HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Canadian Narcotics Trade Aids Terrorists, RCMP Say
Pubdate: Mon, 15 Jul 2002
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Section: Page A6
Copyright: 2002, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Dene Moore, of the Canadian Press


VANCOUVER -- A portion of the $20-million (U.S.) worth of hashish imported 
into Canada annually financed terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 
according to the RCMP.

More than 100 tonnes of hashish is brought into Canada every year, 
according to a confidential RCMP report obtained under the Access to 
Information Act.

Most of the hashish comes from southwest Asia, particularly Afghanistan and 

"This means that approximately $20-million (U.S.) finds its way back to the 
producers in the source countries," says the November, 2001, report 
entitled Narco-terrorism and Canada.

"It is likely that terrorist elements in Afghanistan tax producers, thereby 
receiving a portion of the potential proceeds."

U.S. intelligence officials say drug profits have been used to finance 
terrorist activities. Coalition forces have placed ships in the Arabian Sea 
under intense scrutiny since the war began in Afghanistan in the fall, 
curbing the flow of drugs from the Middle East.

In February, HMCS Toronto, one of five Canadian warships patrolling the 
Arabian Sea at the time, found 90 wrapped packages of drugs. Each was 
stamped with the words "Freedom for Afghanistan," according to newspaper 

One to two tonnes of heroin is brought into Canada annually, an amount 
worth $10-million to $20-million (U.S.), says the RCMP criminal 
intelligence brief.

Most comes from southeast Asia, particularly Burma.

"No large-scale importation of southwest Asian heroin originating in 
Afghanistan has been documented recently in Canada," says the report.

According to the UN Drug Control Program, Afghanistan produced 4,600 tonnes 
of opium in 1999 -- 80 per cent of the world supply. Opium is used to make 

Despite the former Taliban government's ban on growing the poppies used to 
make opium, the country produced 3,300 tonnes in 2000 -- 70 per cent of 
world production. Production fell to an estimated 185 tonnes in 2001, but 
UN officials believe that as much as 60 per cent of the Afghan production 
has been stockpiled since 1996.

And there are reports that since the fall of the Taliban government, Afghan 
farmers have ripped up wheat crops to plant poppies.

In 2000, Canadian authorities seized approximately 23,000 kilograms of 
hashish, and foreign authorities seized nearly 20,000 more en route to Canada.

According to an RCMP report entitled The Threat to Canada from Afghani 
Heroin, Opium and Hashish, the heroin from Pakistan and Afghanistan is 
brought in mainly through Montreal and Toronto.

"Narcotics have long been used by organized crime and extremist/terrorist 
groups as a means to generate revenues to support armed conflict," says the 
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