About 90 tons of heroin are trafficked by drug dealers via Central Asia every year. Only 3% of this current are detained by law enforcement bodies. In total, the incomes of drug dealers in this region comes to about $ 1.4 bln every year.
These figures were mentioned in a recent report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
The UN believes that the governments of Central Asian countries are not doing enough to fight against drug dealing. The high rate of corruption in these countries plays into the hands of drug traffickers as well.
Until 2005, Russian border guards in Tajikistan presented a reliable obstacle to the drug current from Central Asia to Russia. At present, this current is so strong that, for all the efforts of the Russian border guards, they can hardly resist it.
Igor Khokhlov from the Russian Institute of Economics and Foreign Relations says:
“First of all, this problem should be solved in Afghanistan itself. Russia has been repeating this for about 20 years, but it looks like the US and the countries of Western Europe are ignoring Russia’s calls.”
“It should be noted that since NATO introduced its forces to Afghanistan, the incomes of Afghan drug dealers grew by thousands of times,” Mr. Khokhlov continues.
“The US and NATO, in fact, condone the production of heroin in Afghanistan. They say that growing poppy and producing opium and, then, heroin, from this poppy are the only source of income for Afghan farmers. If Afghan farmers are deprived of this source of income, their poverty and despair would make them inclined to follow the Taliban’s propaganda, NATO officials say.”
“This seems to be the official position of NATO countries, which has been often announced by these countries’ officials. Thus, it can hardly be said that the West really does anything to stop drug production in Afghanistan.”
“To effectively fight against drug production in Afghanistan, it should be clearly demarcated what should be within the authorities of NATO and what within the authorities of the Collective Security Treaty Organization,” Mr. Khokhlov believes. “NATO should destroy poppy fields in Afghanistan, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization – reveal and neutralize drug dealers there.”
“Besides, Afghanistan’s economy should, without doubt, be revived – and not by drug production, of course. Another effective measure should be attempts to decrease the consuming of drugs in the countries which neighbor Afghanistan, which will decrease the demand for drugs.”