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Dushanbe: In one of the largest finds of drugs of Afghan origin in five years, police in the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan have seized around 500 kilogrammes of narcotics.
The drugs, including heroin, opium and hashish, were seized in the capital Dushanbe and were destined for the black market, including in Europe, the authorities said on Thursday.
Six people were arrested, most of them locals and one suspect from Uzbekistan. The ex-Soviet republics bordering Afghanistan fear an increase in drug smuggling since the hardline Islamist Taliban took power.
The black market value of the drugs is 6 million dollars, the police in Dushanbe announced further. Real estate and expensive cars were confiscated from the suspected head of the drug gang. Last year, the Tajik security authorities seized almost 2.5 tons of drugs, according to official figures. Again and again, the quantities are publicly burned there.
Tajikistan shares a 1,400-kilometre border with Afghanistan, which is considered a leading nation in the production of illegal drugs.
Traditionally, the comparatively porous border is the main gateway for drug smuggling. (dpa)
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