Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Kiwi Troops Destroy Opium In Afghanistan

Kiwi Troops Destroy More Than a Tonne of Opium in Afghanistan


Sergeant Nick
Bunker, Lance Corporal Chantelle Locke, Staff Sergeant Tony
Laing and Major Phillip Misur preparing the opium for
burning
Click to enlarge

Sergeant Nick Bunker, Lance Corporal Chantelle Locke, Staff Sergeant Tony Laing and Major Phillip Misur preparing the opium for burning.

Left to right:
Sergeant Nick Bunker, Major Phillip Misur, Lance Corporal
Chantelle Locke and Staff Sergeant Tony Laing with burning
pit in background
Click to enlarge

New Zealand Defence Force

Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

Thursday, November 9, 2006

KIWI TROOPS DESTROY MORE THAN A TONNE OF OPIUM IN AFGHANISTAN

They have only been in Afghanistan for three weeks but the new contingent of New Zealand Defence Force personnel serving in Bamyan province have already made an impression, destroying over a tonne of confiscated opium for local authorities.

The huge haul of opium, which had a potential street value of US$12 million, was confiscated on November 1 by a team of Afghan National Police after they caught up with smugglers on a deserted road in the neighbouring Yakawalang province.

Group Captain Kevin Short, commander of the NZDF personnel serving in the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZ PRT) in Bamyan, received a call from the province’s governor Habibi Serabi asking if his team could incinerate the drugs.

He agreed, calling upon NZ PRT Medical Officer Major Phil Misur and three other Kiwi troops to incinerate them. They burning of the drugs involved stacking wooden pellets filled with opium on top of each other, dousing them in petrol and setting them alight.

Major Misur said the experience was as satisfying as it was extraordinary.

“Working in the burn pit surrounded by millions of dollars worth of foul smelling opium, mixed with plenty of diesel and petrol, is an experience I’ll never forget.”

Police superintendent John Kelly, from Hamilton, said he had never seen such a large quantity of drugs in 30 years of police work.

“It’s certainly the biggest haul I’ve seen in my career and it’s a bit different from the average couple of pounds of cannabis you might turn over back home.”

He is working as part of the NZ PRT to help train Afghan National Police to help keep law and order and make seizures of drugs like this one.

Group Captain Short said although requests to incinerate opium were unusual, he and his 108-strong NZDF contingent were happy to help the local authorities out.

“While counter narcotics is not a core task, the PRT was able to make a valuable contribution in providing a secure venue and expertise to ensure the disposal was completed in a controlled and transparent manner.”

Afghanistan is the world’s biggest supplier of opium with the country’s southern Helmand province producing over 70 per cent of the world’s total production alone. The annual profit from opium of US$1.3 billion plays a significant part in the funding of the ongoing Taliban and Al Qaeda insurgency currently afflicting Afghanistan.

ENDS

Currently 854 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on peacekeeping operations, UN missions and defence diplomacy activities in 19 missions across 15 countries.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news