Opium Stockpiles Moved

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Oct 1, 2001.

  1. By John Innes
    Source: The Scotsman

    Massive stockpiles of raw opium grown in Afghanistan are being moved out of the region in anticipation of military strikes, according to the government . An estimated 3,000 tonnes of the drug - enough to produce 300 tonnes of pure heroin with a street value of £20 billion - is thought to be held by the region’s drug lords.
    A Downing Street spokesman said there had been evidence in recent weeks of a "sudden movement" of opium out of neighbouring Pakistan where it was being stockpiled.

    The disclosure will prompt fears that the West is about to be flooded with a glut of cheap heroin by Afghanistan’s Taleban rulers.

    The Taleban is known to have used the profits of the trade in drugs to fund their military activities.

    Osama bin Laden - named by Britain and the US as the prime suspect behind the 11 September atrocities - is also said to be closely involved in the Afghanistan drugs trade, and has his own substantial stockpile of opium.

    Opium grown in Afghanistan is though to account for 95 per cent of the heroin reaching Britain and around 75 per cent of the total supply worldwide.

    Although the Taleban last year finally banned the growing of opium poppies, there have been unconfirmed reports that they have threatened to lift the ban if military strikes against bin Laden go ahead.

    Al-Qaida, bin Laden’s organisation, skims a cut of Afghanistan’s heroin exports, based on its needs.

    Drug enforcement officials estimate it has stockpiled opium worth US$2 billion (£1.4 billion) at today’s prices.

    Rachel Ehrenfeld, the director of the Centre for the Study of Corruption in New York, said: "They are selling it in Russia and Europe. It is the main source of terrorism funding."

    Al-Qaida, which bin Laden helped establish in Afghanistan 12 years ago, employs 3,000 civilians and 2,000 armed troops, and operates communications equipment, training bases and safe houses around the world, which are used by Muslim extremists from Egypt to the Philippines.

    Source: Scotsman (UK)
    Author: John Innes
    Published: Monday, 1st October 2001
    Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd 2001
    Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
    Website: http://www.scotsman.com/

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