Afghan and Australian forces seize record narcotics haul

Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces sup­port­ed by Australia’s Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group seized and destroyed a record amount of drug prod­ucts on 26 Sep­tem­ber.

Unit­ed States Drug Enforce­ment Agency rep­re­sen­ta­tives say the ingre­di­ents would have been used to make hero­in with a street val­ue in excess of US$350 mil­lion if sold in the Unit­ed States. 

The haul includ­ed a large quan­ti­ty of nar­cotics man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment and chemicals. 

This find fol­lows anoth­er suc­cess­ful mis­sion in Hel­mand Province ear­li­er in the month when a nar­cotics lab­o­ra­to­ry hous­ing enough ingre­di­ents to man­u­fac­ture drugs worth around US$150 mil­lion was uncovered. 

The Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of the SOTG, Lieu­tenant Colonel G (who can­not be named for secu­ri­ty rea­sons), said the sig­nif­i­cant find dur­ing a counter-nar­cotics oper­a­tion in Hel­mand province on 26 Sep­tem­ber 2011 great­ly exceed­ed the ear­li­er drug destruc­tion mission. 

“This is one of the biggest nar­cotics busts by Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces, com­pris­ing the Nation­al Inter­dic­tion Unit and the Air Inter­dic­tion Unit, and Aus­tralian Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group to date,” Lieu­tenant Colonel G said. 

“In Afghan terms, the com­bined hauls will remove around US$21 mil­lion from direct­ly fund­ing the insurgency.” 

More notable is the fact the drug labs were seized and destroyed with­out a shot being fired. 

“The destruc­tion of such a large quan­ti­ty of drug prod­ucts will have a con­sid­er­able effect on the insur­gent oper­a­tions in north­ern Hel­mand and west Uruz­gan through­out the remain­der of 2011 and into 2012,” Lieu­tenant Colonel G said. 

“Insur­gent finance of fight­ers, weapons and IEDs will be sig­nif­i­cant­ly affect­ed, mak­ing the provinces safer for the locals.” 

ANSF and coali­tion forces are com­mit­ted to ensur­ing a more secure and sta­ble future for the peo­ple of Afghanistan.” 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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