More than 2,600 drug smugglers were arrested in 2014, when over 200 tonnes of narcotics were confiscated, a senior Interior Ministry official said on Wednesday.
Lt. Gen. Baz Mohammad Ahmadi, deputy minister for counternarcotics at the Ministry of Interior, told journalists in Kabul that more than 480 notorious smugglers were among those detained.
The detainees included 15 leading drug smugglers, foreign nationals and security officials, he said. He said Mohammad Agha, Abdul Hadi, Haji Ezatullah, Haji Malem Gulalai, Naqibullah, Haji Abdul Alim and Habibullah were among the smugglers who had been identified and blacklisted by the Interior Ministry.
He added 29 policemen, six army officers, 39 females and six foreign nationals were among those nabbed. Ahmadi said they seized 200 tonnes of drugs including three tonnes of heroine, six tonnes of morphine, 67 tonnes of opium, 50 tonnes of hashish and three tones of poppy last year.
More than 42 tonnes of chemicals and thousands of litres of alcoholic drinks had also been seized, he added. In addition, 27 laboratories of heroin were also destroyed in Nangarhar, Badakhshan, Helmand, Nimroz and Kandahar provinces. According to reports, 220,000 hectares of land was cultivated with poppy crop in 2014 against 200,000 hectors in 2013.
Interior Minister Noorul Haq Ulumi said fighting drugs was his ministry’s top priority and they would deal with smugglers like terrorists.