July 1, 2015 / 10:19 AM / in 2 years

Afghan army general accused of drug trafficking

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan police have detained an army general accused of smuggling nearly 20 kg (44 lb) of heroin, police and defense officials said on Wednesday.

Afghanistan is the world's biggest producer of opium, used to produce heroin, but high-level arrests are rare.

Brigadier General Abdul Sama, head of the army recruitment center in northern Balkh province, was stopped with a bodyguard and driver in a military pick-up truck.

"I can confirm that head of the recruitment center in an army unit was detained while transporting illegal drugs in his vehicle," Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told reporters.

Over 90 percent of the world's opium is produced in Afghanistan, a trade that funds the Taliban insurgency, criminal networks and government corruption.

The United States and its allies have invested billions of dollars in eradication program, but cultivation last year hit a record.

Reporting by: Mirwais Harooni; Editing by Jessica Donati and Nick Macfie

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