Southwest Asia

SW Asia HeroinSW Asia Heroin Caption


Afghanistan and Pakistan produced an estimated 41 percent of the world’s opium in 1998. Europe remains the primary market for Southwest Asian heroin, but the drug is also consumed in Africa, the United States, and Canada.


  • Most Southwest Asian heroin flows overland through Iran and Turkey to Europe via the Balkans. Although regional conflicts have forced traffickers to modify delivery routes, the Balkans remain the primary passageway for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe. Heroin and opium shipments are smuggled from Turkey in bonded trucks, buses, or personal vehicles to Western Europe for distribution.
  • An undetermined amount of Southwest Asian heroin flows directly from Pakistan to overseas markets concealed in maritime containers, or carried by couriers on commercial air flights to the Middle East, Europe, Africa, the US, and Canada.
  • The Central Asia states—Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan — have emerged as important smuggling routes for Southwest Asian heroin moving to or through Russia and Eastern Europe. Loose border controls, lack of regional counternarcotics resources,
       and a growing Russian heroin market facilitate the movement of drugs through Central Asia by vehicle, train, and commercial air means.
  • Most of the Southwest Asian heroin sent to the United States is smuggled by couriers on commercial flights or is shipped in mail packages.

Historical Document
Posted: May 04, 2007 05:30 PM
Last Updated: May 27, 2014 11:45 AM