Afghans to Beef Up Security Against Drug Trafficking

Afghans to Beef Up Security Against Drug TraffickingAfghans to Beef Up Security Against Drug Trafficking

Iran and Afghanistan are beefing up security cooperation in a joint effort to curb drug trade and trafficking, said Anti-Narcotics Chief Ali Moayedi.

Iran has contributed upwards of $50 million annually to Afghanistan’s anti-narcotics war in the past five years and continues to help Afghan police in fortifying equipment and capacities.

Patrolling and clampdown on drug mafias will be further intensified, Moayedi said in a meeting with visiting Afghan Deputy Interior Minister for Counter-Narcotics, Baz Mohammad Ahmadi.

As the top producer and supplier of opium globally, neighboring Afghanistan remains the biggest challenge to Iran in combating illegal drug trafficking. The 1,923 km-long eastern border with Afghanistan is a major transit route for illicit drug trade, and every year many Iranian border police are martyred in their battle against drug smugglers, reports IRNA.

More than 90% of world opium is cultivated in Afghanistan, Ahmadi said. Over 6,400 tons of opium was produced in Afghanistan last year, he pointed out. Afghanistan needs to work out alternative farming practices to replace poppy cultivation.

“Police patrolling on both sides should also be reinforced,” he added.

Poppy cultivation is a result of poverty, unemployment, instability and insecurity in the region, Ahmadi said, and appealed to neighboring countries to cooperate in creating employment for Afghan youth, so that they do not resort to opium cultivation and illegal activities.

Every year, 300-400 tons of drugs are seized in Afghanistan and 3,000 smugglers arrested. Drug smugglers comprise the highest number of incarcerations in the country.