Fri, 03 Dec 2021

Kabul [Afghanistan], October 23 (ANI): In view of the developments in Afghanistan, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has expressed concerns over the possibility of insurgent groups in the country taking advantage of the situation and increasing the flow of narcotics in Afghanistan and in the neighbourhood.

According to TOLOnews, Executive Director of UNODC, Ghada Waly stressed on the prevention of smuggling and opium production in Afghanistan.

"Terrorist and criminal groups are likely to take advantage of any new opportunities to exploit illicit narcotics, particularly as the situation in Afghanistan develops. Afghanistan already accounted for 85 per cent of the world's opium production in 2020. In light of recent events, there is an urgent need to prevent illicit flows and exploitative crimes, to stop the country from becoming a haven for terrorists and their resources, and to address expected spillover in neighbouring countries," TOLOnews quoted Waly as saying in a meeting of Commission on Narcotics Drug in Viana.

However, the Ministry of Interior Affairs claimed that the smuggling, as well as cultivation of narcotics, have stopped in the soil of Afghanistan, according to the news channel.

Notably, the activities of the UN body have also stopped post-August 15.

The channel further informed that the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, Saeed Khosti said claimed to have arrested the drug smugglers.

"The Islamic Emirate is committed to not allowing the cultivation of drugs in Afghanistan and its smuggling to other countries," TOLOnews quoted the spokesperson as saying.

An international relations analyst, Mohammad Khan Andar, warned of poverty and misery if not fought against the production of opium and smuggling.

He further feared that the situation in the country will further lead to an increase in the production of narcotics.

"It is a fact that if we don't fight against this phenomenon, poverty, misery and the situation in Afghanistan will increase the cultivation of narcotics, and our country will still be among those countries where cultivation has a high percentage," the news channel quoted Andar as saying.

Recently, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had raised concerns over the evolving money laundering and terrorist financing risk environment in Afghanistan, reported the news channel.

"In light of recent events in Afghanistan, the FATF, as the global standard-setting body for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, expresses its concern about the current and evolving money laundering and terrorist financing risk environment in the country, read FATF statement.

The FATF affirmed recent UN Security Council Resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan. In particular, UNSCR 2593 (2021) demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists or to plan or finance terrorist acts. (ANI)

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