07:24 GMT +322 September 2019
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    A lineup of US air force KC-135 tanker planes seen at the Manas air base in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. File photo

    Ex-Kyrgyz President: US Base in Kyrgyzstan Possibly Used For Heroin Trafficking

    © AP Photo / Azamat Imanaliev
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    The US military base in Kyrgyzstan, Transit Center at Manas, could have well be used for the transportation of heroin from Afghanistan, former president of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Akayev said that the coalition forces engaged in operations in Afghanistan could have been involved in the drug-smuggling from the troubled country.

    "This base had always served its initial purpose – to deploy troops, cargo to supply the coalition forces in Afghanistan. We don't know what they worked out on the way back. Probably, they transported heroin… They could have done anything on their way back…," Akayev told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

    © RIA Novosti . Vladislav Ushakov
    He assumed that the base leadership was aware of the drug trafficking and were themselves involved in it.

    The former president of Kyrgyzstan also stated that it was a common practice for the United States to compensate the expenses on military operations through drug trade.

    "It is widely known. In Latin America, for example, all their operations… Nobody financed them, they reimbursed through drug trafficking. Why then exclude it in Afghanistan?" Akayev told RIA Novosti.

    The Transit Center at Manas was established in December 2001 to support military operations in Afghanistan. The base could be used only for logistics purposes under the agreement with Kyrgyzstan concluded during the presidency of Askar Akayev. In June 2014, US military forces vacated the base.

    Askar Akayev served as the first president of Kyrgyzstan in 1990- 2005. He was ousted from power in 2005 as a result of the Tulip Revolution.

    Related:

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    base, heroin, Afghanistan, United States, Kyrgyzstan
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