Investigations conducted following the interception of the Pakistan boat has revealed that the 232 packets of heroin worth Rs 600 crore was being smuggled from Pakistan through India and was meant to reach the European market.
While 232 packets weighing approximately 100 to 150 kilograms is a huge quantity, the fact of the matter is that every year, Pakistan smuggles 200 tonnes of heroin which is meant to reach various parts of the world.
Nearly 80 per cent of the heroin which is produced in Afghanistan makes its way through Pakistan and then is routed to the European markets through India. A rough estimate of heroin smuggling alone would show that 200 tonnes are routed through Pakistan every year.
Four routes used to smuggle heroin
It is a well known fact that 80 per cent of the heroin that the world market receives is from Afghanistan alone. A break down of statistics would show that Hilmand in Afghanistan produces 66 per cent of the heroin. This is followed up by Farah with 10 per cent and Khandahar with nine per cent.
There are four routes in all which the smugglers rely upon to push the heroin. The highest smuggling however occurs through the Pakistan route which amounts to 40 per cent.
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The route through Pakistan pushes at least 200 tonnes of heroin every year. The year 2012 however saw the highest quantity of heroin being pushed through Pakistan and estimates would show that it was 240 tonnes that year.
The annual turn over that smugglers make while using the Pakistan route is an estimated 30 billion dollars a year.
The other route which is used to smuggle heroin is the Northern Afghanistan route. This route is used to push heroin in Russia and amounts to nearly 100 to 150 tonnes annually. The other two routes which are used are Balkans and the Caucasus.
Who earns what?
There are around 600,000 heroin addicts around the world. Interestingly the lowest number of addicts of heroin are in Pakistan. The number of heroin addicts around the world itself is an indicator of how much in demand this product is.
Heroin is the cheapest in Afghanistan and is procured at 2000 dollars a kilogram. In Pakistan it is sold at 4000 dollars per kg while in Europe a kilogram would fetch 96,000 dollars. In Japan however the cost is the highest and a kilogram of heroin fetches anything between 121,000 to 130,000 dollars per kilogram.
The annual estimate of the heroin trade world wide is 80 billion dollars. The Pakistan route through India to Europe alone would fetch the smugglers 30 billion US dollars. Out of this entire amount the one who produces the heroin in Afghanistan pockets 1 million dollars a year.
Very often we have seen that in the drug market a major part of the control is exercised by the terrorist groups and the underworld. Indian Intelligence Bureau officials have on several occasions pointed out that the ISI takes protection money for all drugs being smuggled through Pakistan and this is what is used to fund terror groups.
In Afghanistan there is a virtual battle between terror groups to gain as much control as possible over the drug trade. This is the most lucrative form of finance for any terror group. In addition to this the big facilitator of the drug trade is Dawood Ibrahim and his honchos.
Dawood provides the safe route and being a master with the Indian waters he can ensure that the drugs have a smooth flow between Pakistan-India and Europe. It is becoming extremely clear that the Pakistan boat which was intercepted on Monday night was moving heroin to be supplied in the European markets.