The Invisible Hand of the Market: British Troops Seize £50 Million of Afghan Opium

February 18th, 2009

What I think is happening here is that the USUK smack industrial complex has decided to drive up the street price of heroin.

My theory will be confirmed if we hear that Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan includes counter-narcotics operations.

Why now?

First of all, heroin is cheap. Too cheap:

A gram of heroin can now be bought for as little as £25, with the average price somewhere between £40 and £50 per gram. In 1998, the average was £74.

The USUK is a victim of its own success with regard to heroin production in Afghanistan. The Taliban virtually eliminated it in the run up to 9/11 and then, after the U.S. invaded, opium production soared, year after year.

So, here we are, with cheap heroin.

Second (closely related to the first point), if heroin money is going to be used to buy U.S. Treasuries, it would be desirable for the price of heroin to be as high as possible. We’re in an economic crisis, after all. This is no time for cheap heroin!

Third, let’s look at a quote from The Art of War by Sun Tzu: “When you start a fire, be to windward of it. Do not attack from the leeward.”

In other words, “When you carry out counter narcotics operations, it’s profitable to have a stockpile of narcotics ready to enter the market as prices rise.”

That’s right, grasshopper. The USUK has been stockpiling opium somewhere; thousands of tons of it.

See: The Mystery of the Missing Opium:

It’s a mystery that has got British law enforcement officials and others across the planet scratching their heads. Put bluntly, enough heroin to supply the world’s demand for years has simply disappeared.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) describes the situation as “a time bomb for public health and global security”.

This week’s Map of the Week comes courtesy of the UNODC. It shows their latest estimate of opium production in Afghanistan – another bumper year.

A crop of 7,700 tonnes will produce around 1,100 tonnes of heroin – it basically works on a 7:1 ratio.The mystery is that the global demand for heroin is less than half that. In other words, Afghanistan only needs to produce 3,500 tonnes to satisfy every known heroin user on the planet.

Look at the graph, though.

For the past three years, production has been running at almost twice the level of global demand. The numbers just don’t add up.

Theory 2: Vast quantities of heroin and morphine are being stockpiled. Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UNODC is convinced that is the only explanation. In a recent bulletin he issues an urgent order: ‘Find the missing opium.’ “As a priority, intelligence services need to examine who holds this surplus, where it may go, and for what purpose” he says. “We know little about these stockpiles of drugs, besides that they are not in the hands of farmers.”

Further credibility is given to the stockpiling theory in that ‘farm-gate’ prices for opium remain pretty stable at about $70 per kilo.

So where are the thousands of tonnes of drugs that the UNODC describe as a “time bomb”?

Ask Blackwater, I mean Xe. They’re probably the ones who have the contract to move it.

But not yet. Let supplies dwindle down a bit first. Let the media show stories about the soldiers stopping the flow of opium—after eight years of steadily increasing harvests, under the watchful eye of NATO and British Intelligence, and with thousands of tons of it stockpiled somewhere.

Via: Independent:

The roar came through the night as a phalanx of helicopters, silhouetted against the sky, flew in to land in Helmand’s Upper Sangin Valley amid the flash of Taliban fire from the surrounding hills.

This was the start of Operation Diesel involving more than 700 British and Afghan troops, including the SAS, in a mission to hunt down the vast stores of narcotics which are being used to fund the Afghan insurgency.

By the time it ended, after five days of rolling combat, opium worth more than £50m had been found hidden behind high walls of |purpose-built factories and storehouses. It was one of the biggest single finds of drugs caches. The operation also highlighted the new role for British troops since Nato’s controversial decision to extend its remit to embrace counter-narcotics. It was a move opposed by many commanders concerned about creating another enemy – disgruntled poppy farmers.

However, with Afghanistan providing 92 per cent of the world’s heroin supply, and a sizeable portion of the revenue going to the Taliban, the US have been insistent that the drug trade should be directly targeted. General John Craddock, the American commander of Nato forces in Europe, has declared that troops in Afghanistan can open fire on traffickers without the need for direct evidence.

Helmand, which produces 44 per cent of the national crop, is likely to see similar missions in the future. Sangin is one of the most violent parts of the province and has become a conduit for Taliban fighters and weapons coming from across the Pakistani border, with drugs going in the other direction. What was discovered during the raid in the Sapwan Qala area showed the scale of the opium cottage industry: 1,295kg of wet |opium and the equipment needed to turn it into street-level heroin including 5,000kg of ammonium chloride, 1,025 litres of acetic anhydride, 1,000kg of salt and 300kg of calcium hydroxide. Then there was the evidence of the intrinsic link between the trade and violence – Kalashnikov assault rifles, PKM heavy-calibre machine guns, rocket- propelled grenade launchers, thousands of rounds of ammunition and motorbikes modified for carrying out suicide attacks.

One of biggest drugs caches was being guarded by attack dogs. A marine said: “One of them was a massive guard dog which has had its ears and tail cut off. We were extremely wary because, at the same time, we were looking out for mines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices)”.

As the troops moved through the villages they came across former family homes converted to process opium. There were huge vats, presses and chemicals as well as piles of burlap sacks to pack the heroin.

“In one compound we found 10 to 15 barrels of wet opium cooking away,” said Marine Jake McEndoo, of 45 Commando. “It was the most I have ever seen.”

Meanwhile, Taliban fighters, dodging in and out of the warren of alleyways, maintained a steady stream of Kalashnikov and RPG fire. Captain Olly Osborne, of 45 Commado, said they were clearing a compound when an RPG buzzed over their heads. He said: “It was fired by a guy who came out of an alleyway. Our guys opened up on him in response”. The team then came under fire from a heavy machine gun until it was silenced by cannon fire from an Apache helicopter gunship.

Brigadier Gordon Messenger, commander of British troops in Helmand, said: “The links between the Taliban and the drugs trade are well proven and we know that the revenue from narcotics production directly funds the insurgency. This was a clinical, precise strike, supported by strong intelligence, which has had a powerfully disruptive effect on known insurgent and |narcotics networks in the area.”

The Defence Secretary, John Hutton, said: “Our dedicated and professional forces have once again taken the fight to the enemy. The seizure of £50m worth of narcotics will starve the Taliban of crucial funding and prevent the proliferation of drugs and terror on the UK’s streets.”

Research Credit: Moontrap

2 Responses to “The Invisible Hand of the Market: British Troops Seize £50 Million of Afghan Opium”

  1. ltcolonelnemo Says:

    Where does Big Pharma get their opiates and Who supplies them?

  2. NH Says:

    Strangely similar to the situation with gold. The people that own the world’s fiat money printing machine stockpile gold at artificially low prices, simultaneously “whispering in the ears” of target countries to dump their gold holdings on the market for less than 300/oz.
    They then crash the world economy and start up a “world” currency, which just so happens to be tied to gold. Very profitable when gold goes through the roof, but it just might tend to concentrate power well beyond the obscene levels we currently experience.
    Gee, do you think there are any tie-ins between the two groups of stockpiling psychopaths? 🙂

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