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Opium production in Afghanistan up 21 percent, top police official arrested

Christian Fernsby |
Opium production in Afghanistan rose 21 percent in 2019 compared with 2018, the United States said yesterday.

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In a statement on results of its annual estimate of Afghanistan opium, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said output of opium made from poppy seeds in Afghanistan stood at around 6,700 metric tons last year. That was compared with 5,500 metric tons in 2018.

However, areas under poppy cultivation declined by 28 percent, from 221,000 hectares to 160,000.

“Low opium prices at planting time drove the decline in cultivation,” the statement said.“The rise in potential pure production is a direct result of favorable weather and harvesting conditions.”

Afghan authorities said on Thursday they had arrested head of counter-narcotics department of Kabul police commandment, accused of being one of the biggest drug traffickers.

Miyan Ahmad Ahmadi, who is also the head of Afghan-Swiss Group, was arrested in Salang district of Parwan province while he was trying to flee to Central Asia, Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for Interior Ministry, said at a press conference.

Ahmadi was distributing drug in all districts of the city and was extorting money from its sellers, he said.

Ahmadi’s five crime partners, all police officials, including Ajmal, Eadur Rahman, Allahdad, Faridullah and Lemar were also arrested and their case was referred to judicial institutions, Rahimi said.

Rahimi further said that Interior Ministry conducted 44 targeted operations against drug traffickers over the last one month, as a result of which 223,841 kilograms of drug were seized.

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