Entries in Heroin (2)


Taliban, Hezbollah Agents Nabbed in Drugs, Arms Stings: Feds

Siavosh Henareh has been named as a defendant in a case that investigators say concretely links the Taliban and Hezbollah in a weapons for drugs scheme. (U.S. Department of Justice)(NEW YORK) -- Four men involved in two drugs-for-weapons rings that allegedly intended to supply Stinger missiles, AK-47 automatic rifles, and U.S. carbines to the Taliban and material support to Hezbollah were arrested following a pair of Drug Enforcement Administration sting operations, officials in New York said Tuesday.

At least two of those men, Lebanese national Bachar Wehbe and Afghani national Tazar Gul Alizai, are in the U.S. and slated to appear before a federal court in Manhattan, according to federal law enforcement sources.

Investigators said that Gul Aliza, an alleged Taliban member, was busted selling assault rifles and large amounts of heroin to an undercover DEA agent in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Bachar Wehbe, a Lebanese alleged member of Hezbollah, and two other suspected Hezbollah associates were also busted by federal DEA agents posing as high-grade weapons dealers. These three were planning to use money from the heroin sales to buy Stinger surface-to-air missiles, AK-47 rifles and M-4 rifles, investigators said. Wehbe's alleged confederates, Siavosh Henareh and Cetin Aksu, are in custody in Romania and awaiting extradition to the U.S.

The cases are the third and fourth such weapons stings recently by the DEA, including the highly publicized case of international arms broker Victor Bout.

The operations are part of an aggressive expansion of their drug enforcement mission that has enabled federal prosecutors to successful make arms cases that otherwise may not have been brought into the U.S.

"Today's indictments provide fresh evidence of what many of us have been seeing for some time: the growing nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism, a nexus that threatens to become a clear and present danger to our national security," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


$250 Million in Drugs Destroyed in Joint US-Russia Drug Op

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images

(MOSCOW) -- Russia is heralding this first joint operation with the U.S., saying $250 million of drugs were destroyed and doing $1 billion worth of damage to the drug trade, according to Russian reports.  The director of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service, Sergei Ivanov, told reporters in Moscow that 932kg of heroin, 156kg of opium and “a significant amount”  of production equipment was destroyed.

Speaking alongside the U.S. embassy’s deputy chief of mission, Ivanov said 200 million doses would now not appear on the Central Asian market.  He said three heroin labs and one morphine lab were eliminated, 70 US, Russian and Afghan personnel as well as helicopter gunships were involved in the mission that took three months of planning.

"The operation was launched based on a tip-off about the location of drug-making laboratories. It took us three months to establish the precise whereabouts of the drug laboratories, to analyze the specifics of the terrain, as well as to obtain information about those involved, production volumes and possible routes for funding and precursor supplies," Ivanov said, according to Interfax, adding that he hopes to continue to cooperate with the U.S. on destroying labs.

Russia -- Ivanov in particular -- has long criticized the U.S. for not doing enough to stop the flow of drugs from Afghanistan.  Russia has a huge heroin problem; it says it’s the biggest consumer in the world with 2-3 million addicts and about 30,000 deaths per year.  An estimated 90 percent of Russia’s heroin comes from Afghanistan.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


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