The Pakistani government has reported record seizures of illegal drugs at one of the country’s main border crossings with Afghanistan.
In just a few weeks in December 2021 and January 2022, Pakistani officials at the Torkham border post disrupted the smuggling of 524 kilograms of hashish, 255 kilograms of heroin, 280 kilograms of opium, and almost 22 kilograms of methamphetamine.
On January 6, 2022, Pakistan discovered two separate caches of heroin, one amounting to 100 kilograms, the other 130 kilograms. The latter seizure represented a record at Torkham. Acting on a tip, the Pakistanis discovered the heroin at Torkham’s import terminal hidden inside a truck, said Ahmad Raza Khan, chief collector of customs in Peshawar.
Pakistan’s Anti-Narcotics Force has also seized large amounts of illegal drugs across the country. In late December the agency announced it had intercepted 2.2 tons of drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine, followed by more than 3 tons in the first part of January.
Drugs from Afghanistan are arriving in “huge quantities,” said Azlan Aslam, an official with the Department of Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The rise is occurring despite promises by the recently installed Taliban Afghan government to suppress the illegal trade.
Afghanistan remains the source of almost all the world’s opium and heroin. It is also a major player in methamphetamine and hashish production. Caches of Afghan drugs have also multiplied in Iran, Southeast Europe and Turkey.
In December 2021, the U.S. Navy seized 385 kilograms of heroin from an Iranian boat in the Arabian Sea. Two weeks earlier a U.S. patrol rescued five Iranian sailors from a burning dhow in the Gulf of Oman. The Iranians had set the fire to destroy evidence of their crimes, but U.S. Sailors still retrieved 1,750 kilograms of hashish,
500 kilograms of methamphetamine and 30 kilograms of heroin.
Sources: TRT World, U.S. Navy, Daily Pakistan