Annual value of Afghan opium trade reach $70 billion
By Ghanizada - Sun Apr 29 2012, 8:37 pm
Officials in the ministry of counter-narcotics of Afghanistan announced the annual turnover value of drugs trade in Afghanistan has reached to $70 billion where majority of the opium money goes to international opium smugglers.
Deputy of the Afghan counter-narcotics ministry Ibrahim Azhar said Afghan farmers and low level drug smugglers receive only 5% of the total drugs income in Afghanistan.
Mr. Azhar also expressed concerns regarding the significant income as a result of the drugs smuggle in Afghanistan which creates barriers towards the fight against opium cultivation and smuggle in the country.
The Afghan government and international community have jointly worked to fight opium cultivation and smuggle in Afghanistan during the past 10 years however fewer improvements have been noted despite spending millions of dollars.
In the meantime a number of high level government officials are also accused of drugs smuggle and the critics believe that the Afghan government does not have the capabilities to recognize and arrest those involved behind the drugs smuggle.
According to reports opium cultivation increased by 61% last year despite Afghan counter-narcotics ministry announcement which suggested a reduction in opium production and cultivation in Afghanistan.
Opium cultivation and production also have negative social impact which has changed Afghanistan to one of the main consumers of drugs.
Deputy of the counternarcotics ministry warned of a social catastrophe if necessary steps were taken to resolve the issue.
Afghan officials also expressed concerns regarding opium cultivation and production which financially fuels the militants to carry out insurgency attacks against the Afghan and coalition security forces.