Afghan Anti-graft Chief 'Drug Dealer'

Amid reports of cancerous corruption and failed administration in war-torn Afghanistan, The New York Times revealed that the head of the country's anti-corruption department is a former drug dealer.

Afghan Anti-graft Chief 'Drug Dealer'

Amid reports of cancerous corruptionand failed administration in war-torn Afghanistan, The New York Timesrevealed Saturday, March 10, that the head of the country's anti-corruptiondepartment is a former drug dealer.

Izzatullah Wasifi served nearly fouryears in a USprison for trying to sell a pound-and-half bag of heroin for $65,000 cash, thepaper said.

He was arrested at Caesars PalaceHotel on July 15, 1987, for selling the heroin bag for an undercover agent.

Wasifi served three years and eightmonths in prison before being released on parole.

Now 20 years later, Wasifi wasappointed as Afghanistan'santi-corruption chief.

He is leading a 84-strong staffcharged with rooting Afghanistan'sendemic graft that is fuelled in part by the country's position as the world'slargest producer of opium poppy, the raw ingredient of heroin.

A new report by the UN Office onDrugs and Crimes (UNODC) warned on Monday, March 5, that the crop of opiumpoppy is set to hit new records in 2007 as US and British efforts have failedagain to eradicate the mushrooming poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.

It said that the poppy cultivationwould likely increase in 15 provinces and decrease in seven, according to thereport based on surveys in 508 villages in December 2006 and January 2007.

The report also said that thechaos-mired country has become a fertile ground to another drug: cannabis.

Childhood Friend

Wasifi confirmed that he had beenimprisoned in Nevadafor a drug offense.

But he argued that he was arrestedafter his then-wife bought cocaine for her own use and brought it to their Las Vegas hotel room.

"My wife made an error,"Wasifi told the Associated Press Saturday.

"A lot of people go to Las Vegas for fun and forsnuff," he added, pointing to his nostril and sniffing.

"This thing happened."

Wasifi's ex-wife, Behbahani who wassentenced to three years' probation for conspiring to traffic drugs with Wasifiand who is now living in Los Angeles,declined to be interviewed.

Wasifi is a childhood friend of theAfghan President Hamid Karzai.

Karzai's office refused to saywhether it knew about the drug conviction of the new anti-corruption chief.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) hasrecently warned that US-led troops and the West-backed government of Karzaihave been collaborating with blood-stained hands, appointing war criminals andhuman rights abusers to achieve their un-winnable mission.

More than five years after theUS-led overthrow of Taliban and the advent of a US-backed government, Afghanistan isstill so destitute and undeveloped that most inhabitants have no centralheating, electricity or running water.

In the capital Kabul, the majority of locals are living inslums, which receive electricity only a few hours every other night, assumingthat they are wired at all.

British officials had told TheSunday Telegraph that up to half of all foreign aid allocated to helpimprove deplorable living standards of ordinary people in war-torn Afghanistan hasbeen siphoned off by corrupt government officials and tribal leaders.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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