Afghan Leader's Brother Tied to Drug Trade: US

Karzai denies claims, but Washington believes 'he's dirty'
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2008 3:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – The White House believes that the brother of Afghanistan’s US-backed president has ties to the country’s heroin trade, the New York Times reports. Hamid Karzai insists there is no firm proof against his brother, who calls himself a “victim of vicious politics.” But numerous reports from Washington and Kabul link Ahmed Wali Karzai to traffickers, insiders say.

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“It’s no secret about Wali Karzai and drugs,” says an Afghan informant who was jailed after squealing about a drug delivery involving Karzai’s bodyguard. Washington has adopted a hands-off approach to the matter, which isn’t all that surprising in Afghanistan, supplier of 95% of the world’s heroin. Says a former US official: “Narco-corruption went to the top of the Afghan government.”
(Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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