Afghanistan
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AWCC opens new customer services center in Nangarhar

(Last Updated On: January 22, 2023)

The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said Saturday two Chinese nationals and three Afghans were arrested while trying to smuggle about 1,000 tons of rocks containing raw lithium out of the country.

The lithium was seized while being illegally transported to Nangarhar province from Nuristan and Kunar.

The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said about 300 tons was seized in Nangarhar and handed over to the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, and about 700 tons was seized in Kunar province.

According to the ministry the arrests were made by security and intelligence agencies.

Dr. Bashir, the head of operational affairs of the intelligence department, said at a press conference in Nangarhar province on Saturday: “We found out that there was a plan to smuggle these precious stones, which are not contracted and are extracted secretly. Therefore, in order to arrest the main perpetrators, we gave them a chance to reach Jalalabad city. Five people were arrested, two foreign smugglers who are Chinese and three Afghans who were their collaborators and did most of the buying,” said Bashir.

Lithium is a rare metal that is mostly used in modern technology, including smart phone batteries, electric motors, computers and drones.

Officials add that according to the decree of the leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, smuggling and illegal transfer of the mineral of the country is prohibited.