U.S. Leads $56M Heroin Bust in Afghanistan

UNODC

Four clandestine laboratories were discovered, including three used for processing heroin and one used for "converting morphine." Pictured is a heroin conversion lab.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and a multinational task force of U.S. military troops, Afghan police, and Russian officials on Thursday seized nearly $56 million dollars in heroin in a raid targeting drug labs in Nangarhar Province near Jalabad.

Four clandestine laboratories were discovered, including three used for processing heroin and one used for "converting morphine."

Officials acting on intelligence tips found the labs which had been hidden by vegetation.

Senior DEA officials said that all of the processing facilities "were abandoned at the time of the operation," but they added that "evidence collected confirmed that all of the labs were actively producing heroin and morphine."

Thursday's raid netted 932 kilograms of heroin, 156 kilograms of opium, processing chemicals, cooking vats, and 500 feet of water hoses.

These raids are part of an ongoing drug-busting initiative in Afghanistan called "Operation Tar Pit" aimed at cutting off heroin production and boosting the credibility of Afghan counternarcotics forces.

Afghanistan produced an estimated 6,900 metric tons of opium in 2009--about 85 percent of the global heroin and morphine supply--according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime "World Drug Report 2010".
UNODC

  • Bob Orr

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