The Taliban was successful in resisting the American forces for over 2 decades. However, they were successful in taking over the previous government. The feat must have taken up a lot of finances. If you’ve ever wondered about the Taliban’s money, here is your answer.
Here’s what we know about the Taliban’s income
As per NATO reports, the Taliban earned a total of $1.6 billion in 2019. Moreover, it was a four-fold increase from the $400 million income in 2016. The report clarifies that the Taliban’s income comes from four major sources—drugs, mining, taxes, and foreign donations. In addition to this, the organization also expanded its financial network by taking over other industries.
They now have their reigns over all export and imports including the trade routes of the country, making more revenue. However, this was an estimate of the group’s income before they took over Afghanistan. And now that they don’t have to hide, their income can be much bigger.
The major sources of the Taliban’s money
The production and export of drugs is a $416 million industry and the main source of income for the Taliban. Afghanistan is the key producer of opium, the main ingredient for heroin. Afghanistan produces 85 percent of the world’s opium. And, Taliban controlled a major chunk of the opium farms in Afghanistan. Mining is the second-largest source of the Taliban’s money. Afghanistan has large reserves of gold, copper, lithium, and natural gas which earns them about $3 trillion. The terrorist group illegally controlled 25 to 30 such mines.
The Taliban also receives a great amount of funding from Pakistan, Iran, and Russia. The foreign countries which opposed the US takeover were sympathetic and offered donations for the group, totaling $240 million. Additionally, districts controlled by the Taliban also gave them money in taxes. Additionally, construction and telecom firms, shops and farms, or other commodities garnered taxes.
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