By The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. Drug trafficking is first and foremost a business. The common perception that traffickers are evil and weaken the rule of law in general is an over simplification. While this remains true to a certain degree traffickers are willing to take risks in moving illicit commodities across borders if the risk/ profit ratio is favorable. Nowhere is this truer than with opiate trafficking.

Moving opiates from source countries in Western and Southern Asia to destination markets can be extremely lucrative and in the eyes of traffickers worth the risk of interdiction by law enforcement. As a prime trajectory for the movement of opiates from Afghanistan to destination markets in Western Europe, the Balkan route has a long history of facilitating opiate trafficking. So much so that a recent report declared that almost USD $ 28 billion worth of opiates are trafficked along this route every year.

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