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securityscholar.com.au N.R. Jenzen-Jones 20 August 2011 SecurityScholar Synopsis Counter Narcotics Police –

N.R. Jenzen-Jones 20 August 2011

SecurityScholar Synopsis

Counter Narcotics Police Afghanistan (CNP-A) National Interdiction Unit (NIU)

The National Interdiction Unit (NIU) is the premier narcotics interdiction force for the Counter Narcotics Police – Afghanistan (CNP-A). The CNP-A is an independent body, but falls within the organisational structure of the Afghan National Police (ANP) of the Ministry of the Interior. The establishment of the NIU, funded by the US under the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Project TD/AFG/H10, established a unit intended to be capable of counternarcotics interdiction missions with national enforcement impact, including raiding, arresting and conducting seizures of High-Value Targets (HVTs). Interdiction missions target traffickers, processing labs, narcotics caches, and stockpiles of precursor chemicals. The NIU is supported by the CNP-A’s Technical Investigative Unit (TIU) and Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU).

The TIU and SIU are specially-vetted and trained groups sponsored jointly by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and trained at the DEA Training Academy. The TIU focus on gathering evidence against HVTs through wiretaps and other signals intelligence (SIGINT) methods. As of July 2010, the unit consisted of 11 Afghan officers, and 100 translators. The SIU consists of 45 Afghan investigators tasked with gathering evidence, handling confidential informants and working undercover. The SIU also builds cases against HVTs, and develops intelligence product for NIU interdiction missions.

In 2010, current numbers were reported as 246, with a goal of 569 set for late last year. In order to accommodate this aim, a DEA/INL team in Afghanistan developed a plan to transition as many as 250 officers from the sizeable, Department of State (DoS)-sponsored Central Poppy Eradication Force (CPEF) to the NIU. Four basic classes were scheduled as part of this transition process. The most recent graduates of the NIU’s Kabul-based training facility, Basic Class 21, graduated 7 July 2011.

US Department of Defense (DoD) funding of the unit totalled approximately $175 million USD in 2007. The NIU operates from bases in Kabul, Kandahar, Konduz, Herat and Jalalabad. In 2009, the specialised units of the CNP-A seized 25,000 kg of opium, 53,133 kg of hashish and 593 kg of heroin, as well as destroying 25 drug labs. These units also seized 180,955 kg of solid precursor chemicals and 30,765 litres of liquid precursors, and reported 54 narcotics trafficking-related arrests. The NIU have received little publicity, but

arrests. The NIU have received little publicity, but have conducted a number of successful raids ,
arrests. The NIU have received little publicity, but have conducted a number of successful raids ,

have conducted a number of successful raids, including cross-border raids into Pakistan, resulting in very large hauls.

As of June 2009, the CNP-A’s specialised units as a whole have received a CM3 or ‘partially capable’ rating from the DoD’s Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A). However, the NIU was singled out by the DoS in its January 2009 report as being “capable of conducting its own operations, including requesting and executing search and arrest warrants”. Additionally, Keith Weiss, Assistant Regional Director of the DEA’s Kabul office, referred to the NIU in 2010 as being in “very high demand by Coalition Forces because of their skill level”.

demand by Coalition Forces because of their skill level”. Read More 1. Security Scholar article -
demand by Coalition Forces because of their skill level”. Read More 1. Security Scholar article -

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2. UNODC Afghanistan - “Counter Narcotics Law Enforcement Update #5 & Update #6

5. US GAO Report - “AFGHANISTAN DRUG CONTROL (March 2010)