20 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-728

Afghan Border Police make major narcotics, weapons bust


KABUL, Afghanistan - The Afghan Border Police (ABP), 4th Brigade, in coordination with investigators from the Ministry of the Interior seized five vehicles carrying illegal narcotics, weapons and ammunition, December 18. 

566 kg of drugs along with other contraband items were seized at a checkpoint near Musa Abad, 130 km from Herat.  A five-man ABP team was performing a routine patrol when they engaged in an extended contact with smugglers. During the contact, the smugglers used the cover of darkness to escape, but the vehicles were captured and subsequently taken to the ABP headquarters outside Herat for processing. 

“I was tasked by the General [to undertake] the patrol,” said ABP Sergeant Abul Qudoos, team leader of the patrol that made the find.  “It was late at night, we had 2 and a half hours of fighting, the smugglers ran away, but we took five vehicles full of narcotics.  I am proud of this accomplishment and I really appreciate the Quick Reaction Force (QRF).  When the fighting started we called them and they arrived within two hours.  We achieved this with the QRF’s cooperation.”

The ABP, in the western region, are mentored by an eight-member American team assigned to the Afghan Regional Security Integration Command-West (ARSIC-W).  This team is responsible for advising more than 2,000 ABP troops who have the largest area of operation in Afghanistan, from the border of Farah province to Marcheck.

“This is the largest seizure we’ve seen for the 4th brigade,” said U.S. Army Capt. Garret Turley, Executive Officer for the ABP mentor team.  “This will bring more eyes to the 4th brigade’s area of responsibility.  The fight is coming here and we already know that.  We are trying to get our leaders to see that and get us more resources.”

The weapons, drugs and ammunition will be destroyed and the ABP continue their investigation. 

“I think the mission of the ABP is the most important,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Larry Willbanks, commander of the ABP mentor team.  “If you can’t secure your border you can’t keep smuggled goods from coming in and you can‘t keep illegal narcotics from going out. You can’t generate revenue at your ports like you should if that border is not secure.”

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/