Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Taliban now smuggle drugs and gems like mafia

12 February 2015, 09:09

Kabul - Afghanistan's Taliban Islamist movement is increasingly financed by criminal enterprises including heroin laboratories, illegal ruby and emerald mines and kidnapping, making negotiated peace harder, according to a report for the UN Security Council.

The report said there was a new "scale and depth" to the Taliban's integration with criminal networks, which includes directly running marble mines, taxing the production and export of narcotics and kidnapping for ransom.

Diverse financing, including foreign donations, helped the Taliban survive 13 years of US-led war in Afghanistan, analysts say.

"They are increasingly acting more like 'godfathers' than a 'government in waiting'," a panel of experts who advise the Security Council on sanctions said in the report made public late on Tuesday.

In 2014 the Taliban inflicted heavy casualties on Afghan security forces as foreign allies withdrew most of their troops. More civilians were killed in 2014 than in any other year of the war, according to the United Nations.

US President Barack Obama is now considering a request from Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani to slow the pace of the withdrawal of US troops, a senior administration official said on Wednesday. Ghani is also trying to open up channels for peace talks with the Taliban.

The UN report called for sanctions to disrupt the Taliban's alleged criminal activity, warning that fighters in charge of lucrative illicit businesses would be less inclined to respond to calls by their leaders to settle for peace.

"Taliban members involved in criminal activities will not benefit politically or economically from a potential reconciliation between the government of Afghanistan and the top leadership of the Taliban movement," it said.

Also read: Taliban momentum reversed in Afghanistan

The activities described in the report - which cites Afghan officials and businessmen affected by Taliban extortion - include charging to smuggle emeralds out of the country, taxing the production of lapis lazuli and facilitating illegal ruby mining in areas under the Taliban's influence near Kabul.

"Taliban penetration of the natural resources sector is deep and [the] extortion in that sector is fairly pervasive," the panel said.

As well as charging farmers who grow opium poppies, the Taliban profits from heroin production and export, and can often be found fighting close to heroin laboratories, the report said.

In 2014, the group fought hard for control of Sangin district in the southern province of Helmand, where a number of laboratories were located, the report said, citing Afghan officials.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...