Value of Heroin Trade in Russia and Central Asia
"It is important to note that profits made from trafficking Afghan opiates into Central Asia (USD 344 million) in 2010 are dwarfed by the net profit pocketed by criminals trafficking onwards to the Russian Federation, which was around US$ 1.4 billion in 2010. This calculation does not include other drugs such as those of the cannabis group, which are also trafficked through the region.
"The mark-up on heroin brought into Central Asia and sold in the Russian Federation is as much as 600 per cent. As shown in the figure below, as prices increase purity decreases; this is explained by the growing distance from the source and by the practise of cutting the heroin with adulterants. This means that 1 kg of heroin at 70 per cent purity can become 2 kg at 35 per cent purity. This inversely proportional relationship between price increase and decrease in quality translates into greater profits for traffickers."
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "Opiate Flows Through Northern Afghanistan and Central Asia: A Threat Assessment" (UNODC Afghan Opiate Trade Project of the Studies and Threat Analysis Section (STAS), Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, May 2012), p. 85.