UN: Africa reemerging as heroin trafficking hub

By REUTERS
July 30, 2011 12:31

VIENNA - Drug traffickers faced with restrictions to transit routes through Asia and the Middle East are turning to eastern Africa, driving up instability and increasing substance abuse, a United Nations report said.

The UN's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said Africa's emergence as an important heroin transport route in 2009 was of serious concern in a region ill-equipped to fight trafficking or care for people addicted to drugs.

"Drug seizures and the arrest of traffickers indicated that African drug traffickers -- particularly West African networks -- are increasingly transporting Afghan heroin from Pakistan into East Africa for onward shipment to Europe and elsewhere," it said in a global report on the Afghan opium trade.

Afghanistan is the world's biggest producer of opium, the base ingredient of heroin, and over 40 percent of this flowed into Pakistan in 2009 before being transported worldwide as part of the $68 billion global opiate market.


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