WASHINGTON - Afghanistan's military says a Taliban customs house was destroyed during an operation in the southwestern part of the country.
A spokesperson of the Afghanistan Defense Ministry, Fawad Aman, told VOA Monday that the insurgent group generated a daily revenue of more than $38,000 from the customs house it was running in Farah province.
The ongoing military campaign, code-named Operation Lucky, was launched in December 2019 with the objective of clearing the province of Taliban militants.
Since security forces began targeting Taliban narcotics processing labs in early 2018, the Taliban reportedly has resorted to establishing customs houses as a means to generate more revenue to help finance its insurgency in southern Afghanistan.
The insurgent group also runs customs houses in other provinces, including Herat, Ghor and Nimruz, according to the Afghan military. The Afghan Taliban also enforces a strict judicial system in remote parts of the country where authorities have no control.
Security officials also say the Taliban is using the money to purchase weapons and strengthen its combat capabilities against Afghan forces.
“Our plan is to destroy not only the Taliban’s customs houses, but also their check posts where they have been extorting money from people,” Defense Ministry spokesperson Aman told VOA.
Desperate to finance its militant activity, the Taliban has been using illegal avenues to make money, including kidnapping and extortion, and smuggling drugs, minerals and gemstones, according to Afghan officials.