20 arrested in Afghanistan over drug trafficking
kabul, May 27 (IANS) Police in Afghanistan have arrested 20 people with charges of drug trafficking, distribution and sale in the past 24 hours, the country's Interior Ministry announced on Thursday.
"The Counter-Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) carried several separate counter-narcotics operations in Kabul, Baghlan, Takhar, Balkh, Ghazni, Farah, Khost and Helmand provinces within the past 24 hours, arresting 20 suspects," the Ministry said in a statement.
The CNPA also seized a considerable amount of heroin, methamphetamine, hashish, opium and some amount of cash from the suspects, reports Xinhua news agency.
After initial investigations, the cases were handed over to a special Afghan court for the jurisdiction of drug cases, the statement said.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), global trade in illicit Afghan opiates has become one of the world's greatest transnational drug and crime threats, with severe consequences for health, governance and security at national, regional and international levels.
Illicit Afghan opiates are trafficked to almost every continent in the world, with the exception of South America, and are trafficked along three broad routes: the Balkan route, the northern route and the southern route, it added.
The UNODC has estimated the gross value of the Afghan opiate economy was between $4.1 billion and $6.6 billion in 2017 and, due to drought and lower prices, between $1.2 billion and $2.2 billion in 2018.