Reports of soldiers trafficking heroin unfounded: DND
Published Monday, September 13, 2010 2:08PM EDT
Reports over the weekend that Canadian soldiers are implicated in a British-led investigation into heroin smuggling in Afghanistan are unfounded, says the Department of National Defence.
Britain's Sunday Times newspaper reported that troops at the British base in Helmand province and the Canadian base at Kandahar Airfield may have been involved in the resale of heroin made from the country's abundant poppy fields.
On Sunday, Canada's Department of National Defence said it was looking into the allegations that Canadians were being investigated for ties to a smuggling ring, but said in a statement Monday that the reports were false.
"The Canadian Forces Military Police have confirmed with Britain's Royal Military Police that no such investigation is underway and that no such allegations have been made against either British or Canadian personnel," said the statement from Col. Tim Grubb, Canadian Forces Provost Marshal.
He said all allegations against Canadian military personnel are taken seriously.
In its weekend report, the Times reported an unsubstantiated tip that the drug was being imported into Britain on board military aircrafts.
Helmand province is one of the world's leading sources of opium which can be refined into heroin. Sales of the poppy derivatives generate millions of dollars each year, much of which goes to finance the Taliban.