the media won't name names, it makes me feel like I'm reading the Washington Post. Which country—or countries—could this be? Russia? One of the 'Stans? Turkey? [back]

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