U.S. Indicts 12 Persons in Heroin Ring from Afghanistan and Pakistan

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Sunday, June 1, 2003
Bruce Zagaris
On April 3, 2003, U.S. prosecutors announced an indictment against a group of persons that sent hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan, hidden in the seams of traditional Afghan clothing, into the New York area. According to office of the U.S. Attorney James B. Comey, U.S. law enforcement authorities arrested nine persons while seeking three other in the investigation. Anthony P. Placido who heads the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York office, explained that the Afghan link raises the potential that terrorist organizations in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region will try to use the heroin trade to finance operations. The allegations in the indictment illustrate the interaction between terrorists and opportunities to produce and traffic in contraband. The ability to conduct trans criminal activity is especially great in gray areas where governmental and law enforcement authority does not effectively control. Since terrorists need money to conduct their operations, they are attached to crime and criminal groups.