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Tons of poppy seeds seized in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Poppy seeds that would have yielded 30 tons of pure heroin worth $1.34 billion bound for Taliban coffers have been seized in Afghanistan, British officials say.

The Sun, a British tabloid, reported exclusively Monday that British Chief Inspector Rob Rogers was a key figure in derailing the operation that ultimately would have dropped the drugs on Britain's streets.

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"It took two huge lorries (trucks) to bring the seeds to the police station," said Rogers, a Defense Ministry officer from Burghfield who has been training local Afghan counter-narcotics officers. "It's made a huge dent in production and Taliban profits. There are enough seeds to plant 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres) of poppies."

Three Afghans were arrested during the seizure and the 17.5 tons of seeds will be burned. The Sun didn't say when the seizure took place.

About 93 percent of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan.

"If it wasn't for heroin, there wouldn't be a war here. It pays for Taliban guns and bombs," Afghan Lt. Col. Abdul Qader Zaheer said.

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