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Massive drug bust made in Afghanistan

  • Story Highlights
  • Stockpile of hash weighs as much as 30 London double-decker buses
  • Wholesale value of stash estimated at $400 million
  • Officials say Taliban would have made $14 million from sale of the drugs
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(CNN) -- Afghan police this week seized a massive stockpile of hashish, a stash that weighed as much as 30 double-decker London buses, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said on Wednesday.

An Interior Ministry police unit received a tip on Monday about a drug stockpile in the Spin Buldak area of Kandahar province, and found the 236.8 metric tons (261 tons) of hash hidden in several trenches. The region is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Pakistani border.

ISAF officials said the hash has an estimated regional wholesale value of $400 million. Officials believe the Taliban, which finances its operations in part from the illegal drug trade, would have made about $14 million from the sale of the drugs.

"The Afghan National Police Special Task Force has made a huge step forward in proving its capability in curbing the tide of illegal drug trade in this country," said Gen. David McKiernan, ISAF commander.

"With this single find, they have seriously crippled the Taliban's ability to purchase weapons that threaten the safety and security of the Afghan people and the region."

Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Ab-Hadi Khalid called the Spin Buldak seizure "a new record for the war against narcotics."

"We here at the Ministry of Interior of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan note the continuing improvements and professionalism of our Afghanistan National Police," Khalid said. "It is due to the education and training they are receiving through the help of the international community."

The Interior Ministry also said police grabbed about 5,108 kilograms (5.6 tons) of opium, which has an estimated value of $30 million, and detained 13 suspected drug dealers in the Helmand province.

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