New Delhi, April 21: Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley in his special address to the United Nations spoke about the drug mafia and terrorist nexus. He said that there is an urgent need to disrupt the financial flow and there is a clear nexus between the drug mafia and the terrorist groups.
It is a well known fact that terrorist groups survive on the money earned through drug trade. Dawood Ibrahim in fact has to compulsorily cough up a portion of his income from the drug trade to fund terrorist networks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The money that is earned by the drug mafia is obscene. In Punjab alone it is worth Rs 60,000 crore. A report by the UN states that the total potential value of Afghanistan's 2006 opium harvest accruiing to farmers, laboratory owners and Afghan traffickers reached about $US3.1 billion.
The drug mafia- terror nexus:
One of the leaders of the drug mafia is Dawood Ibrahim. He was cornered by the ISI to cough up a portion of his income earned from the drug trade.
Dawood had no option but to give in as a majority of the drugs he smuggles are routed from Afghanistan to Pakistan and then the rest of the world.
The drug mafia in Punjab too operates similarly. They have a lot of reliance on the drugs produced in Afghanistan. Unless and until they share their proceeds with Pakistan and their agents, the drugs will not flow out of Afghanistan.
Historically, Afghanistan has been a major source of heroin throughout the world. Recently, al-Qaeda and Sunni extremists have been associated through a number of investigations with drug trafficking. Elements of the Taliban shipping and selling illegal drugs into the US.
A joint FBI and DEA investigation resulted in the arrests of 16 Afghan and Pakistani subjects for involvement in a drug ring that was possibly linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
The investigation determined that heroin, grown and processed in Afghanistan and Pakistan, was being shipped to the U.S. Profits from the sale of the heroin were laundered through Afghan and Pakistani owned businesses and then sent back to associates of terrorist organizations.
The report by the UN:
According to the UN's World Drug Report 2007, the total potential value of Afghanistan's 2006 opium harvest accruiing to farmers, laboratory owners and Afghan traffickers reached about $US3.1 billion.
In addition, it is reported that in 2004, some 400 tons of cocaine was exported from one Latin American country, with an estimated domestic value of US$ 2 billion.
How much of this money is used for perpetrating acts of terrorism? Estimates vary. But even a small percentage would be more than sufficient for some individuals or groups to plan, finance and carry out terrorist acts. Indeeed drug trafficking has provided funding for insurgency and those who use terrorist violence in various regions throughout the world, including in transit regions.
In some cases, drugs have even been the currency used in the commission of terrorist attacks, as was the case in the Madrid bombings.
Effective tools do however, exist which can chip away at - and eventually contribute to breaking - the links. For example, at the international level there is a common legal framework consisting of 16 universal anti-terrorist instruments, as well as relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Included in the latter is a series of UN resolutions imposing sanctions - such as the freezing of assets, a travel ban and an arms embargo, on members of the Taliban, Al-Qaida and their associates. There are currently 124 entities and 226 individuals on this list.