MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) - Heroin production in expected to reach record volumes in Afghanistan this year, Russian Federal Drug Control Service director Victor Ivanov said Tuesday.
“This year we are expecting a record volume of drug production, with the planted area reaching 250,000 hectares,” he said.
According to Ivanov, an area of this size could produce 700 to 800 tons of heroin.
In July, the drug control service spoke of the increasing “heroin pressure” on Russia. Afghanistan is said to produce up to 150 billion single doses annually, 21 times the world’s population. Last year saw the area of 150,000 hectares planted with opium poppy.
Earlier this year, Russian narcotics police and Afghan security forces planned to conduct a joint operation aimed at fighting drug trafficking in the region.
Russia has also cooperated with NATO in the fight against drug-trafficking by training drug police in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is the world’s largest heroin producer. Drugs from the country usually travel along the so-called northern route through Central Asia to reach Russia’s estimated $6 billion heroin market.