Edited by Barney Warf
Chapter 16: Drugs and corruption in former Soviet Central Asia
This chapter offers a fascinating glimpse into the transnational crime networks that operate in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Borders mean little to nothing. The collapse of the Soviet Union, and the prolonged wars in Afghanistan, led to a river of opium spewing out of Afghanistan into the five former Soviet republics. Afghan warlords and Islamic groups alike partook of the bounty. Cities that once prospered due to the old Silk Road, such as Osh, found a new lease on life. The author charts the decentralized organized crime groups that have also taken advantage of the situation. Not surprisingly, opium-derived revenues have tainted government officials and professionals throughout the region, whose countries are some of the world’s most corrupt.
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