Afghanistan is the world’s biggest exporter of black-market opium from which heroin is made. It’s a multi-billion dollar business, responsible for around a hundred thousand deaths every year and it’s a major source of income for terrorists. RT Doc travelled to the poppy fields where death is harvested to find out why no one can put a stop to this deadly trade.
When it comes to heroin, a non-intervention policy is still going strong in Afghanistan where over 90% of the world’s black market opium is produced. Most finds its way onto the international drug market and the profits fund organized crime and terrorist groups like ISIS, which is growing in strength here.
The dealers and manufacturers aren’t hard to find: they live in luxurious houses, have fields blooming with poppies and sell their narcotic wares in broad daylight. Even so, they still manage to evade arrest. Poppy fields are destroyed and drugs seized but it’s only ever the middle men who are punished, not the drug lords. There’s been a NATO military presence in the country for 14 years now but still, drugs production continues to grow.
Local people suffer from the drug business too, around 18% of the capital’s population are drug addicts. The places where drugs are sold and used are well known but the police are powerless to act. Mafia wars drive civilians from their land in the southern regions, forcing them into refugee camps in their own country. Opium growers get rich by plunging fellow citizens into the depths of misery.
RT Doc’s investigative team visited Afghanistan to document the Police’s losing battle against opium producers and its effect on the rest of the country. They talk to police officers, drug users and opium growers in search of a fuller picture and to ask why this massive and life-destroying industry continues to flourish.