Afghanistan — Special Forces discover large insurgent drug and weapon cache

Aus­tralian Spe­cial Forces and their Afghan part­ners have fur­ther reduced the abil­i­ty of insur­gents to finance their ille­gal activ­i­ties after a large drug and weapon haul in Daykun­di Province.

On 10 July 2011, the Afghan Nation­al Inter­dic­tion Unit (NIU), sup­port­ed by mem­bers of Australia’s Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group (SOTG), seized a tonne of opi­um, sev­er­al kilo­grams of hero­in and over two tonnes of chem­i­cals used to make ille­gal drugs. The oper­a­tion also uncov­ered more than 20 weapons includ­ing pis­tols, rifles, machine guns and ammunition. 

The Com­mand­ing Offi­cer (CO) of the SOTG (who can­not be iden­ti­fied for oper­a­tional secu­ri­ty rea­sons) said ille­gal drugs were a key source of fund­ing for insur­gent activities. 

Insur­gents use ille­gal drugs to finance their attempts to under­mine the recon­struc­tion of Afghanistan,” CO SOTG said. 

By sup­port­ing the NIU to find and destroy drug fac­to­ries we can reduce the insur­gents’ abil­i­ty to harm civil­ians and ISAF and Afghan forces.” 

The mis­sion also uncov­ered equip­ment used for large scale drug refine­ment and evi­dence of a sig­nif­i­cant drug pro­duc­tion indus­try in the sur­round­ing area. 

The ille­gal drug trade is a major threat to secu­ri­ty, eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment and demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­ern­ment, so the more it’s reduced the bet­ter it is for Afghanistan,” the CO SOTG said. 

Dur­ing the patrol there were no engage­ments with insur­gents, and the local pop­u­la­tion showed strong sup­port for the Afghan and Aus­tralian forces. 

The SOTG com­menced com­bined oper­a­tions with the NIU in May this year. This com­bined effort has result­ed in thou­sands of kilo­grams of drugs destroyed — or con­fis­cat­ed as evi­dence — and sev­er­al indi­vid­u­als detained to face prosecution. 

Dur­ing Afghan NIU oper­a­tions, the SOTG pri­mar­i­ly pro­vides cor­don secu­ri­ty, logis­tic assis­tance, med­ical assets and oth­er spe­cial­ist capabilities. 

Media con­tact

Defence Media Oper­a­tions 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664 

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

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