Back to Standard Web Page

Illicit drugs

This page shows the value of the Illicit drugs information field for all countries in the Country Guide.

Notes on this field are available at the Information Field Notes page.

Afghanistan

world's largest illicit opium producer, surpassing Burma (potential production in 1999 - 1,670 metric tons; cultivation in 1999 - 51,500 hectares, a 23% increase over 1998); a major source of hashish; increasing number of heroin-processing laboratories being set up in the country; major political factions in the country profit from drug trade

Albania

increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and - to a far lesser extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; limited opium and cannabis production; ethnic Albanian narcotrafficking organizations active and rapidly expanding in Europe

Angola

increasingly used as a transshipment point for cocaine and heroin destined for Western Europe and other African states

Antigua and Barbuda

considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as a drug-money-laundering center

Argentina

increasing use as a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe and the US; increasing use as a money-laundering center; domestic consumption of drugs has skyrocketed

Armenia

illicit cultivator of cannabis mostly for domestic consumption; increasingly used as a transshipment point for illicit drugs - mostly opium and hashish - to Western Europe and the US via Iran, Central Asia, and Russia

Aruba

drug-money-laundering center and transit point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe

Australia

Tasmania is one of the world's major suppliers of licit opiate products; government maintains strict controls over areas of opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate

Austria

transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for Western Europe

Azerbaijan

limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication program; transshipment point for opiates via Iran, Central Asia, and Russia to Western Europe

Bahamas, The

transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; banking industry vulnerable to money laundering

Bangladesh

transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries

Barbados

one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for the US and Europe

Belarus

limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for the domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to and via Russia, and to the Baltics and Western Europe

Belgium

source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for cocaine, heroin, hashish, and marijuana entering Western Europe

Belize

transshipment point for cocaine; small-scale illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; minor money-laundering center

Benin

transshipment point for narcotics associated with Nigerian trafficking organizations and most commonly destined for Western Europe and the US

Bolivia

world's third-largest cultivator of coca (after Peru and Colombia) with an estimated 21,800 hectares under cultivation in 1999, a 45% decrease in overall cultivation of coca from 1998 levels; intermediate coca products and cocaine exported to or through Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile to the US and other international drug markets; alternative crop program aims to reduce illicit coca cultivation

Bosnia and Herzegovina

minor transit point for marijuana and opiate trafficking routes to Western Europe

Brazil

limited illicit producer of cannabis, minor coca cultivation in the Amazon region, mostly used for domestic consumption; government has a large-scale eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment country for Bolivian, Colombian, and Peruvian cocaine headed for the US and Europe; increasingly used by traffickers as a way station for narcotics air transshipments between Peru and Colombia; upsurge in drug-related violence and weapons smuggling

Bulgaria

major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market; limited producer of precursor chemicals

Cambodia

transshipment site for Golden Triangle heroin; possible money laundering; narcotics-related corruption reportedly involving some in the government, military, and police; possible small-scale opium, heroin, and amphetamine production; large producer of cannabis for the international market

Canada

illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic drug market; use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors; growing role as a transit point for heroin and cocaine entering the US market

Cape Verde

used as a transshipment point for illicit drugs moving from Latin America and Africa destined for Western Europe

Cayman Islands

vulnerable to drug money laundering and drug transshipment

Chile

a growing transshipment country for cocaine destined for the US and Europe; economic prosperity has made Chile more attractive to traffickers seeking to launder drug profits; imported precursors passed on to Bolivia; domestic cocaine consumption is rising

China

major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle; growing domestic drug abuse problem

Colombia

illicit producer of coca, opium poppies, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator (cultivation of coca in 1998 - 101,500 hectares, a 28% increase over 1997); cultivation of opium in 1998 remained steady at 6,600 hectares; potential production of opium in 1997 - 66 metric tons, a 5% increase over 1996; the world's largest processor of coca derivatives into cocaine; supplier of cocaine to the US and other international drug markets, and an important supplier of heroin to the US market; active aerial eradication program

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for domestic consumption

Costa Rica

transshipment country for cocaine and heroin from South America; illicit production of cannabis on small, scattered plots; domestic cocaine consumption has risen

Cote d'Ivoire

illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for local consumption; minor transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin to Europe and occasionally to the US, and for Latin American cocaine destined for Europe

Croatia

transit point along the Balkan route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe; a minor transit point for maritime shipments of South American cocaine bound for Western Europe

Cuba

territorial waters and air space serve as transshipment zone for cocaine bound for the US and Europe; established the death penalty for certain drug-related crimes in 1999

Cyprus

minor transit point for heroin and hashish via air routes and container traffic to Europe, especially from Lebanon and Turkey; some cocaine transits as well

Czech Republic

major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and minor transit point for Latin American cocaine to Western Europe; domestic consumption - especially of locally produced synthetic drugs - on the rise

Dominica

transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; minor cannabis producer; banking industry is vulnerable to money laundering

Dominican Republic

transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe

Ecuador

significant transit country for cocaine and derivatives of coca originating in Colombia and Peru; importer of precursor chemicals used in production of illicit narcotics; important money-laundering hub; increased activity on frontiers by trafficking groups and Colombian insurgents

Egypt

a transit point for Southwest Asian and Southeast Asian heroin and opium moving to Europe, Africa, and the US; popular transit stop for Nigerian couriers

El Salvador

transshipment point for cocaine; marijuana produced for local consumption; domestic drug abuse on the rise

Estonia

transshipment point for opiates and cannabis from Southwest Asia and the Caucasus via Russia, cocaine from Latin America to Western Europe and Scandinavia, and synthetic drugs from Western Europe to Scandinavia; possible precursor manufacturing and/or trafficking

Ethiopia

transit hub for heroin originating in Southwest and Southeast Asia and destined for Europe and North America as well as cocaine destined for markets in southern Africa; cultivates qat (chat) for local use and regional export, principally to Djibouti and Somalia

France

transshipment point for and consumer of South American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin

French Guiana

small amount of marijuana grown for local consumption; minor transshipment point to Europe

Georgia

limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; used as transshipment point for opiates via Central Asia to Western Europe and Russia

Germany

source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for and consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and European-produced synthetic drugs

Ghana

illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; transit hub for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for Europe and the US

Greece

a gateway to Europe for traffickers smuggling cannabis and heroin from the Middle East and Southwest Asia to the West and precursor chemicals to the East; some South American cocaine transits or is consumed in Greece

Grenada

small-scale cannabis cultivation; lesser transshipment point for marijuana and cocaine to US

Guatemala

transit country for cocaine shipments; minor producer of illicit opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade; active eradication program in 1996 effectively eliminated the cannabis crop; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (cocaine shipments)

Guyana

transshipment point for narcotics from South America - primarily Venezuela - to Europe and the US; producer of cannabis

Haiti

major Caribbean transshipment point for cocaine en route to the US and Europe

Honduras

transshipment point for drugs and narcotics; illicit producer of cannabis, cultivated on small plots and used principally for local consumption; corruption is a major problem

Hong Kong

a hub for Southeast Asian heroin trade; transshipment and money-laundering center; increasing indigenous amphetamine abuse

Hungary

major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and cannabis and transit point for South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; limited producer of precursor chemicals, particularly for amphetamines and methamphetamines

India

world's largest producer of licit opium for the pharmaceutical trade, but an undetermined quantity of opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets; major transit country for illicit narcotics produced in neighboring countries; illicit producer of hashish and methaqualone

Indonesia

illicit producer of cannabis largely for domestic use; possible growing role as transshipment point for Golden Triangle heroin

Iran

despite substantial interdiction efforts, Iran remains a key transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe; domestic consumption of narcotics remains a persistent problem and Iranian press reports estimate that there are at least 1.2 million drug users in the country

Ireland

transshipment point for and consumer of hashish from North Africa to the UK and Netherlands and of European-produced synthetic drugs; minor transshipment point for heroin and cocaine destined for Western Europe

Israel

increasingly concerned about cocaine and heroin abuse; drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and increasingly Jordan

Italy

important gateway for and consumer of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin entering the European market

Jamaica

transshipment point for cocaine from Central and South America to North America and Europe; illicit cultivation of cannabis; government has an active manual cannabis eradication program

Kazakhstan

significant illicit cultivation of cannabis and limited cultivation of opium poppy and ephedra (for the drug ephedrone); limited government eradication program; cannabis consumed largely in the CIS; used as transshipment point for illicit drugs to Russia, North America, and Western Europe from Southwest Asia

Kenya

widespread harvesting of small, wild plots of marijuana and qat (chat); transit country for South Asian heroin destined for Europe and, sometimes, North America; Indian methaqualone also transits on way to South Africa

Kyrgyzstan

limited illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for illicit drugs to Russia and Western Europe from Southwest Asia

Laos

world's third-largest illicit opium producer (estimated cultivation in 1999 - 21,800 hectares, a 16% decrease over 1998; estimated potential production in 1999 - 140 metric tons, about the same as in 1998); potential heroin producer; transshipment point for heroin and methamphetamines produced in Burma; illicit producer of cannabis

Latvia

transshipment point for opiates and cannabis from Central and Southwest Asia to Western Europe and Scandinavia and Latin American cocaine and some synthetics from Western Europe to CIS; limited production of illicit amphetamines, ephedrine, and ecstasy for export

Lebanon

inconsequential producer of hashish; some heroin processing mostly in the Bekaa valley; a Lebanese/Syrian eradication campaign started in the early 1990s has practically eliminated the opium and cannabis crops

Liberia

increasingly a transshipment point for Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine for the European and US markets

Lithuania

transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Southwest Asia, Latin America, and Western Europe to Western Europe and Scandinavia

Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of

increasing transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and hashish; minor transit point for South American cocaine destined for Europe

Madagascar

illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for heroin

Malaysia

transit point for some illicit drugs going to Western markets; drug trafficking prosecuted vigorously and carries severe penalties

Malta

minor transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Western Europe

Martinique

transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for the US and Europe

Mauritius

minor consumer and transshipment point for heroin from South Asia; small amounts of cannabis produced and consumed locally

Mexico

illicit cultivation of opium poppy (cultivation in 1998 - 5,500 hectares; potential production - 60 metric tons) and cannabis cultivation in 1998 - 4,600 hectares; government eradication efforts have been key in keeping illicit crop levels low; major supplier of heroin and marijuana to the US market; continues as the primary transshipment country for US-bound cocaine from South America; involved in the production and distribution of methamphetamines; upsurge in drug-related violence and official corruption; major drug syndicates growing more powerful

Moldova

limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia via Central Asia to Russia, Western Europe and possibly the US

Morocco

illicit producer of hashish; trafficking on the increase for both domestic and international drug markets; shipments of hashish mostly directed to Western Europe; transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe

Mozambique

Southern African transit hub for South American cocaine probably destined for the European and US markets; producer of hashish and methaqualone

Myanmar

world's second largest producer of illicit opium, after Afghanistan (potential production in 1999 - 1,090 metric tons, down 38% due to drought; cultivation in 1999 - 89,500 hectares, a 31% decline from 1998); surrender of drug warlord KHUN SA's Mong Tai Army in January 1996 was hailed by Rangoon as a major counternarcotics success, but lack of government will and ability to take on major narcotrafficking groups and lack of serious commitment against money laundering continues to hinder the overall antidrug effort; becoming a major source of methamphetamines for regional consumption

Nepal

illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic and international drug markets; transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West

Netherlands

major European producer of illicit amphetamines and other synthetic drugs; important gateway for cocaine, heroin, and hashish entering Europe

Netherlands Antilles

money-laundering center; transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the US and Europe

Nicaragua

transshipment point for cocaine destined for the US and transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing

Nigeria

facilitates movement of heroin en route from Southeast and Southwest Asia to Western Europe and North America; increasingly a transit route for cocaine from South America intended for European, East Asian, and North American markets

Pakistan

producer of illicit opium and hashish for the international drug trade (poppy cultivation in 1999 - 1,570 hectares, a 48% drop from 1998 because of eradication and alternative development); key transit area for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western markets; narcotics still move from Afghanistan into Balochistan Province

Panama

major cocaine transshipment point and major drug-money-laundering center; no recent signs of coca cultivation; monitoring of financial transactions is improving, yet Panama has failed to prosecute anyone for money laundering - official corruption remains a major problem

Paraguay

illicit producer of cannabis, most or all of which is consumed in South America; transshipment country for Bolivian cocaine headed for Southern Cone markets and Europe and a limited amount to the US

Peru

until recently the world's largest coca leaf producer, Peru has reduced the area of coca under cultivation by 24% to 38,700 hectares at the end of 1999; most of cocaine base is shipped to neighboring Colombia, Bolivia, and Brazil for processing into cocaine for the international drug market, but exports of finished cocaine are increasing by maritime conveyance to Mexico, US, and Europe

Philippines

exports locally produced marijuana and hashish to East Asia, the US, and other Western markets; serves as a transit point for heroin and crystal methamphetamine

Poland

major illicit producer of amphetamines for the international market; minor transshipment point for Asian and Latin American illicit drugs to Western Europe

Portugal

important gateway country for Latin American cocaine entering the European market; transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Europe; consumer of Southwest Asian heroin

Romania

important transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin transiting the Balkan route and small amounts of Latin American cocaine bound for Western Europe

Russia

limited cultivation of illicit cannabis and opium poppy and producer of amphetamines, mostly for domestic consumption; government has active eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian opiates and cannabis and Latin American cocaine to Western Europe, possibly to the US, and growing domestic market; major source of heroin precursor chemicals

Saint Kitts and Nevis

transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe

Saint Lucia

transit point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe

Saudi Arabia

death penalty for traffickers; increasing consumption of heroin and cocaine

Senegal

transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin moving to Europe and North America; illicit cultivator of cannabis

Serbia and Montenegro

transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western Europe on the Balkan route

Singapore

transit point for Golden Triangle heroin going to North America, Western Europe, and the Third World; also a money-laundering center

Slovakia

transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe

Slovenia

minor transit point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe, and for precursor chemicals

South Africa

transshipment center for heroin and cocaine; cocaine consumption on the rise; world's largest market for illicit methaqualone, usually imported illegally from India through various east African countries; illicit cultivation of marijuana

Spain

key European gateway country for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish entering the European market; transshipment point for and consumer of Southwest Asian heroin

Suriname

transshipment point for South American drugs destined mostly for Europe

Switzerland

because of more stringent government regulations, used significantly less as a money-laundering center; transit country for and consumer of South American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin

Syria

a transit point for opiates and hashish bound for regional and Western markets

Taiwan

considered an important heroin transit point; major problem with domestic consumption of methamphetamines and heroin

Tajikistan

limited illicit cultivation of cannabis, mostly for domestic consumption; opium poppy cultivation negligible in 1998 because of government eradication program; major transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia to Russia and Western Europe

Tanzania

growing role in transshipment of Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for European and US markets and of South Asian methaqualone bound for Southern Africa

Thailand

a minor producer of opium, heroin, and marijuana; major illicit transit point for heroin en route to the international drug market from Burma and Laos; eradication efforts have reduced the area of cannabis cultivation and shifted some production to neighboring countries; opium poppy cultivation has been reduced by eradication efforts; also a drug money-laundering center; minor role in amphetamine production for regional consumption; increasing indigenous abuse of methamphetamines and heroin

Togo

transit hub for Nigerian heroin and cocaine traffickers

Trinidad and Tobago

transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; producer of cannabis

Turkey

key transit route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe and - to a far lesser extent the US - via air, land, and sea routes; major Turkish, Iranian, and other international trafficking organizations operate out of Istanbul; laboratories to convert imported morphine base into heroin are in remote regions of Turkey as well as near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate

Turkmenistan

limited illicit cultivator of opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; limited government eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia to Russia and Western Europe; also a transshipment point for acetic anhydride destined for Afghanistan

Turks and Caicos Islands

transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US

Ukraine

limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; some synthetic drug production for export to West; limited government eradication program; used as transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Africa, Latin America, and Turkey, and to Europe and Russia; drug-related money laundering a minor, but growing, problem

United Arab Emirates

growing role as heroin transshipment and money-laundering center due to its proximity to southwest Asian producing countries and the bustling free trade zone in Dubai

United Kingdom

gateway country for Latin American cocaine entering the European market; producer and major consumer of synthetic drugs, synthetic precursor chemicals; major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering center

United States

consumer of cocaine shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean; consumer of heroin, marijuana, and increasingly methamphetamines from Mexico; consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamines; drug-money-laundering center

Uzbekistan

limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and very small amounts of opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption, almost entirely eradicated by an effective government eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for illicit drugs from Afghanistan to Russia and Western Europe and for acetic anhydride destined for Afghanistan

Venezuela

illicit producer of opium for the international drug trade on a small scale; however, large quantities of cocaine and heroin transit the country from Colombia bound for US and Europe; important money-laundering hub; active eradication program primarily targeting opium; increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border

Vietnam

minor producer of opium poppy with 2,100 hectares cultivated in 1999, capable of producing 11 metric tons of opium; probably minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin destined for the US and Europe; growing opium/heroin addiction; possible small-scale heroin production

Zambia

transshipment point for methaqualone, heroin, and cocaine bound for Southern Africa and Europe; regional money-laundering center

Zimbabwe

significant transit point for African cannabis and South Asian heroin, mandrax, and methamphetamines destined for the South African and European markets
Copyright © 2001 International Opportunities. All Rights Reserved.
Site Version 1.75 - Last updated December 20, 2006

Back to Standard Web Page