I wonder why this report is making it into the news? Of course it is hardly a threat except indirectly as a result of increased crime by addicts etc. Perhaps the RCMP is trying to encourage a poppy eradication program in Afghanistan. It is interesting that estimates are that 92 per cent of heroin now originates from Afghanistan.
Obviously the occupation has encouraged growth of the crops, no doubt it has enriched former warlords sitting in the Karzai government. However, eradication without some policy of substitution or alternative source of income for farmers will be a disaster. Perhaps legalising some production for medical use might offer a partial solution.
Afghan heroin a direct threat to Canadians: Mounties
Last Updated: Monday, August 6, 2007 | 9:09 AM ET
The Canadian Press
The RCMP has warned at least two federal agencies that Afghan heroin is increasingly making its way to Canada and poses a direct threat to the public, despite millions of dollars from Ottawa to fund the war-torn country's counter-narcotics efforts, newly released documents reveal.
"The RCMP informs us that Afghan heroin is increasingly ending up on, or is destined for Canadian streets," say Foreign Affairs and Defence Department briefings, obtained separately by the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.
The Afghan-produced heroin "directly threatens" Canadians, say the identically worded briefings.
Paul Nadeau, the director of the RCMP's drug branch in Ottawa, said about 60 per cent of the heroin on Canadian streets comes from Afghanistan.
"Keep in mind, though, that when we seize it, it doesn't have a stamp on it that says where it came from," he said.
Rather, it's the investigative tracing of smuggling routes that reveals the drug's country of origin.
Until a few years ago, most heroin came from an opium-producing region in Southeast Asia called the "golden triangle," a mountainous area of around 350,000 square kilometres overlapping Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.
In recent years, organized crime groups from Southeast Asia have taken to trafficking synthetic drugs, such as ecstasy, which have more users — and more profitability — than heroin, Nadeau said.
New traffickers, who Nadeau said are often, but not always, of Indian origin, have stepped in, bringing with them new shipping methods.
The Southeast Asian traffickers were notorious for brazen heroin shipments, sometimes totalling up to 100 kilograms a haul. The new traffickers typically prefer smaller, but more frequent, shipments, Nadeau said.
"It seems to be involving the classic couriers, suitcases at the airport, smaller amounts, but no doubt, more shipments coming in," he said.
Roughly 92 per cent of the world's heroin comes from opium poppies grown in Afghanistan, according to the 2007 World Drug Report, released in June by the United Nations Office on Drugs.
Afghan heroin typically flows into Canada through two main trafficking arteries, Nadeau said: via the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then onto India and, finally, Canada; and from Afghanistan to western Africa, then through the United States into Canada.