Friday, December 11, 2020

The Taliban - A Global Enterprise

 For nearly 20 years, the Taliban’s wealth has financed mayhem, destruction and death in Afghanistan. In the fiscal year that ended in March 2020, the Taliban brought in revenues of $1.6 billion. In comparison, the Afghan government brought in $5.55 billion during the same period.

1. Drugs – $416 million

Afghanistan accounted for approximately 84 percent of global opium production over the past five years. Much of those illicit drug profits go to the Taliban, which manage opium in areas under their control. The group imposes a 10 percent tax on every link in the drug production chain. That includes the Afghan farmers who cultivate poppy, the main ingredient in opium, the labs that convert it into a drug and the traders who move the final product out of country.

2. Mining – $400 Million to $464 Million

Mining iron ore, marble, copper, gold, zinc and other metals and rare-earth minerals in mountainous Afghanistan is an increasingly lucrative business for the Taliban. Both small-scale mineral-extraction operations and big Afghan mining companies pay Taliban militants to allow them to keep their businesses running.

3. Extortion & Taxes – $160 Million

Like a government, the Taliban tax people and industries in the growing swath of Afghanistan under their control. They even issue official receipts of tax payment.

“Taxed” industries include mining operations, media, telecommunications and development projects funded by international aid. Drivers are also charged for using highways in Taliban-controlled regions, and shopkeepers pay the Taliban for the right to do business.

The group also imposes a traditional Islamic form of taxation called “ushr” – which is a 10 percent tax on a farmer’s harvest – and “zakat,” a 2.5 percent wealth tax.

4. Charitable Donations – $240 million

The Taliban receive covert financial contributions from private donors and international institutions across the globe.

Many Taliban donations are from charities and private trusts located in Persian Gulf countries, a region historically sympathetic to the group’s religious insurgency. 

5. Exports – $240 Million

In part to launder illicit money, the Taliban import and export various everyday consumer goods, according to the United Nations Security Council. Known business affiliates include the multinational Noorzai Brothers Limited, which imports auto parts and sells reassembled vehicles and spare automobile parts.

6. Real Estate – $80 Million

The Taliban own real estate in Afghanistan, Pakistan and potentially other countries.

7. Foreign Financing - $500 Million?

In 2008 the Taliban had received $106 million from foreign sources, in particular from the Gulf states.

Today, the governments of RussiaIran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are all believed to bankroll the Taliban, according to numerous U.S. and international sources. Experts say these funds could amount to as much as $500 million a year, but it is difficult to put an exact figure on this income stream.

Taliban Are Megarich – Here’s Where They Get the Money – Consortiumnews

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