US places sanctions on alleged Afghan drug trafficker

An Afghan farmer collects raw opium as he works in a poppy field in Khogyani District of Nangarhar province on April 29, 2013The US Treasury placed sanctions on alleged northern Afghanistan drugs and weapons trafficker Pahlawan Rozi on Wednesday, saying he has bribed senior Afghan government officials to protect his business. The Treasury said Rozi smuggles narcotics across the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border and with the receipts has invested heavily in real estate, businesses and orchards in Kunduz province. In addition, it said, Rozi controls a hawala money exchange business, which the US sees as an important avenue for laundering illegal gains. “He has also bribed and made payments to high-ranking Afghan government officials to avoid police interference in his narcotics trafficking activities,” the Treasury said in a statement.

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