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Nigeria records highest number of drug-related convictions worldwide (3): 10 biggest heroin trafficking countries in the world


According to the UNODC, here are the 10 biggest Diacetylmorphine (or heroin) trafficking countries in the world


​This is the main source of the world-famous south Asian opium, and is also where the Balkan Route (which traverses the Islamic Republic of Iran, often via Pakistan, Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria across South-East Europe to the Western European market, and with an annual market value of some $20 billion, N3.98tr) begins; where 90% of the world’s product, $4 billion (N796bn) worth annually, originates, and where production itself has been rising uncontrollably over the last decade.


In Pakistan’s largest metropolitan city, Karachi, heroin is cheaper than food. And according to the national media, Customs officials seized a grand total of 1 tonne of the product in 2011, despite 260 tonnes entering through the north-west border alone.​


​Researchers estimate Tajikistan’s piece of the heroin superhighway rivals up to half of the country’s official GDP ($8.508bn, N1.69tr-2013). It is the poorest post-Soviet country with a roughly 50% poverty rate, but its capital (Dushanbe) flourishes with excess wealth from near-institutionalized drug trafficking.


70-80% of heroin seized in Europe is Albanian.


In 2008, more than half of all heroin seized worldwide occurred within the borders of Turkey and Iran.


Production and trafficking of heroin is rampant in the Netherlands for reasons such as its location, lax criminal policy and open drug culture which makes it an attractive nucleus for the European heroin market.


While India has the greatest number of heroin users in south Asia, Iran has the highest level of users per capita in the world. On Iranian streets, heroin costs less than beer. One US dollar can buy 3 grammes of opium; $330 (N65,670) buys a whole kilo.


A UN 2011 drug and crime report found India to be the largest consumer of heroin in the whole south Asian region. Nearly 17 of the 40 tonnes of pure south Asian heroin produced in 2011 went to Indian dealers to feed the country’s rising demand for designer drugs.


UNODC reports production in this region rose for the seventh consecutive year in 2013 to 870 tonnes of opiuma whole 22% increase from 2012.


This central Asian republic is reputed as a key hub in heroin shipping lines from south Asia to Europe. Estimates reveal that a whole quarter of the world supply of heroine passes through the area, and a significant portion of that finds sanctum in the country’s second-largest city, Osh.

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