WSJ News Exclusive | Afghanistan’s Opium Business Cranks Up as the Taliban Look the Other Way
With drought and international sanctions crippling the economy, farmers are planting more poppies and drug markets are open for business.
TALUKAN, Afghanistan—Afghanistan’s opium industry—the main source of heroin sold in the West—is revving back up.
Here in Talukan, dozens of merchants openly trade different grades of opium in a busy new market that has sprung up since the Taliban’s Aug. 15 victory. Plastic bags filled with viscous brown liquid are on display next to metal bowls filled with a jellylike substance as well as solid dark bricks of the narcotic. White banners praising the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate fly from every shop.