Written by Mark Merton
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Saturday, 7 November 2009

image for World's first Opium Exchange to open in Kabul
Opium Exchange Director Manuel Benitez

President Hamid Karzai of Afganistan held a press conference yesterday to announce the world's first Opium Exchange to open in Kabul later this year.

President Karzai said that regulating the market would be the best way of ending corruption in Afganistan. He cited the example of New York, London and Frankfurt where regulated financial stock markets have successfully put an end to corruption in the banking sector.

"In Europe and the USA you cannot be accused of financial corruption because corruption there is regulated and made lawful" he said. He added with a broad smile on his face that this was the way Afghanistan to follow to achieve a good level of democracy.

The Opium Exchange of Kabul will have companies and individuals from all over the world as members and will act as a legitimate platform to buy and sell drugs. The tribal leaders of Afghanistan have already put in their applications and the first foreign applicant from Colombia is widely expected to be appointed as the Customer Relations director to the new Exchange.

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