From the event

11 June 2008

PR# 2008-246

ISAF commander congratulates Ministry of Interior for likely world’s largest seizure of narcotics

KABUL, Afghanistan - The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan congratulated that country’s Ministry of Interior today for finding and destroying a stockpile of about 236.8 metric tonnes of hashish.

“The Afghan National Police Special Task Force has made a huge step forward in proving its capability in curbing the tide of illegal drug trade in this country,” said General David McKiernan, ISAF commander.  “With this single find, they have seriously crippled the Taliban’s ability to purchase weapons that threaten the safety and security of the Afghan people and the region.”

The hashish found weighed about as much as 30 double-decker London buses and had an estimated regional wholesale value of $400 million.  ISAF officials estimate that the Taliban would have pocketed about $14 million from the sale of the drugs.

The Ministry of Interior’s Afghan National Police Special Task Force received a tip in the morning of June 9 about a possible stockpile of drugs located about 40 kilometres from the Pakistan border in the Spin Buldak District of the Kandahar Province. The Special Task Force found the drugs hidden in multiple trenches, and by the evening, they had destroyed all 236.8 metric tonnes by setting fire to the trenches.

“We, here at the Ministry of Interior of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, note the continuing improvements and professionalism of our Afghanistan National Police,” said Lieutenant General Ab-Hadi Khalid, Minister of Interior’s first deputy minister, during a press conference June 11.  “It is due to the education and training they are receiving through the help of the international community.”

General McKiernan said, “The international community will continue to support the Afghan forces with more of the same training and support that helped them achieve such success in this mission.”

The Minister of Interior also reports that in a separate recent counter-narcotics operation in the Helmand Province, the Afghan National Police seized about 5,108 kilograms of opium, which has an estimated value of $30 million, and arrested 13 drug dealers.

“The Afghan National Police have many reasons to be proud this day,” General McKiernan added.

 

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/