Kate Mansey / The Mirror – 2010-09-11 23:54:02
EXCLUSIVE: Heroin ‘Smuggled to UK’
LONDON (September 5, 2010) — British troops are being investigated over the trafficking of heroin from Afghanistan into the UK.
Military police received a tip-off that large quantities of the drug have been smuggled into Britain on military aircraft flying soldiers back home from the war zone.
Security checks have now been stepped up with the British Army last night admitting they have taken the extraordinary measure of using sniffer dogs as troops step off their plane.
The alleged drugs cartel is thought to involve soldiers from the Commonwealth who pass the heroin on to drugs barons for sale on Britain’s streets.
If the claims are true it will make a mockery of the NATO mission to destroy Afghanistan’s poppy fields, which produce the raw form of heroin.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that Defence Secretary Liam Fox has been told about the allegations and has given the go-ahead for the extra checks.
“Any of our people found to be engaged in trafficking of illegal narcotics will feel the full weight of the law,” he added. The investigation is being handled by the Royal Military Police, who have refused to be drawn on whether any drugs had been seized. No arrests have been made so far.
Officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), which investigates high-level crime, is also aware of the alleged cartel.
Afghanistan is the source of 90 per cent of the world’s heroin. The Taliban use funds from the crop to buy arms.
Last week the MoD said coalition forces seized Â£712 million of heroin after a series of raids in the country – the world’s biggest seizure of the drug.
An MoD spokesman said last night: “We take such reports very seriously and we have tightened our procedures, increasing the use of sniffer dogs.”
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