Source: XINHUA | 2012-11-16 | ONLINE EDITION
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government on Thursday slapped sanctions on Mullah Naim Barich, a man it called "shadow governor"of Afghanistan's largest opium producing province of Helmand.
The Department of Treasury added Barich to its black list for his "significant" role in international narcotics trafficking, particularly in Helmand province.
"Barich is involved in many levels of the heroin and opium drug trade, including leading meetings with drug traffickers, controlling opium production, and owning his own drug loads," the Treasury said in a statement.
As a senior leader of the Taliban, the man has been put on the UN Security Council Resolution 1988 Sanctions List, the agency said.
"Today's action exposes the direct involvement of senior Taliban leadership in the production, manufacturing and trafficking of narcotics in Afghanistan and underlines the Taliban 's reliance on the drug trade to finance their acts of terror and violence," said David Cohen, under secretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.
"Treasury will continue exposing links between the international narcotics trade and terrorist networks, in Afghanistan, and wherever else they exist," he added.
Internationally, the Treasury has designated more than 1,200 businesses and individuals linked to 97 drug kingpins since June 2000.