Being the largest exporter of opium, that’s the main source of income for Afghanistan as well as the Taliban.
“The Taliban have counted on the Afghan opium trade as one of their main sources of income. More production brings drugs with a cheaper and more attractive price, and therefore a wider accessibility.” -Cesar Gudes, the head of the Kabul office of the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), reported by Independent.co.uk
In 2000, they banned poppy farming but after a backlash from the farmers, the Taliban softened and allowed for it to be grown and exported.
According to a UN report, the rest of their income comes from drug trafficking, extortion and ransom, exploitation of mineral resources, tax collection and donations from unnamed sympathizers.
A classified 2008 CIA report states that the Taliban received $106 million in donations from foreign sources, including Gulf states, as reported by BBC in 2018.
Read more here https://www.bbc.com/news/world-46554097
It is not clear how much of the Taliban’s income comes from drug trafficking but it is believed that they, along with other officials have been involved in the vice for years.
According to a confidential NATO report, the group also dabbles in real estate and a significant chunk of their funds come from that. They own properties in Afghanistan and Pakistan amongst other places.
“A breakdown of revenues under Mullah Yaqoob’s control, provided by the Taliban members, shows that the militant group during the last financial year earned some $464 million from mining, $416 million from drugs, $240 million from foreign countries and individuals, another $240 million from exports, $160 million from taxes, and $80 million from real estate.”
The Taliban “tax” industries in the areas that have been in their control for years. Media, telecommunications, mining industries and projects funded by international aid are among those taxed by them. Common men like drivers and shopkeepers are not spared either as they are required to pay a certain sum to the Taliban for them to continue their businesses.
“The group also imposes a traditional Islamic form of taxation called “ushr” – which is a 10% tax on a farmer’s harvest – and “zakat,” a 2.5% wealth tax.” – As reported by theconversation.com
The money collected is spent on military training, weapons and the salaries of members.
It is also alleged that the Taliban has been funding the Afghanistan government for years now with their accumulated wealth.
Reporter’s Opinions: $300 million to a whopping $4 billion annually is no joke. These players are dealing in US dollars, they have more than enough in the coffers to run a country if they can fight the temptation of corruption.
Afghanistan is a beautiful country that has been ravaged by greedy opportunists and lacklustre leaders. It is the people that suffer when governments are incompetent and selfish.
With that staggering amount of money, let’s see if they keep their word for a more progressive and truly Sharia compliant ruling of the country.
Because as usual with money and power, corruption is always waiting in the corner to fuck everything up in a blink of an eye.
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