UN report: Meth trafficking surges in Afghanistan

The United Nations anti-crime agency reports methamphetamine trafficking in and around Afghanistan is surging. It adds heroin is still being trafficked, but at a lower rate.

The body says this suggests there has been a significant shift in the illicit drug market.

The UN's Office on Drugs and Crime released a report on Sunday. It said its aim was to provide the international community with information to combat the synthetic drug threat.

The report said heroin trafficking has slowed down.

Afghanistan is one of the largest suppliers of opium poppies.
The plant is used to make heroin. But the Taliban introduced a ban on the drug last year.

The group has started clamping down on Afghan poppy farmers. It has destroyed crops across the country.
The Islamist group took power in 2021.

The UNODC report indicates seizures of methamphetamine in Afghanistan and neighboring countries increased nearly twelvefold during a five-year period.

In 2017, 2.5 tons were seized. That figure had grown to 29.7 tons by 2021.

The UN says regionally-coordinated policing efforts may help curb illicit meth manufacturing in Afghanistan and the surrounding states.