Significant drug cache destoyed by Afghan National Security Forces and Australian Special Forces
10 April 2013
Afghan National Security Forces supported by their partners from Australia’s Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) and US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have seized and destroyed five tonnes of morphine base and 4500 litres of morphine solution.
The large narcotics processing facility was uncovered during a mission into northern Helmand province that borders Uruzgan.
With an estimated Afghan street value of almost $9 million, this cache was the largest uncovered so far this year by ANSF supported by the SOTG.
SOTG Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel J said the discovery would severely disrupt two insurgent narcotic networks.
“With the money raised from selling the morphine, insurgents would have purchased weapons and ammunition to target Afghan forces and their Australian and Coalition partners in the upcoming fighting season,” LTCOL J said.
“Clearly preventing weaponry entering the battle space is a big win for the Afghan National Security Forces and the loss of this income source will definitely reduce the insurgents’ ability to fund their fighting campaign.”
Lieutenant Colonel J said Afghan-led operations to remove narcotic funding directly linked to the insurgency were critical to the future stability of the country.
“The ability of our Afghan partners to conduct operations with significant successes like this one demonstrates the growing capability and confidence of our partner forces as we transition to Afghan lead for security responsibility in Uruzgan province,” he said.
“Destroying the narcotic caches and the labs that produce them will take away the main funding source for insurgents, and they will find it increasingly difficult to destabilise the region in the future.”
Media note: Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12133322
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