Taliban raid led by Worthing hero

The drugs bust in Afghanistan. Pic courtesy of the MOD.
The drugs bust in Afghanistan. Pic courtesy of the MOD.
Share this article

A WORTHING soldier helped uncover a stash of heroin worth £17.5million and a huge arsenal of deadly weapons in Afghanistan this week.

Afghan police, mentored by British troops, discovered the opium haul during an arrest operation in Helmand Province.

Afghan National Security Forces swooped on the address of a man suspected of illegally selling government-owned land in the town of Gereshk.

Inside, the police and troops from the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1PWRR) found several bags of wet opium.

Captain Stuart Barker, 45, from Worthing, took part in the raid.

He currently commands B company 3PWRR (TA) which has platoons based in Worthing and Brighton.

He said: “This is a victory for joined-up police work, because this single operation involved the PMAG, the specialist Police Advisory Team, the Afghan police, and the counter-narcotics police.

“It shows how working together can produce a really significant find which demonstrates the clear connection between the drugs trade and violence and insecurity.”

The total drugs haul weighed in at more than 175kg of wet opium – the first stage of processing poppy to make heroin.

The team also found two machine guns, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, a number of AK-47 rifles, two pistols and bomb-making gear.

The suspect will now face prosecution by the Afghan justice system.

For the full story see this week’s Worthing Herald, out now.