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Helmand Province: Drug Lab on a Global Scale In Afghanistan, “the world’s first narco-state” operates under US Marines very nose

John Brennan

All the latest news on Afghanistan is about Donald Trump’s peace agreement with Taliban and the possible end of America’s longest war. However, it is happening against a background of another acute problem and this one seems even more seriously than a path home for 14,000 American troops before the 2020 United States presidential election. The problem is Afghan heroin.

The Guardian has named Afghanistan “the world’s first true narco-state”. If one accepts this thesis, then the capital of the country is not Kabul, the city being suffered from bloody terrorists’ attacks, but the southern Province Helmand, where the river of the same name runs.

Helmand, one of the few regions in Afghanistan appropriate for agriculture, has become the world’s biggest center for opium production. According to the data of the United Nations for 2018, 69% Afghan opium crop is cultivated in this province.

The USA was always seeking for control over Helmand. Until 2010, this province was the area of responsibility of the British Contingent. The British Army set up a military Camp Bastion, located northwest of the administrative center of Helmand Province. It was the largest British overseas military base built since the Second World War. The airfield at Camp Bastion was equipped to handle all types of aircrafts. After 2010, US aircrafts alongside with land troops were stationed there under the pretext of war with the Taliban.

In 2014 the base was handed over to Afghan National Army and renamed Camp Shorab. Nevertheless, American troops got there 3 years later. Since April 2017 300 US Marines have been stationed on this base. The official mission of this contingent is the training of Afghan security forces. US Marines train local military and police to fight with the Taliban and drugs.

But the facts show otherwise. The United States isn’t interested in combating Afghan opium industry, but rather takes control over heroin trade routes out of Afghanistan. In this scheme Camp Shorab is some sort of the hub between Afghan drug mafia and dealers in Europe and the Middle East.

In 2016 Obaidullah Barakzai, a member of the National Assembly of Afghanistan, alleged that military units of Afghan National Army conducted bloody battles with the Taliban in Helmand only in order to allow western powers to take control over deposits of uranium and drugs trafficking.

Commenting on foreign military involvement in drug trafficking, he said:

It’s impossible for a few local drug smugglers to transfer opium in thousands of kilos. This is the work of the Americans and British. They transport it by air from Camp Shorab.”

Barakzai had been the target of numerous attacks from the Taliban. On 23 March 2019 he was shot in Kandahar province. He also had experienced the death of his son at the hand of the Taliban.

Local citizen confirm the words of the late politician. They say that poppy fields are at arm’s length from the military base, where US Marines are located. Afghans, speaking only on condition of anonymity, confirm that there is a close connection between owners of heroin laboratories and American troops who buy drugs in large quantities.

In this context, bombing campaign code-named “Iron Tempest”, conducted by the US Air Force from November 2017 to February 2019, has raised a number of questions. The aim was to take out drug laboratories in Afghanistan by airstrikes. But, according to the research of Dr. David Mansfield (London School of Economics), the attacked laboratories had not been active at the time of the airstrike and the heroin produced there was transferred to an unknown location.

Close relations between Afghan drug mafia and US military give Washington an opportunity to make billions, which remain unaccounted. This money could be spent on specific tasks: back up terrorist organizations or overthrow unwanted regimes in the Middle East.

This is not merely a claim. The United States has already used such a scenario in the latter half of 1980th years. It caused a political scandal known as “The Iran-Contra affair”.

Certain administration officials of the Reagan Administration secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo. Funds from the arms deal were used to support armed conflict in Nicaragua.

It’s clear that Washington is interested in maintaining Afghanistan as narco-state despite the rising number of drug-addicted servicemen stationed in this country with training mission. It means that there is no chance to solve Afghanistan’s opium problem as long as US military keep staying there.

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Igor
Igor

“under the noses of USMC”, nay, under the watchful guard of the USMC.
The USMC have been patrolling and protecting poppy fields since 9/11/2001.

Before the CIA controlled global opium, opium trade was the domain of the East India Company, the British spook outfit.

CIA, aka “The Company” get it? Spook humor.

mark
mark

This is all true, yet many people fail to make the obvious connections and draw the correct conclusions.
We probably all know petty drug pushers and the violent low life who go with them.
The people who rule over us, Clinton, Obama, Trump, Johnson are just exactly the same human sewage on a vastly greater scale.
Multiply by then thousand or one million and you have the true character of the people who rule over us.

Richard Wicks
Richard Wicks

In other news, water is water, fire is suspected to be hot.

Does anybody really believe the US went into Afghanistan to find binLaden? He’s been dead for what, at least a decade, yet the US is still there. Opium production from the country was 5% of the world’s supply in 2001 and is now around 85%, and the US just happens to have an opioid epidemic.

The United States has been run by a mafia for over a decade, the UK even longer.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

I would say the us has been run by a mafia since Kennedy was murdered if not before that time . The fortunes the robber barons generated were truly massive and there is an argument that suggests ( that I find persuasive ) that it became a mafia state when their fortunes were converted into trusts around the turn of the 20 century – the inequality witnessed in the ‘ gilded age ‘ followed shortly after
As for the uk they wrote the manual – and they will never give it up.
The empire never dies.

Tonymike
Tonymike

The US was a mafia from it’s inception. Run by a bunch of slave and land owning hypocrites, who decided who had power and who didn’t. Old boss, same as the new boss and things never change. Have to keep the masses subdued with television, booze, opiates and fear.

Guy
Guy

Prior to the invasion of Afghanistan,the Taliban were well on their way to eliminating opium production .
In the usual US style , a la Iran Contra, they have managed to make Afghanistan the biggest opium producer in the world . All for financing invasions of other countries that refuse to toe the American line.
Who else is involved in this criminal activity.Has the mafia taken over the world ,probably .

Mucho
Mucho

Yes this is where we are. Donald Trump has so many mafia ties it’s not even funny. This is just ridiculous. Think of all the crap they feed us about WW1 and WW2, none of which we can believe any more. Just imagine the kind of image they convey. How are they going to spin this one to the kids, to make it sound all “Glorious”. Oh yeah kids, we went in, murdered millions of innocent men, women and children, dropped 10’s of thousands of tonnes of depleted uranuim, left a toxic legacy which can never be recovered from, took over all the poppy fields and created a global heroin epidemic. Kerching. Those poppy fields were dripping in glory by the time we left.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

I agree it does look tricky to finesse. This is where that human failing called racism becomes important. How? there are no whites among the dead, thats how IMO

Portonchok
Portonchok

Our western democracy is an utter sham and this sort of thing has been going on for decades if not centuries.
As Wolin referred to it: Inverted Totalitarianism.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin

The worlds first narco state! Lol, no mention of Great Britain, Chinese exploitation under gunboat coercion , Johnson Mathey Bank and the Sassoon family monopoly?

This is old news in my book, but non the less worthy of revisiting, if nothing else to evidence why exactly Afghanistan was immediately invaded as the first target of the angloimperialists 21st century war on the world.

From way back in 2013 a study from Swansea University.

‘… the collapse of opium poppy cultivation in 2001 following an effective campaign decreed by Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and which was conducted with some collaboration with the UN drug control apparatus. While producing a range of negative consequences in terms of economic wellbeing of rural communities, this reduced the total area under opium poppy cultivation to below 8,000 hectares. ‘


’From 2002, opium poppy cultivation and opium and heroin production resumed an upward trend. Since that date it has continued to increase beyond pre-invasion levels (see Graph 1), culminating in the ‘bumper’ opium poppy harvest of 2013. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), figures for 2013 marked a 36% increase on 2012 cultivation levels.’

‘Amid indicators of replanting after the steep cultivation drop of 2001, the US led invasion set opium production back on an upward trend, with annual declines in cultivation – as during the period 2008-2010 – proving unsustainable. A number of factors account for the strengthening of opium production in the country:

There was no coherent US or ISAF approach to the opium economy over the last 12 years, moving from an initially laissez faire approach to poppy cultivation (in order not to alienate farmers), to UK led compensated eradication (2003), targeted interdiction of major traffickers and processing laboratories (2004) and manual eradication supported by the US private defence contractor DynCorp International (2005-09) culminating in a scaling back of eradication efforts under President Obama in 2009 and instructions to troops not to enter or damage poppy fields. ‘

https://www.swansea.ac.uk/media/Afghanistan's-Bumper-Opium-Harvest.pdf


The graphs there speak for themselves – could be worth reprinting here?

If Trump is reversing the Obama laissez faire, I for one welcome it.

Other threads which have been in the ‘news’ recently this is the case against Johnson&Johnson and their hand in the opiod crises where much has come out about cultivation, including hybrid species in AUSTRALIA and that Iran seems to be successfully resisting having huge amounts dumped there or used for transit. It has always been big in Myanmar too and other controlled countries for the benefit of the same monopolists.

So not the worlds first narco state.

Mucho
Mucho

Swansea link already deleted. The criminals are watching

Dungroanin
Dungroanin

Well well well …

Admin/Off-G what do you make of that?

Chris Rogers what do you make of that?

The internet is not so easy to kill. I suspect that way back machine may have copy. If not lucky i posted that snippet.

The UN report will exist as will hard copies.

I wonder what Swansea University will say?

Mucho
Mucho

Was it live when you posted it?

Dungroanin
Dungroanin

Yes.
I downloaded it from there this morning.

Maggie
Maggie
Mucho
Mucho

Ryan Dawson has done a lot of work on this. Drug money funds black ops

Becca
Becca

Does anyone else find much of the written English in this article a bit stilted, as if it were written by a non-native speaker?

Examples:
agreement with Taliban and
and this one seems even more seriously than a path home
the city being suffered from bloody terrorists’ attacks
one of the few regions in Afghanistan appropriate for agriculture
According to the data of the United Nations for 2018, 69% Afghan opium crop is cultivated in this province.
US aircrafts alongside with land troops

There’s a lot more if you scrutinize the article.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

And lots of use of the singular than plural.
I found it hard to read.
Anyway, the key message is important. It’s been clear for many years that opium production has massively grown under the eyes of the occupying forces and that it’s used to fund black operations.

TFS
TFS

Air America is alive…………..

Kinda understand why all the fuss in South America. It’s because SpartUSA favors it’s own growers of the good stuff in Afghanistan and good ole fashion theatre?

Anyways, if someone in the OECD was told the entire banking industry was backed by lovelly Benjamins, (liquidity) in the form of drug money, would they be shocked?

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

Helman province is a strategetic location – whoever controls it, gets all the dark money that can generated by the opium crop – and that is a lot of money – many, many billions of dollars. The british army has administered this place for many of the last 15 years – draw you own conclusions. The western intelligence agencies ( FUKUS , france,uk and usa ) like a band of thieves, withdraw to a quiet place and divide up the loot that the fruit of the poppy provides. This process is described in ‘ The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia ‘ ( 1972 )by Alfred mcCoy. The book was updated in 2003 – it was renamed ‘ The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade ‘. I found the book ( and it’s subsequent update ) very persuasive.
The money then enters global networks, funding regime change, terror and assassinations, both domestically and internationally. It is the oil that lubricates the monstrous, jihadi machine the west has built in Syria. There is no money for hospitals or social spending but plenty for building monstrous jihadi machines. Go figure the implications.
McCoy’s work was supplemented by another author, Douglas Valentine, in two books, ‘ Strength of the Wolf ‘ and ‘ Strength of the Pack ‘ . ‘ Strength of the Wolf ‘ is concerned with the DEA and America’s so-called ” War on Drugs ” ( which, should be rightly called ” the War to Sell Drugs ” and ‘ Strength of the Pack ‘ examines the CIA administration that oversees the global sale and distribution of drugs. The two books persuasiveness’ was equal to McCoy’s magisterial study, by this readers lights.
So, what did reading these three books do for me ? How did the authors hard work change me ?
Any intelligence service which gets a share of the profits from Helman , is no longer beholden to or dependent on democratically ( or otherwise ! ) elected instituitions. It means they can do what they like, when they like, to whoever they like. Witness what was done to Dawn Sturgess, an alcoholic. A person with multiple life problems – you could say she was at her weakest. It is not a proven fact that she murdered by mi6 – but if the Russians didn’t kill her, mi6 or its agents, did. If you have read Rob Slaines The Blogmire, you will know Rob and his commentators , through easy to understand arguments completely rubbled the governments case- and I mean COMPLETELY. The personal shame I felt after Rob had persuaded me, was telling . I realised mi6 had murdered her, theresa may signed off on it and I , however distantly, I was complicit. It’s why I called my avatar pablomillerunit – an attempt to keep the so called ” Skripal Affair ” ( which should rightly be called ” The Sturgess Tragedy ” ) in peoples minds. ( Pablo Miller was one of the players in this deadly farce. ) Sturgess’ role, unwittingly was as a tragic prop to bolster a NON-VIABLE and discredited back story. Sturgess was picked off and murdered at the edge of the herd, because no-one who mattered would care. She was weak, she was ill – we have all seen David Atenboro films, these are the victims. There are millions of these world wide, every year. This colossal hectacombe, this venal bloodbath, a pile of the slain a mile high. these are the real fruit of the poppy They are a gift from Helman to the world.
Strength of the wolf. Strength of the pack. Indeed.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

Hope I’m not spamming the thread. I wrote bit of satire, entirely inspired by CJ Hopkins. CJ if read this you’ll know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – Respect. It is a repost but Ifeel great anger at Dawn Sturgess fate and crave your tolerance for my indulgence.

With apologies and deep respect to Dawn sturgess – Justice for Dawn!

Sources in Downing Street were silent today as speculation mounted on the Internet concerning the rumours that Dawn Sturgess, a suspected domestic terrorist and an alcoholic was murdered by one of britains domestic intelligence agencies. A source believed close to, both the mod and whitehall , who only spoke on conditions of absolute anonimity, put it like this.
“Dawn had to die, people don’t realise what sort of monster she was. She was willing to sell her country out to the highest bidder – I mean, she was building modern gas chambers for Jeremy Corbin for gods sake ! To the public it looks tragic, but Dawn was no angel. In 2007 she flew to Damascus, and enroled in an advanced gas chamber construction course. She lived in Syria for the duration of the course and we believe that Dawn was radicalised in Damascus. When we investigated Dawn’s trip to Damascus we discovered that Vladimir Putin paid for the whole thing. That’s when we started watching her very closely. Theresa ( Theresa May, Prime Minister) was not keen on offing her originally but when she found out that Sturgess was in receipt of benefits and building gas chambers for Jeremy Corbin , she had no problem signing off on the assassination. When Dawn returned to Britain, she ran into Geoffrey Epstein and Jeremy Corbin, getting pissed at the airport bar and her fate was sealed . ”
Police believe Epstein worked hard to bring the two of them together. Epstein is quoted as saying,” Jeremy, this girl knows how to build a gas chamber”. Eventually, the deal was done and the underground construction work on Corbin’s allotment began . Mr Corbin has repeatedly maintained his silence concerning the nature of his extrtemely close and intimate relationship with epstein Police believe epstein has been helping Corbin financially – the cost of building decent, modern gas chambers is enormous . A financial source spoke on conditions of strict anonomity, saying, “its well known in the financial services sector that Epstein has given Corbin money – but remember, Corbin is pledged to both destroy britan and build high quality gas chambers – and that costs money.”
Though Mr Corbin ( the most hated man in britain) didn’t comment,one of his spokespeople, Alan Dershowitz, said yesterday “my client, Mr Corbin, denies any connection with Geoffrey Epstein. He only consulted Epstein because he had a reputation of having the lowdown on modern gas chamber construction – when he found out that wasn’t true, he severed his ties with Epstein completely .
My client is solely interested in building decent, high quality gas chambers, the very idea of raping, abusing and trafficking young teens is abhorrent to him.” The case continues.

Portonchok
Portonchok

And I use my nickname “Portonchok” for any article relating to the Skripal affair.

Gezzah Potts

I feel your anger and pain Pablo. As I said to you a few days ago, so so many innocent victims of this criminal, blood drenched mafia.
I was involved in a Central American solidarity group back in the late 80s early 90s, and learnt then about not only the Iran Contra affair, but about the death squads, the massacres, the School Of The Americas at Fort Benning GA, the full support of the Fascist junta’s in Central & South America; creatures like Pinochet and Stroessner, the murder of Archbishop Romero, the CIA torture handbook, on and on.
And this article on the drug trade in Helmand province is further evidence (if we actually need any more) of the sheer debauched evil of the Anglo Zionist Empire and its many apparatchiks. And what angers and frustrates me is the vast majority couldn’t care less, don’t want to know.
I’ve tried explaining to people who was behind the jihadist headchoppers in Syria, who was behind the vile White Helmets, and they thought I was a conspiracy theorist. Or asked me if I was okay. At least we have this site, with like-minded people.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

Cheers Gezzah but you really better watch your step – I read somewhere the Australian government has announced plans to outlaw ” feeling peoples pain ” and have proposed heavy jail sentences to go along with the legislation. Apparently, they are saying the notion of ” feeling peoples pain “, was originated in a troll factory in St Petersburg,by a shadowy group called ” Arse Bare “. The Australian goverment are saying ” Arse Bare ” is KGB/GRU/FSB – draw your own conculsions
That phrase you used in a previous post ” …. ‘I got mine, I’m all good, who cares as long as I have my creature comforts’ …..” has been ringing in my ears since I read your post – it comes in the voice of a wheedling small minded person. Thanks.

Gezzah Potts

Regards that phrase – this is what 35 plus years of Neoliberalism, and all its attendant indoctrination has done to people’s pysche’s. Narcissism and hedonism run rampant, binge consumerism on a grand scale.
Even overhear people boasting to others they seem to not know well how they’re about to head off to Europe or Hawaii or Peru or somewhere. Travel is the new status symbol.
I sell The Big Issue mag, and every single day I see that phrase – just the smug arrogance, the sense of entitlement. There was an Ad campaign for a shopping centre here a few years ago, and the slogan was: ‘Its All About Me’. Sigh.
Been reading a bit more of The Blogmire today. Have a site for you to check out. Its called Neoliberalism Softpanorama. Really huge site detailing everything about this warped ideology designed to make the wealthy vastly wealthier. Told a few people here about it. Have a good day Pablo.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

The spirit of the age is rampant here too. Though I suspect, from what you say, that it is a little bit less zealous here. This is an old country you live in a young country. Nations in formation like yours are much more easily manipulated it seems. In old countries ancient tribal sympathies echo, they cut randomly across, modern ideolology and attempts at narrative control. Here, a significant number of the ” sheep ” are actually ” woke ” but chose to dissemble. Good fortune to you, Gezzah Potts.

Gezzah Potts

Cheers P. Its 11.10 pm down here, and time for me to…. zzzz zzzz zzz (with some lovely English lullaby music – band called Yndi Halda, from Canterbury)

Monobazeus
Monobazeus

Sorry kiddos but this site should be renamed off-point or off-topic.

No evidence of freedom here.

Kitts balls firmly in spymasters hand.

Wilmers31
Wilmers31

Really – you think he’d still be here otherwise? He’d be silenced as is appropriate for all who use their head for more than a hat stand.

Admin
Admin

Explain what this means and why it’s not spam please.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

monobazeus if what you say is true, one would think mi6 would delete my posts above.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

What an ince$tuou$ nest of parasites they are.

mark
mark

Doesn’t it make you proud that so many kids from crappy council estates were killed and maimed in Helmand, or came back mentally shattered, to keep some corrupt Unocal functionary and a coterie of narco warlords in the style to which they wished to become accustomed?
Really makes you proud to be British.

RobG

This is a good article, pointing out (with many links) just how corrupt it all is.

For those in the UK (or further afield who are interested in these things) the following mainstream article provides very good proof that MI5 operate completely beyond the law (which includes murder and torture)…

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/04/mi5-sought-immunity-for-agents-criminal-acts-tribunal-told

And for more general corruption across the range of UK security services see here…

https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/britanniatitanic-uk-surveillance-state-suited-dictatorship-democracy/

It’s absolutely breathtaking that this kind of stuff is allowed to go on; but if I keep banging my head against a wall I will probably end up as one of the psychopathic goons in the security services.

pablomillerunit
pablomillerunit

If this indeed is your end, I will know you have the comfort of a civil service pension – until you flicker out. Lets hope it doesn’t come to this.

Chris
Chris

A friend of mine was once a pilot with Air America during the Vietnam war, at that time also, the US had higher than ever problems with heroin and opiates. My friend never flew anything directly into the US but to places that had aircraft that could.

0use4msm
0use4msm

“Shorab” = Shorabak

Junaid
Brian Steere

Drugs and guns and any other black (denied) market.
The Black economy is of course denied or hidden agenda.
It would seem that the ‘dark agenda’ becomes more and more powerful as the surface of a plausible deniability becoming correspondingly hollow.

Blanket prohibition – masking in good intentions and set over legitimate exploration and experience – generates a syndication of organised criminal reaction as markets operating outside legal protections. Protection becomes a racketeering that grows cancerous by capturing its own regulators.

Denial masking as ‘correctness’ accuses non-compliance in others as ‘denialism’ – embodying a static god or image of ‘enforced or coercive ‘balance’ or ‘consensus’ (sic) as order that effects stagnation and decay.

I see this in the personal or individual consciousness also as the suppression of perceived threat – both from the denied material that is pushed down onto the ‘unconscious’ and from the expanded intimacy of the truly conscious and transcendent embrace.
Bothe ‘angel and demon’ are thus co-fused and in many ways reversed – where fear of love generates conflict (hate and fear) as a protective diversion for the sustainability of identity under fear, division and imposed rules of control by a mind of guilt and punishment.

Manipulation of consciousness – our own or of others – can become polarised between suppressive or permissive – with each defining and reinforcing the other, thus framing the mind in its own set measure.
Establishing division under rule or measuring scales of worth or validity.

The attempt to escape and substitute reality is the generation of a world in which the idea is cast out or projected as if ‘outside the mind of its giver. Whereas love is he extension or gift that goes forth even as it remains in the giver, fear and the progeny of fear are projected as if to escape (to) a private agenda of control or defence against exposure of a mistaken inheritance or lack of legitimacy.

A pervasive corruption of thought, word and deed, is fleshed out in seemingly irrevocable terms.
The undoing of the basis of such a thought reversal is the releasing of the inhibition against love to serve the discernment of the true nature of ‘seemingly’ unconscious urges, compulsions or drives. It has to be that way round. To try to love or take as love, what runs as a substitute or manipulative mind/reality is to be deceived.
You cannot release from your active field of identification, something that has not found acceptance at the level of acknowledgement. The attempt to hide or deny our fears gives them power over the mind of the wish we could get rid of part of ourself. Entanglement with illusions as a counterfeit reality is fuelled by the attempt to escape or overcome it. But the manner and the timing of its revealing AS untrue, is critical to releasing rather than recycling in more insidious forms of masking.

Desire for truth is desire for healing or reintegration and reconciliation of our life. A sense of being denied, seeks truth for vengeance – or getting even – and tramples the truth in its demand for weapons by which to undermine its denier – as if truth waits on conditions.

mathias alexand
mathias alexand

If a cure for addiction were found, say by China ir Russia then the bottom would fall out of the heroin market and thus out of the CIA’s slush fund. Perhaps based on apomorphine as used by William Borroughs but not followed through on by the medical world.

Paul
Paul

In my limited experience of spies I did have occasion to be well briefed on the machinations of two European Intelligence Agencies where the main aim was to extract ‘black money’ related to Saddam Husseins’ cash fortune stashed away in fake bank accounts. The proceeds were unaccountable and gave the Agencies a continuous cash income which they partly use to fund the life styles of the top guys as well as mounting other illegal operations involving transfers of millions of pounds from hacking into banks.

mark
mark

It was reported that old Saddam Hussein had $32 billion stashed in Switzerland.
The Swiss banking system has been subordinated to Wall Street ever since Zionist interests extorted $5 billion from Swiss banks.
140 tons of gold were stolen from Libya, along with the contents of the Sovereign Wealth Fund. Cameron even stole a ship load of Libyan banknotes printed in Britain for Libya.
And a vast but unquantified amount of gold bullion was stolen from the vaults of WTC7.

But this is nothing new.
At the end of the war, all the German and Japanese war loot was combined into the so called Black Eagle Trust.
This was a huge slush fund used for bribing politicians, rigging elections, carrying out regime changes, bankrolling terrorist groups and waging particularly smelly illegal wars.