Thursday, May 20, 2010

Afghani drugs becoming a major Australian problem

AFGHAN heroin has been smuggled into Australia in increasing quantities in recent years, surpassing Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle as the principal source, as the deepening insurgency and a shift in US counter-narcotics policy block efforts to curb Afghanistan's flourishing opium trade. The Australian Crime Commission and Australian Federal Police say Afghanistan is becoming the dominant source of heroin in this country, accounting for as much as two-thirds of the drug imports in recent years. The latest International Narcotics Control Strategy report from the US State Department says that despite a decade of counter-narcotics efforts, Afghanistan remains the world's largest producer of opium poppies, responsible for 90 per cent of the opium gum used to manufacture heroin worldwide, worth $2.8 billion a year. UN figures show opium production has exploded in the decade since US-led forces invaded Afghanistan, with curbing the heroin trade a key objective. In 2001, poppy fields covered 7600ha and produced 185 tonnes of opium, last year they covered 131,000ha and produced 6900 tonnes.

IN May last year, Afghan national army commandos backed by coalition forces made an eye-popping find when they raided an insurgent stronghold in the town of Marjah in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province. Along with a large stash of bomb-making materials, they stumbled on the biggest opium cache located in Afghanistan. There were 18,000kg of raw opium, 200kg of heroin, 1000kg of hashish, 72,000kg of poppy seed and more than 20,000kg of precursor chemicals used to process opium into morphine and heroin. The discovery of the stash was proof of Afghanistan's emergence as not only the world's largest supplier of opium, responsible for more than 90 per cent of global stocks, but as a leading producer of processed heroin, which is flowing into Western markets including Australia. The narcotics factory at Marjah was one of 25 drug laboratories discovered and destroyed in Afghanistan last year. Tonnes of narcotics have been burned, several big traffickers imprisoned and others extradited to face trial in the US.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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