The “New Silk Road” of Heroin Smuggling

Kazakhstan is a country known mainly to Americans as the home of Borat, the farcical character perpetrated on the world by comedian Sasha Baron Cohen. However, Kazakhstan also sits on the “New Silk Road” of heroin smuggling that connects Asia and Europe. Afghanistan supplies and estimated 90% of Europe’s heroin (and 75% of the world’s heroin).  Global political and economical factors have created a “perfect storm” of supply and demand for heroin between the manufacturers in the east and the consumers in the west (read about the Global Heroin Manufacturing Empire). The New Silk Road of heroin smuggling is through the poor republics of the former Soviet Union.  The poverty in this region makes it rife with willing participants and the under trained and poortly equipped police forces can’t compete with the multi billion dollar industry. The city of Almaty in Kazakhstan is a particular hub. Last year about 30,000 kilos were trafficked into Europe through this city.  Authorities in the area struggle to make a dent in this…

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