View Full Version : Massive post-war rise in production of Afghan opium

02-09-2003, 04:04 AM
Massive post-war rise in production of Afghan opium
By Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent
26 September 2002
Britain is expected to be hit by a flood of heroin after a gigantic increase in the production of opium in Afghanistan, the United Nations will warn today. A UN survey estimates the farmers will grow 2,700 tons of opium this year compared with 185 tons in 2001, a 1,400 per cent jump.
In July 2000, the Taliban government banned farmers from growing the opium poppies, but since the regime was toppled, production of the lucrative crop has resumed.
Afghanistan is the source of 75 per cent of the world's heroin and 90 per cent of Britain's supply. Evidence suggests heroin supplies to western Europe had been running low, an international drugs conference in Paris will be told.
Brian Taylor, head of the supply, reduction and law enforcement section of the UN drug control programme, will say that the Afghan authorities lack the equipment and training to tackle the problem.
Customs and Excise, and MI5, have been warning ministers for months about the growing drugs threat from Afghanistan. Mr Taylor will tell a conference on trafficking and law enforcement, organised by the research organisation DrugScope, that the total amount of opium expected to be produced this year is between 1,900 and 2,700 tons. In 2000 3,300 tons were cultivated, and 4,600 tons produced in 1999.
The UN will also report that the price of opium from Afghanistan has doubled to $350 (225) a kilo. Ten kilos of opium make one kilo of heroin.
Drugs specialists from the UN made a survey in February in the growing regions of the south and east of Afghanistan, which account for 84 per cent of the poppy cultivation in the country. They found between 45,000 and 65,000 hectares (one hectare is 2.4 acres) were under poppy cultivation. In May a second survey in the northern region found opium cultivation had increased from 6,640 hectares in 2001 to 9,750.
Mr Taylor will say that despite the slump in heroin production last year the war in Afghanistan lead to "panic sales of reserves" of the drug to western Europe, which kept the prices stable.
There have been encouraging signs that purity levels of heroin seized in the UK had started to drop, indicating that supplies may be running out, he will add.
Britain has a growing heroin problem, with the drug being used by an estimated 300,000 people in a trade worth 2.3bn a year. In April, the Foreign Office said the amount of heroin on the streets would be cut by a scheme offering Afghan farmers 1,250 (800) for each hectare of opium destroyed.
Afghan authorities are beset with problems in trying to counter the cultivation of drugs. These include poorly trained and equipped staff, no operational police equipment, a lack of transport, and no scientific equipment to test suspected drugs.

02-09-2003, 03:28 PM
So What?

Your post is a good argument for total legalization of heroin though.

02-12-2003, 03:45 PM
taliban control = no heroin production

US control , er well, CIA control = massive heroin production

02-12-2003, 05:08 PM
I remember reading reports that al Qaeda was involved in opium trafficking in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region, and that it was/is one of their prime sources of revenue.

02-12-2003, 05:49 PM
perhaps but the taliban prohibited opium growing but they didnt control all of afganistan so maybe youre right but in any case the areas the US (cia) 'liberated' from the taliban is described by my and others posts.

02-12-2003, 06:05 PM
I'm not disputing that; you're probably right that it has risen, though I haven't read the article yet.

Interestingly, the Taliban banned extramarital sex too--then they went around raping young girls. So even if they banned opium-growing, it doesn't necessarily mean that the ban applied to themselves--just to others.

02-12-2003, 06:07 PM
well i see you havent posted any links. neither have i on this thread although someone else has pasted text, but i have posted links about this in a post i did a while ago about taliban opium.

02-12-2003, 07:53 PM
I'm not about to look up links for something I read about close to a yrar ago, especially if it's a minor point. As I said I'm not disputing the main point; I'm just saying that drug smuggling was one source of revenue for al Qaeda.

02-12-2003, 09:41 PM
let me get this straight. The CIA and the Karzai government have enough resources to eradicate terrorist cells in Afghanistan, but have no ability to monitor heroin traffic.
I find that naive.

02-12-2003, 11:18 PM
The war on drugs will quite possibly never be won--the economic incentives for illicit drug trafficking are too high--people will always be found who will step forward to fill the vacuum for a price.

Have we been able to stop the drug trade from Columbia and Mexico?

With all the talk about a "war" on drugs, it's one war we probably will not ever be able to completely win.

02-13-2003, 12:37 AM
More people want heroin than Bin Laden.

The simple way to prevent drug profits from going to terrorists is to legalize them. That may cause other problems, but there won't be as much money in it. You don't see terrorists trafficking in sugar beets or barley a lot.