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U.S. Treasury Sanctions Members Of Afghan Narcotics Network

Afghan farmers score opium poppies during a harvest in Sistani, Helmand Province.
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned four members of Afghanistan's Barakzai narcotics trafficking network, prohibiting U.S. citizens from conducting transactions with them and freezing any U.S. assets they may have.

A Treasury statement said Shah Mohammad Barakzai is the head of a drug-trafficking ring based in Gereshk, Afghanistan.

He was arrested last year by Afghan counternarcotics authorities.

Also sanctioned are Haji Baz Mohammad, who Washington says controls opium cultivation and transportation for the network; Abdul "Doctor" Hadi, who allegedly processed opium for the network; and Mohammad Wali, who is said to have served as the network's main financial conduit in Kandahar.

The sanctions also name two exchange houses used by the organization.

Afghanistan remains the world's top supplier of opium despite years of U.S. and international eradication and counternarcotics efforts.

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