Tajikistan says that instability in Afghanistan fuels narcotic trade boom
Eurasianet citing officials of Tajikistan reported that the volume of illegal narcotics they interdicted in 2021 increased by 69% year-on-year. They added the instability in Afghanistan could provoke a worsening in the problem of drug-smuggling.
In the meantime, TASS News Agency citing the head of the Tajik Drug Control, Habibullo Vohidzoda, reported that four tons of narcotics were seized by Tajik law enforcement bodies and the volume of intercepted heroin and hashish had doubled.
Vohidzoda using the latest date called on international community assistance in combating what he said could be a new surge of trafficking provoked by the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
“With the change in the situation in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s ascent to power, we must strengthen our borders in every way, not only against drug smuggling, but also weapons and other prohibited material,” he said.
Vohidzoda citing the report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that opium crops were cultivated across an area of 177,000 hectares in Afghanistan last year. That was actually a decrease on 2020, but UN drug trade experts say this trend has been offset by higher yields per hectare.
“Estimated opium production in 2021 was 6,800 tons or 8 percent more than in 2020, meaning production has exceeded 6,000 tons for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year. This amount of opium could be converted into some 270-320 tons of pure heroin,” the UNODC said in a report published in November.
According to this report economic collapse in Afghanistan and a surge in prices for opium since August 2021 has increased incentives for cultivation of the crop in this country.
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Source: Aamaj News