Friday, November 28, 2008

AP/NPR: Taliban could clear $500M from 2008 drug trade

The UN reports that the Taliban could clear $500M in 2008 from the opium drug trade.
The Taliban and other warlords could clear almost half a billion dollars from Afghanistan's opium trade this year — money that will help finance insurgent attacks, the U.N.'s drug czar said.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the U.N.'s Office on Drugs and Crime, said the Taliban also appears to be stockpiling the drug to manipulate its price, after several years in which production surpassed world demand.
Afghanistan produces over 90 percent of the world's opium, the raw ingredient for making heroin."By year end, warlords, drug lords and insurgents will have extracted almost half a billion dollars of tax revenue from drug farming, production and trafficking," Costa said in a summary of the U.N.'s annual Afghanistan opium survey, published Thursday.

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