Thursday, May 30, 2024

Australian Media reports Taliban shift to Methamphetamine production after poppy ban

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

The Australian weekly “Saturday Paper” reported that the Taliban, following the announcement of the poppy cultivation ban, has shifted its focus to the production and trafficking of methamphetamine instead of heroin. According to the report, a significant portion of methamphetamine (crystal meth) originates from Afghanistan and reaches drug markets in Australia.

The efforts by the Taliban to replace heroin with methamphetamine began before the complete takeover of Afghanistan by this group, as stated in the report.

An expert from a global drug control agency told “Saturday Paper” that in the early days of the Taliban, alongside heroin packages, they would also send a package of methamphetamine for free to their customers to familiarize them with this substance.

The expert stated, “They send you a hundred kilograms of heroin and add five kilograms of methamphetamine for free.” According to him, the aim of this was to attract customers to this substance in the initial stage.

According to this report, the shift towards methamphetamine has allowed the Taliban to transform their “vast heroin empire into a more profitable, more dangerous, and deadlier trade” and fund their rule in Afghanistan through it.

The ban on poppy cultivation by the Taliban is referred to as “part of the group’s agenda” in the report, as this order has boosted the value of larger reserves of raw opium, “which appears to be held by some senior leaders of the group.” “Saturday Paper” wrote that it seems unlikely that these reserves will diminish for many years.

The Weekly noted that while the Taliban issued the order to ban poppy cultivation in 2022, this order was not implemented practically during the year, and drug producers had plenty of time to increase production and stockpile.

According to the report, during this time, the Taliban also focused more on methamphetamine production and product diversification.

The media outlet wrote that according to experts and evidence, the rise of methamphetamine “is set to make the Taliban endlessly wealthy, strengthen their power, and simultaneously fund dozens of terrorist and jihadist organizations that currently enjoy Taliban support in Afghanistan.”

As an example, the report mentioned that the price of one kilogram of heroin from Afghanistan was $250,000 before the issuance of the ban, while the same amount of methamphetamine was valued at $700,000.

So far, the Taliban has not commented on this report.

In September 2023, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime revealed a twelvefold increase in the smuggling of crystal meth from Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. Seizures surged from 2.5 tons in 2017 to 29.7 tons in 2021, as reported. Additionally, Iran’s Drug Control Headquarters highlighted the daily production of industrial drugs, including methamphetamine, in Afghanistan.

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